e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet Review & Swatches

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet** This post was written by Fiona. She no longer blogs for Swatch And Learn. However, Mary still continues to blog and will be happy to reply to your comment. **

I would like to congratulate elf Cosmetics for turning 7! I love this brand: most of their stuff is awesome, and it all costs so little. Plus, they always have discounts (even up to 70% off), and their customer service is great. This is my honest opinion – Swatch And Learn is not affiliated with elf Cosmetics. Have you tried their stuff?

I would like to congratulate elf Cosmetics on a second thing: They finally got the name of a nail polish correctly! 😛 I have quite a few elf colors, and I keep buying more because they provide such value for $1. The thing that peeves me to no end is that their color names are so misleading. But not e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet. When I look at this color, I actually do see the inside of a red velvet cake. I can see it layered in between cream-cheese frosting. (I did not eat it; don’t worry.)

e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet Swatches & Pictures

*~* 2 Coats with Top Coat in Natural Light*~*

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

*~* 2 Coats with Top Coat in Flash *~*

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

*~* 2 Coats with Top Coat in Artificial Light *~*

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

Image of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet

Ingredients of e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet


    Chip resistant
    Long lasting
    Quick drying
    High shine
    Glides on effortlessly

Key Notes

  • Name: e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet Nail Polish
  • Amount: 0.35oz. or 10 ml
  • What I Paid: $1 USD
  • Price Per Unit: $2.88/oz. or $0.1/ml
  • Other e.l.f. Essentials Nail Polish Collection Colors Available: Clear, White, Pearl, Nude, Pearl Pink, Blush, Champagne, Bubble Gum Pink, Fluorescent Pink, Coral, Mod Mauve, Burgundy, Royal Purple, Light Red, Sunset, Medium Red, Lilac, Desert Haze, Smoky Brown, Innocent, Mint Cream, Chocolate, Plum, Dark Navy, Fuchsia, Fire Coral, Hot Pink, Punk Purple, Party Purple, Mango Madness, Passion Pink, Purple Pleaser, Rosy Raisin, Berry Pink, Cranberry, Metal Madness, Teal Blue, Golden Goddess, Twinkle, Glitter Glam, Purple Dream, Copper, Black, Dark Glitter Purple
  • Where to Buy: e.l.f. website, Target, K-Mart & some big-box stores & drugstores

elf Red Velvet Review


I don’t actually love elf Red Velvet. My kind of red is darker and vampier. This? Not vampy enough! It’s good to have in my collection in case I need it for some nail art pairings or something. It’s a pretty color in its own right; I just think I have weird taste.

What I’d really like is to see is something more special. The only thing that sets it apart is that under certain light, you get a pinkish overlay on top of the poppy red.


I find reds can be quite hit and miss when it comes to opacity. elf Essentials Red Velvet is a hit. It has great color payoff. Not quite a 1-coater. You won’t see streaks or bald spots after 1 application, but a 2nd coat will definitely intensify this red shade.

Consistency & Application

I praise e.l.f. Red Velvet’s consistency, like I do most elf polishes. It goes over the nail so easily for a breezy application, and it self-levels on the nail for a smooth finish. I don’t think you’ll find it too thin or too thick, making it a cinch to work with. It’s not perfect-perfect. Just my personal preference, but I’d like it just butterier. Add more butter to the cake, please!


Not awesome. Not bad. I’d say it’s average when it comes to being resistant to chipping and peeling. I’m really hard on my nails since I go to the gym a lot. The disinfectant and the banging of my hands against the weights don’t help. After 3 days with the e.l.f. Red Velvet nail polish on, I see a bit of tip wear, and it has chipped in a couple of spots.


It’s $1. I realize that doesn’t say all that much if the product sucks. But for a buck, Red Velvet Nail Polish by elf is definitely worth it and more.


elf Cosmetics doesn’t use DBP, toluene or formaldehyde in their nail polishes, so you can wear the elf Red Velvet nail polish without worry.

  • Good color payoff
  • Affordable
  • Infused with vitamin E
  • Free of DBP, formaldehyde, toluene
  • Lasts fairly long
  • Easy to apply
  • Color isn’t super interesting

Final Verdict: 7.5/10

This shade is a bit yawn-inducing for me. “Seen it; done it; worn it three times already” kinda nail color. But I think it has its place in my collection. I’ve decided to embrace alllllllllllllllll nail polishes, whether I love them or dislike them. Because a collection needs to have every color on the planet, doesn’t it?!?!

