I know, I know. Wearing makeup while you work out isn't the greatest idea. Chastise my bad beauty blogger ways, but I'm seriously way too insecure to leave the house sans foundation.
That's why I'm always on the lookout for a great colour match that looks natural enough for the gym. When I heard about Benefit's 'Hello Flawless!' Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation, it sounded like it just might provide me with enough security-blanket coverage.
I also wanted to see how it would fare in my quest for an all-around Holy Grail foundation. To recap, I'm looking for a great shade match for my medium-dark skin; coverage (the fuller, the better); a long-wearing formula; and travel-friendly packaging. A reasonable price is a bonus!
My first HG foundation discovery was Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation Stick. Read on to find out how Benefit measures up...
1. The Shade Match
Hello Flawless! comes in nine shades, and the sixth deepest, 'Warm Me Up' Toasted Beige, is a great colour match for my Indian NC45 skin. It's slightly too dark for my presently desaturated winter skin tone, but would suit me 10 months of the year, no problem.
While the shade range is somewhat limited and does lack options at the very light and very dark ends of the scale, the undertones are yellow-based, so should flatter many ethnicities. (As top makeup artist Melanie Inglessis pointed out, most foundations are too pink or too orange.)
Benefit also has a handy chart to help you find your shade.
The runny formula applies easily, and just a pump or two should be enough for your entire face.
2. The Coverage
I was not expecting such great coverage from what Benefit describes as a light-to-medium foundation. Hello Flawless! is definitely buildable, meaning I can layer it up over areas I want to conceal, and apply it sheerly over my freckles.
I put two pumps on my fingertips and massage it over my skin, using a damp Beautyblender sponge for the areas around my nose.
Even though it is oil-free, this foundation leaves a dewy finish—which I detest, as it reads shiny on my combination skin. So I do need to give it a light dusting of powder. I used the matching 'Hello Flawless!' SPF 15, a velvety-soft pressed compact.
3. The Packaging
If a liquid foundation were ever to win me over on its packaging, Hello Flawless! would be it. Benefit has delivered a smartly-designed compact plastic bottle with a tight cap that travels well with no fear of smashing, and a pump that delivers a perfectly-sized blob of foundation.
4. The Longevity
Unfortunately, Hello Flawless! has one flaw for me and it's a deal-breaker in terms of Holy Grail status—making it appropriate for gym-wear only.
Here's the problem. After three hours, this foundation begins to dissolve in patches, fading fast on my oily T-zone. It also starts to settle into my pores and creases, and it does this weird thing on my nose where it seems to highlight each pore, making them look like an army of whiteheads.
If your skin isn't quite as oily as mine, you'll probably have better luck. The formula stays adhered to the drier parts of my face, so it might be perfect for dry-to-normal skin.
(And before you lose your mind thinking of me wearing the sweatified makeup all day, I promise that I do cleanse my skin of the ick post-workout, and then re-apply my makeup!)
The Bottom Line
I give Hello Flawless! a solid B. The colour, coverage and packaging make it a fab foundation for short-term wear on combination skin—during gym time, for example. That said, I would not re-purchase. I received this sample for review, but for $42, I expect more longevity from a foundation. I'm a big believer in investing in your base products, but with my money comes high standards!
Hopefully you don't judge me too much for wearing foundation to the gym—but I'm just not ready to share my hyperpigmentation with the hot guy on the next treadmill over!
Where To Buy
Find Benefit 'Hello Flawless!' Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation at: