E.L.F. recently released a new HD Blush as part of their studio line. A few days after it showed up online, they had a “50% off Studio” sale, and I decided to make a purchase – two of the new blushes and several other items (see everything I bought here). There are five shades of the HD blush available, and I had a hard time narrowing my choices down to two. They were inexpensive enough for me to buy all five, but given my hit and miss experience with ELF, I wanted to make sure I liked them before buying several. So, I ended up with Superstar, which I expected to be coral (but is more pink/coral), and Showstopper, which I expected to be berry, and is a purple-toned berry.
This review is two parts; first, I’m going to compare the ELF blushes to the very similar MUFE blushes. Second, I’m going to evaluate the MUFE blushes on their own merits.
So, how similar are they? The packaging is virtually identical; the only difference I noticed, besides the branding, was that the MUFE has a glossy lid and the ELF has a matte lid. The pump mechanism seems identical to me (very functional, but you have to be careful not to pump out too much product.)
However, the texture of each brand’s blush is different. Below, I have extremely heavy swatches of MUFE #6 Quickie and ELF Superstar.
Of course, the colors are different, but the reason I swatched them so heavily was so that you could see the texture. The MUFE blush is creamy, with an opaque base, while the ELF blush is more watery, with a translucent base. The MUFE blush is thicker and takes slightly longer to dry down; the ELF blush is thinner and significantly more pigmented. The MUFE blush is a little easier to work with because it’s not so pigmented and you have more time to blend. However, if you prefer a very pigmented blush, and especially if you have darker skin, the ELF is going to be your best bet.
And of course, the MUFE blush is $26, while the ELF blush is $3, or as low as $1.50 on sale. Both are labeled as 10ml (.33oz); however, the ELF arrived full, while my MUFE blush did not – and Sephora.com says that the MUFE blush is .2oz, so perhaps they have adjusted the label to adjust for the quantity you actually receive.
And now, my evaluation of each blush:
|(The darkness on my arm is from a leftover eyeshadow swatch that I failed to remove completely
– sorry about that! I didn’t realize it would show up so clearly in the photo.)
Superstar is a very pigmented pink-coral. It sets very quickly; you’ll definitely want to apply/blend one cheek at a time. I had the best luck if I put a little bit of blush on the back of my hand, dabbed some on to a fingertip, then applied/blended with my fingers, working quickly. I was able to achieve a subtle result with this method, as seen below:
I’m also wearing Superstar on my lips in the photo, mixed with gloss – but I wouldn’t recommend that, as it really settled in to my lip lines. Also, I don’t know if it’s lip safe. And here’s a slightly heavier application so you can see the color better:
Next, Showstopper – this one is gorgeous, but was much harder to work with. It is very, very pigmented, and also sets quite quickly. The heavy swatch stained my arm (by the way – straight up oil is awesome at removing swatches and stains from swatching).
This is a purple toned berry; a really beautiful color. I think it would work particularly well on deeper skintones, where a more intense color would look natural.
I had a hard time making this work for me. Even with well-moisturized skin, the color was just too intense. So, I ended up mixing a little bit with some moisturizer (primer would work even better, due to the texture), and using my fingers to apply the mixture. This worked very well; I wouldn’t call the result natural, but it’s wearable.
Here, I’m wearing Showstopper on my lips. This worked really well – it had a nice finish. Again, no idea if it’s lip safe.
Overall, these are fantastic products at a bargain basement price. They require some work to use – I won’t be reaching for them unless I have time to play with my makeup, and time to correct mistakes (i.e. overapplication) if needed. But, on days that I have the time, they are a really great option. Because they are so pigmented and you need so little, they look just like skin – they basically have no texture at all once applied. I am glad I bought them!