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An Almanac For The 21st Century

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These Fancy Eyeshadow Brushes are Super Affordable

These Fancy Eyeshadow Brushes are Super Affordable

Considering how long I’ve been using makeup, I’m still relatively new to eyeshadow. Makeup for me was all about covering up things I was self conscious about - not about like, making myself look pretty. Imagine! Well, that’s where I am now (huge shoutout to Accutane and regular dermatologist visits for getting my skin to this point). Based on watching YouTube beauty tutorials, you could get the impression that you need 50 specialized brushes and the skills of a renaissance artist to achieve decent eye makeup. But I’ve found a line of brushes that work amazingly well and cost $5. And I want to tell EVERYONE.

Elf (e.l.f.?) Beautifully Precise Makeup Brushes feel pretty darn close to high end brushes. They hold their shape, don’t shed, apply beautifully, and wash up amazingly well. I admittedly haven’t tried the whole like, but I’m obsessed with the eye brushes. Particularly the eyeshadow, blending, and smudge brushes.

Elf Brushes.jpg

Each brush costs $5 and the eyeshadow and smudge brushes can be found at Target, Ulta, etc. The blending brush, based on my research, can only be bought direct from the Elf website (more on that later).

With just $15 worth of brushes, you can create a simple eye look that makes it seem like you have it all figured out, despite leaning how to apply eyeshadow a scant few years ago. Here’s an example of how I use these brushes using the Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette (which I bought half off on a whim at Sephora and ended up loving).

Elf Brushes in Use.jpg

I use the blending brush with the shade chaser and just apply shadow all over my eyelid. Then I take the eyeshadow brush, which could really benefit from a more descriptive name, and use a shade like Cayenne or En Fuego to apply shadow to the “outer V.” This brush is sort of flat, and tapered on each side, so it’s really great for applying shadow in a V-ish shape along outer edges of the crease and the lash line. Then grab the blending brush and blend it! I take the brush and just run it in circles in that outer V, the take the brush over the crease, and repeat like a hundred times (i.e. 5-10 times). Then I take the smudge brush and dip it into the shade Ashes, and run it along my lash line. This isn’t proper eyeliner, but it softens the division between your lashes and your eyeshadow, and if you’re like me, you have smudged mascara right in that spot that you want to make disappear/look like an intentional makeup choice.

e.l.f. on the left, MAC on the right

e.l.f. on the left, MAC on the right

This is not a groundbreaking makeup look, but it IS accessible, fast, and easy. And it always ends up looking good. I used to use a MAC 217 brush to do my blending, but I wanted at least one more blending brush so I wouldn’t have to clean my blending brush constantly. Look at the Elf blending brush next to the MAC 217. They’re pretty darn close. I’d say that the differences (the MAC is a little more tapered and slightly denser) are negligible when you consider that one costs $5 and the other costs $25.

But depending on where you live, the MAC may be easier to get ahold of. Remember when I said the Beautifully Precise Blending Brush was only available through the Elf website? Well I ordered two (in case I loved it and wished I had another one) and from the day I ordered to the day I got my delivery 13 days had passed. I know we’ve all become spoiled by free 2 day shipping and such, but I truly felt like I was waiting FOREVER for this stuff to arrive. And I live in a large city! There is nothing on the website that says it won’t take that long, and I was using free standard shipping, so I’m not complaining about the length between ordering and delivery. What I am saying is to be prepared! If you want this stuff ASAP you should either pay for faster shipping, or see if you live near one of the few Elf stores. (As an added bonus to this experience, I learned that there’s now an Elf store in the mall that was literally 2 minutes away from my old LA apartment. OF COURSE.)

Wear, Watch, Want #99: The Shrill Lined Gallery Edition

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The Best Weapons For The Battle Against Super Dry Skin

The Best Weapons For The Battle Against Super Dry Skin