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Makeup Wars: The Best of ELF

best elf makeup products

UPDATE 9/13/2015
I’ve made a new, updated companion list! New products that are must haves, since this list came out in 2013. Check out my new ELF Must Have Products!

Today for Makeup Wars we’re each picking a brand and sharing our favorite, must have products from that line. This is something I’ve done before, my Must Have Products posts have featured Urban Decay, Too Faced, Stila and a lot of my other favorite brands. Today I wanted to highlight a much lower priced brand, I’m sharing my favorite products from ELF.

I have a new obsession with ELF. I fully admit that I recently placed an order for over $100 (yeah for money I earn blogging!) and have picked up a few other items over time as well.

ELF is amazing for their prices. Almost everything is under $3, and the few items over that amount are usually well worth it. The line is huge and includes a lot of dupes for more expensive makeup items. When I was researching the line for my order, it was actually a bit hard to find lists of products that are worth picking up. So, I bought a lot of different products and you can expect a lot of much more in depth reviews soon.

In the meantime, I’ve made it through about 1/3 of my order (there was a lot of stuff!) and I want to share with you which products are my favorite so far! So, here’s my list of the best, my favorite and definitely worth buying products from ELF! Some of these products are available at your local store (I can get ELF at Target and Walmart), but a few are online only (like the Glitter Primer. You need to place an order only to get that primer!)

1. Glitter Primer: Everyone needs a good eye shadow primer. Really, everyone. I’ve heard that a lot of people like ELF’s regular shadow primer, but I’ve never really had good luck with it. But, I was really interested in trying out their Glitter Primer, and though shopping cart quirks (and buying a large set of items that contained the primer when I didn’t realize that it was there), I actually ordered 3 of these primers. At first I was a bit annoyed at myself, I spent $6 on primer basically when $2 was ok just to get 1 to try it out. But, now I’m so glad I have 3 tubes of it! This stuff really is pretty amazing. It really grabs on to any loose powder and keeps it on your lid all day, whether you’re wearing regular shadow or something that is a bit more, well, glittery. And it is super easy to wash off at the end of the day. You’ll want to stock up once you try it!

2. Lip Exfoliator: I know it looks funny, but rather than using a more traditional brown sugar lip scrub, you can just rub this over your lips and rinse it off. It works great and I love how quick it is! I don’t get scrub all over the place for once.

3. Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick: This is very similar to lip gloss sticks from brands like Clinique, Revlon and CoverGirl. Just for a lot less money.

4. Makeup Mist and Set: I’ve mostly been using this to spray my eye shadow brush and then help foil on a shadow, and it works really well. I need to remember to spritz it all over my face as well! My friend Phyrra wrote an amazing post about The Best Ways to Use e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set. It’s a great $3 dupe for MAC’s Fix+ spray.

5. Shimmering Facial Whip: This highlighter is a total steal at $1, but don’t use too much! It’s easy to turn yourself into a shimmer ball. Just a small amount is all you really need.

6. Daily Brush Cleaner: This is basically a (good smelling) alcohol spray to put on your eye shadow brushes after you use them so you can brush off that day’s color. This is something I’m horrible about remembering to do and I’m actually remembering to clean my brushes more often because of this cheap spray. It really works too.

7. High Definition Powder: This super fine powder is a great dupe for the much more expensive Make Up For Ever HD Powder. It’s one of their more expensive items at $6, but it is amazing! Definitely pick some up.

8. Baked Eye Shadows: There are a few colors and they’re near perfect dupes for similar shadows from Sephora. The colors are really very pretty and I’m using my set a lot already, I’ll need to make a few easy look tutorials using this palette! I have it in California (here’s my ELF Baked Eye Shadow in California review and swatch pictures post).

9. Eye Shadow Brush, 10. Smudge Brush and 11. Studio Contour Brush: These are all among my favorite eye shadow brushes. I have a lot of brushes, many of them are from much more expensive brands, and I seem to be reaching for the ELF brushes the most often. At $1-3 each you can easily stock up!

12. HD Blush: This cream blush is a great dupe for Make Up For Ever’s HD blush, and it is so pretty and easy to use! I put a small pump on the back of my hand and apply with either my finger or a blush brush from there. It’s well pigmented and blends easily to last all day.

13. Eyebrow Kit: One side is a pigmented wax, and I can apply just a little bit to get a natural look. The other side is a lighter powder that you can use over the wax, though I admit that I skip this step.

14. Matte Lip Color: Just what it sounds like, I think it is basically Stila’s Convertible Color in a pencil form. I’m really loving Natural.

What are your favorite ELF products?

UPDATE 9/13/2015
I’ve made a new, updated companion list! New products that are must haves, since this list came out in 2013. Check out my new ELF Must Have Products!

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About Me

Iā€™m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 10.28.13

    I have tried nothing from ELF! I have a brush holder and that's it.

  2. 10.28.13
    Cin O said:

    ELF has some fabulous products. I love their makeup brushes and they are good quality too. I tried the little eyebrow kit and that was nice but the colors were a bit dark for my brows.

  3. 10.28.13

    Clearly it's been a while since I used anything from ELF. You have me craving so many things now, dammit!! Especially the baked shadows and makeup mist & set.

  4. 10.28.13
    Anonymous said:

    I'm excited to try some of the ELF products. I would love to find products that are similar to higher priced items, but cost alot less.

  5. 10.28.13

    I totally love this post! I'm a regular ELF user and I obsessively buy all their new products to try out šŸ™‚ I LOVE that lip exfoliator, I bought my Boyfriend one too. The HD Blushes are amazing!! I recently bought their HD Lifting Concealers in brightening and adjusting and they are pretty impressive! The green one is a magic wand to camouflage blemishes and redness!

