A whole lot of people seem to be split down the middle on the subject of e.l.f. brand (“eyes, lips, face”) products, it’s either people detest or love that they’re a way cheaper brand. Everyone who knows a thing or two about beauty knows that the product range is quite unbelievably affordable. Many items you can get for $1-2 worth or just a little under or over Php100.oo but they also have a few that cost a little bit more. I wouldn’t say the quality is “dirt cheap” though, I actually like their creamy no fail gel liners, just don’t like the plastic pots they come in because it doesn’t keep the product as well as a glass pot would. The e.l.f. range actually has a lot of items that perform well, they do the job, period…like the Studio makeup brushes for example (take note, the Studio line, the black ones designed for professional use). If you’re frustrated that we don’t have the Real Techniques brushes more readily available in retail, try these which are locally available at Rustan’s Beauty source and SM if I’m not mistaken, not sure if SM carries the Studio line.
LEFT: E.l.f. Studio Complexion Brush, RIGHT: E.l.f. (Flat Top) Powder Brush
The brush on the right, the E.l.f. Powder brush is the more popular one online among pros and bloggers and is a larger version of the Charm Luxe Flat top brush I featured before. It would be lovely for buffing in foundation or mineral makeup, perfect for either. If you’d like to conserve more liquid product though using the flat top Powder brush that’s possible. I recommend applying and slightly spreading the amount of liquid foundation you need with your hands onto your face first then using the brush to work and polish it onto the skin so the brush doesn’t soak up product. The Complexion brush is simply like the softest synthetic powder brush I have ever, as in ever felt and would be great for applying loose powder. There’s a debate on whether natural bristles pick up powder products better than synthetic bristles do. I believe that principle when it comes to powder eyeshadow but I’m neutral when it comes to the application of loose powder or blush. I think it has to do with how the hairs, synthetic or not, are tapered at the tip. I think this Complexion brush will do really well for loose powder especially.
If pro MUA Lisa Eldridge can sport an e.l.f. brush or two to use on herself in her videos once in awhile then that is good enough reason for me to put in a bit of money to replace just a few other brushes I have that are shedding. I settled on these two brushes for now. Because these are developed with finely groomed synthetic Taklon bristles (just like the Real Techniques brushes) they can be used with wet or dry products. They are so unbelievably soft, actually softer than the Real Techniques brushes, in fact so soft they deceptively feel like natural bristles. I’m actually returning to Rustan’s only to exchange one of these today for an exact same one simply because the handle of the one I picked was just very slightly bent, someone else probably wouldn’t have noticed (I realized when I twirled and looked at the brush 360), but other than that the brush is fine, no pre-use shedding at all and the bristles were densely packed. At Php249.50 per brush (these ones) from Rustan’s Beauty Source (got mine at Glorietta Grand mall) you can be certain I’ll be getting a few more later on as needed. What’s lovely about getting these at Rustan’s is you can inspect your purchases first and you’ve got 10 days to return or exchange any item as long as you have your receipt. Edit: If you’re an online shopper a reader just shared that she gets her E.l.f. studio brushes for less at this local site, and cheaper indeed at under Php180 per brush http://www.nyxwholesaleph.com/testopencart/. My top UK beauty blogger friend Charlotte (she hit #1 or 2 on occasion and won the Johnson & Johnson Best Beauty blog award in 2010) in this video shares her favorite budget makeup brushes and has a couple e.l.f. brushes to praise in it.