Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: e.l.f. Disney Villains Look Books

One of my many guilty pleasures is watching makeup guru videos on YouTube, so last year when I came across a video that announced the launch of an e.l.f. makeup palette featuring Disney villains, my eyes were glued to the screen. How perfect! Something that combined two of my favorite things: makeup and Disney. These special products were out for a limited time at Halloween and only at select Walgreens. I immediately jumped in the car to find them. After all, looking good is still a part of domestic bliss...

I purchased one of each of the three featured villains (Cruella, Evil Queen, and Maleficent) and let my mom and sister each pick one and kept the last one for myself. I ended up with Maleficent.

This year, they launched the look books again, but in addition to the three villains mentioned above, Ursula joins the bunch. My sister was so excited and inspired by the one I gifted her last year, when she spotted that they maybe another appearance this year, she picked up one of everything just for me. I was very excited, but thought I should share, at least a little bit, so I convinced her to keep the Evil Queen set for herself.

Last year, each look book contained a set of false eyelashes. This year, instead of the false eyelashes being included, they were sold separately. The lashes are actually ARDELL brand versus e.l.f. and each villain has three sets of different (and flashy) false eyelashes with glue. I didn't even try the included lash glue last year: it looked like superglue and scared me. This addition looks much better.

Beyond that, e.l.f. also put out a nail polish set that includes three colors for each villain. The colors are great to look at, but I haven't actually opened the bottles yet, so I can't speak of the quality. There are also a set of hair ties that belong to each villain and yep, you guessed it, I got those, too! Is my sister the best or what?

But let's get back to this year's look books. Each package includes: a mascara, pencil eyeliner, liquid eyeliner, a six-color eyeshadow palette, eye primer, and eyeshadow brush, and a lip gloss. Each villain has her own distinct eyeshadow and lip colors, but the products are all the same.

The Breakdown:

Mascara - This mascara is certainly nothing to write home about. It's fine. It's actually better than I thought it would be. It does a good job separating the lashes, but I felt it left them looking thin. Maybe it would work as a second coat on top of a thickening mascara, but it didn't do much defining by itself.

Would I purchase separately? No.

Pencil eyeliner - What I enjoy about this pencil liner is that it doesn't pull or tug on the eyelid. Even just a light touch and you will deposit a thin black line; however, the pencil doesn't smudge well at all. It creates a precise line, but if you're going for a smokey eye, you may find yourself wiping it right off versus giving your eye a smoldering effect. Note: I didn't try it in the waterline, which I suspect it may actually be good for. I have extremely sensitive eyes and typically do not have good reactions to products applied to my waterline.

Would I purchase separately? No.

Liquid eyeliner - This liner has a good applicator. You can apply it in thin strokes or longer swooshes. It's jet black and dries that way. Another plus. The formula is a little more watery than I like, but it goes on easy without drying too quickly so you can touch it up a bit if you don't get the shape you were aiming for the first swipe. Once it dries, it stays in place. It kind of reminds me of paint. Quite a good liquid liner really.

Would I purchase separately? Possibly, if I were looking for a fun look. I usually prefer a gel liner pot or creamier pencil.

Eyeshadow palette - This is obviously the main reason to buy this product other than the fun factor. I was really happy that this year the eyeshadow palette actually came in a case with a mirror so you could add it to your regular makeup collection or throw it in your purse. The colors for each villain are different, but the quality is surprising good. With the included eye primer, the color lasted all day without creasing. The pigmentation payoff was surprisingly good and with the mixture of matte and metallic colors you can create great day or evening looks. The only complaint I have with the eyeshadow palette is that there are no color labels on the compact itself. Once you take it out of the package, you don't know what the names are. Note: I do not know if these are special colors just for the books or if they are colors normally in the e.l.f. line just with new names to complete the package.

Would I purchase separately? Yes. I was more than happy with this shadow, the textures, the colors, and the pigmentation. I'd actually choose it over some of my most expensive eyeshadows.

Eye primer - I was really pleased with this eye primer. The color is nude and it's a thin liquid that dries to a powder texture almost immediately when you blend it with your finger. I applied it under the eyeshadow. It didn't create a cakey texture and lasted all day. I think I actually like it better than the Smashbox and Urban Decay primers that I have, though not as much as Too Faced Shadow Insurance, all of which make my top cut. I'd also be willing to bet, when purchased separately, it's a lot more affordable than the aforementioned!

Would I purchase separately? Definitely. It worked great and had an appealing consistency. It also competes with my high priced eye primers.

Eyeshadow brush - This brush is full-size which is nice. It actually has bristles, and it isn't a sponge-tipped applicator so it's already better than what a lot of palettes come with. It's kind of a short-bristled, flat, rounded shader brush. I'd say it's somewhat comparable to a MAC 239 brush. Obviously, not as high quality, but really actually decent to have on hand for quickies. Mine were all bent slightly upwards when I first took them out of the packaging, but began to lay flat after a only a short time.

Would I purchase separately? It wouldn't be my first choice of makeup brush for everyday use, but it's nice to have as part of a bigger collection. It's good for patting eyeshadow on and would probably work well for cream eyeshadows as well. I like having extra brushes for cream shadows because they get messy so quickly.

Lip gloss - Of course we all have more lip gloss than we know what to do with, and this one is just your run of the mill lip gloss. I will give it credit for not being sticky. Sticky lip glosses just annoy me. It didn't seem moisturizing, but it wasn't drying. It gave a pretty, sheer wash of color. Again, it's fine. Nothing special. But as you might already know about me, I'm really a lipstick girl anyway.

Would I purchase separately? It's not that I didn't like this, I just probably wouldn't buy any lip gloss at the moment. I just have so many already!

Overall, just for the fun of Halloween, makeup, and Disney Villains, these look books were worth the price as a treat. But the fact that these goodies actually produced pretty, everyday, wearable looks made them a real steal. Now factor in the idea that (especially with the additional purchase of the eyelashes) you can kick it up and notch and add some more festive looks, you really can't go wrong with these sets!

Well, maybe buying every single piece of every single set was a bit costly so don't get carried away...or do!

These were a nice step up from last year and I would definitely buy them again next year. It's a exciting new tradition to add the the mix. Personally, I'll take makeup over pumpkin guts any day! Happy Halloween all!

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