E: M, the elves have been busy again
M: Yes! They have sent us another package.
E: Instead of mending shoes over night, they have been sending us packages of stuff
E: The man in the post office stares at me like a halfwit when I collect them. He’s got a THING for me and my elven packages.
M: What kind of thing? Like, a creepy he’s rubbing his trousers beneath the counter thing?
E: A starey thing. He doesn’t speak, he just stares at my face. Really closely. It’s probably all the elven makeup. Or maybe he’s thinking “that girl could do with a decent concealer” See what I did there???
M: Yes, E, very good. Maybe, MAYBE he’s thinking – WOW. What a flawless complexion. Where can I get myself some of this shitz?
E: That seems unlikely in suburban Belgium, but maybe he is.
M: I need to come clean. I wrote a letter to Santa and asked him to send us some of this concealer.
M: Because Lisa Eldridge, the patron saint of cosmetic zombies, used it in one of her videos. And she said it was quite good.
E: Saint Lisa is never wrong. So what do you think of the Elven concealer?
M: Well, it’s tiny, innit. Made for elves, by elves.
E: Yeah. You don’t need much though.
M: I use tan. It’s a perfect match for me.
E: I use “corpse”.
M: That’s what I said to the elves. “Send E whatever the palest shade is”. I find it a bit hard to put on though.
E: Yes. So did I. I used my Laura mercier brush, which was very pissed off to be used with someone else’s product. I think it’s sulking.
M: Was it like you’d set it up on a blind date with a girl from the ghetto?
E: Yes. One with a full beard.
M: I’ve been using my No7 eyeliner brush, which is small but not entirely adequate. It needs to be warmed up a bit on the hand first I find.
E: Yes, I agree. but the colour and coverage are good. And it’s, what, 3 pence?
M: The problem is, of course, that I wanted to compare it to Laura Mercier’s nuclear-grade secret camouflage so I went out and bought some. Because I had to compare, you see? I just had to.
E: You “had” to.
M: And I do like that one better, though it costs 25 gazillion times more. It’s more stiff and dry. But somehow more creamy on the skin.
E: I do love me a bit of SC. I’m on the Mercier Special Ops team. SC is better.
M: I think we need to do some sort of chart. I like charts.
E; Ok, M.
M: what goes on the chart?
E: Cost. Ease of application. Cuteness. Fear of a swift, deadly professional assassination.
ELF sent us the concealer for review.
ELF studio concealer, £3.50
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, £25 and a bullet in the neck.
M: So, we are now a real beauty blog.
E: We are? Sorry, we are. Yes.
M: We have been sent Free Stuff to review.
E: I KNOW. It’s easily the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me! Well. Maybe second after Mexican Wrestling.
M: Calm down. Remember, we have only been sent Cheap Stuff. Namely, a bag of ELF. Which is not to be confused with a bag of Elves.
E: That would be really horrible.
M: Annoyingly cheerful.
E: Squeaky. Neat.
M: And efficient. Basically everything we stand against here at Facegoop.
E: Yup. So thank goodness we didn’t get any of those. Instead we have a leatherette pochette of various cheap and cheerful products.
M: Including a bottle of purply nail polish called Purple Punk.
E: Ha. Punk. What do you reckon to the nail polish M?
M: It’s free from all sorts of things -Toluene, Formaldehyde, and Dibutyl Phthalate, which I think is supposed to be a good thing.
E: So what does it have in? Elf breath?
M: Squashed punks, obvs.
E: Oh yeah, squashed punks. I’m surprised squashed punks come out a such a pretty colour. I would have thought they would be grey, what with the black PVC and the pasty skin. What did you actually think of it?
M: I think you are confusing punks with S&M fetishists. Well, I actually really liked it. It’s pretty easy to apply, and the shade is good. I don’t have anything like it, and you could wear it in summer and winter.
E: Yes, I probably wouldn’t have bought it, but now I have it, I would totally wear it. It’s not very purple, is it?
M: No, I suppose not. It’s pinky purple.
E: Fuschia. The colour of, erm, anarchy.
M: The problem is it takes forever to dry.
E: Dammit, woman, now you tell me. I’ve just put some on my little fingernail!
M: I left it for at least 2 hours, and still got hair marks all over it during the night. Look:
E: So I’m stuck, you’re telling me? I can’t move all evening?
M: Yup. You can’t do anything with your pinky. From now until breakfast. No scratching your ear hole. No tickling your nose.
E: I will just have to hold it aloft and admire its pinky purpleness.
M: Shame you didn’t put it on your middle finger.
E: So: Elf Punk Purple. Nice with one of those quick drying topcoat things. Crap if you don’t have any and you’re in a hurry.
M: Crap if you’re crap, basically.
E: Which we are. Fatal flaw.
