Beauty Haul // Elf Cosmetics (+ swatches)

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I am a sucker for trying new brands and new products, I just can't stick to the same products and colours - variety is the spice of life after all! You can never have enough make up products - especially for eyes, lips and nails, I love being able to completely transform your look just by swapping for a different colour. So when I saw on Twitter that ELF were hosting a 50% off sale a couple of weeks back, I just couldn't resist having a look at their massive range of products! Personally I had never bought anything from ELF before, but I had seen good things from other beauty bloggers, so I thought that during the 50% off sale would be the ideal opportunity to try the brand out!

Until I looked on the website, I didn't actually realise how affordable the prices were and that was without the 50% off on top! With this in mind and the fact that as a student I can't resist  a good bargain, I did go a *little* bit crazy and bought a wide range of different make up products to try out. I didn't realise how much I had actually bought until a massive cardboard box arrived for me packed full of make up! I just kept pulling out more and more, it was just never ending, I couldn't believe I got so much - £60 worth of make up products for just £30! And to make it even better I also got free delivery, double score! I'm going to share with you my first ELF haul purchases below and my first impressions on the products.


32 pc Eyeshadow Palette (Natural) - £6


When it comes to eyeshadow, I'm not very adventurous with colour! I tend to stick to neutral colours the majority of the time or for going out in the evening I may do a dark smokey eye, but yet again not very bright and colourful! I may at a push use navy/plum colours but I'm not one for using brights, I know I would just end up looking like a clown! So when I saw this palette online, I thought it was absolutely perfect for me! Since getting into blogging I have seen bloggers hype about different nude palettes; especially the Naked palettes but at £35 the student in me flat out refuses to pay that much for eyeshadow! Eyeshadow can only do so much right? So when I saw this palette would be only £3 with 50% off, I couldn't believe how much of a bargain this was for 32 eyeshadows, you can't grumble at that!


There is a nice mix of warm and cool neutrals, at one end of the palettes are some really nice pale pink and gold tones, as well taupe shades that are ideal for everyday looks where you just want a simple and natural eye. When creating darker looks, these pale colours act as a base and are also good for highlighting or adding a touch of shimmer to your look.


As you can see from the swatches, this side of the palette isn't overly pigmented, but obviously as the paler shades you don't really expect them to be! The majority are quite shimmery and add just a touch of colour for that really natural look and work well for the dark colours to be added on top for more depth and stronger tones. But as a base or to highlight the brow bone, these shades work well.



At the other side of the palette are the darker browns, greys and black shades perfect for creating a sultry or bold smokey eye. In this palette there seems to be more shimmery than matte shades, but I quite like having a bit of shimmer. Overall there is a good balance of pale and dark neutrals so you can easily mix up different looks from day to night and there is a variety of shades to suit your mood and style.



This palette also comes with a double ended eyeshadow applicator and mirror built in, so you can easy take this palette with you wherever you go, the palette is also really lightweight and would easily fit in your handbag. On first impressions, I do love the variety of nude shades and I can't wait to experiment with all the different shades, with 32 colours I'm spoilt for choice!




The darker shades of the palette are very strongly pigmented and come in a variety of golden brown and smokey dark grey colours. These will be great for using as a darker base or for adding shadow in the crease of your eyelid and along the lashline for a strong eye but without having to use eyeliner or lots of black. 



As I said before, my eye make up is nude the majority of the time, but i do like to have bold black eyes for evenings out, I don't think an evening look would be complete without party make up! This means lots of eyeliner and false eyelashes, I have some dark eyeshadows but quite a lot of them are quite shimmery and don't give a really even black finish, so when I saw this matte eyeshadow, I knew I had to try it out! Out of all of the shades I chose Charcoal as I didn't really need any more brown shades thanks to my brand new palette. The ELF Studio Collection has sleek and simple packaging and looks very professional, the matte eyeshadows also come with a little applicator brush.



From the swatch, it's not amazingly even and pigmented but I think if you applied a couple of layers of the eyeshadow it would become much more darker and you would achieve to desired look of a really bold eyeshadow. I don't think I'll be abandoning my extra black eyeliner any time soon but I think this would be a great eyeshadow to play with this season.



I really do have a soft spot for nail polishes, I absolutely LOVE nail polishes of all colours, especially polishes with glitter and special nail effects! When I saw the Glam Bam nail set I couldn't believe I could get 3 polishes for £2 after the 50% discount, even if they turned out to be average nail polishes it would still be well worth it. I wasn't disappointed with this set when I saw it in person, it's perfect for the party season with its' shimmery base coats and sparkly top coat, easy to mix and match between the 3 to match your outfits. Included in this set are Golden Goddess, Blush and Cranberry.


