I wasn’t sure where to purchase ELF products here, as I’m new to the LA area. After a bit of searching using their shop locator, I finally found a place that had them in stock! I suppose I could have ordered them online, but I don’t recommend it unless you don’t’ have any suppliers in your area — shipping is almost $7! For such dirt cheap products, I feel they charge a bit much for their fixed shipping price.
In this case I only needed three items. I was pretty impressed with this mini haul of ELF products. ELF usually tends to be a hit and miss with me, as I described in my ELF haul from this past May.
ELF Tinted Moisturizer
Pros: I like the packaging because it’s sleek and you can see how much you have left, as well as the actual color of the product. Glides on smoothly. Cons: I only saw three shades available. It seems a bit watery, so I’d say coverage is light. The biggest fault — not much is in the bottle! Overall: I needed a cheap alternative to my favorite tinted moisturizer by Tarte. At $3 compared to the usual $36 I pay for Tarte…This was a steal. Don’t get me wrong, because it doesn’t even compare to Tarte’s formula! However, I do like the light coverage because my skin is in good shape and Tarte’s was a bit too heavy for me. It’s an average product at a great price, but that’s good enough for me because I don’t need much. I’ll likely continue to use this one!
ELF Brow Shader and Highlighter
Pros: Very soft product, unlike many other pencil brow shaders you have to be careful with your pressure. Blends beautifully! Cons: I like the style of the packaging but this is another one of ELF’s “looks good but works badly” designs. Each end has a cap, and both of my caps are loose and fall off easily. Overall: Natural color, blends well. Aside from the caps constantly falling off, I like it. I would purchase this again.
ELF Tinted Lip Balm
Pros: Lovely color, smooth application, classy design. Cons: Fades. Overall: My only apprehension with this product is that it doesn’t stay as long as I’d like it to, but I can’t take off for that because it’s not a lipstick — it’s a tinted balm that’s bound to fade. The color is wonderful and it moisturizes well. I may see if they have a similar shade in a lipstick, but my area doesn’t carry ELF lipsticks… Which is ironic because they’re my favorite product option from ELF!
This blog entry was posted in Beauty on Oct 26 2011.
I’ve touched this topic before in regards to YouTube beauty gurus, back when I had just discovered the community. I wanted to voice my latest opinion.
The YouTube beauty community mostly consists of younger women purchasing things like make-up and clothes and then making videos talking about their purchases. It is also heavily focused on things like make-up tutorials, where the girls illustrate how to achieve a certain look using certain products.
YouTube's beauty community -- good or bad?
Unfortunately, there’s a darker side to the community many are either unaware of or choose to turn their eyes from. What started as something girls did for fun somehow grew into a dog and pony show done every few days for an income. Girls are getting sent free products by companies to review. Getting paid by companies to be mentioned in their videos. Getting paid to host giveaways done by companies. The list goes on.
Here are a few examples of girls who have made the most of their popularity:
Michelle Phan is YouTube’s most popular make-up guru. She’s making over $200,000 a year on her main YouTube channel alone. (Source) That doesn’t include the money she makes from Lancome, who saw her on YouTube and hired her to do sponsored videos using their products. It doesn’t include profit she made from IQQU, a skincare line she advertised but recently withdrew from after legal troubles. It doesn’t include any money she has made through her other channels.
There are also girls like sisters Elle and Blair, who have made so much profit they’ve moved from their parent’s home in Tennessee to a high-end suite in L.A. to work on YouTube full-time. They’ve started a blog, forum, online boutique, and are working on a reality show. (Which I don’t think will ever see the light of day.) Some girls have really been able to take it this far.
BubzBeauty, yet another popular beauty guru, has her own line of make-up brushes coming out soon and was able to launch an online clothing boutique.
I’m not blasting these girls. In fact, I think they’re lucky. Who wouldn’t want to be paid a six figure income for casually talking about make-up? My point, however, is exposing a huge flaw in the community — the sincerity is lost. Many videos look like infomercials. When the girls claim they’re so excited to post a video, you have to wonder if they’re just meeting their weekly quota. The popular community topic “Favorite Products of the Month” is just another long advertisement.
YouTube user addicted2toofaced.
The worst part of all, and the reason I’m writing this, is that young girls everywhere are falling for it. As soon as their idol on YouTube tells them to buy a product, they will run out and buy it. Check out Addicted2TooFaced, a 14 year-old girl who has more high-end make-up than I will ever own collectively throughout my life. I can’t help but watch videos like that and feel sad. This girl just hit her teenage years and she’s already wearing too much make-up, clothes that are too mature for her, and has developed an over-spending habit — using her parent’s money, no doubt.
