Saturday, April 12, 2014

Current e.l.f. Favorites, Small Drugstore Haul, and Happy Caturday Poll!!

  Happy Caturday, everyone!!  I've really been interested in e.l.f. products lately, not the makeup, though I love the matte lip colors, but the tools.  First off, I think it's great that there are now so many good quality drugstore bland makeup brushes available.  I admit that for a long time I did not wear certain makeup until I could afford a brush to properly apply it.  Something about applying eyeshadows, blushes, and powders with the spongey material they're so often packaged with really turned me off and I slowly built up a (very) small arsenal of brushes.  We all know that brushes allow for a much more natural look and I've always felt like we owe our faces the courtesy of treating them with a little more luxury than a two inch sponge tip applicator or foam square can provide.
  The good news is that we don't have to break the bank for high end brushes costing upwards of $20 a piece or settle for a rough synthetic bristled experience.  Technology has improved and this is one of those cases of HOW did drugstore makeup companies not figure this out earlier?  I wonder if it came with the advent of high-def and the realization that with all this new visual technology maximizing every pore and follicle, higher quality products to help all of us look our best became necessity.  Whatever it is, there are some fabulous synthetic brushes available at amazing prices now, and e.l.f. is amongst the most affordable and amongst the best, of what I've tried.  Most their Studio (black label) line retails for $3 per piece, and I have a new favorite blush brush.

e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush and Daily Brush Cleaner review

  The Small Stipple Brush is a duofiber thing made with shorter, plush black bristles and then longer, thinned out white bristles.  So, rather than a one length or tapered brush that gives a lot of blush payoff and almost always requires additional blending, the Small Stipple brush delivers a light dusting of color in a perfectly contoured line.  The idea is that you do as the brush states, and stipple the color along your cheekbones, rather than brush and blend a stripe.  The white bristles allow for less color to be deposited and then the thick black bristles blend the minimized color without depositing more, if that makes any sense.  Blush should be applied with a light hand and this brush makes that concept SO easy to pull off.

  One thing I'm really, REALLY bad about is cleaning my brushes on a regular basis so when I saw this e.l.f Daily Brush Cleaner, I was all over it.  It's not meant to replace the necessary duty of a full brush cleaning.  It is a spray that removes the majority of the color from the brush you just used (wipe the brush onto a clean cloth to remove the color) and disinfects as it air dries, which is within hours, regardless of the size of the brush you're using (though I've only used this on synthetic brushes).  You can see in my photo that my stipple brush has a sight tint of the last blush I used.  This is after using the cleaner, but it really is minimal and not enough to alter the color when I decide on a different shade, and certainly not as much as if I'd have used nothing at all.  This cleaner has a soft, clean floral scent, making it pleasant to use.  The scent lingers after the product has dried, but it's just kind of mild, fresh, and pretty and will go away with a full routine cleaning.  I really like this stuff and again, it's $3 where e.l.f. products are sold (so far, Target is the only place I've seen).

  I feel like I've gone a little crazy drugstore makeup-wise lately, and I don't really "haul", regardless, but this week, I kind of did, lol.  I can attribute every makeup purchase within the last two weeks to either a blogger friend or the youtube guru type I recently started watching.

drugstore cosmetics haul

     Earlier in the week I reviewed my first Milani lipstick and told you how I've fallen in love with the formula and price point (full post HERE) and that I'd likely be getting more in the not too distant future.  My friend Candice (Mommy Does Her Nails)  has been hot on the trail of a vampy wine lippy and I caught that decidedly unspring-like fever and purchased the new for 2014 shade, Cabaret Blend.  I'm excited to break some makeup rules with this one.

  Garnier 5 Sec Blur-- I think I first read about this on Elle Sees as something she was excited to try. You know I've been on the lookout for a good, affordable primer to supplement the Too Faced Primed & Poreless I go through at warp speed and after using up the 5 Sec Blur sample in my new Allure mag, I went on ahead and bought the full sized.  I like this stuff and I'm really excited to do a full review on it.

  I'm HIGHLY wary of any undereye product but Maybelline Dream Lumi Highlighting Concealer looks worth a shot, especially since it's a two-in-one thing and my circles want more than just concealing.  I learned about this through youtuber JAMbeauty89, whose makeup always looks impeccable (though she doesn't seem to have the undereye issues I do, she's a good sell.  Like, REALLY good).  Here's hoping I picked my correct shade!

  Maybelline Expert Wear Mocha Motion eyeshadow quad-- another JAMbeauty89 sell.  She expressed the exact same misgivings I have about the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette and how this quad fills in some of the blanks.  It actually reminds me of a more matte and cool toned WetnWild Walking On Eggshells (which I really like).  I'm SUPER excited to play with this because I foresee it becoming a favorite.

  Question time!!  Feel free to answer as many or as few as you'd like.

  Do you watch youtube beauty gurus?  If so, who's your favorite?  I just recently started getting into that but I only "regularly" watch one, the aforementioned JAMbeauty89.  I think I found her googling Wantable's February accessories box?  I don't remember.  Anyway, she's really personable, knowledgeable, cute, confident, and succinct.  I've watched 10 minute videos that feel like an utter drag but her 20 minute videos are entertaining from start to finish.  Dangerous for my wallet, though.

  Seasonal style and beauty rules-- keep or break them?  I like to think of them more as guidelines.  They can get tiresome if you're a slave to them and I'm not going to be one who hops on the "orange lipstick for spring" type trends any time soon, but I appreciate that certain colors and finishes just fit with certain seasons.  I am looking forward to playing with my new vampy lipstick with a smudged, darkly lined eye for late spring, though.  Do what you feel :)

  What's your lipstick of the day?  Nothing, yet!  I'm in my trusty Alba coconut creme lip balm.  

