What it is: Elf Camo Hydrating CC Cream is a medium coverage foundation with a dewy finish that provides SPF 30 sun protection with a combination of chemical and physical sunscreen ingredients. It has an emollient texture contributing to that dewy finish but I do not see any kind of fine shimmer in the product up close.
Price/Quantity: $15 for 1 oz / 30 grams
Shade Range: 30 shades
Packaging: Squeeze tube with a pump. The cap is easy to remove and stays in place. It gets a little bit messy inside the cap if you don’t wipe off excess foundation that collects at the tip of the pump. It doesn’t seem to be possible to remove or twist off the pump from the bottom of the tube. I tried for a bit but would rather not force it and break it. After using up a tiny bit of the product, it seems there is air in the pump so that when I press it, I am not always able to actually dispense product. By the time I get past the air pocket, the foundation kind of splats out with some force. It’s not a huge problem but could be a little messy and cause me to get foundation on things I’m not intending to.
Smell/Fragrance: It has a moderate sunscreen smell (and taste, if I get it too close to my mouth) that is obvious during application and lingers for a short time after. The scent does eventually fade though. I don’t see fragrance listed in the ingredients and I don’t smell anything fragrance-like over the scent of the sunscreen.
Expiration/Shelf Life: There is an expiration date printed both on the box the product came in and stamped into the top of the squeeze tube. The expiration date on mine is August 2025 and I purchased the product in December 2023.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide – 6.3%, Titanium Dioxide – 6 %, Homosalate – 5%, Octisalate – 4.5%, Octocrylene – 3%
Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Panthenol, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Magnesium Sulfate, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Trehalose, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrated Silica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Triethyl Citrate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Tin Oxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tremella Fuciformis Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Canola Oil, Glycerin, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Beta-Carotene, Soluble Collagen, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499)elfcosmetics.com
Shade: I bought the shades Fair 120 N and Light 205 N. When looking at the swatches provided by Elf, both the cool and warm undertone options looked as if they might have pretty obvious pink and yellow tones, even though the depth of some of those shades looked like they might work for me. I opted to just buy the two lightest neutral options and mix them if necessary. In person, these two shades look like they truly are neutral. Light 205 N is a bit too dark on me but is a closer match than Fair 120 N. Although it’s a bit deep, it is still passable and doesn’t look pink/peach, orange/yellow at all against my complexion. I’m glad I chose the shades I did and purchased both because I think I’ll be happier using a combo of the 2 rather than settling for an imperfect match using only one of them.
Application: I’ve tried a couple ways of applying this and so far my favorite is dotting and evenly distributing it all over with one end of a damp sponge and then turning the sponge over to its clean side to finish blending the product out. I can go over some areas again using this same method to build up the coverage I want and a second layer sits on the skin just fine without looking too heavy/cakey. I can also use my fingers to spread the product out and then blend with a sponge, but that somehow results in less coverage and a finish that doesn’t look as smooth. Using a foundation brush to apply was my least favorite method (most uneven, least coverage) but I did find a brush helpful at times to smooth out areas where the product gathered in larger pores. I didn’t find pooling/gathering in pores to be a major problem in general with this product but it did happen a little bit on some parts of my face.
Texture/Consistency/Finish: It has an emollient, creamy feel but is not particularly thick or heavy. It leaves the skin with a bit of tack but not so much that my hair sticks to my face. I could skip powder and leave it unset and be fine with the way the product feels to the touch. The finish is very dewy overall. When I first apply it, it reflects about the same amount of light as my skin naturally does when I only have moisturizer on. It doesn’t necessarily add any extra shine, initially, and it doesn’t have any shimmer as far as I can tell. But after wearing it for a while, maybe an hour or two, it becomes more and more glowy as the oils in my skin combine with the foundation. At this point, my face looks unnaturally shiny. I prefer to set this product with a powder vs wearing it alone.
Coverage: One layer gives me light-medium coverage and I can build it up in spots up to nearly full. This is described as having full coverage but I don’t agree. Strong medium approaching full is about the maximum amount of coverage I can get with it.
For the before and after shots below, I’m using the shade Light 205 N all over the face. I didn’t mix the lighter shade I have in or use any other complexion products.
Longevity: I’m still trying this out for wear time. All I can say for now is that when I set it with a powder, glow and shine break through that powder pretty quickly. I’m guessing I’ll need to add powder a couple of times over the course of a day. If applied somewhat heavily over an area with creases or lines, it will gather in those lines over time.
Pros and Cons
Things I like:
- Application is fast and easy. I feel like I could apply this quickly on a day when I’m feeling tired/lazy/in a rush.
- I like the coverage. For the amount of SPF, I feel I get more coverage than most other similar products I’ve tried.
- Oddly, I like that this has chemical SPF in it. Most of my sunscreens are mineral but I like using a combo of mineral and chemical when the sun is at its strongest.
- The undertone looks truly neutral for the two shades I chose.
Drawbacks and other considerations:
- I wish there was a neutral shade in between the two that I picked up to avoid needing both to match me correctly.
- The sunscreen smell is a bit strong.
- Questionable pump. So far it’s working okay but time will tell.
Do I Recommend It?
I’ve mentioned a few things that are probably off-putting but I somehow still really like this product. I haven’t tried a whole heck of a lot of foundations with relatively high SPF in them. The ones I have tried have either been too heavy/cakey or didn’t have much coverage. This one strikes a balance I’ve not found yet in another similar product. Even though it’s not super full coverage, the coverage it does provide is pretty high and I can see myself using this together with one of my tinted mineral SPF products later in the year as I need more sun protection. For the price, I think it’s good but make sure you’re okay with a glowy/dewy/emollient product.