ELF on the Shelf!
November 27, 2012 7:01 AM   Subscribe

What are the best deals and favorite finds at the makeup site e.l.f.?

They have a half-off deal today and I would love to stock up for myself and for Christmas gifts. What are your particular favorites? What is an exceptionally good deal, and conversely, isn't worth the price? Any recommendations for makeup, tools, accessories, etc.

The recipients of the gifts will be ladies from 25 - 30, so less sparkly preteen makeup and more fun, adult products.
posted by amicamentis to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I like the eye shadow primer.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:14 AM on November 27, 2012

Their blush/bronzer combo is a good substitute for NARS orgasm/laguna, though the feel of the product, as well as the intensity, is not as nice.
posted by marylucycraft at 7:19 AM on November 27, 2012

I like the mist and set and the plumping lip glaze (although its tiny and doesn't last long)
posted by missmagenta at 7:32 AM on November 27, 2012

Things I've bought from e.l.f. and particularly liked:
High Definition Powder is a decent dupe for higher end setting powders
Mist & Set spray works very well
Essentials eyelid primer works about as well as the Urban Decay Primer Potion, but it won't last as long
Studio blush dupes NARS in shades, but won't blend quite as nicely
Studio brushes are quite nice, but not the "essentials" line, which are a bit flimsy.
Liquid lipstick and the matte lip color are good and the liquid one isn't sticky, but they don't last particularly long
Hypershine gloss surprised me, because I thought it would be a little "teenager," but it wasn't.

I wouldn't buy another cream eyeliner since the one I tried doesn't apply very nicely, nor would I buy another Essentials lipstick.
posted by asciident at 7:40 AM on November 27, 2012

I agree with the recommendations of the High Definition Powder and Mist & Set spray, as well as the eyelid primer.

I also love their mineral infused face primer, but the bottle it comes in is absolute crap. Of the 3 I've bought, 2 were broken (i.e., the pump mechanisms didn't work) and if you read the reviews, that seems to be a common problem.

The matte lip color flaked for me. Be careful with your color choice - it goes on very heavily.

The cream eyeliner is incredible - super long-lasting and easy to apply. I've recommended this product to several people and we all swear by it.

I also like their mineral foundation and mineral booster.

The luscious liquid lipstick is a decent product - not super long lasting, but a bargain at $1 each.

I am not a huge fan of their brushes, but that's one product I usually splurge on.

For gift ideas, they have a holiday hypershine lip gloss collection for sale for just $3. There are two other gloss sets, too, for $5 or less.
posted by pecanpies at 7:54 AM on November 27, 2012

I have had very hit-or-miss experiences with ELF - they have some fantastic products, and some terrible ones. I'm going to link to some reviews I've done on my blog.

I think the Studio-line brushes are their best product - these are some of my favorites, but I have bought more since then & had good experiences with every Studio line brush. Skip the Essentials brushes - some are okay, most are crappy.

I really like the cream version of the blush/bronzer duo - I have a review here. The powder one is not as good, in my opinion.

The HD Cream blushes are lovely & pigmented, but a bit tricky to use, because they are SO pigmented. Review here. I'd get them for someone with medium to dark skin, but skip them for someone fair.

I would skip the $1 eyeshadow primer - I found it worse than no eyeshadow primer - though their other primers may be better. Review here.

I also like the $1 liquid lipstick and the $3 matte lip color - neither are amazing, both are good for the price. I haven't tried the false eyelashes, but I've heard they are terrible.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:54 AM on November 27, 2012

I have some eyelash curlers that are very good. They have lasted for years.
posted by nanook at 8:04 AM on November 27, 2012

Nthing that ELF is very hit-or-miss with quality, although from what I've heard the Studio and Minerals lines are better than the Essentials one.

For gifts, I would go with either:

This nail polish set - mostly grown-up colors with a couple of fun ones thrown in for toes. I've never used ELF nail polish, but from my experience cheap nail polish is usually just as good as expensive stuff.

This eyeshadow palette
in "Everyday" or "Natural" - enough colors so pretty much anyone can find shades that look good with their skintone, and again, lots of good grown-up colors. These shadow sets are cute too. I wouldn't get the huge 100-plus-shade palettes; they're unwieldy and have a lot of shades that won't get any use. Even crappy eyeshadow tends to be workable with primer, so maybe throw some primer in with the gift?
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:27 AM on November 27, 2012

I agree, the Studio Brushes are great. I especially like this blush brush.
posted by annabellee at 8:28 AM on November 27, 2012

I put in a pretty large order not too long ago, so I'd be happy to write up my opinions on my recent purchases. Also, if you haven't used Makeupalley before, they have great, plentiful ratings, and the reddit.com/r/makeupaddition subreddit has had a few 'best-of-ELF' threads.