  Speaking of trends, do you have a favorite one this spring?  I seriously have no idea what the trends are.  Well, I'm pretty sure that orange lipstick thing is true, but maybe that was last year.

  Favorite Easter candy?  It's a tie between Whoppers Robin's Eggs and Cadbury Mini Eggs.  And usually, I have a massive weakness for candy this time if year bit so far, I haven't bought a thing!  One more week and I'm scott free.

  Thank you for reading and have a marvelous weekend!! ♥


  1. Nice elf favorites! I really like that stipple brush too :) Nice little beauty haul as well.

    1. Isn't that stipple brush great?! Easily my favorite brush overall right now, too :)

  2. I love your Caturday posts with all your lovely makeup and "mini haul" arrangements!!! You've actually inspired me to try doing something of that ilk with the drugstore items I've purchased lately. :) E.l.f. is showing up everywhere and I am very excited! It's now in our K-Mart (where I scooped up two items I might show in a my post) and then last night: BOOM there is a big four-sided display in my Wal-Mart!! :D I think it has all their brushes...I looked at them for a little while. Can I just say I cannot wait to see that Cabaret Blend lipstick on you?! I've been wanting a vampy plum as well... that might be it! I hope the primer is better than the Maybelline you tried. Same with the undereye concealer... that stuff is so hard to get right. I have such dark, sunken circles when I get less than 8 hrs of sleep. Which is basically every single night! LOLOL
    Now to answer the questions:
    No, I don't... I've watched a few random reviews of things here & there but I don't subscribe to any channels. That's why you need to start vlogging about your beauty products!!! :D I'd subscribe to you in a NY minute!
    I don't even know what those rules are, so UH NO! lol
    I don't think I own a legitimate lipstick... oh wait, unless Revlon's Candy Apple lip butter counts.
    Same with rules; I have no clue! My rule is, if I like it, I'll get it and wear it! hahaha
    Easter candy? ALL OF IT. J/K! I'd have to say the Lindt bunnies. :)

    1. Does this mean you're thinking of branching out into beauty, too?? :D It's seriously so fun. I was a makeup gal before I was a nails gal so I kind of did it backwards but even so, I was verrrry minimalist (like, powder, mascara, lipstick) until C came along and created a relative monster, lol. So Cabaret Blend is more of a burgundy than a plum. It's more or less the lipstick equivalent of BL La Moss (are ya still saddled with that, btw?) and I seriously LOVE IT!!!
      Yeah... vlogging. That is a whole new can o' worms and it would involve completely redoing the computer room, which is not out of the question. It's a big step and I waffle. But I so appreciate your vote of confidence and doing a video here and there could be a LOT of fun. :) Candy Apple does count but not if you don't use it ;D Oh my gosh, Lindt. ♥♥♥

  3. Perfectly timed post! I have no blush and have been waffling over elf brushes so mega win in the review. I'll be headed out to score that brush. Also I'm more curious about that milani...who needs trends - we'll do our own thing! Also I miss you!!!!

    1. Blush was probably the last thing I really got into (of lips, eyes, cheeks) because I feel like it's so hard to get right. This brush makes it super easy and I think you'll love it :) I miss you, too! I still have fume for you. We'll chat very soon :)

  4. What a great haul - you won't be surprised to read that all of it is unavailable here ;-P! Elf hasn't even crossed our country boarders and the racks of Maybelline are just slightly bigger than those of Revlon. I love the eyeshadow palette!! Your questions:
    1. I don't watch YouTube
    2. I love those rules for inspiration but to be honest, I haben't gotten the faintest idea of them and where I live no one is following them or if anything only marginally familiar with them. I follow year round just one rule: if I like it I wear it
    3. I am wearing a Nyx lipstick and have no idea about its name - by now the labels at the bottom are way too small for me tonrrad without reading glasses
    4. I haven't the faintest idea of trends either and while orange lipstick seems to hit your shelves we here a are overwhelmed by coral
    5. of course chocolate bunnies from confiseries ;-)

    1. It continues to strike me how these supposed "international" brands fail to make a decent showing in your neck o' the woods. I bet we've got some of the same manufacturers, though different brands. I'm still slightly green over your Max Factor ;)

  5. That concealer seems pretty intriguing!

    1. I've used it twice now and it's certainly something more in the intermediate makeup application zone, if you know what I mean. It does brighten my circles, for sure, but I don't like the feeling that I've got SO much makeup on, lol.

  6. I love your Saturday posts and your drugstore bonanza shots. <3 You'll love that stipple brush...I use a Real Techniques stipple brush for my blush (you can imagine at how light mine needs to be), and the end result rather looks like a painting. :) And keep me posted about the under eye aid. I have dark circles AND puffs, so I doubt there is anything out there that would ever help least, I've never found anything. :/ And for the questions:

    1. No. But I would watch YOU! :P
    2. I believe in no white after Labor Day and dressing age-appropriately...not old lady, but not leopard leggings and stilettos at 50 like my boss' wife.
    3. Revlon Va Va Violet mixed with a touch of Benefit Fame Game.
    4. My favorite spring trend is making sure I take my Allegra. :D
    5. Cadbury Mini Eggs. Dang. Now I want some.

    1. So I actually have an idea to change the computer room into a vlogging room, which would also motivate me to clean some stuff up in here... Then the only issue would be getting used to the whole vlogging thing, lol. Those videos look like they take an insane amount of time. I'm really liking the Dream LUMI thing so far but I am looking to get a brush that blends the stuff in a little better. Here's my issue-- I do want those circles diminished but I don't like the idea of another step and all to make me look "better" or whatever... this has been my back and forth with makeup from the get-go, lol. I will certainly keep you posted :D


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