e.l.f. Studio Candid Coral Blush and brush

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photos: we heart this

My latest obsession with e.l.f. Cosmetics could not have occurred at a better time in my life. I am two weeks acne-free for the first time in many years! I wish I could say that I overcame society’s obsession with clear skin and my need to conform to the mainstream ideal. But sadly, I’m not that self-actualized yet. I finally went to the dermatologist like everyone else. I am amazed at how good I feel about myself! I feel so pretty! Naturally, I need new makeup to accompany my new-found self image – affordable new makeup.

Thankfully, drugstore beauty titans, e.l.f. Cosmetics (eyes, lips, face) just so happened to send the we heart this review team the perfect accessories for my newly clear skin; their Studio Blush in Candid Coral along with the Studio Blush Brush.

Let’s start this review with the Studio Blush Brush because it is my absolute favorite. It is so smooth that I often get distracted and stare out the window while I caress my face over and over. That’s a true story. The studio line is the luxury version of the standard E.L.F. line. And this bit of fancy will only cost you $3. [Warning: You should prep your significant other that there may be new competition for your attention.]

It’s hard to say what my favorite aspect of this brush is. The packaging is chic. I love how soft the bristles are. You can use it wet or dry. But more than all of that, I love the shape and angle. It is great for sweeping blush along the cheekbones and also works perfectly to dab the apples of your cheeks. But there is more! It is absolutely superb as a contouring brush. It is exactly the right size and angle to flawlessly highlight or contour your cheekbones. I use it both for contouring and blushing every morning. And yes, I had to run right out and purchase the Studio Contouring Blush/Bronzing Powder to use in conjunction with my new fantastic brush. My life is complete now.

As Stef pointed out in an earlier review, all e.l.f. studio brushes are anti-bacterial and, since they are made of a synthetic called Taklon, vegan. You can’t find a better, more affordable alternative to natural hair makeup brushes. Not only is this brush more humane, it is seriously comparable in quality. I would have guessed this brush to be much more than it’s $3 price tag. Does that not amaze everyone else? $3! AND high quality. AND vegan-friendly. I’m a bit stunned.

I also got to try the Studio Blush in Candid Coral, which is a fantastic color for the summer season. Word in the beauty blogosphere is that this particular shade of blush is a softer, less shimmery alternative of The Must-Have Blush of the last decade, NARS’ Orgasm. This peachy-coral shade, with subtle golden shimmer provides a bright but somewhat neutral palette to work with. The blush is smooth and easy to apply and can be layered and blended with ease. I found the texture and color of this blush defy its $3 price tag.

After I tried the e.l.f. products I was sent for review, I had to have more. These items are fabulous and not just for the great price tag! I placed a large order for several Studio products. And by large, I mean I snatched up one of their many promotions and got $40 of products for around $20. And you can too!

Shop e.l.f online and check out their latest deals:

• Just in time for summer and the wedding season: Free French Manicure Set with $15 Purchase. Kit includes 3 Nail Polish Colors and French Manicure Stencil Stickers. Use code POLISHED at checkout – valid through through 6/30/10.

• Hurry, only days left to grab this gift with purchase: Free Studio Makeup Package with $20 Purchase. Use code STUD_GWP at checkout – valid through 6/15/10.

• Try the Studio Blush in Candid Coral or any of the great shades or pick up a Studio Blush Brush. Just $3.00 each.

Don’t forget to check the comments for the we heart this review team’s thoughts on e.l.f. cosmetics and the Studio Blush and Brush. Fellow e.l.f. addicts – please join us!

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • Katie

    Frugal. Jewelry maker. Hard worker. Creative crafter. Coca-cola addict. Reader. Curly-haired. Over-analytical. Open-minded.


  1. I have tried a few items from e.l.f’s regular line and have been more than moderately happy with them. But I have been dying to try the Studio line. That blush looks amazing! But I am beyond excited to try the brushes. Thanks Katie. Now I may have a new obsession!!

  2. My love for this brush has only grown! I also bought the Studio Kabuki brush- amazing! I’m not a huge fan of their regular blushes but I truly like the Studio blushes. The name of the color is a little misleading- it’s not exactly coral. It looks very rosey on the cheeks- in a good way! I’m totally satisfied. I definitely encourage everyone to purchase some Studio brushes- you will not be disappointed!

  3. @katieg, I love the image of you staring out the window while playing with your brush! Your review has convinced me that I NEED this brush and more from e.l.f.! Thanks for the links!

  4. I think e.l.f. studio brushes may just be the biggest deal in beauty. $3? What can you buy for $3?! While I love the blush brush and it’s tapered, angular edges, personally I prefer a fluffier blush brush. So, because this comes with a plastic sleeve (so smart!), I’ve been carrying it in my purse to use with a powder that has no puff. But, after reading the review, @katieg, I think I’m going to try it for bronzer application. I bet it would be perfect for contouring!

    But, the e.l.f. brush that has a forever place in my heart is the one we previously reviewed, the small e/s smudge brush:
    Love, love, love!

    And I’m very impressed with Candid Coral as well. It really is an Orgasm dupe, and IMO, a better version! I always found Orgasm to be way too shimmery. This keeps the shimmer under control (sans a small amount of a golden shimmer), and lets the peachy coral beauty shine through.

