Review: e.l. f. Studio Foundation SPF 15

Let’s start with a story. Recently, I alluded to a quest to find the perfect morning routine for my face. Sunscreen, moisturizer, makeup, the whole shebang. I mean, it wasn’t like I was married to the process–I don’t always wear makeup, but I do try to cleanse, moisturize, and shield myself from the sun.

I found a skin care regimen, part of which I talked about here. In the spirit of honesty, I was less worried about my skin care routine than the “beauty” one. I know that taking care of your skin is one of the most important parts of the healthy aspect of beauty, but in an aisle surrounded by hundreds of bottles, tubes, and jars of big girl face paint, it is easy to forget.

In any case, I was trying to build a makeup wardrobe. I like the whole perfect skin, rosy cheeks, winged eye lashes, bright lip thing. A natural look, but with just enough polish to look done. That meant I needed lip color I liked, a good lengthening mascara, a blush, and of course, foundation and powder. Let me tell you: I found a perfect foundation–by which I mean a foundation that actually matched my skin tone. It was by Maybelline and it matched my skin perfectly (thank you Sephora Color IQ and online foundation matrix–together you found my perfect color at a much cheaper price). But, doing some research as the bottle was getting low, I found out that Maybelline does animal testing.

Cruelty free makeup came to the fore-front for me when a girl in my speech class did a talk on animal testing practices. This isn’t the post to go into it in detail, but let me tell you: animal testing is sad. And it is totally possible to do without it–and it is probably better that we do  when we think about toxicity tests and all that. And, believe it or not, some of the cheapest drugstore brands do without animal testing and they provide some high quality products (I swear that I’ve had good luck with this list–or one very much like it, that narrows down by skin type). Here is a list of those companies at all price points that don’t do animal testing from Beautypedia and from PETA.

e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation

Let’s start with the negatives: this stuff is fragrant. It smells like makeup normally smells–nothing new there–but if other makeups whisper their scents, this foundation is yelling it. While I personally don’t mind, I don’t recommend it for those with sensitive noses. Note not sensitive skin, though–this stuff is actually fragrance free.

Another issue is the color range: I can’t recommend it for more than light to medium skin tones. You can find the whole range online (it’s pretty limited, but the colors are all good–none too pink or peachy), though I have only found the lightest three shades in stores. I got it in Sand and it is quite similar Maybelline’s Nude/Light 4.

The final disappointing aspect is the size. It comes in a 0.8 fluid ounce bottle with a nifty pump dispenser, while the standard size is typically 1.0 fluid ounce of foundation. However, ounce for ounce it is still cheaper than the Maybelline liquid foundation it is meant to replace. So, still a deal 🙂

The positives: it provides medium coverage. It doesn’t oxidize to an orange, Oompa-Loompa sort of color. It comes in sturdy packaging. It blends well and it doesn’t have much slip to it, so I recommend working with just a little at a time. It is oil-free and even in combination with my sunscreen, these 95 degree days, some outdoor excursions and chores (think biking and gardening), it lasts 4 to 6 hours. Not all day, but nothing to complain about in this weather. It does have some miniscule sun protection (SPF 15 when applied “liberally” and I don’t know that I apply it liberally enough), so if I felt like playing with fire (or cosmic radiation as it is), I could apply it without my sunscreen underneath and that would help  with the wear.

All in all, it is a foundation for dry to normal skin with good coverage, a good price, and even with a good conscience.

e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation SPF 15, $6.00 for 0.8 fluid ounce


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