Studio HD Mattifying Cream Foundation

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Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Cream Foundation w/ Suncreen
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e.l.f. says this cream compact foundation is recommended for normal to oily skin, although we advise those with truly oily complexions to steer clear!

True to its name, Studio HD Mattifying Cream Foundation is creamy, spreading easily across the face with either a brush or sponge. The issue is that it never dries down to a true matte finish, instead looking waxen, not refined or matte.

Although this does wear well throughout a workday without fading or emphasizing wrinkles, it highlights dry patches, which even people with oily complexions might have on certain parts of their faces.

This fragrance-free foundation comes in a small range of colors, but there are natural-looking options for medium to dark skin tones. Overall, even at its attractive price, this isn't a good foundation.

  • Creamy formula applies easily.
  • Wears well without fading or emphasizing wrinkles.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Never dries to a truly matte finish; looks waxy instead.
  • Highlights dry patches of skin.

Ethylhexl Palmitate, Octyldodecanol, Synthetic Wax, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Mica, Nylon-12, Silica, Triacontanyl PVP, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Propylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate. MAY CONTAIN: Iron Oxides, Manganese Violet, Red No. 33 Lake, Blue No. 1, Yellow No. 5 Lake, Titanium Dioxide, Red No.40 Lake, Chromium Hydroxide Green.

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

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
Page of 1
  1. April
    Reviewed on Sunday, March 09, 2014
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    Not bad for the price
    • I actually really like this. I am very oily and cream foundations generally don't work well for me. I have a similar compact from Bobbi Brown, and honestly, I like the ELF one better. It has really good coverage compared to the Bobbi Brown one. I make sure to exfoliate before using it. I generally only use it when I'm in a hurry. It takes seconds to apply and doesn't look unnatural. I use it with a little powder on top. The price is great and I have yet to find another good cream foundation.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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