Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mini e.l.f. Haul Part 2 - Little Black Beauty Book Cool Python Edition

And welcome to part 2 of my first little e.l.f. haul!!! For today I have (insert drum roll here) e.l.f. Little Black Beauty Book Cool Python Edition! Sorry, I'm a little excitable today.
Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own funds, I am not being paid or compensated by the company in question. My opinions are entirely my own.

Above is the outer packaging for the BB, and it's really pretty nice. The cardboard they use is a little on the cheap side, but the lettering is all embossed and the snake skin background is textured. So yeah, it looks lovely, especially for the price.

And for the book itself. It appears to be made of cheap rather cheap leather and plastic with a magnet for closure. My BB is actually kind of cock eyed, like the sides don't line up quite right. The stitching is also crooked and there's one really long string hanging from the stitching on the back. But the overall look is pretty good, definitely passable, and for the price you really aren't going to do much better. Moving on now...

Here is the open BB. There are 48 different colors to choose from, mostly shimmery colors, but a couple of them are quite matte. The pans of color are very small, but that was kind of a no duh kinda thing. There are 48 colors in a book that is approximately 3''x5", you have to know what you're getting there. But the colors themselves seem to be packed in pretty tight, they don't chalk up and flake everywhere when you use them. Some of the colors I actually found to be rather difficult to get out of the pan and onto a brush because they are just so dense. Also, I like the color variety and I think that they are all very wearable colors. Some of the colors are kind of skimpy in the pigment department, but they layer pretty well.
Here's a close up of the left side of the BB. It has mostly light and neutral colors as well as a little mirror. I really wish it would have come with one of those little plastic mirror protectors or something because the mirror gets dingy so quick, but I can deal. It's not like I use the mirror anyway.
And a close up of the right side of the BB. This side has darker shades as well as more really cool colors. I really like the purple shade that's 4 down, 1 over. It's a very pink/purple, almost fuchsia. I love it.

Here are some random swatches I picked out of the BB. I applied 2 coats of each color on non-primed skin. The flash kind of bleached them out a little, sorry for the photo quality btw. My camera's been a little wonky lately and my editing skills are not top notch at this point. I am trying, please be patient!
But I have used the colors a few times now and I like them. You'll probably want to use primer or foundation to help the color stick as these are not long wear shadows. But the case is also small enough that you could easily take it with you to reapply as necessary.
Also would like to point out that the dark color in the middle swatch is the darkest color in the palette, located on the right side of the BB in the top right corner.

Would like to say that I am quite pleased with this product. It has a lot of variety and the colors are of a pretty nice consistently. The packaging, while not perfect, seems to be quite functional and durable. I've dropped mine twice while doing this review and nothing has cracked or fallen out, so yeah. And at $6 USD you really can't beat this. So yay e.l.f! You have delighted me once again with your extremely affordable and great products.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mini e.l.f. Haul

Well, it's my birthday, so I decided to spend a few bucks at Target on e.l.f. products. I've heard a lot about these products, so I've decided to try them out and let ya know what I think. I'm doing this in two parts because while shopping I came across one of their palettes that totally deserves it's own separate post.
Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own funds, I am not being paid or compensated by the company in question. My opinions are entirely my own.

I decided to just do a look using the e.l.f. Punk Funk Brightening Eye Color quad and working the rest of the face around that so that I could get a real feel for the e.l.f. products that I picked up to try out. I will introduce each item as I used it, and there will be a list of the e.l.f. products I used with their price.

First, I am starting with a freshly cleansed, toned and moisturized face.

Next I used the concealer end of the e.l.f. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter in Fair/Glow under my eyes to try and hide my circles and make my eyes "pop" a bit.
I've got to say that I was not overly impressed with this product's ability to hide the circles under my eyes. The formula was pretty thin for a concealer, so I had to layer it quite a bit to really minimize my circles. But it did brighten my eye area quite a bit which led me to continue applying down to the top of my cheekbones for a little highlight that I thought looked quite nice. I also applied the concealer over my entire lid and up through the brow bone to give me a nice light and even surface to apply the eye make up. I also applied to the bridge of the nose for highlight, and used it to hide any red spots or blemishes. Even though, or maybe because this concealer is so thin it blends fabulously. It's super easy to work with, and being that I don't need a lot of coverage that's just great.

I finished the face with Clinique's True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer in Sunkissed in the hollows of my cheek, around my face and on the jawbone followed by Clinique's Soft-Pressed Powder Blusher in Pink Blush, which I applied on the apples of my cheek. I've had these colors for ages, and I like them a lot when I'm looking for a subdued face. The colors are really light and very manageable. Afterwards, I used Maybelline Dream Matte Powder in Light all over my face just to help blend the blush and bronzer a bit more and further even out my skin.

