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Toxic Makeup Best and Worst: E.l.f. review

e.l.f. Studio Cream Blush

e.l.f. Studio Cream Blush (Photo credit: Mad Tofu)

If you have read my previous posts, you are undoubtedly aware of my current journey to dramatically reduce toxins from my personal care products.  I realized how toxic most of my makeup was and have been trying to build up a low toxin makeup stash (if you are interested in reading about the toxins found in makeup and other products, click here).  I use and to look up product ratings and ingredient information. Below is an overview of some of e.l.f.’s highest and lowest toxin-rated products for your consideration, as well as their price.

Though their products range from no health concern to high concern, e.l.f. ( has a good selection of low-toxin products.  And since it is a popular drugstore brand, the affordability of their products is attractive.  This hopefully will dispel the notion that all low-toxin makeup must cost a fortune.  For reference, the Good Guide (GG) ingredient health rating ranges from 0-10; zero being the worst, highest health concern risk.  10 is the best, lowest health risk score.  Another bonus to Good Guide is that it also evaluates the company’s social and environmental policies.   If you are interested in their overview of e.l.f., visit  The Skin Deep (SD) rating is unfortunately the opposite, so 0 is best score, 10 is the worst (sorry of that is confusing).  Let’s begin with the low-toxin products as of this writing.

Essential shine eraser: score of 10 (GG); no ingredients that raise a health concern. $1

Studio cream blush (all shades): score of 8 (GG); low level health concern.  $6

Studio corrective concealer & complete coverage concealer (all shades): score of 8 (GG; 1 SD). $3

Studio matte eyeshadow (all shades): score of 8 (GG). $3

Mineral lipstick (all shades): score of 8 (GG). $5

Essential all over color stick (all shades): score of 8 (GG). $1 (are we loving these prices yet?)

Nail polish: score of 8 (GG) in the following colors: black, plum, blush, fuchsia, copper, sunset, cranberry, burgundy, white, chocolate, clear, innocent, coral, moonlight, lilac, nude, berry pink, fire coral, party purple, fluorescent pink, punk purple, passion pink, royal purple, purple dream, hot pink, purple pleaser, light pink, red velvet, light red, desert haze, smoky brown, medium red, golden goddess (glitter), mod mauve, dark navy, mango madness, dark red, metal madness, fair pink, pearl pink, mint cream, bubble gum pink, champagne, dark glitter purple, matte finish clear nail polish ($2), and nail polish removal pads.

Treat and tame eyebrow (all shades): score of 8 (GG). $3

Waterproof eyeliner pen (all shades): score of 8 (GG), $2

Mineral Eyeshadow primer (all shades): score of 8 (GG). $3

Essential zit zapper: score of 8 (GG). $1

Essential all over cover stick (all shades): score of 8 (GG) except for apricot beige (6 GG, still in the low concern range).  $1

Mineral eye liner: score of 8 (GG) in the following shades: ash, black, coffee, and midnight.  $3

Essential feather-proof moisturizing lip liner (all shades): score of 8 (GG).  $1

Mineral Lip liner (all shades): score of 8 (GG).  $3

Mineral blush (all shades): score of 7 (GG).  $5

Bronzed mineral glow and Shimmer mineral glow: score of 7 (GG, SD 1).  $8

Studio shimmer sheets (all shades): score of 7 (GG).  $3

Studio shimmer palette: score of 7 (GG, SD 1).  $3

Essential brightening eye liner: score of 7 (GG) in the following shades: midnight, coffee, black, ash, and plum.  $1

Mineral moisturizing lip tint (all shades): score of 7 (GG).  $3

Studio lip balm (all shades): score of 7 (GG).  $3

Mineral concealer: score of 6 (GG) in the following shades: dark, deep, fair, and light.  $5

Mineral foundation: score of 6 (GG) in the following shades: dark, deep, warm, fair, and light.  $5

Lip primer/plumper: score of 6 (GG).  $3

Mineral personal blend foundation (all shades): score of 6 (GG).  $8

Contouring blush and bronzer powder duo: score of 6 (GG, SD 2).  $3

Studio eyebrow kit (all shades): score of 5 (GG).  $3

Studio high definition powder: score of 0 (SD).  $6

Studio blush: score of 1 (SD) in the following shades: peachy keen, tickled pink, and blush rose. Score of 2 (SD) in the following colors: candid coral, fuchsia fusion, mellow mauve, and gotta glow. $3

Studio bronzers (all shades): score 0f 2 (SD).  $3

Studio mineral-infused mascara: score of 2 (SD).  $3

Studio cream eyeliner: score of 2 (SD) in the following colors: coffee, gunmetal, midnight, metallic olive, and plum purple. $3

Studio pigment eyeshadow in the shade passionate purple: score of 2 (SD).  $3

Certain studio single eyeshadows: sand dollar has a GG score of 8; butter cream, coffee bean, and wild wheat have a SD score of 2.  $3

If you are interested in seeing swatches of some of these products, click on the video below.  That is the end of the E.l.f. products with low health risk ratings.  I also wanted to note that E.l.f.’s now discontinued bath and body products also scored well, for those of you who may own them.  I’m so bummed they got d/c’d, I’m always looking for good bath and body products!  Now for the poorly rated makeup.  For the sake of time I will not list all of them.  That would be an egregiously long post.  Basically if it’s not rated okay then I would expect it to be a bad rating since the average health rating of their products is 3.4 on Good Guide (and many products rate 0).  Here’s a brief rundown.

