Clarifying Pressed Powder claims to help treat and prevent breakouts with 1% salicylic acid but because you cannot establish a pH in a non-aqueous product (which is crucial to how salicylic acid works) consider this merely marketing fluff. Nonetheless, this is a good, talc-based pressed powder with enough mineral oil and petrolatum to create a velvety-smooth texture that’s best for normal to dry skin. It applies sheer and leaves a satin matte finish that doesn’t look the least bit powdery. The shades selection caters to light to medium-tan skin tones, but watch out for unflattering rosy/peachy undertones in the Rosy Beige and Apricot Beige shades.
Active Ingredient: Salicylic Acid 1%; Other Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Kaolin, Paraffinium Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Titanium Dioxide, Cyclomethicone, Zinc Stearate, Petrolatum, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance, Iron Oxides, Red 27, Red 7, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Ultramarines
From a line of cosmetics whose claim to fame is its rock-bottom prices we weren't expecting much. With almost every individual item selling for just $1, could there be any outstanding finds to rival the best options from drugstores and department stores? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Yet although that's good news, the entire picture isn't so rosy, and many of the products from e.l.f. (which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) are as basic as can be, while a few are resounding disappointments we wouldn't even give away.
e.l.f. was founded by Scott Vincent Borba—the same businessman responsible for the Borba "beauty waters" being sold at Sephora boutiques—and Joseph Shamah. The story goes that one day Borba was shopping in an unnamed "dollar store" (where everything sells for a dollar) and noticed women dressed in designer clothing and sporting designer handbags loading up their baskets with inexpensive nail polish, eye pencils, and lip balm. He took note of the products being sold in such stores and quickly decided he could offer products of even higher quality at the same competitive price. His idea paid off, as e.l.f. enjoyed sales last year of $5 million.
As you might expect, not everything in the e.l.f. line is great. When you're offering almost every product for $1, they're not going to be nearly as luxurious or innovative as the company proclaims (the ingredient lists couldn't be more basic and the packaging is sometimes slipshod). Many e.l.f. items have packaging that, while functional, can only be described as cheap. In terms of value, yes, almost everything is inexpensive, but in most cases the container sizes are much smaller than the norm. Still, if you're considering spending a few dollars on fun, occasional-use colors, size becomes much less of an issue.
In addition to being found at some dollar stores, e.l.f. has expanded its distribution to selected Target stores and regional drugstores. However, the best place to experience the collection is online (none of the stores provide testers). The cheaper elements are a given based on the price point e.l.f. has established, but overall you're likely to be impressed with what they developed for so little money, and you may just find some beauty bargains that raise the bar—at least to a height that's taller than your average elf!
For more information about e.l.f., call (800) 231-4732 or visit www.eyeslipsface.com.