Product Review: ELF Top Sellers Kit

One perk of fashion blogging is that sometimes you get the chance to try out products you wouldn't normally buy for yourself. Case in point: Paulo from ISTYLEU received men's and women's beauty product kits from ELF Cosmetics, an American company notorious for products that only cost $1 or $2. While he sampled the men's products, he passed on the women's Top Sellers Kit ($25) to me. Yay!

For me, this product review wasn't just about the quality of the ELF cosmetics themselves, it was also a litmus test for this question: Can products priced so cheaply maintain a high level of quality? The answer to this question is yes and no.

Me sans makeup. I'm just about to try out the ELF cosmetics. Exciting!

The Hits:
  • The Brightening Eye Color eyeshadow palettes and eyeliner pencils performed well. Even without primer, the colours in the Butternut palette endured a sweaty night of salsa dancing without creasing or smearing. Also, I love how the pencils all come with their own sharpeners.
  • The Therapeutic Conditioning Lip Balm in Strawberry Creme is a great alternative to your standard cherry Chapstick and smells just as yummy.
  • Confession: I've been afraid of eyelash curlers ever since I got my eyelid caught in one when I was 17. However, I've been using the Mechanical Eyelash Curler and loving it. It's just your basic eyelash curler, but the $1 price tag can't be beat!
  • While the Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara didn't satisfy my desire for flirty dramatic lashes, it did do a great job of grooming my brows.
  • The Shine Eraser blotting papers are very effective--one sheet does the job of 3 of my standby Daiso blotting papers. Plus they were powder-free, just the way I like my blotting papers (it doesn't clog your pores).
  • I love the Eye Makeup Remover Pads and Nail Polish Removal Pads! These pre-moistened cleaner wipes come in little portable cylinders. They don't take up a lot of room on my dresser, and I can just imagine how convenient they would be for travel.
  • The Liquid Eyeliner is comparable in quality to ones which cost $10+ but is only $1.
  • The Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder provides a subtle glow.

Applying the Butternut eyeshadow palette with the ELF eyeshadow brush

Using the clear brow grooming gel

The bronzing powder and brush

The Misses:
  • Having never tried false lashes before, I was psyched about the Dramatic Lash Kit but ultimately disappointed. The glue was really hard to squeeze out of the tube (I think it dried out at some point) and in the end, as much as I (and my photographer) tried to squeeze the glue out, there wasn't enough to stick on one false lash.
  • The Eye Widener white eyeliner pencil claims it'll make your eyes look wider and brighter if used along the lower rim of your eyes. However, the first time I used it, the pencil crumbled into little white bits along my lower lash line--not exactly ideal for a contact lens wearer. Once I got the hang of it, I didn't notice a difference in how big or bright my eyes look.
  • The Earth & Water Mascara Duo features waterproof mascara on one end and regular mascara on the other. While a great concept for travel, I found that the wands didn't perform as well as other types of mascaras I've used. My lashes didn't look noticeably different from the way they look sans mascara.
  • I was disappointed with the quality of the ELF makeup brushes in the kit. The Blushing, Bronzing, and Blending Brush and Total Face Brush kept shedding bristles with each use. Also, when I washed the brushes, they emitted an unpleasant toxic smell.

The false lashes were a definite miss because of the bad glue.

Applying the mascara

The shedding Total Face Brush

Me after the makeup. Here I'm wearing the Butternut eyeshadow palette, the Coffee eye pencil, Eye Widener white pencil, bronzing powder, lip balm, duo mascara, and brow gel.

A special thanks to my friend Felix for taking these pictures for me!

Have any of you ever tried ELF cosmetics and products? What do you think of them?


  1. aww you look really pretty and natural :)
    also, brushes that shed are one of the most annoying things ver!!!

  2. Great review! I'm not surprised the brushes didn't work out, makeup artists always recommend splurging for quality when it comes to brushes. You ended up with a very natural clean look, like yourself but more polished :)

  3. Wow, you look great, and very natural at the same time.

  4. I've never tried the ELF stuff, but the price sounds right! I may have to pick up their eyeliner. :)

  5. Hi Lisa!

    Nice review! just I don´t think they sell the products here in Mexico =(..... I wanted to ask you if you were chinese or your family, just because I´m planning to go to China at the end of the year so perhaps you can give me ideas of where to go or what to do =)

    take care!

  6. I love how you do your make up! It's so subtle!

  7. Hey Lisa!
    first off, You look gorgeous with or without make up:)
    I've never heard about this make up line, but it seems like you weren't that crazy about it, so I'm going to pass...Make up is generally one area where I end up splurging, because in most cases good quality equals higher price...:)
    Thanks for the review

  8. Interesting review, I've wondered about this brand before...Now I know what to try, thanks!!

  9. You look simply gorgeous, L!

    Thanks for this fab review - ELF products are usually such a godsend but it's good to know which ones to avoid!


  10. awesome review! I've actually read that a lot of people who get the elf product shipped to them were upset because many products were dried out/not in the greatest condition to actually be used when they arrive! However, you do get what you pay for! I think they need to watch their quality control though if they want to survive and flourish in this economy as they should because of their price point!

  11. Lisa! you have fantastic skin even sans make-up!


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