ELF Studio Powder Brush – Review

ELF Studio Powder Brush

A $3 brush with fans worldwide is worth trying, right? Especially when a half-off sale means it’s practically free. At least, this was my logic when I picked up ELF’s Studio Powder Brush – a reported Dupe for Sigma’s F80 Flat Top Kabuki.

Generic Information:

This brush hails from E.L.F’s Studio line of “Professional” makeup brushes. At $3, it’s more than reasonably priced. The flat top consists of Taklon fibers and is about 1 3/4 inches wide and 1 inch in length. With minor pressure, it does widen out to 2 full inches, which is not bad for widely swept bronzer or blush application.

ELF claims the fibers are anti-bacterial, which I am not sure how to test – but just putting it out there. Vegan beauties will be happy to know that this brush is 100% synthetic and vegan friendly~


Close Up

I was highly impressed by the construction of this brush. It’s got a classic matte, black handle. The ferrule is a shinier black, firmly attached to the nice tapered handle. Unlike the ferrules on the $1 E.L.F brushes (which I seem to universally have to super-glue into sturdiness) this sucker isn’t going anywhere.

Now, while the brush is packed full of Taklon fibers, I can’t sincerely say it’s dense. It actually gives way much more than the Sigma F80 and about as much as my MAC 187. With that said, it has many more fibers than the 187 so it provides more coverage overall.

One thing to note is that i’ve read frequent mentions of the fibers not being evenly tapered off. I was lucky and my brush is actually quite neatly done. But don’t be surprised if you get one and find that it’s not quite straight. Another note is that i’ve noticed this brush get significantly more prickly over time. It really seems to lose that initial softness that so struck my fancy~


Although the name suggests an obvious use for this brush (powders) the reason I purchased it was for its reported similarity to the Sigma F80 and the possibility of using it in place of my MAC 187. I have to admit, I was fairly impressed with the results.

Like the Sigma F80, it doesn’t pick up liquid foundation as evenly as I would prefer; still, the E.L.F does the better job of the two.

With Foundation

Foundation application time~ Lalala it’s foundation application time~

Bare Face

Foundation On

Blended In (via Stippling)

Set with Powder

I think the ELF PB is perfectly placed between the natural results of the 187 and heavier (if unnatural) coverage of the F80. This is not the brush to use if you want full coverage (because it’s only got one length fibers, it also doesn’t stipple in the foundation as evenly as the 187, giving it less coverage.) But its’ large size and soft fibers make it ideal for speedy applications and I do like it when I’m in a rush.

Now, as for powders – this brush has some seriously heavy-duty coverage. I don’t like to use it with powder foundation because it simply places too much product on my face. What I use it for instead is to blend in powder after applying it. The same is true for bronzers, blushes and highlighters.


I already discussed the usage comparisons in my Sigma F80 review and some more up above. But here’s a quickie shot for the curious (or lazy.)

From Left to Right: MAC 187, Sigma F80 and ELF Powder Brush


All in all, this is a great brush if you’re not ready to jump into the prices of the F80 or the 187. It’s softer than the MAC, but not as soft as the Sigma. With that said, it’s only for moderate to light coverage with liquids, is a bit too dense for powders and is not a “dupe” for either brush.

Value: 5/5

Quality: 9/10

Ease of Use: 7/10

Results: 8/10

Overall: 82.8% (B-)

At $3 USD, would I say this brush was worth getting? Heck yes. If nothing else, it’s versatile and good when you’re in a rush. Just pick up more than one – the loss of softness is a serious hindrance to its longevity.

<3 EA

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7 Responses to ELF Studio Powder Brush – Review

  1. Cool! It bares a resemblance to the Sonia Kashuk Flat top brush that I think is meant for cream cheek products. But this is cheaper!
    Tracy@Beauty Reflections recently posted..I’m In A Pink Lipstick Mood Lately: Smashbox Be Discovered Be Legendary Pink Petal Lipstick

  2. 3$ ??!! I thought you were kidding!! This is really cheap! :) although I like its density I’m a little bit sceptical about the fibres.. they look very shiny and therefor give the impression of artificiality.. Of course many brushes have artificial brushes and I even use one but I prefere not to know it :P I like the speedy application too :D
    ねこちゃん recently posted..Planning, Ranting, Drawing & Hauling

  3. Cool!! I have this brush, so I’m definitely gonna try it out with foundation :) ) thanks!!
    Maryam Maquillage recently posted..Blue Birdie Chipper & Chirpin’

  4. Stacey says:

    Three dollars?!?! What a steal! I am so close to getting the sigma F80, but now I think I will give this a go first. :)
    Stacey recently posted..Chanel Roughe Allure Velvet #32 La Ravissante

  5. Lauren says:

    I absolutely love this brush, but I don’t use it for foundation. I’m too lazy to bother with a brush for that so I just use my fingers, haha. But this brush is amazing for powder application. xx
    Lauren recently posted..Boots Haul (Front Cover, Cargo, Max Factor, Biotherm and No7)

  6. sara says:

    This was so helpful. I didn’t know ELF made such good brushes. Thanks for the comparison :)
    sara recently posted..Beautyuk Posh Polish Foil Collection – Review & swatches

  7. Misato-san says:

    ELF studio brushes are from decent to very good, I own a lot of them and despite the price, they are really interesting…
    Misato-san recently posted..Wonder Before Xmas look series 12: Finale/Reprise

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