E.L.F. Studio Tinted Moisturizer Reviews, Swatches, Photos

You might not yet be thinking about it but you’ll soon be hauling out your TM (tinted moisturizer) when the Spring weather hits. I seem to wear TM alot in Spring dunno why but I’m guessing it has something to do with wanting to embrace a more lighter makeup look after a dreadful Winter filled with thicker base products!

E.L.F. Studio Tinted Moisturizer is the newest offering from the brand and a mere $3. Does it live up to say legendary TM’s such as Laura Mercier?

Check it!

A lightweight, hydrating tinted moisturizer with an SPF 20.

The $3 price tag is definitely appealing for those unwilling to dish out on bigger wig brands who charge considerably more for a TM however…

First off I will say tinted moisturizers are definitely never pigmented no matter where you purchase them from. Mind you some brands have more color pay off than others such as Urban Decay’s version however for the most part they work at evening out skin tone but not really something that can be used as a base product for concealing major skin problems.

Which is where my disappointment stems from with E.L.F.’s version.

It has zero pigmentation. Sadly, I can’t even say that it brightens or even outs my complexion, two things I depend on TM to do. I have dull skin so I definitely look to my base to help my skin look lively and fresh and I’ve tried many tinted moisturizers that can easily do the trick including Laura Mercier’s however this simply absorbs super quickly and leaves behind a nice hydrating feel sans color of any kind.

As I said, it would be unfair to say that I was looking for major coverage hear because no brand really quite gets that right when it comes to tinted moisturizer, nor should they considering TM is simply meant as a lightweight moisturizer with just a hint of color for more natural makeup. However, I will say that I do expect it to at the very least leave my skin looking a bit more flawless.

Formula is creamy however left around for too long and it will seperate into an oily, greasy mess. For example, I got mine several weeks ago (around October?) and I didn’t use it right away but did swatch it first thing. I noticed texture was creamy and dense however I finally got the chance to actually use it a few days prior to my review and I had to sit and shake the tube a few times because it had separated into a rather gross mess.

Not cool.

Hydrating yes but that’s about it for this!

  • Anyone who doesn’t expect their tinted moisturizer to do much else aside from hydrating (don’t expect it to even out your skin or ease dullness, color pay off is zero).

  • Those who want lighter coverage with just a hint of color to even out skin tone, ease dullness, and make skin look half way decent (the lack of pigmentation just makes this a moisturizer and not a very good one).

Honestly, this one wasn’t so fabulous sadly but I didn’t expect too much either which is good because that means I wasn’t crushed when I finally did use and dislike it. They definitely need to work on the formula in terms of adding a bit more pigment to the product as it could prove a good deal for those who are on a very tight budget however you could do better with Covergirl’s new NatureLuxe Foundation which works in a similar fashion as a TM anyway and will set you back about $4-$5 more so not a bad budget pick either.

No likey!


This product was purchased by the Muse for review purposes.
Read my full disclosure statement here.

  • 1/7/11 12:40 Cj:

    Geez $3 for a TM?!? I’m amazed how cheap drugstore cosmetics are lol


    • 1/7/11 13:31 the Muse:

      ha and not even worth the $3 bucks cj!


    • 2/2/12 17:49 Maria:

      I really like this TM. The best part is the price tag so I can spend $20 and get a few bottles, lol.


  • 1/7/11 13:27 Shannon:

    Wow, thanks for the review. Sadly I was looking forward to adding this to my haul. It’s funny how elf has some good products and then they’ll make something that smells like gasoline.


    • 1/7/11 13:28 the Muse:

      mm shannon no worries here, it has a cucumber fresh scent ;-D so no gas smell…ha!


  • 1/7/11 16:54 Mary the Muse Militant:

    Glad to see the review as often wondered about other TMs against the Laura Mercier one (regular not oil-free).
    I love Laura Mercier TM but hate the price.
    It runs out quickly but is so worth it for me as most foundation makes my skin look dry.
    Had to laugh at the comments above mentioning some ELF products might smell of gasoline because ELF is a brand of gasoline thats sells here in England !!
    We have ELF petrol stations dotted all around the country.
    Maybe you have ELF filling stations too?


    • 1/11/11 15:14 the Muse:

      same here mary! same here! ;-D lol!!!! We don’t have ELF stations here but maybe ELF cosmetics is associated?! LOL!


