e.l.f. Gotta Glow Versus NARS Albatross

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e.l.f. Studio Blush in Gotta Glow

In the budget beauty world there are a lot of dupe comparisons, but they don’t always live up to expectations.  One of these supposed dupes is e.l.f. Studio Blush in Gotta Glow versus NARS Albatross.  I was finally able to do a side by side comparison of the two so that I could prove the validity of this claim for myself.

On my last several trips to Sephora I have gravitated to the NARS section to swatch Albatross.  Up until this year I have not really been into highlighters, but over the last five or six months I have warmed up to them.  Albatross is a gorgeous ivory gold highlight that has captured my attention.  But, at $28 a pop, NARS blushes are out of my price range.  Luckily, e.l.f. has an answer to my problem in Gotta Glow.

e.l.f. Studio Blush in Gotta Glow

Let me say right now that I do not want to claim that e.l.f. is comparable to NARS in quality.  NARS is better, hands down.  The question that I am posing (and hopefully answering) is the one that asks if Gotta Glow is close enough to Albatross to be considered a feasible alternative.

This comparison is based solely on the swatches I have to present here because I have not purchased Albatross.  I swatched Albatross in Sephora, and when I walked out of the mall, I swatched Gotta Glow (which I do own) right next to it.  NARS Albatross is smooth and very finely milled.  There isn’t a lot of fall out from what I could tell. Gotta Glow is a little more powdery and not as finely milled.  There is some fall out if you don’t give your brush a tap off before applying.  E.l.f.’s Gotta Glow is easily blendable, though, and does not apply chalky at all when blended on the skin.

NARS Albatross (L) and e.l.f. Gotta Glow (R) in sunlight

As far as  the shade match, they look almost identical to me.  Here is the swatch in both the sun and in the shade.  There may be a slight difference but it really isn’t noticeable.  E.l.f.’s Gotta Glow is just as beautiful as NARS Albatross.

NARS Albatross (L) and e.l.f. Gotta Glow (R) in the shade

I left the swatches on my hand for four hours, and e.l.f. held up very well.  I believe (from reviews I’ve read online) that NARS blushes last all day and I know from experience that e.l.f. Studio Blushes only last around six hours or so before fading.  Personally, that isn’t a deal breaker for me because I don’t need my highlighter to last more than that.  In my opinion, e.l.f. Gotta Glow is an acceptable dupe for NARS Albatross.  They aren’t exactly the same, but they are pretty darned close.  For my money, I’m happy with my $3 Gotta Glow and don’t feel the need to buy the $28 NARS Albatross.

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About beautyinbudgetblog

I am a self proclaimed eyeshadow junkie whose main hobbies include shopping, reading, singing, and mainlining caffeine while hanging out with my friends. I love interesting socks and have amassed quite a collection. The place that I want to visit before I die would be Greece. I like to read all seven Harry Potter books once a year the way some people read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (Sorry JRRT, but JKR kicks butt in my book.) I love art, and use my creativity in many different ways through painting, crafts, and makeup. I love to cook and try new things, and I especially love to eat. My favorite "date" is to go wine tasting, and do so with my husband once or twice a year. I love musical theater and think the world would be much better off if we all just watched more musicals. I am 100% a cat person and, although I think dogs can be really cute and sweet, they make me sneeze so cats will always rule. I love faeries and magic, mythology, theology, philosophy, and psychology. I regularly do logic puzzles and sometimes crosswords. I adore Bette Midler, Betty White, and Carol Burnett. I am not ashamed to admit that I watch Glee. I would like to start making some of my own clothes because I can't stop myself from buying fabric. I'm sure that there is much more, but I'm suddenly distracted by something shiny.

12 responses »

  1. I *love* ELF’s “Gotta Glow,” and I have discovered that by carefully prepping my skin, it does last all day. I also always spritz my face with ELF’s “Mist & Set” when I’ve finished my makeup.

    When referring to fallout, are you using a synthetic, or natural bristle brush, to apply? I have found that using a natural bristle brush really helps with the issue of fallout, because the “scales” on the cuticles of the individual bristles hold the product better than the smooth bristles on a synthetic brush.

    As a matter of fact, when I want a lighter application of a powder product that is highly pigmented, I choose a synthetic brush. But, if I want a more opaque application of a product that is less pigmented, I use a natural bristle brush. Try it!

    • Thanks for the tip! I actually only own synthetic brushes at this point. I should branch out and get a few natural bristle brushes, but haven’t yet. I also don’t usually use setting sprays, but just picked up e.l.f.’s newer one to try out, so we’ll see how that changes the game.

      • Are you referring to ELF’s new Mineral Mist? In comparing the ingredients of Mineral Mist and ELF’s Studio Mist and Set, it looks like the Mineral Mist will work well as a “setting” spray, but doesn’t have any ingredients in it that will help in extending makeup wear. Setting sprays are comprised mainly of water, alcohol, and botanicals. They act as a product which “melds” the powder layers of makeup to the layers underneath (like your foundation, for example). The Studio Mist and Set also containes water, alcohol, and botanicals, but in addition the second ingredient is a copolymer. Copolymers form a film on the skin, which work to extend makeup wear. Mist and Set is sort of a “hybrid” spray – setting *and* finishing/fixing spray in one.

          • I meant to mention in my comment (but then completely forgot)…EnKore (YouTube) has two great videos (Part 1 and Part 2) explaining the difference between refresher, setting, and finishing/fixing sprays:


            I just don’t want to take credit for information that came from him. Take a look at the videos when you have the time – very informative!

  2. I really love “Gotta Glow.” It lasts 8+ hours on me, but I live in a land of low humidity and work in a temperature-controlled environment all day, so that might have something to do with its staying power on me. I wore “Gotta Glow” at Tony’s wedding this weekend, though, and it stayed put throughout four hours of my dancing like a maniac (a culturally-insensitive maniac, to boot) after I’d already been wearing the stuff for about six hours.

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  6. I just placed a pretty huge ELF order as they’re having a 50% off Studio sale right now, and I’m so excited I got this for just $1.50! Whooohoo!! I did end up paying $45 in total though, umm yeah. God I love ELF.

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