Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Very First e.l.f. Cosmetics Order - First Impressions!

Hello! Yup, another post today! Still Father's Day, still gorgeous outside, and I'm still sitting inside at my computer because that's what I like to do with my life. I did actually go out today and spent some time at the mall, so I'm not a complete shut in...

I bought my very first e.l.f. cosmetics makeup! I have a few of their brushes from the Studio line (and I really like them!), but I've never used any of their makeup products. People speak very highly of e.l.f. products (most of them, anyways. Like any cosmetic company, they have their hits and misses) and all their products are very affordable. I was browsing the e.l.f. website and they were having a deal where you could get a Summer Siren set worth $28 for just $3 with any $25 dollar purchase. The Summer Siren set included a baked eyeshadow palette, one of the items I was interested in trying, so I figured now was a good a time as any to place an order! I ended up spending $35 to get free shipping because as you guys know, I hate paying for shipping.
I love a full box of makeup!
My order came pretty quickly; it shipped FedEx and was then transferred to my local post office for delivery. Everything arrived safe and sound, though the packaging was a bit sparse. My order was divided into two different clear plastic drawstring bags; one was my order and the other was the Summer Siren set.
I'll start with the items that weren't in the plastic bags! I got two of the Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths since they're only $3 each (side rant: after I placed this order, I went to my Target to see what kind of selection they had there. I wish I had gone there first since they had a lot of the popular e.l.f. products in stock, and everything was $0.50-$1.00 cheaper than on the e.l.f. website. Not sure if this is a regional thing, but there are some things I would have got at Target instead of buying directly from e.l.f....) and I go through these pretty quickly just from swatching. I've heard these are good and the ingredients seem alright, so I'm looking forward to giving these a try.

And now in no particular order...
This is the only item I got from the Essential line. The Essential line is a little more hit and miss since everything is $1. I got this glitter primer since it had a lot of good reviews and now that I have some more glittery eyeshadows, I thought I'd give it a try. One thing that kind of surprised me about e.l.f. products is how cheap the packaging is; everything is very minimal and I feel like they cut as many corners as possible. With such an inexpensive line, though, I kind of like the fact that the packaging is cheap because it means they spent more on the actual products themselves (at least, theoretically and hopefully...).
Next I got a big pot of the High Definition Powder in sheer. There are two other colors that are only on the e.l.f. website, a corrective yellow similar to Ben Nye's Banana Powder and a pinky shimmer. I kind of wish I had gotten the yellow one since I do have issues with redness and I could have gotten this powder for less at Target. I got this because everyone who uses e.l.f. products seems to have this and it's been touted as a dupe for high-end HD powders since the ingredients are exactly the same. I haven't had good experiences with HD powders in the past (...I have very fine hair on my face), but if this doesn't work out, it was only $6.
Continuing on with HD powders, I also got the High Definition Undereye Setting Powder. I like that this came with its own little brush (not sure of what the quality will be like, but it's the thought that counts). I wish I had read the reviews before I purchased this since it's apparently quite glittery and I'm not a big fan of glitter under my eyes.
You can kind of see the little sparkles here, but they're a lot more visible in real life. Not sure why I didn't think there would be glitter in this...it said it was "light-diffusing" in the description and that's pretty much makeup talk for "has glitter". Again, if this doesn't work out, I'll pass it on to someone else.
I got an eyebrow kit! I went with "Light", though I'm thinking I should have gone with "Ash" instead. This is another product I can get at Target for cheaper, but they only carry Medium, which is definitely way too dark for me.
You get a tinted wax (on the left) and a setting powder (on the right). I'm concerned that this is going to be way too brown for me (I have very, very ashey hair; though it always pulls gold when I dye it). This should probably go without saying now, but if it doesn't work, it was only $3 and I can just pass it on. That's one of the things I really like about e.l.f.; it gives you the freedom to experiment and not feel committed to using a product or guilty for buying it.
This is one of the products I hear a lot about on Youtube, and it seems like people have a love-hate relationship with it. This is the lip exfoliator! I like that it's in a lipstick form since it kind of bugs me when I have to dip my fingers into pots to use my other lip scrubs. It has kind of a weird smell, like fake brown sugar, so I'm hoping it doesn't taste bad. I've heard that if you use enough of this, you might reach a point where most of the balm part is gone and all you're left with are the scruby bits. I was surprised that this came in an aluminum tube!
This is the most expensive item I bought, at a whopping $8! Again, I'm really glad it came with its own little brush; in the stock pictures on the website these items are pictured with brushes, but I wasn't sure if they were "staged" photos or not. Since I've been dealing with a lot of acne issues lately, I wanted to try a product that will help my blemishes in a different way. This product has sulfur in it! I was especially interested in trying this because one of the products I'm currently using, the Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix (or something like that), used to be sulfur based but was switched to benzoyl peroxide, which upset a lot of people. I wanted to give sulfur a try since people seemed to really like it. I don't have high expectations for this product, but as long as it doesn't make my acne worse or anything, I think it's worth it to try.
Finally, I picked up the Eye Transformer palette. I was really excited to get this; I've heard it's kind of a dupe for the Naked stacks with the white duochrome shadows. xSparkage uses (or she did) them a lot in her tutorials, and they way they can subtly transform looks is really cool.
They're really hard to see here, since they are sheer, white duochromes, but you can kind of see the subtle differences. I might try layering these over other shadows, but I want to use them along my lower lash line.

