ELF Glitter Primer Review


The e.l.f. Glitter Primer is, as the name suggests, an eye primer meant especially for glittery shadows. If you’ve ever worn glittery eye shadows and noticed little bits of sparkle flaking off and ending up all over your face throughout the day, you understand why the need for such a product exists! I mean hey sometimes glitter all over your face is the look you’re going for, and if that’s the case rock on with your bad self. But for the rest of us, there’s e.l.f. Glitter Primer.

Unlike other eyeshadow primers that leave your eyelids basically just feeling like a smoother version of themselves, e.l.f. Glitter Primer leaves the lids feeling slightly tacky or sticky. It feels a little weird, but the stickiness is what keeps the particles of glitter in place. I use an amount roughly the size of a lentil on each eyelid. It feels smooth going on and doesn’t cause irritation at all. It really cuts down on fallout! I have used this primer successfully with ColourPop’s glittery SuperShock shadows, as well as some of Urban Decay’s sparklier shades with much success. I also really like using this primer with baked shadows! Baked shadows tend to be shimmery and kind of all over the place since essentially you’re scraping powder off the surface to apply it to your eye. Having a stickier base helps keep the powder in place and look more vibrant when it is applied in a packing or patting motion.

Each tube of Glitter Primer is 10.5 ml, or about the size of an average lipgloss tube. The price is a pretty unbeatable $2. I haven’t seen this primer in store displays at Target, so to my knowledge you can only get it from e.l.f.’s website. I definitely recommend giving this a try!

VIDEO: ELF Lipsticks First Impressions

How exciting! My first “real” youtube video, with my face and everything. I know my “camera presence” needs a lot of work, haha. But we all start somewhere and I’m working on getting more comfortable in front of the camera. Behind the camera is a lot more my style but I’m trying to be less shy.

Products Mentioned…

ELF Lipsticks ($1 ea.) in Classy, Seductive, and Gypsy – all available from www.eyeslipsface.com!

If you have any questions about these lipsticks please leave a comment! :)

Top Nude Lipstick Picks

Wearing MAC Blankety a few years ago when it was still new to me.
Fact: I love nude lipstick. My very first one was MAC Blankety and I have been hooked ever since. Since then I have collected quite a few. Here are my top picks for nude lipsticks! You’ll notice a lot of MAC, but those aren’t the only ones I love! MAC is just what I have a lot of. If you know of any dupes for these from other brands, feel free to post them in the comments!
  • MAC Blankety (Amplified Creme) (available at MAC)
  • MAC Modesty (Cremesheen)
  • MAC Patisserie (Lustre)
  • MAC Creme d’Nude (Cremesheen)
  • MAC Creme in Your Coffee (Cremesheen)
  • MAC Myth (Satin)
  • LORAC Breakthrough Performance Lipstick SPF 15 in Nude Scene (available at Sephora)
  • ELF Mineral Lipstick in Natural Nymph (available at ELF)
  • Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Cream Lipstick in Fable (available at Apothica)
  • Laura Mercier Stick Gloss in Brown Sugar (available at Sephora)
  • Polaris Cosmetics Lipstick in Tad (available at Polaris Cosmetics)
  • NYX Round Lipstick in Circe (available at Nonpareil Boutique)
  • NYX Round Lipstick in Rea
  • Jouer Cosmetics Lipstick in Meredith (available at Jouer Cosmetics)
Wearing MAC Modesty Cremesheen for a business meeting.
If you’re looking for drugstore colors, I was recommended both Revlon ColorBurst in Soft Nude (for a peachier nude) or L’Oreal Color Riche in Fairest Nude (more pinky beige nude). My favorite drugstore nude used to be a CoverGirl TruShine, but those jerks discontinued the line! I haven’t had a chance to try the new CG Nature Luxe lipsticks, but I do hear lots of good things about them.
How about you? What are your favorite nude lipsticks? Or if nude isn’t your cup of tea, what do you like to wear?
Jouer Cosmetics lipstick in Meredith

