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Friday
Nov022007

E.L.F. launches in the UK

Fashion Monitor reports that E.L.F. cosmetics (around the US since 2005-ish) will launch in the UK on 27 November. Now, I'm no product junkie (ok, I am), but as an American beauty junkie who jumps between the US and the UK, I find it strange that the acronym E.L.F. hasn't crossed my path in the beauty realm. And that the only listing I can find for the company's founder is a rather strange Wikipedia listing about the founder of Jewish non-profit agency Ozar Hatorah... in 1945. Okay, so maybe it's not the same guy and with further research I was able to unearth the American E.L.F. site and have a proper peruse.

It looks like it's Wet 'n' Wild for a new generation of teeny boppers (in fact, even their sites look similar). Everything sells for a $1 in the states and £1.50 in the UK (three times the US price but, fair enough. They'd make a loss if they charged 50p). But, honestly, how good are products that are worth that little? How can they afford good ingredients? Where are they manufactured?

I don't mind putting say, olive oil on my face (that's cheap-ish) but cosmetics that cost less than a bus ride make me want to know more. And no matter how hard I searched the site, I couldn't find an ingredient list, something ALL PEOPLE should look at when buying anything. We all use things that are maybe less-than good for us on a daily basis (and truly clean living is only a possibility for, say, folks who live deep in Apalachia or those with bottomless bank accounts. Strange, isn't it?) but it seems to be a truism that most things budget in this life seem to have an inproportionately large (and negative) impact on the earth, which is yet another thing to consider when dropping a quid on a lipstick (or on a flight for that matter).

The only really information available on the US site is their product database (with just a vague description of the product), blog and a bit on their charity work. We like that they're cruelty-free, a point about which many of the big cosmetic companies out there fairly dubious. The blog feels a bit sparse but good on them that they keep it and have correct information (i.e. lead in lipsticks), including the timestrip for makeup, which I love and will tell my UK folk about shortly.

Bottom line? There is a place for cheap cosmetics in this world, but at what real price?

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