the budget buy: elf moisturizing foundation stick review

I have wanted to try out a stick foundation for a few months now, but couldn’t bring myself to spend money on a product I didn’t think would work for my combination skin. Since I wasn’t willing to spend a ton of money on a stick foundation but wanted to test one out, I decided to take a trip to the drugstore. When I saw that Elf had a foundation stick, I knew this was the one I wanted to try.

The Elf Moisturizing Foundation Stick (0.49 oz, $3.99 cdn) came out in 2014 and claims to provide an easy gliding, hydrating and natural looking finish with an abundance of natural ingredients and antioxidants listed. The foundation comes in three shades – ivory, natural and nude. 

The pull off cap and twist tube is made of a matte plastic and looks quite sleek. One thing I really like about foundation sticks is that they are travel friendly and not messy. The Elf stick in particular feels durable enough to be thrown around from one bag to another without any worries of leakage.

The foundation stick applied smoothly and felt like I was gliding on a thick cream. The first time I applied this, I used a foundation brush to buff it into my skin but noticed that it was applying unevenly and super patchy. I took my beauty blender and dabbed overtop the foundation which created a much smoother and more lightweight appearance. I’m actually really happy with how it applies with my beauty blender!

The foundation lasts about 7 hours for me and was surprisingly less drying than I expected. I always use my Tatcha Beauty Papers to blot my t-zone mid-day, but with this foundation I didn’t use my blotting papers at all. (I used my HD pressed powder to set my makeup in the morning). When I asked my husband if he noticed anything different, he couldn’t tell the difference between this $3.99 foundation vs. my Ultra HD Make Up For Ever Liquid Foundation that retails for $52!

This foundation is fragrance free but definitely puts out a chemically smell if you intentionally try to sniff it. I’m not super sensitive to scents, so I didn’t notice the chemical smell while applying the foundation.

I have heard that the ivory shade doesn’t work as well as the natural and nude colours. It comes off as patchy and doesn’t get absorbed into your skin very well, so it literally just remains as a layer on top of your skin. However, if you’re lucky enough to colour match to the natural or nude shade and have combination to dry skin, I would recommend trying out this foundation. It is quite hydrating, so oily skin types might not like that extra boost of moisture.

This product is a great value. If you’re looking for a foundation stick with an affordable price point that hydrates and provides medium to full coverage, you should absolutely try this out!

smashbox - light it up - gloss to go set review

Smashbox has teamed up with California’s neon artist Meryl Pataky to create this incredible lip gloss set for this holiday season. The Smashbox Light It Up – Gloss To Go Set ($30 cdn) is great for those who want to try out several glosses without having to worry about committing to one full sized colour. I picked this set up at Shoppers Drug Mart and thought I would do an overview of what you can look forward to if you pick up this set.

The set includes five (5) shades (5 x 5 ml): Bare Light, Orange Light, Fuchsia Light, Lilac Light and Ruby Light
Both Bare and Fuchsia light apply much more sheer than the other three and are the only two in this set with some sparkle to them. I recommend wearing them overtop another lip product. Orange, Lilac and Ruby light can be layered and worn alone or overtop lipstick to add some brightness and vibrancy. Smashbox tip: Create a personalized shade by mixing and matching between glosses in this set!

These glosses last for several hours, glide on smoothly without that sticky feeling and don’t dry out my lips. They also have great colour and aren’t shockingly bright. The lilac light was the first to catch my eye and one of my favourite colours in this set to wear. I didn’t think I would get too much use out of Bare and Fuchsia light as I’m not a huge fan of sparkly lips, however, the sparkles are so small/minimal that I have been reaching for Bare light much more often than I expected to!

Smashbox has nailed this packaging. It’s fun, bright and caters to those who love boxes. The neon orange acrylic box had me just as excited as the product itself! The glosses come in a standard twist off cap and lip applicator. I appreciate that the applicator isn’t super flexible so you have some resistance when applying to your lips. The glosses are a perfect size to travel with and will not leak if closed correctly. 

This set is a great value if you’re a fan of lip glosses. Each gloss has 5ml of product versus the standard 6ml lip gloss from Smashbox ($25 cdn each). It is also a nice introductory set for people like me who don’t go for glossy looks too often but wouldn’t mind keeping a few on hand for those days you want some shine.


If you’re picking this up as a gift, this would be ideal for teenagers and I wouldn't think twice about purchasing this. From the product quality to the packaging, you have everything you need for a perfect gift. The cost value is great for anyone who loves wearing lip glosses on a daily basis. For me personally, I don’t wear glosses enough to justify repurchasing a set like this again. I would be much more inclined to pick up another set for myself if it had a mix of lipsticks and lip glosses.