Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: e.l.f. Studio Blush Palettes

When the e.l.f. Studio Blush Palettes went live on the e.l.f. website a few months back, I knew I would eventually break down and buy both of them. I waited for a good online promotion (which seems to come about every three days when it comes to the e.l.f. website!) and I got them a few months ago--in March, I think? Anyway, I've been wearing these off and on since I got them, and I'm ready to give you my verdict. Keep reading if you'd like to see how these worked for me!

e.l.f. Studio Blush Palettes in Dark and Light
(retail: $6 each, 0.14 oz)

These palettes are available on the e.l.f. website and they come in two shades: Dark (left) and Light (right). According to several reviews on the e.l.f. website, written by customers who are probably far more familiar with e.l.f.'s blush singles than I am, there are no dupes of existing e.l.f. blush shades in these palettes. In other words, these are apparently all new shades, but I can't personally confirm that for you since I don't own too many e.l.f. blush singles. 



For perspective, I grabbed something from my stash that's roughly the same size as these blush palettes:

e.l.f. Studio Blush Palette vs. Wet n Wild 8-Pan Palette

As you can see, the e.l.f. Blush Palette is just a tiny bit smaller than a Wet n Wild 8-Pan Palette. Also, you get a nice, large mirror:


Light

The Blush Palette in Light contains a cool pink, a neutral tan, a warm pink and a warm coral. The finish of these shades is essentially matte (there's a very, very slight sheen to some of them, but no shimmer). The only exception is the coral shade, which contains some fine gold glitter (sorry, it's hard to see that in my pics).

Light


Here I am wearing the two lightest shades in this palette--the neutral tan (as a contour shade) and the cool pink (as blush, above the contour). I applied these very lightly on purpose (I tend to overdo it when I'm showing you blushes, so I"m trying to change gears a show you a more "realistic" look):


For the pic above, I applied face primer,  full-coverage liquid foundation and setting powder.and then applied the blushes using my e.l.f. Small Stipple Brush.  You can see that there's no streakiness or spottiness. These blushes blend very easily and the tan shade makes a very nice, very subtle contour shade. The cool pink shade, which I applied on the apples of my cheeks and blended back toward my ears, looks a tiny bit warmer on my NC20 skintone than it does in the pan, but I think it still looks like pink (sometimes cool pinks morph into warm berry or mauve shades on my skin).  For the record, I could get a MUCH more intense look with the Light palette than what you see above, just by switching to a regular blush brush and swirling the brush a few times in the palette before applying.

Dark

The Blush Palette in Dark contains a warm, dusty mauve, a deep neutral berry, a warm, rusty brick-red and a deeper, more neutral-leaning brick-red. With the exception of the warm, rusty brick-red, these shades are all essentially mattes (some of them do contain a very subtle sheen, but no shimmer). The warm, rusty brick-red shade contains chunky gold glitter.

Dark

I realize that, on some monitors, the colors above probably look nothing like the swatches below. This is also true in real life! With the two brick-red shades, the colors in the pan appear lighter and not as red, but on the skin they both look quite red and a lot deeper. My swatches below are very accurate (on my monitor at least!). 


Here I am wearing the warm, rusty brick-red, with a little of the dusty mauve applied to just the tops of my cheekbones:


For this look, I wanted to show you what these blushes look like when applied on top of a sheer BB cream. I'm not wearing a full face of makeup here like in the first photo--I'm just wearing BB cream and a very light dusting of translucent powder. You can see that the blush colors don't look quite as smooth, but some of that is due to the fact that many of my skin's imperfections are coming through (due to the sheerness of the BB cream). But I didn't experience any serious streaks or spotty application, and the blushes were still quite easy to blend. The pigmentation of these colors is pretty intense, as you can see, even though I used my e.l.f. Small Stipple Blush which tends to give me a lot more control over highly-pigmented blushes.

