My First ELF Subscription Box! {play beautifully}



About two weeks ago, I posted about the subscription box that’s been around for a couple years, but I never knew it existed!

About ELF Play Beautifully: ELF, also known as eyeslipsface, has a $19.99 subscription box (adding tax and shipping it came to $26.77 for me) promised to have $40+ in entirely full-sized products, which means an average of 10-12 products per box! This box ships out every 8 weeks from the date of your first order with a variety of products across their basic and studio lines.
*I do not know if these products are curated or random.

New Subscriber Impressions: I love ELF. I really have no premise that drugstore makeup is bad. There are wins and fails all the time. I loved opening up the box and seeing how full it was, and they package it in a nice little bag inside the box to keep it nice. There’s a large variety in the 11 full-size products I received. The colors are pretty universal, which is a Little disappointing (because there’s only so many neutral eyeshadows a girl needs), but very much a good business plan because I think the audience they are targeting is girls just getting into makeup or getting an introduction to the elf brand, rather than aficionados that have quite the stash. One huge advantage of this box is if you like a product, you know it’s super affordable to purchase more of.

But anyway, on to the box!

*This will be more of a first-impressions unboxing, as some of the products I don’t believe I’ve gotten a full experience of yet.*

elf play beautifully contents

elf cosmetics Contour Brush
This is a gorgeous brush (I have a thing for black and white, its just so elegant and sleek), and sooo soft. During swatches with this it blended out color beautifully, but caused some powder to pile up at one end of my swatch. It’s a very nice brush and one I’ll be experimenting with more, I think I need to learn a technique to use it properly.
Rating: 4/5
My Value: $3.49
Will I buy it? More use required before a decision is made.
Retail Price: $6.00

elf cosmetics Mascara Primer
FULL SIZE = 0.27 oz
I have not tried this product yet. I have 3 mascaras and 1 primer open.
Rating: TBD
My Value: $2.49 estimated
Will I buy it? TBD
Retail Price: $3.00

EX-tra Lip Gloss in Michael
FULL SIZE = 0.09 oz
If someone sends me any product named after a guy and the name is Adam, it’s being thrown away immediately. Why would you want your “EX”‘s name on your lips? Ew. Luckily I only have one ex. Anyway. I’m not a lip gloss person, but for the rare times I’m in a fresh-faced glossy mood, this is a really pretty soft pink. Sort of a MLBB shade. It IS pretty sticky, but not overly glittery.
Rating: 4/5
My Value: $1.59
Will I buy it? Not into glosses.
Retail Price: $2.00

elf cosmetics Mineral Infused Mascara
FULL SIZE = $3.00
I have not tried this product yet. I have 3 mascaras and 1 primer open.
Rating: TBD
My Value: $2.99
Will I buy it? TBD
Retail Price: $3.00

elf cosmetics Makeup Mist & Set
FULL SIZE = 2.02 oz
I don’t know how this compares to other setting sprays, because I only tried it once, and have not used any other brands. It seems to help it look a little more dewy and natural, and if you get overly-cakey or powdery it fixed it right up, but I’m not a fan of the smell. I can’t put my finger on it but it just isn’t something I like. It also seemed to come out a little ‘droplet-ey’ but that is honestly probably due to my own ineptitude. I’ll experiment more with this and let you guys know what happens.
Rating: 3/5
My Value: $2.99
Will I buy it? TBD
Retail Price: $3.00

elf cosmetics Makeup Remover Pen
TOOL = 0.07 oz
OHMYGOSH YES. I have been looking at makeup removers like this because I’m a dips**t with lipstick and always manage some obnoxious little smudge. From what I’ve tried of this, it works GREAT. It takes off staining even of very red colors easily and I think it’ll help me soo much. I bet it would be good to touch up eyeliner too. The smell is gentle and barely there, and it didn’t feel harsh on my skin at all. For $3.00 this is a HUGEEE value. It’s actually worth more to me than that and I expected it to have been one of the $6.00 products from them.
Rating: 4.5/5
My Value: $4.29
Will I buy it? YES!
Retail Price: $3.00

elf lip exfoliator

elf cosmetics Lip Exfoliator in Clear
FULL SIZE = 0.16 oz
I’m torn on this! First of all, it smells like a chocolatey sugarry dessert that you should never ever ever eat. It tastes sweet like candy. And it does its job as a lip exfoliator very very well. What I’m torn about is, because it’s in a stick form, the crystals are hard and not rolling or moving around WITH your lips, they’re more rubbing against it. Think a more gentle and flavorful pumice stone for chapped lips. So its going to last a lot longer because you don’t ‘use it up’ when you exfoliate your lips, but may be too harsh if your lips are extremely sensitive.
Rating: 3/5
My Value: $2.49
Will I buy it? More use required.
Retail Price: $3.00

