Following on from my last post (a slack two weeks later...) I thought I’d review the ELF Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder duo, a very similar offering to the Nars duo at a snip of the price.
ELF Turks and Caicos Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder Duo £3.95 (link)
On the ELF website the colours look very similar to the bronzer and blusher duos that are on the Nars site. Points to ELF for providing a selection of shades and colours, unlike some cheaper make up brands.
I chose the shade Turks & Caicos, which has a peachy shimmery blush and a dark but warm bronzer (light hand needed as I later found out…!). Other shades available are St Lucia, which looks perfect for light skinned girls with natural blush and light bronzer, and Antigua, which is a bright pink blush for that pop of colour teamed with what looks like the same dark bronzer as Turks and Caicos. I am fully aware that most people have blogged that the St Lucia is the ‘dupeyest’ of them all, so perhaps if you’re looking for an exact colour match then go for that one. However as I though this would be too light for my skin tone and wasn’t looking to purchase a dupe.
On first glance in to your make up bag you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the Nars and the ELF in terms or packaging. Sturdy, black, plastic outer? Check. Nice big mirror? Check. Initial appearances are good!
The first contrast I noticed between the Nars duo and ELF duo is the texture. ELF is very quick to powder and crumble when swirling your brush, meaning that with constant use it probably won’t last that long. The Nars powders are more solid yet still give a good colour pay off. However for £3.95 I don’t think there’s much room for complaining!
The blush I was very surprised with. I usually like to have stronger orange/coral cheek colours as I personally think it makes me look a lot healthier. As you can see, this ELF blush doesn’t look like it would provide what I’m after, maybe a half hearted attempt but nothing more. However, after applying I was really happy with the result it gave me, almost an inner glow in a very natural colour with a hint of shimmer (highlighter could be used but wouldn't be missed!). Both Orgasm and Turks & Caicos have made me happy on the blusher front and both aren’t colours I’d necessarily reach for.
The bronzer. Oh the bronzer. I was really excited to try this after the blush. My ideal cheap duo finally here to make my life easier, could it be? Oh no.. no, no, no. Remember earlier when I mentioned ‘quick to crumble? You need an extremely light hand with this bronzer, as a little goes a verryyy long way as you can see from the swatches. It’s quite hard to buff in once you apply it too, so be super careful. Perhaps if you’re going for a severe contour look then this is for you, but when you’re running out the door to work you don’t ideally want two brown stripes under your cheek bones and some brown smears around your forehead! Nars Laguna that I’ve previously reviewed is a lot easier to get just right as it doesn’t go on to heavy, can be built up and can be easily buffed out
For £3.95 I don’t think can you really go wrong with this one, and despite my bronzer mishaps I am tempted to purchase in the other two colours to see if this differs. I now know that I need to be very light with the bronzer so maybe with more perseverance I’ll final conquer the application?! I’m always getting emails from ELF too about one promotion or another so a deal is definitely to be had especially if you’re adding this to an ELF shopping list! However, if you are looking to invest and cost isn’t an issue for you then I would definitely recommend going for the Nars duos as the quality is really good.
Are there any high brand ELF dupes that you’ve loved? I’d love to expand my collection!