e.l.f. CosmeticsStudio Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20
0.7 fl. oz. for $3
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Brand Overview
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A $3 tinted moisturizer that supplies broad-spectrum sun protection might sound like a great find, but in this case it’s too good to be true. This is inexpensive and it has a very good in-part titanium dioxide–based SPF, but it falls down in other important areas.

Its initially creamy texture quickly becomes dry, which makes even application and blending difficult. Its soft matte finish leaves a hint of glow, but ultimately it isn’t hydrating enough for dry skin. Those with normal to slightly oily skin are most likely to find the finish agreeable, but the shade range is limited to fair to medium skin tones. Even if you find a great match, the colors tend to oxidize and turn slightly to noticeably orange shortly after application.

  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Matte finish.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Dry texture makes even application difficult.
  • Shades limited to light to medium skin tones.
  • Colors darken or turn orange after a few minutes on skin.
  • Beneficial ingredients are present in very small amounts.
  • Ingredient list doesn’t follow FDA regulations (more on this below).

More Info:

Despite the inclusion of UVA-protecting titanium dioxide and the lack of irritants or fragrance, the ingredient list has enough oddities to raise doubts about its accuracy. Namely, the sunscreen oxybenzone is erroneously listed as “Benzophenone-3” and the emollient ethylhexyl isopalmitate is listed as an active ingredient, which is incorrect (this ingredient is not an FDA-approved sunscreen active). Understandably, ingredient lists that don’t follow FDA regulations are unreliable at best.

Last Updated:12.30.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews

Active: Benzophenone-3 (6%), Ethylhexyl Isopalmitate (8%), Titanium Dioxide (5%), Other: Water, Mineral Oil, Cyclomethicone, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Propylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Steareth-21 Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-2, Glyceryl Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Tocopherol, Retinyl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide

Brand Overview

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 and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.

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