I’ve been on a pretty strict polish budget lately so when I saw that e.l.f was having a 50% off sale (including polish which already happened to be on sale) I grabbed up a bunch of them! They ended up only costing about 50 cents each! When I went looking for swatches I couldn’t find many so I decided to try them all out and post my pictures. 🙂
I tend to really like e.l.f. cosmetics. Their prices are really affordable and I feel like in general the quality is pretty good considering the price. When my polishes arrived, I noticed that they all had stickers on the cap indicating they were a new, improved formula that is Toluene, Formaldehyde and Dibutyl Pthalate free. I prefer my polishes to be 5-free, but was happy enough to see the 3-free. Each bottle is 10mL – so a little less polish than a Sally Hansen X-treme wear bottle.
I apologize in advance about my poor cuticles/dry fingers. Playing in the sand at the beach and pool swimming during my vacation last week did a number on my skin and I am still trying to get myself moisturized to a decent degree!
Without further ado, here is my (picture heavy) review:
Plum is a very pretty, vampy wine color. Indoors it is very dark, but doesn’t look black, which is a plus! Outdoors in the sunlight, the wine color really comes through better! Beware: This polish stinks badly. The formula was thick, but overall easy to work with and it was almost a one-coater. Below are two coats of Plum topped with Seche Vite.
Dark Glitter Purple
As the name implies, this is a polish loaded with fine, purple glitter in a dark purple jelly base. In some light, this pull a bit more of an inky blue color. Beware x5: This polish smells like something died in the mixing vat. The formula was easy to work with and below it is shown at two coats with a coat of Seche Vite.
Raspberry Sorbet is a rich, berry pink. Indoors it is a bit muted, but it looks much more vibrant in the sun! This is one of my favorites from my haul! The color is just gorgeous and the formula was really nice. Almost one coat, but I did two for full coverage and topped with Seche Vite.
This polish is pretty standard, but I was really pleased with how this went with my skin tone. The formula was very smooth and opaque in two coats. Shown below with one coat of Seche Vite.
I bough Dragon Fruit because I am a big fan of this years Pantone color of the year “Marsala”. This polish is like a lighter version of that color and very earthy. The formula on this one was smooth and opaque in two coats. Shown below with a coat of Seche Vite.
This polish would have been better named Party Orange – it isn’t peach at all. It also looks absolutely nothing like what is shown on the website which appeared to be a rusty metallic with gold glitter. this is definitely a creme base and is more of a bright tangerine color with a super subtle shimmer (why bother!?) that doesn’t translate to the nail at all. The formula on this one was a bit streaky, but still opaque in two coats. Shown below with a coat of Seche Vite.
Mango Madness is a bright coral leaning orange. This was a difficult polish to photograph and my pictures don’t accurately capture the exact color. The formula was really nice and opaque in two coats. Shown below with one coat of Seche Vite.
This is one of my very favorites! This is exactly the kind of polish I just cannot get over. The base of Glamour Girl is a dark taupe and it is absolutely loaded with golden micro-flakies. I own several polishes like this, but none of them come close in the flakey department. The color looked more cool brown in the sun. The formula on this was really thick and I had to add a bunch of thinner before it got to the consistency I prefer. This was very nearly a one-coater. Shown below with two coats and Seche Vite.
Gina Girl is a glitter topper in a clear base. The glitters are an assortment of (mostly) purple, with a bit of gold and red mixed in. It looked pretty dense in the bottle, but on the nail was a bit patchy. I had to apply two coats to get the glitter I wanted. Shown here is two coats of Gina Girl over Zoya – Kitridge, topped with one coat of Seche Vite.
On the website, I thought this was going to be a close of Essie – Shine of the Times. When I got it, I was pleasantly surprised to find out this is not a flakey polish, but a glitter topper! The glitters are all clear iridescent and like similar flakies, they merge with the color underneath while adding additional brilliance. Shown below is two coats of Fairy Dust over Color Club – Nail-robi and one coat of Seche Vite. The macro shot does this topper the most justice regarding the color shift!
This is another glitter topper. The base is clear and loaded with teeny tiny golden micro glitter. For additional interest, it also has larger holographic hex glitters. I really like this topper! It’s very fine has great sparkle! I used two coats to get the opacity I wanted. Shown below over China Glaze – For Audrey with one coat of Seche Vite.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
I’ll start off with the ugly. Avoid Plum and Dark Glitter Purple. The smell on those is so overpowering that my nails still stank even after the polish had long-dried. Seriously some of the worst smelling polish I have ever encountered.
The bad – all of these polishes have a strong smell, but except for the two named above they really aren’t that much worse than most polish – however, if you are sensitive to more harshly smelling polishes, these should probably be a pass.
The good – luckily, I think the good outweighs the bad on these. First off, the price is really hard to beat. They normally retail for $2.00/bottle but are often on sale for 99 cents – and if you can catch a 50% sale items special, these are a steal at 50 cents each. I was really happy with the formula and opacity on most of these. Many of them were close to being one-coaters which is always a plus. I was a little less impressed with the glitter toppers because I hate having to do two coats of glitter on top, but they were all pretty. Raspberry Sorbet and Glamour Girl are my runaway favorites.
If you are on a budget, most of these polishes are very satisfactory, just avoid Plum and Dark Glitter Purple unless you enjoy the fragrance of deceased skunk on your fingertips!