e.l.f. Haul!


For anyone who missed it on Instagram yesterday, my latest e.l.f. order came in. Since I was too darn lazy to do a full review, I grabbed my phone and did a few first impressions. Now that I have time to sit down, I figure I’ll gather everything together and maybe provide just a bit more info, including links to what I got. Continue reading “e.l.f. Haul!”

A Tale of Three Lip Colors

Long wear lip colors are one of those things I love and hate at the same time. I wear dark lipstick colors and neutral eyes when I’m wearing glasses, which is most of the time. The unfortunate side effect of wearing dark colors is that it has to stay perfect. If I so much as get a hair stuck to my lips and brush it out of my face, it can leave a thin, red trail over my chin. Don’t get me started on eating with red lipstick on. Most times, there’s a ritual of removing whatever lipstick I’m wearing, eating, then reapplying, and I’m constantly checking my face to make sure I don’t have any embarrassing lipstick migration. (Oh, and dark colors have a tendency to stain the skin, so if I do get a smear here or there, chances are I’m breaking out some concealer, too.)

So long wearables are great in that they stay put and, when I’m eating, I don’t have to look at a gross, goopy smear of red all over my fork and drinking glass. What I hate about them are two things: the dry feel of them and the way they wear off the minute you try to remedy that. I will never get used to my lips feeling dry, and I hate having to suck it up and deal when I want my makeup to stay put. If ever I find a lipstick that can truly be both long wear AND moisturizing, I’ll give the company that makes it all of my money.

All. Of. My. Money.

So here’s a brief comparison of three such lipsticks in my collection, what I love about the, and what I hate about them. I’m also going to toss in a bonus review of e.l.f.’s new lipstick remover, which I just got this week.

CoverGirl Outlast All Day Two Step Lipcolor $7

81tpySAof+L._SY679_I have bought a few of these over the years, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why I keep putting myself through this. This is probably the first brand of long wear I’ve tried, and I’ve tried a lot, but I thought I’d feature it because of all the drugstore brands this seems to work best for me. Now, I won’t say it works great for me. It simply just works as well as any other drugstore brand, if not a little better, which isn’t really saying much. I keep wondering if there’s some new trick I can try that will make this work as wonderfully for me as everyone claims it does for them. So far, I’ve had no such luck

The last one I got wasn’t necessarily my fault. Walmart sent me one in a subscription box over the summer. Technically I purchased it, but I didn’t pick it out. The color was flattering on me, so I kept it. This one is #512, though I’ve had it so long I’m unsure of the color name.

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Ignore the fact that I applied this horribly. It was late.

This has just a bit of shimmer to it without the topcoat, but I do run into that weird tight and cakey feeling. The top coat does stay on a lot better than other formulas I’ve tried, but I’ve found that even this still flakes off after an hour or two.

e.l.f. Studio Lip Stain $3

11379_82508_900px_new46803.95.jpg.46803.95This isn’t so much new as it is new to me. I hadn’t tried it before this week. It’s mostly because I had no idea it existed until e.l.f. posted about them on their Instagram account, which I stalk these days. I’m always hopeful that I’ll run into a brand that gets it right, and I love e.l.f.’s reds, so I figured I could part with $3.

On first try, I simply applied the color and left it matte for several hours. It never transferred or flaked, and it stayed a gorgeous color of red. I was pretty impressed at how great it stayed looking, actually. It even held up to a greasy corn dog and some pizza. It did not, however, hold up to the gloss. Even as I applied the gloss, the color was rubbing off onto the applicator, and it went from a long wear matte to a highly transferable glossy red. While it was pretty, the feel is no better or worse than others. I’d probably still buy more if there were other shades I liked, but I still find myself wishing that I could have it all.

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Matte, without the gloss topcoat.
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With the gloss.

The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long-Lasting Liquid Lipstick $17

71aUxpi3bBL._SY679_I got a sample of this in my October Glam Bag from Ipsy in Committed, and the first thing I’m going to note about this stuff is the smell. It reminds me of Girl Scout Cookies– the Thin Mints. So now I want Thin Mints when I wear this. The mint in the formula even tingles on the lips when you put it on.

The color is neutral and flattering for just about any skin tone, but it’s almost a nude for me and not really what I’d use a long wear formula for. I’m not as paranoid about my nude/natural colors.

