ELF 3-in-1 Mascara Review, Swatches, Photos


ELF 3 in 1 Mascara

A few weeks ago, I gave a rather bad review to Rimmel’s Scandal Eyes Show Off mascara – you can read the full review here, but the gist of it was that the formula was terrible (lots of smudging!) but I liked the shape of the brush.  Lyn from Cheap as F suggested that I try ELF’s 3-in-1 mascara instead, which has a similar brush, with a spiked ball on the end, but is a tubing mascara with a good formula.  A $3 tubing mascara? I bought it two days later.

ELF 3 in 1 Mascara  brush

I apologize for the poor quality of the above picture, but you can see the shape of the brush well. It’s a silicone brush with very short bristles, and the spiked ball at the top. It does tend to come out of the tube with a little extra drop of mascara on the tip, but it’s easily wiped away with either a tissue or the edge of the mascara tube.

I love the shape of this mascara brush – smaller silicone brush tend to work well for my lashes, and this is no exception.  Both the standard part of the tube and the ball tip work well; they separate my lashes and leave them completely free of clumps while adding length and a little bit of volume. I’ve never tried a tubing mascara that adds much volume – this is about as good as it gets.  There was a bit of a learning curve in terms of not getting mascara on my face with the ball part while using the other part of the wand to apply mascara, but I figured it out pretty quickly.  Also worth noting is that the wand is fairly flexible – I don’t like the flexibility, as it’s a bit harder to use the wand, but it’s workable. For a $3 mascara this good, I can live with it!

I unfortunately don’t have a good before picture at hand, but here’s the after picture, which I think shows the mascara off very well:

ELF 3 in 1 Mascara  swatch  applied

I can wear this mascara all day (12+ hours) with no smudging, smearing or flaking.  Since it’s a tubing mascara, it removes easily with warm water. Oddly, it seems to come off in small pieces rather than in long tubes – as other tubing mascaras I have tried have – but that is just an oddity, not a problem.

Overall, I definitely recommend this mascara! It is super cheap, has a great wand, a great formula, and is my new every day mascara when I want a more natural look and / or easy removal.  Thank you so much, Lyn, this mascara is great!

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

  • Icequeen81

    sounds pretty good

  • Lyn Cheapasf

    Oh great! I’m glad it worked for you. I get paranoid, sometimes, that I’ve just had some freak luck with something when I recommend it. I agree that it’s a good everyday mascara – not super dramatic. I’ve been wondering if layering it with another type would ruin the wear time, but I haven’t experimented yet.

    • I’m going to try it over a mascara primer some time soon – I know L’oreal’s beauty tubes mascara has a primer (it’s a double sided mascara) and apparently still works, so perhaps it will! But, when I want more dramatic lashes, I use Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume & Curl, which I love – it’s just much harder to remove — and more expensive.

  • Jennifer F

    How would you say this compares to Loreal’s beauty tubes (the burgundy and white formula)?

    • I bought that one once, but I hated the brush SO MUCH that the mascara just wasn’t useable at all for me, so I can’t really comment on the formula. I really should have tried it with a different mascara wand, but I ended up just tossing it.

  • Margo @PrettyPandaMakeup

    wow what a bargain find! Love it

  • I bought mine at a Target 🙂

  • Hi Sarah, I just noticed the link in your comment. I am not able to edit out links, and my comment policy is no links, so please be mindful for next time. Thanks.