Most mascaras, eyeshadows, lip glosses (even mineral), cream shadow and liner, foundations, the blemish kit, studio concealers, natural radiance blushers, false lashes, brightening eye colors, essential lipsticks, shimmer eyeliner pencils, lip glosses,  glossy glosses, and glitter glosses, custom eyes, liquid liners, beauty books, tinted moisturizers, and the shielding hydro tint score poorly.  Their scores range from moderate to high concern.  Bad scores are due to ingredients such as propyl paraben, silica, ethyl acrylate, propylene glycol, and triethanolamine.

E.l.f.’s social responsibility rating is 3.2, and their environmental responsibility rating is 3.2 by Good Guide.  Perhaps this is why their costs are able to remain low.  For more information on this click here.

In sum, while most of their products rate poorly, many raise only a low level of health concern.  This goes to show that low toxin makeup does not have to be expensive.  Let me know what brands you would like reviewed and your favorite low-toxin E.l.f.  products in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

My video on these products:


About somethingtoconsiderblog

I love life. In this world there are so many dark, scary, & depressing things around us. I prefer to focus on the good and benevolent: spirituality, self-exploration and growth, a healthy lifestyle, learning, people, travel, food, music, and all things beautiful. We all have an impact on the world around us. Let’s make it an excellent one, and may it be contagious.

13 responses »

  1. All of this information is really helpful. I am transitioning to using safer cosmetics as well. I was just wondering what products you are most concerned with making more natural and others that aren’t as much of a priority? Thanks!

    • Hi Jessica! Thx so much for reading, so glad it was helpful. I would definitely suggest a low toxin foundation as it covers yr entire face, as well as lip products to start. It’s okay to start slow. I still use products I love that are not organic/ low toxin, so don’t be too hard on yourself! :o)

  2. Omg awsome video!!! 😉 💄 Can you do rate the NYX products???

  3. Awesome video!!! I have been searching for safer cosmetics for a while. Can you also rate the higher end cosmetic choices. And last but not least 😉 💄 Can you rate the NYX products? Thanks for making a difference great work!!

  4. The “Mad from Matte” eyeshadow palette from ELF makes my eyes water and nose run.. when I take the eyeshadow-only-off my eyes there is no allergic reaction so I know it’s eyeshadow… love these colors.. but the allergic reaction is terrible.. I do see in the ingredients it has a “red dye” I believe and also Talc.. any thoughts about Allergies in Eye Shadows? Thanks for your video ❤😀

  5. Robin Holbrook

    Hi! Not quite sure how I found you! Lol So you MUST let me know when you post something! I so appreciate the work that went into this post!!! I can only imagine! I am 71 and have been committed to cruelty free makeup and skincare for over 25 years. It is SO nice that we now have so many good choices! Even some high end companies are cruelty free! I don’t buy many expensive products. There really is no need to do so! If anyone has read this far, maybe you can help me! I am looking for waterproof CRUELTY FREE primer, foundation, concealer, eyeshadows. I am also in search of a waterproof black mascara that gives length and does NOT have the added fibers! I have tried 3 of those and the fibers end up on my face!!! I would love your help…anyone????
    ” I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to help you not to hurt you, plans for a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 27:11 ( my verse…verified when we were in NYC right after 9/11. Long story….)

  6. Hi I really enjoyed your review on ELF cosmetic thank you for your insight. I am with Beautycounter and they used only safest ingredients to skin care and makeup that doesn’t effect your health. Have you heard of them? You should check it out if you haven’t, I’m sure you will find it very interesting. YouTube Beautycounter introduction. If you are interested please check out my website link: sandycoffinier


  7. Rebecca McFarland

    Please review SebaMed skin care products. I’ve used these products for awhile and would appreciate your opinion.

  8. If you want no toxin beauty products, check out Beautycounter. They are advocates for clean beauty. Even taking it up to the government to get higher standards put in for beauty products.

  9. Please review and rate the Face Primers by Elf.

  10. Bridget Campbell

    I have yet to find another company that sells eyebrow pencil in auburn, E.L.F is the only one I know of


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