Picture Perfect? New Elf Studio Brushes + Ultimate Kabuki Brush

elf contour brush

elf ultimate kabuki

Hey lovelies, today I have a review!

Alright, so can we just talk about how amazing Elf (eyes lips face) Cosmetics is for a second? They are so affordable, cruelty free (many products are vegan friendly as well), and many things are incredible! I say many because I have tried some dud products from them, but I also have some forever holy grail items by their brand.

One of my favorite things being their Studio Line brushes. I own quite a few from face to eye brushes…most of them are so amazing and are about $3-6 each. I’m not a “sigma” or “mac 217” kind of gal, I like my brushes to be great quality, yet affordable. Personally, I can spend $25 on way cooler things than a brush. However, brushes are important and nessecary in my collection, so I don’t like to skimp on quality.

You all can probably imagine my excitement when Elf not only released their new ultimate kabuki brush, but also announced the release of 3 new studio brushes, including a contour brush!
That’s right, a true contour brush at a wallet busting $6.

And yes, I bought all 3 of the new brushes and the ultimate kabuki brush. Judge me if you wish, but I will admit that I’m still trying to build up my brush collection. I just started adding brushes to my routine possibly 2 years ago, and I started out with 2 no name drugstore brushes that I used for everything.

The 3 new brushes that came out a few weeks ago include a contour brush, a brow duo brush, and a blending brush. My overview today is about all 3 of the new brushes and the ultimate kabuki brush, which I’ve had for a few months now. It should be noted that the studio line from elf is vegan friendly, but the essentials line is not as far as I know. Also, I am not sponsored by elf, and these are my honest opinions. I purchased these brushes myself with my money.

Prices: Duo Brow Brush: $3
Blending Brush: $6
Contour Brush: $6
Ultimate Kabuki: $10

Brow Duo Brush This handy little guy comes with an angled brush side and a small spoolie side to brush and shape brows. I really like this duo! The spoolie is small so it really gets into the brow hairs and brushes them out, and the small angled brush is soft, yet stiff enough to give a natural look to the brows while filling them in. If you have sparse brows like myself and need a bit of “help” creating what looks like hair, this does the job well. I’m still blown away that this only costs $3!

Blending Brush If I’m completely honest for a second, this is probably my favorite brush in this post. I adore this brush. It’s so soft, and the angle in it allows for a precise contour if you want a light contour that day, or you can use it to blend out the contour you’ve already laid down. I’ve used it to blend cream and powder contours, blushes, liquid highlighters…this brush is awesome. Even if you read this post and decide you have enough brushes, you may need to add this one. I am head over heels in love with it.

Contour Brush This brush surprised me. I was convinced I couldn’t like any contour brush more than my Crown Deluxe Contour brush, but this brush comes close to my love for it. This brush is soft, but not too soft. It will also give you an extreme contour, so beware because it does pick up a lot of product because the hairs are so close together and short. On days when I want a darker contour I reach for this brush, but I still find myself reaching for my Crown brush more often because I don’t like a stark contour except for date night when I know I’m going to be somewhere with a weird lighting.

Ultimate Kabuki Brush I’m not gonna lie, I had no idea what the heck I was going to use this brush for at first when I got it. I’ve had to play around with it a bit, but it’s actually a pretty awesome brush and can be used multiple ways. This brush is really dense. I’ve used it to pat on blush, to apply highlight (use the flat sides), and to clean up my face if I’ve had fallout from shadows or anything. This can probably be used as a neat body bronzing brush as well, but I’m not about that bronzing life. For the ways it can be used compared to the price, I think this brush is fantastic!

My thoughts on elf studio brushes in general are that they are amazing given the low price point. These are some to definetely consider adding to your cart if you’re placing an order with them anytime soon, or if you’re in the market for some new brushes and on a budget. I haven’t had any shedding problems with any of these brushes yet, but I’ve also only had them for a month or so.

2014 Makeup Favorites

Ah, the post where I try to wrap up my entire year in beauty in one place *gulps*
This has been a tough post for me. 2014 seemed like a big year makeup wise for me. So many amazing products came into my life, some of which are here to stay for possibly forever (or until discontinued).

Brace yourselves, a long post is coming.

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First, I want to talk about the Revealed 2 palette by Coastal Scents. I was once someone that swore Urban Decay made the best palettes…then I bought this one. I use this palette about any time I am not reviewing something or creating a tutorial. It’s so versatile and I feel it really suites my green eyes. There’s really not a color in this palette that I don’t love.
The shadows are very smooth and pigmented. Totally a palette that I would recommend to anyone that doesn’t already own it.

Second, the elf prism palette in “Naked” which is probably my second favorite palette at the moment. I’ve talked about this palette so much, but it deserves the attention. I won’t go into too much detail to avoid putting everyone to asleep, but just order this palette. You will thank me.

Concealing is a big part of my makeup routine. I have fairly clear skin, but I have very dark under eyes from being super pale and an asthmatic. I look like a real life Tim Burton character some days. The Nyx HD concealers have been a staple in my makeup routine for pretty much the entire year. I have tried and liked other concealers, but these are just beyond amazing. I mix both porcelain and lavender together to create the perfect shade to conceal and highlight my under eyes. The only downfall is that there doesn’t seem to be a ton of product in the tubes, but at $5 each it’s okay.

The Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade was a product that I purchased twice in the year 2014. Yep, that’s when you know the love for a product is real, especially if you’re someone that is constantly trying new products like myself. I currently have the shade ebony, and even though I still don’t think this shade is dark enough, I make it work. I love it that much. When I need a very carved out and precise brow…this is what I use. Holy grail status.

