Always a sucker for a bargain, I dived in head first when ELF recently cut the prices of their new(ish) Studio Matte Lip Colors to £1 a piece. I jumped on them more because I love lipsticks in pen form than because I love matte formulas. Let’s face it, matte formulas can be tricky to wear unless you’re 14 and addicted to Carmex.
Currently available on the UK website in four neutral shades, I grabbed the lot (and some nail polishes that I’ll probably never get round to blogging).
Tea Rose, Coral, Praline and Natural are the four shades available to purchase.
Here’s what they look like in the tubes…
For what it’s worth, I really like the packaging on these. The simple and minimalistic black casing defies their £3.50 price tag. The lids click to a tight, flush close and the twist mechanism feels like it will go the distance. No complaints from me.
The formula on these didn’t vary too much between shades. I found Praline perhaps gave the most drag during application, a little less creamy than the others but probably my favourite to wear because it looked the least chalky once applied.
Tea Rose was the creamiest but I felt that the colour was a little off, it’s quite mauve based which made my lips look a little… dead.
Coral looks far more apricot than a true coral shade in my humble opinion and Natural is easily the most nude for my complexion. They’re a good, solid bunch of lip-neutral shades and I think most should be able to find one shade from the selection that will suit their skintones well.
And the lip swatches…
I know I usually do a full-face shot with lip swatches for context but none of them flattered me and I have a huge zit on my chin that has been there (without a head) for the past week – some days, you just can’t face those pesky FOTDs and today was one of them. I also thought the close up might be useful so that you can see just how ‘drying’ each shade appears on the lips.
The paler shades definitely come out a little chalky looking, something that would easily be remedied by a touch of lipgloss to conceal those furrows. In terms of comfort, I didn’t actually find them particularly drying on the lips which is testament to a quality purchase from the budget brand, however, I wouldn’t describe them as moisturising either. Just your standard, good quality matte lipstick.
The ELF Studio Matte Lip Colors taste very fruity but are not particularly scented, something which surprised me (on both counts). The taste, although synthetic, is pleasant enough…. similar to what you’d expect from something like a chapstick.
Overall, and for the money, I can’t really fault them too much. Sure, I’m not really a fan of how the colours turned out against my skintone but that’s personal preference… throw me a red or hot pink and this could well have been a gushing post of epic proportions. I’d say, give ‘em a go – you might just find your holy grail nude matte lip!
ELF Studio Matte Lip Colors are available to purchase online at the ELF website, priced at £3.50 each.
Since the 90s, I’ve been in posession of at least one form of blemish busting treatment. Hence my excitement at devices like the LMS Spotlights… it all stems from growing up with ads like these (and Grange Hill!):
They must have made a long-lasting impression!
I think it’s the promise of being able to regain some control over your skin at a time when your hormones are doing everything in their power to relinquish you of any say at all in how your body behaves.
How times have changed! Sure, many of the active ingredients remain the same: salicylic acid, witch hazel, benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, toothpaste… (not really), but blemish-busting is a slick, billion-dollar business and far less blush-worthy than it used to be!
Here’s some blemish-busting treatments to suit all skin-types and budgets:
1. Murad Blemish & Wrinkle Reducer – £57.00
More sophisticated than your average zit zapper, Murad’s Blemish & Wrinkle Reducer is aimed at those of us who are (quite frankly) too old to be putting up with spots!
On the blemish-busting side, it features encapsulated salicylic acid to deliver a slow-release, prolonged treatment alongside Silver Citrate, the product’s anti-bactierial of choice. The formula also claims to minimise fine lines and wrinkles with something called Kombucha Collagen Defense™
A good option for anyone with problem skin over the age of 30. You can buy online in the UK from LookFantastic.
2. Proactiv Repairing Night Lotion – £17.95
A Salicylic Acid/Retinol blend that is known globally for its brand affiliations with some of the biggest teen-sensations on the planet: Jessica Simpson, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber…
This is one targeted toward younger consumers with skin concerns and a quick google shows just how well-known and widely-used the brand’s products are.
