Thumbs up or down for e.l.f. Brush Shampoo?

woman shows signs yes and no, hand fingers

When I get in the mood to buy something I’ll often look to E.L.F. Cosmetics since I can get my fix for very little money and I’ve learned that their products are great quality. I bought the e.l.f. Brush Shampoo ($3) online when I needed another product to reach free shipping. Which would you rather do? Own something or pay the post office?

E.L.F. Brush Shampoo

E.L.F. Brush Shampoo

e.l.f. has two different products for brush cleansing so it was an eeny meeny kind of situation. Both the Brush Shampoo and Daily Brush Cleaner are anti-bacterial cleansers. They both disinfect brushes and wash away the makeup and oils on your brushes. The main difference as far as I can tell is that this Brush Shampoo also conditions the fibers on your brush.

So how did this fare compared to the MAC Brush Cleanser that I use most often? First is price: $3 for 4.1 fl oz of e.l.f. compared to $16 for 7.9 fl oz of MAC. That’s an impressive savings.

E.L.F. Brush Shampoo

E.L.F. Brush Shampoo

Second is how to use these two. With the e.l.f. it is recommended that you massage a small amount of the shampoo with water and work it through the bristles from the base of the brush; rinse thoroughly; squeeze out the excess water; and lay flat on a clean cloth or surface to dry. With the MAC water isn’t really recommended. Instead apply the cleanser directly to the brush or a towel; then rub the brush along the towel until no color remains. What I actually do though with the MAC is pour a small amount over my brushes which are in a plastic cup; I swish it around trying to get color out of the brush, then add water and do it over again until the water runs clean.

Third is texture. E.L.F. Brush Shampoo has a thick texture like a shampoo. It’s hard to squeeze out of the bottle since it’s thick so I usually just pour it. MAC Brush Cleaner is a watery pink liquid.

ELF and MAC and two dirty brushes

ELF and MAC and two dirty brushes

Fourth is fragrance which is very important to me. I’ve given away many brush cleaners if they make my brushes smell. Surprisingly e.l.f. has no fragrance. I was a bit worried about that. With MAC I don’t notice a fragrance but then again I’ve been using it for over a dozen years so I’m used to it.

Last is performance. In order to compare apples to apples I used the e.l.f. in the way I always do with MAC but I did use my hands more with the e.l.f. the first time I used it. Now I pretty much just use the side of the cup.

before brushes

before brushes

The top brush was washed in E.L.F. for this picture and the bottom in MAC. I used the same exact method. The top kabuki brush is used more with cream blush so the color is pretty set in there.

after pictures - ELF on top, MAC on bottom

after pictures – ELF on top, MAC on bottom

I think the performance is about the same. Both cleansers removed the amount of color from the brushes that I expected. I no longer care if my brushes come out perfectly white every time. I just want them clean with no product left behind, the staining happens.

After all this the E.L.F. Brush Shampoo gets a Businesswoman with thumbs up, on whiteHave you tried this? How would you rate it?  — Marcia

Water(Aqua), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Chloride, Methylparaben.

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Top Ten Eyeshadow Primers

It’s Top Ten Tuesday time and our topic is primers this week. It will come as no surprise to regular Beauty Info Zone readers that my list is all about Eyeshadow Primers. It’s not that I don’t have enough facial primers to use for our topic but I’m a little nuts (or maybe a lot) and have this need to have all the eyeshadow primers available. While 10 are mentioned here I have more that I like but maybe not quite as much as these.

Eyeshadow Primers come in all prices which I’m demonstrating for you today with versions that range from $2 to $32. Price isn’t always the determining factor when it comes to this type of product. My $2 primer from E.L.F. works almost as well as my $20 Too Faced primers. The important thing to me is to use an eyeshadow primer every time I do my eyes. Primer is meant to even out skintone, make the colors last without creasing, help eyeshadow colors go on more evenly, and create a more vibrant look.

Top 10 eyeshadow primers

Top 10 eyeshadow primers

$1-$2  E.L.F. SHADOW LOCK EYELID PRIMER || There are 3 shades of this primer available. Right now E.L.F. is having a moving sale so the colors left are available for $1 but normally they are $2. My favorite is Champagne (there’s also Sheer and Pearl) because it is a light taupe/champagne shade adding some interest without a bit of shimmer.

