E.L.F. Illuminating Face Primer

E.L.F. Illuminating Face Primer

Hello everyone! I’m reviewing this product today, which if I remember correctly is only the second E.L.F product I ever tried. I know, you’re all gasping in shock (especially since an E.L.F. store in NYC was about three doors down from the subway station near my classes), but I’ve always been hesitant about trying some of the cheapest drugstore brands out there. I figured I’d go for a primer, as I currently only have one (Revlon’s Photoready Perfecting Primer) and E.L.F. seems to be known for their primers.

The price: $6.00. I got this at Target as part of a haul a few weeks ago.

The packaging: It comes in a box that I threw out like two days after I got this, so I don’t remember much about it other than it was black. Said box has all the ingredients, etc. on it, so there”s not as much on the bottle itself. The bottle is a frosted plastic so you can see the color without the texture, with a plastic in a chrome finish above that. The frosted plastic is kind of thick, which means that the bottle doesn’t hold much (0.47 fl oz). My Revlon primer holds 0.91 fl oz and cost around $9-10, if I remember correctly, meaning that this E.L.F. primer is more expensive per fluid ounce. I like Revlon’s packaging more, including its use of an actual glass bottle.

Swatch. I rubbed some of this primer into my hand, and you can see the shimmery gold hue.
Swatch. I rubbed some of this primer into my hand, and you can kind of see the shimmery gold hue. It’s more noticeable in person, especially because even the tiniest movement changes the highlight.

The product: is practically a gold-hued liquid illuminator. When I first put it on, it looked like I tried strobing my entire face. It also dug its way into my fingerprints, leaving them kind of discolored. As I waited a few minutes for it to settle, I was wondering how in the world it was going to shine through my foundation, powder, and blush.

Turns out, it’s a faint glow, not as much as with an illumator/highlighter used above the foundation, but enough to let you know it’s there. My biggest concern is actually covering all of it with foundation, as I’ll just get a very intense bit of shimmer highlight in an odd spot, like along my hairline on my forehead. It almost makes me want to use it solely in the areas that you’d expect to be illuminated, and maybe use a different primer somewhere else. I do almost want to try using it as an illuminator over my foundation. It seemed to fade over the course of the day.


If this photo looks familiar, that’s because I also used it in my Birchbox post. This primer was the only illuminator I used that day.

The verdict: I like the idea of this, as I don’t always want to have to get out my highlighter when I already am going to use a face primer, though the fact that it’s in other areas than I’d put a highlighter is a little odd. Making sure all of it is covered as well is a little annoying – some days I only use foundation in the areas I need it (under the eyes and around the nose, with the chin and forehead as needed to cover acne) and this is not the kind of primer I’d use for that.

I didn’t mind the price of this compared to the Revlon primer, as this seems to be more unique and can save me a step in my makeup routine. I’m definitely going to check out more E.L.F. products, but I’m not sure if I’ll go for more primers. I do remember from picking this one out in the store that E.L.F. offered a couple others that seemed a little unusual. I’d love to try some of their brushes.

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