August 17, 2010

E.L.F. Studio Blush Review and Swatches: Back to School Beauty Budget Picks

This post is a Back to School Beauty Budget Picks for College students and Back to Schooler’s in need of some budget friendly beauty picks that won’t break their bank. This series is all about affordable skincare, cosmetic, & beauty bits and bobs for those heading back to class in the next few weeks!

Today’s pick, E.L.F. Studio Blush.

Let me tell you something.

If you told me you spent $3 bucks on blush and that it worked, chances are I’d call you a liar. Honestly, $3 blush, has to be garbage right?


E.L.F. Studio Blush is E.L.F.’s answer to a NARS dupe-able blush but not with the expensive price tag.

At first glance you might mistake E.L.F. Studio Blush for a NARS Blush as they do sport a similar look and feel. But honestly, once you pick it up you’ll easily see that E.L.F.’s version sports different packaging all together. Housed in a hard shell plastic case these definitely have the look of a NARS Blush down but do they perform like one?

No, they do not.


They are good enough to fill the NARS hole in your heart you might be sporting at the moment if your beauty bank simply can’t afford $25 to dish out on the NARS version.

These will set you back a mere $3 bucks and honestly, formula wise, you aren’t actually forsaking a whole lot here.

The blushes have a silky smooth feel and blend easily onto skin. The formula is incredibly lightweight, doesn’t sport some rank, cheap makeup scent (hey, you know what I mean dontcha?), and has pretty nice pigmentation. Now I think in some ways these are superior to NARS because of the way they apply. NARS is a great blush and I am not denying that in the least however in some cases you can easily over do it when using one. E.L.F.’s version seems to apply softer with a more subtle finish. I feel like I can easily build E.L.F.’s version without every fearing I’ll over do it or have dreaded clown cheeks, that’s saying something because I’m very heavy handed with blush.

Some of E.L.F.’s shades definitely have a NARS feel and in some ways can easily be dupeable shades. Pink Passion definitely has an NARS Angelika look to it and a few other shades lean towards being a bit Orgasm-like.

Colors all apply very smooth, very subtly, YET pretty and give a flushed look that’s flattering yet never over done in the long run. I tried several shades which included Blushing Rose (Dusky Rose), Berry Merry (Dusky Mauve Berry), Candid Coral (Muted Dirty Peach), and Tickled Pink (Pale Bubblegum Pink). Unlike many of NARS Blushes these are a matte finish sans shimmer or glitter so those who aren’t up for the likes in their blush formula will enjoy the super silky matte texture.

Another plus is the hard case shell as we all now how smudgy and gross NARS rubberized packaging can get. I’m unsure if I technically love the packaging at this point to be honest as it does seem a tad cheap looking but regardless I can’t deny they easily store away without coming across grungy and gross the way NARS version does.

There honestly isn’t a ton of bad going on here. If you’re a makeup snob you do have to get over the fact that they cost $3 because you’re probably as conditioned as I am to turn your nose up but they are honestly VERY good quality blushes for the price.

  • Those looking for an inexpensive NARS Blush dupe!
  • Anyone looking for a nice, subtle blush that packs a beautiful finish without looking over done!

  • Anyone who wants fancy packaging (packaging wise they MAY not appeal due to the industry and slightly cheap looking black compacts).
  • Makeup snobs may find it hard to give in to a $3 blush!

For the price they are an IDEAL pick for college students or back to schooler’s in need of an inexpensive blush pick. Color selection is slightly limited at around nine shades but you’re sure to find at least one suitable shade to love or several. Remeber to check for sales at as E.L.F. always has 50% off or more coupons that are hanging up and around the Internet so do a search prior to indulging. Order early as well in time for class as sometimes E.L.F.’s shipping is a tad delayed.

They aren’t NARS by any means but they are the next best thing. A solid blush that performs very well plus won’t set you back $25.


Muse Approved for Purchase.

Worth your buck!

Available from

I haven’t been privy but check your local Target for E.L.F. as well. I haven’t seen the Studio Line but I have seen other items from the E.L.F. Collection.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • sillylilacs

    I honestly love these so much….and since I’m a blush whore…I have all of them =O

    • the Muse

      ha lilac 😀 Any must have shades!? 😀 I was shocked, expected horrible and got awesome!

