ELF Tone Adjusting Primer Review

ELF Tone Adjusting Primer

I finally think I’m getting somewhere with a load of my New York product reviews – it’s only been 5 months! Damn wedding planning has meant there’s been little time to pay attention to the new products I’ve been trying. One that I’ve kept coming back to over the past few months in the Elf Tone Adjusting Face Primer from the very first use I thought I knew how I felt about this product, but have kept trying it since to make sure my opinions were as I initially decided.

The only elf stand I came across was very small in a CVS as we were exiting the Empire State Building, post engagement (I’m sure he was happier inside than how he looked in that moment), naturally I had to make Ben check out what CVS was offering in comparison to Duane Reade. There couldn’t have been more than 30 items on the whole stand and like every other drugstore I visited the options were picked over and limited.

Other than a couple of make up brushes the only makeup product I picked up – and my first one from Elf as a brand – was this primer. At I think $6 (If I’m remembering correctly!) it was affordable and if it was a let down it wasn’t a big waste. In terms of packaging it actually looks pretty nice for a budget product whilst it does feel slightly plasticy – but for $6 you can’t have it all. It comes with a nice pump that dispenses just the right amount of product for covering your whole face.


One thing that the frosted white packaging hides is the actual colour of the product itself – I was surprised to find that this was bright purple on the first pump out, something I wasn’t expecting at all! In terms of texture is where I started to fall out of love with it a bit, unlike the MUFE Smoothing Primer I reviewed last week which had a siliconey texture which turned very silky as rubbed into the skin, this has a silicone feel that feels very greasy. I hate the feeling of this and whilst I don’t think it makes my skin look any oilier than my skin already is. Maybe those with dry skin wouldn’t have such a stigma to this feeling but immediately I didn’t like it for that reason.


I don’t really notice that the ELF Tone Adjusting Primer makes any major change to the tone of my skin at all, I don’t notice any change to the texture of my skin or that it looks any smoother. nor does it seem to make my makeup wear any longer. So all in all, I don’t really know what this primer is doing – I’m trying to use this up – using it once a week when I don’t need my makeup to last all day long if I’m only leaving the house for a few hours for example, hoping that suddenly I’ll fall in love with it! But sadly after 5 months of trying it’s only been a disappointment and doesn’t leave me feeling confident to try anything else from the Elf line.

Have you tried any of the makeup items from Elf? Let me know whether you think the line is investigating more in future or whether it’s a budget brand worth staying away from!


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Helpless Whilst Drying

Email: helplesswhilstdrying@gmail.com



  1. Classycatsbox
    June 5, 2016 / 7:28 am

    It’s hit and miss with elf, I recently hauled a bunch of products from their website and their matte lip colours are great for $3 and I really like their eyeshadow quads for quick makeup looks. The eye primer wasn’t so great it was like a bomb of sparkles haha. I’ll stay away from the tone adjusting primer!

  2. June 5, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    That sucks that it wasn’t good. What an ususl colour for a primer! I tried their under eye primer and whilst it wasn’t awful, it wasn’t hydrating and made my under eye concealer look flat f

    • I know right, the packaging has a lilacy hue, so was expecting a slight tint – no where near this level though! Shame it doesn’t actually do anything though! Sounds like maybe their base products aren’t fantastic!

      • June 6, 2016 / 9:25 am

        I was put off after trying the primer and as this ones not worked for you, their base products can’t be great. I have to admit it’s put me off trying their other products x

      • June 6, 2016 / 9:15 am

        When it comes to primer I am hooked to Nivea men Post shaving balm in sensitive. It makes your make up stick for a pretty long time. Thanks to YouTube beauty guru Nikkietutorials.Apart from that I use Smashbox primer but only on special occasions 😀

          • June 6, 2016 / 9:19 am

            Let me know your take on it😀

  3. Sam
    June 5, 2016 / 4:23 pm

    Hmm, that can be a pain but at least you didn’t spend a lot of money. Also, congrats on the engagement and I laughed really loud when I read how you picked this up after exiting the Empire State Building.

  4. June 5, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    I haven’t really gotten into elf, because the super low price point just makes me nervous. I just wonder about the quality of ingredients.

    • So far it hasn’t had me impressed. I also picked up two brushes from the line and whilst they are inexpensive and actually quite nice for the price – I have had to reglue them several times! Not so sure I’ll be checking out anything else from them in future.

  5. June 5, 2016 / 11:42 pm

    I tried this too. I think I could get past the texture if it did as it claims and was tone adjusting. But it didn’t do anything for me either.

  6. Kathyj
    June 8, 2016 / 7:02 am

    That is definitely purple! The packaging is quite fooling as I honestly didn’t think it would be that intense
    Kathy x

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