I didn't intend to open up Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow SPF 25 Brightening Makeup until I'd finished either my Make Up Forever HD foundation or NARS Sheer Glow, but I really needed one thing from it that the other two didn't have: sun protection. I've started to trial some Antipodes products I purchased last week, including the Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream which doesn't have any SPF. I didn't want to wear another layer of sunscreen over the natural goodness of the cream, so out came the Benefit from its box.
I chose the shade "Cheers to Me" Champagne, as I dismissed the shade down (Petal) as too light. Champagne is a bit darker than NARS Sheer Glow in Fiji and Make Up For Ever HD in #118, but I find it to be a close enough match for my skin tone. Importantly, it doesn't oxidise on my skin as the day goes on.
Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow has a liquid, almost watery texture which requires a bit more effort to blend properly. One pump generally dispenses enough product to cover the whole face. I tried it initially with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush, followed by the Real Techniques Stippling Brush, but wasn't overly enthused with how either of them worked. I found the Sigma F82 Round Top Kabuki gave the best result. It applied the foundation with minimal streaking and a skin-like finish.
Coverage is on the light side and noticeably less than my NARS or MUFE. For something described as "brightening makeup", I actually don't find that it leaves the skin particularly glowy or highlighted. NARS Sheer Glow performs much better in that respect. Bizarrely, the Benefit on my skin looks like an initially dewy foundation which has been powdered down. It takes a few minutes to settle into and even out on the skin after it's first applied. After reading reviews, I was bracing myself for my skin to become hideously greasy during the day, but I'm genuinely and pleasantly surprised I didn't experience any of that.
I'm thinking of reserving my NARS Sheer Glow for special occasions, or when I want my skin to be particularly glowy and perfected. I've been reaching for my Make Up For Ever less and less, only because my skin has been inexplicably dry lately (my nose especially) despite attempts to use oils and creams and serums more conscientiously, and the MUFE really doesn't take well to anything but near perfect skin. Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow is a good choice for a truly natural looking, light coverage foundation with sun protection and unexpectedly decent oil control. While I'd love if it were slightly more luminous in finish, higher coverage and longer lasting (i.e. properties of beloved NARS Sheer Glow), it's well-suited for more low key, everyday makeup for when you still want a bit of coverage, but don't want to look overdone.