e.l.f. Oil Control Primer Mist–Say Goodbye to Unwanted Shine

Shiny car. Shiny jewelry. Shiny hair. Shiny nails. “Shiny” is usually a good thing, right? 

Right…unless it’s your face that’s shiny! Those of us with oily or combination skin usually want to say goodbye to shine. Excess oils can ruin a perfect makeup day, and nobody wants that! Read on for tips to combat shine that comes from excess oil.

setting powderThe most common method people use to control shine from oily skin, is by applying powder. Some people with normal or combination skin may only want to apply powder to the t-zone since that is the area that most commonly gets oily.

If you really need your makeup to last and stay matte, you can use loose powder to bake. No, I’m not talking about baking cookies! :p If you’re unfamiliar with the term “baking” in terms of makeup, this technique involves packing a heavy layer of powder on the skin, letting it sit for about 10 minutes, and then brushing away the powder. This method works because your body heat allows the base makeup and powder to meld with your skin and excess oils are absorbed. Once the excess powder is brushed off, you’re left with a high-coverage, long-lasting look.

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I like my makeup to last all day if I take the time to apply it. Unfortunately, powder doesn’t quite cut it and the only baking I want to do is in the kitchen. A great compromise that I found is in the form of the e.l.f. Oil Control Primer Mist. Continue reading to learn more about this amazing product!

Product claims directly from ElfCosmetics.com

elf oil control primer mistCut oil and ban shine with this water-based primer mist that preps skin for a smooth, matte finish.

  • Water-based primer
  • Preps skin for a smooth, matte finish
  • Enriched with purified water, cucumber extract, Vitamin E and Vitamin B to hydrate skin

Other product details

  • Price: $8.00
  • Net weight: 1.01 oz.
  • Made in China
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Shelf life: 6 months
  • Where to buy: ElfCosmetics.com or Amazon.com
  • Overall rating: 9/10
    • Mister: 5/10
    • Oil-control: 10/10
    • Ingredients: 10/10
    • Fragrance: 10/10
    • Price: 10/10


Mister who? Just kidding! One thing I take into consideration with any type of product that comes in the form of a spray bottle, is the quality of the sprayer or “mister.” I prefer a mister that dispenses an appropriate amount of product with each spray, and evenly disperses it over the skin. 

The mister on this product is quite aggressive! It actually dispenses too much with each spray, in my opinion. It also sprays in a fairly concentrated area, so it is easy to accidentally use too much of this product. It’s important to remember to hold the bottle 8-10 inches from your face and keep your eyes closed while spraying.

Since I have combination skin and the main areas that need oil control are my forehead and nose, I spray each of those areas only once. That provides more than enough product. I wait for the primer to fully dry before applying makeup on top. That usually takes 3-5 minutes.


I tried mattifying primers in the past, but they were too heavy and didn’t actually help to keep my face looking matte. This primer mist is different. Like the product description states, it is water-based and truly feels just like water going on the skin. It does an amazing job of controlling my excess oils throughout the day, especially when paired with a light dusting of setting powder over my foundation.

You can see in this photo that my face was still looking very matte 6 hours after I applied my makeup. I usually start looking oily after only 3-4 hours, so this is impressive! 🙂

elf oil control primer mist 9 am VS. 3 pm


Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide, Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve), Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Extract, Silica, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, PPG-1-PEG-9 Lauryl Glycol Ether, Coceth-7, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cyclodextrin, Hydroxyacetophenone, 1,2- Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol MAY CONTAIN: Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491)

At first glance, you might think the ingredients list for this oil control mist looks intimidating. I know I was a little bit worried. I wondered “am I going to stop using this if it’s full of bad stuff?” Fear not, my friends. This product contains some real powerhouse skincare ingredients and one that is responsible for the oil-controlling property of the primer:

  • cucumbersSodium Hyaluronate is the sodium form of hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a humectant that keeps the skin hydrated
  • Niacinamide (vitamin B3) is a real superstar ingredient that has multiple functions including
    • Improves appearance of enlarged pores
    • Regulates oil production
    • Evens skin tone
    • Softens fine lines
  • Tocopheryl Acetate (most common form of vitamin E) is an antioxidant that moisturizes and strengthens the skin barrier
  • Cucumber fruit extract and coffee extract are antioxidants
  • Silica mattifies the skin

The rest of the ingredients provide support by improving product texture, emulsifying, and improving shelf life. The three “may contain” ingredients are all safe, and if they are present they only serve as coloring agents.


If you’ve read some of my other product review posts, you might already know that I think added fragrance is a bad idea (at least for face products). Fortunately, this product is completely free of added fragrance! This also means that the product doesn’t have the most pleasant scent, but it is very mild and fades as soon as it dries. I can’t take any points away for this because I’m so pleased that e.l.f. made the choice not to add fragrance to this product.


Like all products from e.l.f. Cosmetics, this oil control spray is very reasonably priced. A little bit goes a long way, so this will last most people a very long time, making it a great value. Honestly, the fact that this product works so well for me and I haven’t seen anything like it from other brands, I would probably pay a little more than $8.00 (don’t tell e.l.f. I said that!). 

Companion products

If your skin is ultra-oily and you need to touch up after wearing your makeup for several hours, e.l.f. makes a couple of other products that will refresh and mattify your makeup. Their Shine Eraser sheets and Blotting Papers can be used to remove your excess oils without disturbing your makeup. The e.l.f. translucent Matte Blotting Powder can then be applied afterward to make your makeup look more matte. 

I used to always struggle with my nose and forehead getting shiny by mid-day and hated how it looked. I’m so glad that I don’t have that problem anymore thanks to the e.l.f. Oil Control Primer Mist! There are a lot of e.l.f. products that are designed to combat excess oil and shine, but this one works so well for me I don’t think I’ll ever be without it. 

Have you tried this product or something similar? Did it work well for you? Please let me know by commenting below!


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2 thoughts on “e.l.f. Oil Control Primer Mist–Say Goodbye to Unwanted Shine

    • Yes, it really is an amazing product! I have always been impressed by this primer’s performance, and I’m even more impressed now that I know about all the good ingredients. I agree that e.l.f.’s prices are tough to beat, especially now that they have such a wide variety of high quality products!


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