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Bronzer’s always an essential make-up kit item: if it’s winter, you want to drive away that pale ghostly look, if it’s summer, you want to enhance that tan (especially if the only holiday you’re going on is a trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach!). And bronzer’s the kind of make-up item that if you get it wrong you’ll end up looking like Kat Slater on a particularly orange day!
I’ve always been put off by bronzers that contain glitter, so when I found Benefit’s Hoola, which gives a non-glittery, matte finish I was pretty pleased! And the other thing that sold it to me was the claim that no matter how much you apply, you’ll never go orange!
Hoola is packaged in the Benefit style box, just like the Dandelion powder. It has a cute bamboo pattern on the box which, combined with the name, gives a quirky, kitsch, ‘I’ve-just-been-on-holiday-to-Hawaii’ feel. But as I’ve said before, this packaging design is highly impractical. The fact that there is no fastening on the lid means that it is liable to come off and spill a pretty dusting of bronzing powder all over your handbag! So this is strictly a ‘stay-at-home’ bronzer.
Hoola also comes with an adorable little brush which is apparently made from natural goat’s hair and fits into the space in the lid. However, I found this brush to be very poor quality (even the Benefit lady advised me to buy a proper powder brush to use this) and it doesn’t distribute the powder evenly or subtly.
I find that this bronzer has a lovely silky feel to it, giving it a luxurious feel, and it’s a lot softer than other bronzers I’ve used, meaning that it’s very easy to load up onto the brush. A light knock of the brush against the box should ensure that you don’t apply too much powder (and be sure to catch the excess powder in the box to avoid any wastage!). A quick dusting across the cheekbones and over the forehead and you’re all bronzed up and ready to go!
On application this bronzer has a very strong colour- even on my dark olive skin I have to be careful not to apply too much. And the reasoning behind the claim that ‘you’ll never go orange’ becomes clear as soon as you actually apply this: instead of the orange pigment that characterises so many bronzers, Hoola has a far more brown tone. In fact, apply too much and you achieve a rather unattractive ‘dirty’ look. Far more unattractive than orange in my opinion- I’d rather be orange than unwashed! But applied sparingly this does achieve a noticeable tan effect and I find that it does last a long time- I can apply it in the morning and still see it come 4 o’clock- so there’s no need for re-touching!
Hoola costs £22 for a box containing 11g and can be bought from larger Boots stores, Sephora, and House of Fraser beauty departments. It is the kind of make-up item that will last for ages as it has to be used so sparingly, but to me this still doesn’t represent good value for money. I certainly won't be buying another one when this runs out! So if you ever see someone who looks a bit dirty, you’ll know what make-up they’ve been using (well, either that or they just haven’t washed!)