5 e.l.f. Products to Avoid

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5 e.l.f. Products to Avoid


Don’t get me wrong. I love the brand e.l.f.—especially its affordability, widespread availability, and vegan products—but let’s be honest, there are some definite misses from the company we know and love.

The following five little products aren’t just bad (and there are unfortunately lots of those that fit the bill) they represent some of the worst makeup products I’ve ever tried. Some can only be described as broken.

Without further ado, let’s commence the countdown.

#5 e.l.f. Essential Eyeliner Brush

Of the five on this list, the Eyeliner Brush is the least horrendous. As one of the only three vegan brushes on the Essential lineup, it’s just bad. The yellow nylon bristles aren’t very high quality, the brush itself is wide, and to make matters worse, the ends of the bristles splay out over time. Not exactly what you want in an eyeliner brush.

#4 e.l.f. Essential Primer Eyeshadow

This was e.l.f.’s attempt at a do-over with the earlier Liquid Eyeshadow product. Apparently they thought combining the original Liquid Eyeshadow with a primer would help overcome the problems. It didn’t. I go back and forth as to whether the Essential Primer Eyeshadow is actually worse than the original Liquid Eyeshadow. Fortunately, e.l.f. appears to be rectifying the issue by discontinuing the Primer Eyeshadow.

#3 e.l.f. Essential Liquid Eyeshadow

And speak off the devil. The anticipated eyeshadow would immediately crease upon application, tighten uncomfortably on the eyelids as it dried, and otherwise look splotchy. It was one of e.l.f.’s products that was surprisingly discontinued very quickly. I think the Liquid Eyeshadow was only available for half a year or so.

You can read more about this product in my Throwback Thursday post.

#2 e.l.f. Essential Matte Finisher Nail Polish

Instead of politely mattifying the nail polish as the name suggest, the Matte Polish both mattified and crackled the top layer of polish. A very unpleasant combination, especially for those who abhorred the crackle trend. While it may have worked as advertised on its initial run, the steady stream of 1 star reviews hint that this polish has a major problem with at least one manufacturer.

If you’re looking for a great cruelty-free and vegan matte polish at a bargain price, the Wet n Wild Matte Topcoat polish does a perfect job at half the price. Read more in my e.l.f. vs Wet n Wild matte nail polish comparison.

#1 e.l.f. Studio Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon

Terrible, terrible, terrible. It’s officially the only product to have the dubious distinction of receiving an “F” rating by me. I’ve had the product break off, tug and pull during application, everything but actually apply color to my eye. For some boggling reason, e.l.f. has yet to pull the product, although it has been unofficially replaced by the much improved Mineral Waterproof Shadow Liner, and is now listed on the sale page, presumably to clear out inventory.

For more details on this particular product, you can read my full review.

Final Thoughts

As I said in the beginning, I love e.l.f. and pretty much own at least one of every product they’ve released. But some products just need to go. I fully recommend you avoid buying any of the above products remaining in production to hasten their retirement.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. Do you have an e.l.f. product that drives you crazy? Let me know if you agree or disagree with my assessment!