Splurge or Save? The Beauty Crop Lighting Crew vs. e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip

I’m back for my second Splurge or Save post! This time, I’m comparing The Beauty Crop Lighting Crew highlighter and e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal.

If you read my first Splurge or Save post, you know what’s about to happen! If you haven’t, here’s what I do in my Splurge or Save posts: I have a showdown on several traits, declaring a winner at the end of each round and tallying their scores at the end of the post. Then I will give my personal opinion and show swatches if applicable. Let’s get going!

Price: The Beauty Crop highlighter is $18, and the e.l.f. highlighter is approximately $1, depending on where you buy it. Clearly we have a winner, and it’s e.l.f.!

Size: Both of these products are exactly the same size. They are in different packaging and with different consistencies, but they are both 0.34 ounces. Obviously you can factor in price, but for size alone, it’s a tie!

Packaging: TBC is in an adorable, stand-on-its-own tube, patterned with pineapples and a brightly colored lid. ELF is in a cheap, plastic, clear squeeze tube that doesn’t stand on its own well. As it is for most high end products, you pay for packaging. The Beauty Crop wins this round!

Consistency and Ease of Application: TBC is very liquidy…to the point that it leaks out when you open the bottle for the first time, and it’s easy to get too much. ELF, on the other hand, is a bit too thick for my liking. Thick highlighter is harder to blend and harder to apply. Even though it can be a bit messy, TBC highlighter is a much better consistency. The Beauty Crop wins this round!

Color: ELF comes in a variety of colors, ranging from white to almost brown. Obviously it’s nice to have a lot of options, but the color that’s the most similar to TBC is Lilac Petal, a very light pinkish shade. In my personal opinion, Lilac Petal is a bit too pink. I prefer the dark-on-first-look-but-light-when-blended-in of The Beauty Crop. Those of you with darker skin may prefer ELF, however, because you can pick your color. I’m going to call this round a tie, as it is really just whichever color you prefer.

Shimmer Level: Both TBC and ELF have similar shimmer levels. I belive TBC may have a tiny, tiny bit more, but I don’t apply TBC on its own, I blend it into foundation and then apply as a toned-down highlighter. For those of you who apply highlighter on its own, both of these are very shimmery and will make you look like you’re wearing highlighter. For a more subtle glow, blend into BB or CC cream and apply to highlight areas. I’m going to call this one a tie, as well.

Ease of Purchase: You can buy TBC online at Birchbox, The Beauty Crop, and Urban Outfitters (and I’m sure you can find it on eBay or other online retailers). ELF is in pretty much every drugstore, department store, and grocery store, as well as on eyeslipsface.com, Amazon, and other online retailers. ELF is much easier to find and purchase, and therefore wins this round!

Overall Ability to Highlight: Both of these highlighters work well. Again, I like the consistency of TBC better, but I wear it quite often and ELF hardly ever. I am sure that if you mixed both of these into BB or CC cream and applied it to your face, you would get a similar shimmer level, similar color, and similar wear time. This round is a tie.

The Verdict:

e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal – 2 wins

The Beauty Crop Highlighter in I Love You So Matcha – 2 wins

Plus 4 ties in Size, Color, Shimmer Level, and Overall Ability to Highlight

It’s a tie!

Would I Repurchase Either?

Well, I’d have to say yes for TBC and no for ELF. I love TBC highlighter. I use it almost every day. However, I already have 2 of them (one from my December Birchbox and one from my Complexion Perfection Sampler), so I really wouldn’t need to repurchase. I’ll need another beautyblender before I need another highlighter, so I’d just purchase the sampler again, which will come with the highlighter. For a more definitive answer, however, if it came down to needing another one, I’d probably repurchase. The ELF highlighter is great if you’re on a budget and want a fantastic dupe for a high end product, but the Beauty Crop highlighter is just so wonderful, in consistency, color, and highlighting ability, that the $18 is worth it to me. Obviously if you have a deeper skintone and don’t think the one shade would work, or if you dislike the color, price, or consistency, go with ELF – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It’s a miniscule price to pay for something that will last you for quite some time! One word of caution, though – mix either of these highlighters with something! Foundation, BB cream, CC cream, concealer – if you want a subtle glow and not a crazy, shimmery, highlighted face, both of these need to be toned down, plus, they’ll last you longer! 🙂 Swatches below.


I apologize that TBC highlighter appears more gold and the ELF highlighter appears extremely pink in this photo. The colors are a bit more similar in person, though ELF is definitely a bit more pink. From top to bottom: ELF blended, ELF swatched, TBC swatched, TBC blended.

What did you think of this Splurge or Save post? Have you tried either of these highlighters? Will you? Let me know in the comments and keep an eye out for my next Splurge or Save post!





4 thoughts on “Splurge or Save? The Beauty Crop Lighting Crew vs. e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip

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