I’ve been a big fan of Benefit’s original Hoola Matte Bronzer for years, but I always had trouble wearing it unless I had a tan. Needless to say, once I discovered that they released Hoola Lite, I rushed to Ulta to pick it up! In MAC terms, I’m NC25-30 as of last week (thanks to Versaspa), while I’m normally NC10-15. Having such a fair complexion makes it SUPER difficult for me to find a light bronzer that’s matte and doesn’t run too warm toned. So for all of you fair to light babes out there, this bronzer is a must have for spring and summer!
Hoola Lite is new to Benefit’s permanent lineup and is available at Ulta, Sephora, Macy’s, and of course www.benefitcosmetics.com. It sells for $29 and contains 8 g / 0.28 oz of product. If you’d rather get a little more bang for your buck, you can get this bronzer in Benefit’s Cheek Parade palette which, in addition to Hoola Lite, contains the original Hoola Matte Bronzer as well as Dandelion, Rockateur, and Galifornia blushes. The awesome thing about the Cheek Parade palette is that ALL of the products in there are full size! It sells for $58, so you’re saving $87! I may have to go pick that up next week… If I do, I’ll be sure to post it on here for all of you to check out. This is a cruelty-free product and Benefit Cosmetics does not test on animals ❤
If you’d like to get updates on posts are coming up, stay in touch with me, and get sneak peeks of new products that I’ll be testing and reviewing, be sure to follow me on twitter, instagram, and snapchat, all @ lesley_makeup!
Hoola Lite comes in a little square box with a flip-top lid that contains a small mirror. I know it’s not the most luxurious packaging ever, but I do like the fact that it’s something that doesn’t weigh a ton and isn’t going to raise the price of the product. Honestly, this bronzer speaks for itself so it doesn’t even need crazy, fancy packaging. And don’t worry, the box has a magnetic feature to keep the lid closed so it won’t open up and make a mess in your makeup bag! It comes with a flat, square-ish brush which can be used to get a pretty defined line if you’re contouring with this but it does feel a little rough, so I recommend just using whatever brushes you already have! I’ll recommend a few in the application section below.
*** I will try to post new swatches ASAP! It’s very overcast and stormy today so this photo didn’t turn out how I wanted it to ***
This bronzer is described as a “natural light bronze”. It’s a pretty light cocoa color with slightly warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture feels very smooth and almost buttery. You may notice a little bit of powdery fluff when you dip your brush into the bronzer but there’s no fallout once applied. The color payoff is great but depending on your skin’s natural undertone, this may look a little warmer or cooler once you put it on. That’s not a bad thing, though, and this bronzer is universally flattering on warm, neutral, and cool skintones. Coverage is easily made full and opaque if you want to apply it that way (I often use it as an eye shadow in my crease). If you don’t want too much definition, it can also be applied lightly and blends out very easily so you don’t get a harsh line. Hoola Lite wears well on me all day long… I didn’t notice any fading until I had it on for 10-12 hours, and that’s with the weather being pretty warm and humid lately, so I’m impressed!
Dupes: Obviously it’s much lighter than Benefit’s original Hoola! It’s lighter and a bit warmer toned than Sombre from Kat Von D’s Shade + Light Contour Palette. Compared to MAC’s Sculpt Powders (from MAC PRO), it has a more golden tone than Bone Beige. While I couldn’t find an actual bronzer very similar to this, Hoola Lite does seem to fall right in between MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powders in Medium Golden, which is a little less golden/yellow toned, and Medium Tan, which is slightly darker and more tan/warm toned. The texture of those is also incredibly similar to Hoola Lite.
Overall Rating: 4.7 / 5
Color Payoff: 5
Wear Time: 4
As Bronzer: When applying this as a bronzer, you’ll want to use a fluffy, tapered brush. A few of my favorites are MAC’s 138 Tapered Face Brush, which is the best bronzer brush EVER, and 135 Large Flat Powder Brush used sideways to hug the curves of the face. I also really like Sephora’s #55 Pro Airbrush, Real Techniques Blush Brush (pink handle), and I just started using Morphe’s R1 Deluxe Pointed Powder Brush (same thing as their other types of “pointed powder” brushes).
You’ll want to follow the natural curves of the face, sort of in the areas where you would normally contour, except the nose, but by using a larger, fluffier brush, it will differ the product leaving you with a subtle, sun kissed look! The areas you’ll want to concentrate on are below the cheekbone, the temples and lightly around your hairline, and the jawline. I also put a bit on my neck and above/below my collarbone if I’m wearing a top that shows that area.
As Contour: If you’re using Hoola Lite to contour with, you’ll need a more dense, smaller type of brush for a more precise application. The brush it comes with actually works alright for the cheekbones, temples, and jawline, but my favorite brushes are MAC’s 109 Small Contour Brush and 168 Large Angled Contour Brush, Real Techniques Contour Brush (yellow/gold handle), Zoeva’s 110 Face Shaper Brush, and Morphe’s R13 Pointed Contour Brush (same thing as their other Pointed Contour Brushes). While this is usable as a face contour, it isn’t the classic, more cool toned type of contour and I suggest avoiding using this on the nose. Using warmer tones in that area tends to look a bit unnatural on most people.
To apply as a contour, you’ll want to use a light hand, gradually building up the product. I like to start at the back of the area right below my cheekbone and blend it forward so the most concentrated amount of color is closest to my ear. Then you can hit the other areas of the face like your temples, jawline, and hairline.
*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***