Golden Goddess is a glittery top coat perfect for adding some sparkle to your nail polish of choice. It has a mixture of sizes of golden glitter and even after one coat like in the swatch, the glitter applies evenly and dries just as quick! If you want a thicker coat of glitter just add another coat! The slightly bigger pieces of golden glitter is a bit sparse but another coat would fix this and make the polish look more even.


Blush is a perfect pinky golden colour for wearing on its own or with Golden Goddess added on top for a bit of extra sparkle. It has a subtle shimmer and would add a touch of glamour to any outfit. Even with one coat, this polish gives an amazingly even finish and doesn't even really require a second coat as it completely covers the nail in one coat, perfect if you're in a rush and need a quick beauty fix!


Finally Cranberry is a gorgeously rich ruby red colour with a hint of shimmer and sparkle, another great festive colour that will mix well with the gold tones in the other polishes of the set. It can be a tad runny, so less is more to stop it sliding off your nails and clogging by your cuticles, two thin coats rather than one thick coat might be better with this polish, and it's such a lovely colour, it's worth using it properly!

Mysterious Nail Polish Set - £4


At half price, of course I had to get two nail polish sets! I still can't get over the fact I got 6 nail polishes for only £4, it's just amazing value and it's so easy to stock up on the latest colours without having to spend a fortune. My second nail polish set is Mysterious and in contrast to Glam Bam it's very deep, dark and moody shades navy and black, but still with a subtle shimmer or glittery finish and a metallic purple colour to pop against the contrasting dark polishes in the set. If you want a glamorous night time look with a bit more edge then this is the perfect nail polish set for. Included in this set is Metal Madness, Purple Dream and Dark Navy.


First up is Purple Dream, a swirly, shimmery lilac colour. Worn by itself or with a glittery top coat, this colour stands out on your nails and is quite luminous; it reflects the light and is almost iridescent and seems to change from different angles, quite a cool looking nail polish! Pastel metallics do look quite unusual but intriguing at the same and this type of shade works well in the winter months.


Metal Madness is a dark grey colour packed full of glitter. I thought this would go on like a top coat similar to Golden Goddess in the Glam Bam set but was pleasantly surprised to see it is a colour and glitter all in one! It doesn't require a colour underneath and the swatch above is from just one coat of Metal Madness, it has an amazing finish, it almost looks like a gel effect polish and although it is full of glitter it doesn't have a rough feel. Though as it isn't a top coat, it's hard to mix and match the colours within the set apart from having accent nails of the separate colours, but I'd happily wear this colour on its own!


Dark Navy is probably my favourite shade out of the three in the Mysterious set. It's similar to Metal Madness in the fact that it's a nail colour and glitter all in one - again no need for any varnish underneath to fill the gaps. It's a completely gorgeous midnight blue and I can't get over how amazing it looks when it's applied. That goes for all of the nail polishes, considering they are so cheap, you wouldn't expect them to be so good! They aren't sticky, glide on easily, dry quickly and look fantastic what more could you want?!

Nail Polish (Dark Glitter Purple) - £2.50


Even though I bought 2 sets of nail polishes, I couldn't resist adding a few more to my basket in some must have shades. Carrying on seemingly with the theme of the Mysterious nail polish set, I've gone for another deep glittery shade. I chose Dark Glittery Purple as I really love deep and rich colours, they work perfectly over the winter months and I just can't resist anything with a hint of glitter in it, it just feels so Christmassy and is perfect for the party season! These nail polishes also have the added bonus of being kind to your nails as they contain vitamin E for stronger nails and are free of nasty toxic chemicals like Toluene, Formaldehyde and DBP.


It's a richer, glittery version of Purple Dream and like the other glittery polishes in the Myseterious nail set with just one coat it gives amazing coverage and colour, it really does look like a gel. The pattern almost looks like a galaxy in space, it really does look quite mystical. You wouldn't believe this only costs £2.50, these polishes are even better than nail polishes I've paid double the price for! This colour is quite bold and luminous, it seems to stand out well on my nails, so I can't wait to wear these a bit more!

Nail Polish (Coral) - £2.50


Pink seems to have been a bit hit this winter, a big change from the regular deep jewel tones that are usually worn during the winter months. Pink is the colour to wear this season, so why not match your latest knitwear and coats to your nails? I bought 'Coral', though I wouldn't have said this was a coral colour, it's not really orangey enough, but it is still a lovely bubblegum pink colour.


