Thursday, April 14, 2011

E.L.F Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 Review (super budget buy!)

So I'm sure you guys have all heard about the budget beauty brand E.L.F. (Eyes Lips Faces) and know a ton about their products already, but I feel like this here tinted moisturizer is a frequently missed gem that doesn't get enough love. I mean, tinted moisturizers can get really expensive, right? I've never tried the seminal Laura Mercier one though I keep hearing about it, and I have no intention to in the near future either because I feel like I could just mix foundation with moisturizer and be done with it.

Enter ELF's one dollar--that's right, you heard me right, one weeny dollar!--tinted moisturizer, and despite my general misgivings about tinted moisturizers in general, I ordered some from the web site because it had fair reviews and I had nothing to lose at the price (all E.L.F. Essential products are a dollar each; the Studio line costs $3 each; Mineral line is more expensive.)

After consulting Temptalia's Foundation Matrix as to what shade I would be, I chose three different shades close to my MAC skin tone (NC20-30,) and kind of forgot about it until my order arrived. After all, I didn't have high hopes for something that just cost a buck, when all the other contenders cost way more and still seemed to underperform.

When I actually got my order and tried the tinted moisturizer out? Forget about it! I found that Apricot Beige was a near perfect match for my skin tone, and it spread really easily onto my skin just with my fingers. I didn't have to do any of those annoying and time-consuming tricks like stippling with a wet sponge or a brush, something I absolutely have to do if I'm using Revlon's ColorStay or Estee Lauder's Double Wear. Of course, this is a tinted moisturizer we're talking about so I would have been hella annoyed and surprised if it didn't apply smoothly, but the thing is, this is a tinted moisturizer with a twist.

Here it is, squeezed out and then blended above. This is in shade "Apricot Beige." It comes in a tube with a nozzle, hence the line of product.
Without any product on. Acne, redness, you get the idea...

With the ELF tinted moisturizer on; it took away some of the blemishes and redness!
Or rather, I have to say I'm kind of hesitant to call this a "tinted moisturizer" at all. The thing is, this thing has light-to-medium or medium coverage! It's more like a really creamy, moisturizing and easy to apply foundation, with the extent to which it covered my blemishes. My imperfections weren't gone, obviously, but they were less obvious than before, without having the mask-like matteness that fuller coverage foundations can have. For a buck, I was absolutely astonished and pleased.

Zoom: Without the TM... eek!

Zoom: With the TM. So much better!

(On a side note, I've read some people complaining that it doesn't contain enough product, but really, a small amount spreads out easily and you don't need to use that much. And, might I add, at a buck, you can buy 6 or more of these for the price of a drugstore foundation, so--you do the math. Also, if you have a hard time getting your perfect shade, you can buy several like I did, find which one suits you, and won't be at too much of a loss financially for the ones that don't match.)

One caveat: As it isn't a moisturizer per se, do use a real moisturizer beforehand if you have dry skin. I don't, so I just straight up use the tinted moisturizer, which is fine except for those teensy patches of dry skin I have around my nose. The product tends to cling there, so I would advise you exfoliate and moisturize just like you would before using any other foundation, especially if you have dry skin.

As for the length of time it stay put on my skin, I'd say it's middling; it stayed looking great for about three hours, then started sliding off a bit, and piling up around where my glasses rest on my nose (all foundations give me that effect, though. Do any other glasses-wearing ladies have this problem?) I set it with a mattifying powder, because otherwise I find that it can transfer to things like my cellphone (eek!) because it never really "dries down."

All in all, it's a great option for when you're not going to be out for a super long time, like if you're running out to the grocery and just want to look a little fresher, if you've got a few classes at college, anything like that. Also, if you don't have super oily skin like mine, I'm pretty sure it would stay on you longer than it does on me. One of the pleasures of having an oil mine for a face, ladies.

Anyways, do give it a try, will you? Let me know what you think of it!

p.s. You can find E.L.F. products at Target in the US. Otherwise, you can order it at their web site.  Remember to check if they have any deals going on; right now they have two different ones until April 18th--(1) free shipping on orders over $25, (2) get 10 free gifts on orders over $25 (you can choose 10 Essential line products, so that's $10 worth of free product.) At any rate, they always seem to have some sort of sale or deal going on at their web site so if you want to order on-line, I'd advise you wait for a good deal since it's likely to come along any time soon.