At this point, it goes without saying that I have an intense obsession with the elf Cosmetics Bite Size Palettes. In fact, I love these bad boys so much that I even took the time to rank them. As an elf cosmetics lover with a firm believe that price does not dictate quality, I jumped out of my chair when I saw photos of the elf Cosmetics Glow, Gleam, and Beam Highlighter Palette.
Although the palette puts out high-end vibes, I knew I needed to see whether this 6-pan highlighter palette is an underrated gem or glittery mess. Keep reading for my honest thoughts on this ultra-affordable highlighter palette.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links (*). If you purchase by clicking on my links, I may be compensated at no additional cost to you.
A Little About the Brand
elf’s mission is to provide affordable, Cruelty-Free and Vegan beauty that will be everyday game-changers. Moreover, the brand wants to empower makeup lovers to be extra without paying extra.
elf Cosmetics Glow, Gleam, and Beam Highlighter Palette Claims
Here’s what elf says about the Glow, Gleam, and Beam Highlighter Palette:
Our Glow Gleam Beam Highlighter Palette has three different highlighter finishes, from soft glow to beaming! Transform your day glow to an intense night look all in one palette.
The palette comes in two variations – Light and Dark. However, I wish that elf created at least one more palette in the range. The dark palette may not be deep enough for deep skin-tones.
Packaging & Price
Am I the only one getting Natasha Denona vibes from the elf Glow, Gleam, and Beam Highlighter Palette?? After seeing the promo shots of this palette on Instagram, I immediately thought of the 6-pan Natasha Denona Highlighter Palettes.
Packaging-wise, this palette comes in minimalistic, clear plastic packaging. Like most elf products, buyers aren’t paying for fancy packaging. Instead, they’re receiving affordable Cruelty-Free and Vegan makeup that still wows.
This palette retails for $9.99. However, the price may vary from retailer to retailer and is frequently on sale.
Is elf Cruelty Free & Vegan?
Yes! elf Cosmetics is 100% Cruelty-Free and Vegan.
Due to the demonization of ingredients in the beauty community, I include a recap of the top 5-10 ingredients listed in the products I review. However, palettes, like this one from elf, are trickier to analyze due to the formula variation between finishes and colors.
Below recaps 5 of the top ingredients or most common used amongst the majority of the highlighters in the elf highlighter palette.
In makeup, this ingredient is a common stabilizer that increases the efficacy of preservatives.
Overall, I’m not surprised by the ingredient list for this palette. Mica, Dimethicone and Silica are commonly used ingredients within powder products. Additionally, phenoxyethanol remains a commonly used preservative deemed safe by the FDA.
elf Cosmetics Glow, Gleam, and Beam Highlighter Palette Swatches
As always, swatches are not a perfect indicator of quality. However, swatches may provide clues about color payoff and ability to blend. The below swatches were done using my fingers on a bare arm. No primer.
There are 3 finishes within both of the 6-pan highlighter palettes from elf: Glitter, Shimmer, and Metallic.
Glitter: Shade 1 (top left shade)
Shimmer: Shade 2, Shade 3
Metallic: Shade 4, Shade 5 & Shade 6 (bottom row)
Taking the above into consideration, the swatches leave something to be desired. While the palette shows clear high end inspiration, the swatches live up to the price point. In other words, the swatches looked like $2.00 highlighters. More specifically, the formula of the highlighters felt quite dry and stiff.
Moreover, aside from the glitter formula, the shimmer and metallic highlighter formulas do not look wildly different from one another. In fact, the metallics look quite soft rather than impactful.
Finally, the swatches lack range. In other words, for a 6-pan palette, there isn’t a lot of versatility. As a result, this palette is likely going to be too icy on anyone with medium skin-tones. Also, this confirmed my belief that two highlighter palettes are not enough.
Application & Wear-Time
The shimmer and metallic shadows apply best with fluffy highlighter and fan brushes. As the names would suggest, the shimmer highlights provide a much more natural glow. In contrast, the metallics look blinding.
However, the glitter shade is the most unique highlighter in the palette. Unlike the shimmer and metallic formulas, this particular highlighter is best applied using your finger to tap the product onto the skin. In many ways, the glitter highlighter reminds me of Natasha Denona’s glittery highlighter formula or the Fenty Diamond Bomb formula.
My first application of these highlighters shocked me, but in the best way. Although the swatches looked dull – these highlighters look so effortlessly beautiful on the face.
As an oily-skinned girl, I typically only highlight my cheek bone. When applying these elf highlighters, I didn’t notice any enhanced texture nor did I feel like the formula made my skin look “greasy.” The shimmer shades provided the most beautiful lit from within glow.
Final Thoughts on the Glow, Gleam, and Beam Highlighter Palette
When I first swatched these highlighters, I felt “meh” about the elf Glow, Gleam, and Beam Highlighter Palette. However, the highlighters blew me away once I applied them on my face.This is a prime example of how swatches fail to tell the full story of a product.
Overall, the highlighters provided a beautiful glow that can be easily built up to a blinding highlight or a lit from within glow. This palette definitely hits above its weight class.
In conclusion, I recommend the elf Glow, Gleam, and Beam Highlighter palettefor anyone with a small budget and small makeup collection.