Elf Punk Purple nail polish, £1.50
E: Today we are comparing an Elf gel liner, and the product they will have to prise out of my cold, dead, claws, Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner. You don’t like gel liners, do you M?
M: No. They are fucking fiddly. I used one today for this post and I have a big splodge of it on my hand where I “took off the excess”. I can’t be bothered to take it off.
E: Oh, like a plague spot.
M: It’s more cancerous in appearance. Moving on.
E: That’s nice, M. Whereas I love them. You need a tiny, accurate brush and then it’s dead easy and gives a nice soft line.
M: I think you’re right. It is all about the tools.
E: So, usually I use Bobbi Brown Espresso Ink, or Caviar Ink.
M: What’s caviar? Like a dark grey?
E: I suppose. I really can’t tell. It’s sort of indescribable and dark, but not black.
M: Are you blind as well as lash-less?
E: Hey, usually you’re the one who describes colours as “”LIKE A FAIRY’S ARSE” or “LIKE VANESSA PARADIS” or “IT’S JUST RED, OK????”. It’s a dark browny grey. Better?
M: Deliciously salty. That’s what it’s like, wonderful on chopped onion, with a sprinkling of lemon.
E: Look, here’s a photo of all our liners.
From top: Elf coffee, Bobbi Brown Espresso Ink, Bobbi Brown Caviar Ink, Permanent Ink Marker N90.
E: I drew a line on my hand in permanent marker pen too. It’s a control line. I’m all about the science.
M: Riiiight. Who’s in the other corner?
E: In the other corner is the cheap and cheeky Elf “Coffee”. Elf has one massive point in its favor, which is that it is really really CHEAP.
M: The packaging often looks really cheap with Elf products, but this tiny jar is satisfyingly heavy.
E: Oh, I don’t think the Gel Liner packaging is bad. And I dunno what they put in it, but it’s pretty convincingly like the Bobbi Brown.
M: That is not scientific, E.
E: Oh, but it is. I have tasted both. Thus it is scientific.
M: Oh god. You haven’t, have you? HAVE YOU? Because I am going to call the “services”. And have you looked at by professionals.
E: I’m not saying either way. ANYWAY. Elf Coffee versus Bobbi Brown Espresso.
M: I think we need a little graph.
E: Knock yourself out, Mrs Science. So, I did not like the Elf colour much in the jar. It’s a bit pale for coffee. Like, Nescafé with a good glug of full fat milk.
M: Oh, gross.
E: Whereas Bobbi is a proper roasted espresso served by a leering, but attractive barista.
M: Would you say ELF is from the office coffee distributor, and BB is from the artisan coffee shop down a little cobbled lane?
E: That’s a bit harsh, but yes. Elf is Option #3 self-vend white coffee, Bobbi is doppio espresso from the Monmouth Coffee Company. However, Elf rescues itself a few points in the application. It is just as easy to put on for me as Bobbi.
M: See, for me, my fucking lashes get in the way. And my stupid crêpey skin. How about staying power?
E: Excellent for both. Barely budges all day. BUT, Elf, ugh. There was this horrible sticky feeling around my eyeline once it was on, like conjunctivitis. My eyelids were gumming together.
M: Ew, and ew.
E: Thankfully, that only lasted about 10 minutes.
M: I suppose it must have time to dry. I didn’t feel the stickiness.
E It’s probably a no lash thing. Anyway, then I forgot about it and it behaved fine all day, no itchiness, and it stayed in place.
M: OK, I’ve just rubbed the shit out of mine and it’s still staying put. Tiny bit on my finger, but that’s about it.
E: Gel liners have mahoosive staying power and Elf is no exception. The Nescafé colour is much better once it’s on too. Quite understated, but that’s ok. It’s daytime. I’m wearing a filthy hoodie and the tshirt I slept in, I don’t want to look like Joan Collins.
M: Ha, is that what I look like? Joan collins with an unsteady hand.
Elf Cream eyeliner in black
E: Maybe a little. But in a good way.
M: I need some sequined shoulder pads. So, verdict?
E: I have to be honest, I do like Bobbi better, because of the lack of eye stickiness and I would have liked a slightly darker shade from Elf. But it’s good. And when you consider it’s, like, a tenth of the price, it’s VERY good.
M: I wonder if you could mix some black and brown together to create your own espresso?
E: Hmmm. You probably could.
M: Would you buy it again?
E: Probably. But I’d rather Bobbi Brown just gave me shitloads of free eyeliner. Hey? Bobbi? Can I have free stuff?
E: And you?
M: Well, I bought it, and I will continue to use it, but I think I prefer liquid liners.
E: You can tell us about them another time. Now shoo, Alexis.
Bobbi Brown long wear gel eyeliner, £15
Elf cream eyeliner, 3.50