Origins Spot Remover promises to be a gentler alternative to the harsher side-effects of chemical zit zapping! We’re all familliar with the dryness that can be left behind once a spot has been busted. It’s sometimes just as annoying to deal with the flaky skin as it is the initial blemish!
Another Salicylic Acid based formula with the added antibacterial benefits of witch-hazel and clove.
This seems to be a good all-rounder for many skin types. You can buy online in the UK from the Origins website.
4. Nelson’s Pure & Clear Anti-Blemish Treatment Gel – £8.17
Tea Tree Oil and Arnica extracts work together to calm blemishes in this high-street treatment gel. I’m a fan of Arnica’s ability to relieve aches and hopeful that it can work its herbal magic on zits too!
A natural, purse-friendly option with ingredients that suggest a more gentle approach. You can buy online in the UK from the Boots website.
5. ELF Zit Zapper – £1.50
An impressively priced product that still manages to squeeze in active ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, Witch Hazel and Camphor.
Housed with a convenient roller-ball delivery method, this would be a great option for those of you who only need something for emergencies.
You can buy online in the UK from the ELF website.
6. The Doctor Brand Blemish Relief: Step 2 Spot Eliminator – £6.95
As the name suggests, this is step 2 of a 3-step programme designed to clear the skin from blemishes. Interestingly, it bucks the common ingredient trend and lists Sulfur as the top active ingredient (though good old SA still puts in an appearance further down the list!)
I’m also pleased to see Allantoin in the list which is known for it’s anti-irritant properties and is something I used to actively look for in mineral foundation mixes that I wear.
You can buy online in the UK from the Boots website.
What are some of your favourite anti-blemish treatments?
With bamboo handles, 100% animal-free, antibacterial taklon bristles and priced at only £5.50 each… the new E.L.F range of mineral brushes are sure to be an interesting addition to the brand’s budget line-up in the UK.
From Left to Right: Powder Brush, Complexion Brush, Foundation Brush, Angled Blush Brush, Concealer Brush & Lip Brush.
From Left to Right: Liner and Brow Comb, Flat Eyeliner Brush, Smudge Brush, Contour Brush, All-over Eyeshadow Brush and Blending Eye Brush.
As well as individual brushes, you’re can also purchase two brush sets (£15 and £20 respectively):
The 4 piece set contains: Complexion Brush, Concealer Brush. Blending Eye Brush, Mini Kabuki Brush, Brush Bag
The 5 piece set contains: Complexion Brush, Eyeliner Brush, Concealer Brush, All-Over Eyeshadow Brush, Lash & Brow Comb, Brush Bag
It seems strange to me that they’ve doubled up the complexion and concealer brushes in both sets… it makes it far less appealing to purchase both sets. Infact, you just wouldn’t would you?
I’ll be receiving a few samples from the new range shortly and will be keen to discover if these brushes are worth a punt. I’ve learnt since first falling in love with makeup, that the one thing often worth spending a bit more on to get great quality… are brushes.
Will the new E.L.F bamboo range hold their own in terms of quality and usability?
I was sent these a couple of months ago but only got the chance to photograph and review E.L.F’s NARS Albatross dupe – Gotta Glow before my camera kicked the bucket.
I’d like to show you the other two that were released at the same time as Gotta Glow. I hope the pictures and swatches are useful.
Fuchsia Fusion is a glitter bomb of a blush. A slightly muted raspberry rose shade with silver chunky sparkles. Texture is a bit hard but the pan gives up a lot of powder when you pass the brush over the top. I personally wouldn’t bring this blush within 10 yards of my face until I’ve tapped off at least some of the glitter.
Pink Passion is my preference of the two. A proper dolly pink matte blush that feels chalky but soft. Pigmentation is impressive for the price and you could do far worse than this blush for double the money.