elf cosmetics Lip Definer & Shaper
FULL SIZE = $0.10 oz
This is a double sided pen with a shading and highlighting color. It is one that requires being sharpened, but it seems like it has plenty of use in it. I have not tried this yet just because I had a lot of lip products I was experimenting with.
Rating: TBD
My Value: $1.49
Will I buy it? TBD
Retail Price: $3.00


elf cosmetics Blush Palette in Light
FULL SIZE = 0.56 oz
I wasn’t expecting a blush palette! I wish I’d gotten this in cream, but I think most people are more used to powder blushes so they’re more ‘universal’ and less intimidating. I’m more used to cream ones though. These colors are extremely buildable. My swatches started out very pale but were able to be built up in case you want something more intense or have a skin tone that needs more pigment in your products (since I’m the color of white-out… everything seems pigmented on me!). I have not used this besides the swatches yet because I don’t use blush every day and the bright colors intimidate me a little, even knowing they’re buildable. I do think its a good deal to get 4 shades of blush for this price. It’s got the mirror built in and it’s a very sturdy little palette and the boys think the colors are cool too.
Rating: 3.5/5
My Value: $4.99
Will I buy it? TBD
Retail Price: $6.00

elf cosmetics Pressed Mineral Bronzer
FULL SIZE = 0.14 oz
This is the only product that disappointed me a little. I’m not a fan of the white packaging over their studio line, and it seems (somehow, even with elf’s prices) overpriced at $5.00. BUT, I know that I consider most cosmetics overpriced. It does have very good pigment, and is very blendable, and it’s even a good shade for my skintone. I just… haven’t tried it yet on my face. I don’t know why.
Rating: TBD
My Value: $1.99
Will I buy it? TBD
Retail Price: $5.00

elf cosmetics Baked Eyeshadow in Enchanted
FULL SIZE = 0.14 oz
I’d never tried a baked eyeshadow. I actually had to Google what was different. I’m a little sad that this is a nude shadow just because I’m starting to get a little collection of them, but it’s probably the prettiest shade, and I love that it can be used wet or dry. I think this is what I’ll be using the mist with. The color when it’s wet is a metallic gold gorgeousness and I need to figure out how to use this to its full extent. This feels accurately priced.
Rating: 4.5/5
My Value: $2.99
Will I buy it? I would grab another baked shadow from them in another color.
Retail Price: $3.00

elf play beautifully swatches

swatches from top to bottom:
ELF EX-tra lip gloss in Michael, (swiped through with makeup remover)
ELF pressed mineral bronzer, ELF baked eyeshadow in Enchanted, 
and 3 of 4 blushes.

(missed one blush swatch, sorry!)

elf remover swatch

a better view of some swatches:
elf EX-tra lip gloss in Michael (swiped through with makeup remover pen,
elf pressed mineral bronzer, and elf baked eyeshadow in Enchanted.

Box Summary

elf play beautifully unboxed contents

Box Price: $26.77
Box Rating:
Full Size Products: 10 products + 1 brush
Total Sample Value: $40.00
Total Personal Value: $31.79
= Total Box Value = $31.79
Opinion: I feel like this box is definitely worth at least a one time purchase (aka subscribe, wait til it ships, and unsubscribe). I also feel like if you are looking for a box that you’ll get a full face of makeup (minus foundation/concealer type stuff that’s more coloring dependent) this is worth it for you. I have no regrets in getting this box, and feel like I got introduced to a lot of their line that I’d never tried before. The setting spray, makeup remover pen, and lip exfoliator were things I was already considering purchasing. I will currently be unsubscribing as I have a growing collection of makeup and want to continue my other box subscriptions. (note: their customer service is awesome and they addressed my cancellation email within 7 minutes)

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One thought on “My First ELF Subscription Box! {play beautifully}

  1. Thanks for reviewing! I have gotten the Play Beautifully box for a year now. I LOVE elf and use them almost exclusively for my (basic/intermediate) makeup needs. I would like to share with you these things:
    The box probably isnt good for a regular subscription, theres almost always at least a couple of duplicates in each box – which isnt necessarily a problem if you love the particular items you get, its good for backstock. Ive gotten that bronzer in every single box so far lol. I have a whole ELF pb box crammed full of my extras and stuff i wont use. I have mastered the desire to play with everything lol. It comes in handy for sending care packages to my nieces and friends.
    Also, that lip exfoliator is my absolute favorite! I smoke, and wear lipstick often, so instead of chapped lips i tend to just get this weird thicker skin on the inner ridge of my lip and this is perfect for knocking that out. They key is to start with moistened lips so the brown sugar doesn’t drag so sharply. You need to “melt it” a bit, if you will.
    Im excited to hear your rave review of the makeup corrector pen, I honestly figured it was probably cheap and wouldnt work well (I wear a lot of BOLD colors). I have like 3 of them at least!
    I actually use that exact mascara/primer combo, and it does well. I add the elf waterproof top coat on wet/emotionally disturbed (lol) days and it gives it like a 8/10 waterproof level.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience!


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