e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliner Review and Swatches



Everyone knows that I have a love/love relationship with these cream eyeliners. I'm always raving about them. To be fair, I haven't tried other brands' cream/gel liners but I don't think I'll ever need to. You know how everyone has their preferences when it comes to eyeliner? Liquid/pen/pencil, or kohl? Matte/shimmery, or glossy? Waterproof?

One morning, when I was a little girl, no more than 10 years old, I was awake before my mum. I found her liquid liner in the bathroom cupboard. My curiosity piqued, I grabbed it and hopped up on the bathroom vanity to test it out. The mess, oh my God, the mess. It was a nightmare. The wand kept bumping against the mirror so I had several wriggly lines spanning across one eyelid. I kept trying to correct it with my finger but ended up getting product all over my fingers. 

I gave up, and started washing it all off.

Until I realised it was waterproof and water was useless. 

A quick glance at the clock told me mum would wake up soon, and I had to hurry up, since I always got grounded for trying on her makeup. Cue frantic scrubbing, and body soap that stung to the point where I was almost crying. Minutes later my eye was red, but at least all signs of the eyeliner were gone. I replaced the eyeliner back in the cupboard quickly, and watched the Saturday morning cartoons. To this day, mum still has no idea about the eyeliner incident.

I began experimenting with eyeliner much earlier this year, straying away from the kohl pencil on my waterline. I tried a liquid eyeliner (fail), an eyeliner pen (so-so), and the cream eyeliner. With the cream, I experimented with different brushes, and at first, I really liked using the angled eyeliner brush. And then, when I disposed of Savvy by DB's Liquid Liner, I kept the wand. Since then, that has been my go-to weapon of choice when it comes to a perfect cat's eye. The handle is short enough to prevent it from hitting the mirror, and I'm able to control it much better, by having my grasp as close to the brush tip as possible.


So, back to the e.l.f. Studio Cream Eyeliners, I have four shades in my arsenal; the classic black, of course, the Plum Purple, the Metallic Olive, and the Copper. My favourite will always be the black, though the copper shade comes as a close second.

Metallic Olive, Black, Plum Purple and Copper

I prefer to use an eyelid primer first, dusting and blending with a neutral skin tone shadow, then lining my lids, because of my hooded and oily lids, then going over the liner and entire eye with some translucent powder. When done right, the liners lasts for at least 12 hours without transferring onto my brow bone. It takes a while to do this, but worth it for the poor oily-and-hooded-eyes girls on a budget.


Black is richly pigmented, and very creamy. It is matte, and dries quickly. You only need one coat, but if you're slow, then the product will be a bit too dry for a single coat, as you can see in the swatch (one side of the brush had less product, thus it dried out more quickly). Nonetheless, I think I've got the application down pat (yay to no longer needing to pull my eyelid!), so I can get a great cat's eye done in minutes without screwing up.  I've had this pot at least since April, and it is still as creamy and pigmented as the day I got it.

Plum Purple rarely gets used, because I am never bold enough to step out of the house wearing a lovely shade of purple on my eyes. I also don't think it looks that good on me, what with my eyes being brown. However, it's still a great shade, and works perfectly. It holds up well in water, and doesn't smudge, unless you do it purposefully. I wish this colour was more of a reddish-plum colour, as this one looks a lot more like eggplant. I won't be buying this again due to the colour.

Copper isn't as coppery as I'd like it, but rather, a chocolate brown, with a golden-coppery shimmer. It is still a lovely shade though, and it matches my eyes rather nicely. I wear this when I'm sporting a nude shadow, and want to keep the look as natural as possible, while still framing my eyes in the nicest way possible. The lasting power on this liner is still great, though it doesn't hold up as well when in contact with water, compared to the black or the plum.

Metallic Olive was the one colour I looked most forward to, as my favourite colour is green, and I once had this great khaki green pencil liner that just looked amazing while worn. I had hoped this would be a very similar shade. but it isn't. In fact, it isn't really green at all. It's more of a dark, almost coffee, brown. This one I find isn't as pigmented as the rest of the liners, so I have to do a second coat with this to fill up the gaps. This one I like to wear for an understated look, such as at a job interview.


The thing is, with those eyeliners, is that the names are somewhat misleading. What you'd expect from the name, is not what you will get in the pot.  That's why it's so important to check out the swatches online before you purchase anything. Also, when you're buying the liners, make sure you look at the bottoms of the pot. If the formula is still sticking to the plastic, and looks wet, get it. If it looks like the formula is about to detach from the plastic, do not get it - it is too dry and when you use it, it'll be waxy and difficult to use.

In some cases, the formula will look wet in the pot, but as soon as you open it, you might find a crack in the surface. If that happens to you, return it and demand an exchange, because it's way too dry to be useable. This has happened to me once. And remember, do not keep cream eyeliners for than 6 months, because it will harbour lots of bacteria past that point, and may cause eye infections or styes. Speaking of which, I should toss these out, they've been in my kit since April/May of this year.

Look forward to my next post, being the fourth entry to the Lipstick Diaries.

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