e.l.f Studio Tinted Moisturizer {Review}

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Rating: 4/5 stars ★★★★☆
Price Tag: $3
Shades Available: 8 shades
Weight: 0.88 fl oz
Where to Buy: Select retail stores like Target, eyeslipsface.com

Long before e.l.f. released their BB Cream, there was the iconic, pseudo-BB Cream, the Studio Tinted Moisturizer. I’m amused that e.l.f. now refers to their TM as the “original BB Cream” (check under the tab How To).

If you don’t want to make an order from e.l.f., you should be able to find the Studio Tinted Moisturizer locally at stores like Target or Kmart.


The packaging is similar to some big name cosmetics companies, like Smashbox (Sheer Photo Tinted Moisturizer) and NARS (Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer). At this point, it has become the e.l.f. Studio line’s default packaging for liquid face products.

e.l.f. Studio Moisturizer in Ivory, Porcelain and Nude

The front has the name of the product, as well as a few buzz ingredients and the weight, along with a small window at the bottom to see inside. The back of the packaging is completely blank. There is a small, silver sticker displaying the shade name on the bottom of the lid.

There’s nothing particularly eye catching, but it works. The top unscrews to reveal the nozzle and you can easily control how much product is dispensed, unlike a pump applicator.


I know a lot of bloggers compared the Studio Tinted Moisturizer to current drugstore BB Creams, but it feels like a normal TM to me (maybe that was the point). What I mean specifically is that it is slightly drying like most of the TMs I’ve tried (the e.l.f. Studio BB Cream has quite a different formulation—read my review here).

This isn’t to say that the Studio Tinted Moisturizer is bad. It works well with its lightweight coverage and is very economically priced at $3. Plus it’s widely available at retail stores. But it’s not life changing. It’s just a regular TM, though I do wish it was more moisturizing.

While I don’t recommend the TM for individuals with super dry skin, I do find the consistency to be slightly greasy. Give it a few minutes for the dry down, add a dash of powder, and you should be fine.

This product has an SPF rating of 20. This is achieved with the ingredients benzophenone-3, ethylhexyl isopalmitate, and titanium dioxide. Unfortunately, the sun protection does cause the product to darken noticeably. If you are looking for a lightweight skin product that doesn’t shift colors, I’d again suggest the e.l.f. Studio BB Cream that also has a 20 SPF rating.

There is a slight scent to the product, but I believe it is due mostly to the SPF protection. There is no fragrance listed for the TM, so it’s due to the ingredients themselves.

The downside is that the Studio Tinted Moisturizer contains copious amount of mineral oil (the second ingredient, and no doubt contributes to the greasiness), a couple of parabens, as well as a couple of “cones” (cyclomethicone and dimethicone; explains why I find the product drying).


I have the Studio Tinted Moisturizer in three shades.

Swatches of e.l.f. Studio Tinted Moisturizer in Ivory, Porcelain, and Nude


This is the newly released shade. I imagine this new color is related to the new release of the new Studio Moisturizing Foundation Stick that has an Ivory shade, yet surprisingly no Porcelain.

This is a ivory/porcelain shade with a neutral base and very slight yellow undertones. The box front reads:

[F]or light skin with beige undertones

I’m not sure why e.l.f. released this shade because as you can see, it’s barely different than Porcelain. I’m not seeing the beige undertones. Ivory would need to be a more neutral shade and this looks on the yellow side. It’s also considerably darker than the Studio Moisturizing Foundation Stick of the same shade name.


From the box:

[F]or very fair skin tones with yellow undertones

This is slightly more yellow than Ivory and ever so darker. But it’s a barely perceptible difference.


The last shade I own is Nude. From the box:

[F]or fair to light skin tones with a neutral balance of yellow and pink undertones

The shade description is fairly accurate. I notice the pink undertones more, but that may be because I usually buy products with yellow undertones. I got Nude for a summer shade, but I don’t really change much during the seasons so I almost never use it.


Final Thoughts

Pros: Adequate variety of shades, economically priced, contains SPF, good for normal to oily skin types
Cons: Slightly drying formula, strong color shift after oxidization, slightly greasy, not ideal for dry skin, contains parabens/mineral oil/”cones”, could use more shades.

Overall, this is a good, economical, cruelty-free and vegan tinted moisturizer. Most of my complaints revolve around the standard issues with dryness and not having enough shades.

I don’t really like the ingredients list since it’s full of “cones” and mineral oil, and the color shift after the dry down is a problem. As it is, both Ivory and Porcelain are just slightly darker than my skin tone, which means that those of us with really light skin tones are not going to get a true match with this product.

If you have dry skin, skip the Studio Tinted Moisturizer and go with the e.l.f. Studio BB Cream. It offers about the same level of lightweight coverage without the dryness, parabens, mineral oil, and color shifting due to SPF protection.