As usual, I have been on the hunt for that foundation. You know, the one which ought to achieve Holy Grail status? Since the day I started using makeup as a teenager, I have yet to find a foundation that screams “Hallelujah!”. Sure, there are a few that have come close to being perfect, but still not quite.
After reading many, many online reviews on Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow liquid foundation, it was only a matter of time that I caved in to see what the fuss was all about. I guess most of the excitement came from the fact that this foundation was Benefit’s first ever liquid foundation and it took 3 years for them to come up with the right formulation.
One thing I need to address… what the heck is “oxygen wow”? I understand one of Benefit’s marketing strategy is coming up with fun and quirky names for their products, but “oxygen wow” is just a little silly-sounding to me. Do they mean that the foundation is infused with oxygen? Well, that element is sort of freely available and surrounding us. I can’t understand what’s with the big hullabaloo on oxygen.
Okay, dodgy name and marketing ploy aside, how does the foundation actually perform? The liquid foundation comes in a rather cute box with more blurb extolling the virtues of “oxygen wow” (I’m surprised they have not trademarked it yet). I like that the foundation is housed in a clear plastic bottle with a pump. If you have read my previous foundation reviews, you’ll know I love pumps.
The consistency of the liquid is light and a little runny. It is an oil-free formula, which is good news for oily-combination skin folks like me. It provides light to medium coverage and that’s the usual type of coverage I seek in foundations, so this was right up my alley.
* foundation worn alone *
The texture feels lightweight, smooth and watery. I do not have my usual problems where foundations can drag on drier areas, and the overall application is relatively simple. I have used both paddle and buffing brushes and even my fingers to apply. It blends easily and provides quite a natural-looking finish with slight brightening qualities, so my complexion looks more radiant.
* after setting with powder and adding some makeup *
One of the biggest problems I face with any form of foundation is that they tend to slide off my oily t-zone after 3 to 4 hours. Or worser yet, they pool around patchy areas and cake around the drier parts. But I must say that the Benefit Oxygen Wow foundation holds up relatively well in our tropical weather and does not separate when worn. It starts to fade a little after 5 hours or so but it goes off gradually. As long as I blot sometime around mid-day, the foundation still looks all right and my face does not look splotchy.
• Lightweight formula.
• Smooth and easy application.
• Brightening and leaves a radiant satin finish.
• Pump bottle is hygienic and travel-friendly.
• Medium coverage (depending on how much used).
• SPF25 PA+++ protection.
• Does not control oil well (just slightly better with primer).
• Fades off after a few hours.
• Although marketed for most skin types, those with severely dry or oily skin may not like this foundation.
• SPF content may create white cast in flash photography.
• Contains silicones.
In a nutshell, if you have normal to combination skin, you may like this foundation a lot. I am quite smitten by the lovely finish it provides but am rather bummed that it doesn’t last an entire work day (but I do work very long hours). To me, it is a satisfactory product but not Holy Grail quality, so I suppose the hunt shall continue
Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup (full name… phew!) can be found at all local Benefit counters for RM130 each. Included in the box is a sample sachet of their POREfessional primer. I would recommend testing out in person so you can find a good shade match. Mine is in “i’m pure 4 sure” Ivory and there are two Ivory shades available, with the other being a bit more yellow based. Also, don’t listen to the sales assistants (SAs) when they tell you it does not contain silicones or that it is made for every skin type. I honestly think most of them are not trained very well or educated about the products (but that’s an issue I face with nearly every SA in Malaysia).
Anyhoo, do drop by and let me know if you have any questions about this foundation. Or if you have tried and liked or disliked it? I’d love to hear what you think