If only that glitter in Fuchsia Fusion were a little finer, I’d be giving a double thumbs up.
Both blushes are priced at £3.50 and available online from the ELF website.
The comparisons have to be made don’t they? At just £3.50 for the pale gold E.L.F Gotta Glow compared to £19.50 for NARS iconic Albatross highlighting powder… who isn’t hoping for a remarkable dupe?
The NARS on the left.. E.L.F’s Gotta Glow, on the right.
I’m not gonna talk about the differences in packaging. They’re there… NARS is annoying and icky sticky, E.L.F’s is sleeker but hella cheaper looking. Do you *really* care? I don’t.
But what about the product?
E.L.F’s Gotta Glow is slightly more yellow toned in appearance and the gold shimmer is less refined looking in the pan… chunkier. This is pretty much what I expected. On close inspection, you can see a visual difference in quality.
The texture? Again… this lives up to expectations.
NARS Albatross is smooth and very finely milled… there’s no flaking when you brush the surface of the pan and no fall out upon application. The E.L.F version can’t claim the same. It’s powdery and there is fall out if you don’t give your brush a tap off before applying.
But how about this? Please look past the hairy arms… I have enough hair elsewhere on my body to frankly give a crap about hairy forearms.
That’s pretty simillar no?
Take a guess before reading on… which one costs £3.50 and which one costs £19.50? I’d love for you to tell me if you got it right in the comments…
Ready to find out?
Oh ok… Well… E.L.F’s Gotta Glow is on the left and NARS Albatross is on the right. I think that I can tell the difference between the swatches… the E.L.F one looks slightly less pigmented and a bit ‘chunkier’. But is that *really* a £16 difference? Not when you take into consideration that once applied and blended… I truly struggle to tell the difference on my face at all.
Before I get really excited though… there is one point to note that although not an issue for my skintone, may make ALL the difference on someone else. I see a slight ashiness with the E.L.F incarnation that I’m not seeing with the NARS original. It’s only noticeable when I swatch on my fingertip… but I’m thinking that on a darker skintone, the E.L.F Gotta Glow may leave a slight white cast along with the golden sheen.
Has anyone tried it with a darker skintone than mine? How are you finding E.L.F’s new Gotta Glow highlighting powder?
E.L.F Gotta Glow is available online and priced at £3.50 – a bargain if ever I saw one.
ELF’s Rosy Raisin is another 3 coater that seems to ‘turn good’ on that final coat. I had a dodgy brush with this bottle – splayed ends. There’s a first time for everything and this was the first time for me that the price tag really shone through everything else when it comes to ELF.
The colour is a great wintery shade for those among us who favour them. Again, at £1.50 – there’s really only so much moaning about a product I can do. If I hadn’t had such crapola quality issue with the packaging… I’d be happy to recommend but even at £1.50, a girl needs a brush that’s up to the job right?
I received these two boxes of E.L.F’s new Mineral Booster through the post the other day courtesy of PR and my interest was piqued. I do love my mineral makeup.
I will however, always hate the mess from playing with… what are essentially, little pots of dust.
I already own the original version of the Mineral Booster which I bought about a year ago to use as an alternative to Bare Escentual’s Mineral Veil (it got superceded by my love for E.L.F’s HD Powder though). These new incarnations are pretty much the same thing as the original… but on steroids!
Since I’ve become spoiled by Bare Escentuals new Click Lock Go packaging, I’m taking a point away from the E.L.F Mineral Booster ‘cos frankly, it’s a nightmare to transport.
E.L.F Mineral Booster in Shimmer is an ivory toned powder with a healthy does of sparkle. Sneeze over this baby and you’ll be seeing stars for the foreseeable future! I was surprised at how creamy the powder felt to the touch. Obviously very finely milled… E.L.F never fail to impress me with the texture of their mineral products.
