ELF is such an affordable make up brand and it had been yonks since I had tried some of their products. Since the European website is about a year behind on what is available in The States, this is something that easily happens. I heard so many people rave about some of their newer releases and I couldn’t get my hands on them. Then when I randomly checked the ELF website one day, I found all the bits I was curious after and bought some. The item that intrigued me the most? The face palettes. These are my thoughts.
ELF Face Palettes
Illuminating, Contour (light), Blush (light)
(blush in the middle not included in review)
For 8 euros each, you receive a 4 pan pallete that contains 16 grams of product. The pans can be popped out, though you do need a little bit of force to do so, and so you can easily customize your ideal face palette once you have a few. The palettes come in cream or powder textures and contain blushes, bronzers, highlighters and other face products. The blush and bronzer palettes are available in 2 shades. The highlight and contour palettes only in one and are only available from the ELF website in The Netherlands.
Each palette comes in a separate cardboard box. Nothing too special and if you’ve seen beauty product displays in the US, then you will be familiar with the hole punched into the packaging that is used to hang up the products.
This is what the actual palettes look like. Each one is identical, save for the illuminating palette: that has a sticker with the name of the product on the front. The other two are exactly the same and only have a itty bitty sticker on the back to identify which is which. Not that handy, but the packaging is sturdy and you receive a good sized mirror in the lid.
ELF Illuminating Contour Kit Light
This is the Illuminating palette. This is filled with highlighters, but most of them are fairly subtle. If you’re looking for a decent quality drugstore dupe of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders, than this is it. You get 4 shades, of which one is matte, one has a satin finish and the other two have more of a punch to them.
The quality of these powders is stunning. They are a touch powdery, but that also makes them easy to blend. The swatches may look quite bland at first sight, but if you scroll down you’ll find the pink shade applied to my face. The matte white isn’t really my cup of tea and the darkest shade is too dark to contour or highlight with for me. It is also too orange for a bronzer, so that is another one I’d skip.
ELF Contour Kit Light
Who doesn’t love a good budget contour palette?! I know I do! My two favorite shades are the bronzer and contour in this palette. The shades are perfect for my light skin tone. The two lighter shades in the palette are not for me. The white is too stark and chalky and while the banana powder works well enough, it just isn’t my favorite.
The swatches tell you everything else that you need to know. The darkest two shades not only look the best against my skin tone, they are also the smoother powders in this palette. I find these apply well and are easy to blend without making them disappear on the skin completely. I prefer to apply my contours with the ELF Small Stipple brush and that goes perfectly with this contour powder.
ELF Blush Palette Light
Of the two blush palettes, I own the lightest one. Unfortunately there is only one shade in here I truly love, but it’s also a good one. The dark seemed a bit too out there for me, but it may have been a better choice. The two pinks look too similar in a swatch and aren’t shades I wear very often. The neutral shade is too brown and dark to be a blush on me and too orange to be a bronzer. My favorite shade? The pinky coral in the bottom right corner.
As you can see there is nothing wrong with these blushes pigmentation wise. The lightest pink shade is a hair too chalky for my taste and while the darker pink looks distinct in the pan, it truly isn’t. The difference disappears completely once applied with a brush. The pinky coral is my favorite as it applies the best and it gives the cheek a lovely flush look.
On the face these products definitely make a difference. The bronzer from the contour palette is great at warming up the skin. I then used the contour shade to give my skin some definition. After that I went in with that pink toned highlighter, which layers nicely to create a decent amount of glow. Lastly, the blush I used is that pinky coral which makes my cheeks pop.
Before – After
To truly show you the difference this makes on your face, I snapped a picture right after finishing my base. Followed by a picture after applying all of the products. On the left, my skin looks just even, be it a bit mask like. Especially the blush gives some more life to my face and the highlight looks great not only on the cheeks, but also all over the face.
Yes, these ELF face palettes are a great deal. However, the only downside is that you may not like all these shades in each individual palette. I bought these thinking I could try all, but then use them to make one customized palette. And that’s just what I did. I put my four shades into one palette and am decluttering the rest. That does make it less of a great deal though, but if I had to recommend just one palette, I would go with the contour palette as that has the most shades I like to use.
What do you think of the ELF face palettes?