This is really pretty when I put it on, and it is a true matte lipstick. On my first try, it did in fact stay all day with just a little bit of flaking onto my napkin after I ate my dinner. I never reapplied it. I even fell asleep wit my makeup on, and it was still there the next morning. So it definitely delivers on both color and staying put. So yeah, I’d probably pay $17 for a full size in a darker shade.

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Of course, like all products of its kind, I simply couldn’t get used to the feel of it on my lips. It was just as heavy and dry as all the cheaper products.

e.l.f. Studio Kiss It Goodbye Lip Color Remover $3

15637_86013_a_900px59425.79.jpg.59425.79This is actually a new item from e.l.f. While I’m a huge e.l.f. fangirl, I should think by now it’s obvious as to why I’d want to give this a try. It’s easy enough to remove liquid lipstick with a little baby oil, but I still end up getting stains leftover on my lips when I wear darker shades.

How did it work? Well, it took away all traces of red after a full night of dark lipstick. Now, here’s where I also joke that the gloss that came with my e.l.f. stain was probably the secret behind the formula, but I won’t complain. This actually does what it’s supposed to do.

I actually received another long wear lipcolor in my Target Beauty Box today, so I’ll give that a try. It claims to have long wear AND be moisturizing. We’ll see. Someone also recommended the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream and their new Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks. I’ll give those a try the next time I’m grabbing lipsticks and hopefully the later of those will be in stock. Meanwhile, I’ll try the Revlon and see how it works out. If I’m impressed, I’ll write about it.

e.l.f. Holiday Preview

You can click here to see everything.

I’ve already gotten the moisturizing lipstick in Razzle Dazzle, and while I liked it, the gold flecks just didn’t stand out as much as I’d hoped they would. Most of what I see is stuff they’ve had for a while and just repackaged, and I seem to already own most of it, particularly the brushes, matte lipsticks, and a ton of e.l.f. eyeshadow. I notice that their flawless shadow quads are listed, and I already own all three of the ones they’re showing. Those are, by the way, among my favorite eye shadows from e.l.f., so I do highly recommend them.

I’m considering the brow kit and the nail polish. I love my other eyebrow kit from e.l.f., which this seems to include, and while I’ve only had one of their nail colors, I loved the formula.

Yet Another e.l.f. Haul

You guys remember when I mentioned that e.l.f. was having a $1 sale? Yeah, about that…

I did go a little nuts. I haven’t exactly made it a secret that I’m a huge e.l.f. fangirl. Some of the things I got were new shades of old favorites. Some were newer products that I’ve been meaning to try out but hadn’t gotten to yet. Here’s what I got.

e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot Cream Eyeshadow

The smudge pots are one of my favorites because they’re gorgeously pigmented, I can swipe them on really quick with a finger, and they stay on all day with no creasing. You don’t even need a primer. Navy eyes are in this fall, so I went ahead and grabbed another in the color Ocean Bound. I do recommend using a finger with these, though. They can get a little messy if you’re using a brush.

e.l.f. Skincare Daily Hydration Moisturizer

I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve tried from the new e.l.f. skincare line. So far I’ve tried the serum and the night cream, and I’ve finally managed to get through almost all the skincare products I’ve been sent through multiple subscription boxes, so this was perfectly timed. Maybe one day I’ll make it through my cleansers and eye creams and can justify purchasing the ones e.l.f. offers.

e.l.f. Studio Lip Liner & Blending Brush

Here’s another of my favorites. I love that for $3 I get a lip liner and a lip brush, so I have a bunch of these. I got one in Red and one in Wine, both of which I’m wearing a lot this season.

e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color

Another favorite, and I think this is one of those products that a lot of people love. I already have a red and two nudes. The formula is nice and moisturizing, and if you pull off the colored end at the bottom, you’ll find that it even comes with a sharpener. I got this in Wine and Berry Sorbet.

e.l.f. Studio Lip Stain

This is one that I haven’t tried yet but have been meaning to. I have a love/hate relationship with long-wear lip colors, so we’ll see how these go. My biggest problem is the shade selection. I didn’t see anything I’d wear other than the one I got, Red Carpet.

e.l.f. Studio Moisturizing Lipstick

This product isn’t so much new to me, but I couldn’t resist their holiday color, Razzle Dazzle Red, which is a deep wine color with little flecks of gold. Very festive.