Additional thoughts: These blushes are quite nice and they exceeded my expectations on every level. I have to be honest and tell you that I have never been an e.l.f. powder blush fan. Over the years, just about every e.l.f. powder blush I've owned has been dry, powdery and hard to work with. I'm glad I had an open mind with these because I think each of these palettes contains versatile, highly-pigmented shades that can work with a variety of skintones (although they are definitely warm-tone-friendly). If you can only wear cool shades on your cheeks, I'm not sure either palette would be ideal for you.

The texture of these blushes is quite nice--three out of the four shades in each palette are very silky and easy to work with. One shade in each palette seems a tiny bit more "gritty" and dry to me. The glittery shade in each palette isn't a deal-breaker for me because, after blending, I can hardly see the glitter at all. These are not shimmery blushes, and the glitter kind of drops off my skin after blending.

The Light palette would be nice for those with medium-to-fair skintones. I think that if your skintone is medium-deep to very deep, this palette could also work for you, but you'll need to build for more intensity (but honestly, these blushes are so pigmented, I don't think you'll have to build for too long).

The Dark palette would work for just about all skintones. If you have a deep skintone, I don't think you'll have to work at all to achieve some very nice pigmentation. But if you have fair skin, you'll need to use a very light hand and probably a stipple brush to control pigmentation. 

Staying power is obviously a lot better when I'm wearing a full face of makeup (including primer). I can usually get about 6-7 hours of wear from the shades in both palettes when I'm wearing a full face of makeup. If I'm just wearing BB cream or a light foundation, I can get about 4-5 hours of wear before I start to see some significant fading. Keep in mind that I have very oily skin, so your mileage may vary when it comes to staying power. One more thing: I detect no fragrance whatsoever in these blushes.

FINAL VERDICT: Great pigmentation? Check. Versatile colors? Check. Silky texture? Check. Lots of mattes options? Check. For six dollars a piece, I think these palettes are a great deal. You can contour, highlight, mix colors...there are lots of options here for six bucks, and the quality is MUCH better than the e.l.f. blush singles I've used in the past. These palettes have given me a much better outlook on e.l.f.'s powder blushes in general, because I was a real Negative Nancy about their powder blushes prior to these palettes. I say give them a shot the next time e.l.f. is running a promotion that catches your eye. Unless you can only wear cool tones on your cheeks--if that's the case, you might have to skip these because they're heavy on warm shades.

And speaking of e.l..f promotions, there's one going on right now on the e.l.f. site if you're thinking about giving these palettes a try. Now through 5/26/14, you can get BOGO1/2OFF the entire e.l.f. site with code BOGO50 at checkout. You must purchase at least $25 worth of merchandise to qualify for this deduction. 

Do you own either (or both) of the e.l.f. Studio Blush Palettes? I'd love to hear from you!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.
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29 comments

  1. Ooops, I guess I missed that these were an online exclusive the first time you posted about these...I've been checking Target for these everytime. I've been really happy lately with cream/gel blushers, even w/ severely oily skin. I like Drew Barrymore's Flower creme blush and elf HD which comes in a pump and is like jelly/cream hybrid. Sooo little goes a loooonnngg way w/ the elf HD, and I can see a lot of them being fantastic for those with deep skintones.

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    1. I took out the word "exclusively" in my post because Ms Nana below said she saw them at Kmart! I was just at my Target and Kmart stores last week and didn't see them, but maybe they're on the way?? :)

      I have one of the HD blushes that I've been meaning to review, and I love it also! The staying power on those is incredible and like you said, a tiny dot goes a looooong way. :)

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    2. So there is hope!!! *fingers crossed* ;)

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  2. Thanks for reviewing these. I've been wanting to try both of these, but saw on some of the reviews that the one palette's colors were too dark for a lot of people. It seems they look fine on you, so I'm going to get both of these. Totally worth the price, too! :-D

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    1. You're so welcome! As long as you use a stipple brush and a light hand, I think you can totally pull off the Dark palette. I tried using a traditional blush brush and it deposited waaaay too much color (just like with the Milani baked blushes). :)

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  3. Love these picked them up immediately, i have a video review as well as a demo on my YouTube channel. I used one color from each palette and they're excellent. I have a medium skin tone so both palettes work for me.

