e.l.f. Cosmetics

e.l.f. At-A-Glance

Strengths: Bonafide beauty bargain prices; several praiseworthy makeup products including the powder blush, bronzer, and eyeshadows; some great face powders; oil-blotting papers are a steal; excellent brushes in the Studio line; a few good, inexpensive skincare products.

Weaknesses: Mostly average to poor skincare formulas; a multitude of terrible concealers; limited options for foundation; average to not-worth-it-at-any-price eyeliners (with the exception of one); some of the skincare products aren't on par with better formulated options that cost a bit more.

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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+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Average Hydrating Cleansing Cloths e.l.f. Cosmetics Cleansing Cloths  $4.00 20.00 cloths
Average Illuminating Eye Cream e.l.f. Cosmetics Eye Moisturizers  $10.00 0.49 fl. oz.
Best Hydrating Cleanser e.l.f. Cosmetics Face/Body Cleansers  $7.00 4.20 fl. oz.
Good Hydrating Face Primer e.l.f. Cosmetics Foundation Primer  $9.00 0.49 fl. oz.
Average Nourishing Night Cream e.l.f. Cosmetics Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $12.00
Good Soothing Serum e.l.f. Cosmetics Serums  $12.00 1.01 fl. oz.
Poor Hydrating BB Cream e.l.f. Cosmetics BB Cream  $7.00
Average Hydrating Revitalizing Mist e.l.f. Cosmetics Toners  $6.00 0.48 fl. oz.
Average Exfoliating Scrub e.l.f. Cosmetics Face/Body Scrubs  $8.00 3.80 fl. oz.
Average Daily Hydration Moisturizer e.l.f. Cosmetics Moisturizer without Sunscreen  $8.00 2.53 fl. oz.
Poor Studio BB Cream SPF 20 e.l.f. Cosmetics
- Studio
BB Cream  $6.00 1.06 fl. oz.
Best Moisturizing Lipstick e.l.f. Cosmetics
- Studio
Cream Lipstick  $3.00
Best Studio Hydrating Face Primer e.l.f. Cosmetics
- Studio
Foundation Primer  $6.00 0.49 fl. oz.
Average Studio HD Mattifying Cream Foundation e.l.f. Cosmetics Cream Foundation w/ Suncreen  $6.00
Poor Studio HD Lifting Concealer e.l.f. Cosmetics Stick Concealer  $3.00
Average Studio Acne Fighting Foundation e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Foundation  $6.00 1.00 fl. oz.
Good Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Cream e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid/Gel Blush  $3.00
Average Studio Maximum Coverage Concealer – Oil Free e.l.f. Cosmetics Liquid Concealer  $3.00
Best Studio Baked Bronzer e.l.f. Cosmetics Powder Bronzer  $3.00
Good Studio Baked Highlighter e.l.f. Cosmetics Face Shine  $3.00
Best Studio Eye Enhancing Mascara e.l.f. Cosmetics Regular Mascara  $3.00
Poor Studio Lip Exfoliator e.l.f. Cosmetics Lip Exfoliators  $3.00
Average Studio 3-in-1 Mascara e.l.f. Cosmetics Regular Mascara  $3.00
Best Studio Baked Eyeshadow e.l.f. Cosmetics Powder Eyeshadow  $3.00
Good Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow e.l.f. Cosmetics Powder Eyeshadow  $3.00
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