E.L.F. – an Overview


What kind of budget beauty blogger would I be if I didn’t talk about E.L.F. Cosmetics?  If you haven’t heard about elf, let me break it down for you in this post.  I plan to go more in depth and do product reviews and swatches on some of my favorite elf products in future posts, but for now this is going to be a general overview of the company.  E.L.F. stands for Eyes Lips Face, and the complete line can be found at eyeslipsface.com.  They are known for their incredibly low prices.  You can also find a limited selection of the brand at most Target stores and the Essential line (more on that in a minute) at some Dollar Stores.  Elf is broken up into three main lines at three separate price points: the Essential, Studio, and Mineral lines.  All three lines have hit and miss products, all three lines have their own brush sets, and all three lines are definitely worth checking out.  Oh, and they are 100% cruelty free.

The Essential Line:

According to elf’s website, “The full line of essential makeup & cosmetics for everyday designer beauty. Our top-rated, complete e.l.f. essentials collection includes everyday eye, lip, & face makeup plus brushes, tools, kits, gifts and more. Essential makeup beauty products for all your beautiful looks!

The majority of elf’s Essential line (often called the “dollar” line) is priced a $1.00 each and this is the only line that can be found at some dollar stores.  It’s also the line that looks the least professional and has the cheapest packaging.  That should not deter you from checking out the Essential line, though, because there are some really good products that can be found for only a dollar.  The Essential line packaging is white with clear plastic and the products are a little on the small side.  There are a ton of products in this line, not just makeup, but tools as well.  There are 15 white handled brushes in the Essential line, plus many other tools and accessories.  This is definitely a “no frills” line, but the products within the package are worth well over the $1.00 that you spend.  The Essential line also contains elf’s Elements.  Elements are single eyeshadow, blush, and lip color pots that fit into a four-slot custom compact.  These are perfect to throw in your purse for touch ups and traveling.  Also, I’ve heard that MAC eyeshadows fit into the compact, though I’ve not tested that theory.  Some stand out items from the Essential line are the Mechanical Eyelash Curler, the Brightening Eye Color quads, the Luscious Liquid Lipsticks and the Super Glossy Lip Shines.

The Studio Line:

According to elf’s website, “Studio artist cosmetics products for the makeup artist in you. Everything in our professional makeup and cosmetics line—from the Studio line of products to the ultra-chic packaging—says prestige, except the price!

The Studio Line (or “professional” line) is a large step up from the Essential line.  The majority of elf’s Studio line is priced a $3.00, though some products are as much as $6.00 each.  The Studio packaging is sleek and black, and looks a lot like Nars packaging.  The studio line has gotten a lot of hype lately and has definitely upped elf’s popularity.  In general, the products are larger than the Essential line and are really nice items.  The Studio brushes are fantastic and there are currently 18 taklon bristled, black handled brushes in the line.  There are a few duds, but the majority of the Studio line products are great and certainly worth checking out.  Some stand out items from the Studio line (and there are many) are the Powder Brush, the Studio Blush, the Cream Eyeliner, and the High Definition Powder.

The Mineral Line:

According to elf’s website, “100% natural mineral makeup & cosmetics for a touch of natural beauty everyday. Our mineral makeup collection creates a weightless, flawless finish to help you on your way to healthier glowing skin. Let your natural beauty radiate through wherever you are and still enjoy e.l.f. luxury for less!”

Elf’s Mineral line is priced at $3.00 to $8.00 per item.  They continued the sleek black packaging into the Mineral line, but infused “natural” touches.  For instance, the 13 brushes offered have straw colored taklon bristles and bamboo handles.  The Mineral line has the least number of products, but they are highly rated.  The Mineral line offers exactly what you would expect for mineral makeup with a few extras added in.  The Mineral Eyeshadow Primer has been compared by some to Urban Decay’s Primer Potion (I’ve never used UDPP, so I can’t say one way or the other). Some stand out items from the Mineral line are the Mineral Eyeshadows, lipstick, lipglosses, and, of course, the Eyeshadow Primer.

I really like what elf has to offer and you can’t beat the price.  They are always having sales and offering coupon codes, so it’s great way to try new items that you wouldn’t normally purchase.  The only thing I don’t like about elf is that to get access to the entire line, I have to order online.  Makeup is tricky to order online because the colors aren’t always true to life and then there’s the fact that you have to pay for shipping and wait for your package to arrive.  (Patience is not my strong point.)  But, to me it’s worth it.  I have a lot of elf products, so you will definitely be hearing more about elf in the future.

Speed Read: E.L.F., or Eyes Lips Face, is a company that offers quality products at a very low cost.  With three lines (Essential, Studio, and Mineral) there is something for everyone.

Best for:  Anyone looking for a huge bargain on everyday makeup items and people who want to step outside the box and try new things without spending much money.

Keep walking:  If brand names are important to you, or if you refuse to believe that you can find quality makeup for $3.00 or less.  Also if packaging is very important to you (applies to the Essential line only).


About beautyinbudgetblog

I am a self proclaimed eyeshadow junkie whose main hobbies include shopping, reading, singing, and mainlining caffeine while hanging out with my friends. I love interesting socks and have amassed quite a collection. The place that I want to visit before I die would be Greece. I like to read all seven Harry Potter books once a year the way some people read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (Sorry JRRT, but JKR kicks butt in my book.) I love art, and use my creativity in many different ways through painting, crafts, and makeup. I love to cook and try new things, and I especially love to eat. My favorite "date" is to go wine tasting, and do so with my husband once or twice a year. I love musical theater and think the world would be much better off if we all just watched more musicals. I am 100% a cat person and, although I think dogs can be really cute and sweet, they make me sneeze so cats will always rule. I love faeries and magic, mythology, theology, philosophy, and psychology. I regularly do logic puzzles and sometimes crosswords. I adore Bette Midler, Betty White, and Carol Burnett. I am not ashamed to admit that I watch Glee. I would like to start making some of my own clothes because I can't stop myself from buying fabric. I'm sure that there is much more, but I'm suddenly distracted by something shiny.

3 responses »

  1. I use their mineral makeup exclusively. It’s really good and just as wonderful as bare essentials. Word of advice the brush that comes with the starter kit really sucks. Invest in a good kabuki brush and you will be good to go!

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