Essential Blush

Price:
$2 
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Category:
Makeup > Blushes > Powder Blush
Last Updated:
12/27/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This pressed-powder blush has a dry, chalky texture that doesn’t cling well to skin, which hinders its wearability. There are several attractive shades, but they impart color so sheer you really have to layer it to see much of a difference. Even then, you’ll only notice a slight, subtle glow. To make matters worse, the color dissipates as the day wears on. The inexpensive price may be tempting, but wasting money is never pretty.

Pros:
  • Attractive shades with subtle glow.
Cons:
  • Dry, chalky texture doesn’t cling well to skin and hinders wearability.
  • Shades go on so sheer you have to pile it on.
  • Color dissipates as the day wears on.

From a line of cosmetics whose claim to fame is its rock-bottom prices we weren't expecting much. With many of the makeup products 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" once 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. has enjoyed continued success and increased distribution online and in retail stores like Target.

As you might expect, not everything in the e.l.f. line is great. When you're offering almost every product for $1 (OK, there's plenty for $3 and $5, too), they're not going to be nearly as luxurious or innovative as the company proclaims (most of 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.

This line can be found at select Target stores and some regional drugstores, but 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 (especially makeup brushes) 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.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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