Studio High Definition Powder

by e.l.f. Cosmetics   Studio
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This fragrance-free loose powder seems to be e.l.f.’s attempt at copying the success of Make Up For Ever’s HD line of powders. To that end, they offer a silicone-based, sheer powder with a weightlessly smooth texture that practically disappears on skin (seriously, you’ll wonder where it went!). Skin is left feeling amazingly smooth and looks a bit more refined, yet this does little to set makeup or absorb excess just makes skin look refined and helps minimize the appearance of pores. Depending on your preferences and reasons for using loose powder, this may be right up your alley or a big disappointment. It is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

The white shade (labeled “Clear”) goes on a bit white but not ghostly; Corrective Yellow is OK for light to medium skin tones and the Shimmer shade is best reserved for highlighting key areas rather than dusting all over the face, unless you want a very shiny face. All told, this is an intriguing option but not for everyone. Note: the component this comes in and the finely-milled nature of this powder means things will get messy. This isn’t a powder to tote around in your day bag.

Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica.

From a line of cosmetics whose claim to fame is its rock-bottom prices we weren't expecting much. With many of the makeup products selling for just $1, could there be any outstanding finds to rival the best options from drugstores and department stores? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Yet although that's good news, the entire picture isn't so rosy, and many of the products from e.l.f. (which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) are as basic as can be, while a few are resounding disappointments we wouldn't even give away.

e.l.f. was founded by Scott Vincent Borba—the same businessman responsible for the Borba "beauty waters" once sold at Sephora boutiques—and Joseph Shamah. The story goes that one day Borba was shopping in an unnamed "dollar store" (where everything sells for a dollar) and noticed women dressed in designer clothing and sporting designer handbags loading up their baskets with inexpensive nail polish, eye pencils, and lip balm. He took note of the products being sold in such stores and quickly decided he could offer products of even higher quality at the same competitive price. His idea paid off, as e.l.f. has enjoyed continued success and increased distribution online and in retail stores like Target.

As you might expect, not everything in the e.l.f. line is great. When you're offering almost every product for $1 (OK, there's plenty for $3 and $5, too), they're not going to be nearly as luxurious or innovative as the company proclaims (most of the ingredient lists couldn't be more basic and the packaging is sometimes slipshod). Many e.l.f. items have packaging that, while functional, can only be described as cheap. In terms of value, yes, almost everything is inexpensive, but in most cases the container sizes are much smaller than the norm. Still, if you're considering spending a few dollars on fun, occasional-use colors, size becomes much less of an issue.

This line can be found at select Target stores and some regional drugstores, but the best place to experience the collection is online (none of the stores provide testers). The cheaper elements are a given based on the price point e.l.f. has established, but overall you're likely to be impressed with what they developed for so little money, and you may just find some beauty bargains (especially makeup brushes) that raise the bar—at least to a height that's taller than your average elf!

For more information about e.l.f., call (800) 231-4732 or visit

Member Comments

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  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
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  1. Alyssa G
    Reviewed on Thursday, April 03, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • I have had this powder for a while and not many other products perform the way this does. It keeps me matte longer than other products (great for oily eyelids) and produces a soft focus finish. I don't carry it around with me because I don't carry around loose powders, but for the price it is definitely worth trying once to see if you've found a keeper! I know I have!

  2. Alyssa L
    Reviewed on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    Mostly great
    • If I was writing this review after I first bought this, I'd just rave about how it absorbs oil perfectly and leaves your skin looking perfect. However, I've had it for 6+ months, and I've begun to see some drawbacks. I've been carrying this in my purse to blot during the day, and the powder has begun turning into little white balls on my face that need to be brushed off. Also, when applied over mineral foundation it seems to accentuate dryness. Give it a shot, but don't expect miracles.

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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