My Face Brushes – An Overview

Above you can see all of my face brushes (with the exception of my kabuki, which I only just now realized isn’t in the photo…erg.). They are DIRTY. I washed them after taking this picture, which you can click to view full sized to see the horror. But since I’m nosy and I like to know what other people use, here’s what I use. These are brushes that I use pretty much all the time. Maybe not all in one day, but you know. Often. :)
I’ll start from the left and work my way over.
Sigma F30 Large Powder – This brush is okay. I was in love when I first got it and reviewed it. I still think it’s great for its purpose, and quite soft, but it sheds a couple of hairs every time I use it and that’s annoying. I still use it and put up with it though, because it’s the biggest floofiest (technical terminology there!) brush I own. I use it for stuff like finishing powder, and bronzer. 
Crown Brush S205 Pointed Blush – This brush was pointed out to me (no pun intended lol) by my good friend Sam, who said I needed it because it provides the greatest blush application ever. Well! With high praise like that, how could I tell her no? So I picked it up when she and I visited The Makeup Show LA last year. And she’s pretty correct. It’s a great brush. It’s perfect for applying blush directly to the apples of your cheeks. It’s quite dense though so I only use it with my sheerer blushes (otherwise I apply way too much). I got this right around the time I acquired MAC Ripe Peach blush ombre, and it’s great for applying that. 
Walmart HD Foundation Brush – Walmart has these generic brush sets that are just called HD brushes. I have no clue who makes them and for whatever reason they are not on the Walmart website. Anyway, I was able to swap for a set of them that included this little foundation brush. I don’t use traditional foundation brushes very often but when I do, I grab for this one. I kinda like that these brushes are black with silvertone ferrules like MAC brushes because they blend in with my MAC stash quite well. I’m weird like that.
ELF Studio Powder Brush – How many times have I raved about this brush here? If you don’t own one yet stop what you’re doing, open another tab in your browser, and get thee to the ELF website! For $3, this brush is amazing. For $10, it’d still be amazing. It’s so soft, so dense, and just perfect for buffing on powders. I’ve also used it with liquid foundation and it’s so flawless! You know it’s gotta be good if I’ve been raving about it for, oh, over a year.
Crown Brush C428 Duo Fiber Crease – Yes crease, as in eye brush. This brush is way too big for me to use on my eyes, but it makes a fine highlighter brush for applying highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones, brow bones, and even the cupid’s bow or down the bridge of my nose. 
Crown Brush C427 Duo Fiber Blush – I thought this brush would be more similar to the MAC 131, but they are different brushes. The 131 is a lot more tapered. This one kinda splays out (although it is still a rounded top brush). It’s still pretty nice for a softly diffused application of blush, especially super pigmented ones like from Illamasqua. 
Sigma SS138 (now F25 Tapered Face) – This is a dupe of the discontinued/LE (can’t remember which) MAC 138. It’s huge, it’s soft, it’s tapered. I have no idea why I got it, lol. I just said hey– I don’t have that shape in my stash! I need it! I use it for applying my Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish powder. I may actually eventually just switch to using only this brush and ditch my Sigma F30 because of its unfortunate shedding problem. This brush can do all the same things and it doesn’t shed. 
Walmart HD Angled Cheek – Here’s another star from that Walmart brush set– the angled cheek brush. This is my brush of choice for contouring. Ignore the fact that it’s pink right now; I used it for blush when I was doing my makeup after the gym because I’d forgotten to bring a blush brush. Oops! This brush is very dense and fluffy, making it ideal for contouring the cheeks, forehead, and jawline, because it lays color down and then blends it out really well.
Sigma SS165 (now F35 Tapered Highlighter) – Another brush I bought because it was a dupe of a discontinued MAC brush. This brush is great for highlighting, or sometimes I use it for bronzer, or finishing powders. I don’t reach for it that often, but it’s a useful little brush when I need it. If you apply powder under your eyes to set concealer, this brush is great for that. 
Sigma F50 Duo Fiber – This brush is meant to dupe the beloved MAC 187. It’s less dense than the MAC brush so if you are looking for a brush to stipple foundation with, you might want to go for the MAC even though it costs significantly more (sorry!). I only use this for blush though because 9 times outta 10 I use my fingers or a sponge to apply foundation, and for that it’s decent. It’s a little large for my cheeks so I have to be careful not to get blush all over my face. I tend to use it more with those really natural, almost all-over face colors just to compensate for that. It has never shed on me, which is a huge plus. If you want me to try it out with liquid foundation just for giggles, let me know and I’d gladly do that and report back. 
Flirt Powder Brush – Oh Flirt powder brush. This is actually my second one of this brush. The first one fell apart and I swapped for another one. It was my first duo fiber brush and really opened up a door (or is it a pandora’s box?) into the wide world of blush for me. It’s way too “floppy” to use for foundation, but for blushes or loose powder this brush is fine, and has a lot of sentimental value for me. I won’t get rid of it unless this one also falls apart!
(not pictured) Sigma F45 Buffer – Once I discovered flat top brushes I all but abandoned my kabukis as far as foundation application goes. However, this little guy is really great for blending. It sheds a tiny bit every once and a while, but it’s tolerable. It’s not the softest brush I’ve ever felt but it’s not scratchy either. It’s like my little Shetland pony in a stable of workhorse brushes. 
Brushes mentioned in this post can be found at:
Walmart (in-store only, apparently!)
Crown Brush (or these are also available from Coastal Scents – same exact brushes)
Kohls (Flirt)
Worth noting about my brush stash is the fact that I do not use any of these brushes for a specific reason except that it’s a great brush for what I use it for. If the Sigma dupes of MAC brushes were crap I’d tell you. Crown Brushes are incredibly inexpensive, but they’re very high quality. Same with the Walmart brushes! And you know the Flirt brush is more because of sentimentality than anything else. I didn’t particularly set out to have only budget brushes, but these brushes work well for my purposes so I haven’t (yet) felt the need to “upgrade” any of them (with the possible exception of the powder brush). 
I hope this post was informative and if you liked it let me know. I plan on doing another one for my eye brushes soon if you guys liked my overview of my face brushes. 
Also, tell me about what brushes are your favorites! I always get great recommendations from you.