I think this is a lovely staple pink colour to have in your nail polish collection and would look great underneath some frosty or glittery topcoats. The polish itself has a slight shimmer in it and the colour changes in different lights which is a lovely touch. Overall on first impressions I'm really pleased with ELF nail polishes, they apply really well with just one coat and look great, I can't wait to use them more in the future.

Matte Finisher Nail Polish - £2.50


Matte nail polishes have really become a big thing this season, it's a great way to grunge up pretty glossy nail polishes and is the perfect effect for winter. Why buy a matte nail polish in loads of colours when you can buy one top coat to turn all of your current nail polishes matte?! At £2.50, it's a great way of saving money on new polishes and you can just use your tried and tested favourites and give them an updated matte finish. I can't wait to try this one out to see the effect it gives!

Essentials Lipstick (Fearless & Sociable) - £1.50


When I saw that ELF's essential range of lipsticks were only £1.50 each (75p in the sale!), I knew I had to try them out! I decided to try Fearless & Sociable which from the swatches online looked like a deep red/pink colour and a dusky pink. So I was surprised to receive Fearless which turned out to be pillar box red and Sociable which was a bright pink colour. If you were to buy lipsticks from ELF I would suggest to look on blogs first to see what the colours look like in real life and if they are true to the swatches on their website. As they only cost me £1.50 for the two, I wasn't really that bothered that the colours were different to what I was expecting, they are staple lipstick colours anyway but I was looking to try new colours that were portrayed in the swatches.


Both lipsticks are quite creamy and easy to apply, so they don't exaggerate any dry skin you may have on your lips and are quite moisturising. From the swatches Fearless is a glossy bright red colour whereas Sociable is a bright pink colour with glitter. I think if both of these were applied to the lips quite strongly they will verge on looking on the cheap side, especially Socialble with all the glitter inside it,it reminds me of freebies you would get on a pre teen magazine. But if applied with caution they can give your lips a lovely colour, just don't go mad if you want it look overdone and cheap looking. At £1.50 each you can't really complain and if you want to update your make up bag with some new lipsticks, they are great to try out and if you don't like it you can always throw it away.

Essentials Lip Stain (Crimson Crush) - £2.50


I love using lip stains, just for the sheer fact you can apply a wide range of bold colours that won't come off as easy as lipsticks/glosses when eating or drinking;  there's nothing worse than just having a line of lipstick left around your mouth after you've eaten as the rest has come off! Lip stains just have a greater longevity and don't transfer as easily as lipsticks. I decided to go for Crimson Crush as from the picture online it looked like a really deep vampy red/plum colour, but again when I received it, it didn't look half as dark as portrayed on the website and was more of a red than a plum colour. I think they should probably work on their swatches online as they can be a bit misleading and aren't true to colour.


From the picture online you would never guess that it would turn out to be such a bright red! I was left a little disappointed as I really wanted a plum coloured lip stain and this is nowhere near what I was expecting, don't get me wrong it's a nice colour but it's just not what I wanted. I'll still use this as it does give a great tinted colour to your lips and lasts the majority of the day, I just wanted a more vampy plum colour!

Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick (Movie Star) - £2.50


I have never had a gloss stick before, so I was quite intrigued to try them out so I went for 'Movie Star' which is a lovely deep red colour. The tinted gloss stick contains jojoba, soybean and vitamin E, so not only does it make your lips look good but feel smooth and hydrated as well. This gloss stick is perfect to throw into your handbag and use to touch up throughout the day if your lips are feeling a bit dry. I love how it give your lips just a touch of colour without being too bold, so it's perfect for an understated make up look throughout the day


From the swatch, you can see it gives quite a natural look on the lips with just a tint of colour, though you can apply a thicker layer if you would like a bit of a bolder colour. With lip glosses they tend to look really shiny and glossy but this gloss stick just adds a hint of shine without looking wet, it reminds me more of a balm than a gloss to be honest.

Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick (Feeling Lucky & Midnight Rendezvous) - £2.50


I've said before that I'm not very adventurous with eyeshadows and as you can see by the colours of these eyeshadow sticks, I've played it really safe! I went for 'Feeling Lucky' with is a really deep plum colour and 'Midnight Rendezvous' a dark metallic grey colour. I'm quite lazy with eyeshadow, so I love the idea of just applying it like a pen across the lashline and if I want to go for a smokey look I can just blend it. As these a cream based eyeshadows rather than powder, they apply a lot more evenly and smoothly; they are also more pigmented because of this and there's no need to keep applying extra layers to build up the colours.