    I really can’t give these Studio line classics (and the whole collection in general) anything but 5 stars, what a value!
    .-= Stef´s last blog ..MOR Little Luxuries perfume oils =-.

  5. I am seriously impressed with both the e.l.f. brush and the blush. The brush is amazingly good for a $3 brush. Love the plastic sleeve it comes in and the quality is really nice. No one would guess this only costs $3! The blush is one of my favorite shades right now. I agree with @stef that it’s very similar to Orgasm without all the shimmer or the high price tag. The shade is a nice pink coral that is so pretty for summer. I am so impressed that I’ve been on a hunt for more of e.l.f.’s great products to add to my collection. The cost can’t be beat and the quality is really nice for a drug store bargain. 5 BIG stars from me!

  6. That’s so funny! I was just telling a
    co-worker today that I love Nars Orgasm blush, but that the shimmer is a bit much for my oily skin! I must try the less shimmery version of E.L.F’s Candid Coral!

  7. Great review, @katieg! :)

    I am totally with @stef here–the small smudge brush rocks my world every time I use it. But I do also own a few elf blush brushes (not the one you reviewed, @katieg, but now I *want* that one!) and I love them all. The elf eyeshadow brush has been a staple for me for over five years now (yes, I’ve been using the same $1 elf brush for over five years straight, almost every day, and it’s still going strong!).

    I don’t know why I haven’t tried a Studio blush yet–they call to me every single time I’m at Target. The colors *and* the packaging are quite NARSesque.

    I just recently discovered the elf Luscious Liquid Lipstick (also available at Target for a buck) and I’ve been telling everyone and their mother to run out and get one. This is one of the best click-pen glosses I own and I cannot believe it’s just $1. Love me some elf! :)

  8. I am so in love with E.L.F. right now. I didn’t review anything for this story but I’m a newish convert. I recently purchased their Studio Line’s translucent mattifying powder. Wow! What a summertime gem for oily-skinned women for me. And it was only $3. Also, their smudge eyeliner brush we reviewed a while back is still one of my favorite brushes to grab. (It is hard to decide between that and the Smashbox one. lol.)

  9. I was pleasantly surprised (i.e. shocked out of my gourd)at how nice the E.L.F. Studio Candid Coral blush and Studio blush brush are! The brush has the quality and solid feel of a much more expensive brush. No loose hairs, soft bristles—and it delivers a very smooth, even blush application. Y’all should feel GUILTY for getting that sucker for a mere $3 (this is me, enabling you…). Now the blush…from the sleek, rectangular black packaging to the golden peach flush, this is about as close to NARS Orgasm as you will find with that low a price tag. The powder is finely milled, the shimmer levels are not over the top. I think this may have a hint of brown to it because it has a little more depth than Orgasm. On me, Orgasm reads as a bright, shimmery peach, while Candid Coral doesn’t show up as light and has an earthier quality to it. In any case, for $3, you can’t beat it. 5 Stars for quality and value!

  10. These brushes are totally the biggest steal in cosmetics these days.. @stef is so right!

    And @Krista you have totally enabled me.. I am totally getting Candid Coral.. :)

  11. E.L.F has become my new best friend as of late. Everything I try just wins me over, and the price, score!

    The Studio Blush Brush is great. I like the angles and it is super soft. I have been using the brush for a few months now and it still looks brand new. You know how some brushes get matted? This one is still laying flat and pretty ready for use. I have thrown my old brush away, I’m that confident with the E.L.F. one.

    And the blush is a great color! Looks very natural and sun kissed. I can’t stand it when you can tell I have on a blush, like where you can clearly see the line of rouge going up your cheek. The Coral is subtle and blends in naturally with my skin tone. I have used it from the day I got it and it’s almost gone. I’m for sure going to buy it again.

    A solid 5 stars from me!

  12. OK. They have wonderful products. I agree. But has anyone else felt, oh, I don’t know, persecuted by the marketing policy? Until I threatened them with legal action I got between two and twelve — that’s 1-2 — emails from them a DAY. It had to stop. Thankfully a friend is quite friendly with their creative management and managed to get my email purged from their database. Now if I want any of their products I must order through her. Oy.

  13. I was so, SO excited to try out the ELF Candid Coral blush. I wasn’t expecting much. I mean, they say you get what you pay for, right? Well, in this case you get SO MUCH MORE!

    Candid Coral is gorgeous, gorgeous color. Lasts all day, close color dupe of NARS Orgasm with less shimmer, and the price can’t be beat. I love it!

    The Studio Line of brushes is another great product from ELF. I admit, I own them all! I own two of the blush brushes and keep one in my purse makeup bag. @Stef is right, the plastic cover makes it great for stashing in a full bag!

    @Justjoan – I agree, the marketing is pretty annoying at times, but I get about 700 emails a day so I’m pretty used to deleting things :P Great thing is you can buy a lot of ELF products at Target and even some Sears stores now!

  14. I agree with what you all have said about the Candid Coral…it is a beautiful shade that gives NARS Orgasm a run for it’s money! I was really impressed with how pretty the color looks on and I can’t say enough about the blush brush. It is a great value and I was very happy with how soft it was and that it doesn’t lose bristles like a lot of other drugstore brush buys I’ve used in the past. I give them both five stars for a drugstore brand!

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