elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Review & Pictures

elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Swatches & ReviewSometime last year, elf Cosmetics was having a huge 70% off sitewide sale, and I found it hard to resist ordering a bunch of things.

I was looking for a setting powder that would curb those mid-day oilies. (Sure, I keep blotting paper on hand, but it’s nice to put your makeup on and have it stay matte for longer on its own.)

Since I heard a lot of great things about the elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder, I gave it a go. How did it fare for me? Let me tell you!

(Believe it or not, this is my very first elf Cosmetics review on Swatch And Learn! I was really excited to try out a new-to-me brand. All the previous posts on this brand were done by my former blogging partner, Fiona.)

elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Pictures

elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Swatches & Review

elf Cosmetics High Definition Powder Swatches & Review

e.l.f. Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Swatch & Review

elf Cosmetics High Definition Studio Powder Swatch & Review

e.l.f. Cosmetics High Definition Studio Powder Review, Swatch & Pictures

elf Cosmetics Review & Swatches High Definition Studio Powder

elf Cosmetics High Definition Powder Studio Review & Swatches

elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Ingredients

elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Ingredients & Review

elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Swatches


Translucent loose powder
Creates a flawless, ‘soft focus’ effect
√ Masks imperfections for a glowing, radiant complexion
? Masks fine lines (I don’t think I have enough fine lines to properly test this claim.)

Key Notes

  • Name: elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder
  • Amount: 8 g (0.28 oz.)
  • What I Paid: $1.80 USD (on sale for 70% off! Retails for $6 USD.)
  • Where to Buy: elf Cosmetics website & some Target stores

elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Review

Colour & Texture

The powder is a bright white (much like white flour) in the package. It is translucent, though, so on me, it didn’t look like I lost a food fight in the kitchen after I applied this.

My skin is fairly light, so I didn’t notice that the powder made my skin any whiter or pastier. However, if you have a richer skin tone than I do, I’m not so sure that this will work on you and blend in. It may make you look ashy. (If you really want to use this, maybe you could try mixing a little in with your other loose powder…)


The texture was silky smooth, and it felt finely milled. When it was on my face, I couldn’t feel it, so that gets the thumbs up from me. (If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s feeling heavy products on my face.)

How to Apply It

A little goes a very long way. If you put too much on, it looks very unnatural and sickly. So, to avoid that, I didn’t bother using the little cosmetic puff they included. I feel like you’d pack way too much product on at once.

Instead, I used a fluffy powder brush to make sure only a little would be applied at a time. After all, if you need more, you can always get more with your brush, but if you pack too much on, it’s really tough to remove the excess.

I tilted the container slightly so some of the powder would collect in a corner. Then I used my brush to pick some up. Before applying to my face, I gently tapped the brush to remove the excess. While holding my breath, I lightly dusted the powder first on my forehead (where I get the shiniest). Then I moved to my cheeks, my chin, and my nose.


After I applied the powder, I didn’t notice a dramatic difference. My skin looked slightly better than without it, but I wasn’t jumping up and down.

However, when I checked my makeup by mid-day, I was floored! Normally my forehead would be really shiny by then, and sometimes my cheeks, too. But when I used the elf Cosmetics High Definition Powder, I didn’t even need to use my blotting paper!

And by the end of the night, my forehead did get a little shiny, but it was nowhere near how shiny it used to get without the powder! Colour me impressed – it actually works, and it’s so inexpensive!


I believe that it’s what’s inside that counts…but when it comes to cosmetics, I judge the packaging, too. I really didn’t like the bulky, box-like packaging of the elf Cosmetics High Definition Powder.

Also, even though the holes of the sifter are covered by a large, clear sticker to prevent the powder from coming out until you open it, some powder still managed to fly out from the edges of the container! (This product is reallllly messy. No matter how careful you are, the powder flies everywhere, so that’s also why I recommend you hold your breath when using this stuff. You don’t want to breathe it into your lungs, especially if you use it on a daily basis.)

Is It a Dupe for the Make Up For Ever High Definition Powder?

A lot of people have compared the elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder to the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder.

I have both, although I haven’t tried the Make Up For Ever one yet. I will, though, and then I’ll post a review on it.

However, just comparing the ingredients for both powders, you can see that they’re not dupes.

  • elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder contains Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer and Silica.
  • Make Up For Ever HD Powder Microfinish Powder contains 100% Silica.

Maybe people think that they work equally well, but it’s important to note the differences in the ingredients.

Edit: Click here to see my Make Up For Ever HD Powder Microfinish Powder Review & Pictures!


For just $6 USD, you get a lot of product that lives up to its claims. And when elf Cosmetics runs a sitewide sale (which is pretty often), you can often get it for less or even save on shipping.

Considering that Make Up For Ever products are sold for a lot more, the elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder is a great value, especially for those who just want to test-drive a silica powder without forking over a lot of money.


