I've been asked repeatedly about elf's nail polishes so here's a little review/swatches for you all.
I'm going to start by posting a collection of photos with the polish bottles and my own nails painted with each colour. Bear in mind that this was flash photography and the nail were painted specifically for these swatches so they aren't perfect, that was because of my haste and not due to quality issues with the polish itself.
Also, click on the images to see them in a bigger size.
So, here we go:
|This photo is missing two swatches- Twinkle and Dark Red|
About the elf Nail Polishes:
"This color-lock formula with chip resistant shield gives long lasting nail color with high shine. The aerodynamic bristle design glides color on flawlessly, while the quick dry formula gives perfect application every time. Key nutrients give nails that natural shine, infused with Vitamin E for stronger, healthier nails.
Our formula is FREE of: Toluene, Formaldehyde, and Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)."
Now, let's look at them with a little more detail, shall we?
Some elf nail polishes have a gooey texture, others are more liquid, some need several coats, others are uniform, some are matte, some are shimmery, some will glob up after a while while others will always remain thin. So let me tell you about my experience with the ones I have.
In general I found elf nail polishes to be pretty good- they dry fast but are not very drying to the nails, are mostly uniform, have wonderful colours and a decent staying power. I do however advise using a good top coat (such as Barry M's 3 in 1 Nail Paint or Sally Hansen's top coats) to keep them on longer than a couple of days.
Here's a little rule I found for elf, be it for the nail polishes or for the eyeshadows- "If it shimmers, you will glow. If it's matte, you never know."
What I mean by this is that most of elf's shimmer/frosted products are amazing but many of their matte shades have some issues, some can be very good while others still need work.
I found they all last around 3 to 4 days without chipping (at least on me, what with scrubbing, cooking, washing, drawing and typing a lot, lasting three days is fairly good xD) but I will point out the ones that chipped the most.
It seems the more liquid ones (which were all matte colours) chip much faster than the thick gooey ones, but they are also softer on the nails, easy to apply and dry faster. The shimmer colours tend to be thicker, more resistant and much more opaque. As for the glitter colours, they are thick, dry very very fast, can be layered repeatedly and are very resistant, so elf glitter polishes definitly win.
So, let's analyze the polishes now, 'kay? Let's start with the matte colours, but bear in mind, that when I say matte I just mean non-glitter, non-shimmer opaque polishes, they are still naturally glossy though, unless you top them with a mattifier, so just remember that.
I got this colour as part of my "Fan of the Week" gift on elf's facebook page.
This is a more wine or mangenta-ish colour than an actual purple and it is matte, of course. I find it to be very even and easy to apply with a decent consistency and somewhat resistant. It is also not drying to my nails.
This colour is a very light green that really lives up to it's name, it looks delicious and is matte but glossy (not as light as in the flash photo). This one is pretty even as well but still needs at least two coats and takes a little longer to dry. The end result is pretty but this is one of the polishes that after a while started to gloop up and got a little harder to apply.
This is an absolutely fabulous matte red shade that is very bright but classy too. It is opaque and very even, barely needing a second layer and it's quite resistant and fast drying.
This is a dark matte chocolate shade. This one has less than optimal coverage and therefore needs at least two layers to look even, it is also quite liquid but was also one of the polishes that started to gloop up after a while in storage. It dries very fast.
This is a very light nude lilac, it is not quite an opaque colour and is always somewhat translucent (but needs to coats to even out). It's quite liquid but fast drying.
This black is very dark and glossy but still a matte colour. It has a a heavy thick consistency and needs at least to coats, to me it was one of the hardest ones to apply and one of the polishes that chips the most too. So, even though I adore black, this was one of my least favourites.
I got this one as part of the Royal Wedding discount code, for those of you who remember it.
It is, obviously, a medium red the looks classy and not as flashy as the light red, I recommend this one to everyone. In terms of drying time and consistency, it is identical to Light Red.
This is a very hot pink, not as subdued as it shows in the flash picture. Not much to say about this one, it has a liquidy consistency but is easy to apply and dries fast.