Seeing a lip trend here? There’s no mistake. I wear glasses a lot, so my go-to colors are usually big and bold while I downplay my eyes. If I’m wearing contacts, that changes, obviously. And of course I’m always getting different brands and formulas in case I hate one or if the shade is just the tiniest bit of a difference from the other. I like that I can do this sort of thing with e.l.f. and it doesn’t cost me a fortune.

e.l.f. Studio Blending Sponge

I haven’t tried this one, either. I see Beauty Blender dupes all the time, and I’m honestly not much a fan of sponge application, but I like to give them a try now and then. For $5, I’ll try this.

e.l.f. Studio Mattifying Blotting Papers

This is new, and e.l.f. kinda already has a reputation for their horrible blotting papers, but I’ll admit I was suckered in with the cute case. We’ll see if they deliver better for a few extra bucks.

e.l.f. Studio Kiss It Goodbye Lip Color Remover

This is one of those items that I’m super excited to try. Since I wear a lot of those dark lip colors, I always go through a few tissues and baby wipes removing it at the end of the night, and I still get stained lips. If this works, I might have to buy up a whole bunch of these and stash them.

e.l.f. Hypershine Lip Gloss

I got this in Berry Cherry. I couldn’t find a link to it on e.l.f.’s website, and I really, really hope that it’s not because they’re discontinuing it. It’s packaged much like Stila’s super popular lip glazes, but I prefer e.l.f.’s softer formula that’s sold at a fraction of the price. So I’m praying that they’re only planning to repackage it and not discontinuing the product entirely. I love my glosses.

I’m absolutely planning to review the newer stuff as I get to it. I’ve got a Birchbox and Ipsy coming in later this week, too, so those products are going to be added to the shuffle. If there’s anything in particular here you’d like me to get to and review first, please let me know in the comments.

A few things that might interest you guys…

Right now, you can hop on over to e.l.f. (one of my FAVORITE bargain beauty brands) and grab a whole bunch of their studio line products for just $1. That’s, of course, in addition to all the other wonderful products they already sell for only $1. Some of my favorites: Studio Matte Lip Color, Studio Eyeliner & Shadow Stick, Studio Lip Liner & Blending Brush, Essential Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer, and Essential Shimmering Facial Whip (perfect for strobing).

Also right now, if you sign up for Birchbox (referral link), you can get a free box of customer favorites. Use coupon code 2FOR1BOX to nab it! I’m a huge fan of getting beauty samples for $10, so Birchbox is my jam.

Influenster, which occasionally sends me items to try out and review, has sent me a VoxBox full of goodies– which I will of course be trying out and reviewing. Some of those reviews will go here. Others will go on my Twitter, Instagram, or (a newly made) YouTube. The links to those are on the sidebar if you want to give them a follow. I’ll admit that I suck at making those wonderful videos you see other people make, but I’ll hopefully get better, and in the meantime I think it’s a great medium to demo a few things I might want to review later on. I just need a tripod or something.

Speaking of non-beauty reviews, I figured I’d toss up a review for Plated, which I’m in love with, so keep a lookout for that as well.

Mini E.L.F. Haul: Flawless Eyeshadow Quads and Acne Fighting Foundation


I’ll start by saying that I’m a huge fan of E.L.F. and their products. Great products that you can try for cheap is pretty hard to hate on. Further, let me take a moment to gush about their customer service. I was supposed to have received their Studio Blush in “Gotta Glow,” which I hear is a pretty good dupe for the NARS blush in “Albatross.” Albatross is $30 and a highlighter that gets rave reviews, and I adore my NARS contouring blush, so if I can get the same effect from a product that costs me only $3, I’m definitely going to try out the $3 product. Unfortunately, my studio blush wasn’t included though I was billed for it, and the website says they’re not out of stock, so I had to contact their customer service… on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day.

E.L.F. thankfully managed to get back to me within 24 hours, not only promising to send me my blush but also sending me a $5 gift card for my trouble– which is $2 more than what I paid for the blush. I definitely have to give them major props for the way they’ve handled it. As I said, the blush appears to be out of stock online, so fingers crossed that the one they sent me is the correct one.

Now… On to the products I did get!

E.L.F. Acne Fighting Foundation in Porcelain


I already use E.L.F.’s Studio BB Cream in Fair, and I love it. It’s a staple of my makeup collection for my every day “I’m not wearing any makeup” look. I’ve tried their Studio Flawless Finish Foundation in Porcelain, and while the shade is a good match for me, I would prefer something with a more matte finish and fuller coverage for my powerhouse foundation on days when I need it. Right now, that powerhouse foundation is Lancome Teint Idole Untra 24H, and I do love it. Of course, if I can find a similar foundation for $6…

There’s a pleasant citrusy fragrance to this product that I can’t quite place. It could be attributed to one of the “acne fighting” ingredients included (camphor, maybe?). I honestly can’t attest to that part of the product’s claims. I’ve battled blemishes, but I don’t have particularly bad skin. I purchased the product more for its full coverage and long lasting claims.