  • Keeps skin matte for longer
  • Translucent (able to blend in seamlessly with lighter skin tones)
  • Finely milled, soft powder
  • Makes skin look slightly better than without it
  • Very inexpensive

  • White powder may look ashy on those with richer skin tones
  • Very messy – powder flies everywhere

Final Verdict: 9.5/10

The High Definition Powder by elf Cosmetics really impressed me because it prevented my face from getting as oily as it usually does even by the end of the night!

I’ll continue using this until I run out, but before then, I also want to test out the Make Up For Ever HD Powder Microfinish Powder to compare results.

(Edit: I ended up trying out that powder. Click here to see my Make Up For Ever HD Powder Microfinish Powder Review & Pictures!)

I really like this powder because it works well for me, and I highly recommend you try it if shininess is an issue you deal with.

What was the first elf Cosmetics product you ever tried? Do you use a setting powder? How do you curb the oilies?


16 thoughts on “elf Cosmetics Studio High Definition Powder Review & Pictures

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      There’s no rush to get into makeup. 🙂 You can go at your own pace, or even decide not to wear any ever. But if there’s a special occasion (like Hallowe’en, it’s fun to play around with makeup).

      You already strongly express yourself with nail polish! 😉

  1. Brittany

    e.l.f. is one of my favorite brands and I love just about everything I’ve tried from them. I’ve had this on my list and was hoping it was halfway decent. Glad to hear it is! And yeah, I always have trouble with translucent powders looking ashy on me. Booooo. Let’s see how this kid does. Great review!
    Brittany recently posted: 5 Style Rules You Should Break

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Brittany!

      I’m crossing my fingers for you that it doesn’t make you look ashy! I think that in general, there aren’t enough options for women with richer skin tones. It must be frustrating for you and lots of women! But I do hope that you find options that work well for you.

  2. Laura

    I haven’t used a lot of elf products, but I’m on a super tight budget right now, so I will definitely have to look into them after this glowing review. 🙂
    Laura recently posted: Zoya Faye

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Laura!

      elf Cosmetics is definitely the go-to brand when you’re on a tight budget. I remember that Fiona used to rave about how big her hauls were, yet how little she had to pay. 🙂

  3. Jessica

    The only elf product I ever tried and stuck with were the liquid lipsticks (after reading a review of them on here by Fiona, actually!). I liked the color selection and the package design.

    My T-Zone tends to get oily in the summer, even though I wear pressed powder foundation. I use Clean & Clear’s oil-blotting papers, but I find myself going through a lot. Definitely interested in giving this powder a try.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jessica!

      Glad that you found her review on the liquid lipsticks helpful! 🙂

      And, yes, I totally get the oily t-zone in the summer badly. I’ll have to test this powder out when it’s humid.

      If you try this out, please let me know how it worked for you. Hope that it floors you like it did for me!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Esther!

      When I bought it, I was extremely skeptical because the Make Up For Ever’s product is waaaaaaaaay more expensive. For $6 (or even less), it’s such a steal! And even thought the packaging isn’t the best, for such a low price, it’s decent enough. (I’d rather pay for a great product than for just great packaging…hehe, most times! I’ve been known to be a packaging sucker sometimes.)

      What are some of your favourite products from elf Cosmetics?

      I haven’t tried much yet, but I purchased a few of their eye primers and want to see how they stack up to my beloved NYX one and also the Urban Decay formulas.

  4. Piper

    ughhh haha i need advice…i have pretty oily skin.. but i started a new beauty regimen and applying milk of magnesia on my skin before makeup and it seems to work well, i have the mac studio fix and its ok but i hate the way it feels at the end of the day and how it looks powdery so im switching to the naked skin foundation because i heard it applies flawlessly and ive seen it on my friend and it looks like shes wearing nothing but it conceals pretty well. anyway, its a liquid foundation so im worried about my oil and i just want something i can lightly dust over it that will still look like my foundation underneath but something that will just set it and make it look nice.. ? any advice on which one to get? i also dont want it to look weird with like my fine lines and stuff and even though im only 15 haha any advice?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Piper!

      This elf powder works really well. A more expensive alternative is the Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Powder Microfinish Powder. (You can see my review on it here: http://www.swatchandlearn.com/make-up-for-ever-hd-high-definition-powder-microfinish-powder-review-pictures/)

      Since you’re 15, I suggest just trying the elf one because it’s more affordable. 🙂 Just make sure you use verrrry little, and dust it on lightly. Use less than you think you’ll need because a little goes a long way.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Jolie

    This definitely got me interested in buying the powder. I’ve always read rave reviews about this product and it’s a bestseller on their site, but I always stayed away from it since I never needed it and it was more expensive than I was used to (I’m an avid ELF shopper so I’m used to $1/$3 :P). However, I’m definitely going to give this a try, especially after buying the Essential Clarifying Powders and them not matching my skin tone.

    I’d rather pay a little more and get something that matches rather than spend more on trying out every single color -_-
    Jolie recently posted: E.L.F. Nail Polish Review!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jolie!

      Yeah, especially for the price, it does a better job than I expected! 🙂 Elf is so great at offering a wide range of beauty products at low price points – makes it easier to try more things you might not otherwise have the cash to buy!


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