My favorites and reorders:

Eyebrow Kit: This thing makes my eyebrows look AWESOME. I have dark brown hair and the Dark works fantastically. I don't use the cream/gel product on the left very much, but I've made a massive dent in the powder on the right, and my face looks better for it.

Liquid Eyeliner, in Black: Awesome, and super cheap. Brush can get a little fuzzy over time, but I just trim off the stray bits with scissors.

HD Powder: Works as well as the high-end brands.

Stipple Brush: I know you said no brushes, but I use this bad boy every day for light foundation application and it's great.

Eyeshadow Primer: A fraction of the UD primers, works a treat.

Studio Blush: Great shades, pretty nice pigmentation. A bit light, but not bad at all. Pink Passion looks intense but goes on nicely.

I do not like most of their eyeshadows (not enough pigmentation, feel cheap) and I can get NYX shadows for $5 or less, which have fantastic pigmentation for the price. I haven't tried any of their nail polishes. I do happen to like even the cheapie $1 brushes, especially the large, flat eyeshadow one.
posted by rachaelfaith at 8:40 AM on November 27, 2012

The eyelid primer is as good as any high end brand I've tried and better than many. As long as they don't change the formula I'll probably never use anything else.

If you're fairskinned, they have a lovely bronzer that is a pale peach with just a hint of shimmer. I find that most bronzers come off as muddy on my skin but ELF's is fantastic.

The eyeshadows come in great colors but the quality is pretty mediocre--ideal for gifting to teenagers, but not for your target market.
posted by padraigin at 8:50 AM on November 27, 2012

I really like their Studio brushes for the face. I have the Powder brush (I use it to kind of "blot" blush on) and the Complexion brush (really like it for highlighting and bronzing)

But I will go against the grain here and rave about their Essentials eyeshadow brush and the blending eye brush. The quality is a little hit and miss, but when you get a good one, it's great. And it's so cheap you can be ok with a few dunces. I have like 5 of each is great because I can use them all for a while before I need to clean them.
posted by like_neon at 10:04 AM on November 27, 2012

i love the eyelash curler - the fact that it's a dollar makes me buy five of them and have one in my purse, my car, my work, etc.

i like the mineral eyeshadows and the pigment eyeshadows a lot. it's not MAC-quality but it's not bad for $3. the shimmer eyeliner pencils too. i like them for pops of color around your eyes. the liquid eyeliner isn't AMAZING but it's pretty good to keep around in your purse for $1. their nail polishes aren't too bad but they chip easily if you don't do a topcoat (which i don't because i'm lazy).

seconding the lip glosses and the blush. i have a lot of ELF makeup because it's easy to find at my local target, i'm super cheap, and i tend to lose all my makeup in terrible disasters of disorganization.
posted by kerning at 10:53 AM on November 27, 2012

Their eyebrow kit (at least for dark-haired ladies) is great, although the little brush that comes with it for the gel side is crappy. I use a different angled brush, but the product itself is good quality.
posted by Papagayo at 1:04 PM on November 27, 2012

Wonderful!! Thank you all for your comments. I got a great hodgepodge of a lot of different stuff (eyeshadow primer? Who knew!) and I am certain the ladies in my life will love it.
posted by amicamentis at 4:10 PM on November 27, 2012

Just curious if anyone else who ordered from E.L.F. on the day of this post has received their stuff yet. I placed a pretty large order (>$50) and received an order confirmation right away, and nothing else since. When I checked the status on the site yesterday it still says it's in process, a week later. Is this typical? Maybe they got slammed because of the huge discount and are having a hard time catching up.
posted by miaou at 9:08 AM on December 5, 2012

I've ordered from ELF a couple times; sometimes they send shipping confirmations with tracking information, sometimes they don't, but I usually receive my order in about 7-10 days (I'm in CA). You can contact customer service to ask if / when your ordered shipped, though they have a reputation for being unhelpful.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:11 AM on December 6, 2012

I just got an email this morning that said my order was shipped. I assume it was just a busy day for them. Hopefully it will show up soon!
posted by amicamentis at 1:14 PM on December 7, 2012

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