Gorgeous for a Buck!

by Olesya Novik

As you all know, here at Olicious Life, we do our best to bring you ladies all the things you desire. Many of you have been asking for affordable ways to look your very best, and it became my goal to hunt down the very best cosmetic products that would fit in any budget.

As I was searching for a brand I’d trust enough to recommend to all of you, I remembered one company in particular whose many products I sampled and loved. I’ve been using their glosses, eye shadows, liners, and brushes right alongside my much more expensive products for nearly a year now, and they really hold their own!


The brand I’m speaking of is E.L.F. Cosmetics. They’re a breakthrough company in my eyes, as they’ve figured out a way to bring high quality makeup at prices more affordable than even those of drugstore products!

Now, I know it’s hard to shop for new cosmetics blindly, so I’ve decided to write up an article to review some of my personal E.L.F. favorites to give you ladies a starting point. Let’s get to it.


  • Mineral Eyeshadow

Without a doubt, one of the “stars” of this line. This shadow comes in quite a few shades, really lasts, and works either wet or dry. For a daytime look, I like to dip a moistened liner brush into the darker shades and line my eyes with it, then use that same shade in the crease over a lighter color.

The ones I seem to use most often are Golden, Earthy, and Sweet over my entire lid, and Glamorous, Royal, and Seductive to line and contour. At only $3 a pop, you can experiment to your heart’s content!

  • Eyeshadow Primer

Those of you with oily skin, living in humid climates, working in hot environments, or just liking to see your eye makeup still intact after a 10-hour day will appreciate this stuff as much as I do.

E.L.F. markets this product as a “Mineral Eyeshadow Primer” to go along with their mineral shadows, but I’ve used it with a variety of loose shadows, and it always works to prevent my eye makeup from creasing, flaking, and otherwise becoming a mess within a few short hours of application.

This product works the same way Urban Decay’s Primer Potion does, but for less than quarter of the price, at only $3!

  • Liquid Eyeliner

If you’ve never used a liquid liner but like the sexy “cat eye” look for a night out, or even a subtly lined eye that lasts all day without smudging, you’ll love this liner! It comes with a harder tip than most I’ve tried, so it’s easy to control and apply right where you want it, creating the perfect line.

I also love the fact that it comes in so many colors. I’ve tried it in Plum, Coffee, and Black — and all worked really well for me. The best part is, you could collect all nine colors if you wanted to, as each is just a $1!

  • Eye Makeup Honorable Mentions

E.L.F. false lashes are absolutely fantastic! They have a pretty wide selection of them at only a dollar each — and that includes the glue!

I’ve also tried their duo shadows, which I liked over the primer. They aren’t heavily pigmented, but are perfect for someone not after an overly dramatic look or simply inexperienced with makeup application.


  • Hypershine Lip Gloss

This is one of my first E.L.F. purchases, and it’s one of my favorite! It’ll leave your lips very shiny, it’s moisturizing, and it comes in great shades — Fairy happens to be my favorite, it’s a pretty iridescent gloss that works on its own as well as it does over your favorite lipstick.

The best part? It’s only a buck!

  • Plumping Lip Glaze

The tingly lip plumping effect of this stuff is comparable to Lip Venom, the biggest difference being its scent (this is minty where Lip Venom is cinnamon-flavored), and the price.

Lip Venom sells for $16. E.L.F.’s Lip Glaze is only a dollar! Not kidding, the same product, for just a $1!

Plumping Lip Glaze comes in a double-ended tube — one side contains a sheer color gloss, the other side’s clear. I have it in a nude tone called Champagne, and usually layer the clear gloss over the color.

  • Luscious Liquid Lipstick

For times when you want more visible color with good staying power while keeping your lips moisturized, E.L.F.’s liquid lipstick is the perfect choice. This isn’t a completely opaque lipstick, but it definitely isn’t as sheer as gloss.

I have this in Bark, a pink-nude, and Brownie Points, a darker brown-nude. Both create that “your lips but better” look, and smell amazing — think mint and vanilla. The best part? You can experiment with all the shades you want, as each is only… you guessed it, a dollar!

  • Lip Makeup Honorable Mentions

Feather Proof Moisturizing Lip Liner is something I recommend checking out if you want to play with more opaque looks. It goes on smoothly, doesn’t dry out the lips, and has good staying power — all at being just a buck each.

The Super Glossy Lip Shine SPF 15 is one of my niece’s favorites, as it provides a subtle bit of color while smelling amazing, comes in lots of great shades, and is still just a dollar per gloss — sunscreen and all!


