So, I’ve had my paws on Benefit’s newbie, Benefit Oxygen Wow Foundation, €35, for a good while now (check our preview and video of it) and that means it’s had a right good old testing period.
What do I think? Firstly, lets put the launch into context. I remember sitting down with Benefit founders Jean and Jane Ford in 2009 and they poo-poohed the idea of liquid base when I put it to them.
We reported at the time, “Turns out they don’t like liquid base at all, and I was cringing a little inside my Diorskin Nude liquid foundation-ed face. But I soon felt better, as it seems it’s just that it doesn’t fit their aesthetic, which is all about enhancing beauty, rather than covering it up in a blanket of product. The Benefit gals hate the mask-effect liquid base can have, and they prefer a much lighter result, which you can get from their Playsticks or their oil-free compacts.”
But customers tend to get what customers want, and we all knew that a liquid foundation was sorely missed in the range. Oxygen Wow does fit with their California aesthetic: fans of matte, full coverage will have to look elsewhere because it’s a sheer-to-medium base with a glowy result. You will need concealer on dark circles and spots as it won’t cover those to the extent most people with those issues would like, I reckon.
The best single comparison I have is to Clinique’s Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturiser, as they’re similar products – both set on the skin (though Clinique is definitely the clingier) and both offer a satin – as opposed to dewy – finish that’s suitable for normal and combination-to-oily skins. It’s also slightly – though only slightly – comparable to Mac Face and Body; it’s in that sort of ballpark, y’unnerstand?
Five of the nine shades in the Benefit Oxygen Wow Hello Flawless foundation range
I think very sebum-prone types won’t get along with this all that well however, and my dry skin liked the formulation just fine on most days except when I needed a little extra moisture or when I was due an exfoliation – it does have a tendency to show up any dry patches you might not otherwise have noticed.
Please excuse my messy flat …
In nine shades, it’s not a lot for a high-end range, and the palest on offer, I’m Pure For Sure Ivory, is my match. I’m not the whitest milk bottle about so this launch is going to miss its mark for a some of its Irish customers. Oxygen Wow does make an effort to offer pink and yellow tones and lights and darks though; it’d just be good to see some more shades slotted in to bolster the size a little.
There’s more to talk about with it like hygienic packaging, one of those smart pumps that self-doses well and a very good broad-spectrum SPF of 25 plus some skincare benefits: check our original post for more on that.
All-in-all, while this hasn’t become a daily must-have for me (too many BB Cream launches have interrupted our dalliances I’m afraid), I’ve liked using it a lot. It’s a good daytime base that wears well, I’ve found doesn’t need powder (though you may feel differently if you’ve shine to control), doesn’t settle into fine lines and makes skin look healthy and fresh. Nice work, Benefit.
Psst: here’s what else I had on my face:
- Isadora Big Bold Mascara – claims to be super volumising but the proof is in the pudding. Or my eyelashes. Y’know, either. It has a huge bog brush wand and I actually think they’re rubbish for volume personally; I prefer a good formula you can layer and a precision brush. But for day it’s fine and gives a nice effect
- This new concealer from Rimmel joins the latest Wake Me Up Foundation launch that’s getting so much love. I can’t use the base as they’re all too beige for me but the concealers seem paler and I’m finding this nice and creamy for use around the eye area
- This is a Smashbox liner brush but I use it to fill in my brows with some taupe shadow
- Lastly, I just patted on some Mac Mattene lipstick in Rare Exotic (from last summer’s Posh Paradise collection) on with a finger – but look how gak the packaging has gone. Yuck!
- Er, I forgot to snap the blusher. DOH! It was Tom Ford Love Lust, and I lust and love it
Have you tried Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow yet?