Beauty Advice For Thought (BAFT): Budget Aesthetics

It’s no question that people are looking for the best value and price when it comes to their aesthetics. So when I came across the following article a little over a month ago, I had mixed feelings:

E.L.F Launches Affordable Skincare Collection (Yahoo! Beauty)

E.L.F is already known for their cheap (and I mean dirt cheap – their makeup brushes are at most $2-3 before taxes!) cosmetics line, but they figured that beauty isn’t just about makeup – it’s also about maintaining a healthy canvas that we all refer to as our skin. Yes, the skin is our personal canvas – the finished look is a testament to our cosmetic application skill. Damn, I just got wordy there. XD

Anywho, I wouldn’t be surprised if E.L.F.’s flagship store here in NYC starts carrying the company’s skincare line on their shelves. But I don’t see myself buying any of their skincare line anytime soon because I was severely disappointed by their makeup brush line. While it may seem unfair to compare skincare and makeup brushes (they’re practically apples and oranges), they do serve the same function: they are tools we use to create our personal aesthetic.

I first heard about E.L.F’s dirt-cheap makeup brushes from my cousin when she was trying to introduce me to makeup in general (and I was stubbornly digging my heels into the ground because at the time, I saw cosmetics as a deception or a mask for the true self). Before the flagship store dug its roots into the ground, K-Mart was the one store she knew that carried the company’s brushes and was accessible to us. Some of them looked really cheap so I passed them over in favor of the more professional-looking ones that were available once the flagship store opened.

And for a while, the budget-minded part of me was happy that I could buy professional brushes for a fraction of what they would have cost me had I bought them from Sephora…

Until a mishap with one of my E.L.F. brushes had me swearing off E.L.F. in general. I can’t remember exactly what happened but I do remember the end result: the powder brush head and the handle separated cleanly. I found it to be quite a shock because I was expecting the professional makeup brush line to be more sturdy than the $1 brushes (they have the white handle). And I wasn’t even rough with my makeup brushes – I take good care of them and keep them in a safe place where my sister can’t get to them (she had a habit of taking my stuff and then telling me that she’s borrowing them afterwards).

I checked to see if my other E.L.F. brushes had the same issue and they did – both the $1 and the professional brushes had poor adhesive between the brush heads and the handles. Since then, I resolved to stick to the old “buyer beware” and “you get what you pay for” when it comes to Deal Steals.

The makeup brushes weren’t the only thing that I bought from the flagship store: I also bought their eyelid primer Sheer because it was $1 and I wanted to stock up on them before the price went up (which hasn’t happened… yet). And like the makeup brushes, it was a case of you-get-what-you-pay for: the Sheer was a bright contrast to my eyelid skin and required me to use a sponge to blend it and instead of becoming better, it just made my eyelids look slightly bleached. I don’t remember if there was a darker shade available at the time because if there was, I would have gone for it instead of Sheer.

While I’ve yet to come across someone who has had a very bad mishap from buying cheap cosmetics that resulted in permanent damage to their skin, I don’t discount the scenario as never happening. Imagine this: spending less than $10 on a cosmetic product that ends up destroying your face or skin and fixing the damage costs quadruple.

If the makeup brushes were a solid case of you-get-what-you-pay-for, how much more could it be for E.L.F’s skincare line?

Now, I’m not saying that people should avoid E.L.F. products altogether – I had fun trying out E.L.F. products, but they just aren’t for me. And there are some who are happy with E.L.F, so more power to them. They found a company they’re happy with and that’s always a good thing, especially when it comes to aesthetics because finding the happy medium between price and beauty is a struggle that’s still far from over.

I’m curious to see the responses when the products become more widely available. Will people love it? Hate it? Only time will tell.

Do you think this post was all doom-and-gloom or is there some sense to it? Comment below and let’s have a civil (non-trolling or ad hominem) discussion! I’d love to hear from you!

I’m also available as +ladypsyga on CyberDust! Think of it as SnapChat but with access to professionals in different industries from business to cosmetics to cybersecurity to even a truck driver! I Dust with a lot of professionals and it’s an amazing experience! 

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