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E.L.F. Cosmetics: A Game Changer

Thanks to celebrities like the Kardashians and Kylie Jenner, big lips, flawless skin, and feathery eyelashes are mega popular. Celebrities have always been under the microscope for beauty and glamour, but even more so now due to the rise of social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram where they can document their every style, makeup application, and product release.

But what a lot of women don't think about is the expense of all this star-worthy makeup. Some of the foundations (not to mention the applicators and setting sprays) used by celebrity makeup artists cost anywhere between $47-$62 for a 5-6oz bottle. Maybe I don't speak for everyone, but I'm not willing to spend that much on foundation every few months.

About two years ago when I was living in Austin, TX, I was doing what most moms and women do at least twice a week: wandering through Target. The mecca of all things, I stumbled upon a section in the makeup aisle of cheap, really cheap makeup and brushes. I started looking at the prices and realized it was cheaper than some of the Wet'n Wild products targeted to tweens. Of course, I had to try it. I got a foundation, brush, and a smudge pot (more on this later) all for about $6.

What I didn't know at the time was that I had Just. Struck. Gold.

After that first purchase, I was hooked. As my old products were used up, I would replace them with E.L.F. brand products instead, and was usually much happier with how they looked on my face. The colors have great pigmentation, the foundations offer buildable coverage, and the brushes are soft and sturdy.

Here are a few of my all-time favorite products and the ones I can't live without:

1. E.L.F. Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ($3)

In the summer, I don't wear a lot of makeup. But this is my go-to when I want slight coverage and skin protection. Silky smooth, it applies just like lotion. It's hydrating and makes your face have a little dewy look, so it's perfect for summery days and hot nights.

2. E.L.F. Smudge Pot Cream Eyeshadow ($3)

This is for every lazy girl out there. And every girl who doesn't feel like blending and using 4 different brushes to apply eyeshadow. Smudge pots can be applied with a clean fingertip, and are buildable for perfect shimmer and coverage. Keep it light during the day, and add a few extra layers for more a darker look in the evening. They all have a bit of shimmer, and come in 4 amazing colors.

3. E.L.F. Bronzer ($4)

This bronzer palate is the best year-round bronzer I have found. It creates a healthy glow and is super lightweight. It comes in 3 different shade combinations, depending on your skin tone, and the shades can be used individually, or blended (my way of choice!) to achieve a perfect blended bronzed look. It's not too shimmery, so it's perfect for cheeks, swept around the hairline, and on your jaw to give you that "just got back from the beach" kind of glow.

4. E.L.F. Professional Complete Set of 12 Brushes ($12)

Considering I rarely wear a full face of makeup (primer, foundation, concealer, eyeshadow, contour, etc), this set of brushes is perfect. It has every brush you could want. I'm sure when I do use them, I don't use them correctly. But it works. They're super soft and fit perfectly in your fingertips so you can achieve a flawless look.

5. E.L.F. Moisturizing Lipstick

I don't usually wear lipstick, but when I do, it's most likely E.L.F. in Wine Tour. I have lipsticks from big brands like MAC and Urban Decay, but the E.L.F. brand goes on so silky smooth and doesn't wear off (no matter how many glasses of wine I've had). My lips don't feel dry and cracked, and it feels like you're wearing chapstick. Plus the colors are gorgeous.

So those are a few of my favorites, although I haven't used an E.L.F product that I've not loved. The eyebrow kits are amazing, the setting spray is perfect (and it doesn't smell bad like other brands), and the cream eyeliner is the best ever, and lasts forever. I've had the same pot of eyeliner for about a year.

More and more people are turning to E.L.F. and they host pop-up events at SXSW in Austin, TX and New York stores. Where they differ from the big name brand cosmetic lines, is that they don't rely on celebrity endorsements and advertisements. Instead, they rely on consumers to spread the word and share their brand. E.L.F is heavily rooted in social media, and are wildly active on Snapchat and Instagram.

Never in a million years did I think I would be plugging a makeup brand as much as I do, but when I find a product that is affordable, fun, and functional, I'll shout it from the rooftops.

E.L.F. Cosmetics is changing the face of the beauty industry. And that is something I can stand behind.

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