Monday, March 28, 2011

Swatches and Review - E.L.F. Spring Finds/Summer Essentials 5 pack

This is a 5 pack of ELF Nail Polish that is available on the ELF website as well as Target.com and in Target stores (If you go to the Target.com link, you will be able to see if it's in stock in a store near you). It retails for $5.00, making each polish only $1 each!!

The 5 polishes it includes are:
Blue Mist
Lilac
Mango Madness
Fuchsia
Purple Pleaser

Collectively, they all have a similar formula with the exception of Fuchsia, and similar brushes.

Formula
These were all fairly sheer shades, but certainly buildable. All are 3 coats except Fuchsia, which is only 2 and was definitely the stand out formula. Despite the sheer factor, they are so forgiving it's amazing. It is impossible to make these polishes uneven. As soon as you apply the next coat, it's weirdly self-leveling. It spreads out perfect, it truly is so cool.

Brushes
Definitely the down fall of the polish. The brushes were pretty horrible all around, but Fuchsia and Purple Pleaser really had problems. The brushes as a whole I find similar to the defectiveness of MAC brushes. It's a wider, but entirely round brush with not very dense bristles, but the bristles are a bit thicker. You cannot fully push the brush to your nail or it will be a complete mess. You have to use a light, delicate touch.
Fuchsia and Purple Pleaser both had really wonky bristles. I had to trim Fuchsia, but Purple Pleaser was going to be way too much trouble to attempt to trim. Here are some photos:

This is Fuchsia. That's actually two longer bristles, they're just now sticking together. When I initially pulled it out, they were two separate ones. I thought maybe they were loose, so I tried to pull them. Didn't work. They were just longer than the others.


This is Purple Pleaser. The top of the side of the brush is not a clump of polish. That's a squiggly bristle. You can also see a long bristle peeking out amongst the others. And you can see the awkward shape of the brush at some angles.

Onto the swatches and reviews on each polish.

Blue Mist

ELF Blue Mist Swatch

ELF Blue Mist Swatch

ELF Blue Mist Comparison Essie Mint Candy Apple China Glaze For Audrey

ELF Blue Mist Comparison Essie Mint Candy Apple China Glaze For Audrey Orly Ancient Jade

I also threw some comparisons up because I was even sort of curious. Blue Mist is a very fresh and clean creme with a little bit of murkiness that you can notice in the comparisons, but not so much on it's own.
MCA is much brighter, and ironically, bluer than BM. BM is murkier in comparison, and is slightly more green/sage, though I would still call it blue as it's main color.
FA isn't even close, but it looks like BM has some of the green undertones that FA has.
I added Ancient Jade because I also wanted to see it next to FA. It's definitely a dark cousin of Blue Mist and I think BM and AJ look very complimentary.

Lilac

ELF Lilac Swatch

ELF Lilac Swatch

Unfortunately, I don't have any other lilacs that someone might want to see compared to this (I'm thinking OPI lavenders/lilacs like DYLI or Lucky Lavender or Panda-monium Pink or RW).

On it's own, this is a gorgeous spring lilac creme that has a sort of dusty quality. This seems like a pretty true lilac, but with less pink and more purple. It is certainly muted and not bright, but still beautiful. I definitely like this color.

Mango Madness

ELF Mango Madness Swatch

ELF Mango Madness Swatch

WOW!! This is a pretty bright color. It is not true to bottle, it is definitely brighter and more orange on the nail. It has almost a jelly quality to it. If you want it to look more jelly and you're okay with VNL, 2 coats would definitely give that effect.
I'm calling this a bright (almost neon, but not there) orange coral with pink undertones. This is an awesome summer color. I was fearful for a moment that it might look too orangey or Halloween-ish, but it definitely does not.

Fuchsia

ELF Fuchsia Swatch

ELF Fuchsia Swatch

Definitely my favorite of the group!! You have no idea how badly I wish I could compare this to OPI Houston We Have A Purple from the new Texas collection. But from swatches I've seen, this has got to be an incredibly similar polish and dupe-ish. This is a creme, but like Mango Madness, it has a jelly quality to it that I think helps it look so similar to HWHAP. Fortunately for me, I really wanted HWHAP and I even planned on picking it up today at Ulta, but now I'm not going to. Would be great to be able to compare, but I'm so frugal that knowing I have a color so similar that only cost $1 is good enough for me!!

This is a a blue/purple based (rasp)berry crossed with a little fuchsia that is so gorgeous. I know I keep talking about how amazing each color is, but they really are. I'm sure they're all dupe-able, but the fact that this is probably the cheapest of these colors you'll find, I think the importance is on the fact that they themselves MAKE great dupes.

Purple Pleaser

ELF Purple Pleaser Swatch

ELF Purple Pleaser Swatch

First, let me apologize for the messiness. I don't ever clean up (unless I'm water marbling), and the brush on this was just that bad.

I don't really know how to describe this color. I guess just a red based purple. The photos are pretty darn true to color. Again, this is a creme but does have a jelly-ish feel to it.

Oddly enough, I had initially thought this was dupe-ish for HWHAP. (Is it too obvious that I really want that polish?) Some photos look like Fuchsia, others look like Purple Pleaser. Because of this, I decided to compare Fuchsia and PP:

ELF Fuchsia Purple Please Comparison Swatch

(Purple Pleaser on index and ring, Fuchsia on middle and pinky)

They clearly look entirely different. It's so interesting to see how different polishes look on their own and compared to another polish. The pink of Fuchsia becomes very apparent, and that makes PP look more like HWHAP.

Overall

Unless you know you have perfect dupes of these colors already, I highly suggest picking this up. The bad brush quality can be overlooked by how even the formula is and how gorgeous the colors are. Collectively, this is a great pack of classic yet currently popular spring and summer colors. If you can get your hands on it, buy it!

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