Review: ELF Blusher/bronzer duo

I’ve held off on reviewing this, because my feelings generally are pretty mixed.  I’ve found myself picking it up a lot for the past two days photoshoots, and wanted to try to clarify the things I like, and the things I don’t.

This is VERY well pigmented.  I like that. It applies beautifully, and looks nice on.  But it fades VERY fast.  I found myself almost continually adding more, buffing it slightly, and then adding more throughout the day because after a half-hour, my strong staged contours had faded into a subtle sheen.

The colors are both nice, though the contour one is too much of a yellowish brown to look very “natural” on fair or cool skin(I used it to GREAT effect on a natural redhead with yellow undertones, and freckles though.  A very light coverage foundation and this on cheeks/contour, and her skin had the most delectably natural texture and finish!).

The blush color is a sort of coral-rose, with gold sheen. It’s not as vibrant as the NARS orgasm, but looks good on a lot of skin tones.  Eventually, I’ll do a direct comparison of this with NARS Orgasm and Laguna, since it is marketed as being an acceptable duplicate.  I don’t agree with that at all.  It’s not bad, but it does NOT compare to NARS in quality.

I just wish they adhered better, and stayed in place longer.  For 6$((i think?) it could be a LOT worse, but I really prefer the quality of a more expensive blush that I don’t have to touch up as much.  Especially because of how dark they look during the initial application(I avoid using the “contour” on myself, because I found it difficult to control, and too dark and yellow on my skin.)

If you only use drugstore or cheaper makeup, this might be a good product to play with, but I wouldn’t consider it a replacement for any of my higher quality blushes. I would not buy it again.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 08:46:13

    Ah, good to know. I was feeling like I’d wasted $ if there was such a dupe that I kept hearing about.
    Just cuz we’re talking Elf, and not to try to hijack your thread, I hear the Elf HD powder is supposed to be better than MUFE HD powder as far as the reflective quality in flash photography. I get concerned about that as I do a lot (mostly in fact) outdoor photography and I ALWAYS seem to get the bright hot sun, therefore I have to use fill flash.


    • dolcearia
      Feb 21, 2011 @ 08:53:35

      I haven’t had issues with MUFE and flash photography. But then, I think that comes down more to application than anything else. I’ve seen ill effects from most powders when too much is applied, or it’s not buffed in evenly. (Like if you put some under the eyes to catch fallout, but don’t buff it off as thoroughly, or only apply it to oily-zones.) I use just TEENY bits of the powder on a bronzer brush, buff it in thoroughly, and I’ve never had issues.


  2. Susan
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 09:01:36

    I’ll bet you’re right; Wayne Goss on You Tube was one of the places I’d heard of it happening.


    • dolcearia
      Feb 21, 2011 @ 09:23:11

      Was it MUFE, specifically? My computer can’t play youtube, but I HAD seen some snapshots on another MUA forum. I’d thought the consensus had just been that the artist/s forgot to brush/buff the excess powder away.


  3. Susan
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 09:43:51

    Aw, I wish you could get You Tube, then I’d show you me – LOL!

    On the serious side he used MUFE HD powder and their Super Matte Loose; here is what he had as notes under the vid:

    “In make up for ever’s defence this was designed for HD filming and not photography so they never said “looks amazing in photographs” but clearly the proof is in the pudding and this stuff doesn’t look good.

    Remember that i used a LARGE amount, so when a small amount is used – as the company states – this result does not happen.

    Does this mean that this powder is not good? No. It’s a great powder but one that you should be careful of when you use for flash photography if used to heavily.

    I used the same amount of product (ish) with both the HD powder and the Super Matte Loose Powder. The Super Matte Loose left no powder residue at all, just normal looking skin and I used a very light (nearly white) shade.

    So, what d’ya think? Do you feel let down? Do you love this stuff? Tell me your thoughts.

    NOTE: I applied this to Mandy and friends on many many occasions and they all loved it. So I guess, to each his/her own. Some pictures where taken and no white marks were visible – but remember i applied a very small amount. No heavy application like in this video.