  6. 10.28.13

    I flipping need that glitter primer. I just bought my first elf the other day, the Maleficent set, and I'm putting it on today. I'm sure it'll be a love šŸ˜‰

  7. 10.28.13
    Lena said:

    I just placed a big order during the 40% off sale and it's finally getting here tomorrow! Out of your list, I got the lip exfoliator, make up mist and set, and the eyebrow kit. I already own the facial whip, HD powder, and the brushes. Now I wish I picked up the glitter primer!

  8. 10.28.13

    This list is great! I will definitely refer friends to this. I'm not s huge elf fan, but I adore their contour brush. It's amazing and a must have for anyone that needs to blend shadows!

  9. 10.28.13
    Phyrra said:

    I NEED #8!

  10. 10.28.13

    Wow! It has been a while since I've played with ELF! I'll have to grab the palette you feature here (#8). I LIVE for their brushes. So affordable, and such good quality! I just used a few, for my morning routine!

  11. 10.28.13

    LOVE my ELF Baked Eyeshadow in Pixie. I'm not normally a big fan of pink eyeshadows, but this is more of a peachy-pink and has an iridescence to it with a golden tint. I am SO in love with it! And, only $3. Score!

  12. 10.28.13
    B said:

    That lip exfoilator looks amaziiiiing. I haven't tried anything from ELF in a minute. Time to re-obsess again!

  13. 10.28.13

    I'm a HUGE elf fan. You definitely get bang for your buck!

    Voyage of the MeeMee

  14. 10.28.13

    I've been anxious to hear what you are liking. I just wore an e/s last night that was a glitter bomb. I loved it but my face hated it. Therefore I need to buy the Glitter Primer so I can use it and another I bought. This could change my life (somewhat).

  15. 10.28.13

    I love their minty Glossy Gloss!

  16. 10.28.13

    I really like the elf brushes and I just picked up the Disney Villains set which is remarkably good quality!

  17. 10.28.13

    ELF has come a long, long way! I still use the flat shader brush on a daily basis, but you have added a ton of products from the line that I have never tried! Looks like I need to play with some new ELF goodies!

  18. 10.29.13
    Eugenia said:

    I didnt know they had a lip scrub that looked like that! I want it! I need it now for my chapped lips from stupid cold weather!

  19. 10.29.13

    I really love elf too. However, it has been forever since I have placed an order!!! I need to fix that! šŸ™‚ Your list has totally prompted me to make a little elf haul! šŸ™‚ You really can't beat the price!

  20. 10.29.13

    Wow! Thanks for posting this šŸ™‚ I've been eyeing some ELF products lately and this will serve as my guide as to which products to purchase šŸ˜€

  21. 10.29.13

    I absolutely love their liquid black eye liner ($1) they have multiple size tips and they all give me better pigment and control than other more expensive eye liners I've tried!

    I also am addicted to the shimmering facial whip for when I'm going out!

    What's the HD powder for though?

    Love the post!

  22. 10.30.13

    I love ELF! And at that price, even duds aren't total disasters! My faves: eyelid primer, brushes, HD setting powder… just got the eyeliner fix but have yet to try it.

  23. 11.27.13
    Anonymous said:

    my friend introduced me to their liquid liner and is so good compared to the other brands!

  24. 12.9.13
    Heidi said:

    I have fallen in love with the ELF Lip Stain! I'm not a big fan of most lip sticks because it's either way too waxy or needs to be reapplied often. I can use just a light stain for everyday (and I do now because the color helps bring out the color in my cheeks) or a darker stain for going out at night. I also love their Luscious Liquid Lipstick because it's light and I will often put that over the lip stain when I'm going out. I'm really exited to try more of their product line!

  25. 12.15.13
    MissCrys said:

    I have a nude shimmer and a brown shimmer loose powder eyeshadow from elf that i LOVE, its the perfect amount of shimmer, especially on my dark brown eyes!

  26. 12.23.13

    I'm going to try more but

    my favorite ELF products are:
    studio cream eyeliner
    studio mascara primer
    studio mineral infused mascara
    studio blushes
    eyeshadow brush (essential)
    essential crease brush
    essential blending brush
    gem blending eye brush
    mineral foundation spf 15
    essential defining eye brush (GREAT FOR OUTER Vs!)
    essential concealer brush
    gem blending eye brush (replaced with crystal)
    complexion brush (studio)
    essential eyelid primer

    and i'm so pumped about trying other stuff^^

    stuf i hate:
    brightening eye pencil
    essential liquid eyeliner

  27. 1.2.14
    M.J. Lee said:

    I have tried the HD powder and it ended up making my skin very oily. I was so disappointed but at $6.00 USD I didn't feel too unhappy that it didn't work out for me. I have oily skin so maybe that's why? Or I used too much? I will want to try the Makeup Mist and Set spray for eye shadows.

    Thank you so much for blogging about these items! I'll try them out and respond in my blog about them! mjlee214.blogspot.com. Currently I am on a hiatus for blogging and Facebook but please check out my page too!

    Happy New Year!

  28. 1.26.14

    I just updated my eye shadow brushes…all E.L.F! Going to try out their Mineral Foundation and the lip pencils~Thanks!

  29. 3.2.14
    Anonymous said:

    Don't use the elf lip plumper whatever you do! Made my lips blow up to five times their normal size, not attractive and itchy and took weeks to go away. It's been six months and I still can't use any lip products of any kind without a reaction except for blistex sensitive. I've never had allergies or sensitive skin before this. Some of their other products are great.

  30. 3.3.14

    @Anon that sounds very much like an allergic reaction that has since hypersensitized your lips so you react to everything.