October 14, 2015

E.L.F. Studio HD Mattifying Balm Review

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

E.L.F. Studio HD Mattifying Balm2

I’m a huge fan of Mally Face Defender so of course I had to go ahead and give E.L.F. Studio HD Mattifying Balm ($6) a little try out as I’m all about scooping up a budget dupe.

Now Revlon Photoready Prime + Anti Shine Balm and Covergirl Tru Magic Skin Perfector Mattifier are both budget friendly options but I have to say neither has taken to place of Mally’s formula for me so I’m kinda still looking for that possible dupe which is why E.L.F. Studio HD Mattifying Balm seemed a good pick up!

Let’s take a peek!

E.L.F. Studio HD Mattifying Balm

For me Mally was the pioneer in creating a solid balm face perfector and since that time both high end brands and mid end ones have been trying to duplicate. I recently checked out YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector and I really expected it to somehow blow my mind since the price was considerably higher than Mally’s version. But in this case price doesn’t matter because again, I still reverted back to using my beloved Mally formula.

E.L.F. Studio HD Mattifying Balm4

On that note I was thinking that there was no way E.L.F.’s six dollar version likely wouldn’t make me switch. And it doesn’t. I still love Mally’s version more but I will say I really enjoyed E.L.F.’s formula.

E.L.F. Studio HD Mattifying Balm comes housed in a dual compartment compact which has a mirror and the balm located on the top and a sponge located in its own compartment below the balm. I’ve always likened these balms to a melted silicone primer that was poured into a compact and left to harden. That is in fact exactly what it feels and looks like, a solidified version of a silicone primer. Not I have drier skin so I always prefer hydrating primers myself but in the case of these balms I actually really like them.

E.L.F. Studio HD Mattifying Balm1

This can be used before or after makeup but I personally like using it after I apply makeup. After I apply all my makeup I dab the sponge in the balm and I gently smooth it over my face. It helps refine my entire look and gives my skin a softened appearance. I don’t have visible pores on my face but I do have ones on my nose and this completely blurs their appearance. It also soaks up the small amount of excess shine and oil I have on my forehead. I wouldn’t say this is a cure all/end all for major shine and oil but it will curb some of the shine and mattify skin nicely.

I really feel like these balms are a little makeup miracle. They just refine and soften skin so it gives your complexion a flawless, perfected look. I don’t have visible pores, nor do I suffer from acne or blemishes and my skin is quite good but this makes it even better. It just perfects my entire look and softens my makeup giving it a natural, flawless look.

E.L.F.’s formula is actually one of the thicker balms I’ve used but it doesn’t pill during application nor does it have a slick feel. It’s a very lightweight and just feels soft and smooth on skin. You can definitely prep with it prior to makeup application but I tend to do my entire face including color cosmetics and proceed to finish my look by smoothing this lightly all over my face. It doesn’t ruin my complete makeup in anyway and as I said it softens and perfects my look beautifully.

I wouldn’t say it’ll replace my beloved Mally formula, it won’t, but it is a damn good budget option and a nice way to try out a balm perfector if you haven’t yet tried one!

E.L.F. Studio HD Mattifying Balm is available now www.eyeslipsface.com.

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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    • Isabella Muse

      Hi Linda, I actually like this formula more. Revlon’s is very nice but E.L.F’s formula is a little thicker if that makes sense and that gives my skin a nice velvety finish where as Revlon’s is a bit thinner and doesn’t quite perfect as well as E.L.F.’s version although for me Mally’s version is number 1 🙂

  • Michelle Flamingo

    Welcome back from your much needed vacation! Nice write up, thank you! I might try this product. If I do, I will use it under my makeup…to each his own. 🙂

    • Isabella Muse

      thanks Michelle! Nice to be back! You’re very welcome. But of course! Under, over, it works either way 😀

  • danadoo

    I’ve always been a little mystified by these products. Do you use them instead of a powder, or do you use them along with powder?

    • Isabella Muse

      I don’t use powder to be honest, i just sort of set my makeup with this. Bit if you want you can use powder first and follow up with this I imagine!

    • Dee

      I have found with Mally’s product I don’t need powder. It’s a great product. But I need to try the elf one now! The price is too good to pass up.

  • Jenny

    Waaaaaaahhhhhh!!!! I’ve recently developed an allergy against all elf products. I’ve been using them for years so I don’t know why they break me out into rashes now 🙁

    • Isabella Muse

      You’ll find there’s some transfer but not a lot. You wanna apply it lightly with a soft touch! 🙂

  • MarciaF

    I tried the Cover Girl one and just couldn’t get into it. I’ve bought so many of the Mally and nothing seems to compare. I’m glad you talked me out of the YSL since it sounded great.

    • Isabella Muse

      ahh someone who agrees! Yes, Marcia, I haven’t found one that is as great as Mally. The cover girl one was ok for me but nothing replaces my beloved Mally!


    Why must everything be “MATTE”? I’m 75 years old and when you reach this age you NEED SOME OIL but everything is MATTE which is not only drying but looks dry and ends up in the lines and wrinkles no matter what they advertise. Do I need to use Vaseline to get some moisture and glow and subtle sheen? If something says it’s matte and won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. Ann G.

    • Violet

      Look into the asian BB creams like the Missha or Skin 79 ones. I love them as the shade is spot on for me but they don’t work asmy skin is very oily atm.

  • Rachel R.

    I love this stuff, but I use it under my foundation as a primer. It helps when my skin is really oily.

  • Violet

    Any idea as to how it matches up for dr. feelgood balm from benefit?
    been looking for a budget friendly matte balm for ages 🙁

    • Isabella Muse

      It’s much better in my opinion. Dr feel food was way ahead of its time but there are better options now! This is thicker than Dr Feel Good though keep that in mind 🙂