Sponsored Post: Back to School with Eyes. Lips. Face.

I use to love this time of year. Call me a nerd but I LOVED shopping for school supplies, I would start bugging my mother to take me shopping the minute August 1st rolled around because I wanted everything in order well before the first day of school. When I was a teenager, I started adding makeup into the equation. Back then I was working part time in drugstore making $5 an hour. If eyes.lips.face. had been around then (maybe it was and I didn’t know?) I would have been in heaven with all the budget makeup products!

eyes.lips.face. has been a great source of “dupes” for many high end brands and now they are tackling mineral makeup with something I haven’t seen in other mineral makeup brands. They offer 3 shades – light, medium and dark – but each shade has 4 different variations in the jar that you can use to create your perfect match. The variations in each shade include:

  • Light: Porcelain, Fair, Light, Beige
  • Medium: Medium Beige, Golden Honey, Tan, Bronze
  • Dark: Almond, Toffee, Dark, Deep

I’ve always shied away from using mineral makeup on a regular basis because I couldn’t get a good match and didn’t want to invest in multiple jars to create that ideal shade. I love that e.l.f. has thought of this and am giving this a try.

This is a great time to stock up on everything before the first day of school comes around, it will be here before you know it! Right now you can get 50% off on orders over $25 by using coupon code STUDIO during check out, theoffer ends 8/29.

What is your favorite eyes.lips.face. product? Let me know in the comments.

Splurge vs. Save: NARS Orgasm Blush vs ELF Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder

I know there are some out there that are so over the whole NARS Orgasm trend, however, I am not one of them! As a fair skinned woman (and sometimes girl), I seriously can’t get enough of that perfect pinky gold. It is just a wonderfully flattering shade on me, it is my go-to blush.

Cut to ELF, my new discovery, and their Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder with a similar shade to Orgasm as well as a great bronzer too practically identical to the NARS Orgasm/Laguna duo. Is it exactly the same? No. BUT, it is pretty close. The ELF blush is not as pigmented as the NARS color, but by using just a little bit more of a heavy hand when applying and building the color, you can get an almost identical look to the NARS product. The bronzer, a semi-shimmery very wearable shade is good for contouring since it is not too shimmery but, I usually prefer a totally matte bronzer for contouring. It is similar to NARS Laguna, but a bit darker. I have read that this is too “powdery” of a blush, but I always tap the brush in and do not swipe across, and I have had no problems at all with it.

For me, this is one of those steal deals, like, can it really only cost 3 bucks? Totally worth it in my opinion, also, the bronzer in here makes a great natural eyeshadow contour for your crease as well. I found my Duo at Target, which usually sells select ELF products, as well as Kmart, if there is one of those still open around you. The full product line is also available online.

Have any of you beauty mavens out there used this? What are your thoughts on it? The ELF line?

e.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Eyeshadow Palette

I’ve always thought of e.l.f. as starter makeup, this is bad… I know. I am definitely guilty of being a makeup snob but I’m trying really hard not to be. Over the last few years though, we have come across some products e.l.f. that are dupes for high end brands like NARS and Make Up For Ever. This has gone a long way to convince me to take another look at what e.l.f. has to offer.

The current e.l.f. object of my attention is their Studio Endless Eyes Pro Eyeshadow Palette, one of their many makeup sets and palettes. This palette was recently featured in Oprah’s O Magazine December 2010 issue on her “O List”. Undoubtedly, any time Oprah puts anything on her “list”, we all pay attention and I am no different. I’ve been stalking the Target stores in my area looking for this palette but have had no luck. With 100 shades at just $10, this palette is a great candidate for our Thursday Ten or Less series, don’t you think? At the very least it would be a great palette to play around with and experiment with this year’s makeup trends with.

Have you swooped up this palette? I’m curious to hear what you think about it. Eyeshadow is the only product type I have not tried from e.l.f.  What is the pigmentation like in the eyeshadows? Are they soft and do they blend well? Are there different formulas? Or should I just shut up, give in and order it online even though I hate online shopping? 😉

NOTE: This is a sponsored post but nonetheless genuine.

Splurge vs. Steal: e.l.f.High Definition Powder vs. MUFE HD Microfinish Powder

Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Powder seemed like such a big deal when it was released a few years ago. I recall getting a “lab sample” from Sephora online and being really impressed.  At the time, it was innovative and there’s no doubt it works. But for such a simple concept — mineral silica powder — I definitely balked a bit when I bought the full-size! Sure, I splurge all the time but this just seemed so simple for $30.

Other brands have since developed similar products, but trust me when I say that e.l.f.’s High Definition Powder is your best bet. At $6, it is a worthy steal and a great addition to your makeup bag. It works in the same way and it gives your skin a fresh, soft focus in photos. I really like the product and I love the price. This is a good one ladies!

Disclosure: We received a sample of e.l.f. High Definition Powder

Ten or Less Thursday: E.L.F. Studio Powder Brush

Of my vast collection of brushes, one of my favorites is easily E.L.F.’s Studio Powder Brush. It even surpasses some of my beloved MAC and Bobbi Brown face brushes. The bristles are soft and gentle but so incredibly dense that it is the ultimate powder brush. It never sheds and holds it form perfectly.  It’s like a kabuki but with a flat top. My favorite use for this brush is to apply MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. It helps make it “one” with my skin. It’s also good at blending out other face powders. And the icing on the cake? It costs $3. It’s cheaper than Carla’s daily latte fix! You can find the E.L.F’s Studio Brushes at Target or online.

Eyes, Lips and Face

Every now and then, a great web deal/coupon code comes along that has to be taken advantage of. One in particular came through for a makeup line that entailed getting every product for $.50. This included Brushes/Powder/You name it. The product line is called e.l.f. which stands for Eyes, Lip and Face. Almost everything on this site is $1.00 apiece! They are able to do this by having low overhead, minimal to no advertising (hence the reason I never knew about it) and minimal packaging. Insane I know. I proceeded to order and was pleasantly surprised. I must have ordered about 20 products – from lip gloss, to a slew of brushes to even faux eye lashes.

e.l.f. Night Out Look

They also have these really great-looking subscriber emails that show-case very professional and great makeup looks that I am tempted to buy and re-create. One I recently purchased, was for the “Night-Out” look. I received a face bronzer, lip gloss and eye shadow trio, for yes, $3.00. (Shipping costs more than the product(s) themselves!). For this smoky-eye look, the site tells you what products were used and how to use them. Its that simple. And for $1.00, you really can’t go wrong. The products I received for the look were all user-friendly, went on smoothly and enabled me to have fun without feeling bad.

Its really a great looking, easy to navigate site that has all the basics you need and then some. Obviously you don’t have high hopes for products that cost only $1.00, but I would recommend these for any incidentals you need, any new colors that you want to try and extra travel brushes that you would want to stock up on. After reading up a bit on the products, there is no animal testing and only natural ingredients are used as well.

So, basically, we can all experiment now with makeup without going broke.