elf skincare review

“Good isn’t cheap and cheap isn’t good.” I agree to some extent, but sometimes, and especially so when it comes to e.l.f., cheap can be pretty damn good. It’s never unanimous, across the board. Not every single product in any brand’s line is stellar. When you find budget buys that work, you can spend more elsewhere. I recently tried out e.lf.’s newest hydrating skincare offerings, which all seem to be heavily inspired by Korean beauty. Read on to find out which are good and cheap and which are just well, cheap.

I really like the packaging. The mint green is very spa like and would be right at home on your bathroom counter. I love that the moisturizer is in a pump tube as it won’t introduce any moisture, contaminating it. All of these items are $10 or below.

e.l.f. Nourishing Oil to Foam Cleanser
Out of everything, this was the biggest miss for me. It arrived leaking out of it’s container, making it’s box rather soggy. I could overlook that but it wasn’t nourishing at all on my dry skin. I was really excited about it initially because I love oil cleansers. It foamed it really nicely and it was fun to use! However, as soon as I rinsed, my skin felt extra tight and dry. For my skin type, I want my skin to feel comfortably hydrated after use and if nothing else, at least not dryer. I would not purchase this.

e.l.f. Illuminating Moisturizer Considered a “glowtion”, this is a really nice daily moisturizer with SPF 15 that reminds me of Pixi Day Dew. It adds glow with tiny shimmer particles, but not glitter and it didn’t seem to enhance my pores as much as some shimmer can. It hydrated well and didn’t leave my skin feel sticky or greasy. I would use this under my foundation for extra glow and radiance. I would purchase. 

e.l.f. Hydrating Water Essence This is my favorite product in the bundle. I’d been wanting to try an essence and even though I thought they were sprays, once I figured it out, I totally love it. You apply the liquid to a cotton pad and swipe on your face after cleansing. It’s like a moisturizing toner. It reminds me a lot of the Shiseido Softeners, which are obviously far pricier. I really enjoy using this to calm skin down after cleansing or exfoliating or even mid-da to add refreshing hydration. I would definitely purchase.

e.l.f. Hydrating Water Sheet Mask I have really gotten into sheet masks for hydration and the ease of use since you don’t have to rinse them off. Compared to others I have tried, this one was extra, uh, slippery? It seemed more soaked in serum than others. It did leave my skin feeling sticky, enough that my hair stuck to my face a few times after removing it and rubbing it in. I liked it, and it didn’t irritate my skin but it wasn’t my favorite sheet mask. I would probably not purchase. 

e.l.f. Hydrogel Under Eye Masks I happen to have been crying on the day I chose to test these which I saw as a silver lining. It really helped to reduce and prevent further puffiness. The slimy little pads feel like gummy candy and were soothing and fun to wear. I would purchase.

Overall, I was impressed with e.l.f.’s version of K-beauty skincare. I’m especially excited about the essence and the eye masks and I look forward to using them again and again!

Products provided by e.l.f. cosmetics for review purposes. No financial compensation was received.


  1. Brandy

    08/05/2017 at 1:26 AM

    I’m so glad you reviewed these. I’ve been eyeballing them in Target for a while. Love the packaging so much!

  2. Melanie

    02/05/2018 at 3:45 AM

    Late to the ballgame, but I apply the essence like a serum or lotion. For the desert, it is one thing that works amazingly well.

    1. Ivy Boyd

      02/05/2018 at 11:34 AM

      Thanks for that tip! Do you like to apply with fingers or a cotton pad?

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