I must confess that more often than not these days, I am a person who formulates an ‘unpopular opinion’ about a new supposed Holy Grail makeup release. Having never tried a Benefit foundation before, I thought I would give their new Hello Happy one a chance, because quite honestly the marketing (both the cute packaging and the general social media campaign) was so enticing and well done, that I thought this may just be the sheer/lightweight miracle foundation formula I had been looking for. First of all, I have often tended towards a fuller coverage base because of my hyperpigmentation and I’ve always felt I prefer the look of my makeup with a medium to high coverage foundation. That being said, there are days when you don’t want to feel like your face is caked up and certain situations that call for just a little bit less coverage and not something super heavy and visible. So seeing the buzz around this new launch, I was excited about the prospect of finding something in the middle for me to wear on days where I just want to slap something on to pop out to the shops, and still look somewhat pulled together.
There are a handful of Benefit face products that are already a smash hit with me, and most of these are complexion products: Porefessional Primer, Hoola Bronzer and the Watts Up Highlighter. It therefore seemed likely that Benefit could pull off a really great foundation given that their other face products I have so enjoyed. I am lucky that the colour match for me is practically perfect (I am no.3), given that there are only 12 colours available in the range. Numbering the foundations as they have also implies that they have no intention of widening the shade selection down the road, as sliding additional colours into the numbering system will disrupt their light to dark gradient they’ve created so far. Benefit has argued that they’ve kept the undertones very neutral and due to the formulation being sheer, the colours they’ve launched lend themselves to multiple skin tones, but I am not sure if this is true.
That aside, I test drove the foundation for over a week at the office to see how it would perform for a standard 9 hour workday, and made sure to pay close attention to the variables like moisturising and priming to assess the behaviour under different circumstances. When first applying this foundation, I immediately loved how my skin looked. The foundation claims to create a smooth, soft and blurring effect on the skin, and it most certainly has that effect. The skin is left looking like a perfect dewy and demi-matte mixture, that has enough coverage to even out skin tone and mask the smaller imperfections, but still sheer enough that you can see your actual skin through.
Throughout the course of the day however, I found that my skin started looking and feeling progressively more and more dehydrated, despite using moisturisers and primers underneath. A colleague and friend told me that, whilst they love me, my face resembled the Etosha Pan… which for someone who doesn’t normally suffer from dry skin, was quite a shock. When looking at the ingredient list, I discovered that Sodium Chloride is one of the chemical components used (often included as a thickening agent). This is otherwise known as table salt… and while I do not claim to know exactly what level it has been incorporated into the recipe, it may well be the reason the foundation has a drying effect on the skin. Despite the dryness, the foundation actually lasted the whole day and didn’t oxidise either, which are both great factors to take into consideration.
The packaging I am on the fence about, firstly because of the weight and shape thereof – it just doesn’t exude the same quality as a L’Oreal or MAC bottle because of the plastic components – and secondly because of the smiley face graphic on the front. I guess it is cute and ties into their funky existing branding nicely, but personally I just found it a tad childish for my taste.
Furthermore, the formulation of this product, while beautifully lightweight and comfortable to wear, required a fair amount of layering in order to build it up to a medium coverage due to its watery consistancy, so I’m pretty sure the 30ml in the bottle is not going to stretch very far for a person like myself who has a heavier hand when applying it.
Regardless of the above, I can still see myself wearing this foundation from time to time when I want to quickly just whip to the shop or need something short term that will make me look polished and put together if I am in a rush. Unfortunately though, due to the drying effect over a couple of hours and the R425.00 pricepoint, it probably won’t be a repurchase of mine because I just can’t justify this amount for a foundation I feel lukewarm about, especially when there are many strong CC and BB cream formulations out there as competition. If you are someone with oily skin, you may just adore this formulation though as any excess oil your skin pushes out through the day will be absorbed without budging
I filmed a video which is now live on my Youtube channel. I will link to the video below so you can see the actual product in action and the way the other products I wore layered on top of it (spoiler alert: all the other Benefit face products are a dream)!
Anyway, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic day, and I will be back with more soon 🙂