Okay, I don't know how many of you are familiar with ELF, or "Eyes, Lips, Face" but they are a cosmetics brand sold mostly online. I've been wanting to try the company for awhile, but hadn't found the right time. Well, one day they had made a mistake and sent me the wrong coupon code, and so they sent me a "sorry" email saying that with any $10 order, I could get a $15 mini makeup set for free. I thought it sounded like a good deal, so decided that it was the time to buy! Here's my first haul...
This is the Smokey Eye set that I got for $5.00. It came with a brightening eye shadow quad in the shades "Drama," a black liner pencil, a pencil brush, a lash curler, and a mascara that is double wanded- one end of the mascara is regular, and the other is waterproof.
I'll attack these items one-by-one:
-Mascara. I love the size of the brush and how it fits in my hand. I have also never seen a waterproof/non-waterproof dual ended mascara. Now, I'm pretty brand loyal with my mascara, but since I ordered this as a set, I decided to try out the mascara. I *love* the look of the non-waterproof side, and I *never* wear mascara that isn't waterproof. I think for sure the mascara gets a 5/5 for that side alone. The waterproof actually stayed waterproof through tears, but was gone the second I stepped into the bathroom after someone else had taken a hot shower- not what I expected! I've never seen mascara react to steam like that. Strange.
-Lash curler. This works SO WELL. After I started using it, I actually got some comments on how nice my lashes looked, and one of my friends who knows I'm a makeup-a-holic asked if I had on fake lashes. They really packed a punch!
-Pencil brush. This alone would have been worth the $5.00. It worked very well at smudging my lines, but my favourite thing is to use it for putting a pop of colour (like a bright green) into my crease on a smokey eye look, and then blending it out with another brush. It really makes the colour intense and fun!
-Liner. For the lashline, it is GREAT. But for the waterline, I really don't recommend it. Overall, a thicker line than I'm used to, but it *is* perfect for a smokey eye.
-Drama. Overall, I think it's pretty well pigmented and I love the shades. I like this quad better than the Physicians Formula trio that cost me $8.
Here is the Drama quad opened up so you can see it a little better.
There are the swatches of the colours in the quad, and then a line of the liner. I think that the colours are nice and I love using the white shade as a brow hilight with other looks, as well. Great colours for a shimmery, sexy smokey eye, but most can be toned down for daytime wear as well.
Now for my other two quads. These were $1.00 each.
The first one is called "Luxe." As you can see, it has a pretty neutral cream-colour shade, a tawny shimmery shade, a really rusty red shade,and a deep brown with gold flecks of shimmer.
The swatches really don't do the brown/gold colour justice. On the eye, it is ABSOLUTELY incredible. I simply cannot applaud it enough. The neutral creamy colour is also a favourite of mine that I use in a lot of looks. I could do without the red, although I have used it, and considering the entire quad is only a buck, who cares if I only *really* like 3 of the 4 shades?
This is the "Silver Lining" pallette, and as you can tell, it's supposed to be very cloud-inspired colours. It has a very shiny pearl colour, a light pinky lavendar, a rich purple with some blue tones in it, and a silver with some purple tones in it.
For some reason, the swatches weren't showing up well on my arm, but you can tell that the pearl colour is absolutely stunning! It really packs a punch.
I also ordered a mineral shadow... a lot of times at department stores and makeup counters, or even at the drugstore, mineral shadows are expensive, sometimes in the $30 range, but almost always in the $10 and above range. This mineral shadow that I got from ELF was only $3.
Closed, it looks very professional, just like any other mineral shadow that I'd get at Sephora or another high-end makeup store.
Open, it's also very nice... super professional and VERY shimmery. Loose, of course, and ready to be used. A VERY little bit goes a long way. This shade is called "Earthy" and is a green with some gold shimmer.
In the swatch, you can't really see the green as well (ignore the red marks on my arm, my pen exploded and somehow the red got on my arm when I was sleeping. LOL. Now I can't get it off!!!)
Now, that would have been all fine and dandy. I paid $10 for the product, plus $6.95 shipping and handling (keep in mind that is a flat rate shipping, which means that if you order $1.00 worth of makeup, it's $6.95, but if you order $100.00 worth of makeup, it's still $6.95). But I also got some nice free gifts!