It goes on smoothly enough with a brush. I also used both fingers and a sponge just to be thorough. The coverage isn’t quite as good as with Lancome’s, which isn’t entirely unexpected. At Lancome’s price, I’d darn well better be getting my money’s worth. But for the price, I’d say E.L.F. hasn’t done half bad. I was able to build with this by buffing it into the skin with a foundation brush.

I tried doing a selfie of myself both before and after, but I can’t figure out how to get the lighting adjusted properly. Not to mention, pictures of me without any makeup could quite possibly scare small children. I’ll just say that I could see a full matte finish, and it was still in place after seven hours with little more than a setting spray to kick off and two blotting papers over the course of the evening. For $6, I definitely don’t feel like it was a waste of my money. I’ll likely be purchasing this again.

E.L.F. Flawless Eyeshadow Quad in Rio De Janeiro


I already own these in Beautiful Browns, Tantalizing Taupe, and Smoky. I’m slowly working on getting the full color collection, as Tantalizing Taupe is probably my favorite eyeshadow quad. I use it all the time, and this from a woman who owns and loves the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette.

Regarding E.L.F.’s shadows… They’re very powdery, and they do have a tendency to wear off and crease easily, so I definitely recommend using a good primer with them. Thankfully, E.L.F. sells an amazing one of their own for only $2! If you’re going to really need stuff to stay in place, I also recommend following up with a brush of their Lock & Seal over the finished look.

These colors practically scream “fall,” which is why I got this one in particular. The base/highlight doesn’t add much in the way of color, but it does add a pretty shimmer perfect for the brow bone and inner eye. This didn’t contain any matte colors, but I don’t mind that. It’s gorgeous, as you can see.

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Here, I’m using the “base” color all over. I’m using the peachy “lid” color on the lid up to the crease. The “crease” color is in the crease, obviously, and then pulled it out toward the outer corner to form my usual cat eye shape. The “line” color is being used to line the uper and lower lash lines and was also used to darken the outer “v” and blended into the crease, since the crease color left the outer corner a little too light for my taste. I’m also using Wet  n Wild Volume Plus Mascara in Black and E.L.F. Studio Eyebrow Kit in Light.

I know it’s difficult to see the lid color with my eye open. I have very hooded lids, which is why I’ll do my best to give you a picture of my eye both open and closed. I know my mascara could be thicker, too, but I’m purposely keeping it light here to highlight the shadow.

E.L.F. Flawless Eyeshadow Quad in Blushing Beauty


There’s not really much to say here that I haven’t said above. I’m using the same lash and brow products as before. Here’s the finished look:

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I used a slightly different application here from before. The “base” and “crease” shades were matte with this palette, but there was definitely some shimmer to the “lid” and “line” shades. I started by sweeping the base all over my lid and up to my brow. This time, I worked in my crease, building the color there and pulling it out into the outer “v” before I used a brush to pat the “lid” color into place. I also swept just a little of the lid color into my lower lash line before using the “line” color to line both upper and lower lashes.

I really hope that the lighting isn’t screwing up the overall effect for you guys. I can tell it’s not entirely doing the colors justice.

E.L.F. Flawless Eyeshadow Quad in Party Purple


This one didn’t come with my order, but I spied it while I was at Target, so I picked it up. I’ve been wanting to try out some purples, and as with all things E.L.F., why not? It was only $2, after all. So here’s the finished look:

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Brows and lashes are using the same products as above, though my brows are a little messy here. I’m lining with a mix of the “line” and “lid” colors. The “lid” color is on my lid, of course. “Base” color is used all over as per usual. This one had a slight pink tone to it and a bit of shimmer. I think this one and the Rio base are my two new favorites. Both are very pretty. I’m going to say the same for the gorgeous purple “crease” color here, used in the crease and outer “v.” I love this color so darn much. I’m probably going to be trying some other looks with it. I have a wine-colored lip/eye liner that I got in my Ipsy for August that I think will go great with this and the blush colors.

At the end of the day, my opinion on E.L.F. isn’t changing anytime soon. They have some great products, and if you hate them, you’ve lost only a few dollars per item. Most single items are no more than $6. So by all means give it a try!