  • All Over Cover Stick

If you’re in search of a concealer that won’t cost you an arm and a leg and still help you achieve flawless skin, then finding this is like finding a gold mine! You get a pretty good amount of this creamy corrective product for only a dollar.

It’s pretty heavily pigmented and will cover most flaws, my only gripe is that it doesn’t last all day for me — but that can be said for just about every other concealer I’ve used, including those that were 50 times the price!

  • Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder

If you use blush and bronzers, or if you’re just curious to experiment with them, this is a must-have! You get a full size blush and bronzer in a single compact, both for only $3.

When I first tried this product, I was actually expecting it to be a complete disappointment, as that’s my usual experience with drugstore brand blushes and bronzers. These colors and the quality of this makeup, however, really delivered — the colors themselves are nearly identical to Nars Deep Throat blush and Laguna bronzer, the combined cost of which would be $50!


  • Brushes

Brushes are often key to getting your makeup to look just the way you want it, and good brushes are not cheap! Over the years, I’ve collected ones from just about every makeup brand out there — from Chanel and Dior, to cheaper drugstore alternatives that I’ve since retired to the back of my drawer.

A good brush can make a huge difference in your final look, so this isn’t an area I generally like to compromise. I decided to give E.L.F. brushes a shot after reading some positive reviews about them, and boy am I ever glad I did!

I started with the Studio Powder Brush, and loved it so much, that I wanted to see how their other ones compare. I’d since purchased the 11 Piece Brush Collection from the Studio line, and all have been nothing short of phenomenal.

I can honestly say that I use them as frequently as I do my other brushes, for which I paid 20 times as much! Each E.L.F. professional quality brush is only $3!

  • Complexion Enhancers Honorable Mentions

In all honesty, I’m not through trying all of the face products just yet, though I must say, I’m yet to be disappointed with anything I’ve purchased from the Studio collection. Bronzers, blushes, and dusting powders have all been surprisingly high quality and very, very similar to much more expensive brands.

I highly recommend checking out the entire brand with an open mind. And hey, even if you really hate whatever it is you bought, what’s a buck for a little experimentation?!

Have fun shopping, guilt free, courtesy of E.L.F. Let me know what you end up trying!

Note: We were lucky enough to get E.L.F. Cosmetics to be one of our wonderful sponsors. To support this website, please shop E.L.F. through any of the links located in this article or in our forum, as this is the only way they’ll know you’re being directed from this website and keep supporting us. Thanks for helping us help you!

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11 thoughts on “Gorgeous for a Buck!

  1. Christine says:

    LOVE Elf’s materials!! I’m glad they’re a sponsor, because I was going to order some stuff from there anyway.

  2. KKKRRR says:

    I have bought sooo many liquid eyeliners, tried them once, then went back to my pencil. I just cant get them to look good.– Either too thin or too thick. The top ususallly isnt as bad as the bottom lashes.. Any tips?

  3. Jennie says:

    I’m glad you reviewed the brushes, I was wondering about them! I also will be trying the eyeshadow primer, I didn’t know they had one. Thanks!

  4. Olesya says:

    Glad you girls found this useful. If any of you end up trying things I haven’t, post up and let me know what you think! 🙂

    K, liquid liners are all about experimentation. The ones with soft brushes look better on the lower lash line than the stiff ones, but you need to have a stable hand applying it.

    It helps to rest your elbow on a hard surface, like a table or a countertop (kneel down if you must), and go SUPER lightly on the on the inner side of the eye, then press slightly harder as you extend the line outward. I don’t know if this makes sense; I should do a video tutorial! 😉

  5. mloveb says:

    Thanks! I recently saw some ELF products in Target. Not much but I bought 2 eyeshadow duos and 1 set of 3 liquid eyeshadows to test and see If I’ll be buying more, and I will. I’m still hooked on certain designer products but this stuff is way better than some of the stuff on the drugstore shelf. I wonder how they make the products so inexpensively??

  6. KKKRRR says:

    Thanks! I’m gonna give it another go. When I do, Im gonna post up a pic in the forums and let you ladies decide how it looks :D.

    Know what else always bothers me… Blush and bronzer.. Id love to hear the proper/best way to get these to look perfect. I am sure mine could stand for improvement!!

  7. mloveb says:

    I’ve also recent;y tried their lipgloss in the twist tube. The gloss has a scent and is sweet in taste, so for me that won’t work but If you like scented and flavored gloss it’s great has good pigment.

  8. mloveb says:

    Dang it I forgot Also got one of their brushes from Target and love it I’ll buy more from the link on our website. Very good.

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