e.l.f. Cosmetics

e.l.f. At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; praiseworthy powder blush and eyeshadows; brow gel/clear mascara; oil-blotting papers are a steal; great brushes in the Studio line.

Weaknesses: Mostly average formulas in smaller packaging than what's typical; terrible concealer; limited options for foundation; average to not-worth-it-at-any-price brushes (in e.l.f.'s main line).

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.

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Your results are in the table below. You can narrow your results by using the drop down menus or sort by toggling the column labels. If you would like to add an item to your faves check the box in the "+" column. Click the add to faves button when you're done adding items.

+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Average Luscious Liquid Lipstick e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Gloss  $1.00
Good Super Glossy Lip Shine SPF 15 e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Gloss  $1.00
Average Studio Glossy Gloss e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Gloss  $3.00
Good Hypershine Lip Gloss e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Gloss  $1.00
Poor Plumping Lip Glaze e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Gloss  $1.00
Average Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Gloss  $2.00
Best Mineral Lip Gloss e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Gloss  $3.00
Average Studio Pout Perfecter e.l.f. Cosmetics
- Studio
Lip Gloss  $3.00
Average Essential Shimmer Lip Gloss e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Gloss  $2.00
Average Therapeutic Conditioning Lip Balm (Discontinued) e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Gloss  $1.00
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