Cruelty Free: e.l.f. Cosmetics



Hop like a bunny. Cute as a bunny. “Quick, like a bunny!” Playboy Bunny. Chubby bunny. I could keep going but we’re going to keep it PG today.

We think of these cute little creatures in many different ways; but very few of us ever think of animals when we’re playing with makeup or shopping for new products.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, cosmetic companies now mark their packaging with universal symbols stating they are “bunny approved” (a.k.a. cruelty free). So what does this mean? It means that the company doesn’t test their products on animals and many of them are even taking a stand against animal cruelty by donating a portion of their profits to great causes.

I’m not here to torture you; make you cringe or sob at the sight of an animal in a test lab. Me? I’m too squeamish to even look at more than one photo of an animal where half of its body has deteriorated from chemical testing and I’m done. Point = MADE.

What I am here to do is to introduce you to my new series: Cruelty Free”. Where I will be highlighting one cruelty free brand in each post. Talking about all of the products I own from the line, have put to the test and will give you my full opinny on.

e.l.f. Cosmetics are famously known for their crazy low prices and convenient drugstore presence. They can be found just about anywhere these days and the product line seems to be growing by the hour. Which, for a makeup junkie is like catching a quick high every time you open up your gmail or walk into a CVS.

e.l.f. has got some serious skin in the drugstore game and to boot, is cruelty free! Their products do not contain animal derived ingredients and they even support HSUS and partner with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project.

If bunnies could clap, they would be slap happy to hear this news! Instead, they’ll just celebrate by reproducing…like bunnies.With all of that said, I want to tell you what I’ve tried from the line. What I’m hoppy with and not so hoppy with. 


  • The Mineral Infused Mascara shown in the photo below comes in one color, black. It’s a “Best Seller” online and ranked at 4.4 out of 5 stars. Described to create fuller, healthier looking lashes giving a naturally thicker and more volumized look. Complete with a silicone brush for clump free application.
  • My Opinny: At a whopping $3.00, I’d give this mascara 4 out of 5 stars as well. It gives a really nice, full, feathery daytime lash affect with a slight curl. No crunchy lashes, smudging or racoon eyes for me. A solid mascara for anyone to have in their collection. Those with sensitive eyes may want to in give this one a shot since its ingredients are mineral based.
  • The Beautifully Bare Lash Tint Mascara is the silver one in the photo below. Also available in one shade, “Naked Noir”, this mascara has a crazy tiny wand. It claims to create a flawless natural look with the innovative and revolutionary applicator that expertly combs and coats every lash with a weightless coverage. The wand is so thin that it almost appears there are no bristles. Ranked 3.7 out of 5 stars online and a $4.00 price tag, this mascara certainly looks pretty on your vanity.
  • My Opinny: The vanity is as far as “pretty” goes. It’s not my fave. I bought this to try out as a lower lash mascara much like the one from Clinique and hoped that because the wand is so skinny, it wouldn’t smudge under my eyes when applied. It doesn’t smudge but it also doesn’t do much of anything. I have 5 spidery lower lashes when I use this and it’s impossible to try and create a full lower lash look. I would much rather use a full wand and potentially make a mess of my under eyes (cleaning it up with a Q-tip) to get a fuller affect. 2 out of 5 stars for me!



  • In the photo above is one of e.l.f.’s top rated products, the HD Lifting Concealer. With only three shades in the range, it doesn’t offer much to very fair or dark skin tones. Fair, light and medium, that’s it. $4.00 for a high definition, skin firming concealer that hides imperfections and regenerates the skin for added radiance. Minimizing fine lines and evening skin tone. The formula is infused with Vitamin C, Green Tea and Mulberry to lifting and soothing. Ranked 3.9 out of 5 stars online.
  • My Opinny: The shade range is disappointing however, the fair will suffice for most and the light works great for summer tanned skin. The medium could even work as a great contouring concealer. It’s a lightweight, hydrating formula that blends really easily and is not cakey or drying. Great coverage, no scent and has an awesome applicator. I’d give this 4 out of 5 stars. Is this a dupe for NARS Creamy Concealer? Nope. Does it firm my skin and minimize fine lines? Nope. But at $4.00, I ‘aint mad at it!



  • Qiuickly touching on the e.l.f. Daily Bush Cleaner that was included in a boxed set of e.l.f. brushes. (Photo found down below). This brush cleaner has anti-bacterial disinfecting properties and is designed to be easy for travel and touch ups between deep cleans. At a ranking of 3.8 out of 5 stars and a $3.00 price point, the packaging has since been upgraded to have an improved leak-proof spray and is currently sold out online!
  • My Opinny: We’re not going to spend much time here. I was not impressed with this cleaner on large or small brushes. It wasn’t getting rid of eye shadow let alone caked-on foundation or powder. I would not recommend this product. If you’re looking for a travel friendly brush cleaner, I would recommend the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser instead. Worth its weight it gold if you travel often. 1 out of 5 stars; pretty self explanatory.
  • The three large brushes in the photo above were purchased separately online and the rest came in a holiday kit. Not all brushes are created equal, however the single brushes that I purchased are a really great quality for the price! The Ultimate Blending Brush (at the far left) is my favorite and most used of all. This is perfect for blending in foundation or concealer. The Crease Brush next to it works great as well for blending in eye shadows (you know, into the crease) and the Small Stipple Brush (5 brushes from the right) is my favorite for blending in cream contour products. I don’t use the Beautifully Bare Blending Brush (far right) or the Contouring Brush (smack dab in the middle) as much as I thought I would but they are still great quality and well worth the $6.00 price tag. I haven’t had ANY fallout on any of my brushes which is more than I can say for several of my Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target that are two or three times the price. I would highly recommend checking out a few of these in stores or online if you are just getting started on building your brush collection!



