e.l.f. Cosmetics

Beauty Shield SPF 50 Skin Shielding Primer

1.01 fl. oz. for $ 12.00
Expert Rating

Expert Reviews

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Brand Overview

The first thing to note is that ELF's Beauty Shield Skin Shielding Primer does not, as it claims, blend with any skin tone. It'll give a noticeable white cast to skin with deeper pigmentation—which is unfortunate, as it does fulfill all its other promises. Those with fair to medium skin tones looking for a physical sunscreen that does double-duty will likely love how this product performs.

This primer goes on with a silky texture that still manages to feel breathable under its broad spectrum SPF. It soaks into skin quickly, and the tint doesn't transfer. It doesn't flashback in photographs, and it doesn't leave streaks on skin. It's a great solution for those who like the smoothing features of a primer, whose makeup and/or moisturizer doesn't offer broad spectrum SPF coverage, and whose skin doesn't respond well to chemical sunscreens.

Do note that while this primer feels smooth even on dry skin, the tint of the product combined with the mineral sunscreen will make dry skin look drier. It's made to be worn under makeup, and while it may be tempting to try it as a substitute for foundation because of the tint, it doesn't work well on its own the way some tinted moisturizers do.

Despite its great performance, this this primer falls short of our highest rating because it contains a slight amount of fragrance; even if your skin doesn't feel or look irritated in the short term, fragrance is damaging in the long term. See More Info to find out more about the effects of fragrance on skin.

  • Silky texture that helps hide fine lines.
  • Offers broad spectrum, physical SPF 50.
  • Quickly blends into skin.
  • Doesn't transfer.
  • Creates a smooth, light-feeling texture.
  • Tint is not universal; doesn't blend with every skin tone.
  • Contains a slight amount of fragrance.
More Info:

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin's barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin's surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can't always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it's not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don't need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:

Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419

Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80

Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202

International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43

Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No
This primer creates a lightweight base layer that blurs the look of fine lines for smooth makeup application, featuring a sheer, universal tint that blends with any skin tone. Formulated with Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB (SPF 50), and key antioxidants, Pomegranate Extract, Carrot Seed Oil, and Vitamin E, that help protect your skin against everyday environmental aggressors.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (Nano) 25%. Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Water (Aqua), Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Silica, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve), Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Beta-Carotene, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vc), Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Chloride

e.l.f. At-A-Glance

e.l.f. (it stands for which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) was founded by Scott Vincent Borba and Joseph Shamah. The story goes that one day Borba was shopping in a dollar store 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.

For a line offering many products for just a dollar (OK, there are plenty that cost $3 and $5, too), there are a surprising number of hits in the mix (especially the makeup brushes). True, not everything is going to be as luxurious or innovative as some higher-end brands, but overall you're likely to be impressed with what they developed for so little money, and you may just find some beauty bargains!

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

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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