Product Reviews

Let’s Talk: ELF Cosmetics

April 24, 2014

Hey Everyone!

I’m back with a new type of post today, a Let’s Talk post. In these posts I’ll pick 1 brand to be the centre of attention. I’ll talk about the brand, their products and my experience with it. Today I’m going to start with Eyes Lips Face (ELF) as I have tried tons of their products. My first ever makeup product was an eyeshadow quad from ELF, so I suppose this brand may be slightly sentimental for me (if that’s even possible).

About the Brand

ELF’s main brand focus is essentially beauty on a budget. The majority of their products can be purchased for $3 or less and the variety of products is growing daily. Their products can be purchased from their website or in Target stores. The brand currently has 3 main lines, Studio, Mineral and Essential. The Essential line is the cheapest of the 3, with many products available for only $1-$2. Next there’s the Studio line, which is their mid-range line with most products $3-$5. Lastly is the Mineral Line, the most “expensive” with products about $5-$8. Now of course, there are some bigger products that are more expensive but for what you get the prices are exceptional. If it’s already not cheap enough, they have AMAZING sales often. The ELF brand is completely cruelty free and does not use any animal based products either. So if this is important to you, ELF is on it and is doing it on a budget as well.

I’m going to include links to everything I mention at the end, so you can check out these products for yourself.

The Packaging

This is one of the main changes I’ve seen in ELF during the 7 years I’ve known their products. Especially for the Studio Line, ELF has really stepped up their packaging. When I first remember ELF, the packaging was pretty cheap looking, definitely didn’t lead you to think the products are as awesome as they are. Now I will say that especially in the essential line, some of the packaging still is really cheap. But when you’re paying $1, you can’t really complain. The biggest difference is in the Studio line. The packaging is really sleek, higher quality plastic as opposed to the Essential Line. It’s not as pretty, as say Too Faced or Tarte, but for the price I don’t even consider that an issue. The style of packaging is similar in feel to Nars, which does mean that it collects makeup and dirt which is irritating at times. Overall is the packaging exceptional all around? No, but for the price I think it’s decent.




The Products

Like I said before I have tried tons of ELF products, so I have a good idea of my likes and dislikes. I won’t talk about everything I own (you’d be reading for a long, long while), but instead highlight a few things.


I’m going to start with blushes, focusing on the Studio blushes because I am most familiar with those. I have a few of these and I have 99% positive things to say. I have had great success with both their powder and HD blushes. Their Studio blushes are so creamy that when I first dipped my finger in to swatch, it felt like a cream product. They’re that buttery. They are pigmented and not remotely powdery. If someone asked me for an affordable blush that easily rivals high end, this is the direction I would send them in. ELF also has HD Blushes which are in a liquid form. I liked these as well, they’re great stippled on the cheeks for a natural flushed look.  The only type of blush from ELF that I wasn’t crazy on was the Baked Blush, it was just too shimmery for me, but that could just be personal preference, it was still pigmented and everything that it should be. All of these that I mentioned are $3.



This is one area where I have found ELF to be hit or miss. I have some eyeshadows from ELF that are soft and pigmented and others that are dry and not so pigmented. What I’m finding is that the quality seems to get better and better. Some of my older palettes aren’t nearly as good as some of the newer ones. A palette that is great quality is the Endless Eyes palette in Natural. This palette has 32 eyeshadows and costs $6. These eyeshadows for the most part are great and it’s a great staple for someone who wants inexpensive basics. The shadows that are less pigmented tend to be some of the brighter colours it seems. A second palette that has impressed me is the 32 Piece Geometric Eyeshadow Palette. This is one that has a great mix of neutrals and colours, all with great texture and pigmentation. This is much better quality than say the vibrant shades in the 100 Piece Eyeshadow Palette. For someone who likes a little colour, this palette is a great mix! It also costs $6. Overall, the eyeshadows are pretty good and seem to be improving. For someone who maybe wants to test out something outside their comfort zone but doesn’t want to spend a lot, these are a good start.