What do you think of this uneventful red? Does it look better to you than it does to me?


12 thoughts on “e.l.f. Essentials Red Velvet Review & Swatches

  1. Carmela

    I haven’t tried any other elf polish since I had a bad experience with their matte top coat eventho the price is quite tempting. Not my kind of red either.

    But I now have a hankering for red velvet cupcakes. 😛

    1. Fiona Post author

      I haven’t tried their matte top coat, but I was thinking about it. Although now that you mentioned you had a bad experience, I’m rethinking it. What is wrong with their matte top coat?

      Let’s have a cake and nail-polish party! Just make sure not to eat both…

      1. Carmela

        Well, the first time I used it, it worked fine. But the next time I did, it mattified the polish but the matte top coat cracked in places after drying! It looked kind of like what a bad quality shatter polish would do except it had no color, just the matte vs shiny. I also noticed that the formula settles so you’re left with the cloudy stuff at the bottom (which I’m thinking is the mattifying part) and a clear liquid on top. You might want to put in some of those metal balls just to help with the mixing. I haven’t used mine in maybe 4-6 months and the cloudy stuff has pretty much solidified at the bottom. 🙁

        1. Fiona Post author

          Yikes! Thanks for the warning, Carmela. I’m definitely going to stay away from it! I already have Nubar for Men matte top coat, although I haven’t used it in a while, so I hope it’s not all solidified at the bottom, too.

  2. Amy

    I have never heard of this brand. For a dollar, that is awesome. Your comment “This shade is a bit yawn-inducing for me. “Seen it; done it; worn it three times already” kinda nail color” made me laugh out loud. I feel like this about alot of polishes. That is why I love stamping!!!!

    1. Fiona Post author

      Hi Amy!

      elf is mostly awesome, but sometimes their products can be major misses. Most of their nail polishes are great, my faves being Teal Blue!

      I’m so happy that it got a chuckle out of you. 🙂 Thanks for the support!

      And I agree! Creating nail art is definitely a great way to spruce up a meh color!

    1. Fiona Post author

      Totally agree with you. It’s classic, but nothing special. I think it’s good to have in the collection because it’s like a nail-polish crime not to have a classic red like this. 😛

      And the price doesn’t make me feel guilty that I don’t love it. Always a plus. Hahah.

  3. Jessica

    E.l.f is so awesome. I haven’t tried their nail polishes because they are always out of stock, so they must be good! When the demand dies down I might stock up for the long winter, hehe. Lets just hope I don’t make the same mistakes as I did before, which I blogged about recently….It still turned out pretty good though(phew).
    Jessica recently posted: 10 things a girl should not do with wet nail polish on

    1. Fiona Post author

      Yeah, they’re always out of stock and I want to get moreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. LOL. Maybe it’s a good thing. 😛

      Hahah. Love your list of things not to do with wet nail polish on. It’s fun and quirky!

  4. Another Cristina

    Hi, guys,

    I’ve been lurking and reading your blog for a month or so now, but now I had to comment. ELF nailpolishes are not available right now. If you go to their website, the exact wording is

    “We are currently in the process of reformulating the Nail Polish to offer you a new and improved e.l.f. favorite. We are rushing to fulfill the demand for our Nail Polish, and expect the shipment to arrive by September. Due to the improved formulation, the single nail polish price will be increasing to $2. Please be sure to enter your email address to receive notification of the highly anticipated arrival of our new nail polish. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our Nail Polish Sets! ”

    I was actually considering buying all 24 shades (or most of them) prior to reading that section of the website. I guess those of us who discovered this brand recently (or in my case, a latent nail polish addiction) missed out on the chance to buy $1 polishes! We’ll have to settle for $2 polish instead.

    1. Fiona Post author

      Hi Cristina!

      Thanks for commenting and letting everyone know! That’s way too bad that none of the elf polishes are available. I hadn’t noticed that the last time I checked their site!

      For $2, I think it’s still worth it. The only thing I’m praying for is that they didn’t change the formula for the worse. I hate it when brands come out with *new and improved* formula, only to find that it’s *new but worse*!


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