In the spirit of Christmas...'e.l.f'

In October, a very close family friend asked me to do the hair & make up of a few of the bridal party and obviously I was so thrilled at the opportunity and began looking to expand my kit to suit the other words, it was the perfect excuse to go shopping for the hell of it!

I went on the e.l.f website ( because I had heard a few vloggers raving about its affordability and good quality and when times are tough you can't always head straight to Selfridges, so I thought I'd order a few things to give it a go, especially as they had some sort of 50% off orders over £30 (or something along those lines) deal that week.

A little background on e.l.f...
 - online range of products
- stands for eyes lips face.
- 'Launched in New York in 2004 and guided by American celebrity and beauty professional Scott-Vincent Borba (the man behind Hard Candy’s cosmetics line), e.l.f. is a revolutionary new beauty company, able to provide a line of cosmetics that moisturise, hydrate, and enliven your complexion without taxing your budget'
 - they have different ranges and prices differ accordingly - a more professional, better quality 'Studio' range as well as the 'Mineral' range, 'Elements' palettes and they are currently promoting a Christmas collection.

I ordered:
Studio Complexion Brush
Studio Powder Brush
Studio Stipple Brush
Studio High Definition Powder 
Studio Blush in 'Mellow Mauve'
*Also a Brush Cleanser Spray, Kabuki Brush and Studio Matte Lip Colour in 'Coral' which I forgot about hence why they aren't shown in the picture, oopsie!)

Studio Complexion Brush
E.l.f says...
"This new anti bacterial, synthetic haired Taklon brush is softer and more absorbent and can be used with wet or dry products. Be a professional makeup artist and create a flawless look with this e.l.f. studio brush!
-Creates an even and natural finish
-Expertly sweeps all types of powders across the entire face and sculpts features beautifully
-Use with pressed, loose, or translucent powders, blush or bronzer"

This brush costs £3.50 whereas the MAC 150 brush costs £32.50...granted, the MAC is a 'large powder brush' and the MAC 129 Powder/Blush brush is probably a closer comparison in size.

I actually never ended up using this as I had my trusty MAC 150 brush, but that is getting old (close to 5 years?!) so I took a closer look at this as an alternative...

I have never been too keen on synthetic brushes, they are harder to wash, and after the first wash they usually lose any softness they originally had, and they just don't look as authentic as a natural brush. BUT this is exceptionally soft - each hair is quite fine helping the softness and is a dense yet flexible brush so it does glide along the skin and cheekbones with ease, no pulling or dragging on oily or just moisturised skin.
One thing I definitely prefer with the e.l.f brush is its size - its smaller handle makes it more travel friendly, slightly lighter, and I may even prefer the black ferrule to the silver MAC one!
The MAC 150 on the bottom with silver ferrule and the e.l.f complexion brush with slightly smaller handle on top.

You can clearly see the difference in size, MAC do obviously offer closer-sized blusher brushes but even the density of the MAC is evident - this is most likely because of natural hair; its much thicker and picks up product a lot better on the brush (with synthetic brushes the product/powder tends not to grab onto the bristles)


I have yet to use this brush on a regular basis but I am looking forward to it, its so soft on the skin and its slightly tapered point makes it an excellent size for the blending in contour powder or building colour on the apples of cheeks. Its a size compact size to slip into your make-up bag for everyday use. The MAC 150 would fail slightly in terms of size; but makes up for it by being made of natural hair. Its a bigger brush and is best with setting powder for all over the face or a light bronzing on cheeks and forehead.

Studio Stipple Brush

E.l.f says...
"his new antibacterial, synthetic haired Taklon brush is softer and more absorbent and can be used with wet or dry products. Be a professional makeup artist and create a flawless look with this e.l.f. Studio brush!

The layered bristles create a soft airbrushed look that's perfect for applying foundation or adding colour definition to cheekbones or highlighting with soft layers. Use this brush with any liquid or powder face product such as foundation, blush or bronzer to build your coverage from sheer to heavy."
I couldn't afford to get my hands on the MAC stippling brush which I have read rave reviews for and to be honest, never really understood the hype of them. I got this in my 'e.l.f haul' to test the waters and I'm glad I did! 

This stippling brush is great for applying liquid foundation (especially Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation <3) when you want a less cakey, 'made up' feel. It buffs the skin for an airbrushed look BUT can be a bit time consuming as you have to keep going from foundation to face to ensure you get an even finish all over. It is also slightly big, I would have preferred a smaller head..but at £3.50 any size will do! It works well with building up blusher but again, it does take more time than an ordinary blush brush.

One bad point is the difficulty in washing this, as much as you try, the colour of make up does stain the white bristles which is really irritating to a clean freak like me - even though the brush is clean you don't feel like it really is.

Studio Powder Brush

Last but not least of the brushes, is this flat top 'powder brush' which I had been dying to try out...

Flat top brushes are really good for buffing product into the skin - giving a natural finish and allows your make up to sit in the skin longer. This brush is synthetic 'Taklon' but is SUPER soft and has a silky feeling which I love about it, but as you can see below it is very dense and can be a little tricky to push around on the face. It works best with a light hand, don't actually push down hard, this will 'hurt' the skin (unnecessary pressure) and if yours is dry like mine the product will catch on the dryness and outline it.

This definitely works better on normal/oily skin and preferably people with clear skin so there is no risk of pushing and irritating any spots and causing redness. It works well with the HD powder or MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural but can also be used for liquid products. I haven't tried to as yet because I think it would be pretty tough getting liquid foundation out of its dense bristles but this brush has probably held up the best of the three in regards to reuse after washing - I've washed these a fair few times and whilst my MAC brushes look well used they have lasted years and are still fine to use whereas these are already showing signs of wear and tear within a couple of months.

At such low prices though, the Studio all black range are sleek looking, lightweight, these are easily replaceable and a great way to test of different brush sizes and types to find out what your kit is missing! I will definitely keep my eye on e.l.f for future brush purchases.
The brushes were packaged well but did take 2 weeks to arrive, the original delivery date was pushed back because they had received exceptionally large orders and were very no next day delivery for me..(wishful thinking!)

I did buy other products which I listed above and will hopefully review them in a later blog (I accidently deleted the pics I took of them grr...)

Final point - please note I am in NO way affiliated with e.l.f cosmetics and all opinions are my own honest views on the products. Feel free to ask any questions and leave your comments below :)

'It's beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart.' - Unknown


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