beauty n'at blog

Product review: Elate Cosmetics, your one-stop-shop

January 29, 2020

I’ve finally tried several products from Elate Cosmetics and feel I can give a relatively fair assessment of their products.

To note, this is not sponsored by Elate. All opinions are my own.

Making a switch to sustainable makeup feels daunting. When you stop to think about how much plastic is packaged around your makeup, it’s a bit overwhelming. Simply going to Target or Walmart or Walgreens or any drug store, you’ll likely be inundated with plastic-wrapped cosmetics.

“Clean beauty” is a really big trend right now. I’m not entirely against clean beauty products… I think it’s important to know what’s going in/on your body.

But more than ingredients, packaging and sustainability should come first.

If your makeup is “clean” but it’s impossible to recycle, it’s not a green beauty product — it just isn’t.

That’s not meant to make people feel guilty for using their current products. Trust me, I use some make up products that come in plastic, too. It’s not about making anybody feel insecure!

My point is that green/clean beauty are often misadvertised as being better for you and the planet, when really, if they aren’t packaged sustainably… they aren’t better for the planet.

But! Good news! There are several sustainably-packaged beauty brands I really like, and Elate Cosmetics is one of them.


Check out my review of Fat and the Moon here. I’m a big fan of their products and I still adore their Beam highlight and their Mortar and Pestle lip paint. I’ll always be a big Fat and the Moon fan 😀

I also like Zao Organic Beauty. I use their liquid eyeliner and swear by it. I’ll likely stick with their formula for years.

I like other products from varying lines, like RMS and Vapour. But as an entire makeup brand, Elate might be my favorite.

All about Elate

Elate is a Canadian-based beauty brand. They boast 5 Conscious Principles that prioritize sustainability, ingredients and ethical practices.

  1. Individual Responsibility = Global Impact
    • Elate believes small sustainable changes really add up. I love that mentality because that’s what I’m always telling folks — and reminding myself of daily, too.
  2. Ethics
    • Sustainable packaging: Elate’s packaging is around 75% waste-free, according to their website. All of their products come in either aluminum, glass, bamboo, compostable seed paper, or a combination. Their liquid products contain a bit of recyclable plastic, but Elate is striving to eventually go 100% plastic-free. I appreciate their efforts and transparency. Also, all their shipping materials are post-consumer recycled materials, like cardboard and paper.
    • Office culture: Elate tries to keep mindfulness a focus even in their office. According to their website, they turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use, provide reusable dishes for lunch and they measure their waste outputs and set goals to keep their waste to a minimum. Elate is also an Surfrider Foundation business, meaning they give 10% of proceeds to local Vancouver-based programs that seek to eliminate ocean plastics. Pretty dope!
    • Perfectly Imperfect Program”: I love this idea. Elate embraces minor flaws in their palettes and compacts and sells them for a discounted price. Less unnecessary waste — I love it!
    • Ethical marketing: Elate is in the process of becoming a B-Corporation, which I’m FLOORED about. Companies must go through an intensive vetting process in order to obtain a B-Corp certification. Essentially, B-Corps prioritize people and the planet. Elate is also a certified Leaping Bunny company, deeming it 100% cruelty-free. They are also on the Beauty Without Bunnies site, which is created by PETA to help consumers discover cruelty-free brands. Lastly, you can find Elate on the Think Dirty app, which rates cosmetics and other household products on how “good for you” their ingredients are.
    • Good for you and the planet: Elate’s ingredients are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free and 75% organic. Elate chooses organic when possible, but will always choose fair trade over organic if both are not available, and I’m all about that.
  3. Community
    • Up to 2% of Elate’s sales go to charitable causes. Elate supports charities such as “One Tree Planted,” “Plan International,” “Sheldrick Wildlife Trust,” “Shine Fashion Tea” through BC Children’s Hospital, among many others.
  4. Future
    • Elate is continuing to strive to be more sustainable. They’re awaiting to be dubbed a B-Corporation, which is super exciting. For packaging, their next step is to find an eco-friendly solution to loose powder refills.
  5. Mission
    • Elate’s core values are Kindness — be kind to yourself, the environment and those who share this world with you; Community — through donations and sponsorships, community-based events, etc.; Transparency — complete ingredient listings as well as packaging and disposal information available online; Innovation — as an ever-evolving company, Elate is constantly trying to adapt and improve.

Elate was started in 2014 by makeup artist Melodie Reynolds, who was sick of cosmetic companies negatively affecting the environment, testing on animals and banking off of people’s insecurities. Reynolds created Elate to promote self-love, ethical and sustainable beauty options and to empower people to find their personal beauty ritual.

Reasons to love Elate

Feeling confident in my Elate Cosmetics makeup! :]

They prioritize eco-friendly packaging, which I dig. And they’re all about a minimalist capsule.

You can buy a bamboo palette and fit most of their powders, concealers, eyeshadows, eyebrow balm, etc. inside easily. It’s sleek and convenient and sustainable!

Elate is designed to be a one-stop-shop for sustainable cosmetics. And, they’re fairly priced. Expect to pay $20-30 for most makeup items, but their products tend to last a while, and they’re quality.