ELF Glitter Brush Review + Giveaway

I’m such a huge fan of ELF studio brushes, and I absolutely squealed with delight when I saw the new limited edition glitter handle set for holiday! If you click the photo below to view it full size, you’ll see a better view of the glitter handles.
The holiday set is the same as their regular 11-piece collection, but with cute glitter handles. The brushes included are:
Blush Brush – This has a great tapered shape, perfect for applying blush to the apples of the cheeks.
Powder Brush – I have sung the praises of this brush before. This is a dense, flat-topped brush that is perfect for full coverage foundation applications. I use it to apply MAC studio fix powder or mineralized skin finish natural. You could also use this for liquid foundation, or for blending blush or bronzer, there are lots of uses for this awesome brush.
Eyeshadow “C” Brush – This one gets a lot of raves but I hadn’t tried it until now. It’s a thick, short brush, great for blending. ELF says this brush can create a perfect smoky eye.
Small Smudge Brush – This tiny detail brush is perfect for placing color in the inner tear duct area or under the eye. You could also use it as an eyeliner brush.
Fan Brush – I usually hate fan brushes and don’t know what the heck to use them for, but this is actually a really nice fan brush. Many times they’re too floppy to really do anything with except brush aside eyeshadow fallout, but this one is firm enough to apply blush or highlighter with.
Angled Foundation Brush – This brush is an awesome take on traditional flat paddle-shaped foundation brushes. The angled shape allows for precision around areas like under the eyes or around the nose. Could also be used for applying facial masques or creme products.
Contour Brush – I love this domed, dense eye brush for blending crease colors, or adding depth to a look on the outer v. 
Complexion Brush – This is a traditional fluffy paddle-shaped powder brush. I use this brush for applying setting powders, or the ELF complexion perfection powder. 
Small Precision Brush – A tiny detail brush, with a more pointed end than the small smudge brush. This brush would actually function really well as a lip brush, too
Small Angled Brush – Not a whole lot of explanation here. Just a typical angled brush, good for liner, or actually as I prefer it, for brows.
Concealer Brush (not pictured) – Also a pretty typical concealer brush, though its shape would also lend itself well to applying cream eye shadows. 
The whole thing comes in a nylon, water-resistant case. Because some of the brushes are small, there is room to tuck extra brushes into the case if you needed to, but the brushes included here are pretty comprehensive. I could perhaps have done without the small precision or smudge brush and used a fluffy blending brush for eyes, but seeing as how almost all other kits come with them, I already have several. :) As to the glitter handles, the glitter is within the plastic itself, not glued onto the handles. In other words, it won’t flake off or anything. If you have any of the MAC Hello Kitty collection with glitter packaging, it’s like that. The ELF studio glitter brush set would make a great gift for both makeup beginners or junkies– anyone who loves glitter!
Thanks to all who participated in the brush set giveaway! The winner of the brush set has been contacted. Additionally, 2 more winners were selected to receive BONUS prizes! Thanks for making my giveaway such a success. :)
Samples provided for review consideration and giveaway prize.

