One-Dollar Makeup a Hit and Miss

e.l.f Shimmering Facial Whip in 'Toasted'

A new company sells a full line of makeup, and each item costs
just $1. But does the axiom hold true that you get what you pay
High-quality makeup for $1 is a great idea in theory. In practice, it doesn’t work out quite as well.

An up-and-coming makeup company called e.l.f. – eyes, lips, face – works from the idea that women should have access to quality makeup without paying department-store prices.

Each item e.l.f. sells is $1 – a welcome change from other brand-name products. A 1.4-ounce bottle of bronzing gel from Clinique, for example, is $18.50, according to Clinique’s Web site.

To find out if e.l.f. products were too good to be true, we put the products to the test.

Though e.l.f. offers a full line of products – including nail polish, eye shadow, mascara, several kinds of lip gloss, lip liner, eyeliner, blush and face powders – it’s hard to find them all.

South Valley bargain hunters will find e.l.f. at their local Target store, but be warned that often only select products or select colors are available rather than the complete line.

The five products we tested were the Brightening Eye Color in the “luxe” color palette, the Earth and Water Mascara Duo in “noire,” the Soothing Lip Gloss in “chai,” the Brightening Eye Liner in “coffee” and the Shimmering Facial Whip in “toasted.”

Brightening Eye Color in the luxe color palette

This was a bargain at $1. Not only did the color go on smoothly without breaking into chunks in the case, there were four colors in the palette, including shades resembling French vanilla, rose, pewter and fawn. The only flaw we found is that the eye shadow tends to rub off easily.

Earth and Water Mascara Duo in ‘noire’

This is a two-in-one tube of mascara. Waterproof mascara is on one side, and regular mascara is on the other. The waterproof went on clumpy and smeared everywhere. It wasn’t attractive. The regular mascara went on only slightly better. Though the regular mascara would do in a pinch, we like our department stuff better, even at 12 times the price.

Soothing Lip Gloss in ‘chai’

This gloss had a strong makeup smell and a horrible taste. This was the only color we could find, and it turned lips a flat, flesh-tone color. The texture of the gloss was nice, and it seemed to moisturize well, but it didn’t look good.

Brightening Eye Liner in ‘coffee’

We loved and recommend this liner. It’s a pencil liner, but it goes on like a liquid. It creates a smooth, precise line and comes with a sharpener. At $1, it’s like a gift from heaven for all those women who have long struggled with pencil liners tugging at the sensitive skin around eyes.

Shimmering Facial Whip in ‘toasted’

The facial whips are supposed to work on eyes, lips and cheeks. The e.l.f. Web site,, claims the whips have “no sticky, greasy feel,” but we beg to differ. The shimmering facial whip was so greasy, no one was willing to try it on her face. We tried it on our lips, and it certainly shimmered, but it also looked like something David Bowie would have worn on his lips in the ’80s. Avoid this one.

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