Now for the Summer Siren set! As I said, with a $25+ purchase, you could add this $28 kit to your cart and get it for $3. Since I really wanted to try a baked eyeshadow palette, and those by themselves are $10, I went for it! There was one more item that was supposed to be included with this set, but shortly after my order shipped I got an e-mail from e.l.f. saying that some of the kits were mispacked and were missing the eye makeup remover pads. To make up for it, they gave everyone who ordered the kit a $5 gift card. I didn't even want the eye makeup remover pads (they don't have good reviews or good ingredients), so I kind of look at it as I paid $3 for $26 worth of makeup (the eye makeup remover pads are worth $2) and got a $5 gift card. Neat.
In the kit you got three Studio brushes; a blush brush (which I already have and love, so I'm happy to get another), a fan brush (which I hear is cheap and awful so if it doesn't work for makeup, I'll use it for nail art), and a contour brush (which I haven't used before, but I need more eye brushes so yay!).

We also got three baked cheek products:
This is the baked blush in the color Pinktastic.
This looks a lot more like a highlighter than a blush to me...I wish it had more of the dark pink veining. It's definitely pretty, but not really a blush.
We also got a baked bronzer in the Maui (which was the name of my cat when I adopted him! He's an Egyptian Mau...his previous owners weren't very creative).
Again, this is super-duper shimmery! It's also kind of orange and scares me a little...I'll have to play with this a little and see if I can make it work. If not, I'll pass it on to my sister who's quite a bit darker than me.
And this is a highlighter in Blush Gems!
Out of the three products, this is my favorite. It looks more blush-like than Pinktastic, but it's still really light and makes for a much better highlighter (which it's supposed to be so that's good).
Here they are swatched! Left to right is Blush Gems, then Pinktastic (at least, I'm 90% sure that's the order they're in; they both like they could be highlighters or blushes and I keep doubting myself), then Maui. Since they are all so shimmery and shiny I probably wouldn't wear all three together, but they'll be a nice pop when used with other, more matte products.
And the whole reason why I pulled the trigger on this order; this is the baked eyeshadow palette in California! There are also palettes in NYC, Texas, and Seattle (if I were to get another one, I'd get Seattle. It has some nice purples in it).
Like the baked faced products, these are all super shimmery! These are more brown/cream/gold neutrals and they have that inexpensive eyeshadow kind of smell (it's not unpleasant, but it's definitely there).
This is the top row swatched, in the same left-right order they are in the palette. The colors have great pigment and they feel very smooth, especially considering all the sparkle.
And this is the bottom row, in the same left-right order. The most disappointing shade in this palette is unfortunately the only real color, the purple at the very end! It isn't as pigmented as all the other colors and it took some time to build up. These swatches are all dry (since these are baked you can use them wet) and not over primer, so I'd say they perform very well, especially for a $10 palette.

And that concludes my very first e.l.f. order! for only about $37 (taxes and all that), I feel like I got a lot of neat stuff I can mess around with and, if I don't like it, I'm not going to feel like I wasted my money. I already placed another order with e.l.f. since they were having a special for Friday the 13th where you could get free shipping with any order $13+ and I had that $5 gift card to burn. I look forward to getting that order and giving those products a try as well.

Thanks for reading! <3

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