ELF Zit Zapper Review

When ELF released their Zit Zapper product I was curious, but quite skeptical. An acne spot treatment for a dollar? Right. Sure. But last time I did an order I figured oh what the hell, lets try it out. 
Honestly? I’m pleasantly surprised. I had very low expectations, but I actually really like this. So yes, an acne spot treatment. For a dollar. 

The reason I decided to finally give this a go is the ingredients. Most drugstore acne spot treatments have an active ingredient of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and not much else going on. Not to say those aren’t good products, it’s just that so many of them are so gosh-darned alike. When I compare some of the most popular acne spot treatments, they mostly tell the same story. The benzoyl peroxide creams such as ZapZyt, C&C Persa-gel, and Neutrogena On The Spot are all pretty much whatever % benzoyl peroxide, and agents to deliver that medication in a creamy formula. 

ZapZyt Inactive Ingredients: Laureth 4, Carbomer 940, EDTA (Ethylenediamine-Tetra-Acetic Acid), Diisopropanolamine, Water USP (Purified)

Persa-gel 10 Inactive Ingredients: Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Laureth 4, Sodium Hydroxide, Water

For whatever reason, the BP treatments usually don’t contain a whole lot of extras like fragrance or skin-soothing ingredients. Salicylic Acid treatments often do. In fact, one of my favorites is Neutrogena’s 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment, which contains (along with a TON of fragrance) cucumber extract and whatnot to supposedly make it hydrating. Honestly, to me it’s just 3-in-1 Not Incredibly Drying Acne Treatment but whatever, I like it ok?

ANYWAY. So what I’m getting at is ELF’s Zit Zapper offers us something NEW. And new things are shiny. And refreshing! Zit Zapper’s formula is a blend of good for your skin ingredients — witch hazel, tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and camphor. Camphor is an ingredient I don’t encounter a whole lot in skin care products, but it’s amazingly effective at healing breakouts when combined with other acne fighters. Usually it’s found in higher end skincare. Treatments I’ve tried with camphor include Renee Rouleau’s Night Time Spot Lotion and Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. I have seen a Drying Lotion by Bye Bye Blemish, but I haven’t tried it. It’s around $10.

Camphor is a naturally soothing/cooling substance with antimicrobial properties. You see, salicylic acid by itself does nothing to actually kill the bacteria that causes acne. It is an exfoliating agent that keeps your pores unblocked so it encourages cell turnover and healing that way, but it doesn’t have antibacterial properties. So when I saw that ELF’s Zit Zapper combines the exfoliating properties of salicylic acid with the antimicrobial properties of camphor, witch hazel, and tea tree oil, I got excited. I’ve never seen a spot treatment to combine all of those ingredients, and I’ve certainly never seen an effective spot treatment for a buck.

The resulting product is not only effective, it doesn’t burn or dry out my skin. I apply it at night, and any breakouts are looking remarkably better in the morning, and gone in a couple days. It being delivered as a liquid with a rollerball is not the most sanitary packaging, but if you are concerned you can always apply the liquid to a q-tip and dab it on to spots where you need it.

Bottom line… if you have acne, try this. Seriously. I absolutely believe that skin care is something that you should spend money on if you need to because it’s worth it, but with products like this you don’t even have to.

Makeup Remover Round-Up

Yee haw!

