Don't Panic, But Benefit's Iconic Hoola Bronzer Now Comes in a Glow Version

benefit hoola glow bronzer reviewbenefit hoola glow bronzer review

When it comes to iconic makeup products, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a beauty-lover who hasn’t tried Benefit Cosmetics’ Hoola Bronzer.

I first saw it splashed all over the pages of my favourite American teen mags in the early 2000s, long before I was allowed to wear any makeup other than a lip smacker.

The year was 2001, and Hoola launched in the era of shimmer finishes, bronzing pearls and terracotta… everything. Remember when we thought 'bronzed' meant red-orange? Yeah...

Enter, Hoola bronzer with its soft-matte finish and neutral, natural tone. It was everything we didn't know we needed from a bronzer, all neatly packaged in a little purple box. With a mirror and a brush.

Then came three more inclusive shades to round out the Hoola bronzer offering: Hoola Lite (for fair skin), Caramel (suited to medium to deep skin tones) and Toasted (for deeper complexions).

Buying your first Hoola bronzer is basically a rite of passage. It's the definition of a 'cult' beauty product. In 2020 alone, one of these bronzers sold every 15 seconds.

It's been 20 years since Benefit Hoola Bronzing Powder came into our lives. So, to celebrate, the brand has released *drumroll please*...

Hoola Glow! She's a beaut!

Benefit Hoola Glow Shimmer Bronzer is a limited edition (you guessed it) shimmer version of the OG classic.

Sounds exciting, but how does Hoola Glow compare to the original Hoola? Keep scrolling to find out.

Do I Want a Matte Bronzer or a Shimmer Bronzer?

But first, what’s the difference between a matte bronzer and a shimmer bronzer? And which one do you use for what?

Matte bronzers:

  • Like matte anything, matte bronzers have zero shine.

  • No shimmer, no gloss, no glitter.

  • Use a matte bronzer to add colour to the areas of the face where the sun would naturally hit like the forehead, nose and chin - if we went in the sun, that is.

  • They can double-up as a contour product to give the illusion of a shadow.

  • Matte bronzers are a great option for any oily-skinned pals who want to soften the shine.

Shimmer bronzers:

  • Give the skin a bronzed tone, with added shimmer.

  • Shimmer reflects light, which gives off a gorgeous sun-kissed glow.

  • Can also act as a highlighter.

  • Use on its own or to enhance your matte bronzer contour by bringing that light and shine to the skin.

My Benefit Hoola Glow Shimmer Bronzer Review.

Alrighty, now let's go back to talking about the Hoola Glow Shimmer Bronzer.

It's same same, but different. Same packaging. Same price. Exact same neutral shade as the original matte Hoola. But with a superfine gold shimmer.

Even the little applicator brush is the same blue colour, but with added gold glitter flecks. So cute!

But I'll be honest, I wasn't sure about this product at first.

When I swatched the finely-milled pressed powder on my hand next to the matte version, the gold shimmer felt pretty obvious.

benefit hoola glow reviewbenefit hoola glow review

I wondered if it might be a bit... much. But I persevered and went in with my fluffy bronzer brush because I had a job to do.

The result was literally the Hoola I knew and loved, but with a shimmer that hit the light perfectly.

It left me with a delicious glow that made me wish I was somewhere tropical, sipping cocktails and swaying to 'Bossa Nova'. If only.

Hoola Matte Bronzer vs Hoola Glow Shimmer Bronzer.

As for how this new glowy Hoola compares to the original, there's not much between them.

One has shimmer and one doesn't. That's it.

Both are stunning. Here's a side-by-side comparison so you can see the difference in finishes on the skin.

benefit hoola glow vs hoola mattebenefit hoola glow vs hoola matte

I did notice the shimmer formula had a little more fallout than the matte bronzer, but as long as you tap off the excess from your brush before you apply, you’ll be fine.

So, which one you choose really depends on how you want to use the product (as a bronzer, contour, highlighter, or all the above) and what kind of bronzer finish you prefer.

Or you could wear them together. On your face. Or as an eyeshadow! The matte Hoola bronzer applied in the crease of the eyelid with Hoola Glow pressed into the centre of the lid is a smoky, shimmer bronze *chef's kiss*.

Final verdict... is Hoola Glow as good as (or better than) Hoola Matte Bronzer?

Honestly, I didn't think I would like the shimmer version of one of my all-time favourite bronzers. But wow, I LOVE IT.

It's definitely on par with the original Hoola, which I'd still use as a contour and for adding a faux tan look to the face, paired with some blush to perk my skin back up.

But Hoola Glow is more of a does-it-all product that instantly adds life to your face with zero effort.

benefit hoola glowbenefit hoola glow

I feel like you can wear it on its own. No other bronzer. No blush. No highlighter. Somehow, the one product gave me everything I wanted, which is wild because I normally wouldn't be caught dead without blush.

In other words, Hoola Glow is freaking awesome. But it's also limited edition, so be quick before it's gone.

*And if you're reading this, Benefit, please make this product here to stay.

You can watch how content creator Ruchi Page uses Hoola bronzer in the shade Toasted to get a glowy makeup look in this YouTube video below.

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