Thursday, June 5, 2014

ELF Shimmering Facial Whip Review

I've been on quite the liquid highlighter kick lately. Ever since I discovered MAC Strobe Cream (yes, yes, I know I talk about it far too much, but I promise I have a point to make here) I realized that liquid highlighters are really lovely and can be worn subtly, or, well, for a not-so-subtle glow. The thing is, can it be duped? More importantly, can it be duped cheaply? In my quest to answer these questions, I figured I'd try out ELF Shimmering Facial Whips.

Now, ELF is a pretty decent budget brand here in the U.S. - their products are sold at Walmart, Target and Walgreens (as far as I know). They also have a website,, where they have the entire product range, and also offer discounts on a very regular basis.  Being a budget brand means they are very hit and miss, but I will say some of their products are surprisingly good. I got these from the ELF website, where they go for a dollar.

These come in small plastic tubes with a nozzle at the end. They're sturdy, and will definitely travel well (although I'm not sure how well they'd hold up to a pressurized aircraft cabin). The cap fits well. The only issue I had with the packaging was that the nozzles for some of them weren't straight and were rather wonky, but that didn't affect how the product was dispensed, so aside from being aesthetically displeasing, it caused no other problems.

The shades I have are all the shades currently available from ELF. These are:
- Spotlight
- Golden Peach
- Lilac Petal
- Pink Lemonade
- Persimmon

Spotlight is a pure white shimmery highlight that can look frosty if applied even a tad too heavily. This is a great highlight for the truely pale. Medium and dark skins will want to use this very sparingly. I'd suggest you mix a wee bit of this with your foundation for the best results, because it can appear too harsh against deeper and warmer skins. If you're light and pink toned, this is something that will look great on you.

Golden Peach is the shade to go for if you're deep skinned and have warmer undertones. The peachy, bronziness of the shimmer brings out tanned skin amazingly well, and mixed into foundation, gives the most natural and lovely glow. While Spotlight, when mixed with foundation, produces a more dramatic result on warm tones, this is very natural. Fair skins and those with pink undertones have to use this sparingly, because it is quite pigmented. I'd go so far as to suggest that lighter skins (unless you have a tan) stay away from this shade, because it really works best when there's a bit of color in your skin.

Lilac Petal, contrary to its name, is neither a lilac shade nor a petal-pink shade. It's a shimmery beige-y, pink-y champagne color. This is what I'd call the 'universal' color in the range - it suits both light and dark skins, and warm and cool undertones. If you're very fair skinned, though, you might have a problem with this, because it is quite pigmented (unless sheered out quite a bit).

Pink Lemonade is a shimmery light pink that looks best on those with cool undertones (it looks more natural). Warmer tones can use this as a more dramatic highlight. Because it is quite pigmented, it would work best in tandem with pink or peachy pink blushes (preferably matte).

Persimmon is the most pigmented of the five. It is a bright, shimmery, blue-based pink. This is so pigmented I doubt it can be used as a highlighter by most people, save those with the deepest of skins. For the rest, it can be used as a blush. The best way to use this as a blush is to mix it with some of your regular moisturizer to sheer it out, then apply it under your foundation. This will allow for the 'flush' to be seen without letting too much of the shimmer coming through.

They are all extremely shimmery, to the point of being frosty and metallic. This means that they have to be 'diluted' before they are used, or they have to be used in the tiniest of amounts. A pinhead-sized drop will be enough for one cheekbone. If you're not careful, you'll look shiny - and I don't mean oily-shiny, but I'm-a-discount-disco-ball kind of shiny but really, I cannot emphasize enough how much this needs to be sheered out!

Wear time is great - 5 hours on bare skin, 6 hours over foundation. This is actually longer than most highlighters last on me, liquid or powder.

This does have a rather fruity scent that disappears quickly. It's fairly pleasant, but again that's a personal thing. If you're sensitive to fragrances, then you might want to test before use.

Overall, if you're new to the world of liquid highlighters, and you want a something inexpensive (and yet good!) to try out, this is a nice place to start. Yes, it does take some working with, and has a bit of a learning curve, but for the price, you can't beat it!

BGMM Rating: A-


  1. Now you're appealing to the glow lover in me, especially considering there are mighty affordable. Y U DO DIS?

  2. Hi Aditi.. these look insanely pigmented!

    1. Hi Eesha! Thanks for commenting :) Yes, they are quite pigmented!