When I was at my friend Carrie's house about a month ago, she introduced me to the E.L.F. products, which can be found at Target. Namely, I ended up using both the Makeup Mist and Set on myself and did her makeup and used their cream liner on her. I decided to pick up some of the products and give them a try.
As you can see in the picture, I ended up picking up 3 brushes, the Mist and Set, cream liner, and a duo eyeliner/eyeshadow. The brush with the silver handle was 1$ and all other products were 3$ each. So these products are VERY affordable. But would they hold up to the standards that I like in makeup tools and products?
The simple and quick answer is YES. I was quite impressed, actually.
The face brush on the left is a very fluffy face brush (they call it Complexion Brush). I love using it to apply my loose powder. I have been using it every day since purchasing it. Really in love with it.
The 2nd brush from the left is their contour brush. I use it to apply eye shadow at the crease of the eye. While I do like it a lot, it's stiff so, sometimes, it's not exactly the best tool when I want a certain application. However, it's replacing what I used to do to have a crisp application at the crease where I was using a smudger brush followed by a blending brush. So I do use this brush a lot but it depends on the technique/application I'm going for.
The 3rd brush is a simple eye shadow brush. Again, it's very stiff and a bit small. But there are techniques for which it is perfect. I'll mention one use that it's quite awesome for in an upcoming blog very soon (probably later this week).
So I quite like these brushes. If you're on a budget and can't splurge on brushes, they would be a great buy. And even if you're not on a budget, I find that they have some characteristics that were very useful... and they most certainly don't break the bank to purchase.
The Makeup Mist and Set product is interesting. I've always wanted to buy one from like MAC or another brand but, yanno, they're kind of pricey for not even being sure if I'd really be into the product or not. Again, at 3$, even if I ended up not liking it, it wasn't going to be a big deal. The first bottle that I bought ended up breaking at the 2nd application. I decided to buy another one and, once it's empty, I'll transfer the product from one bottle to the other. I like the product but I'm not madly in love with this mist and set. I don't use it to set my makeup too much b/c I find that it sprays more than I want to. But it's awesome to brighten your makeup. So like if I have something after work, I can just refresh my makeup with that product and don't need to reapply anything. I may need to use it more to like it better. We'll see.
The cream liner comes in with a little brush. I threw it away b/c I really didn't like that little brush: the handle was too short and the brush was too thick to my liking. I apply the liner with my MAC liner brush instead because I'm so used to working with it and I like its shape and size better. If you don't have a liner brush, though, the brush that comes with the product can be a good starting point. But, again, I find that the super short handle would make it hard to apply easily. I started using the product b/c I was running low on gel liner (I use the MAC one). So I figured that I would use the cream liner for everyday use and the gel liner for performances. I started only being lukewarm about the cream liner. It's definitely a different formulation compared to the MAC liner. Well, as the names say, one is a gel, the other is a cream. So I kept thinking for a while that I preferred how the gel glides on more easily. But, honestly, I often had to add black eye shadow over the gel liner to make it super black. I don't need to do that with the cream liner: it is extremely black... it's really the crisp black that I like. After having used it for a couple of weeks now, I'm used to the formulation and have changed slightly my application technique and, lo and behold, I actually like the cream liner better! I used it Friday and Saturday for my performance makeup and discovered that, not only does the line look a more crisp black but it's much easier to do a thick line than with the gel. I used it also on the lower lid waterline and it stayed put real nice and was easier to manipulate to do the contour at the inner corner of the eye. I discovered that it doesn't smudge easily, which is actually pretty awesome as I rarely like to smudge my liner. If I did want to smudge it, though, I think that I'd need the gel liner or just a straight up pencil. Anyway, so I'm really sold on this product now.
The duo eye liner/eye shadow was just okay. I do like the eggplant color of the eye shadow and it's a great shade for a simple work makeup. It went on the eyelid easily enough. However, the eye liner, though it was a deeper purple, wasn't contrasting enough to my liking. I wear such dramatic makeups on a regular basis that these tone on tone schemes look way too tame on me. I can see, though, that it could look great on someone else.
So all told, I was very impressed by these products. Whether you are on a budget or not, I would encourage everyone to check them out.