For anyone that knows me personally, you'll be glad to know that no I have not bought 'yet another' foundation! This is in fact a sample. I have been trialling this foundation for the majority of the past two weeks and feel that I've worn it enough to really understand the product and how it wears, usually I can tell on the first application and day of wear if I'm going to love something or not, but as with everything I like to see if things hold up and make sure it wasn't just a 'good or bad skin day' Here I have Benefit's Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow foundation in shade Ivory. Be warned - this is a long one!
Firstly can we talk about the packaging? Most of the time when you ask for a sample the MUA has to decant some from a huge bottle (like on my Lancome counter or on Estee Lauder) which means you'll end up with a little glass bottle full of product - perfectly fine. From an MUA's point of view the way Benefit do this? It's perfect! They have pre-made sample size pots they just hand out upon request and these are fantastic, much less time consuming as you no longer need to pour product or write the shade (not that this takes up a lot of time but it is difficult when dealing with multiple customers at one time) Despite the fact you get less time chatting to the customer as you're able to just hand them a sample, it is less time consuming and ultimately less messy for all those involved (I have been guilty of over-pouring) Plus you actually get some packaging that tells you the shade and ingredients, and it also comes with a pump which is impressive and the bottle is cleverly designed as you can see how much product you have left. A sample size of this foundation follows suit to the actual product you will buy where packaging is concerned as everything is exactly the same, just smaller. I think thats how every company should do it.
When it came to actually trying this foundation I was, at first, very sceptical. I had tried this foundation before when it was first released and wasn't too impressed. It's quite runny when you initially pump it out, which made me think I wouldn't like it second time round. It's intended for a light to medium coverage which this certainly gives. You can't build it up to any more than medium without it looking too packed on or cake-y. On application it blends well yet sometimes you can see the print of my brush on my skin - I never normally get this so I'm putting it down to the runny consistency of the product.
I actually love the finish of this when it's freshly applied, it does give an almost flawless look to the face and they aren't lying about being brightening. Coverage-wise it doesn't cover everything (I never expect any foundation to - as that's a concealers job) but it is a really nice light to medium coverage for correcting the skin tone and tying everything altogether. The luminosity is achieved without any glitter or sparkle which is lovely and makes me want to compare it to Rimmel's Wake Me Up foundation but a more grown up/glitter-free/more expensive nicer version. I have had a few compliments whilst wearing this foundation which is always a good sign! The problems with this lie with how it wears, it doesn't last a full day but touching up just seems to make me look cakey. It starts to become patchy and settle in my pores from the 5/6 hour mark. Though when worn with Porefessional this is less noticeable. It sits in fine lines like I have pointed out in one of my swatch photographs which isn't great and using a powder on top doesn't help. I like the luminous almost dewy finish but only on certain parts of my face (fussy customer here) so on areas like my forehead the shine just increases with wear - this is one of those areas I like to keep as non-shiny as possible so this can be a slight problem. Down my nose and on my cheeks it looks really radiant and glow-y though as you can see in the photographs.
What I like about Hello Flawless:
- The packaging. Although it doesn't look classy or overly 'high-end' it's designed around how you use the product. I like the pump and the fact that the bottom moves upwards as you pump more out so you can see how much product you have left.
- The finish of this is lovely as it's definitely multi-dimensional because of the luminosity. It's radiant and does a good job of perfecting the skin tone to make it look even and healthy.
- It has an Spf of 25.
- It doesn't contain any parabens or oils which makes this foundation great for most skin types. Because of the dewy finish an oily skin may prefer something more mattifying though.
- It has a light to medium coverage that can be sheered out when applied with fingers.
- It also photographs really well in the day time, I'm pleased with how my skin looks in these photographs - I haven't tried it at night with flash though.
What I dislike about Hello Flawless:
- It can oxidise. I say 'can' because for some very peculiar reason this doesn't happen all the time. I don't always feel like it has changed but sometimes I see myself and I'm thinking 'woah - I wasn't that colour earlier'
- The medium coverage is supposed to be build-able but I actually found if you go one pump too many it looked very cake-y and 'too much' and it can turn into a very obvious-that-I'm-wearing-foundation foundation if you know what I mean!
- This applied in quite a streaky way, I use very dense brushes that usually leave no lines on my face or prints of the brush but with this foundation I somehow get them each time! This is probably because it is quite a loose, runny consistency.
-Spf of 25 may mean it isn't ideal for nights out and flash photography.
- After the six hour mark it does start to settle in to my pores a little bit and wear away in patches like around my nose and center of my forehead.
- I sometimes feel as though if I wipe my face with my hand some of the foundation would come off, it can give that 'sitting on top of' your skin feeling and still feel tacky rather than feeling blended in.
Despite the cons I've listed I quite like this foundation! It's a tricky one because it's gorgeous upon application but doesn't live up to it's potential in terms of wear time. It does give a flawless finish and photographs really nicely. I just wish it held up for a little longer, wasn't so tacky and didn't need so much touching up. I'm undecided whether I want to purchase the full size of this, I think there are nicer foundations out there that will wear better and give an equally good if not better finish when it is freshly applied. I prefer the foundations I own already - particularly Chanel Perfection Lumiere or my Nars Sheer Glow! I think next on my list to try are Bobbi Brown offerings and Vita Lumiere Aqua from Chanel. Overall though an impressive foundation from Benefit!
Have you tried this foundation before? What do you think of Benefit's products?