Thursday, July 4, 2013

Elf Studio Acne Fighting Foundation review

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I hope you’ve all had a safe, fun holiday. 

Today I wanted to share with you a review of one of the new products on Elf’s website: the Studio Acne Fighting Foundation. Here’s what the website has to say about it: 

This lightweight acne fighting foundation works to disguise redness, blemishes and uneven skintone. The flawless coverage foundation formula is infused with acne fighting key ingredients Salicylic Acid, Witch Hazel, Camphor, Tea Tree and soothing Aloe, to help prevent and treat acne blemishes.

This product costs $6 for 1 ounce of product. My shade is called Porcelain, which is the lightest one available. It actually has a bit too much yellow in it for me, so if you have pink undertones you might want to try a different shade.

The first time I applied this foundation, I was surprised by how pigmented it is. It offers medium to full, buildable coverage. It does cover blemishes and dark spots relatively well, especially if you apply a bit more product in those areas. (The back of the package says, “One layer gives a natural finish or apply in buildable layers for fuller coverage.”) 

I haven’t worn this foundation enough to be able to speak to its acne-fighting properties, although a mere .5 percent salicylic acid really won’t do much for any major acne problems. I will say that my skin can be sensitive and on some days this product caused some initial irritation right after application. It stung at first but got better after an hour or so. 

The wear time for this product is less than stellar. I noticed some patchiness around my mouth and between my eyes as well as shininess in my T-zone after about three or four hours. Also, this foundation really sinks into pores when worn without primer. After about six hours I thought my pores appeared large and my skin just looked uneven.

Also, the product seems to gather in (and emphasize) fine lines very quickly; I’ve never thought much about the “parentheses” around the corners of my mouth, but this product really emphasized them (and not in a good way)! The more I applied, the worse the problem became. Even my husband noticed it and commented that my foundation wasn’t blended completely in those areas (but it was! It just had sunk into my skin). 

Below are some photos showing me wearing this foundation! It should be noted that I wore no primer or concealer the day these were taken, but I did set my makeup with powder. I hope this gives you a good idea of how the product looks and wears:
No makeup

After foundation

all made up

9 hours later
Overall, I’d give this product maybe 3 out of 5 stars. It has good pigmentation but the wear time is lousy. It does wear better over a primer to keep it from sinking into pores. I’m not sure it would be an effective acne treatment on its own, and it can be irritating to sensitive skin. 

I’m also testing out Elf’s new HD Lifting Concealer in two shades, so I’ll be writing a review of that soon, too!

I hope this review was helpful! Have you tried this foundation? Considering it? Let me know your thoughts!


  1. I enjoyed your review. Thank you :)

  2. would this product be good for dry skin?

    1. Hmmm, I'm not sure if it would be good for dry skin, but I'm inclined to say probably not. The way it settles into fine lines makes me think it might adhere to dry patches, too, and the salicylic acid might be irritating to super dry types. If your skin's really dry, I'd recommend trying something like Revlon's ColorStay Foundation for Combination to Dry Skin. I hope this helps!

  3. Great review, thanks so much!!
    I've been holding off on ordering this because I'm a little worried Porcelain won't be light enough for my pale skin ("Porcelain" in ELF's Studio Pressed Powder was way too dark & also too warm& orange) But it doesn't look orange on you at all, TY again for the thorough review <3

    1. You're welcome - thanks for commenting! I have fair skin with pink undertones, and this foundation is indeed a bit yellow for me. (I've had that same issue with every Elf foundation/concealer product I've tried; do they think no one in the world has pink undertones?? I don't get it.)

      Anyway, despite the color not being an exact match, it's not really too dark, and somehow the shade Don't ask me how! It's not really the shade I have issues with; it's the formula. But I'd suggest ordering it if the shade's the only thing holding you back. :)