Studio Hydrating Face Primer
0.49 fl. oz. for $6
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Studio Hydrating Face Primer is not only a wonderful primer for normal to dry or sensitive skin, it's also a beauty bargain! The fragrance-free formula contains some "heavier" silicones, which is why this isn't the best for oily skin or oily areas (it won't control shine) but these provide the namesake hydration and they're joined by antioxidant-rich grape seed oil.

This smooths on easily and does what a primer should, which is prep skin for makeup application. If you're using a good serum as part of your daytime routine you can likely skip the primer step, as serums tend to contain the same essential ingredients as primers, yet often go beyond what primers alone provide. Studio Hydrating Face Primer isn't chockfull of anti-aging ingredients, but it does contain some proven antioxidant vitamins and, for the money, that's pretty impressive!

The opaque pump bottle packaging does a very good job keeping the light- and air-sensitive antioxidant ingredients stable during use—another plus for a primer that really delivers what it promises.

Note: This primer also works well mixed with a moisturizer to give it an extra boost of hydration.

  • Beautifully silky, hydrating texture.
  • Enhances makeup application and improves skin texture.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Contains plant- and vitamin-based antioxidants, and the packaging keeps those delicate ingredients stable.
  • None.

Boosts your complexion with a drench of hydration, creating a perfect canvas for radiant, younger looking skin. Infused with Grape and Vitamins A, C, & E for nourishing and anti-aging benefits. This multipurpose clear skin primer reduces the appearance of fine lines and transforms your face into a flawless and smooth canvas so makeup goes on evenly for a long-lasting finish.


Dimethicone, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Dipalmate.

Brand Overview

e.l.f. At-A-Glance

Strengths: Bonafide beauty bargain prices; several praiseworthy makeup products including the powder blush, bronzer, and eyeshadows; some great face powders; oil-blotting papers are a steal; excellent brushes in the Studio line; a few good, inexpensive skincare products.

Weaknesses: Mostly average to poor skincare formulas; a multitude of terrible concealers; limited options for foundation; average to not-worth-it-at-any-price eyeliners (with the exception of one); some of the skincare products aren't on par with better formulated options that cost a bit more.

From a line of cosmetics whose claim to fame is its rock-bottom prices we weren't expecting much. With many of the makeup products selling for just $1, could there be any outstanding finds to rival the best options from drugstores and department stores? Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Yet although that's good news, the entire picture isn't so rosy, and many of the products from e.l.f. (which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) are as basic as can be, while a few are resounding disappointments we wouldn't even give away.

e.l.f. was founded by Scott Vincent Borba—the same businessman responsible for the Borba "beauty waters" once sold at Sephora boutiques—and Joseph Shamah. The story goes that one day Borba was shopping in an unnamed "dollar store" (where everything sells for a dollar) and noticed women dressed in designer clothing and sporting designer handbags loading up their baskets with inexpensive nail polish, eye pencils, and lip balm. He took note of the products being sold in such stores and quickly decided he could offer products of even higher quality at the same competitive price. His idea paid off, as e.l.f. has enjoyed continued success and increased distribution online and in retail stores like Target.

As you might expect, not everything in the e.l.f. line is great. When you're offering almost every product for $1 (OK, there's plenty for $3 and $5, too), they're not going to be nearly as luxurious or innovative as the company proclaims (most of the ingredient lists couldn't be more basic and the packaging is sometimes slipshod). Many e.l.f. items have packaging that, while functional, can only be described as cheap. In terms of value, yes, almost everything is inexpensive, but in most cases the container sizes are much smaller than the norm. Still, if you're considering spending a few dollars on fun, occasional-use colors, size becomes much less of an issue.

This line can be found at select Target stores and some regional drugstores, but the best place to experience the collection is online (none of the stores provide testers). The cheaper elements are a given based on the price point e.l.f. has established, but overall you're likely to be impressed with what they developed for so little money, and you may just find some beauty bargains (especially makeup brushes) that raise the bar—at least to a height that's taller than your average elf!

For more information about e.l.f., call (800) 231-4732 or visit www.eyeslipsface.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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fantastic "eye" primer

You can't beat the price but use for undereyes only. It needs 2 minutes to set if using multi-products to keep it from rolling off the skin, that comes with all product layering.The opaque bottle is an illusion; any person could see the primer is contained in a white smaller pump bottle inside. Back to the primer itself, it worked keeping my makeup on longer and applying smoother but was especially great under the eye in aiding my 12 hr concealers apply & blend better without creasing.

Reviewed by
beth k.
Reviewed twice - different scored?

i dont understand why this seems to be reviewed twice and given different scores? the ingredient list is the same... http://www.paulaschoice.com/beautypedia-skin-care-reviews/by-brand/elf-cosmetics/_/Hydrating-Face-Primer

Reviewed by
Beatriz K.
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  I checked with the research/review team and they said that the four-star rating stands.  I'm deleting the three-star review, though, so thank you for the heads up!

Ewww that smell...

This has a rancid, overpowering smell that almost knocked me out, I bought another one and same thing. Performance wise this wasn't very moisturizing on my face, didn't smooth out my skin and is just a fail!

Reviewed by

I bought the green tinted formula- since I have rosacea (no pustules anymore, just redness). The green is not enough green for me, however, I have some green concealer- so I just use that in conjunction with this product. The texture is very silky. I am 49, I really like the texture. My skin tends to be dry & red. Plus I have fine wrinkles. This product looks great under my foundation & it was VERY inexpensive. Recommended.

Reviewed by

I was looking for a primer for mature, dry sensitive skin. This product is too moisturizing for my 57-year-old face. Even after blotting it before applying make up, it's too much. And it does not seem to soak in at all.

Reviewed by
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