Benefit Hello Happy Flawless Brightening Foundation review

Is Benefit's Hello Happy Flawless Brightening Foundation worth the buy? Well, it depends.

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Benefit's latest addition to the Hello Happy range has just become available here in Australia. It's the Hello Happy Flawless Brightening Foundation and it's the sister to the well-loved Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation. Since Soft Blur has 4- and 5-star ratings on just about every site, our team was keen to try the newest formulation to see if it lived up to the very high expectations.

First off, there are a few things to note. Unlike Soft Blur which is a light to medium foundation, Flawless Brightening is a medium-coverage formula, so it has been designed to provide a more flawless finish. It was also interesting to see the product only comes in 12 shades. This is not exactly odd for Benefit as all its other foundations have 12 shades too. But in the current market where 30–40 shades is the new standard, launching a new product with so few options seems strange. At least the options are evenly balanced between light and dark options.

There are a lot of big promises here, like a brighter and more hydrated complexion plus 12 hours of wear. There's also a lot of high-performance ingredients in this product like hyaluronic acid, flower acids and photochromatic pigments. So two members of our team (Marina and Mia) tried this product to give a fair review.

The quick verdict

What's it like? A matte by brightening, full-coverage foundation.

Pros and cons: Covers imperfections well and adds life to your complexion. Difficult to apply and oxidises 1–1.5 shades darker.

Where to buy: MYER and Sephora.

Applying the product

Product dries quickly so work fast!

The application wasn't easy. Both Marina and I noticed the foundation dried quickly and if left for too long, it became difficult to blend and left us with a patchy finish.

We both found that using a beauty blender was definitely not the way to go. The process of blending out with a sponge took too long and product had already set in places.

Using a stippling foundation brush yielded a better result. But by far the best finish happened when we simply used our fingers. Applying and blending with our hands allowed us to get the product on quickly and the warmth of our fingers allowed it to blend out more seamlessly.

Make sure your face is super moisturised before applying because this product can be quite dry.


Yields a full coverage but bright and lively finish

Once applied correctly using your hands, the finish is lovely. Although both Marina and I agreed it's not a medium-coverage product. It's a full-coverage product for sure. And it's quite matte, certainly not dewy.

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Mia shade 5, applied with no primer and without added powder or concealer

As promised, it does give a flawless finish, hiding all your surface imperfections – even my heavy dark circles. And again, as promised, it definitely adds life and brightness into your complexion, despite having quite a matte finish. We were both rather impressed by this feature. Full-coverage products can often take all the luminescence out of your face making your complexion look a bit like zombie skin unless you warm it up with a half-pan of bronzer. But this looked a lot more like real skin than any other full-coverage product we'd tried.

On the downside, it's not as effective as we hoped on pores and acne scarring. If you do want a truly flawless finish that's pore-free, you'll need a pore-filling primer underneath. It's also quite a stiff and drying formula despite the inclusion of hyaluronic acid. So it's maybe not the best product if you have dry skin or are using it during winter. Although, for the same reasons, I can imagine this would be a stellar foundation for summer.

How does it wear?

How long did it last? 12+ hours.

We both felt this was a sturdy, long-wear product that exceeded the 12-hour wear time promised on the bottle. In fact, I personally liked it more at the end of the day than at the beginning. Since it's a matte product, it was a little dry when first applied but seemed to look nicer and more natural as my skin adjusted.

Does it transfer? A little.

Yes, there was a little bit of transfer, but not enough for it to be a problem. You expect this with full-coverage products though. It's worth noting that after we applied powder, we both found there was almost no transfer.

Does it oxidise? Yes.

Unfortunately yes, this foundation oxidises quite a lot. You should be able to see it in the pictures. So it's very important to blend it out and down your neck, or you'll end up with a neck a couple of shades lighter than your face. I noticed when I added a translucent powder, the oxidisation was far less noticeable.

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Marina shade 3, six hours into wear. Oxidisation is visible.

Does it look good with the rest of your makeup? Yes.

Yes, with powder products but not with cream. I applied Hoola and a few other powder products over the top and felt like a goddess. It holds powders really well and doesn't exaggerate the pigments like some other more dewy products would. Once you've done your full face, you really notice how this product adds life into your complexion.

Does it block your pores? Depends on your skin.

Yes and no. It did for me but not for Marina. For me, the product gave me some mild congestion. But Marina experienced nothing out of the ordinary.

Picture not described

Mia shade 5, applied with no primer and without added powder or concealer


We both liked this foundation. It fulfils all the promises it makes on the bottle: it's long-wearing and adds brightness and life into your face. But this product is also not without cons. It's a bit hard to apply evenly and you will need to work quickly. The oxidisation can also be a bit of an issue.

But generally, this is a great option for anyone out there who loves a full-coverage product. It would be perfect for summer and if you have oily skin.

Where to buy

Benefit's Hello Happy Flawless Brightening Foundation is available as of 1 July at MYER and Sephora, the key Benefit stockists. It's also available to purchase at Benefit direct.

It's 30ml and retails for $52.

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