Friday, 15 February 2008

e.l.f. Elements Customisable Compact

RRP: £7.50 for one refillable compact + 4 'elements' of your choice
no. of shades available: 10 eye colours, 10 lip colours and 5 face powders

--What does the promo say?--
"Start with your compact. Mix and match your desired colours. e.l.f.’s philosophy is that beauty comes from within and it's our goal to enable every woman to look and feel her personal best through the perfect blend of both the inner and outer person. With that goal in mind, e.l.f. cosmetics was born – a line of simple, luxurious, problem-solution tools that allow you to showcase and believe in your unique, personal beauty. Our cosmetics are designed to improve and accentuate the individual, not hide her away."

--About the brand--
e.l.f. (the three letters standing for 'eyes, lips, face') started in New York in 2004 and has been taking the world by storm ever since. It has just arrived in Britain, and claims to offer high quality cosmetics at low low prices. The brand admits that animal testing does take place in the formulation of its products, but only when no other method is available.

Your customisable compact is about 8cm x 8cm, taking the form of a white, square, plastic flip-top compact. The e.l.f. logo is written on the lid in silver. You fill the four circles with the colours of your choice, and all compacts come with an eye brush and a lip brush, and their own mirror. The little circles could do with some sort of peel-off adhesive so that the elements would actually stick there and not move about when you're trying to apply them, but they don't fall out, so it's OK. I'm also not so sure that I like the white plastic as it looks a bit chavvy, but this is a fairly superficial comment (for the benefit of any Americans unfamiliar with the chav revolution, I think this probably about covers it).

It's pretty simple - use the brushes provided to apply the eye stuff to your eyes and the lip stuff to your lips. You'll need your own brush to apply any face powder you include in your compact though.

None particularly.

The good news is that the lipgloss doesn't look greasy. This is a good start. The face powder and eyeshadow elements have either a little face silhouette or a little eye silhouette 'embossed' into the solid powder, which is quite cute to look at. Once everything you've chosen is on your face, there's one thing that rather suggests to me that the whole business of choosing your own elements of the compact is idiot-proof: the fact that despite not even trying to match the colours to one another, they all went very nicely together and matched my skin tone. RESULT.

Lipgloss nicer than the Too Faced compact I also own - just the right consistency (not too thin or too gloopy) and with a really nice natural-looking amount of colour, making these compacts perfect for creating everyday looks. The face powders and eyeshadows also go on smoothly and cause no irritation.

Powder = brilliant, it lasts all day. Lipgloss = not amazing. Eyeshadows = better than some more expensive products I've used.

--Value for money--
Given the quality of the products, £7.50 for a full compact is brilliant value, especially for a bespoke product. It makes a really nice gift for anyone and it really is fully customisable: if you or the person you're buying for doesn't like lipgloss, for example, then that's fine as you can just substitute the lipgloss for an extra eyeshadow or face powder. Buy one now :)

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