I was just about to write about some new e.l.f goodies I just received in the post, but ended up writing a long review for the ELF High Definition Powder instead... which really deserved to be in its own post... so here it is...
I'm going to start off talking about the ELF High Definition (HD) Powder which I got a couple of weeks ago... because it's a really great product but if you haven't actually got the product in front of you, it's difficult to know what it does and what it feels like.
This High Definition powder isn't like your standard talc-based powders which leave the skin chalky and "mature"-looking. It's made up of only two ingredients (Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica). "Dimethicone" is a type of silicone, which is also used in face primers to make the skin look and feel smooth. The "silica" in the powder is an absorbent mineral which will stop you looking shiny and keep your make-up looking fresh for longer.
The powder is completely white, fine-textured and feels really nice and silky. It comes in a nice pot, with a good quality powder puff (which also helpfully blocks the holes when the lid is on so that the powder doesn't spill out).
When you apply the powder to the skin, the whiteness completely disappears and the powder almost melts into your skin to the point that you can't see it at all. But you'll notice the difference immediately - it really evens out the texture of the skin, mattifies it, and leaves your skin feeling soft and silky.
I just apply the powder using a puff (I hold the puff in place over the holes while turning the pot upside down). I know some people like to use a brush but I just can't see how I can tip the powder out in the pot without it going absolutely everywhere.
The original reason why I wanted to try the powder is because I wanted to make my life easier. For everyday, I usually use Bare Escentuals Prime Time (a liquid primer) and then Laura Mercier Mineral Finishing Powder. The two together give me oil control, smoothing and very slight coverage. But those two products are on the expensive side and it's kinda a waste of time and money to use them even when I'm just at home. So I thought the e.l.f. High Definition powder might let me skip a step and save some pennies at the same time.
I've tried every possible permutation of e.l.f. HD Powder, Prime Time and mineral finishing powder combos... I've tried using the HD powder as a finisher over my normal make-up (not bad, but kinda defeated the purpose of me buying it to save time!). I've tried using it over Prime Time (kinda felt like the two products were doing the same job and there's zero coverage from the e.l.f. powder, so a pointless combination).
I've now decided the best application of the e.l.f. HD powder for me is as a primer (i.e. in place of where I'd normally use Prime Time). That way, I get oil-control and smoothing. Plus mineral make-up glides on really smoothly over the top of the HD powder. On its own, the HD powder doesn't really do anything for coverage or evening out skin tone, but now I'm just being pernickety!
I wouldn't recommend using any liquid products over the top of the e.l.f. HD powder because the silica already on the skin will absorb moisture in the liquid make-up before you get a chance to apply it properly... meaning that you'll get dry, streaky patches rather than smooth, radiant skin. If you normally use liquid foundation, blush, highlighters etc, then I recommend you only use the e.l.f. HD powder as a finisher right at the end. Just dab a tiny amount on with the puff, or dust a little on with a big face brush.
So does the HD powder make you look better in pictures? Yep it certainly does. The layer of silicone on top of the skin completely smoothes over any not-so-smooth bits, meaning that light bounces off more evenly and makes your skin look great in photos. You know when you see a close-up photo of yourself and reel back when you see big white shine patches on your face and visible pores? This powder will stop that. It's airbrushing in a pot. It also lasts all day and is completely colourless so will work on all skin tones.
The only downside is that the HD powder can be quite drying and leaves the skin feeling tight if it's not well moisturised or if you're in a dry climate, but the feeling does pass after a while.
Also, be careful when tipping the pot without the powder puff in place, because the fine powder really pours out of the holes! I made the mistake once and ended up with it all over my hands and room once I opened the pot again. Another tip is to not completely peel off the protective sticker. Cut off one half of the sticker and leave the other half stuck down. Otherwise you'll always get too much powder coming out.
See the e.l.f. High Definition Powder U.S. product page for more reviews and to buy for $6.. or if you're looking to buy it in the UK (£6), see the e.l.f. UK product page which doesn't have reviews for some reason.
Ok, I hope my post has helped anyone who was unsure whether to try the product or not. It's well worth a try, especially at the price. It's a genuinely innovative product and nothing like anything you might have used before.