This is a very light bubbly pink, it's actually lighter than the photo (which is ironic since all the other look lighter in the photos) and very glossy. It is similar to lilac in consistency and needs a couple of coats to become opaque. Dries fast and doesn't chip too much.
A very cute coral-ish orange colour. It is pretty much like in the photo but more to the orange side. It is similar in consistency, dry time and chip resistance to Hot Pink.
Now, one more matte and a whole lot of shimmer and glitters coming up.
As the name implies it is a teal colou, with a bit more of a green edge. It is darker than shown in the photo but not by much. It as a medium consistency, needs two coats, is fully opaque, takes a while to dry but is quite chip resistant. One of the general favourites.
A bright, pure violet slightly shimmery colour, my favourite of all. I adore this one, the photo is quite loyal to the colour. The consistency is similar to Teal and it takes a while to dry but it is worth it.
A very warm dark purple with a slight shimmer to it. Not very even nor opaque, needs to coats, also has a medium consistency but dries quite fast, unfortunately it chips quite easily
Dark Glitter Purple
A slightly warm dark purple with very fine glitter. Not very opaque. Also has a medium consistency but dries quite fast and is quite chip resistant (lasted literally a month on my toes!)
A deep gunmetal colour with lots of fine multicolored glitter, a pity that the photo couldn't pick up the glitter (which as soft nuances of orange, blue, green and silver). Very opaque, thick consistency but easy to apply, dries surprisingly fast but unlike most of elf's glitter polishes, this one chips fast.
This is a VERY dark navy blue with a hint of shimmer. In my opinion it is too dark and looks almost black once applied. It is very liquid and not too opaque so it needs two layers, but it does dry very fast. Medium chip resistance.
My second favourite colour- a soft pink with a golden shimmer. It's a pity the photo does not capture the gold shimmer at all. It is not very thick but it is very opaque, one layer will be enough for a simple mani. Medium drying time, decent chip resistance.
A very very light gold shimmer colour. It has medium consistency but not very chip resistant, dries fast and looks lovely but is quite light, only the shimmer gives it away as a sweet chic gold.
Beautiful copper colour, the photo captured the colour well in the bottle but not on the nail, in real life the colour you see in the bottle is accurate for the nails as well. It is a darker, hotter version of Blush and very shimmery, to me it really does look like copper. Medium consistency, dries fast and is quite resistant.
A very shimmery red colour with a hint of mangenta to it. It's a lovely and classy colour. Thick consistency, not to hard to apply, takes a bit to dry but is fairly chip resistant.
It is very hard to photograph Glitter Glam but it is basically a clear polish packed with silver glitter, with two coats it becomes somewhat opaque with the huge amount of glitter in it. Dries very fast, can be layered a lot and is resistant.
Clear polish with fine gold glitter and chunks of big reflective glitter dots. Not opaque at all, good for layering over other polishes. Thick, dries fast, can be multi-layered, very resistant.
I forgot Dark Red, Clear and Twinkle, so here are photos for those.
Since Twinkle is hard to photograph and hard to see in a photo, these are photos of Twinkle multi-layered over elf's Navy nail polish. It is a clear nail polish packed with fine translucent reflective glitter. Not opaque, can be layered repeatedly (these photos have about 4 or 5 coats of Twinkle), dries very fast and is quite chip resistant.
A matte very dark blood red as the name indicates. Unlike Light and Medium Red, this is not very opaque or even, it needs at least two coats to even out and looks quite dark. Dries fairly fast, is thick and gooey (in fact it was one of the polishes that eventually began glooping up on me) and is not so resistant but quite pretty.
Normal clear polish. Thick consistency, easy to apply, takes a bit to dry, quite resistant but not the best for a top coat.
One word of advice on elf nail polish bottles- don't close them too tightly or sometimes the black cover may start rolling or pop off and you end up having to try and open the bottle by removing the black holder and using the inner cover of the lid/brush but that can be hard since it's tricky to get a good grip, but once you manage it just pop the cover back on and use it normally.
That's all for now.
Have a beautiful day,