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E.l.f. halo glow liquid filter: is the viral TikTok complexion filter worth the hype?

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E.l.f. has launched eight shades of its new Halo Glow Liquid Filter for the ultimate glowy complexion. Here’s why it’s being compared to It Cosmetics and Charlotte Tilbury.

When it comes to make-up and skincare products, I love anything that will leave me with a glowing complexion. From dewy serums, illuminating primers and setting sprays with a radiant finish – if it has the capability to give my skin beam from within, I’m in. 

I first spotted E.l.f.’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter over on TikTok, with people sharing their first impressions of the skincare-make-up-hybrid. Many proclaimed it to be on a par with other complexion boosters – such as Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter and It Cosmetics’ Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination SPF 50 – which are always in high demand, especially in the summer months.

So, of course, I had to put it to the test to see if the hype was really worthy. If you’re also curious, or just fancy a nose at a new beauty product, read on for my honest thoughts.

What are complexion boosters?

If you’re wondering what a complexion booster actually is, you’re not alone. My first thought was: ‘Is it just a fancy name for a foundation or a primer-like product?’ What I’ve since learnt is that complexion boosters are all the above and more. They can be used on their own as a lightweight base, similar to a skin tint; as a base before applying foundation; mixed with foundation to create a healthy-looking glow; or used to accentuate the high points of your face.

The shades

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the three darkest shades – 6 Tan/Deep, 7 Deep/Rich and 8 Rich – but I still wasn’t completely certain which shade would go best with my skin tone. 

The glow filter is available in eight different shades that E.l.f. says are “flexible shades that work across all skin tones, from fair to rich”. In my opinion an eight-shade offering is slightly on the lower end, but due to the inclusive flexibility, you should be able to find at least one or two shades to fit your skin tone.

I decided to try out shade 6 Tan/Deep as it appeared to be the best match for my complexion – it looked quite a bit darker in the bottle than the one I frequently use from another brand but the colour match was perfect and pretty identical. 

I noticed a lot of the reviews I came across on TikTok also mentioned that the glow filter looks a lot darker in the bottle than it does when swatched and applied. For this reason, I’d recommend choosing a shade that’s got a similar undertone to a complexion product you currently use or just going for the shade you think you are if you’re unable to test the shades in person.

How to apply

The glow filter is really lightweight and can be built up on the skin for a soft glow or more intense glow. The doe-foot applicator (the spongey wand in the tube) was a lot larger than I anticipated, which is why a little really does go a long way with this product. 

After applying a few strokes, I blended it in with my trusty beauty blender, however, I think using a brush or even just your fingers would work well too. The glow that was unveiled was as radiant as I’d hoped and more. As someone with a dry-to-normal skin type, I found the product to feel really hydrating on my skin. Two notable ingredients in the formula are squalane and hyaluronic acid, which are both known for their hydrating and moisturising benefits.

After applying E.l.f.’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter

Vanese Maddix after applying E.l.f.'s Halo Glow Liquid Filter

The verdict

My final test was to see how the glow filter looked underneath make-up. I applied a bronzer, blush and a luminous setting spray which all settled nicely over the top. If you find that the glow is just a bit too luminous for a daytime look, I highly recommend popping a bit of powder on top to slightly take down some of the shine.

Vanese Maddix after applying makeup on top of E.l.f.'s Halo Glow Liquid Filter

At £14, I really don’t think you can go wrong with E.l.f.’s Halo Glow Liquid Filter. It makes for a great complexion booster with a standout glow. Plus, at 31.5ml it sits slightly over the amount of product in other leading complexion boosters. Win-win. 

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