Review: e.l.f. Studio HD Mattifying Balm

There has been a lot of buzz around one of e.l.f.’s newest releases: the Studio HD Mattifying Balm. This type of product has been very popular this year from higher end brands like Mally and Stila, so now that there is an affordable alternative, many are excited to try the trend.

Review: e.l.f. Studio HD Mattifying Balm | Slashed Beauty

Mattifying balms are essentially pressed primers. The e.l.f. Studio HD Mattifying Balm can be used both under and over makeup to help combat oiliness, as well as minimizing the appearance of pores. This unique formula consists of Vitamin E, Jojoba, Almond, and Grape which all help to nourish the skin.

The balm has a stiff, creamy consistency as to be expected. To apply, you use the included sponge (stored in a flip up compartment under the balm) to pick up the product and press it onto the face. It has slip to it like a normal primer, and swirling the sponge on the surface warms it up to make it easier to spread onto the face.

Review: e.l.f. Studio HD Mattifying Balm | Slashed Beauty

I can see my pores being slightly blurred as I apply the balm, and my liquid foundation goes on smoothly on top of it. It does a great job at prepping the skin for the rest of your makeup. When applying over makeup as a setting product, I suggest only using a tiny bit and applying it a patting motion as opposed to dragging over the face, which might pick up some of your foundation. I prefer using it under my makeup because it helps my face products last longer. I notice that my face stays matte all day without feeling dry, and I don’t find that I need to reapply this at all throughout the day.

There are only a few things that I don’t like about the mattifying balm. One thing I’ve noticed is that it can sometimes crumble off of the sponge during application, so you’ll end up with little chunks of primer in your lap. You can use your fingers to avoid this happening, but as always: make sure you sanitize your hands before using them to pick up makeup straight from the compact. Also, you’ll want to avoid opening the compact in dusty areas. The white surface isn’t forgiving to any particles that get caught in the balm. Lastly, I usually like my primers to have SPF in them.

Review: e.l.f. Studio HD Mattifying Balm | Slashed Beauty

Overall, I think this balm is a really handy beauty product that works very well as a primer. It feels smooth on the face, and very lightweight. My makeup looks great on top of it and the mattifying effect lasts all day, keeping my face products in place. For just $6, this is a steal compared to similar products from different brands. I packed it with me during my trip this weekend since it’s also very travel friendly. If mattifying balms have had you intrigued, pick this one up to try!

The e.l.f. Studio HD Mattifying Balm is available now on their website.

Have you tried any of the priming balms released this year?



  1. So need to try out this product!
    By the way, having SPF in a primer would be useless, because you aren’t applying enough of the product to get any sun protection. For example, you have to use 1/4 tsp of sunscreen to get the advertised SPF rating 🙂

    • I know that the SPF in primers or foundations aren’t nearly enough for ample protection, but I like having them in most of my face products anyway– I usually use moisturizer, primer, and foundation that all have SPF. You should pick this up!

  2. Great post! I have the Mally one and it works pretty well, but it comes with this big awkward sponge and no where to put it! This option would be great to keep in my purse for touch ups. I’ve just started experimenting with e.l.f. products again and I think most of them work great considering the low price. I’ve found these solid primers to be a bit tricky to use — you really have to get the perfect amount on your face otherwise it does nothing or looks messy.

    • I totally agree with you. I have found after more use that I really do prefer using my fingers to pick up product so I can get enough and spread it without the “fallout”. I’d be interested to see how it compared to your Mally one! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. I would worry about breakouts. I need primer for my big pored, combination but pretty oily skin. I have a Sephora brand primer that works well, but it’s so expensive! I’ve also always heard great things about the Porefessional, but the one time I used a sample, I broke out immediately! I suppose it could have be stress, but I’ve been working hard for a year now to finally get my skin cleared up so I’m scared to try it again. How did your skin react to it?

  4. I have heard great things about this product… and definitely think it would be a great alternative for those looking at those expensive products similar. I want to check this out.

      • One of the few things I like about living in a big city now is that there are 30 Targets within an hour drive, so usually I can find it somewhere if Target carries it. It’s just a matter of what Target carries and doesn’t carry.

  5. I have very dry skin so I don’t usually use mattifying products, but this sounds like a good one. elf always amazes me with its affordable but effective makeup

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