January 15, 2021

E.L.F. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
3 stars out of 5

E.L.F. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm ($10) is a new solid balm cleanser infused with ceramides, peptides, and Hyaluronic Acid that gently removes makeup without stripping and leaves skin feeling hydrated and plumped! I’m always a little skeptical of cleansers that are packed with really great ingredients. I mean, you’re washing it off so what’s the point of having a cleanser loaded up with all these great things that are simply washed down the drain?

None the less I decided to give Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm a go because I have drier skin and this sounded great for such a skin type!

E.L.F. Cosmetics has launched a cleansing balm of sorts in the past under the name Hydrating Gel Melt Cleanser back in 2016. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this new version remained the same price wise ($10) but it’s a big bigger in size at 2 oz compared to the old version which was 1.41 oz! It still is a bit small though for what you get as can get a considerably amount more bang for your buck from Pond’s Cleansing Balm which is 3.38 oz and $10.

Compared to the old Hydrating Gel Melt Cleanser formula these are two very different products so no need to worry that you’re getting a repackaged launch! Nothing more annoying than that right? But sadly, a lot of the really good things that it contains are lower on the list! For example it contains several ceramides but they are around 11 on the list likewise for Hyaluronic Acid. Not sure how beneficial they’ll be with the small amount the balm actually has plus as I mentioned above you are rinsing much of it away anymore.

That disappointing aspect aside the cleansing balm is formulated very nicely but not skincare life changing by any means. It’s a solid balm with the standard sorbet-like texture that you apply on a dry face, massage in, and use water to emulsify it. As it breaks down it turns milky and washes clean away. It’s very easy to wash away and doesn’t leave any film or residue behind. I did bad trippy eye vision from it well after rinsing it away but it disappeared in several minutes and my eyes returned to normal. I prefer balms that don’t do that as I always get panicky when that happens. It’s a weird feeling. It removed makeup very well and didn’t leave my skin hydrated or super soft, smooth, or plumped but also, it didn’t strip nor did it leave my dry! It does contain fragrance but I didn’t notice it at all.

E.L.F. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm is ok! It’s nothing you aren’t getting from any other cleansing balm you already own! It’s not something you need to run immediately to the store and buy. Although, I have to admit, the reviews on E.L.F.’s website are comical. “MUST BUY CLEANSING BALM!” “CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT” Yeah, umm, it’s pretty basic! I’ve definitely tried better. It removes makeup well but there’s nothing else to see here unfortunately.

E.L.F. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm is available now at Ulta. If you wanna give the entire Holy Hydration Collection a try Ulta actually has a great mini set for $20 that includes this cleansing balm, the moisturizer, eye cream, liquid cleanser, and more! It’s a nice way to check the entire line out before indulging in the larger sizes.
Tried this?

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Where to buy

Nordstrom Ulta Sephora Hautelook Neiman Marcus

E.L.F. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm is a new budget friendly $10 (2 oz) solid cleansing balm that contains ceramides, peptides, and Hyaluronic Acid to leave skin smooth, hydrated and plumped after cleansing. I like the idea of all these ingredients but as you can see from the list they are all very low on the list and I’m not sure if they will offer any real benefits having such a small amount in the formula not to mention you are washing them away. That being said this was a basic cleansing balm that didn’t leave me feeling particularly hydrated nor did my skin look plumped after use. It did however, do a great job of removing makeup and didn’t leave me feeling tight or dry after use.

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Polydecene, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Polyethylene, PEG-10 Isostearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Sunflower Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide 1, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Phytosphingosine, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Water (Aqua), Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Cholesterol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Geraniol, Linalool, Fragrance (Parfum)


  • Affordable.
  • Rinses clean away.
  • Removes makeup well.
  • Doesn’t strip or leave skin tight.


  • No hydrating or plumping elements.
  • Contains fragrance (although, I didn’t personally smell anything!)
  • A bit too much marketing for a basic formula.


E.L.F. Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm is a nice, affordable cleansing balm that most any skin type can enjoy using!

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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