Is Elf's Halo Glow Filter Really a $14 Dupe for the Iconic Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter?

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I admit it, I’m a sucker for a good TikTok-famous product. You’ve probably heard the crazy hype around the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (which retails for $44), and if you haven’t, it’s essentially a glowy veil of light coverage that can be used as a base or atop your regular foundation. Elf recently released their take on the famous formula, the Halo Glow Filter, and I had to give it a go because it’s only a mere $14. Spoiler alert: I love it.

I gave each formula the ultimate wear test: A full look alongside all of my other go-to products. And while I don’t find the products to be exact replicas of each other, they’re incredibly similar and both offer a gorgeous glow on the skin.

The Stats

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter:

  • Price: $44
  • Product per bottle: 1 OZ
  • Shade range: 12 shades

Elf Halo Glow Filter:

  • Price: $14
  • Product per bottle: 1.06 FL OZ
  • Shade range: 8 shades

How I Applied Each Product

I’ve seen some people use this as a base for foundation, but since it’s summer, I wanted this product to act like a light-coverage foundation by itself. After my skin was prepped with my fav skincare products and SPF, I started off with my Dr. Jart Tiger Grass Color Corrector to neutralize any redness and then followed up with the Flawless Filter or Halo Glow. I continued my regular makeup routine and wore them all day to give each one a fair comparison.

charlotte tilbury selfie
Olivia Dubyak

The Charlotte Tilbury Test

I was totally hooked on The Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter as soon as it melted into my skin. The formula is very light, it’s easy to blend and it meshes well with other cream and powder products. If heavy coverage is what you’re looking for, however, you will need to add a foundation on top. I have some acne scars and active pimples that I needed to cover up and spot treating with concealer worked like a charm. I’m all for a luminous complexion, but some formulas can look a little too oily and end up enhancing pores, fine lines and other features. This one dried down glowy without the extra wet look. I honestly haven’t even touched my foundation since I’ve tried this product and don’t think I’ll be going back anytime soon.

I’m not going to lie, I was feeling myself throughout the day because my skin looked so natural and I didn’t have any creasing or separating. My concealer also harmonized beautifully with the formula and held onto my blemishes without a problem. This product doesn’t have a great shade range featuring only 12 shades, however, the formula is extremely adaptive to your complexion. I have pretty pale skin with cool to neutral undertones, and I was worried my shade (3 Fair) was going to pull a little too warm, but to my surprise it was able to match my tones without any wonky orange lines. It is a pricey product at $44 per bottle, but it truly does live up to the hype.

elf selfie
Olivia Dubyak

The Elf Test

Right off the bat I had high hopes for this product, as Elf has a reputation for creating affordable alternatives to high-end favorites, and I was not let down. I won’t say that the Halo Glow is a 100 percent exact match for the Flawless Filter, but it’s pretty damn close. The applicator is a smidge larger, which I actually liked since I’m applying to my whole face. I thought the consistency was a tiny bit thicker than the Charlotte Tilbury, so I didn’t need as much when applying. It had the same effect: a glowy, lightweight finish sans wetness. The formula plays well with others, including the concealer I used previously which made it easy to add a little extra coverage to my blemishes.

Throughout the day I did apply a little powder around my T-zone to blur any shiny spots, but it wasn’t anything majorly inconvenient that would turn me away from purchasing. Like the Charlotte Tilbury, the shade range is minimal at only eight options—but again, the formula warms to your skin and finds a way to match your complexion. It’s honestly magical. And of course, it’s hard not to notice the huge price difference, paying only $14 for Elf and I will 100 percent continue using it moving forward.

cat 21

Overall Thoughts

I’m not going to say the Elf totally beats the Charlotte Tilbury, but it’s without a doubt a similar enough formula that’s worth choosing if you want to save some money. Plus, you get .06 more fl oz per bottle. This $30 difference is huge and makes me wonder if you’re paying more for the Charlotte Tilbury name than the actual product itself. I’m definitely going to continue to use both depending on what I’m feeling each day, but either way, these two products may have me ditching my foundation for good.

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Commerce Editor

Olivia Dubyak is PureWow's Commerce Editor and textbook Capricorn. She studied journalism at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has gone from New York City to...