Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review and swatches of e.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper, with a warning against the dangers of MBUI (makeup blogging under the influence)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
e.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper (with pencil sharpener for scale).
e.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper (with pencil sharpener for scale).
The other night, when I was fairly intoxicated, I was looking at OCC Lip Tar swatches, and a brilliant idea came to me. Very pigmented cream products? I have one of those! So I immediately created the following document:

I was pretty sure that I was going to fill it with other brilliant insights, but sadly I fell asleep before I came up with anything else. The next morning my idea didn't seem quite as amazing anymore, but I thought I would try it just for fun anyway. The color of Showstopper seems similar to MAC Rebel lipstick, from what I've seen, so what the hell. Here's how it turned out:
e.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper used on lips
e.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper used on lips
Ummmmmm . . . no.
The color is okay, but obviously it got caught up in any and every line and flake. It didn't feel particularly nice either. Shocking. (The glitter you can see if left over from a glittery lip gloss I had on before and was unable to remove completely.) I tried layering some lip balm over it to see that that would help:
e.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper + lip balm used on lips
e.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper + lip balm used on lips
Ummmmmm . . . no. I mean, slightly better. I guess you could probably get away with it if you have really, really smooth lips. But generally, this was not the amazing discovery I was hoping to make. In case you're curious, here is how it compares to Wet N Wild MegaLast lipstick in Sugar Plum Fairy, which is supposed to be a dupe for MAC Rebel.
Top: Wet N Wild MegaLast lipstick in Sugar Plum Fairy;  bottom: e.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper + lip balm used on lips
Top: Wet N Wild MegaLast lipstick in Sugar Plum Fairy; bottome.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper lip balm used on lips
Damn you, macro setting, for revealing the imprecision of my lipsticking.

Anyway, you should probably just buy the Wet N Wild lipstick if this is the look you're going for, since you can find it at pretty much any drugstore for $2, and it's fantastic. And then you can use the e.l.f. HD Blush to match your lips, if that's the kind of thing you're into.

Now how about we talk about this e.l.f. HD Blush as actual blush. It's interesting. I'm on the fence about it. I don't regret spending the $1.50 or whatever I did to get it on sale, (regular $3) but I'm not sure if I'd exactly recommend it. It's finicky, and kind of a hassle, but pretty if you get it to work correctly. First of all, I was for some reason surprised by how small the package was when I got it, which is why I included a pencil sharpener in the top photo for scale. I think I was expecting something the size of a small bottle of primer. I don't know. That would be a lot of blush, so it doesn't make a lot of sense.

This small bottle does, in fact, contain a lot of blush, because it's FUCKING INSANELY pigmented. Robyn at the delightful blog Brightest Bulb in the Box often points out that more pigmented is really not necessarily better when it comes to blushes, especially for the sickly pale crowd like myself. This e.l.f. blush is so strongly pigmented that even when you squeeze the tiniest amount you possibly can out of the pump, you really will only need to use a fraction of that amount on your face.  Check it out:
The smallest amount I could dispense.
This is like a quarter of a pea or half a grain of rice, maybe.
If you were to try to put that glob of blush directly on your face, you would mostly likely end up with not just a clown look, but a clown-who-has-been-savagely-beaten look. See what happens when I just spread that bit around?
e.l.f. HD Blush in Showstopper
Look how much is on the back of my hand AND on my finger. What you have to do with this shit is dispense a little, then lightly tap it with your finger, and then lightly tap your finger around your cheek. Then quickly blend the blush on your cheek with a different finger. That's pretty much the only way to avoid zombie clown face. Probably a stippling brush would work for blending too. Then wash your hands, because you're a mess.

If you do it that way, it can be quite pretty and natural.

This blush is quite blatantly meant to be a knockoff of Make Up Forever's HD Blush. Judging from blog photos, the e.l.f. version is thicker and less creamy. I don't get the impression that the formula is really very similar, so when Pinterest tells you that this is a dupe, you probably shouldn't trust it.

It's a decent product. It wears very well. If you want to play with an extremely pigmented blush, here's your chance. If you have dark skin and have difficulty getting blush to show up, this could work. I'd still suggest trying a light hand and building it up, so it doesn't look patchy or cakey. I like this particular deep purple/magenta color, too, and it's not one you find all over the place. 

Overall, I'd say that if this intrigues you, it could be worth getting on sale. It's not terrible. It's just more work/mess than I can really recommend. It definitely doesn't suit my lazy side, but every now and then I'll pick it up, and I like how it looks on. 


  1. I have the lightest color and I like it a lot but I am so pasty that most of the other colors would take too much hassle to apply without looking like a savagely beaten clown.

    1. Yeah, I don't know why I went for the craziest color, since I am ghostly myself. I'm usually too lazy for a challenge, but I must have been in a mood.

  2. I am with you on this product being a pain in the butt to work with. I think the results look a little nicer with a stippling brush, but it doesn't make applying it any easier. After picking up some product on the brush, I have to blend it a little on the back of my hand to take off excess pigment before I put it on my face. I got four out of the five shades, and even the lightest one ( I think it's called showstopper) makes me look like a clown if I'm not careful when I apply it.

    1. I haven't tried my stippling brush yet, since I'm worried it will permanently stain it. That probably doesn't matter, though. I likely won't buy another. I have enough blushes that are easier to use at this point.

  3. I would be concerned about the lip-safeness of the blush. Not that you're going to die from doing it once. It's good that you created a document first though, because... research. I am pretty intrigued by this color, but being ghostly pale myself it might be a waste of my $3...

    1. Haha, yes, I was very scientific, clearly. I thought about writing something to the effect that it wasn't designed for lips and maybe shouldn't be ingested, but I thought my photo was probably enough to deter people from putting on their mouth. Important point to keep in mind, for sure.

    2. Can you try it mixed with Vaseline? Im really interested in it on my lips. I would love to know how it works. :3

    3. I actually ended up giving it away, because it was too much hassle for me, and I was avoiding it! But it worked okay as blush mixed with primer, so I'm sure mixing it with something else would be worth a shot too.

  4. Holy shit that's wayyyy too pigmented. I wonder if mixing it with a moisturizer or oil would make it easier to use.

    1. Maybe, that's a good idea. It might affect the staying power, though. Primer might be another option for mixing. You'd still probably end up with a mess, because it's pretty impossible to dispense less than the amount I've shown here.

  5. oh wow, i do this too! only i line + fill lips with a purple lip liner and it lasts HOURS


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