  • 1/7/11 17:11 Charmaine:

    Hi Iz!
    I hope they fix it soon, cuz I want to try it , too, lol. Hey, know what? I tried elf Studio concealer [you posted your review while I was still waiting for mah elf order], and it works great for me, YAY! I was anxious it was gonna suck cuz it hadn’t done well for you, but mine is thick and pigmented, and even though I’m definitely a medium-yellow/golden/olive/whatever, the Light compact has shades that suit me, the Medium ones are kinda too dark and too pink. I’m also gonna try the regular Studio fdtn [free shipping right now, heh].
    Hope you had a fabulous Christmas and New Year, my dear!<3


    • 1/11/11 15:27 the Muse:

      glad to hear it charmaine, surprised as I thought it was awful :( you should try this, maybe you’ll likey, can’t beat the price eh? ;-D it was amazing thanks, and oh so quick hope yours was equally fab!


  • 1/7/11 17:11 Courtney:

    I tried this recently too and also wasn’t a fan. The lightest shade was way too dark for my face and the coverage sucked. It did smell good though.


    • 1/10/11 16:42 the Muse:

      courtney smell was decent, agreed but nothing else fab about it :(


  • 1/7/11 19:11 Stacey:

    Bugger, one of these is on it’s way to me! But as you said, not much lost :)


    • 1/10/11 16:41 the Muse:

      stacey keep me posted, curious what you think!!!!!!


  • 1/7/11 19:46 Julia:

    I don’t even OWN a tinted moisteriser lol. Lol I’m so glad that ELF isn’t sold here sometimes


  • 1/7/11 20:27 LINDARRAGNAR:

    This has the same packaging as the Revlon mineral mousse!!

    Seeing this review, I’m not interested in the elf tm anymore.


  • 1/7/11 21:03 tini:

    glad this got kicked out of the cart on my last elf order! i decided to get a cream eyeshadow instead :)


    • 1/10/11 16:38 the Muse:

      tini smart move 😀


  • 1/8/11 13:39 Nena:

    I went through a huge TM phase last summer. Down here in South Texas, the heat is AWFUL! I wanted something that I could just throw on whenever I was running late or for errands on the weekends. For whatever reason, TMs make my face sweat more! Like, beady gross weird sweat! Merely walking to my car resulted in sweat beads on my nose and even made me look like I had a mustache! (I totally don’t lol). This gross anecdote has a purpose…what’s your favorite TM? I tried a few samples but mainly stuck to Hard Candy. I’d use BE sometimes to add a little more coverage or just mineral veil. Anyway, what’s your fav??? Thanks Muse!


    • 1/10/11 16:25 the Muse:

      sorry to hear it nena, weird…never had a prob sweating b/c of TM haha. Laura Mercier and Urban Decay are my staple tms.


  • 1/9/11 0:59 Jen:

    Have you ever tried Hourglass tinted moisturizers? It’s expensive but I think it looks pretty good on and I’m *pretty* sure it comes in a wide-ish array of shades.


    • 1/10/11 11:07 the Muse:

      haven’t tried jen…will have to check it out. I’m a laura mercier tm user so it’s hard to get me away from it, also dig UD TM!


  • 1/9/11 17:18 sillylilacs:

    I’ve heard that these are exactly the same as Revlon TMs…O.o

    after reading this, maybe not lol


    • 1/10/11 11:05 the Muse:

      haven’t tried revlon’s version lilac wish I could compare :)


  • 1/10/11 2:22 Amee:

    hehehe :) Julia me too dnt have any tinted moisturiser :)


    • 1/10/11 8:07 Julia:

      I consider my bb creams to be tinted moisteriser lol. I never got the point of TM


  • 3/27/11 3:06 chasethesky:

    i’m a guy and i use physicians formula tm. great.


  • 9/11/11 22:44 Amy Dorminey:

    I have this and hated it, too… I have used the tiny little $1 Essentials Line TM for a while and wanted to see if this one was better b/c it is higher SPF. I cannot begin to compare; the $1 product is a total win, this turns orange-y and made of FAIL. And I hate cucumber scent– ICK! The $1 products will last me at least 3 weeks using daily and has much better coverage. Best thing is, tiny package is great for purse and travel, and you are using fresher product since you cycle through monthly or so.


  • 3/8/14 21:11 Nina Danielle:

    ::holy late comment, Batman!::
    Have you ever tried Tarte’s tinted moisturizer? I used that for a while until I ran out (and now I’m looking for a replacement, hence why i’m here) and tbh it was the most amazing TM I ever put on my face.


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