I think the beauty community is just an endless cycle of spending money on things you don’t really need to gain admiration (and sometimes money) from others. I deleted my YouTube account. My subscription page became overwhelming — one huge commercial. I actually wanted to go shopping after watching. That’s not why I started watching these videos.
Realizing this about the beauty community has made me realize one more thing: The Beauty section on my website contributes to this cycle. Don’t get me wrong, I think honestly reviewing brands is a good thing and will likely continue doing it, but I’ve realized that I’d like to post more about natural do-it-yourself beauty tips and fun ideas that don’t focus on product names. I think that would be refreshing.
We live in such a “mediatized” society. It’s crazy when you sit down and look at all the ways we advertise for companies. What are your thoughts?
This blog entry was posted in Beauty on Jun 20 2011.
Last week I returned an expensive Smashbox lipstick, because I saw a few lipsticks from ELF that I liked. I figured with the $25 I got back from the return, I could buy $25 worth of ELF. In other words, return one thing and instead buy five times as many products for the same price. Sounded great in theory.
What I Purchased
With this haul, I bought $25 worth of ELF and received free shipping:
Mineral Lipstick – Nicely Nude
Mineral Lipstick – Ripe Rose
Lipstick – Seductive
Lipstick – Classy
Natural Blusher – Shy
Eyeshadow Primer – Sheer
Waterproof Eyeliner – Coffee
Shimmering Facial Whip – Pink Lemonade
False Lashes – Natural
After now using five or six ELF lipsticks, I think I can officially say that ELF makes the best lipsticks I’ve ever used. They’re dirt cheap, last quite a while, are super hydrating, and come in a variety of shades. Also, they don’t have chunky glitter than remains after the color itself has faded. A huge pet-peeve of mine! They’re wonderful, and I can’t find anything about them I don’t like.
Nicely Nude is my perfect nude shade. (Natural Nymph was a train wreck for my skin tone.) Seductive is a natural pink shade, not as bright as Party Pink, and it smells like candy. I am very happy with it! You have to layer to get the color, otherwise it’s quite sheer. Finally, Ripe Rose is a light red color that’s not an attention hog, so it’s very wearable.
Here are my thoughts on the other products:
The false lashes are for my graduation coming up May 7. I hope they wear alright, considering I’ve never tried false lashes…
The lipliner goes on smoothly and doesn’t dehydrate. It’s also my perfect nude shade, so I’m happy with it.
The facial whip isn’t really a whip at all. In fact, it’s completely watered-down. The glowing effect is nice, but I wish it didn’t have such a deep color pay-off. I bought this as a highlighter, and I guess I can really only use it on my cheeks since it’s so pink. Next time I’ll go for the white color to use on brows.
The waterproof eyeliner works well, but is a bit dry when I put it on. I have a feeling this baby will dry out within a couple of weeks… I bought it to do a cat-eye, which is difficult with my chunky Tarte Aqualiner (best eyeliner I’ve ever tried — Tarte is my favorite cosmetics brand). I’ve also discovered it’s not waterproof. One swipe of a wet tissue and it comes right off.
The blusher is fine, but the packaging is awkward and inconvenient. It slides out, but sometimes gets stuck.
I have yet to try the eye primer. It’d better be fantastic, considering I accidentally bought two of them…
Why I Am Angry With ELF
You may realize that one of those items I listed at the beginning of this blog entry is crossed out. Here’s one thing about ELF that I loathe — if they don’t have the item you bought, they won’t give it to you. It’s absolutely horrible. They circle it on your packaging slip and apologize.
This is the second time I ordered the Classy lipstick and they didn’t send it to me. Check out the website. Is it listed as out of stock? No it’s not. The reason this makes me so angry is because Classy was the lipstick that inspired me to return my Smashbox lipstick to buy ELF. I bought everything else for the free shipping. Luckily, I ended up loving most of what I did buy, most especially the other lipstick shades.
When I read my packaging slip I realized I had accidentally bought two eyeshadow primers. I’m lucky those are only $1 each. Let me tell you, ELF needs to start putting their products into more stores so that I can physically go purchase them. I don’t like this online thing I’m forced into.
Did I mention their overpriced yet incredibly slow shipping? And that you can’t return most of the products, because they’re too cheap to return?
I’m not done yet. One more thing I hate about ELF — sometimes they forget to stamp their logo on the lipsticks. Only half of my lipsticks have the logo, and the other half are completely stock black.
