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elf Studio Haul & Review: Pic Heavy!

(This post is hella long, so I apologize for all the scrolling you'll have to do.)

Three weeks ago, elf had a 75% off code on their Studio Line, so mostly everything you see here - except for five items which I ordered from before - cost me only $0.75. However, elf Studio products are still very inexpensive at their regular price of $3. Their current code (EGTWOSHIP) offers $1.98 shipping on orders over $15 for a limited time only. Also, you can sign up for their newsletter for more discount code information, and you can follow elf on Twitter. Another site to go to to find codes is

Now, on to the pics, swatches, and review...


Elf Studio bronzers are well-sized and come with 13 g of product. The packaging doesn't come with a window on the cover, like their eyeshadows and blushes, but this makes space for the huge mirror on the inside lid. And because there isn't a window to see what color you're looking at, the color name is printed on the lower front lid. (You already know that elf Studio packaging have that NARS-inspired look.)

Each bronzer has four quadrants of color, and if you use these colors individually instead of mixing them together, the blush brush is the perfect size for each quadrant. (I'll get to the blush brush review last.)

BTW, I use depotted MAC shadows as pill cases. That's what that is in the picture. =)


  • Large amount of product -13 g
  • Comes with 4 colors that are mixable
  • Huge mirror
  • Easy-to-open latch (just push up on it)
  • Pigmented, especially the Cool Bronzer (use a light hand with the browns in that one)
  • Each color can be used individually as a blush, contour or highlight
  • Cool Bronzer (matte) has smoother texture than Warm Bronzer (shimmer)
  • Oil-free


  • Packaging may be too big
  • Contains talc, which can irritate certain skin-types (like mine). But it's the second ingredient and if I use it once a week, then I'll probably be good.
  • Hard to achieve the same color on each cheek when mixing colors together. Since the quadrants are so large, you might not get the same exact color on each cheek when mixing the colors together. If it was designed in a mosaic pattern, then the colors would apply more evenly when mixed.
  • Comes in only 3 colors: Cool, Warm and Golden
  • Only the Cool Bronzer is matte
BRONZER -FINAL THOUGHTS: A worthy buy. If you like mattes, pick up the Cool, but if you prefer shimmery blushes or bronzers, then go with the Warm. Since they're both inexpensive, just get both!

BRONZER INGREDIENTS: Mica, Talc, Magnesium Myristate, Zinc Stearate, Titanium Dioxide, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Boron Nitride. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491 CI77492 CI 77499), D&C Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), FD&C Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Red No. 40 Lake (CI 16035)

Candid Coral Blush is a peachy-coral color with golden shimmer.


  • Same easy-to-open packaging as the bronzers, but smaller in size
  • Comes with a good amount of product- 4.75 g
  • Has mirror
  • Lid has a little window so you can see the color of the product
  • Layerable/buildable color (which can be a con for some people)

  • Layerable/buildable color (which can be a pro for some people)
  • Contains talc and Mineral Oil (I'm not going to use this again because of the mineral oil. I only bought it to test it out for you.)
  • Comes in 6 colors and all of them are shimmery. What, no mattes?
BLUSH - FINAL THOUGHTS: I'm not using this again because of the mineral oil and I believe it gave me a little zit on the front of my cheek, where I hardly breakout. That's why I have to stick with oil-free face products. But if you don't have sensitive skin, weigh out the pros and cons and determine if you'll like it.

Talc, Mica, Nylon-12, Magnesium Stearate, Silica, Paraffinium Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Polybutene, Sodium Dehydroacetate. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491 CI77492 CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow No. 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red No. 40 Lake (CI 16035), Ultramarine Violet (CI 77077), Blue No. 1 Lake (CI 42090).


Swatched from left to right, top row first then bottom row

Since I don't like shimmery blushes, how about using the Warm Bronzer as an eyeshadow quad? Is it safe to use on the eyes? You're going to have to pack that color on, though.


Next up are the Studio single eyeshadows. I got all of them except for the white one called Sand Dollar.

The above picture will give you the rundown about the eyeshadow packaging, which I love. The back of all these Studio products are just the black plastic with a little circular sticker stating the color, product amount, and product numbers - a very boring photo op.

The colors
(Saddle, Coffee Bean & Mystic Moss are darker and richer than in this pic. I was rushing.)