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I would be no where without my Manic Panic white foundation, or at least my face would be a different color than my neck. I always bring this up when a fellow pale warrior talks about the struggle of finding foundations that are light enough. This product has helped me to bring some of my old favorite foundations back into my life. I just mix a few pumps in and apply to my face. It doesn’t change the foundation. It’s perfect. I’ve been through 2 bottles this year alone.

Going with the face thing, I do have to mention my Elf acne fighting foundation. There are cons to this products such as not being light enough, swatches looking different online than in person etc, but the formula and coverage are amazing. I wear this when my skin is less than satisfactory. It has salicylic acid in it, but not a lot so it’s never made my face feel dry. For $6, I would recommend everyone try this out if they’re looking for a great full coverage foundation.

The Too Faced Cocoa Powder didn’t come into my life until later on the year, but it’s still worthy of being mentioned in this post. I have the shade “light” (duh) and I use it to set my foundation if I’m wearing a BB cream, or I wear it alone on “no makeup” days. It doesn’t get cakey at all, and it looks beautiful on my skin. Powders are a hit and miss with my because my skin is very dry in some places, but this powder doesn’t cling to my dry spots. Worth every penny. And the packaging is so freakin’ adorable. Too Faced always creates the cutest packaging.

The Mary-Loumanizer by The Balm has been a product I have been wanting to try for so long and I finally found it 50% off on hautelook.com one day. This product is incredible, and I will repurchase it at full price if need be. However, I don’t foresee running out of this product anytime soon. This is my go-to highlighter if I’m not reviewing/creating a look and I haven’t even made a dent in the product. Very very little goes a long way. I feel this is the holy grail highlighter for pale folks. It gives a very healthy glow, and paired with a nice peachy blush it makes me look like I had the best orgasm of my entire life.
Too much info? Oh well 😉

At the top of the picture, that’s my real techniques miracle sponge. I own several of these. I’m in love with them. I use it to blend foundation, concealer, and my contouring. I also use it to apply powder. I have no idea what I was doing before this sponge came into my life. If you have dry skin and brushes on your face make your foundation cling to dry spots, buy this sponge. It’s $6 at most places (on sale often at Ulta) and incredible. Just trust me.

My almost everyday contouring product has been the Nyx blush in Taupe. It’s a product that’s talked about often in the beauty community, so I won’t ramble too much, but it’s truly spectacular on pale skin. It’s cool toned and doesn’t make me look orange.

I’m a blush fanatic. The products I buy the most have to be blush and lipstick. However, I reach for Elf’s Studio Blush in “Wanderlust” often, especially in the fall and winter. It’s a deep plumish-mauve color and very cool toned. I wear a lot of cool toned looks, so this has been an almost everyday blush for me lately. It’s very pigmented, so use a very light hand with it if you’re pale. I feel this is a color that can flatter every skin tone though.

Now…on to lip products. This was the hardest part for me because I love lipstick and stuff.

Probably my favorite lip product discovery of 2014 in general has to be liquid lipsticks. I reach for them often and they last fo-freakin-EVA on my lips.

A new brand I have discovered is Pretty Zombie Cosmetics. I purchased “Zombettie” and “Black Cat” awhile back, and I reach for Zombettie so often. It’s a very pin-up vintage red and super matte, but not drying. Pretty Zombie has liquid lipsticks that are $12 each (cheaper than many) and it’s a vegan brand. However, they have been slightly MIA from instagram and it’s raising concerns for some. Apparently, it’s a one woman army running the company and has been overwhelmed with all of the people in love with her product. Not that I can blame them. The packaging, price, and product are all spot on. I don’t feel ethically right purchasing Lime Crime after reading and witnessing some things, so I hope that this brand releases more in 2015. I went to the site a few days ago and it looks like there’s a new burgundy shade to be released in January, and I am flippin’ excited about it.

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Okay, forgot I had a lone non-lip product in this picture haha. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog or youtube channel you have probably heard me mention the physician’s formula eye booster pen in “ultra black” at least a bajillion times. It’s my favorite liquid eyeliner. It makes creating wings super easy, and it’s half the price of the Kat Von D pen ringing in at $9. Life changing product.

Speaking of Kat Von D, I can’t hate on her products at all because her brand is probably my favorite to buy when I have the money to splurge. I bought the liquid lipstick in “Lolita” on a whim a few months back, and damn I’m glad I did. From what I’ve seen this color has been hard to get a hold of at times throughout the fall and into winter. It’s such a beautiful brown nude color though. It’s my go-to nude lately, and probably will continue to be into 2015. I’m obsessed.

Too Faced was a brand I had never tried until not too long ago. Once I tried this brand I have been hooked and I love when I can try out new products. One of my favorite lip products for the year is also by Too Faced, and that is the shade “Fig” from the Melted Lipstick line. It’s such a beautiful and perfect plum toned color. I feel this is a very flattering color on pale skin tones, and would probably look great on everyone. I really need to get my hands on several of the new colors though.

Last, but certainly not least, are the LA Girl Lip Paints in “Tempt” and “Blushing.” I own about 8 of these babies ($4 each) and they are all beautiful, but these were my most used. I don’t like sticky gloss, but these aren’t sticky whatsoever. They’re super pigmented and look great alone or on top of other colors. Tempt is a very dark berry color, and Blushing is a gorgeous darker mauve shade.

If you made it to the end of this post…congrats. This was a long one. I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2015 in every way, not just in terms of beauty.