Cultural: News, Travel & Trendsetters

Charlotte Tilbury flawless filter vs e.l.f halo glow: Is a £14 lit-from-within look too good to be true?


Charlotte Tilbury’s flawless filter is one of the celebrity make-up artist’s hero products, with one bottle selling every two minutes. A multipurpose glow-giver, it creates the illusion of coverage by blurring out textural imperfections and bouncing light off the skin, giving a more even-looking complexion – sort of like a soft-focus filter in real life, hence the name. Nothing makes us feel more confident going foundation-free.

Depending on the look you’re going for, it can be used as a primer, mixed in with your foundation, dabbed on the high points of the face as a highlighter or worn alone for those minimal make-up days.

If you’re using it as a primer below foundation, particularly if you have oily skin, you might benefit from using a mattifying primer beneath it; it doesn’t do much to help make-up stay put.

Flawless filter gives skin that lit-from-within radiance without a hint of sparkle, and is so popular the brand struggles to keep it in stock. The only downside is that it costs £36. So when American beauty brand E.l.f., known for its quality but affordable products, launched its halo glow liquid filter and the beauty press hailed it as “the perfect dupe for flawless filter”, we knew we had to try it.

Halo glow not only claims to do exactly the same as the Charlotte Tilbury, in remarkably similar packaging, but costs £14. We put the two head to head in testing to see if this bargain is too good to be true.

How we tested

We tried both products with the same skincare and make-up routine – liquid foundation and cream bronzer, blush and highlight – to make sure they were given an equal chance, and wore them alone and under foundation. While testing, we were looking at packaging, application experience, skincare benefits and finish.

  • Best: Flawless glow
  • Rating: 9/10
  • Size: 30ml
  • Shades: 12

Flawless filter has the make-up-artist brand’s trademark dressing-table glamour, with its glass bottle and rose gold, ridged cap. It has a doe foot applicator, which is the only thing that stops us applying ten times too much, and so probably saves us a lot of money. The downside is that the combination of glass bottle and applicator means it’s impossible to get the last bit of product out of the bottle.

The formula is thin but not runny, and it blends smoothly and lightly across skin. It dries down quickly leaving no tackiness and creating a satin-y base for make-up, or, if worn alone, mattifies greasiness and adds an all-round, even glow. It contains polymers and very fine powder that smooths over textural imperfections such as scarring and fine lines. It’s not pigmented enough for us to describe it as having coverage, but its blurring, light-reflecting properties make skin tone look more even.

Read more: How does Charlotte Tilbury’s £36 Hollywood flawless filter compare to Collection’s £6.99 dupe?

In terms of skincare ingredients, this is more about faking a healthy glow than creating it for real, but it does contain moisturising glycerine and squalene, plus hoya lacunosa flower, which is supposed to increase radiance. Most importantly, it’s neither drying nor greasy, meaning it will suit all skin types and not worsen the appearance of any skin issues.

It comes in an impressive 12 shades, so there should be one to suit most – the problem will be getting your hands on your shade while it’s in stock.

Continue reading…

  • Best: For wearing under foundation
  • Rating: 8/10
  • Size: 31.5ml
  • Shades: 8

The packaging for this is incredibly similar to flawless filter, with the same cylindrical glass bottle and doe-foot applicator. The cap is light pink, the bottle slightly slimmer and taller and the doe foot about twice the size, but these differences are negligible. At a push, we’d say this looks less attractive on your dressing table – and it has the same issues as the flawless filter does in terms of getting every last drop out.

The formula feels very close too: halo glow is ever so slightly creamier with better slip, but the difference is barely noticeable. It has a little tackiness on the skin, but still works to blur out any oiliness and forms a nice smooth base for make-up. There aren’t any visible glitter particles, but its glow is definitely more spangly than Charlotte Tilburys’. It has more cut-through when worn under foundation as a result, but it’s a far less natural look on its own, so we wouldn’t wear it alone. Mix it into your tinted moisturiser for a “no-make-up” day instead.

Read more: E.l.f vs Elemis pro-collagen, which cleansing balm is best?

The ingredient offering is similar too, e.l.f. has squalene and hyaluronic acid for moisture, plus fine powders to fill and blur fine lines and other lumps and bumps. It doesn’t feel like wearing anything on the skin, and doesn’t dry skin out or settle into creases.

Lastly, the shade range is slightly more limited – eight – but the product’s sheerness makes it more forgiving than something more pigmented. If you’re torn between shades, the lighter of the two will give you a more dramatic glow, as does using a lighter concealer under your eyes.

Continue reading…

The verdict: Charlotte Tilbury flawless filter vs E.l.f halo glow liquid filter

For its luxe-looking packaging and more natural glow, we still prefer the Charlotte Tilbury flawless filter. But if you’ll always wear it as a primer under foundation, there’s no reason to spend more than twice the price on it. E.l.f’s halo glow is almost indistinguishable in terms of packaging, texture, feel and skin benefits; it’s a near flawless dupe.

Whether you’re after dewy or matte, read our review of the best foundations for every skin type

Voucher Codes

ASOS Discount Code

Save 15% on first orders when you sign up for an account – ASOS discount code


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy
where can i buy doxycycline over the counter buy doxycycline online