And here's where things get fun. My eyes (except for the mascara, which is Sephora Full action Extreme effect mascara aka my current "go-to" mascara) are all e.l.f. products. I started off with the color, obviously, which is the Punk Funk quad. The quad has a nice cream/white eyeshadow, a blue shadow, a purple shadow, and a hot pink shadow.
 I started by applying the cream/white shadow all over my lid and up to the brow, blending around the edges of the eye to prevent any harshness. I really liked this color, it is really pretty and the shadow goes on very smooth and creamy. It didn't feel cakey going on, and once on it doesn't move around. The blue is, in my opinion, pretty unremarkable. Sure, it looks nice, but it just doesn't do much for me. It's not super pigmented, but it's not really weak either. It goes on okay, but it needs a little extra blending. It sheds a little too, but I really should have known that it would as most blues do. I really should have used shadow shields, but it's late and I'm kinda tired, so give me a break. The purple is a really pretty shade, but as with the blue not super pigmented. It does build up pretty well if you apply more than one coat of color, and again it is a beautiful shade of purple. It blends a lot nicer than the blue as well and without the color falling on my face, which is a definite plus. And lastly, the hot pink. It's a great color. It requires a little building depending on the intensity you want, but with a pink I think that's a good thing. And it's just such a bright happy color! I can't wait to do more with this color, I really really like it. It blends well, it's really smooth, it's really bright; I really don't know what more I'd want in a pink. Though, being that the quad is $1 USD it's all really worth the money. This is a Brightening Eye Color quad, so it is not matte! Hear me, NOT MATTE! But even though the colors look quite sparkly in their pans, I didn't notice any glitter on my eyes. They aren't even shimmery. More like.. luminous. Very very pretty. I'll definitely get a lot of use out of this quad.

Next thing on the list is the e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner in black. Overall, I like this liner. It goes on quite smooth and is really easy to work with. The color is definitely black, it doesn't look washed out or wimpy. It doesn't feel heavy on my eyes and I've been wearing it a few hours now without it smudging or smearing on my face. It seriously stays put. The only thing I don't like about it is that it dries really fast. If you like to blend your liner, you had best do it quick with this stuff.

After the liner, I put on one coat of Sephora's Full Action Extreme Effect (I can't remember what the color is called and it isn't on the bottom of the tube, but it's black, so yeah) and brushed Clinique's Incredible Brow Water Resistant Automatic Pencil in Blondi. Also, I used a light coat of Rouge Artist Natural in N18 (a rosy nude) on my lips, topped with Clinique's Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 (Again, can't remember the name of the color, but it's a pale super glossy pink.) I got a sample from Sephora on one of my past purchases of a few of Rouge Artist's colors and I love them. They glide on very smooth, they're super pigmented and they don't feel heavy or chalky even without balm or gloss. This particular shade is a beautiful natural rose color with a matte finish that is, again, NOT CHALKY!!! It's amazing and I would highly recommend Rouge Artist's lip sticks. I am totally going to buy a full size of some of these colors when I get some extra money. And the Clinique gloss is great. It might be a little tacky (feeling, not looking) for some people, but it lasts for a good long while, even after eating or drinking. I use this gloss all the time, it's probably my favorite gloss right now. A must have for those of us who like very glossy gloss.

The last step for my first e.l.f look are lashes! I bought e.l.f. Natural Lash Kit, which came with "Natural Looking Lush Lashes" in black and lash glue.

 I had never used false lashes before, so I wasn't expecting perfection, and I'm hoping you guys aren't either cuz ya ain't gonna get it. I had an awful time with these lashes, and I mean awful! The glue that comes with the lashes seriously blows. I mean wow. The "applicator" to put the glue on the lashes was a crap design that didn't provide a nice even flow of glue. And it took a while to dry and even after I got them on (or so I thought) the glue just didn't provide enough "stick" and they kept coming loose and I would re stick them and then they'd come loose until I finally got pissed enough to just goop it on the ends and even then it didn't want to stick toward my inner eye. I ended up trimming them a little, which helped make them stay a little better. I think I'm going to trim just a little more off the inner area and I'll have a better look, and I am definitely going to get new lash glue before I try to wear these for any period of time. However, the lashes themselves were quite pretty and blended really well with my lashes.

Also, I forgot to mention that I did use the other end (Highlighter in Glow) of the e.l.f. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter on my brow bone after I applied the color.

e.l.f. Products and Prices

e.l.f. Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter... $3.00 USD
e.l.f. Brightening Eye Color in Punk Funk... $1.00 USD
e.l.f. Cream Liner... $3.00 USD
e.l.f. Natural Lash Kit... $1.00 USD