Monday, November 30, 2015

ELF & Black Friday Hauls & Bonus FOTD (Warning: Loooong Post)

Happy Monday!

I had thought about doing a favorites post today but since we are now into the holiday shopping madness phase of the year, I thought I would showcase some makeup gift ideas from some recent hauls. You might even see an extra FOTD if this doesn’t go too long. 

I’ll start with the hauls.

I received two shipments from ELF last week - one is from the first 50% off day a couple of weeks ago. There were multiple things I definitely wanted to get but could only get one since the others were still sold out. I went back the following week and found another one back in stock. Since you don’t get free shipping until you reach $35, I used that as the rationale for getting more. I know. I have a problem.

On the first 50% off day, I got both makeup and skincare products.

I had been wanting to try the ELF skincare for a while but always hesitated, even though the cost is really cheap compared to some of the stuff I’m currently using. I had promised myself I’d take the plunge on the next 50% off day. And so I did.

I have used these a couple of times and now I am torn between the ELF skincare and the Philosophy products I’m using (and have repurchased). 

The main element of the ELF skincare is moisture. Lots and lots of moisture. And that’s about it. Which is nice if that’s all you need. Unfortunately, when a woman (or man) reaches a certain age, more needs arise other than moisture. So far, Philosophy is meeting my additional needs, however, I also know that as the seasons change, so should the skincare routine. I may rotate these throughout the Winter, since during the dry months, my skin does require more moisture. Hopefully, the two brands will play nicely together. 

Now for the makeup portion of this particular haul and the star of the lot.

This is the 50 Piece Makeup Artist Palette.

It’s a good sized palette with a tray of eyeshadows and a tray of blushes and bronzers inside. Both are removable, which makes this a really useful product since the container can be reused for eye pencils or small brushes for travel. There’s also a nice sized mirror in the lid.

A closer look at the eyeshadows.

A closer look at the blushes/bronzers.

I think some of these could also be used as contour. I tend to use bronzer where you would normally contour so that’s a good thing for me. This would be a good gift idea for the makeup lover in your life - or get two, one for yourself along with the gift. 

One of the things I managed to snag that’s been so hard to get is the Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji.

Both of these are matte, which is one reason this one is so popular and usually sold out all the time. I was working very fast to get it once I knew the 50% deal was on.

The blush is well pigmented while the bronzer is not so heavily pigmented that I’ll be afraid to use it. And it’s matte, which is perfect for those days that I don’t particularly want to shimmer.

I also came away with the Stipple Brush Travel set.

I like using stipple brushes for things like heavily pigmented blush. The large brush is also great for blending the bronzer, blush, highlight combo on my cheeks. 

These came in a travel bag, half of which would accomodate a few makeup necessities.

There were apparently some issues with shipments from this sale. It usually does take a little longer to receive items purchased during a 50% sale but some people were getting a little miffed. So, ELF included some freebies - at least in my order, anyway. 

I already have a crap ton of the Mist and Set.

It's not something I reach for on a regular basis because the mister isn't all that misty. It really wets the face down, which isn't always a good thing.

There was a brush out of the essentials line.

This is the Professional Bronzer Brush. 

And one of the Mineral Lipsticks in Nicely Nude.

Got some gold shimmer in it that's really pretty.

The second shipment got here Saturday.

This is the one where I snagged one of the things I couldn't get at 50% off - the Endless Eyes Pro Mini Palette in Natural.

All of the shadows in this palette are neutrals some warm, some cool. Lots of shimmers but some nice looking mattes as well. Quality is typical of ELF. Some hits, some misses but mostly hits. And with a good primer, all will work very well. Considering the amount of shadow I already have, there’s probably some dupes but I’m not going to go a-hunting them down. Not yet, anyway. Maybe another time.

ELF sells three of these palettes. I already have the Brights palette and would still like to have the Everyday palette, which is always sold out. People are now asking if they’re discontinuing it. I really hope not. I do like having the complete set of things.

I was also able to pick up the new Illuminating Palette. It was excluded from the 50% off and still is as of the 50% off ELF did for Black Friday.

The design is the same as the newer palettes they’ve come out with - the contour palette being the one I reach for the most. All of these have some kind of shimmer to them and would give different effects depending on how they’re used.

The one in the lower left was kind of hard to capture since it pretty much matches my skin.

I also got the Mineral Pearls in Skin Balancing.

This is an interesting product. The little pearls come sealed in a plastic bag that you snip and dump into the container. They also include a puff but I’ll more likely use a brush. The puff does help to keep the little round things in place, so I’ll hang onto it. No swatch of this one because it was very hard to capture once I blended it out on my hand. 

I also got a Shimmer and a Blush from the Essentials line.

The shimmer claims to be Pink but it looks more champagne to me. The blush is called Shy and looks a little light in the swatch. I’ll have to try this with a full face of makeup to see if it will work for me as a blush.

The final item from this shipment is the 22 Piece Mini On The Go Palette.

