e.l.f cosmetics haul! ~ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s been literally years since I’ve bought any e.l.f. products. I remember back in the day when their website was a clunker and they only had the $1 essentials line! The last time I bought from them I think was a Black Friday sale and a lot of their products seemed hit & miss for me. I hadn’t had a hankering for more e.l.f. stuff but since I’m always seeing more and more products added to their display at Target, that urge to try new products popped up again! Last week they were having a free shipping, no minimum so I took advantage and got a few things 🙂


small haul

Let’s start with the good! My favorite thing here (and them item I most wanted to try) was the new blending brush from their Beautifully Bare line.


small size

I always read reviews and I knew to expect the small size. For me this was actually preferential since all my other blush brushes are huge and terrible for travel. And I didn’t buy this for the intended purpose either 🙂 The dense fan like shape isn’t that good for blending, but it is great at applying blush or contour powder. It fits nicely against the shape of your cheeks and below your cheekbones. It’s also soft but dense, and hopefully will last better than the shedding-prone essentials line of e.l.f. brushes!

Next up in cheek products was the new matte contouring blush & bronzer duo in Fiji.


a thin plastic sheet covers the powders

I wanted to try the cream one (since I really do have too many powder blushes, haha) but the cream one looked way too warm for me. I love matte contour products so this seemed right up my alley! I have the e.l.f. cool tone bronzer quad and even though I don’t really like the product, I love the sturdy case and large mirror and was happy to see the same case for this duo. It’s very reminiscent of NARS.


blush / bronzer

I do think the idea of a ‘contour blush’ isn’t something that can’t work on every skin tone. Blush by definition tends to be warmer and rosier than a skin tone, to add color to the cheeks. Whereas a good contour tends to be matte, neutral, and more like adding a shadow as definition rather than adding color. I think it’s best to leave contour as contour and blush as blush, but that’s just in my opinion (and what works for my skin). So ignoring the description, I focused on colors that might work and ones I don’t quite have yet. And WOW this is a pigmented product! I think e.l.f. has definitely stepped up their game since the last time I bought products. It is almost too warm for me, especially if I’m not careful with how much I apply, but it does go on and blend like a dream. Seriously though, this is PIGMENTED! The warm tone is definitely fine for me for summer but I think I’ll retire it come September in favor of my Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane / MAC Next to Skin blush & contour combo, which is much cooler tone.

Next is another product that I enjoyed! This one was bought on a whim and because the name amused me. E.l.f.’s essential EX-tra lipgloss.


the color is Michael

As much as I love the cheeky naming (reminds me of my fave theBalm products!) I personally don’t want to be reminded of an ex every time I put on lipgloss, no matter how pretty the color 🙂 Luckily I don’t have an ex named Michael because I really like this stuff! It’s a great find for only $2.


nail polish is butter london’s Wallis for those curious

The color is a quite pigmented mauve-y rose and it feels great on the lips. The ingredients include lots of different natural oils so it does feel hydrating rather than drying. It is a gloss though, and it’ll come off on everything. Don’t expect it to last more than a couple of hours, but at this price it’s worth reapplying and not being afraid to use it up! These remind me a lot of the NYX Butter Glosses in terms of a pigmented, moisturizing gloss. The wand on this EXtra gloss does feel a bit flimsy. There were a lot of reviews talking about broken wands stuck in the container. Thankfully I read those reviews ahead of time and have been extra careful pulling it in and out. No breaking yet!

Next is a cheap eyebrow duo brush.


two sides; one spoolie, one small slanted brush

I wanted a brow brush that would be easy to travel with specifically a spoolie head. My Too Faced brow pencil has a spoolie side and I love that, but I wanted a separate brush that didn’t have a pencil on it as well. Ehh, this is a really cheap spoolie unfortunately. I wasn’t expecting gold for $2, but this feels and looks like the freebie spoolies you can get in cosmetic aisles for testing products. The brush side is decent though, but I wouldn’t call this an Anastasia brush dupe at all (looking at you, overly excited review on the e.l.f. site!)

But the worst product (in my opinion!) has got to be the mineral lipstick in Ripe Rose.


sturdy black plastic packaging

I really wanted to love this! If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know I love lipstick. But this one…. not so much. First off, it smells and tastes like old crayons. It’s worse than Revlon or CoverGirl for me. A fragrance is one thing, but I taste it constantly on my lips. The color itself looks pretty. It’s not nearly as vibrant or rosy as the online picture, and I knew from reviews that I shouldn’t expect anything super pigmented but it was still a disappointment.


standard lipstick size

You think something called Ripe Rose would be…well, more rosier! It read very brown both in tube and on my lips. Despite being sheer on one swipe and needing a few swipes to build up, it never got as pigmented as the EXtra gloss for example. And I do love brown-pinks; just look at my love for Bésame’s Dusty Rose! But this was more brown-dry-raisen than brown-natural-pink. Maybe I’m just overly negative because the taste is so bad, but honestly I’ve put up with bad taste for beautiful colors before. I will say that it is creamy and easy to apply; the oils in the formula help it slide across lips. But I found that it settled in any imperfection rather than staying even. Perhaps it’s just the color; perhaps the red would be more pigmented. I personally won’t be buying any more in this line, because that taste is too much for me.

Swatch time!


Michael // Ripe Rose // Fiji Blush and Bronzer

I definitely had a bit of a rose & brown theme going on in these purchases! And you can see here, three swipes of the Ripe Rose practically equals one light swipe of the Fiji blush.

At least the customer service was good as always! It came well packages and nothing was broken. There was even some bonus products (for referring friends) and a coupon for free shipping with my next purchase of $20 (it’s code LOVE. Go ahead and use it if you want!).



Too bad I already have this eyeshadow quad (from probably 6 years ago??) and don’t like their eyeliners. I’ll be gifting these to a friend hopefully.

Overall, e.l.f. is still just as hit-or-miss as I remember. Their brush was super soft (good!), blush was more pigmented than I expected (awesome!), and the EXtra lipgloss was a surprise winner (YES!!). Too bad that lipstick was so gross tasting. I’m not 100% done with e.l.f. but I am definitely more critical of the reviews now; I went through a handful of other blogs and the reviews on the site and I don’t remember seeing a single one talking about the taste of their mineral lipstick. Perhaps it’s just my batch? Either way, it’s a total miss.

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone has a good new week 🙂

til later lovelies,
xoxo Swatchlette


6 thoughts on “e.l.f cosmetics haul! ~ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  1. plus+beauty27 says:

    Well I am so glad you loved the EX-tra lip gloss! I love those too! I want to get every shade but only have 3 of them so far lol. Elf has some hits and misses but it’s always great when you find their hidden treasures. 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • swatchlette says:

      I’m definitely thinking about getting more of the EX glosses! Those are so amazing at such a low price! I think this just proves that sometimes with e.l.f. their more expensive products aren’t necessarily their best 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • plus+beauty27 says:

        Yes I agree! I am going to try to get the rest of their colors they have but last I knew one was out of stock. I hope it will be back again soon! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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