Boots on the Ground Research - ELF

I am secure in my manhood so I can admit that I use skin care products, mostly on my face. I am also old so I need them. I’ve been using them for well over 5 years now. The places that cater to men - Grooming Lounge, Lab Series, for example, sell very expensive stuff - $25 for body wash, $50-60 for moisturizers and the we get to serums, which are through the roof expensive. My takeaway is if you want to charge more for stuff, replace the words “moisturizer and cream” with “elixir and serum”. And the packaging is all messed up - huge containers with false bottoms to hide the fact that there is so little product in there. Finally, the product descriptors are generic - anti-age this and wrinkle remove that - with no clue as to what’s in the jar.
So I went over to the ELF site and was pleased to find that their lines are much cheaper - $10-17. The packaging is smaller and the products actually tell you what’s in them - Vitamin C serum, Three acid face cream, etc.
My first order was $90, which would have been 2 items, maybe 3 at the other stores above. At ELF, I got 5 items, plus two freebies that I chose, plus one they chose - make up remover (that goes to my bride). Shipping was free.

The products themselves, best i can tell are as good or better as the others. There is a moisturizer that is a little heavy for use on my face, but that’s personal preference. As for whether this stuff works, who knows - there is no alternative universe where I can compare use vs. non-use and I am not willing to just do half my face to find out.

It’s interesting that ELF really doesn’t cater to men on the site - I think that could be a growth area given their no-nonsense approach and transparency. But then again…



Good to know, Vince. Thx.

I watched the excellent Fool interview of the ELF CEO released this week, and the CEO uses and especially recommends the Sunscreen products for men as well. It’s a great interview if u haven’t seen it.

I think their skin care acquisition of last year (Naturium, or something like that) markets to men too, but their price point is a little higher. As for ELF, I believe they are so busy expanding to Europe and growing market share here that the men’s segment is still on the drawing board. Of course acquisition isn’t off the table.

In my own boots on the ground research through the past 18 months, (and I am way not in their target market at 73, lol), I have crossed over to the ELF fan club, especially for lipsticks, bronzer & eye shadows. Those products work just fine and I can’t believe how cheap they are compared to Chanel, Mercier, Nars, etc., the more bourgeois lines. My nieces all use ELF too. I did not go online to buy, but shopped local CVS, Ulta and Target, and while shopping, quizzed the staff for more info. All said glowing things about the line—that they can’t keep it in stock, that they are expanding shelf space, they use it themselves, etc.

All of the above is encouraging to me, and I think the company has a great ceo and leadership team and a long runway. Nevertheless, valuation is so high that high volatility concerns me as it has grown to my biggest position (I bought at $40). The recent ELF dive after the Ulta CEO forecasted some slowdown is case in point. Scary, but this could provide a buy point for those looking for a non tech growth stock. I personally believe ELF revenue will continue to grow, especially given their expansion of their European venture and excellent initial success and sold out product in Italy, their first Euro venture. So, imo, a promising future for Elf Beauty and I expect to be in for the long term.



As did my bride yesterday when she had blown through the travel size night cream that I had purchased as part of a set when I was auditioning ELF products.

So here’s an idea of pricing vis-a-vis the competition. Daily face cream spf 35 is $61 for 3.4 oz at Lab Series (men’s skin care specialist). ELF face cream spf 30 is $13 for 1.7 oz - almost 60% cheaper but it’s actually better than that. Lab Series will give you a freebie here and there, but CVX and Target sell the stuff at a discount of 15-20%. so you are paying more like $21 for the equivalent amount.
I have qualified for their top tier, which means all sorts of discounts and goodies, including free shipping.
As Penny indicated, this stuff sells itself and my guess is that marketing spend is way low compared to the others.