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I Never Have a Bad Skin Day When I Use This $12 Product

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When I'm having a bad skin day, I'm probably the only one who knows it (and even still, that doesn't stop me from doing everything I can to remedy it). The culprit of those days, for me, tends to be dryness—which inevitably translates to streaky foundation, caked-on concealer, and an overall dull-looking complexion. Add on environmental conditions like traveling and cold weather, and my skin issues multiply. With the help of a few skincare products, I've been able to tackle the root of the issue, but to be frank, it's been an expensive journey. That's why when I discover a formula effective at relieving my dryness, allows for a flawless makeup application, and is under $15, I want to shout it from the rooftops for all of my fellow dry-skinned beauty buffs to try.

I'll preface this review by saying I can't walk into Target and refrain from heading to the beauty aisle. Even if I go in for toilet paper, chances are I'll walk out with a beauty product or two (or five). One day after a supermarket run I moseyed over to Target's beauty section (which, can we just take a moment to appreciate the glow-up that is the Target skincare aisle?) and came across E.l.f'.s Holy Hydration Face Cream ($12). Initially, I picked up the original version of this cream, but after realizing it came in a fragrance-free type, I swapped them for the sake of my sensitive skin. The next morning, I applied a dime-sized amount to my entire face and waited about 20 minutes before applying my other products (I always let my skincare products settle in before adding on makeup to allow for better absorption). When I finished my makeup, I was taken aback. Let's just say my skin has never looked that plump, smooth, and flawless.

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E.l.f. Holy Hydration Face Cream $12
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About My Skin

More often than not, there are a few things I have to do pre-makeup to ensure my skin doesn't appear parched—my normal routine involves a spritz of MAC's Prep and Prime Fix+ ($28), an SPF, and a face cream. And then Holy Hydration came into my life. Now it's something I can't do my makeup without, especially if the day calls for a heavier look (you could say I use this as more of a primer versus as an actual a.m./p.m. face cream). Still, I don't think I ever knew what "supple skin" actually meant before this product.

The Feel

This is a thick cream (a little goes a long way) yet it feels lightweight and easily blends into the skin. I don't find myself having to rub it in for a long time; rather, a few swipes across my face and it's already absorbed. I can also feel the hydrating benefits throughout the day—not just immediately post-application, which is an issue I had with other supposed "long-lasting" moisturizers. And though I don't have oily skin, several reviewers have said it's non-greasy and helps reduce the appearance of pores underneath makeup.

The Results

Anyone who wears makeup on a consistent basis knows how important it is to find skincare products that'll enhance makeup rather than make it more difficult to apply. After first using E.l.f.'s Holy Hydration Face Cream, I was convinced I was just having a good makeup day (there was no way a $12 face cream could make my skin look that good, right?). After using it several times, I realized the cream was the common denominator on all of my good skin days. Thanks to blend of hyaluronic acid (to hydrate and plump), niacinamide (to brighten), squalene (to provide elasticity), and peptides (to promote collagen), I'm smitten.

The Value

Lately, I've been making an effort to incorporate more clean products into my routine. The only problem is they usually set me back over $50. This $12 skincare product is free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and gives my dry skin the hydration it requires to look smooth underneath makeup. I can't recommend this face cream enough. I love that the brand formulated this to work for several skin types—it's moisturizing for dry skin, brightening for dull skin, balancing for combination skin, and sensitive skin types can opt for the fragrance-free version.

Our Verdict

Whether you're on a budget or not, this cream is worth a try—no matter your skin type. I recommend using a dime-sized amount, otherwise it could have the opposite effect and begin to pill up. I'm ecstatic that there's a skincare product that's free of harsh chemicals, has an accessible price tag, and is just as effective as its higher-end counterparts.

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