Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beauty Talk: Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW

Disclaimer: I am not, nor do I intend to become, a beauty blogger. I'm just a working mom with a passion for nail polish and now (apparently) makeup. If you want high quality, well-lit pics and awesome tutorials, you aren't going to find that here. Think of this as more of a "gabbing about makeup with your girlfriends" session.

In an ideal world, I would just wear mascara, eyeliner, and lip gloss. But, as you know, I have really shitty skin thanks to my rosacea. It's super duper red and has lots of bumpies and dry patches. As part of my plan to care more about what I look like, I am on a quest to find the perfect foundation. I normally wear Clinique's Even Better foundation in Ivory paired with the Superpowder in Matte Ivory. I like Clinique as far as the coverage goes, but NONE of their colors really matches my skin, and it can look a little cakey at times. Not exactly an awesome look for someone who would rather be wearing no makeup at all.

I am on the world's hugest Benefit kick right now (YOU HAVE NO IDEA. NONE.), so it only made sense to start my foundation quest with their new Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow. It's oil free and has SPF 25 Pa+++, both of which are a must when you have rosacea.

I was pretty psyched about the brightening aspect (all of their makeup is so bright and fresh looking) and the anti-aging benefits, not so psyched about the "plumping up" effect. I'm plump enough, thank you very much.

The salesperson at Ulta said that the titanium oxide means that the SPF won't expire. So that's cool for those people who actually throw out their old makeup instead of hoarding the shit out of it. Also, see that blurry thing to the right of the blurry box? I got a free makeup bag with my purchase, a little sample of the POREfessional, and 4 issues of Glamour and Allure that I'll forget to cancel.

It was much runnier than expected - almost like if you left your makeup bag in a hot car and then tried to put some on. Also, they had 9 shades, and only one (Ivory) was even remotely close to being light enough. As you can tell from the swatch, it's still a little to dark for me. Good thing it's summer in March.

I had some time, so I let the Ulta girl do her magic. She put on some of the Triple Performing Facial Emulsion moisturizer, which is super light and smelled AMAZING, and the POREfessional stuff, which I've never really played with (no idea if it did anything). I also had her slap on some Hervana, because I am trying to get over my issues with blush and highlighters (I spent so many years trying to make my face LESS red, that it seems weird to add color - but You Tube tells me I am silly, so I'm working on it). She also put on some of the Hello Flawless powder in Ivory on top (which I already own). The pic above is natural lighting, the pic below is crappy bathroom lighting before and after. The before is kinda unfair though, because I had been playing around with green primer and a cheap foundation - it's not my normal look.

I played around with it some more at home, and here are my thoughts.


- It's definitely buildable; it's nice and light with just one coat, or you can slather it on like they did at Ulta

- It makes your skin feel nice and soft

- It's definitely brightening, and gives me a nice, healthy glow

- It's very hydrating (which might be a con for people who don't want to look dewy)

- It's oil-free and SPF 25 Pa+++


- I wish they had some lighter shades

- I think the most you can build to is medium coverage, not full

- Oddly, I don't like it combined with the Hello Flawless powder. Individually, both products are awesome. Together, they kind of pool in my rough patches and look a little scaly / cakey.

I'm thinking this will be my "nice, summery foundation" for when I'm just hanging around the house or going to the store or to work. I don't think it will work with my winter skin, and it's not full coverage enough for when I want a flawless look. The search continues!

And, because I haven't spent enough money...Do you love Benefit as much as I do? What's your favorite beauty product? Have you found your holy grail foundation?


PinkieBling said...

YAYAYAYAY! I love gabbing about makeup with my girlfriends. :) I big pink puffy heart Benefit. Right there with you on that.

In fact, I want to make out with The Porefessional. It's the only primer I've ever truly loved. I also have a love affair going with Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Coverage foundation, after I conducted The Great Foundation Challenge of 2010 (god bless Sephora's return policy!) and declared it the winner of the eight or so I tried. However, the Clinique you mentioned was not a participant in that challenge, and of course this new Benefit one wasn't out yet. Hmmm. Perhaps it's time for a rematch!

Besides The Porefessional and MFE HD, my top choices are Benefit High Brow (I use it as undereye concealer), Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, and Urban Decay Brow Box (though I'm going to try Benefit's Brow Zings when it runs out).

PinkieBling said...

Sorry, I forgot to tell you how pretty you look, too. :)

LE Bean said...

I've been slowly dipping my toes into Benefit stuff.

Right now, I'm in love with the following make-up stuff:

Two-Faced Shadow Insurance Primer (they have one that's specifically for glittery/loose pigments called "glitter glue" and it is, as promised, amazing for keeping all that glitter on your lids, not all over your face!)

Like Pinkie, I ADORE my Urban Decay Brow Box. The powders are so soft and velvety, I use them as eye shadow too. I have better luck doing my brows with powder than pencil, and the wax that comes with this kit is perfect for keeping things in place.

And yes--blush. It's a thing. I have naturally pink cheeks all the time, so blush is weird for me too. I usually only put it on if I'm wearing a full face of foundation, because then all of a sudden I'm monochromatically pasty, and well... that's not a good look for me, since I don't have beautifully dramatic dark hair & eyes like someone I know... =)

Stephanie M said...

I know NOTHING about makeup, so I'm going to ignore the topic of this post to ask a question that is only semi-related. Hehehehe, sorry.

What type of moisturizer do you use? I don't have rosacea I don't think, but occasionally will get a red bump or redness, etc. Maybe I have it mildly? Anyway, I use Aveeno Ultra Calming face wash (in the shower) and lotion, and I love it. BUT, I'm always interested in hearing what other people use.

Shalini said...

I'm JUST getting in to makeup, so I'm still on very basic stuff. Never tried benefit, but I juuust tried foundation primer (free sample) after thinking it was hooey for all these years and YOWZA was I mistaken. My holy grail for foundation now is silicone primer + MAC studio fix foundation.

M said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has trouble finding LIGHT enough stuff. I'm so pale. I love seeing what makeup you're using, since I hardly ever spend any money on makeup! I wear a little bit of foundation, some blush, and a touch of eyeshadow. That's it. I don't know how to even put on eyeliner.

Emily said...

We appear to be about the same shade of albino. I've been using Sephora's mineral powder foundation, and the light/15 shade seems to work for me.

I hate that so many brands' light shades are yellow-based/warm. I'm pink AND pasty!