Eyeliner Throwdown || ELF vs. MAKE UP FOR EVER

In case you haven’t already noticed this about me, I am a hardcore fan and enthusiastic proponent of winged eyeliner. Since I was 14/15, I’ve been winging, and in that time, I’ve tried half a dozen products, both cheap and not-so-cheap, to help me achieve that coveted and perfect cat-eye.

First I used the eyeliner pen/marker thing, which was quickly replaced by a combination of thick eyeliner brush and one amazing product: Sephora brand $10 creme eyeliner, which I used loyally for years until it was, tragically, discontinued last year!

What to do? I wandered around my local Sephora, helpless to stem the waves of grief. I shopped around for alternatives, only to find that most of the products, which were each priced at least $20, were all far too little product to warrant the price. The product that provided the most amount of eyeliner for the price was the $23 Make Up For Ever brand cream eyeliner.

And it was amazing. Unlike the Sephora brand, it had a chalky yet smooth texture that was very, very deep black, did not smudge or budge, and as an added bonus, came off my eyeliner brush so cleanly that daily washing became redundant. Make Up For Ever was my friend.

Until my sister let me try her E.L.F. cream eyeliner, which she bought for a whopping $3. So, with my MFE eyeliner pot sadly dwindling, I decided to pit these two products against each other and see which one came out victorious.



First things first: the price difference between these products has got to be mentioned. At $23, the Make Up For Ever pot is more than twice what I have usually spent on eyeliner. On the other hand, the $3 ELF version is ridiculously cheap and comes with its own brush (which I tossed, because it’s crap). The low price of the ELF product is automatically a huge plus, even if it does turn out to fail spectacularly to the MFE. So…let’s see if the Make Up For Ever is worth that much!

Amount of product

ELF: 47 grams or .17 oz.

Make Up For Ever: .24 oz

So, the ELF product gives you about half the eyeliner that the Make Up For Ever product does. So an ELF pot the size of the Make Up For Ever pot would still only cost $6.


IMG_1635MAKE UP FOR EVER on the top
ELF on the bottom

The Make Up For Ever is blacker than the ELF, but only slightly so. I did not notice a huge difference in the deepness of the eyeliner on my actual eyes, and it was only apparent when the lines are side by side like this. The Make Up For Ever line is just a teeny bit dry because the pot is old, so that’s why the color looks faded in this photo. However, it is blacker.


Forgive the fake vocabulary. To test “lastingness,” I rubbed off both of those lines with coconut oil, my preferred method of eye makeup removal. Here are the results:


As you can see, the Make Up For Ever stayed on more through the removal process than the ELF. One day, I also did one eye with each product and kept it on for something like eight hours. Both products seemed to have held up the same way, so no difference there! (I don’t have pictures of that, sadly.)


I noticed with the ELF product that the color was less even, making it so that a more careful application was necessary to avoid streaks. However, the Make Up For Ever formula is slightly too thick, making application harder. The ELF formula is silky and smooth, and not too heavy. It streaks more, but it’s easier to apply, basically. The thinner ELF formula is also essential to create that thin, sharp wing I love so much.

Actual Wearability

The question here is, which would you actually buy? Based on price, I am definitely leaning toward the ELF product. The Make Up For Ever is superior, but only in small ways. I am not a professional makeup artist, nor am I even a beauty blogger or an authority. For my purposes, and for most women like me, the ELF product is great and for that price, downright amazing. 

Winner: E.L.F.

This was fun. 😉signoff

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