$6.49  MILANI EYESHADOW PRIMER || This is one of my very favorite primers. I usually look for a sale on it and pick up 2 at a time. It took me a while too appreciate it since it’s thick at first but I learned to love it after running out of Too Faced Shadow Insurance once and now I always have one handy.

$6.99  NYX EYESHADOW BASE  ||  My only pot eyeshadow primer although that’s all I used to use. This has good points and bad. I’m not a fan of the pot itself. For someone with long nails it’s just a pain. I bought this in Pearl because I wanted the tiny bit of pearly shimmer which makes this worth getting out a taklon brush to apply it. It’s stiff and doesn’t go on as easily as a cream product but it does the job well and Ulta often has sales on NYX. This is also available in white and skintone.

Milani, NYX, ELF eyeshadow primers

Milani, NYX, ELF eyeshadow primers

$15  em cosmetic eyeshadow primer  ||  No one ever talks about em cosmetics anymore. This Michelle Phan line came out with a bang but it’s whimpering away. Out of all the products I’ve bought from the line this is the stand out. There’s a slight gleam to it that peeks through and makes eyeshadow more vibrant. I’d buy this again without a doubt.

em cosmetics eyeshadow primer

em cosmetics eyeshadow primer

$18  bareMinerals PRIME TIME EYESHADOW PRIMER  ||  This is a great primer but it’s really small. It’s a perfect size for travel though but I’m going through this pretty quickly for home use. I wish I didn’t like it this much or that the price wasn’t quite this high. My shadows stay so well when I’m using it.

bareMinerals eyeshadow primer

bareMinerals eyeshadow primer

$20  TOO FACED SHADOW INSURANCE  ||  This is the eyeshadow primer that changed the game. It’s the most talked about, that’s for sure. Be sure you shake it before using it the first time and then again about once a week. It can come out watery which you want to avoid. TFSI is the one I use the most because I can really rely on it. I know it will keep me creasefree under all conditions.

$20  TOO FACED SHADOW INSURANCE CANDLELIGHT  ||  Too Faced created a few more of their Shadow Insurance to meet the needs of everyone. The one I have is Candlelight which is a bright gold that just lights up my eyes. There are days I’ll put Candlelight on my lids, TFSI original on my brow bone, and a beautiful brown toned shadow in the crease. There’s no glitter in Candlelight but it is a bright shimmery gold. If I wore more glitter eyeshadows I’d buy TF Glitter Glue Shadow Primer since I know the quality of the brand.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight and original

Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candlelight and original

$21  LORAC BEHIND THE SCENES EYE PRIMER  ||  I don’t know why everyone isn’t shouting about this from their rooftops. It’s a fabulous eyeshadow primer. There was a small one in my LORAC Pro Palette and once I used it I knew I needed it in a full size. It’s $1 more than the Too Faced but it’s considerably bigger so there’s more bang for your buck. It has a slant tip opening which can get a little messy but I usually squeeze it out on my hand to apply rather than directly on my eye. I’m telling you – you are missing out on a gem if you don’t have this primer.

Lorac Behind the Scenes eyeshadow primer

Lorac Behind the Scenes eyeshadow primer

$29  BENEFIT AIR PATROL  ||  I had no intention of buying this because it’s obvious I don’t need another primer in my life. But I got a sample that lasted me for a few days and that sold me. This is very yellow which is why I wasn’t going to buy it. But once I used it I realized that the color wasn’t an issue once applied. This is considered to be a BB Cream Eyelid Primer and it has broad spectrum SPF 20 which I’m happy about. The tip is different since it’s a “cushion calm” tip that is exceptionally soft. A little goes a long way with this so I expect it to last a good amount of time.

Benefit Air Patrol eyeshadow primer

Benefit Air Patrol eyeshadow primer

$32  EDWARD BESS ILLUMINATING EYESHADOW BASE  ||  Edward Bess was my splurge item. I bought it much before the Benefit so even though the prices aren’t too far different I knew it was a splurge. It comes in three shades (Dune, Cashmere, Suede). Cashmere was my choice and I’m happy that I bought it. It looks a lot like a concealer with its brush applicator. Once I let it dry shadows really adhere to it. Anytime I have a poor performing shadow I turn to this Illuminating Base since I know if it doesn’t work with this, then the shadow just isn’t going to work. It’s worth the extra money even if I save it for special days.