  • Again, the same easy-to-open latch, like the previous products; cute packaging overall
  • Window in the lid shows the product color
  • Has a mirror, but it's a little small
  • Good amount of product - 2.75 g
  • Good pigmentation over a base (not just UDPP or TFSI alone)
  • Colors blend well
  • Not loosely pressed like their $1 quads
  • No annoying sponge-tip applicator that falls out or takes up space in the packaging
  • Shimmery colors are not frosty or glittery
  • Very wearable colors


  • Only one matte shadow - Pebble - is offered. (I don't know about Sand Dollar)
  • Only one color - Raspberry Truffle - was softer and more crumbly than the other colors
  • Must use a sticky base, like a shadestick or cream eyeshadow, to make the colors pop more. But pigmentation is still good.
  • If you like really shimmery colors, these won't do it for you. Only Coffee Bean and Raspberry Truffle are the most shimmery, and yet, they're not that shimmery.
  • Only comes in 10 colors
  • No bright colors for you bold ladies. No blues, either.
  • May be cumbersome to use; if you're using 4 or 5 shadows at one time, you'll have to pop each one open and scatter it on your vanity or bed (that's where I do my makeup)
EYESHADOW - FINAL THOUGHTS: Weigh out the pros and cons and determine if you'll like it. I'll recommend Pebble, Amethyst, Mystic Moss and Butter Cream.

: Talc, Mica, Nylon-12, Silica, Iso-Octyl Palmitate, Magnesium Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone, Triacontanyl PVP, Sodium Dehydroacetate. May Contain Iron Oxides (CI 77491 CI 77492 CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow No. 5 (CI 19140), Red No. 40 Lake (CI 16035), Ultramarine Violet (CI 77077), Blue No. 1 Lake (CI 42090).

Swatched over Scandalous Eyeshadow Magnet


  • BUTTER CREAM* - soft shimmer; creamy yellow-gold
  • WILD WHEAT - very soft shimmer; peachy-tan (hardly shows up on my medium skin-tone so I don't really like this one)
  • PEBBLE* - matte; mid-tone taupe; good to fill in eyebrows with; reminds me of a matte NYX Rootbeer
  • SADDLE* - soft shimmer; mid-tone coppery-brown
  • COFFEE BEAN - shimmer; dark bronze-brown with bronze shimmer
  • AMETHYST* - soft shimmer; mid-tone violet purple
  • RASPBERRY TRUFFLE - shimmer; dark maroon/burgundy with reddish shimmer; turns muddy brown if packed on and reminds me of the top-right color in the 28-color neutral palette, which does the same thing. However, on a white base, it looks good, huh?
  • MYSTIC MOSS* - soft shimmer; deep forest green
  • CHARCOAL - soft shimmer; your basic dark gray or soft black
(* indicates favorites)

Eyebrow Kit - 2 g of product total. NOTE: The wax is labeled as a gel on the packaging.

This is the last brow product I will try from elf. I don't like the $1 brow gel because it doesn't set my brows well, and I hate the Studio Eyebrow Treat & Tame because of it's strange peachy color and its useless "Treat" end. Then there's this...


  • Convenient packaging that includes a brow gel (soft wax), brow powder, and double-ended applicator (but wait for the cons)
  • Has mirror


  • Not dark at all! It's way too light for my black eyebrows
  • Too warm-toned and not ashy or taupe enough for more naturally-looking filled in brows (Try Pebble eyeshadow instead)
  • Stubby brush is not user-friendly
  • Powder is somewhat too soft in texture
  • Brow gel/soft wax color is dark enough, but it's greasy/oily and smudges easily
  • Gel/wax contains mineral oil, in fact, it's the first ingredient
EYEBROW KIT - FINAL THOUGHTS: Stay very far away from this. If you have it, do you like it?

: Paraffinium Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Ricinus Comunis (Castor) Seed Oil, Talc, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ozokerite, Methylisothiazolinone, Caprylyl Glycol. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491 CI 77492 CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).

EYEBROW KIT POWDER INGREDIENTS: Talc, Mica, Caprylic/Caprictri Glycerides, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Sodium Dehydroacetate. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491 CI 77492 CI 77499).


Pictured above are the elf Studio Eyelash Curler and the Mini-sized one. Both come with two black silicone pads, or lips.

