elf cosmetics haul & review β™₯

I have been a long-time fan of elf cosmetics and feel that they really have gotten better and better over time! I remember back in the day when elf was just a makeup website with a few $1 products here and there. While their products are for the most part still very affordable, I feel that they've continued to improve the quality of their products - making me a loyal fan! For this haul, I got several classic elf products that I use on a regular basis as well as some of their new palettes that I've been dying to try!

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Old Favorites:

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Eyebrow Kit

I've already tried this eyebrow kit before and it has really worked for my eyebrows! In the past, I've used different powders and pencils but none have worked as well as these two eyebrow products do together. This kit includes both a darker cream on one side and a light brown powder on the other. The cream is great for shaping and the powder is perfect for filling in all the awkward gaps that are in my naturally sparse brows.

Powder Brush 

Of all the make-up brushes I own, this is my all-time favorite! While it's labeled as a powder brush, I've been using it most to blend out products like foundation, concealer, and blush. With its flat top, it does a fantastic job of blending out these products and eliminating any harsh lines. I would highly recommend this brush if you're looking for something that can do double duty by both applying products and blending them out! 

Concealer Palette 

I love this concealer palette because it's very easy to apply and the cream formula goes on smoothly! I like that the palette provides different shades of concealer because the tone of my skin can be inconsistent. Being able to mix and match my concealer allows me to get better coverage out of the product.

Blemish Control Face Primer 

The only thing I don't love about the elf primers is that the packaging can be very deceiving. I've taken apart the bottle before and there's a much smaller bottle inside that holds the actual primer product - making you think that there is more product in the bottle than there actually is.  Product wise, however, I love the smooth, water-like, feel of the elf primers and use them regularly as a base for the rest of my make-up!

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New (For Me) Products:

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Blending Brush 

I'm always looking for new brushes to help blend out products and make things look as natural as possible. This blending brush does do a great job of blending out harsh lines, however, I wish it was a fuller brush and not quite so narrow as this makes blending things out a longer process. Since this brush is so narrow though, I think it will also be good for applying contouring color onto my cheeks. 

Angled Eyeliner Brush 

I received a couple of gel eyeliner pots for Christmas this year so I thought it was time I bought a brush that was actually designed for gel eyeliner. I've tried to use little concealer or eyebrow brushes to apply gel eyeliner but they really don't do the job well. Unfortunately, I haven't been all that successful with this eyeliner brush either. It dries out very quickly and becomes stiff and hard to use.

Powder Contour/Cream Contour/Bronzer Palette

Full disclosure - I already own and the love blush palette from elf so I was incredibly excited to try out the rest of their face palettes! I like to contour with both cream and powder to help with the staying power of the contour so I decided to purchase both formats of the palette. The dark contour shades on both of these palettes are matte which I love because it helps make the contour look more natural than sparkly bronzers. The silvery illuminating powder is good for reflecting light at the tops of the cheeks but is a little bit too bright on its own so I've been combining it with a little bit of matte blush to tone it down.

At the time that I purchased this haul, elf was running a promotion where they gave away a bronzer palette with each purchase so I got that one for free! The more palettes the merrier! The bronzer palette itself is pretty similar to the medium contour shades on the contour palette but it does include one sparkly bronzer that gives off a little bit more glow.

One thing I love about these palettes is that all of the squares in the palettes pop out so that you can mix and match whatever products you want to take with you or whichever ones are most convenient for you to use together! I plan on mixing both a light and dark contour shade with a couple of blush squares so that I can easily take a palette to the gym!

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I'm very happy with my latest elf haul and truly love their makeup just as much as I did when they first came onto the scene.  As a girl on a budget, I love being able to get a great quality product out of a relatively low cost and elf has always helped me do just that.

What are your favorite budget friendly make-up products? Let me know on Instagram or Twitter! I'm always on the lookout for more great deals! 

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Boyfriend Sweater Cozy!

My cat always wants to get involved in my photoshoots so please excuse her little paws making an appearance in these photos! 