Edward Bess eyeshadow primer

Edward Bess eyeshadow primer

I have other eyeshadow primers that I like (Urban Decay, Make Up For Ever, and IT Cosmetics for example) but they don’t get used as often as these 10. I know not everyone needs 10+ eyeshadows in their life but I’m obsessed and obviously obsessive! — Marcia

Join my friends in finding out what primers have changed their lives.


 

*affiliate links, all items are purchases

Top 10 Under $10

Top Ten Tuesday is always fun but today is especially so. I got to pick out 10 items that cost $10 or less to show you. With the winter holidays peeking around the corner you need to find some stocking stuffers or just something to perk up your own life. Here are some of my favorite cosmetic items. I’d love to learn what yours are too. — Marcia

LIPS

1.  PIXI BEAUTY SHEA BUTTER LIP BALMS ($8) come in 5 colors plus clear and they are totally awesome. They are a combination of a nurturing lip balm and a lipstick except they aren’t sticky at all. My blog partner Lisa raves about these constantly so I had to see what the fuss was about and now I agree with her. Pick from Ripe Raspberry, Coral Crush, Pixi Pink, Natural Rose, Honey Nectar or clear. I can’t wait to go back to Target to pick up Pixi Pink.

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Natural Rose

Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Natural Rose

2.  COLOURPOP is the hot brand of 2015. Their products are all so reasonably priced ($5-$8). They are known for their Ultra Matte lipglosses but those don’t do it for me. I do like their Lippie Stix though and I have several including the sheer Juice Bar in the collage. While not my favorite I appreciate all the choices and that they have matching Lippie Pencils for most of the Lippie Stix ($5 for the Lippie Stix, $5 for the Lippie Pencils). Totally fun pick me up and if you use the code “thanksbabe” you’ll get $5 off your order.

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BLUSH

3.  Speaking of ColourPop, they have 24 shades of blush in three different finishes (matte, satin, and pearlized). The texture of ColourPop blush and eyeshadows is not what you expect. They have a spongy feel to them and are a bit tricky the first time you apply them, but after you get the hang of them you’ll come back for more.

4.  MILANI ROSE POWDER BLUSHES aren’t in my collection but they need to be. There are nothing but raves for these. At $7.99 if you see them, grab them.

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EYES

5.  HARD CANDY SASSY EYES SULTRY PALETTES ($8) are in sturdy metal palettes with shadows that belie their price. There are 3 variations of these and if they are anything like the Smokey Eye Palettes that I have from the spring, then they are top rate. I still use my Smokey Eye Palettes all the time.

6.  SLEEK I-QUAD EYESHADOW & EYELINER PALETTES  ($8.99) are on my wishlist. There are 3 different palettes with three eyeshadows and a gel eyeliner. I’d have chosen one of the I-Divine eyeshadow palettes if it were under $10 but those are just above the limit at $11.99. This is a brand that I’m loving the more I use it.

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NAIL POLISH

7.  SINFUL COLORS ($1.99) amazes me. I’ve had the opportunity to review quite a few of their polishes and they last a full week on me. I know I mention them often but there’s a good reason for that.

8.  PIXI BEAUTY NAIL POLISH ($8) is another polish brand you’ll hear about from me over and over. I love how easy these are to find at Target, I love the colors, I love the wear. I just bought Olive Gold at Target after craving that shade for so long.With 40 shades you’ll easily find some you’ll crave too.

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HIGHLIGHTER

9.  e.l.f. ILLUMINATING PALETTE ($6) will satisfy your craving for highlighting aka strobing. 4 shades, $6. Can’t be beat. I just wish I could find the newer e.l.f. in stores.

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CLEANSING

10.  SIMPLE SKINCARE MICELLAR MAKEUP CLEANSING WIPES (approx $6) don’t totally fit this week’s theme for me but I just bought them and I’m impressed with a capital I. These wipes are different than the other brands I’ve tried. They are refreshing and remove cosmetics really well. They are gentle enough for my eyes which surprises me. Normally I use a separate eye makeup remover but so far I’ve even been able to get away without that. These may end up on my Top 10 list of the year.