I’ll keep buying products from ELF because they’re just so darn affordable, but you can’t expect the products or customer service to be perfect. For their amazing lipsticks, I suppose I’ll put up with them.
This blog entry was posted in Beauty on Apr 23 2011.
I think I like Tarte Cosmetics enough to call myself a fan. In fact, 90% of my make-up collection is from Tarte. I like Tarte so much because they never test on animals, and most of their products are actually completely natural. On the downside, they are very expensive and are considered a high-end brand.
Since I’ve tried so much of their line, I’ve decided to review a few products and sort them into favorite, average, and least favorite products to hopefully help some of you who are thinking of switching to cruelty-free or natural make-up brands. Some of Tarte’s make-up is priceless, while others completely appalled me.
My favorite Tarte products:
Natural Cheek Stain in Blissful: Tarte is mostly known for their cheek stains, and they are amazing. These cheek stains are like a stick of jelly that you rub onto your cheeks, and they leave a natural glow. Best of all it’s a stain, so it really lasts from early morning until night without needing to be re-applied, even if you sweat a lot. It does make my cheeks a bit too dewy for my taste, but I just set it with a sheer powder.
Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer with SPF in Agent 04: I’m obsessed with the greatness of this product. You apply it just like you’re putting lotion on your face, but it has the coverage of a medium foundation. The best part is that it feels like you’re not wearing anything at all, unlike a heavier foundation. It dries looking absolutely perfect — like you’re not even wearing make-up! They offer this in so many shades, and they even customize to your skin undertones which is extremely important. I’m pale but I have warm undertones (most people who are pale have pink undertones) and Agent 04 is the first “foundation” that fit my skin perfectly. They also offer pink undertones and even yellow undertones. What’s not to love?
My average Tarte products:
Natural Under Eye Concealer and Brush: I’m not sure what happened to this product. The first few weeks I absolutely loved it — it has full coverage of dark circles and even came with a brush. However, over time I noticed that it just looks very cakey on my under eyes. The hard part about dealing with natural products is that they can age much faster than artificial make-up. I’m not sure if that had something to do with the consistency of this, but I went from loving it and using almost all of it to just plain avoiding it. The brush is actually wonderful quality.
Smooth Operator Micronized Clay Finishing Powder: The packing on this thing is terrible. There’s one hole for the product to come through to the surface, when it needs about five to get enough product out. The powder itself goes on sheer, but if you put too much it really starts to overlay your make-up and white it out. You need a light hand when using this stuff, and it’ll make your skin feel baby soft.
Lash Hugger Eco-Friendly Natural Mascara: I hated this at first, with my favorite mascara previously being Cover Girl Lash Blast. This did not volumize my lashes nearly as much. It just seemed to coat them. However, it grew on me over time and now I love it. It’s a very natural lengthening that this product gives you, and if you learn how to layer it correctly you can get some volume as well. I’m sure there are better natural mascaras out there, but this one’s not bad. I have yet to try Tarte’s multi-step set of mascaras.
My least favorite Tarte products:
Natural Lip Sheer with SPF 15 in Champagne Brunch: I was so disappointed with this. When they say “sheer” they mean sheer! You really don’t see any color pay-off. It felt like I bought an insanely overpriced Chapstick, so I returned it. There are much cheaper and still completely natural products that are better than this one. I suggest Burt’s Bees.
Vitamin Infused Lipgloss in 40 Winks: I got a cheap trial version of this product just to test it out, and I’m so glad I didn’t buy the full version. Once again, there was no color pay-off despite the beautiful pink color of the lipgloss. It’s also extremely sticky, like I just dipped my mouth into honey. Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell or taste like honey. It smells just like cardboard, and tastes like nothing at all. The amount of glitter in here is also insane. Whenever I put this on, it looks like I have glitter all over my mouth. The only thing I like about this product is the cute name and packaging!
EmphaEYES Inner Rim Pencil in Chocolate: I tried to use this to line my upper lid, which is my daily look at the moment. Unfortunately, this stuff breaks the minute you try to drag it over your skin. I was really patient, used a light hand, and even tried warming it up on my wrist before using it but it broke every time. I got so fed up that I just returned it. I’ve heard better things about their EmphaEYES Aqua-Gel liners.
If you’re looking to purchase Tarte products, don’t buy them directly online or from a beauty store! I highly recommend using eBay. I bought most of my Tarte products from eBay after realizing I could buy them brand new for up to half the price they sell for in stores. Save your money!
This blog entry was posted in Beauty on Oct 25 2010.