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Sweater: Old Navy (Men's)/Scarf: Francesca's/Leggings: Victoria's Secret/Boots: Zappo's/Earrings: Target

Sweater: Old Navy (Men's)/Scarf: Francesca's/Leggings: Victoria's Secret/Boots: Zappo's/Earrings: Target

Bonus Photo: The goofy face you make when your camera starts to fall in the middle of a shoot :P

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Ok, admittedly, this sweater was actually from my brother - but brother sweater doesn't sound half as cute as boyfriend sweater ha! I love re-purposing clothes and making them work in my wardrobe when they would have gone into the "toss" bin for someone else. It truly is the definition of one man's trash is another man's treasure! This sweater shrank to the point that it became too small for my 6'3" brother - making it the perfect oversized sweater for a 5'6" me!☺

Sometimes, I can get caught up too easily in wanting to buy new clothes in order to follow a new trend when in reality, there are so many gems to be found just lying around in my closet (or my brother's!). Personal style is a way for you to express your own personality and creativity, whether that means a fancy brand name outfit or a simple dress-up of an old sweater, what really matters is how the outfit makes you feel!

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now :)

PopSugar Must Have: January 2016

Say hello to my first PopSugar of 2016! This month's theme was all about the new year and making time to refresh and renew! As someone who can get stressed very easily if I don't take time to practice self-care, there are many items in this box that I'm excited to use in my self-care practice!

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The PopSugar Must Have box is a monthly subscription ($40/month or less if you make a 3, 6, or year long commitment)  that sends subscribers full-size versions of the season's must-have beauty, fashion, home, and fitness products.

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Pehr Designs: Pebble Speck Bin - Retail $40

I love it when PopSugar includes awesome home products like this Speck Bin! This bin is perfect for storing knick knacks and looks so so cute with just about any furniture. I've already put it to use holding my stash of knitting needles and yarn (it tends to get all over the living room when I'm feeling crafty) and it fits perfectly into the little corner nook next to my couch! 

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Spark Joy by Marie Kondo - Retail $18.99

PopSugar always manages to send me things I've already been looking to buy anyway, so here comes another one: Marie Kondo's guide on organizing life! While I'm not someone who hoards a ton of stuff, there are always areas for improvement so I'm excited to try out Kondo's methodology to see if I can simplify my life more by clearing out clutter. 

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Patchology: FlashMasque Trio - Retail $20

A girl can never have enough facial masks! This trio came with masks for different functions (hydrating, exfoliating, and illuminating) and they only need to be left on for five minutes. I've already used the hydrating mask and it definitely made my skin feel hydrated so I'm excited to use the rest! 

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Blue Sky: Day Designer Weekly Planner - Retail $15.99

I was most excited to see this Day Designer planner from Blue Sky in my PopSugar! The cover is a gorgeous Robin's egg blue - plus it's flexible and the planner is small enough that I can easily transport it in any purse. While I already own a full-size original Day Designer. I've been using this sweet little planner as my editorial calendar for my blog and it provides just enough space to do the trick! 

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Not Soap, Radio: Bath & Shower Gel Gift Set - Retail $22

I've been meaning to take more baths so I'm excited that these shower gels double as bath gels! I'm not in love with all of the smells, but I love that the collection includes a ton of different scents to choose from with creative labels as well!

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Project 7, Inc: Summer Snow Sugar Free Gum - $1.99

For this month's sweet treat, PopSugar included gum from Project Inc. What I liked about this gum is that its flavors are based on snow cone flavors - very different than the standard mint/fruity flavors gums usually come in. Plus, the gum is sugar free so I don't feel like I'm ruining my teeth in the process of chewing it! 

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Chapstick: Total Hydration 100% Natural Soothing Vanilla - $2.99

Chapstick is one of my favorite classic brands so I was excited to see this in my PopSugar as it's something that I'd buy on a normal basis anyway. I definitely appreciate the fact that PopSugar always includes things that are not only new products but also things that subscribers are likely to use. It makes me feel like I'm getting much more value out of my box when everything I'm getting is something I'm bound to use. 

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I am thrilled with this month's PopSugar! There is not a single thing that I won't be using in this month's PopSugar! Plus, the value of the box is (as always) way more than the price I paid for it and that makes this bargain hunter very pleased!

PopSugar is truly the only subscription box I've tried so far that has yet to disappoint. With other boxes, there have always been months where I love every product and other months where I feel like cancelling the subscription all together. So far, PopSugar has impressed me with the value and quality of the products in every box I've received!

Since I finally decided to give my Ipsy bag the axe (for now), I'm now on the lookout for another subscription box to complement my PopSugar! If you've got a suggestion, shoot me a note on social media or my contact page - I'd love to hear from you!