Hoola Lite Matte Bronzer
Hoola Lite Matte Bronzer is a pressed powder bronzer created as a means of giving those with fair skin an option to add a tan-ish glow that's light enough for them. We're not knocking the concept, but must point out two observations: The original Hoola bronzer actually works well for fair skin if applied sheerly; but this new version, Hoola Lite, is too light and barely shows up, at least if you're looking for a bronzed effect.
Housed in the same type of sturdy, colorful cardboard packaging as most of Benefits' other powder bronzers and blushes, Hoola Lite has a soft, smooth, non-powdery texture that applies evenly. It offers a soft to moderate deposit of color, but again, the light tan shade no more approximates bronzed skin than an orange tastes like a cucumber! If anything, this works best as a finishing powder for those with a medium skin tone rather than a bronzer for fair skin.
To its credit, the color doesn't veer too gray, ashen, or orange, and it's truly matte—there's not even a hint of sparkle (remember, a real tan doesn't shine). It's just not the product to choose to create a truly bronzed appearance. It's OK for a very sheer tan effect, but given you can find powder bronzers that offer more depth and dimension without looking dark or muddy on fair skin, Hoola Lite just isn't right.
One more comment: Unlike the options on our list of Best Bronzers, this one contains fragrance. It's not readily detectable, but why add it at all given it serves no purpose in makeup and could irritate skin?
- Soft, smooth, non-powdery texture is easy to apply.
- The color isn't right but how much is deposited is sufficient for fair skin.
- Applies evenly, offering a true matte finish.
- The color is too light, lacking sufficient depth to create a bronzed effect.
- Contains fragrance, which poses a risk of irritating skin.
Benefit was developed by twins Jean Danielson and Jane Blackford, whose initial claim to fame was a stint as the Calgon twins back in 1960s television commercials. They opened their first cosmetics store, The Face Place, in San Francisco, circa 1976, and then, perhaps recognizing the need for a name with more impact, The Face Place became Benefit in 1990. From there the line took off and expanded its presence beyond the Bay Area to include national department stores and, eventually, Sephora boutiques.
Benefit's makeup philosophy is outrageously fun and its product arsenal is centered on impossibly cute names and a lexicon that aims to make beauty enjoyable. Benefit single-handedly started the trend of selling makeup and skincare products with ultra-cute appellations for less than ultra-fancy prices. As with most lines, there are enough missteps and problem products to shop carefully, but Benefit shines in several categories, including foundation, bronzing powder, blush, and shimmer products.
Unfortunately, some of the products simply can't live up to their promises. This is mostly true of their skincare formulas, where the showcased ingredients are either present in itsy-bitsy amounts or the claims attributed to them are very exaggerated. Despite this, if you're in the mood for a fun experience and can manage to choose products wisely while enjoying the whimsy, Benefit deserves a look.
For more information about Benefit, visit www.Benefitcosmetics.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.