First was the promised Mini Makeup Collection from their Studio Line, which I got using the coupon code (1-day only, sorry!) that they gave to me for their mistake.
The closed package is about 4 inches by 4 inches by 2 inches, and is small enough to toss in a backpack or medium purse.
Open, it looks really nice, and has a large 4x4 mirror. Additionally, it has 1 cream shadow, 6 neutral shadows (two browns, two greens, two tawny/taupe), 3 smokey eye shadows, a blush, a bronzer, a brow powder, a liner, 3 brushes (blush, lip, sponge eye), and 9 colour glosses plus a clear shimmer gloss.
The cream shadow makes a pretty good base, but is prone to creasing. The colours look really nice.
Here are the swatches of the colours. I love the matte brown and wish they would have included more matte colours, since EVERYTHING else in the collection is shimmer. I like shimmer, but not all the time. Oh well.
The smokey eye is SUPER impressive. I wish they sold this trio separately from the kit. I actually prefer it to the Drama quad that I got from them. It's just more highly pigmented for nighttime looks. The only upside Drama has over this is that you can tone the Drama quad down for daytime, and this is just packing a punch, so it only translates well to REALLY dramatic eyes.
Let me first say that the brushes in the kit are USELESS. You might as well use your fingers because they'd do a MUCH better job. The lip brush is stiff. The shadow brush is flimsy, and the blush brush is just..... bad. Don't even bother trying them. My advice is to either throw them out or forget they are there. Most people buying this kit already have other brushes anyway. The liner is JUST LIKE the liner in the smokey eyes kit, only a much smaller version. It's a little hard to hold, but hey, it lines, right?
The blush is a little bright, but definitely useable. I really like the shade of the bronzer and would probably use it for a blush with a more brown toned look. As for the brow powder? I'm not sure I'd use it at all, but I do think that it's a nice colour that would work with many skin/hair colours.
Here are the lip shades.
They're definitely decent. Again, I like that there are a couple of shades that are NOT shimmery, because not every look needs that much shimmer.
Overall, I had a great experience with this studio kit, and think it's well worth the $15.00 I didn't pay for it.
Also, for referring 3 friends, they sent me a free Candy Shop Lip Tin (retail $1.00). I like this for a couple of reasons: for one, the flavour is AWESOME, and very true to what the name says it will be. And for two, it actually is tinted! Not a lot of lip pots have a tint to them. I really liked it. Unfortunately, I can't find it to give you guys a photo of it.
Definitely a worthwhile company, and good colour payoff. In the end, it's perfect for some cheaper makeup, and even with the shipping, it's less than you'd pay at Target for similar items.
But how can you save with the company?
Right now the codes "carolina", "radio", and "atlanta" should still be working. They will give you 50% off of any order, up to a $15 savings.
You cannot combine coupon codes, so find the one that is the best offer for you.
If you elect not to use the 50% off codes, they also have a special going on right now where if you order $20 worth of makeup, you get a free $25 Restaurant.com gift card using the code EGRESTAX.
If you are planning on ordering more than $40 worth of stuff, use the code FREESHIP09 for free shipping.
Definitely google "ELF Coupon Codes" before placing that order.
Additionally, have 3 friends names and email addresses that are okay with being referred to the company (I'm pretty sure they just send out one email letting the friend know about the company, to which the friend can easily hit an unsubscribe button. I asked my friends beforehand if they'd be okay being referred, and they accepted with no problems). It will get you a free candy shop lip tin.
You can go to the website and sign up for the newsletter, which will email you with their latest offers. You'll get probably around 3 emails a week with coupon codes.
FINALLY, if you are planning on ordering, and you know someone else who also plans on ordering, combine your order. Then, you can split the cost of shipping. It seems common sense, but it's been the easiest way for my friend and I to get major savings. Plus, since so many of their coupon codes require a certain spending limit, like $20 or $25, we can use coupon codes we might not otherwise have been able to use. Every time before I submit my order, I'll ask my friends if they're wanting to order too. Once, we even split an order three ways and got major savings!!! It was a great deal for all of us!
Hope you liked this haul/review. It's definitely a company worth trying.