Okay cheesiness ends now. Promise. :) Rather than do a ton of short reviews about makeup removers, I thought I’d just do a big huge post with my thoughts on various removers I’ve tried, from cheapo to expensive! This post is for the makeup removers that are supposed to be just swipe and go, so I am omitting anything that needs to be rinsed off or followed with an additional cleanser.

Budget Makeup Removers

Avon Moisture Effective Eye Makeup Remover – $4/2 oz. @ Avon
This one comes in a lotion formula. I don’t find it to be terribly effective on difficult to remove makeup, but it feels nice on the skin and for simple makeup removing it works a treat. It’s also great for quick mistake fixing, so I keep it in my freelancing kit.

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover – $5.79/3.8 oz @ Drugstore.com
This is a bi-phase makeup remover. In other words, you need to shake it to mix the ingredients together before using it. I went through probably 3 bottles of this stuff before curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to try other things. It does work really well. For hard to remove eyeliner and mascara etc. you might have to “soak” the area by holding a cotton pad up to the makeup for a minute or so before wiping. I believe Target and/or CVS sell a knock-off of this that is just as good. Maybe Walmart too, I don’t know. What I do know is this is a solid choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive makeup remover. The reason I stopped using it is partly curiosity, and also because when I started tightlining my eyes I noticed that my eyes got irritated when I used this to remove makeup from that area. Sometimes it leaves a bit of a residue, other times not. I think maybe it depends on the makeup you’re removing.

ELF Eye Makeup Remover Pads – $1/18 pads @ ELF
I’m going to say this as nicely as possible: do. not. want. Don’t get me wrong, I love ELF. But not this product. It doesn’t remove very well and it made my eyes water and sting. They also leave a bit of a residue that you have to rinse off, which to me kind of defeats the purpose of having makeup remover in a little pad like this. The pads themselves are very thin, and also dry up quickly. Do yourself a favor and skip these please!

Almay Hypo-Allergenic Eye Makeup Remover Pads (Non Oily Version) – $4.99/80 pads @ Drugstore.com
As Randy Jackson says on American Idol, “it was just okay for me, dog”. I guess I just wasn’t feelin it. These were okay. Not terribly wonderful, not horrible either. Each individual pad isn’t that wet with remover, which made them lack effectiveness. This formula is supposed to be extremely gentle, and it was pretty gentle. I didn’t find them that great at removing all of my mascara. It was after trying these that I wondered if maybe I just don’t like makeup remover pads. Hmm.

Almay Eye Makeup Remover (Oil Free) – $6.29/4 oz @ Drugstore.com
I asked my Twitter followers what makeup remover I should try, and this got a lot of votes. It had been a couple years since my lackluster experiment with the remover pad version of this eye makeup remover formula, but I was still kind of dubious. I bought it, figuring I could always return it if it sucks…? It smells awful. Fragrance-free skincare often does. Companies add fragrance to things because the ingredients naturally smell awful. My first reaction when I opened the bottle: “is it supposed to smell like watered down paint thinner?” Apparently yes, because this eye makeup remover works really well! I’m a newly converted fan. NO stinging and NO residue. If you’re looking for a good gentle makeup remover get this, not the pads.

Mid-Range Makeup Removers

NYX All Purpose Makeup Remover Gel Type – $9/3.4 oz @ NYX
This stuff is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. It smells to me like coconuts. But I don’t know why. Looking at the ingredients, there’s no reason for it to smell like coconuts. Spooky. But I don’t care, because I love it! Leaves the face feeling soft, smooth, clean, and coconutty. Removes makeup very well! I like the gel formula as opposed to a liquid because you have more control with it, so it’s easier to put it where it needs to go. I have not tried the Eye & Lip Makeup Remover, so I can’t compare them, but I’m pretty happy with this unique, effective makeup remover.

High End Makeup Removers

Napoleon Perdis Makeup Remover (Foaming) – $25 @ Napoleon Perdis
Oh. Em. Gee. When I had the extreme delight and privilege of meeting Napoleon Perdis and having him do my makeup, this was one product I tried where I wasn’t expecting it, but I was instantly hooked. It’s a bit on the expensive side for a makeup remover, so it’s a special treat for me, but holy hell I love it. You know those waterless foaming hand sanitizers? It’s like that, but for MAKEUP removal! It creates this luxurious foam that removes ALL of your makeup. No rinsing required. If you want to treat yourself to an awesome makeup remover, try this!

