e.l.f. Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder
Whenever I’m on the e.l.f. website looking around, I feel like I’m splurging when I purchase the $3 studio products. $3 a splurge? It is when a majority of their products cost $1. Admittedly, I now cringe a little when I purchase the Counter Couture products (but just a bit, and only for a moment… and that feeling completely disappears when they arrive in the mail). Anyway, let’s talk about this “splurge”: the e.l.f. Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder.
When I placed it in my shopping cart, I thought it would be a good alternative to the rather pricey contouring and highlighting duo offered by another three lettered Beauty on a Budget brand I have been quite fond of lately, but really didn’t examine the product too thoroughly. Which explains my confusion when it arrived.
When I contour a face, I either use a contouring powder or a bronzer, and e.l.f. paired what they call a “contouring blush” with a bronzer. It was their mistake to begin with, then my mistake for not looking at it carefully. If they did their homework, they would know that the best way to contour a face is with flat or matte shades. Both the blush and bronzer in this palette have ample amounts of shimmer in them, making their contouring abilities irrelevant. If you were to contour with a shimmered product, the subtle effects would not be so subtle and your secret would be leaked to the world.
If you are a little lost and don’t know what contouring means, allow me to take a step back. Contouring and highlighting are ways to sculpt a face with makeup. With makeup artistry, what you can do with a face really is an art of illusions. So when contouring, you are creating shadows with deep colors in order to create an illusion of receding and when highlighting, you are bringing more light to an area of a face with lighter colors, making it appear larger or more protrudent.
So now you understand my concerns with the name of this product. But… what’s in a name? Let’s see what’s on the inside and whether it was worth the purchase, regardless of what its makers had intended for its use.
The packaging is a chic matte black case, which includes a mirror (always a nice touch, especially in this size where you can actually see your face in it). The combo is neatly packed away and both come in generous sizes, again a nice thing to see. What wasn’t quite so nice to see was the amount of shimmer, but I already mentioned that so won’t pick on e.l.f. too much.
Finally, the product itself. I tried the blush first, which is a deep dusty rose, and when I put my blush brush to the product to pick some up there was so much fallout I didn’t know if I would have any left to pick up with my brush! Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration (or more than slight) but there was much more than I would have liked to see. And when I applied it to my face… nothing! Well, maybe not nothing– I did see plenty of shimmer floating around in front of my face if you’d like to count that. The color that was in the pan was a deep medium pink, and what showed up on my medium-toned skin was definitely not. How in the world would I be able to contour with a shade that is lighter than my skin?
If I were to contour, it would be with the bronzer (although not this shimmery one, but again, I’ll lay off that). The fallout was the same, but I had an opposite experience with the amount of pigment. While the pink was lighter than what showed up in the pan, the bronze was much darker on my skin than I would have expected. Blending and staying power wasn’t the best on either shade, as you can imagine with the amount of fallout I saw.
While I could forgive if a product doesn’t do what it’s supposed to (so long as it does something right), I don’t think I’ll be able to look beyond the false name and fallout of this one. Sorry, e.l.f., this one didn’t make the cut.