We got a sneak peek of this February launch from Benefit way back in early November, and now, a couple of months on and a couple of weeks before it hits counter, what’s Bella Bamba actually like? And do you need it if you already have Coralista, one of my favourite blushers of all time?
Firstly, it’s THE shade of 2011. The Pantone Institute decreed in its wisdom that this year is the year of honeysuckle, doncha know, and Bella Bamba fits the bill perfectly. Benefit say it’s a ’3d watermelon blush’ that has ‘the triple dimension of pink’, and this is a lot more raspberry-toned than Coralista or Sugarbomb.
Sometimes it can seem with Benefit that products are quite samey, but rest assured, this is a different kettle of blush-related fish altogether. I present the evidence above – it’s definitely darker and redder-toned than Coralista, on the right, and completely different from Sugarbomb, the quad to the bottom of the pic.
Now, I know it also causes confusion that Benefit has different boxes for each of its blush offerings which makes it seem like there’s no distinct blusher range, but put that aside for a sec and consider that the blush/bronze lineup is a cohesive offering – they just all happen to have different packaging. Bella Bamba debuts a new box design for the brand with an all-in-one lid plus mirror. It’s not as deep as the other boxes and apparently it’s going to be rolled out across the line.
In wear, this is very pretty. I think we’ll just forget about the 3d claim, it’s kind of baffling and I don’t know that it means anything except that you can of course apply it to your 3d face. It’s pink, it smells lovely, it’s got nice shimmer and it’s more of a sibling to Coralista than any of the brand’s other blushers as far as I can tell. It’s also quite a lot more pigmented and a light hand is necessary to ensure you don’t end up with Bosco cheeks.
Where Coralista is very orange-toned, this is much more on the pink end of things. It’s got a similar amount of shimmer and delivers a lovely finish on the cheeks. I’m a fan, but do I like it as much as Coralista? No, I don’t, but I do like it a lot, and have been using it tons since the brand sent me a preview sample a couple of months ago.
The new packaging is also good – you can’t lose the lid – and while I never use the brushes with Benefit blushers, rest assured this comes complete with one. As well it might – at €33.50 this is an expensive product and while I think the brand’s pricing takes the absolute piss in Ireland, the one saving grace here is the big pan size. You get 8g of product in Bella Bamba, so on a cost-per-wear basis this will work out quite well, despite the sterling/euro disparity.
And here are the swatches. On the skin it’s easier to see the shade variation and intensity, and both give a lovely warm shimmery glow to the skin.
So, all in all, is it worth a punt? Yep, definitely: blusher fans will swoon for this one.