Special Mention Makeup Removers
These two are really difficult to find, but need to be mentioned because they are excellent. You’ll have to go online to try and find these. Google is your friend. <3

Sana Easy Peel Makeup Cleansing Water – $13.99/10.1 oz @ Webichi
When you read the ingredients of this product you’ll be like wait what? Use this on my eyes? OH HAIL NO. Except I promise you, this is as gentle as pure water. I don’t know how they do it, but this product has AHA and BHA and yet is totally fine for use on the eyes. It also has hyaluronic acid, which is so fabulous for moisturizing. This can also be used as a toner! It’s fantastic at removing makeup, even if I have no idea how it works.

Mandom Cleansing Express – $13.99 or so on various sites such as Amazon or Ebay
Similar to the Sana product above, this is a toner/makeup remover/cleanser in one that is as absolutely gentle as water. I’ve finished 2 bottles of it (which is saying something because they’re big bottles!). This is the ultimate lazy girl’s skin care product. I keep it or the Sana on my bedside table for lazy nights or nights when I’m so tired I might be tempted to sleep in my makeup. No excuses now! Mandom Cleansing Express has 3 formulas: Sebum (oily/acne-prone skin), Moist (dry skin), and Age Care (self-explanatory). I’ve used the sebum formula and the moist formula (which really will work on any skin type in a pinch…my skin was combo/oily at the time) and both work equally well to remove even the most stubborn makeup.

Whew! I hope that helps some of you who might be curious about makeup removers. If you have one that you love that you think I should try, please let me know in the comments. :)

Sample of NYX All Purpose Makeup Remover provided for review.

ELF Codes

Since I love cheap thrills (ok, I love anything beauty related…cheap is just a bonus), here are some current promos from ELF!

Buy 1 Item, Get 1 50% off
Applies to any purchase (no minimum/maximum)
Expires 10/4

Free Zit Zapper
$15 minimum purchase
Expires 10/4

1 New Mineral Brush Free
$20 minimum purchase
Expires 10/4

Free Bracelets from ShopTheLook.net
$15 minimum purchase
Expires 10/4

Free Sunglasses
$15 minimum purchase
Expires 10/4

If you aren’t sure what you want to buy to use one of these codes, they just added a ton of brand new items (and new shades of existing items), so it’s worth a look to see if something catches your eye. ;)

Happy hauling! Let me know if you get anything.

What is Going ON Here?

I got an email this morning about a new freebie e.l.f. is giving away. Nothing really new to see here; it’s one of their mini makeup kits. Now it’s red for Valentine’s day. Fancy.

But what caught my eye about this advertisement is…

(click to view full size)
I’ll give you a moment.
Give up?
WTF is going on with her EYELASHES? It’s either really bad mascara or, a better guess is really odd looking lash extensions…or maybe she even uses Latisse. I’ve heard it can cause your lashes to look all…tangled. But it definitely made me go “wtf?”. I didn’t spit out my coffee though because I haven’t had any yet. :( *whine* Ok let’s all feel sorry for poor Alyson who has had no coffee.
But really. Whoa.

Gotta Have It – ELF Hand Sanitizer

I’m not exactly a germaphobe or anything, but I absolutely MUST have hand sanitizer on hand when it comes to doing my makeup. Touching your face with dirty hands can cause breakouts. Ew.

So when mommy darling got me a couple of ELF’s new scented hand sanitizers for xmas, I was pretty stoked. I got Vanilla Coconut and Cherry Berry. Okay guys, GET you some cherry berry. It smells just like Kool-Aid Burst. SO yummy! When you initially pump it onto your hands it smells like alcohol (duh) but after you rub it in the dry-down is pure cherry kool-aid yummyness (that’s the scientific word for it; I’m an expert). The best part is my hands don’t feel sticky, or like the sahara afterward. That’s because the formula is infused with Vitamin E. Yay smooth clean hands!

The hand sanitizer is $4 for a 6.7 oz pump bottle. It’s available in a few other scents and non-scented, too. Go get some! It’s great!

Available @ ELF’s website: ELF Hand Sanitizer