Two things I never expected…
- The Jess/Jason storyline in True Blood (Wait — what!? More on that in a few)
- How I’d feel about E.L.F. Studio’s $3 Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder
E.L.F.’s bargain basement beauty comes up often in conversations about the fabulous $40 NARS Highlighting Bronzing Blush Duo in Orgasm/Laguna, a makeup masterpiece, if you ask me, and one of my favorite pieces of all time, because it’s seen by many as a major money-saving dupe.
What’s so special about the Orgasm/Laguna Duo, you might ask? Well, that depends. If you ask my cheeks, they’d say they love the way it brightens them up. I use the Laguna bronzer to contour my cheeks with a rich golden brown and the Orgasm blush to give the apples of my cheeks a golden, peachy pink flush.
I love the duo so much that I haven’t taken a trip without it in at least three years.
But at $40, it’s far from cheap, which leaves the door wide open for a drugstore dupe.
The question is, does this E.L.F. deliver? From outward appearances, it sure looks like it does…
E.L.F. Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder
E.L.F. on the left; NARS on the right
E.L.F. Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder (two swatches on the left); NARS Orgasm/Laguna Duo (two swatches on the right)
E.L.F. Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder on cheeks
They could be first cousins judging by the way they look in their pans, but on the skin they’re little more than kissing cousins twice removed.
I think the biggest difference has to do with shimmer, in so much as the very fine golden shimmer in the NARS duo’s blush and bronzer make its colors appear complex and lively in the light, which they hunger for when they’re worn on cheeks.
The E.L.F. shades also shimmer, but I don’t think it’s nearly as bright or as much, and because of that I think they appear flatter and less dynamic on my skin.
The blush looks lighter and less pigmented than its NARS counterpart does to me, really more pink than peach, and I really have to apply a lot to coax the color out. The bronzer, on the other hand, looks about three shades darker than NARS Laguna does, making it more of a basic brown than a golden one — muddier, and not nearly as flattering. I also find myself spending much more time blending out the edges with both of the E.L.F. shades (the powders feel a little grainier than the NARS ones do)
I’m always down for a drugstore deal, and while I don’t think it’s a bad product (GREAT price, and it stays put all day), I don’t think it’s that great, either.
AVAILABILITY: Available now at Target stores, other drugstores and also online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: C+/B-
ZOMG! True Blood!
A’ight, just STOP READING RIGHT HERE if you’re not caught up on the show, but if you are…
HOLY CRAP! I stayed up way past my bedtime last night watching the new True Blood (and Drop Dead Diva, which was blogtastic, wasn’t it?), and all I have to say is thank you, HBO, for giving the people what they want! — specifically, Vampire Eric and Sookie finally getting on their boom-chicka-wah-wah.
What did you think when it actually happened? Relief? Dread? The writers had been building up to it for so long, but they finally pulled the trigger.
Oh, Alexander Skarsgard, aka Vampire Eric, is slated to be a guest on Regis And Kelly tomorrow morning… I wonder if they’ll ask him to take off his shirt.
I mean, they should.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,