Look what came with my Mini Eyelash Curler - someone's nasty azz dirty fingerprint! Bleck! I had to scrub, wash, and swipe that thing with alcohol ten times before I felt comfortable using it. It was some sort of thick residue on the packager's thumb. I want a new one! Anyway, despite that foulness, I like this mini curler because it can catch those hard-to-reach lashes on the outer and inner corners that a regular curler can miss.

As for their regular Studio Lash Curler (pictured two pics above), I prefer the spring-loaded, or Mechanical, $1 Eyelash Curler, which also comes with 2 silicone pads, or lips. This curler - pictured on the left below - is so good and it hasn't broke on me, either. After more than a year, I'm still using the pad it came with but I think I need to change it, since I noticed a little groove in it this morning. But, it never pinches my eyelids and it makes my lashes stick up nicely. I think I like the old handle design better. It just curls better than the Studio one and you don't have to apply a lot of pressure.

I haven't tried on the lashes from the Hollywood Eyelashes Kit yet, but I took pictures of it. It comes with a pair of full and dramatic lashes, a stand, an applicator with rubberized tips, and a dinky tube of useless glue. The band of the lashes is black, which is good. The stand is cute but I feel it doesn't keep the shape of the curl - the tray would be better for that. The applicator is also cute, but I'm not sure if it even makes application easier. I'm going to have to play around with it more. If you have this, how do you like it? Honestly, I'm not much of a wearer of falsies.

EYELASHES - FINAL THOUGHTS: The non-Studio eyelash curler ($1) is a must-have, while the Mini Curler would be something nice to try, since I never see mini-sized curlers at drugstores. I hope you won't get a thick, crusty thumbprint on yours!

How lovely does this Kabuki Face Brush look? It's my new love and completely worth the $5, even if I only paid $1.25 for it. As stated in the picture above, the bristle height is 4.5 cm, while the bristles at their widest part is 5.5 cm. (The Metric system is so much easier, America!) It may look a little small but it's a very nice-sized Kabuki. Elf also offers a new Kabuki Body Brush, which I assume is larger than this.


  • Dense, fluffy, SOFT, full, smoothly dome-shaped: good stuff
  • Hasn't shed on me
  • The black dye didn't bleed on to the paper towel after washing
  • Not too small and not overly large, either
  • Can be used for body, or the décolleté area
  • Great to use with finishing powders or any loose powder
  • Great for buffing out your blush or face makeup
  • Covers a large area in a few swipes
  • Will look really cute on your vanity!


  • Despite the chemical smell when I first got it, after the first washing, there's no longer an odor
  • Doesn't come with a satchel or case, but it does come in a box
  • Costs $2 more than most elf Studio items, but well worth the $5


And finally (whew!), here's the blush brush, which is about half the size of the Complexion Brush. I can't recommend this brush and it's too bad that I have two of them now. Everyone needs to get the Complexion Brush because it's the perfect size for blush, bronzer, finishing powders, and even contouring.


  • Very soft bristles, just like all the elf Studio face brushes
  • Tapered head
  • Doesn't shed or bleed
  • Matte, black plastic handle, instead of painted wood like their $1 brushes (even though some of those brushes are really good)
  • Good to use when picking up color in separate quadrants of the Studio Bronzers (it fits perfectly)


  • Brush head is too small for applying blush, since it covers a small part of your cheek. If you like precise blush placement, then you may not mind this.
  • Instead for blush, it's probably better to use for highlighting or contouring your cheeks
  • Comes with a brush guard but the brush slides right through the bottom hole =/ That doesn't happen with the Complexion and Powder brushes.

I think they should rename their Blush Brush to "Highlighter Brush", their Complexion Brush to "Blush or Powder Brush", and their Powder Brush to "Flat-Top Brush." It makes better sense. At least they got the Kabuki name right.

BRUSHES - FINAL THOUGHTS: The must-have brushes are the Face Kabuki, Complexion Brush, Powder Brush, and if you like a thin, precise line for eyeliner, then consider the Small Angled Brush.


For my previous elf Studio Haul & Review, click here.
I highly recommend the Studio Complexion Brush (my fave) and the Powder Brush.

SIDE NOTE: I don't give ratings to products (i. e. 6/10 or 8 out of 10) because what does that really tell you? I'd prefer you weigh out the pros and cons and determine whether or not it will appeal to you, since we are all different. A pro to me might be a con for you, or a con may be a pro for you. I'll only give ratings if I'm comparing similar products and want to rank them.

