ELF Dupes for Expensive Makeup?

Y'all, this beauty addiction (I say I'm a Beauty Enthusiast) can get pretty pricey, so I am ALL for saving some money when I can. ELF is definitely an affordable brand for that, and if you look up dupes for makeup, ELF is usually on the list. But are those ELF suggestions really dupes? I'm starting a new monthly series where I set out to prove just that. So are these ELF dupes or not?

ELF Micellar Cleansing Water vs Bioderma
  • $7 vs $11.90 (I remember when it wasn't in the US and used to cost me a bunch more!)
  • I tested the ELF version vs 10 other micellar water brands, and not it was a dupe and not that great at removing makeup

ELF Contouring Brush Vs. Stila Contour Brush

  • $6 vs $38
  • While the quality is better in the Stila version, the ELF brush gets the job done just the same. Dupe!

ELF Gotta Glow Lip Tint Vs. It Cosmetics Lip Vitality Flush

  • $6 vs $20
  • ELF comes in 3 shades vs IT's 6, but ELF definitely wins in price. I got the same results, not the same color, for this color-changing lip tints. Go for the ELF.
ELF Kiss It Goodbye Lip Remover vs. NYX Be Gone! Lip Color Remover
  • $3 vs $5
  • ELF's version is clear while NYX's is kind of like a thin toothpaste consistency. Both work great at removing lipstick, so I say go with ELF if you want to save a couple of bucks. BONUS: Demo of both products in the video at the end!

ELF Precision Sponge Trio vs. Beauty Blender and BeautyBlender Micro Mini
  • $12 for 3 vs. $20 for original beautyblender and $18 for 2 micro minis
  • I'm happy to see better attempts at the bb--Real Techniques and ULTA have great versions as well. I found the ELF version to be a little too soft, and a little too big, but they are still great to have. I don't like the white since it shows how dirty they are. Not a dupe, but not bad.
ELF Lip & Cheek Duo Stix vs. Nudestix Lip & Cheek Pencil
  • $3 (currently sold out, but keep checking) vs. $24
  • For those who want a no-fuss approach to beauty, Nudestix offers that in pencil form (think lip/cheek, eye shadow, brows, contour, etc). I'm a huge fan and have shared them here many times, so I had to try ELF's version. 
  • Nudestix comes in 8 shades in a satin finish. There are matte versions too. Plus it comes with a sharpener and tin. ELF comes in 3 shades but offers both finishes in one pencil. The tin and sharpener are sold separately for $3.
  • Sounds not too bad so far, right? Unfortunately, I didn't like ELF's version. It tugged on my skin and was too rough, The shimmer looked too chunky. I preferred the creaminess of the Nudestix. Not a dupe.

ELF Beautifully Bare Lash Tint Mascara vs. It Cosmetics Tightline Full Lash Length Black Mascara Primer
  • $4 vs $24
  • The formulas are different, but the wands and the results are similar. I like using this for lower lashes and love both brands' offerings. It makes for a natural look with definition. While the IT version also comes in waterproof, I say go for the ELF. 
There are TWO MORE dupe comparisons in the video I made below for you. PLUS, Charlie makes an appearance, and if that isn't enough reason to watch, then dang, I don't what is! ;)

What other ELF dupes would you like to see tested?
Have you tried any of these products before?


  1. ELF is one of my go to brand, especially when I want to try something new! That way I don't shell out a lot of money for something I don't like!

  2. I love this dupe series! It is so great to see that other options are just as good or a no go.

    Whitney & Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  3. Great video and post! I like a few products in ELF but as a whole I think it's better to save up for the real thing :)

  4. I love it when you post dupes! I have several Elf brushes but need to try some of these other products!

    Doused In Pink

  5. I feel like there's an ELF primer that I used a few months and really loved - it was a good substitute for Smashbox, which is my usual go to primer.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  6. Thanks for sharing these dupes! I love the IT Vitality Flush so I need to get the Elf one instead.


