Benefit Cosmetics may be known for beefing up your brows, but later this June, it’ll be turning its attention to your complexion. The Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation will be the brand’s second liquid foundation, and it promises to even out skin tone and conceal imperfections instantly — perfect for those “no-makeup” makeup days.
The light liquid texture blends into the skin easily and it did smooth out my complexion as well as minimise the appearance of my large pores (greasy skin woes) — pretty impressive for its sheer, light-to-medium coverage. That’s because it relies more on soft-focus optical blurring spheres than opacity to create an even, fresh matte finish, almost like you’ve slapped a filter on.
The melt-proof formula’s incredibly lightweight too, and there’s the added benefit of broad spectrum SPF 15 to protect your skin, making it the ideal foundation for this intolerable humidity. Let’s not forget the adorable bottle it’s housed in and its mini version! Topped off with a needle-nose tip, it’s a blessing for the mess-prone and germaphobes out there.
I sat down with Julie Bell, Executive Vice-President of Global Marketing, to find out what makes the new Hello Happy Foundation a warm-weather warrior.
What sets the new foundation apart from other liquid foundations on the market?
This is a very approachable product. It’s easy to use, it’s fun, and it’s affordable, so you don’t have to hesitate. It’s also easy to identify your shade just by looking at the packaging. By putting these soft-focus optical blurring spheres into the formula, the product is able to give you the most natural, beautiful-looking skin. If you think about it, everyone uses filters on their phones, with this it’s like a filter for your face because it blurs out all the imperfections.
How does the formula hold up in humid climates?
We have a 12-hour longwear formula which we’ve tested, so I think you’ll be fine. The thing about longwear too is about how much product you put on, so this is a very buildable product. I think in Singapore, people don’t really want heavy products on their face, so over here, I’d pair it with The POREfessional Face Primer. It really helps any product you put on in this heat. It’s insane how much POREfessional we sell here. People are obsessed with it.
Is there a story behind its adorable name, Hello Happy?
The naming process for Benefit is pretty special. Everything starts behind-the-scenes with the innovation of the product — what we’re creating. For instance, POREfessional was the first product we ever named directionally so you knew what it was, Pore-fessional. All of our products are DNA-driven, so for Hello Happy, we wanted people to put it on and feel happy. Once we’ve come up with a name, we give it to Hannah Malott, who’s our Chief Creative Director, who will then create the look and feel of the packaging, so that’s how she came up with the happy face. The name always leads to the art.
Why did the brand decide to expand the Hello foundation range now?
First of all, it’s relevant. Our customers want a foundation from us, and honestly, our employees want to wear a foundation, so we want them to feel proud. This is a personal mission for me. If you’re a makeup brand, you’ll know that foundation is the most intimate product you wear on your skin, so it was the right time. We worked on it for over 5 years, spent 2 years studying complexions… We had a board, just looking at complexions and skin tones before we even started on the product. Then we started on the formula and the shade work. We would’ve liked to launch this sooner, but we didn’t wanna do it until it was right.
What are some of your favourite products from the brand?
Precisely, My Brow Pencil, for sure. I won’t even go out of the house to get my newspaper without it. You know what they always say, “You never know who you’re gonna run into.” So I always have the pencil on my brows. I love POREfessional, especially when I come to Asia. I wear that more in Asia than I do at home. And I’m obsessed with BADgal Bang! Mascara right now.
What are you most excited for the brand next?
The brow innovation that’s coming is incredible. Oh, wait till you see what’s coming! It’s so fun! Yup, we’re gonna continue to stay in our lane and create incredible new products that are true to Benefit. What I’m most excited for the brand is that we have a clear-cut strategy of amazing innovations which make sense for our customer. Everything we do is customer-driven.
Benefit Cosmetics Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation SPF 15 PA+++; $49 for the full-sized, $17 for the minis. Available from 21 June 2018 at Sephora and Sephora.sg.