  • tina

    candid coral also makes a really pretty lip balm if you scrape some of the color and mix it with some rose salve! ^^

  • Karrie

    I’ve got one of these and have to agree that they are pretty good especially for the price.
    I picked mine up at Target.

    • the Muse

      awesome karrie totally verified that target has there 😀 I haven’t seen the elf studio line at target so thanks. Agreed, for the price NOT bad at all 😀

  • sillylilacs

    All of them? haha =p

    I would say pick your shade and you can’t go wrong with it.

    Peachy/Coral toned –> Peachy Keen, Candid Coral
    Pink toned –> Tickled Pink, Pink Passion, Fuschia Fusion
    Mauvey toned –> Mellow Mauve, Blushing Rose
    Berry toned –> Berry Merry
    Highlight –> Gotta Glow

    I know that wasn’t helpful, but I will say that the most pigmented ones are Blushing Rose, Berry Merry, Mellow Mauve, Pink Passion, and Fushia Fushion. The rest are a bit more sheer, but they are all very buildable.

    Hope that kind of helped!

    And in terms of dupes…(got from Temptalia’s webbie and I’ve checked myself at stores)

    Nars Albatross – Gotta Glow (less shimmer)
    Nars Gina – Peachy Keen (lighter)
    Nars Deep Throat – Tickled Pink (lighter)
    Nars Pink Passion – Desire
    Nars Orgasm – Candid Coral (less gold shimmer)
    Nars Sin – Berry Merry (lighter)

  • LU

    Wow when I looked at the packaging it really did look like NARS!
    I’m hesitant to try them until I do more research though. I know its 3 dollars, but I guess I’m a makeup snob. XP

  • sillylilacs

    @the Muse:
    ha thanks for the evil enabling lilac

    *nods* you’re welcome! =D lol besides, you were only looking for affirmation to go ahead and buy more 😉

    • the Muse

      hehe lilac 😀 I needed the extra push!

      Btw in reply to twitter, yup I have a ton of fictional bfs too LOL! <3 NEIL! LOL

  • Marilyn @ Lipgloss and Spandex

    Thanks for the review, Muse! I have two NARS blushes, but they’re kind of overly glittery 🙁 I like them, but after I picked up a nice Wet ‘n’ Wild blush, I don’t use them as much!

    • the Muse

      alot of people don’t like nars b/c of the shimmer factor. 80% of the shades are shimmery. I love it tbh but I can understand why some not so much Marilyn 😀 I think you’ll like these, actually better than WnW imho!

  • tangerinelatte

    I have this blush in the Tickled Pink shade. I think the packaging is pretty nice for $3 (or $1.50 if you use the coupon). The color is sheer and buildable, just gives a natural pink flush to the cheeks. I kinda wish it did have some shimmer in it, but I can always add some to my face if necessary! Haha

    • the Muse

      tangerine 😀 I’m a shimmer a holic so I don’t mind much they are matte 😀

  • Renata

    I love this blush! I have the mauve one, and it lasts all day on my face. Now I think I need more of them! 😀

  • Renata

    Is candid coral similar to Coralista? I love coralista, but I can’t afford one. You have both, can you tell me how they compare?

    Thank you!

    • the Muse

      no renata. coralista is popping and candid is very subtly coral, peachy, muted really.

  • Vanessa

    ahhh i love these!! my holy grail blush is the elf studio in peachy keen. It gives me the prettiest subtle hint of colour & glow or i can layer it on for more colour 🙂 It’s foolproof on my skintone!

    • the Muse

      I think they are all foolproof vanessa. they apply so pretty and light ;-D even I can’t mess ’em up!

  • knownever

    Good to hear ELF powders (these blushes at least) don’t have that cheap makeup smell. that is 100% a deal breaker for me with it comes to inexpensive cosmetics. I once bought a Revlon blush (revlon! such an upstanding reputation!) that smelled so bad I thought it had expired or gone rancid or something.

  • Lina

    Great review! I like that your review on the blushes was so detailed. Other reviewers just go: It’s great for $3, buy it! Instead you go: Yes it’s $3, but it’s a great product and here’s why!

    New York Color and Wet ‘n’ Wild also have great pigmented blush for cheap!

    • the Muse

      aw lina glad you enjoyed the review 😀 xoxo! Must try some WnW blushes never tried their powders before 😀

  • Erica B.

    I have them all and LOVE LOVE these blushes. Great product for a cheap price.