ELF High Definition (HD) Powder – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 4 - 2009

I had the opportunity to have a play with some of the new E.L.F Studio Products which should be available to buy on the website from next week – apparently the container arrives in Southampton at the end of this week.  Southampton you say?  Where’s my band of dandy highway makeup fanatics… huge makeup party at Dock Gate 4 then back to mine for a cup of tea?

No? Oh ok then.

After seeing some of the new products, I have to say… E.L.F are getting all innovative on us (but thankfully, not in a vibrating roll-on type way)

Amongst the new goodies, this one in particular stood out to me.


High Definition Powder… oooooooooooooooooh!  I’m going to look all pore-less and fuzzy round the edges.

Or am I?

Let’s have a look then…


So, we’re basically looking at a mix of dimethicones (silicones like you’d find in primers) and silica.  There’s been some controversy surrounding Silica and it’s use in cosmetics… but after a little google I found this article by The Beauty Brains (love them!).

So, it seems that cosmetic grade Silica is not something we should be too wary of using… although some people do have skin reactions to it, so as always… discontinue immediately if you get any kind of irritations.


I’ve been very impressed with the packaging in the Studio line, it’s solid… well made and does a good job at not showing you up in public.  This is no exception, the box is a chunky, solid screw top affair… nicely minimalistic – all in black with simple white text.


See? Still looking rather sleek isn’t it?  Not bad considering it’s retailing at £6 on the website.  It comes with a powder puff type applicator.  I usually throw these away in favour of using my fluffy powder brush, but the HD powder is *very* finely milled and this applicator manages to contain the flying silica dust really well.  I recommend you give it a go before deciding whether or not you’d rather use a brush.


There’s a nice deep reservoir to contain the powder and the sifter sits securely in the pot.  Overall, I’m pleased with the packaging design… I’m not sure how it would stand up to being dropped, I *think* you might be hoovering for a week… but really, that’s your fault for dropping it in the first place isn’t it.


A quick flip upside downside dispenses a nice, even amount of powder onto the puff.  I’m really liking this puff.. it’s soft, fluffy and bouncy.  The little ribbon/tab thing that you hook your fingers under isn’t annoying tight either so it’s easy to grip onto.



The powder itself is white and very fine…. when rubbed between my fingers I can feel the slippery smoothness of the silica.  If you open the pot to have a look… do be careful not to pick that exact moment in which to sneeze.  Luckily I turned my head just in time and only created a minor dust storm.

On to application…

I applied this powder over the top of my finished makeup… that’s after concealer, foundation and blush.  To apply, I placed the puff in the reservoir and inverted the pot which dispensed a thin even coat of powder onto the puff.  Bringing the puff up to my face I patted the powder over my t-zone.  I pat all loose finishing powders on, never swiping, stroking or buffing.  This stuff is *so* fine that it’s not going to leave big floury patches all over your face that need buffing in.

I noticed that it immediately absorbed any shininess without looking cakey.

To be honest, that was all I noticed…

I was disappointed, I’m not sure what I was expecting… but I wanted to see a little more than just a really good shine absorber.  To be fair to the powder, it was invisible… no ashiness on my very fair skin-tone and a lovely even, matte finish which felt silky to the touch.

It was only when I took some pictures for the review and uploaded them that I became a little more excited.


Please excuse the blotchy nose, I think I’m developing a little rosacea there :(  Hopefully it’s just the change in the seasons rather than something more permanent.

Anyway, I digress… as you can see, it’s left the nice, even and matte finish I described.  Nice, but no great shakes… until I zoomed in…


Wait, wait, wait… where have my pores gone?

Let me compare this to the image you thought you’d never have to look at again… sorry… but I have to…


Can you see the difference?  It’s so hard as a reviewer to explain exactly what I’m seeing… I mean, after 28 years… I *know* my face… I know where I picked a spot age 17 and left a slightly bigger crater, I can pinpoint exactly where that pesky enlarged pore on my cheek is or how deep that fine line is just below my 45th eyelash from the left ;)

What I’m trying to say (in my usual bumbling way) is this HD powder genuinely seems to be achieving something that is pleasing to my eye.  It’s not erasing my pores by any stretch of the imagination but it’s ‘softening’ them.  I think that’s the best way I can describe it.

Maybe all you want to know is… will I be buying this when it runs out?  Yes, yes and yes again.  For me, it works not only as a great finishing powder… but I’m seeing a marked “soft focus” difference in my images.  Basically, it’s doing for me what it’s supposed to do.  It’s living up to the hype of MUFE’s HD Powder at a considerably lower cost to my purse.

Do I notice a huge difference when I look in the mirror?  I’m not sure I do.  But I’ve looked at a few of my older images zoomed in, and I can see it when I compare.  I don’t know what that means… is it only visible in photographs?  That’s just weird and not hugely useful… Maybe it’s a subtle overall soft focus effect and I’m analysing it too closely when I’m looking in the mirror searching out the flaws.  Perhaps I’m able to detach myself a little when I look at a photograph instead.  I don’t know… I’m getting all psychoanalytical now, so I’m just gonna shut up.

Will it work for you? Who knows.. I’ve tried a few soft focus mineral finishing powders (from MMU companies) that have been raved about and I’ve struggled to notice any discernible differences and I really wasn’t expecting to be so pleasantly surprised by this one.

Apologies for my hugely wordy rambling review, but I guess you can tell.  I’m excited by this one.  If you buy it, please let me know how you get on with it.  I hope it works for you.

