E.L.F. Cosmetics Review

So a few months ago I bought some discounted  E.L.F.  (Eyes Lips Face) cosmetics at a really good price, as the distributor in the UK is changing from  DistriBeauty  – who still run the very interesting look  Beauty Crowd  (they have some other American make up brands that I’d love to try at some point) – to I assume either a new supplier, or just direct from the US. Like me, if you’re on the E.L.F. mailing list you’d have seen their recent email too – they’re promising E.L.F. UK should be back up this summer at some point. This is great news for me, since I’ve found I really like what I bought and I’d love to get more. You can also see me initial haul video here.


The main items I really want to talk about are the foundations! I bought two – the Studio Moisturising Foundation Stick in the shade ‘Ivory’, costing at the time £3.98, and the HD Mattifying Cream Foundation in the shade ‘Porcelain’, costing £2.39 at the time of sale as well – these usually cost about £8 and £7 respectively. Between the two the stick foundation is the better match for my skin colour, though the two shades are pretty close anyway, and both are definitely wearable (as a brief aside, to compare colours I usually wear a Rimmel foundation between the shades 010 ‘Light Porcelain’ and 100 ‘Ivory’). The stick format has more of a dewy foundation finish, where as the matte cream is, as you’d hope by its name, more matte. It’s not 100% matte, but you could definitely wear it as is for a light look. The stick format has a heavier coverage than the cream as well, but neither of them I would describe as super heavy anyway. The stick foundation feels lovely on the skin and is very rich and does indeed feel moisturising. The cream matte one goes from a cream feel to a powder feel on application and has a bit less time to spread, blend and buff around as once it turns into a more powder formula you can’t really move it as much. Of the two I’d say I prefer the stick formula – it feels better on the skin and goes on a touch easier, and is probably what I’d re-buy over the Matte cream. Saying that, both foundations are lovely, and are pretty easy to apply. Like I mentioned in my haul video a few months ago, E.L.F.’s real strengths are affordability and real ease of use.


Next up is the HD Blush in the shade ‘Headliner’ which I think is their lightest shade, and I bought it for £1.35. They are usually £3.75. This is a really neat, affordable, easy to use cream blush – it comes in a little pump dispenser, and you can use more or less product as you like. I don’t like to wear a lot of blush personally, but this is a really nice, fairly subtle shade. It’s very wearable. I also like the soft cream formula, it’s again very easy to apply – very user friendly. One of the things I do see every so often with my blush is that it separates very slightly over time – this is fixed with just a little shaking. I’m not sure if it’s just the nature of the product or if it’s a sign it’s a little old, but it’s not enough to put me off using it. I’d definitely get more since they’re so nice to use and such good value.


The next item is a bit of a disappointment, but considering it was the cheapest thing I bought it’s not a huge deal. It’s one of their Nail Polish‘s in the shade ‘Party Purple’ – I bought this for £0.75, and it’s usually £2.50. Party purple is a very dark, purple shade, that flashes much lighter when hit directly with light, and is glittery. Their formula is also free from the usual ingredients that you see ‘free from…’ now, such as formaldehyde. I do like the colour, but the disappointment sadly was with the formula – it was clumpy, and very slow drying. Even when left for a long time it still felt soft, squishy and movable on the nail. I suspect this is more to do with the polish being too old, than the formula being bad itself. But this is always the risk with discounted, end of run items, to be fair. I’m not so bothered since it was so cheap, so I’ll just be throwing this one out. I did also get the clear coat, which works fine, so I’m not going to let this put me off.


And lastly I bought two Jumbo Eye shadow Sticks, in the shades ‘Bali Bound’ which is a lovely metallic green, and ‘Midnight Rendezvous’ which is a more complex, sort of green black colour with glitter. They cost £2.07 each, and are usually priced at £2.50. These are very interesting, and my first experience with eye shadow sticks. I can really see the appeal in the formula in terms of ease of use – it’s super easy to pencil in over the eyes really quickly. They’re a cream formula which means they do spread out and blend out over the lid easily, though the colour diffuses out this way as well. One of the problems I found is that on some days where my eyelids were more oily the formula didn’t work as well, or look as nice, as it kind of melted off. This is a problem with all cream shadows to be fair though. One of the ways they can be used is as a base for similarly shaded traditional eye shadow, which I found works really well, as the powder clings to the cream and stays put.


So overall, I’m really happy with my experience with E.L.F. cosmetics – there’s definitely things here I’d re-buy, and since they all seem pretty good and pretty affordable I’d be quite happy to buy more things to try out when the UK store goes back up. The affordability is always a help when it seems like a fair risk buying cosmetics online before even seeing the same thing in real life, since I don’t think physical shops in the UK actually stock E.L.F.

Until Next Time.

GlossyBox June 2015 Review

We’ve started the summer months now with the June 2015 GlossyBox and it’s appropriately summer themed. There’s less make up in this box, and more skincare/body care type items, but since the warmer months do mean I’m less likely to wear make up I think this is a good move on GlossyBox’s part. We’re also continuing with having new and interesting types of products in our boxes which has been really good – while they’re not all things I’d necessarily buy myself, a common complaint for a long time about the service has been the lack of variety – so it does feel like they’re trying to address that. My video unboxing and first impressions is already up, and now we’re onto the review proper.

glossyoverFirst off this month we have a new type of product card in the box – a larger more glossy magazine type material than the rougher cardboard (not that I’m super bothered about the finish) that has all the information in one place now combining the editor’s letter, the actual product information, and the sneak peak – I guess it’ll save on paper. The product descriptions have been swapped with little quotes which serve much the same purpose. Inside the June box we have five items, three of them full size and two deluxe sample/travel size items.