Buying more items from one seller is also more environmentally friendly, because it’s less waste (one package) and less fuel used to transport packages.

I haven’t tried all of Elate’s products, but here are the items I have tried and the ones I will review below:

Pressed EyeColour // Kindle and Earthen
Veiled Elation // Glowing
Veiled Elation // Mattify
Prep Primer
Crème Revealer // CC1 (Porcelain)
Brow Balm // Smoke
Pressed Powder Contour // Abyss
Pressed Foundation // PN1 (Ivory)
Uplift Foundation // UN1 (Ivory)

PRESSED EYECOLOUR

I’m a big fan of these eyeshadows. Kindle is a burnt reddish color and I actually like to wear it as blush. Earthen is a perfect brown. It’s not shimmery, which I dig. I’ve been using it on my lid and as a subtle eyeliner underneath my eyes. I haven’t noticed any creasing on my lids, and the color seems to last all day! Again, I’m a big fan.

I also love how I can just get the refills of these and stick them in my large palette. They come packaged in a biodegradable packaging that contains flower seeds. I can’t wait until the spring so I can see how these beauties sprout!

Price: $16

VEILED ELATION

These two loose powders are great. I have more dehydrated/dry skin, so the mattifying option was too drying for me. But the Glowing option is perfect. It sets my foundation and leaves my skin looking smoother than it really is. A little goes a long way with both of these, so thankfully the large container will last me a while.

Price: $25, refill; $32, powder + bamboo compact

PREP PRIMER

Note: This is a trial size. Elate offers smaller sizes of most of their products to try before you invest in a bigger one. Also, this is a great container for me to reuse for essential oils! Win-win!

This is a good primer. It’s not my favorite. I like it, but for my skin type, I’d prefer something a little more moisturizing and hydrating. I would recommend this for folks with more normal to combination or oily skin. Dry/dehydrated folks, maybe opt for something else or wait to see if they come out with a dryer skin formula. Overall, it’s a good primer! Just not necessarily for my skin type.

Price: $9, 5ml sample; $42, 30ml full-size

CRÈME REVEALER

If you’re looking for a really top-notch concealer, this is a great option. My favorite concealer has always been RMS’ uncoverup. But to be honest, this Elate option is a pretty close comparison. Uncoverup is designed to be used as a foundation and/or concealer, while this Elate concealer is just a concealer. But I’ve definitely used this concealer on its own and it does the job wonderfully, especially with some of the Veiled Elation powder over top. Highly recommend! Plus, I love that this fits perfectly in my palette, as opposed to RMS, which comes in sustainable packaging, but for convenience and minimalism, it’s nice to have an option that fits nicely in my palette.

A negative worth noting: Not a wide range of shades for people of color. Hopefully they will change that!

Price: $4, 0.5ml sample size; $18, refill; $26, concealer + bamboo compact

BROW BALM

It took me a while to try this brow balm, because I wasn’t sure how I’d like it on my brows. But yo, I LOVE it. I also got the brush to go with it and it works wonderfully. It stays on all day, the color matches my brows pretty well and it’s really easy to apply! Also it’s forgiving. Some brow products feel like you’re drawing on your brows with a sharpie and as soon as you go out of the lines, you’ll need a magic eraser to get that stuff off. But with this, it’s easy to adjust and wipe off if you make a few mistakes (which I inevitably do all the time lol). It also fits neatly in my palette, so a double win for me!

Price: $20, refill; $28, balm + bamboo compact

PRESSED POWDER CONTOUR + PRESSED FOUNDATION

I feel the same about both of these, which is why I’m pairing them together. If my skin was normal or oilier, I would love these. But because my skin is dry and dehydrated, this formula doesn’t work as well for me. I do better with loose powder and a cream or liquid foundation. I liked the contour for the post part, but it occasionally wouldn’t work as well if I was having an extra dry day. Overall, great products, just not for my skin type.

A negative worth noting: Again, not a wide range of shades for people of color.

Price: $4, sample; $32, refill; $42, foundation + bamboo compact

UPLIFT FOUNDATION

Big fan of this guy.

So their foundations come in two different forms. One is a glass pump-style and the other is a round container-style. My shade comes in the round glass container. I really love this foundation. It’s hydrating but doesn’t leave my skin overly dewy. It’s easy to apply with just your fingers — which I appreciate because I don’t have a foundation brush, though I definitely should invest in one at some point.

Overall, it really is a great foundation. Stays on all day, doesn’t leave my skin patchy. For dryer or dehydrated folks, this is an excellent choice. And even if you have more normal or oily skin, I’m sure this would be a great option for you with the mattifying loose powder over top! 

A negative worth noting: Not a wide range of shades, but more than the pressed powder and concealer!

Price: $4, sample; $32, full-size


Overall, I’m a big fan of this company. My only let down is that their foundation shades are not as inclusive as they should be. Their uplift foundation does have more options, which it great. But I hope to see more shade ranges in the future.

A few products I haven’t tried, but want to try are the:

Mascara
Liquid liner
Lipsticks

Hopefully I’ll get around to trying those soon!

What Elate products do you love?