E.L.F’s HD Powder is available now from the E.L.F website.  If you can wait a couple of weeks, they usually release promo codes on their twitter or facebook page so you can often take advantage of free shipping.

36 Responses to “ELF High Definition (HD) Powder – Review”

  1. Sarah Smith says:

    I definitely want to get one now, great review x

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  2. I have had my eyes on this one since I spotted it on the website, so fingers crossed i’ll be doing a review on it shortly.

    Also just wanted to add that your reviews are always really fab, I love reading them. They’re so thorough and detailed with great pictures. Great work :)

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  3. Jo says:

    Fantastic review chick. Ive been looking at this since it first came available but thought I’d wait till someone did a review and how lucky am I… one of my fave bloggers did the review! Think Ill order it now along with some other stuff when the new line comes out.


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  4. I also sneezed at got it everywhere, it’s going to happen to us all at some point!!

    Drunken people make very bad witnesses to how you looked on an evening out but photographs on Facebook never lie! So at least the real evidence which can be produced later will be good!

    Glad you love it!

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  5. tackyblueeyeshadow says:

    Thanks for the great review! I’ve been wondering what this powder would be like and now I know. I think I’ll be getting one no doubt! :) x

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Leanne says:

    I think I may have to take the plunge and order my first ELF product now then!
    That blotchiness on your nose is Rosacea? I’ve never really known was rosacea is, but that’s what my nose always looks like ‘cept worse – can you do me a favour and go back a few posts on my blog to the Maybelline mineral concealer review and tell me if that’s what I have? *Massive sad face*

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  7. Connie says:

    a very well-written review! I enjoyed reading every bit of it. you have very beautiful skin to begin with :) you’ve certainly got me excited over this product! I’ll see if I can order one of this too :D Thank you!

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  8. Natalya says:

    Thank you for a fantastic review hun!! You add so much detail and explain things so well! I can’t wait to try this powder out :) xxx

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  9. Lu says:

    I’ve been thinking about getting this so it’s been good to see a review of it, thanks I think it looks good! :) x

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  10. ndoodles says:

    That’s really exciting to hear! I usually do some ELF shopping around Xmas so… def. putting that in my shopping cart :D

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  11. Rhamnousia says:

    I think I saw this on their website but it was probably something else.

    If it hides pores and is only £6 and actually works I’m buying it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Joy says:

    Excellent review! I’ve been considering this and you’ve sold me.

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  13. I’ve never been a powder fan but you’ve got me interested… anything that can minimise or soften pores is a winner in my book!

    Hop on over to my blog – I’ve gave you an award and a tag – I want to see your purple!x

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  14. Grace London says:

    Very very tempted by this.

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  15. Kim says:

    Fab review :) I’ve been hunting for a decent powder that is actually translucent, so thanks for bringing this to my attention. And £6?! Bargain! I shall definitely be getting this :)

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  16. @Sarah Smith – Thanks!

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  17. @BeautyJunkieLondon – Hope it works for you too, I love your reviews so I’ll definitely be keepping an eye out! You’re too kind btw, but thank you xx

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. @Jo – Awww.. thank you! x I really recommend it.

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  19. @OxfordJasmine – hahah, serves us right for being nosey and opening it up like that!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. @Leanne – I would have thought you’re a bit young for it, usually peaks after the age of 30. I don’t get the bumps… mine’s more because the blood vessels on my nose are dilated. It’s more pronounced when the seasons change for me… Rosacea seems to be an all-encompassing term for redness. Have you had a google?

    It’s hard to tell.. but honestly, your skin just looks like it’s a bit irritated in that photo. It’s like an overall reddening of the area? Mine is the blood vessels being all pronounced.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. @Connie – Thank You xx I hope you like it!

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  22. @Natalya – Thank you lovely, I’m really surprised by how good I found it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. @Lu – Yay, glad I could help x

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. @Ndoodles – Ooh, let me know how you get on with it!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. @Rhamnousia – It is on the website, so it could easily have been this! x

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. @Joy – Thank you, I do hope you like it too :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. @LionLovingTiger – I’m not a powder fan either, too cakey.. but this stuff is very light. I’m gonna flash some purple soooooon! And thank you for the lovely award xx

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. @GraceLondon – Buy buy buy!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. @Kim – Thank you, If you’re pale it should be totally translucent.. I can’t talk for darker skintones though.. it may look a little ashy? I’ll be interested to hear from other reviews how that works out! Glad I could help! x

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. AmandaC says:

    I just ordered it I trained with MakeUp Forever and therefore I am very familiar with there HD Powder and I have used it regularly. It is an excellent product and does photograph perfectly when compared with other powders. I have run out and I have just ordered the ELF version to try it out. Oddly I got a list of Ingredients for both powders and most of the the contents are the same. I will be posting a comparison and review of both when I have tried the ELF version. Having read your excellent review I am very excited about my purchase and cannot wait to try it out. thanks for posting this review and for sharing your close ups with us. An Excellent review 5 STars from me

    amanda C

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. […] I found out about this from OxfordJasmine’s video, and then saw this awesome review from Lipglossping, which does a better job of explaining this awesome product than I can. But from using it last […]

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  32. Miia says:

    hey , great review ! :D

    Does it mattify the skin for very long time ?

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  33. Marie says:

    Hey thank you for the complete details. Now I have just ordered 3 for myself and sisters after reading your review =)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. Kat says:

    Amazing review! If only everyone was so thorough and detailed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. Lumi says:

    Great review. Enjoyed reading it. And I want to try this product now! ^^


    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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