Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cheap Tricks: E.L.F. Beauty School

Photo Credit: E.L.F. Cosmetics
This just appeared in my inbox this morning, and I have to say, I love the concept. E.L.F. Cosmetics (you know, the nice company that sells decent makeup for really cheap) now has what they refer to as "Beauty School". For about five bucks, you get either a face or eye palette, and step-by-step instructions that show you what goes where. There's even a place for you to record your favorite looks, so you don't forget which products worked the best together--not that I'd ever forget...no, sir. I have a mind like a steel...what were we talking about again?

As these have just come out, I've not had a chance to try the sets. I have, however, used E.L.F. for quite some time, and am familiar enough with the products involved to give you a fair analysis, especially since these are not new products. These are existing products, repackaged with how-to guides.

The eyeshadow collections (there are four: Bright, Everyday, Natural, and Smoky) each come with twelve shades, one eyeliner pencil, one shadow applicator, and instructions, and comes housed in a mirrored palette. For five bucks, it's not a bad deal. In fact, for a makeup novice, I'd say it's worth the five bucks for the instructions alone. E.L.F. eyeshadows can be a little hit or miss with pigmentation, but for normal, everyday wear (or for younger makeup lovers), they're workable. The same can be said for the eyeliner pencil. It's not super creamy, but it'll do. Again, remember that this whole thing is only five dollars.

The face collection (there's only one) consists of four shimmer creams, four concealers, one blush, one bronzer, and one face brush, plus instructions. There's no mirror with this palette. Again, the instructions are worth the money. They're practically paint-by-number. The shimmer creams are lovely, and make your skin look dewy. E.L.F. blushes tend to be pigmented enough for a nice, natural finish, and the bronzer's not bad in moderation. I've never been a huge fan of their concealers, but only because they're too dark for my fish-belly white skin. The brush can be chucked, though. E.L.F. makes some fantastic brushes, but this isn't one of them.

These are great to learn with. I highly recommend them for young teens, as they're instructive and a great--inexpensive--way to experiment with color. I've got to say, there's nothing more irritating than spending fifteen or twenty bucks on an cool looking eyeshadow, only to get home and realize that amazing green looks way better in the container than it does on your face. I would suggest, though, adding a few nice brushes, an eyeshadow primer,  mascara, and an eyeliner pen into the mix--all of which are conveniently listed under the Beauty School collection. Gee, I wonder how that happened...

Bottom line, for practice or experimentation, you can't beat this collection. Think of them as training wheels; learn on them, then use those skills with your favorite products.

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