Friday, August 20, 2010

e.l.f. books- hit or miss?

I'm sure that most of you own at least a few e.l.f. products. If you're a mega-cheapie like me, you may own quite a few. To me, e.l.f. is a very hit or miss brand, which is ok since most of the products are only $1-$5, so if the item isn't great, it's not like I'm out a lot of cash. I picked up the Beauty Book Eye Brights Edition for $5 from Target, and The Beauty Encyclopedia Sparkle Eye Edition for $5 from the e.l.f. website. Let me tell you an interesting story about the e.l.f. cs first (you can skip this if you want, it doesn't relate to the product review). I actually ordered the Sparkle Eye set a couple weeks ago when there was that 60% coupon for the e.l.f. website, along with a bunch of other stuff. It arrived with most of the shadows totally cracked and spread all over everything. I emailed the company, and they said they would send me a new one. I got a confirmation email saying my package had been sent and everything. Then a couple days later, I got another email saying they were refunding the money because the set was out of stock. Does this make sense to you? Me neither. I never did get the set, so why they said they had shipped it is beyond me. Anyway. I got the Sparkle Eye set in the mail today and was excited to open it up. But something seemed eerily familiar... DUN DUN DUN! *lightning crash* Two different books. Same damn set of eyeshadows! *werewolf howl* The only difference is that the Eye Brights set has a mirror, and the Sparkle Eye set has 2 cream shadows. Thankfully it was only $5, so it's not like I'm out much here. But it was still annoying to finally get the product I was excited about only to discover I already have it! I'm going to give it to a friend who will hopefully like it. Here are the swatches for the palette(s), row by row. The top half is on dry skin, the bottom half is over pixie epoxy. As you can see, the pigments are pure garbage without an adhesive base. I used pixie epoxy instead of a primer because I didn't know how much a primer could even do to fix these. Without the PE, the first three colors are basically nonexistent. The fourth is a beautiful, beautiful taupe. Still terribly pigmented and chalky. I could not get an even coat on the dry skin for anything. I like the nice forest green, and the blue has pretty good shimmer in it (like Barry M's Aqua Gold). That first silvery shade was so stiff and hard (heehee) I felt like I was rubbing the brush on cardboard. Seriously. Even over the PE, it barely shows up. The purple and wine shade are both GORGEOUS. The silver & the black both have glitter you can't see in the picture. This leaves me confused on my opinion of the palette! There are some really nice colors in there, but you absolutely have to use them over a super sticky base to get any color out of them. For only $5, and the few really nice colors it has in it, I wouldn't say I recommend it, but I'm not condemning it either. I will say I probably wouldn't buy any other beauty books after this. e.l.f. has some really stand-out products, but these beauty books certainly aren't contenders for that category. While the PE makes the colors gorgeous, I don't think they should have to have that much help to show up. Could this review be more wishy-washy? I don't think I've ever felt this way about a product before, lol. Do you have these or any other e.l.f. books? What do you think?


  1. Their liners are ok... but I really try to stick to organic, indie stuff. Thanks for the review, though! ^_^ Sorry it was such a doo doo experience.

  2. Oh, so happy that I can cross that off the list of stuff I want.

  3. Gross! I was thinking about getting one of these--not anymore!! I saw another blogger write about them and had a good experience. Hmmm.... Count me OUT! Thanks Heather!

  4. That's a shame, some of the colors were quite pretty.
    When it comes to elf, I've only ever purchased their Studio line brushes and mineral shadows and even those are very hit and miss depending on the shade but that's it.

  5. I have tons of elf products too but I wasn't planning on getting the books because the colours look the same as in their quads. And I already have most of those. Now I definitely won't be buying these books.
    Their customer service can be iffy but I'll keep going back for the prices.

  6. I saw swatches for both of these and I'm glad someone finally pointed it out. They are exactly the same. However I do like the Eye Brights one quite a bit and have been using it almost every day, lol.
    (Speaking of these palettes, the Smoky Eye one has the same colors as the Nouveau Neutrals quad, the Drama quad, and the Butternut quad!)

  7. I bought some of the Studio line brushes online when they were having a mega sale. Like you said, elf is very hit and miss. They spam the crap out of my email inbox which makes me even more reluctant to order anything else.

  8. aww thats a shame they don't apply well!

  9. Man I hate when you need to use something to make a colour show, primer should be used to make a colour stay and not crease, not help out cheapo companies that don't wanna spend money on, well, COLOUR! Jeeeebus.
    And it sucks that you got the same one twice. What a bunch of turd monkeys.

    I haven't tried e.l.f. because the only store that sells them here jacks the price, a $3 item will be sold for $8 with the sticker saying it was orginally like $13 or something. LIES!
    And love the "werewolf howl" I choked on my chip lol

  10. @T, the Bee: I haven't tried their liners, I'm not expecting much from those.

    @Darling Girl: Always glad to kill a lemming lol

    @Nicole: heehee, you saved $5.

    @Erline: I LOVE their brushes to death, the quality is so great for the price. I have one of their mineral shadows but I haven't even swatched it.

    @Michelle: Agreed, they have me as a lifetime customer just because they are dirt cheap.

    @Steph: Yeah, I saw your review, I'm glad you like it at least!

    @Lucy: Me toooo! I got an email with the subject line "We're Sorry" and I thought they were apologizing for the weird thing about my shipping, but it was like "SORRY YOU'RE A SUCKER FOR EVER PAYING MORE THAN $1 FOR MAKEUP! BUY ELF NOW WOOHOO". Gr.

    @Get Gawjus!: Yeah :(

    @KittenMittens: Agreed, totally. Those are crazy prices! The products are deff. not worth that.

  11. Aw, I like some of the ELF stuff, but ya know..ya pay what you get for sometimes. I like their hypershine lipgloss, and some blushes. Omnom.

    $5 for 12 shadows isn't too shabby, but it's a shame because not a lot of people know to use a primer. And not enough people know about pixie epoxy.

  12. Thanks for the review; I don't think I'll be picking up one of these anytime soon!

  13. The purple and wine are beautiful, but damn that palette seems disappointing. It's not fair to have to spend so much time and effort just to get shadows to work :(

    And WTF @ their CS and the palettes being virtually identical!

  14. Wow. I have that Eye Brights palette, and I swatched them over bare skin, and they look so pitiful! Your swatches over PE look so much nicer! It's amazing what pixie epoxy can do!