When E.l.f. first released their matte lip colors, I didn’t initially understand the hype. YouTubers and bloggers were raving about them, but when I tried them–in Natural and Tea Rose–I was thoroughly underwhelmed. They didn’t look great on me, but I later realized the problem was color selection. I chose two of the palest shades when I was still very tan, so of course they looked strange on me. But I truly believe that this product line really shines with the deeper shades.
First, a general overview of the product:
I love a demi-matte lip: not as shiny as a typical cream lipstick, but not completely dry like a liquid lipstick. These fit the bill perfectly. There is no shine, but they are creamy mattes. They go on easily, are not patchy at all, and they do not cling to dry patches on your lips. They are nicely pigmented as well–two of the shades I bought are similar to or even lighter than my natural lip color, and they were completely opaque, not sheer or streaky. While they didn’t look great on me, they are still good quality products. And these are actually somewhat hydrating–my lips never feel overly dry when I take them off. (I do use my E.l.f. Lip Exfoliator before I apply them, though–I just put in one while I’m doing my face makeup, then wipe it off before I apply lipstick.)
One thing that truly impressed me was the staying power. I normally wipe off a lipstick before I eat (I hate the feeling that I’m eating lipstick along with my food) but this is so weightless that I actually forgot it was on. So I ate a sandwich, grapes, and cheese puffs for lunch (apparently I am in the fifth grade) and the color was still there afterward. And because it is matte but not drying, I could just rub my lips together to redistribute the product over any spots that had slightly worn away.
I also LOVE that the product contains a hidden sharpener, so the crayon tip never gets dull.
As far as the shades, I originally bought Natural and Tea Rose, and soon after, Wine:
Wine is the clear winner for me–it is a gorgeous berry-toned red. Natural and Tea Rose are both too light and cool-toned for me. You’ve heard of lipsticks described as “your lips but better”? Natural is just “your lips”–well, okay, my lips. It is literally the exact same shade as my actual lips, which makes it somewhat pointless for me. Tea Rose is a beautiful gray-toned pink, and if I’m wearing cool eyeshadow, it can look good. (I have a photo of it in my November Boxycharm review post.) Otherwise, it totally washes me out.
Because I liked the Wine shade so much, I recently purchased the Mad for Matte 4-piece lip set for $10 at Target.
(E.l.f. has a few holiday lip crayon sets as well–this is their regular set that’s available year-round.) It contains the shades Dash of Pink, Cranberry, Rich Red, and Berry Sorbet. (The shades are not named on the box, strangely. I had to look it up on the Target website while in store.)
I can imagine each of these looking good on many skin tones. These are all pretty deep tones–even the pink (Dash of Pink) is a somewhat deep and bright nude pink. It is pretty, though my least favorite of the four. My three favorites: Cranberry is a brick red with dark nude undertones. Rich Red is exactly as it sounds–a rich, true red with blue undertones. It will be perfect for holiday office parties–deep and festive but not too bright. Finally, Berry Sorbet is just the perfect fall berry lipstick–just bright enough, but muted enough to work for day or night. They are all deep but wearable, and I adore them.
Final Word: If you like a matte look but find liquid lipsticks too drying, definitely try these. Even if you like liquid lipsticks, try these, but do not expect the same finish. These are more of a natural or “comfort” matte. And at $3 apiece, they are worth every penny. They would be worth far more. These will be my go-to deep tones for the fall and winter.