Long before Makeup Revolution, Freedom or MUA, there was a purse-friendly makeup brand adored by bloggers the world over. I remember stocking up on tonnes of products to write about, simply because the price point was so low it was more than justifiable. Whereas affordable makeup was often naff and hidden away in your makeup bag amidst a pinch of embarrassment, ELF (or Eyes, Lips, Face) started the trend for budget brands that were actually cool. In a time when shopping in Primark was du jour, ELF pushed boundaries and ensured makeup was as enjoyable as possible – whilst bringing innovative formulas to the mass market that were before only seen amongst the more premium brands on the high street. (Baked eyeshadows, gel liner pots and blusher palettes with complementary tones to name but a few.) Unfortunately the brand was pulled from the UK a little while ago due to business reasons that I won’t go into here, but it’s finally back and ready to re-kindle its place as a firm favourite amongst the British public.
If you’re new to the brand then there are a few products that are a great introduction to the level of quality and performance you can expect. Although the packaging is incredibly plain and a little cheap around the edges, the products held within are more often than not fabulous for the price. Here are five of my personal picks that are worth picking up if you want to try out ELF for yourself…
1. BAKED EYESHADOWS (£4.50)
Baked shadows are the core product of Bourjois Paris and have been used for generations, thanks to their incredible pigment and super soft result. Baking them in the oven packs the pigment in to minimise fall out, intensify the result and offer up multiple colours in one dome; ELF bring this concept to makeup lovers at a much more affordable price. The colours on offer cover off the basics, while the space saving solution makes them perfect for holiday packing too.
2. EYEBROW PENCILS (£3.00)
I love a good brow pencil, but they’re often far too expensive for what they are. These creamy crayons offer a great pigment, workable texture and long-lasting result – as well as a taming brush on the end to ensure brows are preened to perfection. For £3.00 you really can’t go wrong; it’s just a tad annoying you can’t sharpen them for a more precise finish.
3. BLUSHER PALETTES (£7.50)
A mixture of tones and textures ensures your every need is catered for within a convenient palette. The pigment is strong, but wearable, while the lightweight texture is comparable to products five times the price. Buffing a little into the apple of your cheeks will lift your complexion and add a touch of youthful vitality to your look; at less than two quid each, you should be snapping these up as quick as possible!
4. MINERAL FACE PRIMER (£7.50)
Developed to combat excess oil, enlarged pores and fine lines, this clear multipurpose primer will prepare your skin for makeup while ensuring a long-lasting result. It’s practically the same as Bare Mineral’s Prime Time, plus it’s available in green, violet and a ‘radiant glow’ to combat dullness and pigmentation issues. As a primer addict I can often get sucked into the premium offerings within my collection, but this budget buy is almost indistinguishable from my other favourites.
5. TOOLS & ACCESSORIES (From £2.00)
If you know you need to stock up on new brushes, a sharpener, some tweezers or a blending sponge, but can never find the time to remember, then it’s well worth checking out ELF’s accessories. They have everything from brush cleanser and makeup wipes, to eyelash curlers, makeup cases and eyeshadow sheilds. Throwing a few more things in your basket has never been so much fun.
I’m really pleased to see a brand I had so much passion for at the start of my blogging journey, back on our shores and ready to convert a whole new generation. HOWEVER: A word of warning if you are thinking about making a purchase: although ELF is available once again in the UK, they are shipping from their central warehouse in the USA. Shipping is free over £25.00 (or £2.95 as a standard charge,) but there do seem to be instances of customers being charged taxes and import duties that aren’t made clear at the point of purchase. It may well be worth getting in contact directly or doing your research first, so you don’t get slapped with a huge bill that undermines the savings you’ve made. (Read all the details here.)
Were you a fan of ELF back in the day? Are you glad it’s returned to the UK?
Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.
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