    Sometimes the most beautiful makeup doesn’t last as long and i think accepting this rather than trying to fight it goes a long long way to getting great results!

    double note: I have been asked this now too many times so i’ll answer on here. MAC’s Prep and Prime powder does not leave the same tell tell sign behind as HD powder. I tested it also but forgot to mention in my tutorial. Sorry!”


    • dolcearia
      Feb 21, 2011 @ 09:54:06

      Thanks, now i have a slightly better idea what you were talking about! I want youtube, too. Unfortunately, my computer stu-st-stutt-stuuttters on video, so I can’t watch more than 2 seconds without it crashing/resetting/rebuffering/playing another 2 seconds/crashing…. It’s REALLY annoying! You’re on Youtube? Now I’m curious!

      I don’t have their matte powder, or any of the other ones he said he tested, so I’m glad he’s doing those experiments! Someone should… I also rarely use flash photography on myself. I’ve use the MUFE powder for shoots using it, but since I already REALLY ration out how much I use(to prevent it from getting too cakey or matte on the skin), it hasn’t presented any problems. I’ll definitely think twice before using it to set face paints or body paints, though!

      I don’t mind constantly touching makeup up on myself, or for projects. Even, to an extent, during shoots, it’s NICE having it fade, and constantly be able to layer, add more, change shapes and contours, without having to completely redo the skin. It has, I guess, just sort of rubbed me wrong, since I’ve received SEVERAL of ELFs advertisements about this being an exact dupe for a MUCH better product. And especially for stage makeup, this compromised wear is MUCH more of a drawback. It’s just not as all-purpose as I want it to be, because I have to taper its use around my ability to constantly touch it up.


    • dolcearia
      Feb 21, 2011 @ 10:03:33

      Forgot to add—it kind of rubs me the wrong way to when people say a product is bad, because they aren’t adapting their technique to make it look GOOD.

      “Fyrinnae PIxie Epoxy made my shadow crease and was IMPOSSIBLE to blend”
      “MUFE Pressed Powder left a white residue on flash, when I applied far more of it than I logically need to do, for it to do it’s job”
      “MUFE flash creams are TERRIBLE e/s, because they crease”
      “Eve Pearl foundations look mask-like and I don’t know why they gave me two colors”
      “MM pigments are so sheer and sparkly that they won’t apply evenly”

      Part of being a MUA or Goru is figuring out how to BEST use a product, and educating others accordingly. EVERYTHING looks bad if you use it wrong, and I’d have missed out on some REALLY extraordinary products, if it hadn’t been for people providing information on the techniques recommended to make that product look GOOD.


  4. Susan
    Feb 21, 2011 @ 10:02:05

    I agree with you about liking to touch up (and if you are at the shoot you are able to do just that). My brides don’t have a MUA there the whole time, so they do need a good product that lasts.
    For myself, I like reapplying cuz it’s so danged much fun to! AND I can change to another color if my fickle mood hits.
    My You Tubes are silly; me doing an Everyday Makeup, and mostly family, cat, horse, farm videos. But you’d get an idea of what you’re dealing with if you saw my face anyway. I plan to do another makeup one, but by the time I get organized, I already have played “Makeup”.


    • dolcearia
      Feb 21, 2011 @ 10:12:37

      Well, you are ABLE to do it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD. Especially for the shots I’ve done, the schedule is important enough to where I’d NEVER get a call-back from the people involved, if I kept stopping the shoot to reapply things. I’ve gotten VERY good at dancing in to check MU and do touch ups while the photographer checks lighting, changes setups, talks with the stylist, or whatever. But unless it’s something MAJOR, I don’t want to have to stop them while they’re shooting for corrections that are only needed because I’m not using a product with the staying power for the job I need.

      (I do have to agree with you, though. I discovered when I was doing a lot of stage work, that I am a COMPULSIVE reapplier. My makeup would be done an hour before the show, easily, but I’d spend the rest of the time adding more coats of mascara, touching up lipstick, reapplying eyeliner…. I’ve worked hard to control this tendency, since it’s soothing, but not at ALL practical, for daily wear, or print MUA.)


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