First up is the e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Rich Red $3
I had hopes that this would be a true red, but it's a bright glaring red with pink undertones on my lips. The color is reminiscent of most cheap drugstore lipsticks I've tried in the past. It looks super unnatural on me (felt like Flo from the Progressive commercials). I also found it difficult to apply evenly on my lips because it feels more like a lip-liner with the thicker and matte consistency. The only good thing about this product is that it has no smell and no taste (which I'm surprised, because most cheap products I've ever bought always have some sort of chemical smell/taste). Overall, I felt so silly in this color, I immediately wiped it off and didn't have time to tell if it's drying on the lips or not. I won't be repurchasing this product.
Next up, is the e.l.f. Mineral Lipstick $5
Based on experience, I found that red lipstick with brown undertones look more natural on my lips than pink or orange tints. Therefore, after much research (looking at swatches from other bloggers/videos), I picked the Royal Red and Bare Brown. Here's how they look on me:
Compared to my Smashbox, the colors are very similar, thank goodness! The Royal Red shows up just as deep, a bit more wine/burgundy, and less shiny than my Smashbox. The Bare Brown is more muted. My old Smashbox is more pigmented (I often have to lightly wipe off some color to tone down the hue), verses the ELF ones I have to apply a couple more coats. The ELF ones apply smoothly and feels moisturizing. I also like that it has no smell and no taste (unlike the Smashbox that has a vanilla-cotton-candy scent). Both the Royal Red and Bare Brown color suits me well. The only complaint I have is that after I wipe them off (like after eating), my lips feel drier, unlike the Smashbox which is moisturizing and keeps my lips moisturized even after it has faded away. Overall, the Royal Red fits my bill for a deep red lip color to replace my Smashbox for special-occasion events. I think I will definitely use the Bare Brown as my go-to color for the daytime, since it's very close to my natural lip color but better :) Here's some more swatches of the colors in case you are interested in how they compare side-by-side:
(As one can tell, the ELF ones are a bit more sheer than my Smashbox).
I'm glad these two hues worked out for me! They aren't perfect, but perfect enough to keep....since I detest trying on lip colors as much as trying on fitted jeans! And for $5 each with no parabens and chemicals, this is great!
I also purchased some e.l.f. Studio Blush $3
Mellow Mauve (on left), Blushing Rose (on right)
I normally do not wear blushes at all for fear of looking like a doll or overdone. I've only been using bronzer. I thought maybe the new me should give blushes a chance, plus I needed some fillers to get the free shipping. All I can say is that the Mellow Mauve is sheer and not as pigmented as the Blushing Rose. Both are way too glittery for my taste and comfort. I should've looked at the stock photos more closely and not picked such glittery ones. Sorry, just not a fan of glitter makeup. Definitely not repurchasing these.
What are your favorite brand of red lipstick and blushes?