Category Archives: E.L.F.

My Favorite Brushes – Face Edition

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Favorite Brushes - Face

Hi all! First, a quick note about the blog – I’ve been unusually swamped at work, which means less time for posting. I do apologize for scarcity of posts lately – hopefully everything will be back to normal soon!

Today, I’m going to talk about my favorite face brushes (favorite eyes, brows, and lip brushes are here). I think of my face brushes as being in two separate categories – brushes for powders, and brushes for creams.  For powder products, I generally prefer natural hair, as I feel like it picks up product better and distributes it more easily. For cream products, I prefer synthetic hairs, as they’re easier to clean (yet still soft). Continue reading

ELF Lip Balm Tint Review & Swatches

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ELF Essential Lip Balm Tint

ELF Essential Lip Balm Tint: Nude // Grapefruit // Berry

I bought ELF’s Essential Lip Balm Tint in Berry a while back (previously reviewed). I liked it so much that when I saw a few other colors for sale at my Walgreens, I bought two more shades – Nude & Berry.

As I wrote previously, these are more of a gloss and less of a balm.  They are mildly moisturizing, but won’t fix chapped lips. They have a sweet vanilla scent and a slightly sweet taste.

ELF Nude Grapefruit Berry Lip Balm Tint swatches

Nude // Grapefruit // Berry

Nude is a white-based, and I found that it settles into lip lines a little.  Grapefruit & Berry both have clear bases for a jelly-ish finish, and both are lovely. I would recommend those two!

ELF Nude Lip Balm Tint

Nude

ELF Grapefruit Lip Balm Tint

Grapefruit

ELF Berry Lip Balm Tint

Berry

Have you tried the ELF Essential Lip Balm Tints? Or do you have any ELF product recommendations for me?

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Clear Lip Liner & Lip Primer Comparison

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clear lip liner - lip primer

Lip Primer & Clear Lip Liner

Milani and OCC each recently released clear lip liners (or should I call them lip pencils? I never know which to write). I purchased the Milani to try it out, then received the OCC as a press sample. So, I thought I’d do a comparison of those two items plus all the other clear lip liners & lip primers I own. This post is a comparison of the following six items:

– NYX Lip Primer – $6.99 at Ulta
– OCC Anti-Feathered Clear Lip Pencil – $16 at Sephora
– Sally Hansen Plumping Lip Primer (in jar) – around $6; I’ve only seen it at CVS
– Maybelline Clear Lip Pencil – $4.95 at drugstore.com
– E.L.F. Lip Lock Pencil – $3 at eyeslipsface.com
– Milani Clear Anti-Feathering Lip Liner – $4.49 at Milanicosmetics.com

I expect a lip primer / clear lip liner to do two things – prevent feathering & extend the weartime of my lipstick.  All six of the items I tried prevented feathering (as tested on my hand, because lipstick rarely feathers on my lips).  However, in terms of extending the wear of my lipstick, there’s a clear winner, a clear loser, and four items in the middle.

Best for extending weartine: Milani

Milani clear lip liner

The Milani Anti-Feathering lip liner has a soft texture.  It creates a sort of “grippy” surface on the lips for your lipstick or gloss to adhere to.  Although it’s marketed mostly as preventing feathering, it actually did the best job of extending the weartime of my lip products. Do note that if you use too much pressure or sharpen it to too fine of a point, the tip will break off.

I’ve seen the Milani liner at CVS stores and Walgreens stores for around $6, and it’s available on the Milani website for under $5. Recommended!

Worst for extending weartime: ELF

ELF lip lock pencil

The E.L.F. lip lock pencil is only $3, but I still don’t think it’s worth it – it does nothing to extend the wear time of my lip products. On the positive side, it does prevent feathering and I like the packaging – it’s much easier to cover my lips with this size pencil than a slim pencil, plus it doesn’t need to be sharpened.

When I posted about this previously, a couple people commented that this product is meant to prevent feathering (which it does), rather than extend wear. I think the description on ELF’s website implies that it does both; but the intent really doesn’t matter. In the end, if you’re looking for a cheap anti-feathering pencil this is great; if you want something that extends wear, it’s not.

Average: OCC, Maybelline, NYX, Sally Hansen

clear lip liner - lip primer-2

I found the Maybelline & OCC pencils (the nearest two in the photo above) to be extremely similar – both are slightly hard, waxy pencils. Both prevent feathering and help lipstick last longer, but both are a bit difficult to use due to the thinness & texture of the pencil.

