When I first started to learn about cruelty-free cosmetics, e.l.f. quickly popped up as a brand that was not only largely free from animal-derived ingredients or testing, but also incredibly affordable. As a U.S. based company, e.l.f. was not always the easiest to get hold of – even with a U.K. distributor, it seemed to take weeks before your order would arrive, and items were often out of stock for months on end. After further ups and downs, including the termination of the U.K. distribution deal and a resulting flash sale of epic proportions, e.l.f. has finally been snapped up by cruelty-free chain, Superdrug, and I could not be more excited.
At the start of the month, I went along to the e.l.f. Hearts Superdrug event in London’s Soho, to have a look at all the products in anticipation of their release in stores nationwide come June. As e.l.f.’s range has already dropped online, I couldn’t help but put in an order, and thought I’d share my thoughts on the products I’ve tried so far in advance of them being ready to buy instore.
When I first received my delivery from Superdrug and swatched this primer on the back of my hand, I was shocked at how shimmery it was, and was pretty nervous about how it might blend out on my face. I needn’t have worried though; the Illuminating Face Primer provides the skin with a natural radiance, and only a subtle shimmer. After prepping my skin, I massage two pumps of product into my face for an even base. The consistency of this primer is light and mousse-like, and it feels silky soft on the skin.
I can’t say I’ve noticed a vast difference in the longevity of my makeup when wearing this primer underneath it, but for the price I think it gets the job done nicely. My main qualm is to do with the packaging – the lid comes off constantly, making it quite unsuitable to travel with!
I’d heard a lot about this affordable foundation so thought I’d finally give it a go for myself. I found it difficult to decide between the two lightest shades – Porcelain and Sand – and opted for Sand in the end, which I think is a little dark for me to be honest but suitable enough for summer. The product itself is very impressive; for its price, this is a hardworking foundation which provides a medium coverage as well as that all-important sunscreen. The consistency is rather creamy and heavy, like a lotion, and I’ve been applying dots of it to my face then blending it out with a makeup sponge. I really like the dewy finish it gives, and have found that it stays in place better than most high-end foundations I’ve tried. All in all, I’m very pleasantly surprised by this product and will definitely be repurchasing it when the time comes.
Again, the packaging isn’t the strong-point here and seems to be where the low price point shows. The pump is pretty difficult to use at times, and requires a swivel around before it’ll work at all. That said, I do like the frosted glass bottle.
Can you believe it’s my first time trying a setting spray? Admittedly, I haven’t tried this with any heavy duty makeup looks, but having used it on a daily basis to keep my foundation from budging I have found it to get the job done. Holding it at arm’s length and closing my eyes, I spritz twice or three times across my face. The Mist & Set spray is very refreshing, and definitely one to pop in your bag to reapply throughout the day.
I’m not sure if my makeup routine necessitates a setting spray if I’m honest, so I might not buy this again. However, I’ll likely keep the bottle and concoct my own refreshing facial mist instead!
When will I learn to stop pinning my hopes on liquid eyeshadow products? They never seem to stay in place and always crease and fade. While this product is very beautiful – who isn’t enamoured with copper-toned eyeshadows? – I found its staying power (even with eyeshadow primer applied) to be lacking. It’s understandably a little messy to work with, so I’d recommend using a small brush to apply it to the eyelids or as an inner corner highlight.
Personally, I’ve found a use for it which may be my go-to look this summer: gold-speckled brows. Stay with me here; better yet, give it a try for yourself! I took a small angled brush, dipped it in some of the Molten Liquid Eyeshadow daubed on the back of my hand, and carefully applied tiny amounts to my brows in an upwards brushing motion until I’d achieved the desired look.
This is my second time trying e.l.f.’s lipsticks out and I am just as pleased as I was the first time around. Their formula is creamy and moisture-rich; easy to apply, providing a long-lasting, high-colour payoff. As for the colour, it teeters a little too closely to maroon for my liking, and I haven’t quite figured out what other colours to wear brown lipstick with (if you have any suggestions, please let me know!). That said, I do enjoy the 90s vibe, and find this lipstick an easy one to wear day-to-day as it’s subtle and requires infrequent topping up. For the price, the quality really is impressive, and I’d certainly try more shades from the range.
I hope these mini-reviews helped to give you an idea of what to expect from e.l.f.’s products. It can be hard to order online without trying things out first, so having e.l.f. available at Superdrug stores from June will definitely make it easier to try things out and ensure you’re making a sensible purchase. If you’ve tried any of e.l.f.’s products let me know what you thought of them in the comments!