This will be a short follow-up of my earlier blog entry on the e.l.f. Studio Cream Blush. Please refer to that post for pictures and swatches.
If you recall, my initial reaction was disappointment. Remember how one of the blushes fell out of its container when I first got it? I expected a cream product but what I got was actually a product with a texture that’s a cross between a sponge and soft clay.
I’m also not a fan of the packaging of e.l.f. Studio cream products, the Studio Cream Blush being no exception. It’s hefty and huge, making it difficult to carry around in my makeup bag. There’s no way I’d be able to keep the Studio Cream Blush, Cream Eyeliner, Cream Eyeshadow and Conditioning Lip Balm together in one bag. I’d need to find a bigger purse first. e.l.f., please consider some lighter, sleeker packaging.
At first I tried using my fingers and, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the blush applies very sheer and, because of the spongy texture, it’s a bit difficult to pick up color. I still feel that’s true but I think I’ve mastered the technique. What I do is press down on the surface of the blush with my fingertip and then drag to pick up some color. Due to the strange, malleable sponge-clay texture, my finger will pick up some color but none of the actual sponge. If you look at the picture of the blush (above) I think you’ll see what I mean about the malleable clay consistency.
Let’s take a look at the back of the box (pictured right) together, shall we?
The e.l.f Studio Cream Blush promises a powder finish and non-greasy long lasting color. I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask about the longevity of face products. My skin type is dry to very dry so I don’t normally have problems with face products breaking down on me throughout the day. In my experience, the blush lasts just as long as any other cream blush I’ve tried, it has a matte powder finish and there’s definitely nothing greasy about it. So place a big check mark next to each of those claims for me.
Easy to blend for layering and building color? Check. There’s no question about it in my mind. You MUST layer this blush to get the color to show up. I tap and blend on one layer of blush, then apply a second layer, blend, then a third layer and blend, and sometimes a fourth layer and blend. Once I get it to the level of pigmentation I want I have to say the blushes are really lovely. I’m particularly in love with Flirt (bright pink) at the moment. It provides the most beautiful porcelain-doll pink cheeks flush. Heartbreaker (bright coral) is beautiful as well but I tend to reach for pinks more in the fall/winter and corals in the spring/summer.
One thing on the box that made me LOL: “To prevent evaporation of product and to keep formula creamy, ensure cap is securely closed when not in use.” So, e.l.f., you’re telling me that this product can get even MORE dry. And keep it creamy? When was it ever creamy?
I know a lot of people will probably compare the Studio Cream Blushes to the Maybelline Dream Mousse Blushes. Heck, I even pulled my Dream Mousse Blushes out from my makeup stash to compare but I have to say the textures are totally different. The Dream Mousses are dry as well but they have a whipped, airy mousse texture that makes it relatively easy to pick up product with my finger. In comparison the e.l.f. Studio Cream Blush has almost more of a soft clay consistency. Much like clay it’s malleable and wants to stay together in one big lump; if I press it, it’ll shape to form around my finger but I won’t get much of it on my finger except for some residue. In the case of the cream blush the residue shows up as a light coating of color on my fingertip.
Here’s what I mean about a light coating/residue. Take a look at my hand. I pressed/dragged the blush with my pointer finger once and it barely picks up any color. I pressed/dragged twice with my middle finger, and three times with my ring finger. Compare that to my pinky finger which has zero product. This is what I mean when I say it’s difficult to pick up color and I have apply 3-4 layers of blush.
Despite all that, after using the Studio Cream Blush for several days and getting used to it, I have to say that it’s a pretty good product. For me, the beautiful colors alone make up for any textural deficiencies. But let’s get one thing straight: there’s nothing creamy about e.l.f.’s Studio Cream Blush! This is a product that requires some time and patience. It’s not a slap-it-on-my-face-and-go type of product. You’ve got to build and layer on the color gradually. I mean you could try taking a little chunk of product out and apply it to your face but I think you’ll end up spending just as much time trying to buff and tone down the resulting clown cheeks if you do. Remember, “slow and steady wins the race.”
e.l.f.’s Studio Cream Blush retails for $6 which is a very good deal in my opinion. My favorite drugstore cream blushes for color variety, texture/consistency and ease of use are still N.Y.C.’s Blushable Creme Sticks which cost $3.99 and contain 0.28oz/8g of product. Looking at the e.l.f. Studio Blush you wouldn’t think you’re getting a ton of product but it actually comes with 0.53oz/15g of blush. That’s nearly twice the amount of the N.Y.C. blush for less than double the cost. And the Studio products often go on sale for 50% off so it’s an even better deal.
As long as you’re able to adjust your expectations I’ll think you’ll like this product, too.
Note: In case you’re wondering, I did try using my new e.l.f. Stipple Brush with the Cream Blush but I prefer using my fingers. Since it’s my first stippling brush I’m not sure if the Studio Stipple brush is simply a bad brush or if my technique is the problem. I find the Studio Stipple Brush too flimsy for my liking. The bristles are too long and the brush isn’t dense enough to offer enough control. And compared to using my fingers I find that the Stipple Brush picks up too much product. The first time I tried it with the e.l.f. Studio Cream Blush I ended up with clown cheeks, and that was with an extremely light touch. As for applying liquid foundation -meh- it’s decent, although far more time consuming compared to using fingers or a damp sponge. I wish it were a little firmer/less floppy. [FYI: I’ve only stippled with the brush so far. Whenever possible, I always try to avoid swirling/buffing with brushes on my face because I find the friction exacerbates my dry skin and causes flakeys.] I haven’t tried the Stipple Brush with any powder blushes or highlighters yet.