Yesterday I wrote a review on the luxurious Clarins Contour and Highlighting Palette, and today I have a budget friendly option from ELF. I used to be a massive ELF fan when they used to have a UK website and I have written fourteen ELF reviews on my blog over the last four years so I was gutted when the news broke that they were closing their UK website. ELF relaunched within the UK in early 2016 however their relaunch was very low key and not many people even know that they now have a UK website again, although it’s important to note that although they have a UK website, the products are shipped from the US to the UK as opposed to UK to UK so you could possibly receive customs fees when placing your order. I was kindly sent a selection of ELF products as they invited me to be a member of the #elfbeautysquad and one of those items was the ELF Studio Illuminating Palette £7.50 which is one of ELF’s newest releases.
The ELF Studio Illuminating Palette is packaged within a black, matte plastic square palette with a generously sized mirror within the lid and four large square pans of powder highlighters. The shades within the palette cannot be popped out and interchanged but I have seen photos online of palettes which do have removable pans so I don’t know if they’ve changed the packaging or if this is older packaging but my pans definitely cannot be removed as they’re glued in.
ELF describe the palette as containing four complementary shades to mix and match for a custom blended radiance that captures, diffuses, and softens the way light reflects on the skin and is perfect for all skin tones. ELF claim that the powders contain vitamin E and argan oil to help nourish and hydrate the skin but I’ve not noticed any skincare benefits since using the powders so I’m not entirely sure but the oil content definitely makes the powders very soft.
The shades within the ELF Studio Illuminating Palette are very soft and sheer and impart a subtle, natural glow to the skin. I expected the shades to be quite intense but they’re a lot softer and more flattering on the skin and I’ve seen people make comparisons that the palette offers a similar illuminating effect as the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette but I don’t have the Hourglass Palette so I can’t comment on that but the powders are definitely subtle like the Hourglass powders.
The four powders are very soft and they do have the tendency to crumble a little so a very light hand is necessary, and the softest shade is shade 4 which is very powdery and crumbly. Even though the powders are very soft, they’re best applied with a fluffy brush or a fan brush which minimises the crumbling.
Shade 1 within the ELF Studio Illuminating Palette is a light champagne colour, shade 2 is a pale peach shade, shade 3 is a slightly deeper peach than shade 2 and shade four is a tan shade. The shades are all quite warm in tone but they all work well with my pale skin as the shades are so soft and minimal; even the darkest shade which doesn’t apply to the skin as intense as it does in the swatch above.
I really like the finish of these powders as they don’t contain any shimmer whatsoever which I hope you can see in the swatches above, it’s just a pretty satin sheen with the second and third shade being my favourites within the palette. If you love an intense high-sheen glow, this palette might not be for you as the effects are very subtle but I think it’s a great palette to own especially as it’s only £7.50 which makes each shade just £1.87 each.
I’d love to know your thoughts on the ELF Studio Illuminating Palette?