ELF HD Blush in Headliner and Superstar Review & Swatches

I’ve never considered ELF to be much of a contender in my makeup collection. With such good, affordable brands on our doorstep (Sleek, MUA ect) why do I need to bother with ELF? Their products aren’t available in shops, and whilst I don’t mind buying my makeup online – 9 times out of 10 I’ve already seen the product I’m buying instore. Taking a leap of faith, and trusting online swatches I added both Headliner and Superstar to my shopping basket.

And I’m rather glad I did.

Initially I was surprised by how dinky, and small the packaging is. That aside, it’s cute and functional. The product is quite runny so a pump dispenser is the best option, unfortunately you nearly always end up with too much product on your hands. As these blushes are so pigmented, you really don’t need much at all. Unless you’re opting for a clown face. They apply wet, and need some blending but as they begin to dry they become matte and less “dewy” or “sheeny” although not completely a cream to poweder formula.

Pigmented, cheap and long-lasting these HD blushes from ELF are a sure winner. If you like using cream based blushes then I’d really suggest trying these. If you’re more of a powder girl you may find these messy, but it’s worth a shot with a pricetag of £3.75 if you’re looking for something more pigmented.

I wish they offered more natural colours, as I can’t see myself wearing any of the other shades available and already rarely reach for these two. Fantastic product otherwise.


Splurge or Save?: ELF Gotta Glow vs NARS Albatross

(NARS left fingertip, ELF right)

There’s no denying that I love my NARS Albatross highlighting blush. It’s got an iconic status, and spends alot of it’s time atop my highlighters stash. Despite this, and I’m not going to lie, £21.50 caused me emotional pain to aquire this. That’s more than I spend on petrol in a week.

£21.50 buys you a gorgeous, golden shimmery highlighter that’s soft, buttery smooth. It’s finely milled, no flaking and no fall-out. It looks gorgeous on, and works universally with all the other NARS blushes.

When I heard about ELF’s Gotta Glow being compared to my beloved Albatross, I starting hoping for an amazing dupe. It costs just £3.75. That’s a £17.25 saving! Which is all the more important as NARS have hiked up their prices, two years ago Albatross was under the twenty quid mark. And my question is, is NARS really worth that £17.25 extra? What more am I getting for my money?

Packaging wise it’s easy to see similarities. NARS is all rubbery, which gets icky and dirty very quickly, and ELF just looks like a cheap imitation. But does packaging really matter? No. Not to me. It’s my face, and the makeup on it, that’s on show to the world. Not the inside of my makeup drawer (thank goodness, it’s a mess!)

Then comes the formula comparisons. Gotta Glow is chunkier, less finely milled and has major fall-out. To avoid looking like a glitterball, I tap my brush. Simple. And once blended, no matter how hard I look, I can’t find a difference between the two on my face at all. It’s only noticeable when I swatch on my fingertip. But for £3.75 I wasn’t expecting an amazing texture.

If a single tap of the brush before application is the only realy difference between how these two look on my face – count me in. That’s worth £17.25 to me, and another week’s worth of petrol paid for.

Gotta Glow net weight is 4.75g, Albatross is 4.8g – a bargain if I ever saw one.

MAC Face and Body Review & Swatches

(MAC Face and Body in Shade C1)

MAC face and body is a water based foundation that provides sheer, lightweight and long lasting coverage. The majority of foundations are 30ml. This foundation is 120ml and costs £26.50, which is a total bargain. You’re getting FOUR times the normal amount of foundation in your average bottle.

The coverage is really really light, but incredibly buildable. I like using concealer first on the areas I need coverage and then topping up with a light coverage of Face and Body to even out the rest of my skintone. I’ll add another layer if needed once the first has set. You’ll barely notice that you’re wearing foundation as it’s so lightweight.

Typically I will get 6 hours wear out of this before it starts to fade. It’ll last longer with a bit of powder/setting spray. C1 can at times look a little too orange for my pale skintone, but after blending, blending and more blending it works well for me. The finish is mostly matte, but with a hint of a glow. No glitter, no shimmer, just enough dewy goodness to keep it from looking flat.

This foundation is quite runny, and that can make it difficult to work with. If I was a really sheer coverage, applying it with my fingers will do it justice. I tend to find your typical flat fouantion brush leaves me with streaks, so a rounded brush, or a stippling brush. My favourite is the MAC Duo Fibre Face Brush (187), simply swirling and patting the product onto my face until it’s blended.

It’s by far my favourite, most loved foundation. I don’t use it very often, mostly in the Summer, but everytime I do use it I’m reminded of how brilliant it is.