Sunday, 25 October 2015

Review: Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation

When it comes to foundation I have a serious case of the grass is always greener. I love my Estee Lauder Double Wear - it's far & away the best foundation I've ever tried - but what if there's a better, cheaper formula out there that I'm missing out on because I don't want to take the risk? 

I know it's ridiculous, but that's how I ended up picking up Benefit's newest Hello Flawless foundation (RRP £26.50).

Benefit Hellow Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation

I really like the packaging - it feels a lot less kitsch than Benefit's usual style, with just small accents of pink to make the black & white pop (it really reminds me of Topshop's packaging, which I love). I also like that the foundation comes in a pressurised tube with a pump for minimal product waste as this is one of my biggest complaints about Estee Lauder's Double Wear.

My foundation came with a little blister sample of the Stay Flawless primer, which is great, but I wasn't a fan. The primer was rock solid & had an almost waxy consistency. I know that it normally comes in a stick form, & it's possible that the warmth from your skin could help soften it, but applying directly to the face isn't exactly hygienic.

Benefit Hello Flawless Foundation I'm Pure 4 Sure
L-R: No product; foundation; foundation & concealer. I'm wearing the shade I'm Pure 4 Sure which is around NC15.

When I was testing this I did have some fairly dark acne scarring around my chin, & with Hello Flawless being marketed as light to medium coverage I didn't have high hopes, but I was impressed by how well it disguised even some of the more noticeable marks (you can only see a few of the darkest scars in the second photo).

In terms of application, I found the formula to be a little difficult to work with simply because it's very liquid & buffing it in with a brush resulted in a streaky finish which I ended up evening out with a sponge. It was relatively easy to build coverage without it becoming cakey, but I did notice it clinging to some of my drier spots.

I also had some issues with the finish, which ultimately are what made this a thumbs down from me. 

Firstly, despite being described as "natural" & "luminous", I found it to be incredibly matte with an almost powdery finish. I have super oily skin but this foundation seemed to make me look dull & lifeless, which isn't great, especially as I was hoping this could be an option for when I didn't want to wear a full face of makeup. 

The second issue is that this foundation just WILL NOT SET. By the end of the day, pretty much all the coverage had gone, having transferred onto every surface my face had been remotely near: my hands, my clothes, my boyfriend's clothes, my cat... To be clear, I set this with powder at the beginning of the day but it seemed to make zero difference.

Even with a shit ton of highlighter I feel like my face still looks flat & there's some noticeable flakiness on my skin which just doesn't happen with Double Wear. As someone with acne-prone skin, the coverage just isn't quite their either, although I can see this working for someone with clearer, combo (not too dry, not too oily) skin.

If you've tried Hello Flawless, I'd be interested to hear about your experience - please leave me a comment below.

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