My first e.l.f. Haul!

I only learned about e.l.f. a couple years ago, when I moved to New York.  In Canada, it’s not popular at all, because (as far as I know) e.l.f. isn’t sold there.  In case you don’t know, e.l.f. – as in, eyes, lips, face – is a cosmetics line that strives to sell professional grade products at a great value.  Great value is kind of an understatement, in my opinion, because e.l.f. is so budget friendly that I had a hard time taking it seriously.  When a blush and bronzer duo is only $3.00 (compare to NARS blush/bronzer duo at $42.00), you expect it to suck, right?

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From left to right: Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths, Eyebrow Kit in Medium, High Definition Powder, Makeup Mist & Set, Mineral Infused Face Primer, Blush Palette in Light, Studio Kabuki Face Brush, Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder, Lip Exfoliator, Studio Moisturizing Lipstick in Ravishing Rose, Mineral Lipstick in Nicely Nude.

I haven’t had the chance to test drive these products around town, but my first impression is positive.  I admit that I’m pretty impressed by most of these products, given the low low low price (Next thing you know/Shawty got low low low low, low low low low/I ain’t never seen nuthin’ that’ll make me go/This crazy all night spendin my dough).  My favourites so far:

  • Studio Kabuki Face Brush ($6) – soft and full.  It’s a little smaller than some Kabukis, but that’s actually a plus for me because I like smaller tools than most.  It arrived with some stray hairs, which I snipped off.
  • Mineral Face Primer ($6) – Thank you e.l.f for using a pump! Standard clear silicone formula, feels like the original Smashbox Photo Finish on first application.  Not better than Benefit Porefessional or Laura Mercier’s Primer, but oh so good for the price.  Plus, the bottle is reusable (yes I already took it apart to investigate), which is a HUGE plus for me, as I like to depot non-pump products into pump bottles.
  • Studio Moisturizing Lipstick in Ravishing Rose ($3) – I like the color indicator on the bottom, and the formula is so smooth and actually well pigmented (which is my fear when it comes to lipsticks advertised as moisturizing – sometimes the color payoff is not so good).  The twisting mechanism of the packaging is really tight though, kind of annoying, but the lipstick itself is awesome enough that it doesn’t matter much.  Totally MLBB lippy.
  • High Definition Powder ($6) – translucent powder with a puff.  I like the packaging (I’m looking at you, Cover FX setting powder that arrived with a broken lid) and I’m hoping it’ll turn out to be a dupe for Make Up Forever’s HD Microfinish Powder.

Overall I’m really happy with the performance of these e.l.f. products, especially considering my entire haul together was around the cost of a single Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer.

Caudalie Make-Up Remover Cleansing Water

THE STATS: $14 for 3.38 oz and $28 for 6.7 oz at Sephora USA.

caudalie cleansing water

If you follow beauty blogs regularly, you’ll know that a lot of people looooove cleansing waters, especially Bioderma’s Créaline Micellar Water.  According to Beautylish, cleansing or micellar water consists of

micelles, (a small cluster of cleansing molecules mixed in a liquid) which help dissolve the impurities in your skin (similar to how detergent breaks down oil) so you can rinse or wipe them away.

The same article also specifically recommends this Caudalie Cleansing Water for being similar to Bioderma and especially suitable for sensitive skin.

Sorry the white-on-clear text is hard to read!
Sorry the white-on-clear text is hard to read!

Caudalie’s formula includes two different ingredients sourced from grapes, their signature ingredient, which is listed as grape “water” and grape “juice.”

Like all cleansing waters, you apply this by using a saturated cotton pad, and it doesn’t require further rinsing.  From my experience, it is safe for use on eyelids and lips.

I made 2 sets of test swatches.  For both the lipstick and the pencil eyeliner, the top swatch was left untouched, the second swatch was cleansed with Caudalie, and the bottom swatch was cleansed with Origins toner.
I made 2 sets of test swatches. For both the lipstick and the pencil eyeliner, the top swatch was left untouched, the second swatch was cleansed with Caudalie, and the bottom swatch was cleansed with Origins Make A Difference toner.

From the swatch test, you can tell that it removes product somewhat effectively.  It is more powerful than a toner, but clearly doesn’t remove as cleanly as make up remover.  It doesn’t leave a film or otherwise change the feel of your skin, and is very refreshing.

But to be honest, I really don’t enjoy using this cleansing water.  The smell is off-putting, and although I can usually suck it up if the product shows good results, since you do not rinse off the cleansing water, the smell lingers for quite a while.

THE VERDICT: While I can’t deny the relatively effective cleansing, the smell stinks, literally.