Thursday, 4 September 2014

TOAD OF TOAD HAUL: e.l.f. Cosmetics

Pretty proud of that title… This is actually kind of a mini haul really, just five things because they had 40% off if you spent £20 so of course I did, keeping as close to the minimum as possible obvs. The thing I want most was actually out of stock, the Colour Corrective Concealer, but by the time I found that out I had already set my heart on the other things. What I got in the end then was a foundation brush, bronzer, powder, eyebrow kit and eyeshadow stick pencil....

Can you tell I was actually taking a picture of the bronzer...?
I will start with my favourite thing of all, the Studio Stipple Brush, which I carefully didn’t take a proper picture of, so if you want one in focus you’ll just have to follow the link. Anyway. Where have foundation brushes been all my life? I tried one once, that on reflection I’m not even sure was a foundation brush, didn’t like it and never tried one again. I am now totally converted, best thing ever. Foundation goes on completely evenly, and it is as “airbrushed” as any make-up I have ever applied. I finally understand why for so many years everyone else's foundation looked better even when I was using the same product. Noll said she had found this brush a bit feeble, which I can sort of understand, it took a little bit of getting used to, but for now it will do just fine. I think I will do a general post at some point in the future about ways of applying foundation because I also recently tried a Beauty Blender sponge (also amazing), and maybe by that point I will also have bought a different foundation brush to test. This also conveniently gets me out of doing before/after fingers/brush pictures for this post because now I have to save it for then…

Next up is the Bronzer (in Cool). Terrible beauty blogger confession here but I haven’t actually used bronzer before. I am so ridiculously pale I always just used blusher and thought bronzer would be too dark and make me look fake. I love this. The clever little squares mean I can load up more of the white powder than the others so it is not too dark, and it doesn’t have any shimmer so it just gives a bit more colour and is great for contouring i.e. suddenly I have cheekbones. One thing I would say though is that I found that if I applied this, and blusher, on top of my slightly-too dark foundation (optimistically bought in case I got a tan over the summer, ha) my face looked like it belonged to a different body, although on its own looked quite good. I am now toning it down a bit and just sticking with the bronzer for now for everyday because I don’t really need pink from blusher anyway - I am quite rosy enough myself. So anyway, for any other super pale people out there, don’t be scared, just get one of these ones with different colours and focus more on the palest shade. It also comes in darker and warmer shades and I think in the same way I can adapt it to my pale skin, it could also be adapted to darker skins.

The Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick (in Rock Out) I bought just to fill up my basket to £20, I admit, but I am pretty pleased with it. I hardly ever wear eyeshadow or whatever because I am still traumatised by all the glitter I wore as a teenager, and I love lipstick so much I tend to just think I can get away with that, but I am sooooo pleased with this. It says to draw it on and blend it but I tend to just go along the upper lash line and leave it. It is a really lovely colour, it goes well with my green eyes and I think would look really amazing with brown or hazel eyes in particular. It gets in the crease a little bit above the eye from when I blink, but eyeshadow primer or just a well-timed mirror check would easily sort this out, and for the price I am definitely considering some other colours too.

I have wanted the High Definition Powder for so so long, but I am kind of on the fence about it as it happens, I think maybe because my expectations were too high? It is not bad, but just not anything amazing. It does sort of blur things, but I think it leaves a little residue, maybe it is not quite fine enough, but basically my logic is if the white powder shows up on my skin then surely it will be a problem for everyone else with more normal skin tones, not to mention much darker ones. I assumed because it was white that it would go on completely translucent, but I don’t feel this is the case. 

It is a pretty good blurrer though, and I will still keep using it, particularly on my forehead, where it definitely seems to soften my pores and angry bumps out. One kind of significant thing though is that when I used the pretty little sponge thing that comes with it, all my foundation rubbed off on it, so that didn’t seem brilliant. Now I just use a big soft face brush and it is fine, but it means it is less convenient as a handbag powder because it is not self-contained.

The Studio Eyebrow Kit (in Light) is probably the thing I am least pleased with. I was really excited about it, especially after I got it and saw the super-helpful instructions, and I wanted to like it so much. The product itself is a dark gel and then a slightly lighter powder, with a cute little brush, and great mirror. The problem I had though is that I use eyebrow pencils/powders etc to fill in the pretty huge gaps I have from over plucking when I was 13 (don’t do it children), but this just makes them worse. The gel, which you apply first, basically clings onto hairs, so it darkened the bits that weren’t gappy, but did nothing to help the gaps. The powder blended in and improved it slightly but not enough really. Having said all this, I think it would be great if you have nice, even eyebrows that you just want to darken/fill out a bit, the gel colour-setting powder combination seems a great idea and how adorable is this box??

So wow that was quite a long post, essentially five Reviewsdays in one (Thursday) post. Just to quickly round off though I want to talk about e.l.f. in general, to say that basically I love it. Most of the stuff I get is from the Studio Line, and although it should probably be because it’s better, it’s mostly because I love the packaging, super sleek and simple black. Also although this is the slightly more expensive range, it is still cheap and (for the most part) such good quality. And some day, the elusive colour-correcting concealer palette will be mine too…

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