E.l.f Cosmetics Haul ft the 'Mystery Bag'

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Back in April, my family and me took a three-week trip to the States for the first time like, ever. Well, not for my mum seeing as she was born there, but the first time that I’d ever been anyway. Whilst over there, amongst standing in complete awe over the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Falls, I was also in awe of how cheap the makeup was in places like Target and Walmart. Like, what the actual shit? And this, my friends, is where I first fell in love with e.l.f.

It amazed me that you could buy brushes for a single dollar – a dollar. And for me, I’d always be comparing it to the British pound. “But that’s like, what, 70p? Fucking bargain!” Was a phrase I probably overused every time I was standing in the makeup aisle. Anyway, blah blah blah long story short I bought some shit and I liked the shit so now I ordered some more shit.


There was a pretty sweet deal on the UK site which was if you spent a tenner, you’d get a free ‘mystery bag’ worth £19.50 (very specific, I s’pose they can’t spare that extra 50p). I’d wanted the SHIMMER PALETTE for a long time anyway, so figured I might as well add a couple more bits to bring the price up. I decided to go for the SMUDGE BRUSH and the HD MATTIFYING BALM.

Shipping was £2.95 but it was only after I pressed order did I think to check where it was actually being shipped from. Obviously, the bloody States.

Whilst it’s amazing that their shipping is so cheap, it’s not so amazing when it takes a week until the package is shipped and then another two weeks to be delivered to your door. I’M DYING OVER HERE, C’MON NOW.


So along with the three things I actually bought, in my ‘mystery bag’ I received:

-       KABUKI BRUSH (£12)
-       SHIMMER LIP GLOSS (£2?)
-       BLUSH W/ BRUSH (£3)
-       ANGLED CONTOUR BRUSH (£4.50)
-       TRAVEL MIRROR (£1?)

Six free products ain’t that bad, especially when the total comes to around £25.50 like damn, you be treatin’ me good, e.l.f.


HD Mattifying Balm (6/10)

I guess this is like a primer, and it comes with a handy little mirror and a sponge in a hidden compartment that I discovered after I’d stabbed my finger into the balm. The hidden compartment makes you realise that there’s not as much of the balm as you originally think and when you do choose to use the sponge, it’ll pick up about an inch of the bloody product. As for the finish, it definitely gives you a matte look but I’d only use this under makeup rather than on top to soak up excess oil because I literally just wiped some over and half my makeup came off onto the sponge and it left a weird, grey gooey residue and exposed my gloriously red cheeks. It’s alright but nothing to rave about and I wouldn’t buy it again.

HD Mattifying Balm and Blush with Brush in Glow 

Blush with Brush – Glow (8/10)

I actually already own this product, I bought it out in the States in the pink shade and it’s super cute and handy because it adds a little bit of sparkle and glitter to your life. Glow is a more champagne/bronze colour which unfortunately doesn’t seem to suit my skin tone, however the glitter is still really prominent and the mini brush is super soft and proper easy to use so this is just a massive yes.

Shimmer Lip Gloss in Inspire

Shimmer Lip Gloss – Inspire (5/10)

I fucking hate lip gloss. Like, a lot. Almost as much as I hate people who eat loudly. I will never understand the point of wanting sticky lips and considering I applied the gloss two hours ago – just to try it out – it’s still fucking sticky. Is this a good thing? Do people enjoy this feeling? As for the colour, it’s not all too poppin’ but there’s a slight tint so I s’pose would look nice with a natural getup if gloss is your thing. 10/10 for how damn good it smells though.

Pigments of the Shimmer Palette

Shimmer Palette (3/10)

I was so excited for this. So. Excited. I’ve become a highlighting fiend and the moment I saw the palette and the different shades I just wanted it and so I bought it and then it arrived and I swatched it and hot damn look how pigmented it is! But, alas, this is where the happiness ends because the rest is simply sadness. I applied it to my cheeks and it just stuck looking like a mess, it refused to blend out properly no matter what I used and made me look so oily afterwards. I want to cry a little bit inside. Let’s move on so it doesn’t hurt as much.

Shimmer Palette, Ultimate Kabuki Brush and Travel Mirror

Kabuki Brush (8/10) & Travel Mirror (8/10)

Before now, I’d always seen a kabuki brush and thought, ‘What the actual fuck?’ I’ve never been interested in purchasing one and I certainly wouldn’t spent over a tenner on one. For starters, it’s absolutely massive and it feels like you’re lifting up a small child but I swear, the moment those bristles touch your face it’s like being caressed by an angel. I spent a good five minutes just stroking my face with it and enjoying the feel, rather than using it to actually apply a product. When I eventually got around to using it, it’s pretty good for blending out your contour because of the shape of it and the dense bristles create a pretty smooth and even finish, which is top notch. Still prefer it as a comforting method.

The travel mirror is legit just a little mirror. But it’s cute and I’ll probably chuck it in my bag from now on because you never know when you need a tiny mirror in your life.

Flawless Eyeshadow Palette, Angled Contour Brush and Smudge Brush

Flawless Eyeshadow (7/10), Angled Contour Brush (4/10) & Smudge Brush (2/10)

I’d tell you the colour of the flawless eyeshadow palette but it doesn’t seem to exist on the store anymore, so I’m just gonna go with ‘Pretty Purple’ because it is pretty purple. I think it’s adorable that each shade has an instruction to tell you where to apply it, and for a makeup beginner it definitely eases you into the whole blending/smokey eye thing that’s all the rage. As for the little stupid applicator it comes with, just throw it away because it’s so shit it’s not even worth commenting on. The pigments of the shadows aren’t that great but I gave them a crack anyhow and once applied with a considerable amount, they’re really not that bad and especially for the price it’s completely worth it.

Pigments of the Flawless Eyeshadow Palette

I used the angled contour brush to apply the base, lid and crease colours. I found it was easy to apply the base and lid but the contour brush was pretty poor at applying the crease colour and refused to blend out like I wanted it to. I made an attempt with the smudge brush to make it budge but nah, it was pretty stubborn even when I applied more product. The smudge brush itself was pretty useless and did a rubbish job at applying the darker shadow to my lower lash line and in the end, to create a smokey eye effect I ended up dipping into my Morphe brushes and using the M330 and M156 to really blend everything out and make it look somewhat appealing. (I also cheated and used the white shade of my Morphe 35K to highlight my brow bone and inner corner because the base shade is a little sad on its own).


Don’t bother with the brushes (except the kabuki), the shimmer palette will break your heart and cheap eyeshadows are surprisingly good quality. 3 weeks was a long time to wait but I’m actually pretty happy with everything because hey, I paid a tenner and got over £30’s worth of shit that I probably will use more often than not. Except the lip gloss. I will never use that lip gloss.

I’d say give e.l.f a go because if you have the right tools, you can actually utilise it to its best potential and will save you a few quid in the long run. Plus, with deals like that, it’s hard to not be excited over the surprise of what you’re gonna get.

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