e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Foundation Serum {Review}

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Rating: 2.5/5 stars ★★☆☆☆
Price Tag: $8 USD
Shades Available: 3 shade options
Weight: 0.47 fl oz / 14 ml
Where to Buy: Online at eyeslipsface.com

I had wanted to try some of the products from the Beautifully Bare collection and only recently managed to get my hands on a couple of items. While I had some reservations about the the Foundation Serum, mostly due to the high levels of dimethicones, I decided to take a risk on it.

e.l.f. is a cruelty-free brand that is completely vegan, with the exceptions of some Essential line brushes.


The bottle, pump and lid are identical to the Studio Primers. The cap is a clear acrylic while the pump is a fingerprint magnet silver. The main part of the tube is a yellowish beige, but it is a colored plastic insert under a thick layer of acrylic and not the actual product. The front has the company, product type and weight printed on the front, with the directions/warnings for use and active ingredient on the reverse. The full ingredients listing can be found on the box. The tube and pump feel sturdy enough, though the cap comes off a little too easily. The pump dispenses a suitably small amount of product at a go.

So far the printing has stayed put and not rubbed off like many other e.l.f. products I own.

Front of the box packaging.

There is not a lot of product in the tube. I consider a small amount of face product to be an ounce, and this serum is only a tiny half ounce. So not very much product. Many are understandably upset about the lack of product, so you may want to wait for a sale to pick up this product. But it’s still a budget friendly option overall.

Reverse of the box packaging.

It looks like I’ve already consumed a noticeable amount of product, but I’ve only used the serum occasionally. I think the tube was only filled up halfway when I first opened it. The thick plastic distorts the inside so it’s difficult to tell.

Bottom of the e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Foundation Serum just after unboxing. Not lots of product.

The box packaging is a thin plastic container, not the more common paper boxes e.l.f. uses.


The Foundation Serum definitely has light coverage. I personally prefer light coverage so it works well for me. As far as finish goes, I would say somewhere between dewy and matte, but closer to dewy.

The Foundation Serum is unlike most foundations as it is very runny. I don’t find that I need more than a pump to get good coverage. And that’s good since there’s not much product in the tube. The consistency is lightweight and quickly blends into the skin. While the coverage is thin, it does a good job covering minor skin imperfections. If you need more coverage, you’ll need a strong concealer, or a different product all together.

e.l.f. Foundation Serum in Light.

The consistency is silky smooth—and that always sends warning signs to me since that usually indicates a high concentration of dimethicones/silicones in the product.

Unfortunately for me, the Foundation Serum has a high dimethicone content. Seriously. There are nine different types of dimethicones listed in the ingredients. I have dry skin, and I find products with silica, silicones, and dimethicones very irritating. Dimethicones are the main reason why I hesitated to try this product.

And I do find the serum drying, even in the summer heat when I first received this product. If I apply a lot of a oil based serum to my face, then immediately apply this product, the dryness is not as pronounced. I do still usually experience an unpleasant tightness and often see flaking around my brows and mouth. I don’t foresee myself wearing this product during the harsh Iowa winters.

Box packaging.

I don’t like to wear powder over the Foundation Serum because I find it exacerbates the dryness. It helps that the Foundation Serum sets quickly. However, when I swatched the product it was still wet even after fifteen minutes. It seems to dry quickly once rubbed into the skin, so I find it odd it wouldn’t dry out in a swatch.

Unlike a lot of skin products, the Serum Foundation has a whopping 25 SPF full spectrum sun protection. That’s on the high side for a color face product.

There is a small amount of mineral oil included in the foundation.


There are currently only three shades available. As usual, e.l.f. covers the lighter end of the spectrum fairly well, but there are glaring omissions for darker foundation options.

Swatches of the e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Foundation Serum in Light just applied (left) and after 15 minutes (right).
There is slight oxidization and some drying after 15 minutes.


This is a slightly pinky beige shade that is good for those with warmer skin tones. Light looks yellower in the swatches than it is in person. It’s so sheer that it will probably work on on many with cooler undertones. Though the Foundation Serum contains a high amount of SPF, there is surprisingly little oxidization.

The color is more pink than is depicted in the color of the product tube.


Final Thoughts

Pros: Budget-friendly, contains 25 SPF
Cons: Drying, contains dimithicones/mineral oil, product size, shade selection

There’s a lot wrong with the e.l.f. Foundation Serum. It’s drying, has very light coverage, and doesn’t contain much product in the tube. There’s also a noticeable lack of shade options, particularly for those on the darker end of the spectrum.

If you have few skin issues and have a light skintone, this product might work for you. Given the issues with the foundation, I would recommend waiting to purchase it on sale if you really want to try it.