A little over a year ago, a model approached me and asked if we could use her makeup for a shoot. She indicated that she had purchased a few inexpensive color pallets and wanted to see if the makeup was “camera ready” enough for shooting. The brand was ELF brand, otherwise known as Eyes.Lips.Face brand. I was reluctant, but agreed to do the shoot. During the shoot, the makeup up went on well – only one coat and you had more than enough. It blends easily and is very controllable without leaving dust particles everywhere. I was impressed.
After the test, only one pallet tested wasn’t camera ready. Each pallet had about 25 colors to it, and all applied like a professional makeup that I prefer using and coat the same way – only a little is required to get a vibrant effect. The colors were in usable and great shades to shoot just about any look. Now for the kicker – after all was said and done, the model told me how much she paid for the makeup: $5 per pallet. I was shocked. Just one of the colors would cost me around $12-20 from the brands that I use. Since then, I have been purchasing some of their other products and it has undergone some significant changes. Instead of just large pallets of eye shadow, they have extended the product line to includes all types of makeup. The best part, I don’t think there are many items that cost more than $5.
As I indicated, this performs like more expensive makeup. It has also not caused anyone that I have used it on to break out like some of the cheaper brands I have found in the past. To me, this is an excellent and inexpensive makeup. Don’t just believe me, take a look at some of the articles that have appeared about it in Seventeen, Marie Claire, Redbook, and others.
Some things I have noticed with the recent pallets they offer:
a) If you want it to last for any amount of time, using a primer is key to getting it to last for more than an hour. I highly recommend using a moisturizer more than an hour prior to applying this makeup, too.
b) The latest pallets are sometimes a little on the chalky side. If you find this a problem, put a drop of moisturizer on the back of your hand and then blend in the color a little at a time. This will give you that smooth creamy color you need.
c) The packaging used to be built better. Lately, it seems to becoming cheaper and less durable. I suspect this is because they are moving to a custom color pallet where you buy the colors you want and put them in your own (and more durable) case.
d) They are now mixing the camera ready and not camera ready makeups in the large color pallets. If you are a model, be aware of this and test on your own prior to using them in a shoot. The non-camera ready tend to be really sparkly when applied.
e) I have used their shadows for shadow, eye liner, and even blush in a few situations. It is flexible in how you use it, and works just as well as most professional brands that I use.
If you haven’t given ELF makeup a try, I highly encourage you to pickup an inexpensive pallet and give it a try. They also make other makeups, too, and even brushes. I don’t have enough experience with their other products to endorse them, but if they are like their eye shadow color pallets and blushes (and I am told they are), then they are well worth purchasing.
Edit: I have been asked what kind of kit I use normally for makeup by several people. My base kit is made up of Makeup Forever, Smashbox, and Urban Decay. I supplement this with products that I have found that work really well like Lorac’s foundation and lipstain, or Anastasia brow products for example. Elf and Saphora products are used to fill in the gaps where I don’t have products that I need for a specific look.