As soon as the temperatures start warming up (and our faces, in effect, start melting off), we go on red alert for the summer foundation formulas that will actually have our (preferably matte) complexions all season long. As we've learned over time, however, this is a far more tedious task than one would expect. But wait.
Enter Benefit Cosmetics' foundation, Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation. Available in 12 different shades and boasting a natural matte finish with buildable light to medium coverage, it would appear to be the quintessential foundation for summertime frolicking. Oh, and that's before we mention that it's smartly infused with SPF 15 and features better-than-Facetune blurring technology. Sound too good to be true? To be honest, we (almost) thought so too. Thus, we took the foundation for a test drive and had four of our editors give it an impromptu whirl this morning. Here are their honest reviews. Plus, the photographic proof to back it up.
Faith Xue, editorial director
"I love this 'foundation' for three reasons. One: The coverage is so sheer, so it really feels more like a tinted moisturizer, which I personally prefer, especially during the summer (though you can apply with a heavier hand for more coverage). But it's not so sheer that it doesn't do anything, which leads me to two: The blurring effect is really amazing, and it makes my pores look so much less noticeable (which is always my end goal). And finally, the price point. It's affordable enough that I don't feel guilty recommending it to my friends and it really has everything you'd want in an everyday foundation (including SPF). My only slight qualm is that my skin does sometimes look a little shiny by midday, but I have naturally oily skin, so this isn't out of the norm for me and nothing a quick touch-up with blotting papers won't fix."
Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
"I'm a thick, full-coverage foundation kind of gal, so when a 'lightweight' formula comes across my desk, I typically don't pay it much attention. But the 'blurring' aspect of this formula really sold me, along with the fact that it packs SPF 15—kind of an ideal summer wear, no? I shook up the bottle as directed and used my trusty Beautyblender ($20) to press it into my skin. Immediately, it soaked right in, almost like a second skin instead of sitting on top of my face. It also dried down matte, which I love. I definitely noticed the blurring prowess right away and decided to skip my usual buff of translucent setting powder for this very reason. Like Faith, I did experience some midday shine, but also like Faith, I have naturally oily skin, so this is to be expected. All in all, I give it two thumbs up."
Hallie Gould, senior editor
"Benefit's first stab at foundation, in my opinion, is a wild success. It's called 'soft blur'—and it does exactly that. The formula is light and serum-y, kind of like a summer version of whatever medium- to full-coverage product you're using now. It still offers a perfecting, blurring effect for all those annoying things like dark spots, redness, or uneven skin tone. Rather than using a sponge or traditional foundation brush, I buff it on with a fluffy concealer brush only in the spots I really need it (a little trick I picked up from makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes). The finished product is a natural matte finish (not dry, but not slick either) that is both sheer and easily buildable in the spots you need it to be (for me, that's around my nose, cheeks, and chin). I even brush a tiny bit on my eyelids to brighten things up. I'm a believer."
Maya Allen, assistant editor
"I don't mean to toot my skin's own horn, but it's been looking amazing lately. I've been leaning less and less on full-coverage foundations that dull my glow-up with a cakey finish. Instead, I opt for lightweight options that enhance my natural glow. Byrdie's editorial director, Faith Xue, showed me the shade range of this line and I was instantly impressed. I love the silky texture of this stuff and how blendable it is. It has a liquid-y formula that I like to warm up in my hands first and then pat it on to my face. I found that applying this like a skincare product first gives me this au naturel radiance I'm very into. I'll apply a bit more for extra coverage on my hyperpigmentation and blend it in with a Beautyblender. I love the way the light catches my skin when I'm wearing this."