Review: e.l.f. Studio BB Cream SPF 20 (Fair) | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

07 December, 2013

Review: e.l.f. Studio BB Cream SPF 20 (Fair)

Affiliate Links Bought It

I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for novelty. Whenever a company I buy makeup from regularly releases something in a new format I'm like OMGMUSTTRY. Which is great for blogging material, but not so great for my wallet. Anyway, between e.l.f.'s regular low prices and frequent 50% off sales I felt like I didn't have much to lose by trying their new BB cream, so I thought I'd share my results with you... for science!

e.l.f. Studio BB Cream SPF 20 fair

e.l.f. 's new BB cream is part of their Studio line. It retails at $6 for 1.06oz/30g of product, but of course one can purchase this for half the price if one is willing to wait for a 50% off sale (I know I did). The cream is available in six shades: Fair, Buff, Nude, Beige, Medium, and Dark. The shade I'll be reviewing today is Fair.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS (sunscreen):Oxybenzone 4%, Octisalate 5%, Octinoxate 7.5%

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS:Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Beonzoate, Titanium Dioxide, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sorbitan Olivate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Sodium Chloride, Quaternium-18 Bentonite, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Dimethicone, Zinc Stearate, Talc, Vp/Hexadecene Copolymer, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Mica, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Methylisothiazolinone. MAY CONTAIN: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

This BB cream comes packaged with a pump, which I always prefer because it's more hygenic and less messy to use.

e.l.f. Studio BB Cream SPF 20 pump

Now, before I get into the color/texture of this cream I feel like I should tell you that I tried e.l.f.'s Studio Tinted Moisturizer a couple of years ago, and it was a really bad match for me. The "Porcelain" (lightest) shade was really orange on me, so it didn't work at all. I was a bit apprehensive that I would have similar problems with the BB cream, but because the range of shades is different I though maybe there was a chance it would work. Let's take a look:

e.l.f. Studio BB Cream SPF 20 fair

...and the answer is nope, too warm-toned for my skin. Though I feel like this might be a little less orange than the tinted moisturizer, but it's been a while since I used it so don't hold me to that.

General impressions:

I would say that this product offers light coverage and a slightly dewy finish. It might be a bit too dewy for oily skin, in fact. Sorry for the horrible photograph, but maybe this will illustrate my point:

To me, it seems more like a tinted moisturizer than what I would typically think of when I think of BB cream, which means it can rub off on clothing etc. if you're not careful. I would say that this is a slight improvement on their original tinted moisturizer in terms of texture, and the scent is also a little nicer - it smells like sunscreen with a touch of something floral thrown in. The fragrance does linger a bit though, so if you have issues with strong scents I might skip this one.

Would I buy this again? No, because "fair" doesn't match my skintone and the others are all clearly too dark. I'm not ready to totally write off this product though, because aside from the shade matching issues it seems like a perfectly adequate tinted moisturizer - it's a little bit hydrating and has the potential to even out your skin tone (if it matches you). The SPF is nothing to write home about, but if you spend time in the sun you should be wearing another sunscreen under your makeup anyway.

Bottom line: e.l.f.'s Studio BB Cream feels like their tinted moisturizer with an improved formula and an improved package. The Fair shade wasn't a match for me, but I can imagine it being suitable for someone with a warmer skintone. The coverage is on the light side, so if you're trying to conceal a lot of blemishes or redness I would probably look elsewhere.

Where to buy:
You can find e.l.f. Studio BB Cream on the e.l.f. website here. They run 40% or 50% off sales often, so if you're on the fence perhaps you should wait for one of those to roll around!

What do you think of this product? Do you use tinted moisturizer?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.


  1. I just can't get into BB creams. They all seem like that to me! Useless. I feel you on the new things must try though! I saw this Milani shadow palette that is supposed to be coming out on Nouveau Cheap and got that "must find must find" urge immediately.

    1. Milani makes awesome eyeshadow palettes so I can understand that, haha! As for BB creams: I would look into Asian BB creams if you want something with more coverage. Especially Korean brands like Missha, Lioele, Etude House etc. Skintone issues aside, a lot of the non-Asian drugstore ones I've tried (like Maybelline, Garnier etc.) have had much lighter coverage. I'll keep trying them, but I have yet to find a non-Korean BB cream that I love.

  2. Replies
    1. Haha, I know it's not for everyone. I'm cool with dewy sometimes, but I need something with slightly better coverage.

  3. I have been looking at BB creams but I just can't find anything that suits me. Will try Elf :) xx

    1. It certainly is inexpensive - not much to lose! You have 50% off sales on the UK website sometimes, right?

    2. Yes we do, once or twice a year :) x

    3. Ah that's good! The US site has sales all the time, but sometimes it's only on certain products (like the Studio range)

  4. I own this BB and its become my new favorite for price, coverage and ease of use!

    1. Which shade do you have? I'm wondering how the other shades compare to this one...

  5. I've had the same experience with the ELF tinted moisturizer (WAY too yellowy-orange on me) and I wondered if the BB cream would be the same. I did like the formula and price of the moisturizer, but it was just made for someone with totally different coloring than me. I can tell this definitely wouldn't work for me either, so thanks for saving me the cash!

    1. Glad to help! I hope they realize someday that there are a lot of pale people who aren't orange. :P

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