Whew! That took me HOURS to do. LoL. All the picture-taking, swatching, cropping, labeling, uploading, writing and proof-reading takes a long time, and I do it all for YOU. =) Since that's out of the way, I'm going to take a little break from bloggin'. I'll try to post something in a couple weeks.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helped. Have a great day everyone =)

Copyright © 2009, Lady Lostris

20 comment(s):

Unknown said...

great post! i couldn't believe that fingerprint! how gross. haha. and i love how you swatched the warm bronzer quad just like how it came in the compact.

Stephanie said...

This was a great post! Love your precision! I made an elf haul too, but I am too lazy to review it. It really does take HOURS to do this, it's crazy!

Lady Lostris said...

@giselle, Thanks! How gross was that crusty fingerprint? LoL. I still don't feel like using it.

@Stephanie, thank you hun! I dreaded making a post on this but I finally got it done. =)

Sofia said...

U are awesome I cant believe u did all of that for us :D Thank U!!! I really appreciate ur advice

Lady Lostris said...

@Sofee, aww, thanks hun! :) You're welcome and I hope the post helped.

Lyn said...

I really look forward to all your entries! They are so detailed and well thought out! I swear you are the best blogger review ever! This gives me a excellent idea of what I want and do want from that line. Even though the line is very well priced to start with, those dollars add up and I'm on such a tight budget. So thanks for a great review!!!

Marie. said...

OMG this was an amazing detailed ELF post! I LOVE the studio line, Raspberry Truffle is my fav so far. I like how soft it is, all the other shades arent shimmery enough for me.

And I hate how gross their stuff can arrive to you as! Like sometimes my boxes will be beat up or I'll have someones HAIR in my package! Eww wtf!!! Sometimes it just... really ridiculous!

I've made it a habit to disinfect almost everything I buy.

Lady Lostris said...

@Lyn, thanks Girlie! A lot of elf products are really worth the price. Plus there's always some money saving code floating around! =)

@Marie, you like Raspberry Truffle! It looked good when I swiped it on my lower lashline and stayed true to color. Then I was going to do a burgundy smokey eye with it on the lid, but it went on dark brown over a beige base. It stayed true to color though in my arm swatch though. LoL.

Haha, I disinfect things that I buy, too. :) I'll use those Clorox disinfecting wipes and wipe nail polish bottles, or lipsticks and eyeshadow packaging that didn't come wrapped in something.

That's gross about the hair!

charlene-ann said...

hey girl, thanks for the always do the best reviews hehe & i should really think about purchasing something from els studio line <3

Jennifer from Toronto - Spiced Beauty said...

Great review!
you honestly did an amazing job!

Avartsy said...

wow, thanks for the detailed review.
i skipped the sale cos i didnt think the shadows wd be any good and reviews on the brushes were just so so, i might just have to get the shadows eventually

SephoraMAC said...

Thanks so much. Loved the review and pictures. Makes it easier for me to decide what colors I like.

BV said...

Thank you for that mega long and wonderful post! I live in Australia and hope to buy some E.L.F. stuff soon... they are having a bogof on Studio line items now...

guitarrasara said...

i'm so glad i watched an old youtube video and found your blog! i have spent almost an hour looking through all your posts...! i love your blog- keep up the great work! also, i have a blog too in case you'd care to mosey over :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! I feel the same way about the Complexion brush and blush brush...I was expecting the complexion one to be a bit bigger but for the cost, not bad. Love the favorite out of my order:)


Oh WOW, this is so clever - you have the most gorgeous site here and I had to stop by to leave this comment for you – and to say hello of course ! Your posts are creative and original and you have interesting pictures. It's all perfect ! Thank you for sharing your site and best wishes....

Vanessa M. said...

i must have a bronzer thinger

Gabriela said...

Thank you very much for your review and the swatches. I love your blog so I`m going to become a follower.

Deez Nailz - Canadas most fabulous hand model said...

what an informative and thorough post - thank you for posting this and A+++++++ Awesome.

Anonymous said...

just did a whole review on these lipsticks! with swatches and everything.

I have alot of reviews of elf products! enjoy

Lady Lostris Beauty | TNB