High End or Budget: Estée Lauder vs ELF Lipstick

You might have looked at the title of this blog post and though, “yep, she’s finally lost it!”. I wouldn’t disagree, however this experiment is not as crazy as it might seem. I was talking to my mum and spotted this Estée Lauder lipstick on her dressing table – I look the liberty of trying it on (we’re a very sharing family) and realised that it reminded me of a slightly lighter version of an ELF lipstick I own. So, my little beauty-blogging-brain started ticking over and I mentally devised a ranking system by which I could review and compare the two. So, let me introduce the two products.

Estée Lauder Lipstick in 16 Candy

The Estée Lauder lipstick is in Candy. It is from the Pure Color Long Lasting Shimmer range, and retails for a whopping £18. If I were my mum, I’d have it under lock and key, not letting a slightly unruly 20-year-old prod and poke it for a review!

ELF Lipstick in Gipsy

And the competitor! This is the ELF Lipstick in Gipsy (is that spelt incorrectly or is it just me?). This sells online for a modest £1.50, which places it firmly at the budget end of the cosmetics world.  So, what difference does £16.50 make? Let’s find out.


You can’t deny that the packaging of a product does have some influence over what you think of it, at least at first. It’s impossible to deny that the Estée Lauder lipstick packaging looks impressive; you actually feel like you’re holding £18 worth of product when it is in your hand. The ELF packaging is, well…what you’d expect for the price. But it’s not that bad considering, and these scores have to be relative.

Estée Lauder: 9/10

ELF: 4/10



I initially picked these two as they were the most similar in shade that I had access to. Here they are on my lips, starting with the Estée Lauder one.

Estée Lauder Candy Lipstick on Lips

And now the ELF Gipsy Lipstick…

ELF Gipsy Lipstick on Lips

I have to admit that there are pros and cons to each shade. I love the shimmer in Candy, although I think there might be a risk of it looking a little ‘plastic’, and whilst Gipsy is nice and bold (which I love), the colour feels a little one-dimensional.

Estée Lauder: 7/10

ELF: 7/10



I’m the kind of person who can be a bit of a snob about lipsticks when it comes to their application. I always remember those toy lipsticks you had as a kid, which were really just plastic. Unfortunately the ELF lipstick reminds me of those a little, and you almost have to press quite hard to get a decent application. In contrast, Candy glides on to the lips – however, it isn’t all perfect, as for some reason the shape of the tip doesn’t quite reach the bottom corners of my lips, so I have to have a bit of a play around with angles to get a perfect application.

Estée Lauder: 8/10

ELF: 4/10



I hate it when people over-use the word ‘pigmentation’ in YouTube reviews, so that’s why I haven’t put it first on the comparison list. Pigmentation is important but it isn’t everything – sometimes it depends on what the product is meant to look like. Estée Lauder’s Candy looks very pigmented in the tube form, but is a little disappointing on the lips – however, this isn’t all bad, as it is meant to be more of a shimmer shade than a block. ELF’s Gipsy is bold and colourful, and once you actually get it ON to the lips, the pigmentation pays off brilliantly.

Estée Lauder: 7/10

ELF: 9/10



I’ve worn the ELF lipstick on a few nights out, and for the price I was relatively pleased with how long it lasted on the lips. I would say it lasts a couple of hours out before you need to re-apply, which really isn’t that bad. However, after smacking your lips together a couple of times wearing Candy, the colour seems to be fading ever-so slightly already. I won’t be too harsh on it, as I haven’t worn it out, but first impressions aren’t stunning.

Estée Lauder: 6/10

ELF: 8/10



Ah. Yes. The price. I’m not sure where to start…£18 is a hell of a lot of money for one single lipstick, even by high-end standards. The colour is nice and all, but it really is such a lot to spend. £1.50 on the other hand is NOT a lot to spend, and whilst the product certainly is inferior in many ways, if we’re speaking relatively, it’s a bloody good deal.

Estée Lauder: 4/10

ELF: 9/10


The Results

So, out of a possible 60 points each, here were the scores:

Estée Lauder: 41/60

ELF: 41/60

It’s a draw! Don’t forget that this review was relative – if ELF were charging £18 for this lipstick, the Estée Lauder one would win hands-down. For their prices and categories, they are both great products. I hope this review has been helpful!

Stay Creative,

Chyaz xox



  1. May 21, 2011 / 12:22 am

    oh, my lipstick from MAC costs 18€, but I give it 10/10! nevertheless, I also have a permanent lipstick with gloss which costs only 1€ and it’s amazing too! 10/10 for it too =D cheap make-up is also cool!

    • May 22, 2011 / 5:12 pm

      I totally agree!! xx

  2. Helena
    May 21, 2011 / 5:32 pm

    ”I’m not sure where to start…£18 is a hell of a lot of money for one single lipstick,”

    Haha Chyaz your so funny.

    • May 22, 2011 / 5:13 pm

      Hehe :p it really is though!! xx

  3. Jess
    May 21, 2011 / 6:15 pm

    It’s Gypsy lol. Although that looks kinda weird as well ha x

    • May 22, 2011 / 5:13 pm

      I thought that, but ELF spell it ‘Gipsy’, ah well! 🙂 x

  4. May 21, 2011 / 9:58 pm

    i think the candy lipstick was really nice but it’s to much money for a lipstick!

    • May 22, 2011 / 5:14 pm

      I totally agree that the price is mega high x

  5. May 24, 2011 / 11:48 pm

    Have you tried MUA lipsticks? I bought 6 (I know, a little excessive) today after buying just the one on my lunchbreak and then popping it on to find it better quality than most of my usual brands!

    I’m planning a review of them soon, but just thought I’d mention it as they’re super cheap and you seem to be a Superdrug fan!

    Elspeth xxx

  6. May 31, 2011 / 2:49 am

    I’ve heard ELF is good but I can’t find it in my country so Estee Lauder is a better choice for me. I realy really want to try ELF (and MUA that you talked in videos). I may have a chance to buy some nail polishes and blushes online. Thanks for review. 😀

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