  • e.l.f.’s Flawless Finish Foundation is another “Top Rated” product according to their website and is available in 6 shades. You get a total of .68 fl oz for $6.00 and it comes in a gorgeous frosted glass bottle with a cap and a pump. The formula is lightweight, oil-free and has a semi-matte finish with an SPF of 15. Achieve a brighter, more radiant look with this foundation. 4 out of 5 stars based on consumer reviews.
  • My Opinny: I love this! From the packaging to the formula, this is a great product at a ridiculously affordable price. The formula is weightless, has great coverage and stays put even on oily skin like mine. I have the shade Sand which is a great match for my olive toned, lightly tanned skin. It’s easy to blend with a brush or a Beauty Blender. True to its name, I think this foundation would be great for any skin type. If you have oily skin like I do, I would recommend using a mattifying primer or finishing spray. I’d give this 4.5 out of 5 stars, only because the wear time is about a max of 8 hours.


  • The Moisturizing Foundation Stick is again, a “Top Rated” product on e.l.f.’s website. Available in 7 shades, this creamy foundation stick provides a natural coverage with natural and anti-aging ingredients and is great for someone on-the-go. Ranked at 4 out of 5 stars, this foundation will run you $6.00 for .49 oz.
  • My Opinny: e.l.f. has knocked out of the park with this one! I’ve never tried a foundation stick before and wanted to try the Bobbi Brown one at a much higher price point. I opted for this and forgot all about my longing for the Bobbi Brown counter. It’s fast, easy, blends fantastically with the e.l.f. Ultimate Blending Brush and can cover up just about any imperfections on my face with its near full coverage. It blends into the skin beautifully. It is moisturizing but again, for someone with oily skin, I counteract these types of formulas with mattifying prepping and finishing products. Throw this in your bag or take it on a vacation and never worry about a bottle breaking in your suitcase. I own the shade Natural, which is matching me perfectly right now and will throughout the summer months. By the end of my 8 hour work day, the only thing I’ve noticed is an ultra shiny forehead. Tatcha blotting papers to the rescue and I was feeling good. 5 out of 5 stars for me!


  • The e.l.f. High Definition Powder (found in the photo below or two above) is again, a “Best Seller” online and ranked at 4.3 out of 5 stars. Described as a translucent power that creates a “soft focus” and flawless appearance to the skin. Available in three shades, Translucent, Shimmer and Corrective Yellow, you get .28 oz for $6.00.
  • My Opinny: From my experience using the Translucent powder, it sits on top of my makeup and doesn’t melt into the skin. I’m not a fan of using this for anything other than baking under the eyes because running it across your entire face will leave you looking powdery and unnatural. Loose powders in general can be a mess but this one in particular is very messy. The packaging is large and bulky. The powder tends to get everywhere and is hard to contain. 2 out of 5 stars for me.

Eye Shadow:


  • The Mad For Matte palette is the all matte palette on the bottom in the photo above. This 10 shade palette is a neutral girl’s dream. A few warm and cool toned shades make this a versatile palette for anyone’s collection. Ranked 4.5 out of 5 stars online.
  • My Opinny: This is a product that I was initially not “Mad for”. I swatched the colors as soon as they arrived in the mail. They seemed dry, patchy and a bit powdery. I set them aside and after a while came back to them only to find out when applied with a brush, they’re fantastic shadows; regardless of the price. They blend really nicely, have great neutral tones and transition colors and are much more pigmented when applied correctly. Some of my favorite high end shadows are powdery and have fallout so that’s something I am pretty forgiving on. 4 out of 5 stars for me.
  • The Everyday Smokey palette is very similar to the Mad For Matte but has 5 shimmer shadows and 5 matte. This palette is bit more cool toned and offers a few more light shades. Each palette will run you $10.00 and this one has a 4.1 out of 5 star ranking.
  • My Opinny: My feelings towards this palette are very similar though the lighter shades are not ultra pigmented. I like my whites bright and lights to pop as much as the darks. I would give this one a 3.5 out of 5 stars based on the fact that I don’t reach for it as often as others.



  • The e.l.f. Baked Highlighter is available in three shades, “Blush Gems”, “Pink Diamonds” and “Moonlight Pearls”. Advertised as a “Best Seller” and an OK! Magazine Award Winning Product of 2015, these single highlighters are separate from the highlighting palette e.l.f. offers. Use dry for a softer affect or wet for a more intense glow, these illuminating powers are infused with natural ingredients and claim to be long lasting. Customer ranking: 3.8 out of 5 stars.
  • My Opinny: The Baked Highlighter has changed since I ordered mine last year. It no longer has the swirls of color in it and the color range has changed completely. Mine is in Pinktastic. For the “year of the highlight”, this by no means is anything “tastic” and certainly won’t have Jaclyn Hill shaking in her boots over the competition. It’s underwhelming and produces little to no pigmentation, even for the faint at heart. A sheer wash for a light glow over the eyelids is all I would use this for. Even at $4.00 I was disappointed in this product. Probably the least favorite of all of my e.l.f. products, I would give this a 1 out of 5 stars.


If you’ve made it all the way to the end, thank you for sticking it out! This was a looong one. Hopefully you found a few new “bunny approved” products that you’re interested in adding to your collection. There are many more cruelty free brands I will be featuring in this series in the coming months, so stay tuned!

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