The NYX lip primer (farthest away in above photo) is a chubby pencil, so it’s easy to use. It looks light pink in the photo, but applies almost-clear; I can’t see it swatched on my skin, and it mutes the natural color of my lips just a little. This is a solid choice, just not my favorite.

sally hansen plumping lip primer

The Sally Hansen plumping lip primer (review) might actually be my favorite of all of these products.  The Milani does do a little bit of a better job at gripping the lip product, but the Sally Hansen makes up for it in being easy to apply.  You can see that it’s in a jar in the first photo in this post, and that’s because it broke off a while back – not ideal, but it’s still easier to use than a skinny pencil. Do note that the “plumping” aspect shows up as a minty tingle, so this is not a good choice for those with sensitive lips.

Overall, I’d recommend the Milani, the Sally Hansen (as long as you don’t have sensitive lips), and the NYX.  The ELF lip lock is also a good choice if you only care about preventing feathering, not about weartime.  And I’d skip the Maybelline and OCC – they work, but the others are all easier to use.

Do you use any type of lip primer? I’d love to hear what works for you!

*I recieved the OCC pencil courtesy of the brand and The Makeup Show. I purchased all other products featured in this post. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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Five E.L.F. Short Reviews & Swatches

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elf quick reviews swatches

I have a lot of ELF products I haven’t reviewed, mostly from my ELF purchase during a 50% off sale three months ago, and today I have short reviews of five different items.

ELF Lip Lock Pencil
This is a transparent lip primer. It works to prevent feathering, but doesn’t significantly extend the life of my lipstick. I’m actually working on a post comparing several clear lip liners & lip primers – this was the worst performing of all of them.

ELF lip lock pencil

ELF Lip Lock Pencil

ELF Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow – Toast
I LOVE THIS. It’s a sparkling mousse-textured shadow, and this shade is gorgeous – silver and gold sparkles of just the right size. It doesn’t crease on me. I want more shades!

ELF Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow - Toast

ELF Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow – Toast

ELF lustrous eyeshadow toast-2

The texture is interesting – sort of a spongy mousse. Different than anything else I’ve tried!

ELF toast lustrous eyeshadow swatch

I had trouble getting a clear photo, maybe because it’s so sparkly.

ELF Under-Eye Setting Powder
I know some people don’t mind some shimmer in their face products, but this has large pieces of pink glitter. I don’t get it.

ELF HD undereye setting powder

ELF High Definition Undereye Setting Powder

ELF HD undereye setting powder

GLITTER. Do not want.

ELF Essential Lip Balm Tint – Berry
This is great – it says it’s lip balm, but really it’s sheer berry gloss. It’s potted, which is not really my preference, but for something this sheer I don’t mind. It shows up beautifully, and has a nice texture – not sticky at all.  It has a sweet vanilla scent.  In fact, when I saw that my Walgreens had this in a few shades, I bought two more – Grapefruit and Nude. I’ll swatch them for you soon.

ELF Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint – Rose
It’s okay – texture is fine, it’s mildly moisturizing. It’s sheer, but does show up. The color is fine. It’s exactly what I think of as an acceptable but not exciting product.

ELF lip balm tint berry - moisturizing lip tint rose

Essential Lip Balm Tint in Berry // Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint in Rose

Essential Lip Balm Tint Berry - Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint Rose swatches

Essential Lip Balm Tint Berry // Mineral Moisturizing Lip Tint Rose

ELF berry lip balm tint swatch-2

Lip Balm Tint – Berry

ELF rose moisturizing lip tint swatch

Moisturizing Lip Tint – Rose

Have you tried any of these? Do you have any recommendations for new E.L.F. products I should try?

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E.L.F. Studio Glossy Gloss Review & Swatches

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ELF Glossy Gloss

ELF Studio Glossy Gloss – Merry Cherry & Dragonfruit

I purchased two of the ELF Studio Glossy Glosses as part of my recent ELF haul, and are another hit! They have a nice level of pigmentation for a gloss – not too sheer, but not completely opaque.  They  are taste-free and I don’t notice a scent. They’re slightly sticky, but I actually like the texture – they’re not sticky enough to bother me, and they stay put quite well.

Visually, I like the square tubes; however, the brush applicator is a problem.  It’s far too stiff and thus sometimes leaves streaks which need to be smoothed out with a finger or softer lip brush. The brush on Merry Cherry is particularly bad, while the one on Dragonfruit is almost useable.

ELF Glossy Gloss applicator

Merry Cherry brush applicator – you can kind of see how stiff the bristles are

ELF Merry Cherry // Dragonfruit Glossy Gloss swatches

Merry Cherry // Dragonfruit

ELF Merry Cherry Glossy Gloss swatch

Merry Cherry

ELF Dragonfruit Glossy Gloss swatch

Dragonfruit

Despite the brush problem, I have been enjoying these a lot. Recommended for those who don’t mind a little stickiness and using a separate lip brush (or finger).