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e.l.f. Cosmetics

Aqua Beauty Radiant Gel Lip Tint

0.20 fl. oz. for $ 4.00
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e.l.f. makes some great, inexpensive cosmetic products… this just isn't one of them. Aqua Beauty Radiant Gel Lip Tint disappoints in terms of pigmentation, how it feels, and the overall formula. Three strikes, you're out!

The issues start with the watery, thin gel texture, which dries down to a slightly tacky finish, plus it requires several swipes to feel like you've coated lips sufficiently. You'll notice it has a slight cooling sensation and a hint of flavor. Unfortunately, that's a sign that your skin is being irritated due to the inclusion of menthyl lactate and fragrance (see More Info to learn why those kinds of ingredients are bad).

We hoped additional layers would help the color look more even, but no matter how we applied it, the sheer pigmentation ended up settling unevenly mere minutes into wear. We were also disappointed by how faint the color is. We were expecting it to be sheer, but we weren't expecting it to be so sheer that we had to apply layer after layer to get noticeable color payoff.

e.l.f. claims this is a "long-wear" formula, but we didn't find that to be true. Out of the handful of shades available, on the one we tested (red "Rouge Radiance") the color faded away quickly—and red hues tend to have the best chance of sticking around!

The bottom line: This is a dud. For options that exceed expectations, explore our Best Lipsticks page.

Pros:
  • None of note.
Cons:
  • Contains known irritants.
  • Tends to wear unevenly.
  • So sheer that it takes multiple layers to get noticeable color.
  • Fades quickly.
More Info:

We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin (and lips) a disservice!

Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.

Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.

A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don't get lulled into thinking that if you don't see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.

Generally, it's best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there's no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.

References for this information:

Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36

International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385

Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262

Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135

Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No
A refreshing weightless gel tint that provides radiant sheer color and is enriched with Purified Water that hydrates and feels cool on contact. This long-wear lip color stains the lips for that "just bitten" effect. Infused with nourishing Rosewater and Vitamin E for a splash of hydrating color. The formula is extremely comfortable and great to wear alone or as a base to your favorite e.l.f. gloss for a vibrant effect.
Water (Aqua), Glycerin, BIS-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Coceth-7, PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Urea, Trehalose, Polyquatemium-51, Triacetin, Sodium Hyaluronate, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tropolone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Rosa Centifolia Extract, Ethoxydiglycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Menthyl Lactate, Tocopheryl Acetate. May Contain: Red 40 Lake (CI 16035), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 15985), Red 33 (CI 17200)

e.l.f. At-A-Glance

e.l.f. (it stands for which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) was founded by Scott Vincent Borba and Joseph Shamah. The story goes that one day Borba was shopping in a dollar store and noticed women dressed in designer clothing and sporting designer handbags loading up their baskets with inexpensive nail polish, eye pencils, and lip balm. He took note of the products being sold in such stores and quickly decided he could offer products of even higher quality at the same competitive price. His idea paid off, as e.l.f. has enjoyed continued success and increased distribution online and in retail stores.

For a line offering many products for just a dollar (OK, there are plenty that cost $3 and $5, too), there are a surprising number of hits in the mix (especially the makeup brushes). True, not everything is going to be as luxurious or innovative as some higher-end brands, but overall you're likely to be impressed with what they developed for so little money, and you may just find some beauty bargains!

For more information about e.l.f., call (800) 231-4732 or visit www.eyeslipsface.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.