It’s small enough you can toss this in your purse - it’s actually smaller than I expected it to be. It has three layers. 

The top layer is eyeshadow.

The middle layer is lip gloss.

The bottom layer looks to be blush and possibly bronzer and highlighter, although what might be bronzer has a little too much sparkle for use as a bronzer. It would make a pretty shadow, though. In fact, all three would.

There also a mini mascara included along with some brushes that I will probably pitch, although that blush brush looks promising.

Now for my Black Friday purchases.

From Walgreens, along with those awesome shadow palettes from Giordano, I picked up a couple more liners from Jordana as well as two more of the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolors I’ve been searching for. 

I had just about given up hope finding more of the lip colors. Kroger, where I got one called Devotion, sold out pretty quickly. Not even sure my CVS ever had them. Walgreens was my last hope and I had just about given up there when I turned around to find the free-standing display nearly full. Grabbed Temptation, which is a hot pink, and Seduction, which is a nude similar to Devotion but less pink.

The others in the line look a little too dark for me. Temptation is about as bold as I want to get with my lip color.

As for the liners from Jordana, I picked up another of the 12 hour ones - I just used the gray one in the look I wore for Black Friday, really liked it and decided I needed the black one, too. The other liner is also black but is a true liquid liner with the felt tip applicator.

The true liquid gives a thinner, more precise line while the 12 hour one gives a thicker line that is more easily smudged for that smoky look. 

At CVS, I got two lipsticks from Milani - they were buy one, get one free, which I didn’t know until I checked out so, good deal there.

The pink one is called Matte Darling and the other one is called Dulce Caramelo. 

I like them both but Matte Darling has quickly become a favorite. You’ll see that one in one of my FOTD for sure.

I also found some gifts sets there from ELF. Two of which, I actually got on Wednesday. The other one had to wait until I’d made sure I didn’t already have it at home or hadn’t already ordered it. 

The two bought on Wednesday…

Lots of good shadow choices here for whatever kind of look you’re going for. Each of these were $5 and can also be purchased directly from ELF.

Included in each is an eyeshadow brush.

It might look a little rough, but it does a good job of packing shadow onto the lid.

Then the three Duo Shadows.

 l to r: Pink/Purple, Gray/Gold Shimmer, Navy/Brown
l to r: Nude/Light Brown, Plum/Coffee, Gray/Black

I have already used a couple of these colors - I'll say more about them in the FOTD at the end of this post.

The one bought on Black Friday became a source of anxiety until I received the second shipment on Saturday, which I’ll explain in a minute.

This palette is labeled Natural on the back, which is the same name as the one I ordered directly from ELF. Thankfully, they are two completely different palettes.

All About Nude Natural Palette versus Endless Eyes Pro Mini Palette in Natural

As I said above, the one I got from ELF has more neutral shades in both warm and cool tones while the All About Nude palette has more of a variety of colors, not just nude tones. 

This one also came with two brushes.

And a lid primer.

This one is more pink toned than the one I already have. Cost of the gift set is $10 and it can also be ordered directly from ELF.

As if this post wasn't already a mile long, real quick, here's the face I wore out for Black Friday.

Used all of this plus one I forgot to include in the group shot.

Face basics - I did start with a primer this time.

 foundation is in medium
this is the one called Brightening

The foundation is a bit dark for me right now so when I saw the 50% Black Friday sale on ELF, I got the lighter shade - as well as some other things. You know. To get that free shipping you have to get to $35, right?


Bronzer, blush, and highlight - no surprises here.

ELF Contour Palette - used the two on the left half; 
also used the top left all over my eye as a base for shadow, 
blush is from Milani - Romantic Rose

Now for eyes.

 ELF Duo Shadow in Nude/Light Brown - used the light brown on the lid
 Revlon Colorstay Quad in Addictive. This looks green here but is really a greige kind of shade.
Used this on the outer half of my lid and crease.
mascara is Black, liner is Charcoal Definition, brow pencil is Taupe

Eye close up.

I did go a little bolder on the eyeliner than I normally do. Used the Jordana liner on both upper and lower then set the liner with the gray shadow from the ELF Duo Shadows, Subtle to Sultry set.

This look lasted all day long. Not a crease to be seen, the liner did not smudge one little bit and the mascara stayed put. No flakes.

By using the primer, the areas where my foundation will usually break - nose and around my mouth - stayed pretty much intact. Lesson learned about going primer-less.

For lips, I used the Model Co lipstick in Kitty.

Now, I did have a moment while in the restroom at Krogers. The lighting in there made me look like I had used orange foundation and the eyeshadows really shined - a lot more than I would have liked. But in natural daylight, I looked fine so it was the lighting and not the makeup.

Exhausted from reading yet? Sorry. I wanted to get this all out before the Holiday Subscription Box Madness begins. I'm expecting some extras in the mix as well, so lots of stuff coming for December. Might even do some holiday nail art. You never know.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned.


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