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    1. So glad to hear they both work for you! :)

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  4. Both of mine should arrive this Thursday! Cant wait! Thank you so much for the awesome review : )

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    1. You are so welcome! I can't wait to hear how you like them when you get them! Keep me posted? :)

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  5. Thanks for doing such a thorough review. I'm not at all surprised to hear your positive response to these blushes. A lot of the YT ladies that I watch seem to love the studio line of ELF blushes, so I expected the same quality to be present in these palettes. However, your very detailed review definitely explains why these blushes are worth checking out.

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    1. You're so welcome! I haven't seen any YT reviews yet, so thank you for letting me know that I'm not alone in my love for these. I'd love to know what you think if you get them! :)

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  6. I saw them at Kmart (both the blush palettes and HD cream/gel blushes) I was going to purchase them but I have enough blush to last me a life time lol and I wanted to used what I have before I go out and buy more since most of my blushes are brand new but I think I am going to live a little and go for it. Thanks girls i will let you know how I like them.

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    1. YES!! Thank you so much for letting us know these are at Kmart now!! I was just at my Kmart last week but didn't see them, so hopefully they'll get them soon! I can't wait to hear how you like them when you get them. :)

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  7. I've been seeing some hauls regarding these palettes and I think I saw one review about them. Elf has been stepping up their game and begins to bring in more "high end" type of products. I do like that they do that, but I hope they will continue to keep their low prices. Elf has their hit and miss. I heard their studio line blushes are very good, but it seems to be a bit of an opposite for you. However, glad that you tested these palettes out and has a good review for it. I have been wanting to order elf again. Have not done it in a long time because last haul was a bleh for me. More miss than hit. And I tried to make to make those "Miss" work, but still did not! I do want to check out some of their new HD products. And try those $2 essential ones too. But waiting for another good sale to comes along.

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    1. Yeah, the studio blush singles that I've purchased just didn't work for me, but these are so great! Please let me know what you think if you decide to get them...I an keeping my fingers crossed that they'll be a hit for you! :)

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  8. I really like the blushes from ELF. I got a blush and a bronzer palette and I'm very happy with it! It does its job, and nice pigment, colors, applies easily. I think they really improved their products!

    Love,
    Karlien

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  9. Can you do a review on the elf smudge pot please

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    1. I actually have one that I'm testing for review right now! :)

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  10. Thank you for the review! I also found the texture of the singles to be not-great, so I'm glad to hear these are better!

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    1. Thank you, Emi. They seem to get a lot of love but I've been disappointed with just about every one. I think these are a huge improvement and I can't wait to see if you agree! :)

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  11. I love this review G., its good to know that when I do buy one (I hope very much that they someday show up at Target) I will need the Light. I have wanted these since you first mentioned them in the winter. Every time I go to a store that carries ELF I do look for them hoping to find them....

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    1. Thank you, R!! :) I hope you find them locally SOON and you know I want to know what you thick when you do! ;)

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  12. I purchased both palettes about a month ago after watching a review by emnoel83. I must say I am in love with the Dark palette.I am olive toned and it works beautifully as you mentioned they are very pigmented and for the price you can't beat it. Thanks for mentioning they are having a sale...heading to their site to stock up on this one.

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    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad to hear the Dark palette is working for you! :) Also, since you said you have olive skin, would you agree that the Light palette also works for you, but that it just needs to be built up for more intensity? Thanks!

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  13. Soooo happy to read this review because I just ordered both yesterday after waiting for reviews to come in on their website. I'm really looking forward to trying them out since almost everyone has great things to say about them.

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  14. Thanks for the review G! I have been tempted to buy both palettes, but I have held back because most of the single studio blushes tend to not blend to well when you apply them sad, because Elf has some beautiful color options. I think I may end up picking these up now that you have given them a good review! Thanks again G :)!!!!

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  15. I have one baked and one regular elf blush and I like the baked one best for it's coverage, shade and longevity. I think I'd like the light palette you have shown here.

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  16. Thanks for the review..This seems awesome. Too bad it's really hard to get this palette in Indonesia

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