Top Ten Tuesday’s Drugstore Favorites

Drugstore favorites February 2015

Drugstore favorites February 2015

It probably seems like you’ve just read about favorite drugstore items but last week’s Makeup Wars was a different challenge. Each of us picked one brand and highlighted our favorites from that brand. I chose Eddie Funkhouser which is no surprise to those who follow me. This week though we get to branch out and share 10 favorites from any brand. Since we did a Top Ten Tuesday in August I tried not to repeat products. I also tried not to repeat products recently talked about in Top Ten Tuesday or Makeup Wars. But enough about me and more about the products.

If you look at my Top Ten list you’ll notice I don’t have any lip products. My favorite products are for eyes so that’s what I concentrate on when I’m shopping. I’ve yet to find a drugstore lip product that I love. I did forget to put Burt’s Bees lip balms though – bad me.

MASCARA

Milani Total Lash Cover and L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly

Milani Total Lash Cover and L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly

Both Milani Total Lash Cover and L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly mascaras are repeat purchases. These are my newest ones and unopened only because I have too many mascaras in use for now. Of the two the Milani is my top choice. I love definition for my lashes and Milani Total Lash Cover is comparable to much more expensive mascaras. L’Oreal Butterfly adds the volume I like without being clumpy.

EYELINER

NYX liquid eyeliner in Dark Brown and Milani Fierce Foil cream/powder eyeliner

NYX liquid eyeliner in Dark Brown and Milani Fierce Foil cream/powder eyeliner

I’m having a love affair with both the NYX Liquid Eyeliner in Dark Brown and Milani’s Fierce Foil eyeliner in Fierce Brown. As a matter of fact I just bought 2 more shades of the Milani over the weekend but haven’t tried them yet. I wear a liquid liner at least 50% of the time and a gel liner about 40% of the time. I’m thrilled to find drugstore liners that can satisfy my eyelining urges and look perfect at the same time.

EYESHADOW BRUSH

e.l.f. glitter shadow applicator

e.l.f. glitter shadow applicator

This is my newest e.l.f.  shadow brush although it’s not really a brush. It’s made for applying glitter eyeshadow though I use it for pigments. The pigment adheres well to the applicator and then you PAT it on your eye. This helps to minimize fallout. I have quite a few e.l.f. eyeshadow brushes and for the amount of money ($1 – $3 usually) they are amazing.

EYESHADOW

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows

I’ve bought at least 9 of the Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows and I’d probably buy more if I could remember what I don’t have. When they first came out I became obsessed with them and ordered from their website. Now they are more easily available and you can almost always find a better price on them. My favorite shades Bella Chiffon, Bella Champagne, Bella Espresso and Bella Khaki.

Jane eyeshadows in River Rock, Sage and Olive Branch

Jane eyeshadows in River Rock, Sage and Olive Branch

Jane eyeshadows in River Rock, Sage and Olive Branch

Jane eyeshadows in River Rock, Sage and Olive Branch

No one ever talks about Jane Cosmetics which is a shame because this resurrected line has some excellent products. The eyeshadows are especially nice since they are well pigmented and last nicely with a primer. I chose 3 shimmer shades but they aren’t over the top with shimmer. Depending on how I apply them they can be almost metallic. There are 45 shades available at $8 each. Ulta may carry them at a store though they aren’t online there. I also bought some of the cream eyeshadows and I like those but I prefer these powder ones.

eye crayons from L'Oreal and Rimmel

eye crayons from L’Oreal and Rimmel

When it comes to a simple fast look there’s nothing like an eyeshadow crayon for me. L’Oreal Infallible Eye Crayons are beautiful but they are more expensive than a drugstore product should be so look for a sale. I have Impressive Brown and Enduring Rose which work well together or separately. Rimmel Eyeshadow Stick/Crayon comes in a lot of bright beautiful shades. I have it in Bulletproof Beige which is closer to a golden shade than beige. (My swatch picture disappeared!)

BLUSH

Maybelline Master Glaze blush sticks in Pink Fever and Just Pinched Pink

Maybelline Master Glaze blush sticks in Pink Fever and Just Pinched Pink

Believe it or not, Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Sticks are the only drugstore brand blushes I own. I love a good cream blush and these fit the bill at the right price. Pink Fever is a very bright pink that reminds me of Radiant Orchid while Just Pinched Pink is really an apricot shade to my eye.

That’s it – ten of my favorite recent products from the drugstore. I’d love to know which of these you like and what you buy yourself, so spill the beans! — Marcia


*nothing to disclose