From the swatches, you can see that both shades have a lovely shimmery and metallic finish, so it makes them perfect for party and night time make up looks. They both also have a hint of glitter, but they don't look cheap or tacky. They apply really well due to their creaminess which is really good as they don't tug at your eyelids and it makes the application process a lot more precise. As it is creamy, it will tend to crease a bit easier than a shadow, but if you use a good eyelid primer or setting spray this will help to prolong its staying power. Even just on my arm, it did take a bit of rubbing to get off, so it will last you the majority of the night before you may have to retouch your make up.

Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer (Radiant Glow) - £6


I can't go without using a primer under my make up, it just makes my foundation look so much more even and makes it last longer, plus it makes my skin look a lot healthier than it really is! When I saw this on the website, I really wanted to try it as I feel sometimes my skin does look a bit dull and lifeless, so I thought this mineral infused primer will not only improve the condition of my skin but make it look a lot more glowing and healthy.


When I first tested this primer I was a bit shocked to see how glittery it was (I don't think this really shows up on this picture). Even when blended, it's still very glittery, so it's not really a product you could wear on your entire face! But under your eyes, on your cheek and brow bones it really helps the light to shine on your face and add an extra dimension, so it's great to use as a highlighter. It's a very smooth and silky primer, it feels great against your skin and blends amazingly, I just wish it didn't have as much glitter to create the radiant effect it promises.

Studio High Definition Undereye Setting Powder - £3.75


Now I have never used an undereye setting powder before, but for less than £2 in the sale I thought it would be the perfect time to try it! If I have a bit of a sleepless night you will see it on my face, I get such horrible bags under my eyes that make me look a lot older than my 22 years! As this product aims to further conceal fine lines, dark circles and imperfections, I thought this would be a great way to brighten up my face and fake looking like I've had a 10 hour sleep when I usually get around 6!


So basically after you've applied concealer and foundation, you apply this with the little brush included to set your make up and help to reflect light to conceal any dark areas under your eyes and help you look more youthful! Although the powder is translucent it's very pale. which is perfect for me, but I can imagine for those with tanned or darker skin tones it won't really work that well. Again it does have a bit of glitter in it (which of course helps to reflect the light) but for the daytime, you don't really want your face to be covered in glitter!

Studio Conditioning Lip Balm Spf 15 (Romantic Rouge) - £3.38


When winter arrives, I can't go anywhere without a lip balm otherwise I end up knawing my lips half to death! They become really chapped and sore when it gets cold and it drives me insane, so I always try to stock up on lip balms. There's a range of colours, but I decided to go for Romantic Rouge as it was the most pigmented as I do love having a bit of colour on my lips and some lipsticks can be quite drying. This lip balm is actually massive and sits in the palm of my hand, so I know even with multiple applications throughout the day it is going to last a long time. It contains vitamins A & E which help to condition your lips and keep them looking smooth during winter, also it has a spf 15 so when summer comes around again it will help to protect your lips from the sun, so this really is an all year product!


As you can see it's a lovely cherry red colour that will give you perfect kissable lips. It's a really nice and smooth lip balm that doesn't get sticky , it smells really nice as well! The colour lasts quite a long time and it's really simple just to keep applying it throughout the day. The pot is really handy to carry with you in your handbag but it's big enough to not get lost amongst all of your belongings. For under £4, it's well worth the money as it will last you such a long time!

Overall I can't wait to incorporate all of these new make up goodies into my routine and to try them properly. But for my first order from ELF, the products are amazing for the price and I'll definitely be buying again from the brand as I've had mostly positive things to say; the only thing that let it down for me was the swatches of the lip products not matching up to what they are like in real life, but that's nothing severe and it definitely wouldn't stop me from buying from ELF cosmetics again!

Have you had a recent ELF haul from all of the offers they've had running lately? :)

Amie xx

ps Remember there's still time to enter my giveaway to win 1 of 4 limited edition Gary Barlow albums! 
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9 comments:

  1. Such a cool blog, Good luck with it :)

    Naddie
    www.unirunway.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Aww thank you Naddie, that's really kind :) I'm glad you like it!

      Amie xx

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  2. Replies
    1. thanks so much! Glad you like my haul

      Amie xx

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  3. their nail polish actually looks pretty good quality for the price!i have never tried their products before but may have to try their polish:)xx

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    1. Considering the price, they are really good value and they last just as long as any drugstore brand, so they are worth trying! They have so many colours and sets, you may end up buying a few!

      Amie xx

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  4. I've nominated you for the Libester award! For more details check out: www.bonnetsandbows.com/2013/12/yay-liebster-award.html

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    Replies
    1. I've only just seen this, but thanks so much Alyssa!

      Amie xx

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  5. Great haul, I really love elf products! I just posted a beauty haul as well if you feel like checking it out xx

    alexandraabeauty.blogspot.com

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