Endless Eyes ^


32 Piece Geometric ^

Lip Products

I have recently gotten more into lip products and I did purchase quite a few from ELF purely because of the price. I wanted to make sure I liked a bolder lip before I spent more. I have tried their Essential Lip Stains, Essential Lipsticks, Matte Lip Color, Studio Moisturizing Lipsticks and Studio Lip stains. Out of all of those I like the Matte Lip Colors and the Studio Lipsticks the best. For me, the Essential Lipsticks were a miss. I found them to accentuate any dryness on my lips and make them look flakey. For only $1, not a real loss. The Studio Lipsticks on the other hand are incredibly creamy and very pigmented. Well worth the extra $2 in my opinion.  The picture below is one swipe each. So awesome. The Matte Lip Colors are also very creamy and pigmented, They come in a stick form which makes for an easy and clean application. The shade Nearly Nude (pictured below) is my ideal nude for my skin tone. Not too brown or too pink. Perfect. The one product that I absolutely would not recommend is the Studio Lip Stains, although some had good pigmentation they smell like straight up paint. Like if you licked a wet wall that’s what it tastes like. Gross. I loved the colour, but the smell gave me such a headache that I couldn’t wear them. Serious miss for me. Definitely give the Matte Lip Colors or the Studio Lipsticks a try, you won’t be disappointed.





In addition to actual makeup, I do have some ELF brushes. If you’re just starting to learn makeup or don’t want to spend a lot on brushes, ELF has some great and very inexpensive sets to give you all the essentials. These are pretty fair quality for the price. The majority of the brushes I have have never shed and have stood up to washing very well. The majority of the brushes I have are the Studio line and I do find those to be better quality than the Essential line. Once again the Studio line is $3 vs. the Essential which is $1, so neither is anywhere near pricey. My Bronzing Brush is from the Essential line and although this has shed occasionally during washing, it hasn’t lost it’s shape or density. It’s the perfect shape to contour my face, one of my favourites by far. I would highly recommend these to a beginner especially while you’re learning to use and care for your brushes. I can’t imagine having spent a lot on brushes when I was starting out, I would have wrecked them. If you want to buy all the essentials for less than $30, this is the company to buy from. Anytime I have holes in my brush collection, I’ll lean towards ELF so that I can fill the gap super cheaply. Especially if it’s a brush that I wouldn’t use all the time, then it makes sense to go the inexpensive route.

Additional Details

ELF offers free shipping on orders over $35, but there is an additional Canadian shipping fee that is $8.95 flat rate. They now ship to Canada by FedEx, so be aware of that because if you aren’t there to receive the package they eventually send it to a FedEx drop off location, not the post office. This can be a problem if there is no FedEx location in your area (like me), then you’ll have to pick it up somewhere else. If ELF is having a sale it can be 2-3 weeks for a package, but I have gotten it in a week before. It seems to depend. Although this is available in Target stores, the whole range is available online.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I think ELF is offering something that is difficult to find in many other brands. It’s not often that you can find good quality products for prices anywhere near the prices they offer. If you do decide to purchase from ELF (which I highly recommend of course!) I suggest reading the reviews. They are honest and accurate. This will help you to pick the products that are exceptional as opposed to some of the misses I mentioned. Despite there being some misses, I would still back this brand because the ‘hits’ I’ve found are huge assets to my makeup collection. All companies have products that are misses, but in this cases if you buy something that you don’t like, it likely only cost you $3. I have found so many alternatives to higher end products, which is great for the student budget. ELF has such a wide range of products I truly believe there is something for everyone. Another note: ELF has excellent customer service, so if you do run into an issue or have any questions, they are right on it to help you. That is really important to me, so that’s a big plus for me. This post only shows a small snapshot of my ELF collection and everything ELF has to offer, there is so much more to discover! I really suggest checking them out for yourself.

I hope that you enjoyed this post! Let me know in the comments below what other brands you would like me to feature in a Let’s Talk post.

Bye for now!



Products Mentioned:



Lip Products:





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  • Reply thattallgirl April 25, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Such a great post!! Thanks for all the background info too–I’m definitely going to look into trying more ELF products in the future 🙂

    • Reply Chelsey April 25, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Thank you! And I’m so glad, I really have found some hidden gems.

  • Reply Potpourri Daily April 30, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Love the idea of this Let’s Talk post! Really cool idea and I also love Elf cosmetics such quality products for a great price! I would love to see a Rimmel London Let’s Talk post if you have a lot of products from them!
    -Marci : )

    • Reply Chelsey April 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you! ELF just gets better and better. And that’s a great idea, I’ve been picking up some Rimmel products so in the future it can have a let’s talk post for sure. Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Reply LuceLuxe May 3, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    I’m a big fan of elf. The studio brushes are amazing. I mean, the handles fall off but if you whack a bit of wood glue on them then you’re good to go again! You can’t complain about the quality, good or bad for the price though. – Off I go to the elf site!

    • Reply Chelsey May 3, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      I have had such good luck and their products keep getting better, they really have impressed me!

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