Friday, January 22, 2016

Reviewed: ELF Skincare

Happy Friday! Or for my neck of the woods, Happy Snowmageddon - Part One!

Yes, here in Ohio, we are expecting quite the Winter storm. Well, south and east of me, anyway. It's supposed to just brush the southern end of Columbus and may not even make an appearance where I am. On one hand, I'm disappointed but on the other, kind of relieved. I do have errands to run that have been put off while waiting for the non-makeup delivery that never happened yesterday but is supposed to happen today. Long story.

But we're here to discuss some ELF skincare products. Right? So let's get to it. The January box unboxing will recommence next week, in case you're wondering.

I've been using the moisturizers from ELF for some time now and I am thoroughly enjoying them. They provide that added layer of moisture that my skin needs during the winter. About the only one that I have even the slightest problem with is the eye cream and that's only because if I wear it at night, my eyes are slightly irritated the next morning. So, I just use it during the day. Problem solved. 

I finally decided to try out the other part of the ELF skincare line - the cleanser and scrub - along with a new product they've just put out - their Hydrating Bubble Mask.

Yeah. And then there's that brush/spatula kind of thing that I'm trying to figure out how to use. I was $5 away from free shipping so I just added it in for kicks. 

It has a rubbery spatula kind of thing going on at one end.

You can use this end to apply any kind of mask, I suppose, but I usually just used my fingers.

Then a tiny, flat, kabuki-like brush at the other end.

Maybe kabuki-like isn't the right description since the bristles are densely packed and quite stiff. Supposedly, you're supposed to use this to scrub at the more problematic areas of your face, like maybe the pores on your nose, to get them really clean. It's a little small, though and I haven't tried using it yet.

This weird brush thing aside, the rest of the products are, in a word, fantastic and that includes, much to my surprise, the cleanser.

Now, you all know how much I love my Noxema. Gets my skin clean without drying it out. One reason it took me so long to give this particular cleanser a try. And I am so glad I finally did. 

While this cleanser does foam a bit, it does not make my skin feel like all of the moisture has been sucked out of it. In fact, while this stuff is on my face, I can actually feel the moisturizing effects. My skin will eventually feel tight and dry after rinsing if I delay putting on moisturizer but the sensation is delayed, much like it is with the Noxema. 

And it's very gentle. It doesn't seem to aggravate my rosacea like the Noxema can. Don't get me wrong, I still love Noxema and will still use it but in tandem with this cleanser.

In case you're wondering, ELF sells this cleanser for $7.00.  

As for the scrub....

I hesitated to purchase this because I already have a boat load of scrubs in my bathroom closet and really didn't feel like I needed another one. But I decided to give it a try and was again, pleasantly surprised. It comes very close to working like that really expensive scrub that I love from Dr. Brandt.

It has these very fine particles that don't feel like they're doing anything - until you rinse the stuff off. Of course, if it's been a while since you've exfoliated and you have a build up of dead skin cells, it might take a couple three applications to get all that off but once you're as smooth as you can be, this will maintain that smoothness. For my skin, I think it's gentle enough for everyday use but ELF recommends 1 to 2 times a week, allowing 3 days between uses. I don't know. You'd have to judge for yourself how often your skin would tolerate it. 

I'm not sure if what's in here is of the banned variety of particles, though. I hope not. It sells for $6.00, a fraction of what the Dr. Brandt scrub costs. I may stock up just in case ELF has to change the formula to government standards.

Now for the mask - hands down the main attraction of this trio. For me, anyway.

This has got to be the weirdest mask experience I have ever had. But weird in the most wonderful way possible. This is a new product and rather pricey for ELF at $14 but well worth the money. 

The mask pumps out of the container in a gel form that you spread all over your dampened face using either your fingers or that weird little spatula thing.

Almost immediately, it begins to bubble all on its own.

It continues to bubble until it turns completely white and you look like your face has been sprayed with that snow in a can stuff you see at Christmas.

It sort of fills out and stands tall once it's all bubbled up.

The bubbling process feels exceptionally strange - tingles and tickles all at the same time but you must resist the urge to touch it or the bubbles will stop doing whatever it is they do. 

After a time, about 5 minutes or so, the bubbles start to pop, sometimes in patches, all at once. Talk about feeling weird. The temptation to touch is very strong by this point but resist at all costs.

After the bubbles have all popped, you are supposed to start massaging the stuff and that's when it turns into this rich creamy stuff that feels like pure moisture. I use moistened fingers to do this because the mask is pretty much dry by the time all of the bubbles go away.

It will still bubble if left alone but I keep massaging it in until it virtually disappears. Then I rinse it off and end up with baby smooth skin that appears brighter and more alive.

I used this mask in combination with the scrub last night and even still today, my skin is so stinking smooth it's ridiculous. My pores even seem to be less noticeable. Especially the ones on my nose. They appear to be cleaner than they've ever been. Definitely a winning combination this mask with that scrub. I cannot stop touching my face and I really need to. 

I cannot recommend the combination of the ELF scrub and bubble mask highly enough. Today, I only needed the ELF Soothing Serum and Daily Moisturizer and my skin feels so hydrated and smooth. If it continues to be this way, sad as I would be to no longer use it, I could put away the Philosophy products and only use ELF from now on. Not knocking Philosophy by any means but the products are just not moisturizing enough for my wintertime skin. 

Besides, Philosophy reformulated the Miracle Worker for day and night and I don't like them as well now. They also smell funny. Still loving the retinoid pads, though. On the down side, Philosophy seems to reformulate and "retire" (read: discontinue) products all the time so I can't be guaranteed to be able to repurchase something I've fallen in love with. The exfoliating lactic acid cleanser in the Miracle Worker line one case in point.

Nope. I'm sticking with ELF for the time being. I've even purchased a second bottle of the Soothing Serum. Don't know what it is about that stuff but as soon as it touches my face, my skin seems to breathe a sigh of relief from the immediate surge of moisture. 

Ok. I have rambled on quite enough for one post. As I said, box unboxings will continue next week. Until then, thanks for reading, stay tuned and have an excellent weekend.


1 comment:

  1. Can you get all of this at a store or do you have to order it? Thanks!