E.L.F Mineral Booster in Tinted is a warmer chocolate latté kinda colour… not quite dark enough to terrify me, but certainly deep enough to give me pause about applying it to my pale skin tone. Again, texture is great with no lumps or areas of heavier pigmentation.
When I swatched both products, I felt a little disappointed. Not hugely inspiring are they? The Shimmer is pretty subtle on the back of my hand and the Tinted is just kinda Ovaltine-y. I wasn’t actually sure what I was gonna be able to do with them by way of demonstration to show you how they work.
Faced with this… a lack of any technical skills whatsoever and my 10hr old makeup, I decided to just go for it. I grabbed a big powder brush and went for the Tinted version first. I chose a powder brush over my kabuki as I wanted something that wouldn’t deposit too much product. I needn’t have worried, Tinted is quite sheer when applied with a brush, it definitely gives you the opportunity to build without flooding your face with pigment. I applied a light layer allover, then built up the shading along my invisible cheekbones. I wasn’t too bothered about whether I was ‘contouring’ or ‘blushing’ – I was just slapping it on.
Reaching for Shimmer, I focused on the high points on my face. Those imaginary cheekbones got a dusting, as did my nose and chin. Watching the sparkles float on the air I was expecting to see a beacon of glitter reveal itself to me when I looked in the mirror, but the effect was pretty subtle. Infact… I couldn’t really see any difference at all.
I took an ‘after’ photo anyway and figured that I’d leave the review at swatches and the fact that I thought it was too subtle.
The photos disagree with me though:
Is it just ‘cos it’s mattified me or does the ‘after’ look smoother? More polished? I think it’s given me a hint of coverage (check the red nose)… but as a Mineral Booster, that’s not really it’s job description.
Wait… what IS it’s job description?
Achieve the ultimate, translucent “photo finishing touch” to your makeup, our Mineral Booster melts into your skin, infusing it with key vitamins A, B and E to promote healthier skin that’s noticeably silkier and smoother. Completely sheer and ideal for all skin tones, Mineral Booster gently absorbs oil and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and pores for a beautiful even finish. Wear alone or buff over our Mineral Concealer and Foundation to lend extra staying power and to achieve a professional and stunning porcelain matte look that will last all day.
Oh right! Well, I guess it’s up for promotion then ‘cos that’s what I’m seeing…. though they aren’t gonna last you all day unless your middle name is Dust Bowl.
Can you notice a difference? I can’t put my finger on what else it’s done. Considering the colour of ‘tinted’, it’s pretty subtle innit?
Beige, Grunge, Greige, Taupe, Shit Fingers… whatever you want to call it. There’s a love/hate vibe around the shade that hasn’t venured far from the spotlight for the last year or so…
Here’s a run down of a few of the shades I own.
My perfect “greige” needs to be the right mix of grey and brown. If it has just a hint of mauve, all the better…
Orly Prince Charming and BarryM Mushroom are quite chocolatey in appearance… I prefer a little more grey to my greiges. Boots No7’s Beanie and O.P.I’s You Don’t Know Jacques are both beautiful but quite dark.
This leaves the mega bargainous E.L.F’s Smoky Brown as my pick of the colour crop. On price alone (£1.50) it wins hands down.
If you haven’t done so already, you can check the E.L.F polishes out here.
A mostly cool-toned FOTD bar a hint of peach on the lids.
It’s crazy how much of my eye makeup actually disappears when I open my eyes…. which kinda begs the question, “Should I walk around with my eyes shut?”
~ Max Factor Second Skin Foundation in Creamy Ivory (thanks Jen!)
~ Stila Sheer Pressed Powder in Light
~ Urban Decay Drink Me, Eat Me on the lid (from the AiW palette)
~ Urban Decay Vorpal in the crease and outer ‘V’ (from the AiW palette)
~ Stargazer Cake Liner in Brown on the lashline
~ YSL Singulier Mascara in Black
~ ELF Runway Pink with a slick of…
~ …MAC Please Me ontop.