  7. what a bargain on the lash primer! and that lip tint! thanks for the tips - it'll be great to save a few bucks with these :)

    xoxo cheshire kat

  8. ELF has been very hit or miss for me too, so I am really excited to keep reading this series! I have mostly used ELF brushes which I think (and you've said before) are a good, affordable introduction to makeup brushes.

  9. I really love ELF products! I have a few of their brushes and you honestly can't tell the difference between them and my expensive Bobbi Brown Brush! I always love finding ways to save on beauty products because it can definitely get expensive. Have a great weekend, Elle!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

  10. ELF has really made a name for itself. Just shows you dont HAVE to make products so expensive to get good quality

  11. I really need to get that elf contour brush! I've read pretty good reviews on it.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  12. I just got the taupe Beauty Blender and I love that it is already a nude/makeup color to start with! These dupe posts are so fun!


  13. I will have to check out that brush from ELF because I could use a new one. I really love the Real Techniques beautyblender and I am sticking with that one because price wins!

  14. I keep meaning to pick up that glow tint, but Target never seems to have it in stock. A friend of mine turned me onto their eyebrow kit. The half gel half powder one, and I LOVE it. I believe it was like $4 and gives me the most beautiful tone to my brows. I like to wear my brows dark. (: Check that product out if you haven't already!

  15. I've been impressed with elf lately! Good to know the micellar water isn't worth it though- I'll stay away. I didn't know the bioderma one was so affordable! I've wanted to try that one so I think I will now. I like the elf contour brush, but I haven't tried any of the others mentioned!

  16. I'm always amazed at the low price of ELF products! Thanks for putting together this helpful dupe list. I need to pick up the mascara and brush wipes the next time I'm by the ELF store. Always love when Charlie makes an appearance in your videos :)

  17. AHHH my fave type of posts! Thanks for testing these out pretty lady. Can't wait to get my hands on a few of these!

  18. I dont know ELF products, but they sound so good! Hope you have a lovely thursday :)


  19. I haven't purchased any of ELF's newer products, but I'm interested in trying the mascara...anything to make applying mascara on the lower lashes easier, please!

  20. Love these comparisons! I might need that ELF Contouring Brush :)

  21. Ok I love this post! Definitely picking up that lipstick remover and lip tint!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  22. Such a cool post. ^^
    I'm back on my blog...;-)

  23. I have tried a few ELF products and liked them like their concealer, highlighter duo for eyes and their high definition powder. I think there are a few more I need to try now like those brush wipes!

  24. Elf is usually a hit or miss for me more times a miss but I do find they have a few gems I really love and you can't beat their price.

  25. I'm with some of the others here. elf has always been more of a miss with me, but I do really like some of their brushes! It's still nice to know that there are some great dupes at affordable prices though.


  26. i definitely haven't had fabulous luck with elf.. i have had great brushes and brushes that fall apart immediately.. i think i have a contouring palette and some sort of setting or translucent powder from my last makeup shopping binge that i haven't actually tried. the lipstick removing things are so smart! definitely keeping that in mind for the once a year time i wear red lipstick lol

  27. Ooh fun I always love your dupe posts! I want to try the ELF sponges and that mascara. I hate doing my bottom lashes--I always get mascara everywhere and I feel like it looks terrible. This one looks like it would suit me much better.

  28. So good to read your review since I don't have own any ELF product but I've heard so many great things....how do you compare it to NYX?

  29. This is such an awesome post! I'm always curious about how elf products compare to others. Thanks for all the recommendations!

  30. I love the Gotta Glow lip tint. It stays in purse all the time. I use regular cleansing oil to take my lipstick off. I've never tried the lipstick removers. I have the NYX version of the tightline mascara and I love it too. The video is on my watch later list and I'm catching up on videos today!

  31. Ha cool - I just bought a few Elf brushes today so glad to hear they are dupes - I have expensive ones but I like fresh new ones so cheaper is better for sure!

  32. Thanks for this list, Elle! elf is really hit or miss so it's good to know what really works from what doesn't.


  33. I love seeing posts like this... so many people think that just because things are marketed the same, it automatically means they're dupes of each other. You're good at actually breaking things down.


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