Even as a beauty editor, I’m still always intrigued by a steal. I mean, what’s better than a product that’s under $15 that can deliver the same results as one that’s over $40? In my opinion, not much. I first heard of the E.L.F. Halo Glow Liquid Filter late at night while scrolling on TikTok (as one does). Influencer Mikayla Nogueria quickly gave the product her stamp of approval and immediately compared it to the viral Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter, saying that both products give her a glowy, blurring effect — but Halo Glow retails for more than half the price of Flawless Filter.

Now, in my line of work, I will never compare to brands that are so special in their own respective ways. After all, Charlotte Tilbury is a mid-tier brand while E.L.F. is a drugstore brand. That said, my beauty bones were tingling and I still had to try out Halo Glow to see if it was worth all the hype it has been getting. 

Courtesy of brand

Let’s start with the logistics of the product. The E.L.F. Halo Glow Liquid Filter comes in eight shades, but let’s get one thing straight — this is not a foundation. The brand calls this launch a complexion booster, meaning you can wear it under foundation to reveal a more radiant finish, alone, to give the skin a healthy, natural glow (for a your-skin-but-better finish), or on the high points of your face as a subtle highlighter

Halo Glow is also considered a skin care-makeup hybrid, so while it’s not going to give you a full-coverage complexion, it’s going to lend you a soft blur of radiance. It’s packed with skin-nourishing ingredients, too, like moisturizing squalane and hydrating hyaluronic acid, so your skin is plump and quenched throughout the day. For those blurring effects, you can thank the finely milled powders in the bottle that, according to cosmetic chemist Ginger King will blur and smooth pores, leaving you with a soft complexion. 

Time for the trial. I chose the shade Medium 5 for my skin, a tan hue that is perfect for my summer complexion. Similar to its competitor, Halo Glow features a thick doe-foot applicator for easy, mess-free application. To make it fair game, I skipped primer the first time I tried this product and just had some sunscreen on. I applied five dots of the formula to my skin: on my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin, and blended it all in with a makeup sponge. I’ll be honest: I had every intention to apply foundation over it because I was worried the shimmers would be too much for my liking but y’all, it was everything and more. 

I topped it off with some bronzer (my current favorite is the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Cream Bronzer) to add some warmth and some Nars Liquid Blush in Orgasm for some added color.  As you can imagine, I skipped highlighter because the glow this product gave was out of this world — not in the “blinding” sense, but more of a dewy finish that made me look super hydrated and plump. 

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