glossymainOur first deluxe sample is the MONU spa Rosewood Reviving Mist, this is half the size of the full product at 50 ml, and worth £5.97. I did find it a little annoying that the information card didn’t state how big exactly full size is, since it makes it hard to portion out the price, but oh well. This is an interesting little spray that claims to hydrate and refresh skin, as well as set make up. It reminds me a little of the Lush toner sprays in format, and does have a nice smell (I liked it anyway) – strong and a strange mix of musky, floral and citrus. It does feel quite nice and refreshing on the skin, and I assume mentally the smell is supposed to refresh you too. Moisturising wise it definitely isn’t a replacement for a proper cream moisturiser bit it’s another nice pick me up (like the Etre Belle Aloe Vera gel in last months box) that can be used when you’re feeling hot and/or dry, and like that gel it’s smaller size makes it very hand bag friendly. We’ve had MONU before in GB and it’s a nice brand, I’m sure I’ll use it all up.

glossymistThe first arguably full size product is the Flash Tattoos, with designs chosen by GlossyBox. Flash Tattoos are ‘grown up’ temporary tattoos that use metallics and simple designs, and are a neat idea done a bit poorly. There were eight designs in total on the sheet we were give, all of them 10 to 12 cm lengths with thickness varying from 1 to 3 cms, and the listed price is £6.50. There are a lot of dot based designs, one fish scale one, a braid one, and a GlossyBox symbol set.

flash1They’re really easy to use, you just press them in place, dampen and peel off the backing. The reason I use the phrase ‘arguably full size’ is because you can’t actually buy a selection this small from Flash Tattoos anyway, you buy a set from them and you get a few sheets of designs for more like $20, so the set we have doesn’t really feel like fantastic value. There’s also more variation in the type of tattoo with necklaces and little decal type ones too, both of which I suspect would wear better. The real downside is the size, they’re sold as faux tattoo jewellery for adults and can’t really wrap around a wrist, let along the upper arm – which has made most people assume they’re really for pre-teens and teens, which is a shame, as I think it could be fun.

flash2I did experiment with cutting one tattoo into two lengths and this does make it wrap around, which was neat, but you won’t be able to do this with all designs anyway. I think if we’d had more decal type tattoos this would have been less of a problem, I also suspect they’d have lasted longer – since the only place really to put these is the wrist on me, they look pretty worn after a day, since hands and wrists are pretty mobile. They also didn’t survive a bath (and wouldn’t I assume a shower). So these lasted nowhere near the week they were stated to be able to. First on though the design is vivid and very pretty. I think if they were long enough for real adults to wear, and you had a better selection these would have seemed a lot better. I also think some less boring designs would be fun – something more make up based, or cute animals or anything would be more interesting.

flash3Next is another deluxe sample/travel size item, and it’s the Halo Fragrance Free Facial Wipes. It’s a little 10 wipe packet, small enough to fit in a hand bag, and the price is listed as £1.20. They’re suitable for sensitive skin, and are enriched with vitamin e and Aloe Vera. They are nice, though it’s a bit more of a basic or ‘staple’ type item than something more new or ‘wow’. They do clean without drying, didn’t set off my sensitive skin and are small enough to carry around. I would say that the price is a bit much, and would be much happier paying half that for the size it is. Other than that it’s a nice little summer appropriate item.

glossyhaloBack to the full size items, and it’s the Kueshi Anticellulite Booster. This is another interesting and new type product, and it’s not something I’ve tried before, or honestly really worried about. Full size it’s 150 ml which is actually pretty big, and it’s listed price is £14.55. Like our previous Kueshi item it has a simple packaging design using just pink and white text. It has a nice mild smell and a good formula – not too thick coming out of the bottle, but it actually feels pretty rich and non watery as you rub it in. A little does go a long way if you only do your legs, and I do like the cooling refreshing feel is has. Some of the active ingredients claim to inhibit and reduce fat cells in the legs, but some of the are also just for improving the appearance of the legs – such as blood flow and swelling. I could see myself using the cream for it’s moisturising and nice feel even if it doesn’t really help cellulite, which I’m not sure if it does or not, I guess I’d have to use it regularly for longer to really tell.

glossycellFinally, the last full size item is another nail polish. Essence The Gel Nail Polish in the shade ‘4 ever young’ which is a bright, glossy red – it’s 8 ml which is generous enough for a cheaper nail polish and is worth £1.71. The deal with these gel nail polishes is that they are imitating real long lasting gel polish nails in colour and in how long they should last, without needing a bunch of equipment like a UV lamp. The full treatment consists of a base and a top coat which aren’t provided but are cheap enough to pick up if you’re interested. It’s the top coat itself that provides the long length, so we won’t have that with just the colour coat. It is a lovely formula in terms of really high colour pay off and a lovely thick glossy look – it really imitates the look of gel polish at least. Like a lot of Essence nail polish, they don’t wear super well, and chips after only a day to two. If I don’t get the extras to make it last long, I still think the colour is lovely enough to warrant wearing it – you just have to not spend longer putting the polish on than it’ll last. These are also such affordable nail polishes, so it doesn’t feel like such a waste – if the top coat really makes them last nearer to a week I can see it being a really good purchase, but I still have so much nail polish that I really don’t want to buy more.


So that’s the complete box, with three full size items, and two deluxe samples – I would say arguable only one make up item with the nail polish but you could consider the flash tattoos to be in that category. The final box value come out at £26.93, which is a little on the low side, though it isn’t the cheapest box we’ve gotten, it is well below my last years average. The contents don’t feel as poor value as the lowest value box (April 2015’s box) anyway, so I’m not disappointed. The sneak peak for July says we’re going to be getting a French themed box, with a limited edition design, so I’m looking forward to that since I like getting the limited edition boxes. Until Next Time.