Benefit’s Featherweight Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation Wows on Several Fronts

Published in: Benefit, Face, Makeup, Product Reviews

Bid bon voyage to thick, heavy masks and farewell to suffocating skin. Benefit’s new featherweight oil-free foundation would like to say hi.


Or hello, that is. πŸ™‚

Coming in March to Benefit counters, new Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow ($34), Benefit’s new line of light-to-medium coverage liquid foundation, barely feels like anything at all (cotton candy kisses come to mind).

It’s so lightweight that when I apply it, I can almost feel my pores taking deep yoga breaths in and out, ohm and ahhh…

benefit hello flawless oxygen wow (8)

Of the nine available shades, which isn’t a lot for an entire foundation range, All the Rage Beige comes closest to my skin tone (I’m an NC42 in MAC). Very close, but not perfect, and I find myself yearning for the same shade with a little more yellow. I think it’s only obvious, though, when I really pack it on.

The pump dispenser, on the other hand, is perfect. I’m serious. This thing kicks so much @ss!

I know it sounds silly to obsess over a pump, but a good one like this love means wasting a lot less of a $34 product. It offers so much control that I can easily squeeze out half a drop.

benefit hello flawless oxygen wow (2)

The foundation itself feels very thin and watery, and the first time I used it I was sure it wouldn’t provide enough coverage. But it did. I used half a pump and applied that over my entire face with my fingers, and then used a few more drops for some trouble spots on my chin. It’s mid-level coverage, so it’s not fully opaque, but I think it looks very natural, like tinted moisturizer turned up a notch (with the added benefit of SPF 25 PA+++).

Swatches from the left: I’m Pure 4 Sure Ivory, I’m Plush & Precious Petal, Cheers to Me Champagne, and I’m So Money Honey

From the left: I’m All the Rage Beige, Warm Me Up Toasted Beige, and I’m So Glamber Amber

From the left: I’m Hopelessly Hot Hazelnut, and Gotta Know Me Nutmeg

Since it’s designed for all skin types, from dry to oily and combo, I wondered how it would handle my dry cheeks and oily forehead. Well, it seems to fare better on the drier bits, like my cheeks, where it evens out my skin tone without raising any flakes, but on my oily forehead, shiny patches start to peek through after 4-5 hours. I’ve started applying a setting powder to keep down the shine, but if you’re super oily, you might also have to include a primer.

I’ve been wearing Oxygen Wow for just under a week so far, and I do have one possible concern. I love the lightweight feel, natural finish and how it doesn’t settle into my fine lines, but I’ve also noticed a couple of small pimples around my chin and mouth. Wah!

I can’t say for sure they’re caused by the foundation, but it and Hello Flawless Powder have been the only recent changes to my routine. Of course, I do have very moody, sensitive skin, so it could be other things.

If you only want/need from sheer up to medium coverage and can find a shade that matches, you’re in for a lightweight, comfortable treat with Oxygen Wow.

I usually prefer foundations that can provide coverage from sheer up to full (hence my mad love for MAC Sculpt) because I think they eek out a little more value, but sometimes I just want something quick and easy, and this is both. I can see myself wearing Oxygen Wow on weekends and whenever I’m in a rush.

PRICE: $34 for a 1-oz. bottle
AVAILABILITY: Coming this March to Benefit counters, stores and also online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+/A- (a limited shade selection, and for $34, the option to go full coverage would have been nice)

Fashion De-Evolution

I’m not doing too well on one of my resolutions for 2012 — to evolve my fashion sense. As a matter of fact, I think I’ve done more fashion devolving than the other way around (see: Snooki boots).

My latest obsession, a little something I like to call my Grandpa Sweater, isn’t exactly cutting edge.

Not exactly fashion forward, but it’s sooo comfortable. It’s a soft brown button-down slouchy number I picked up at Nordstrom Rack on sale for about $15.

Tabs has made his disdain for it abundantly clear. I’ve caught him pulling off the buttons (after two weeks, it’s already missing two), and he unravels the yarn with his evil claws every chance he gets.


I fear he won’t stop until it’s completely destroyed…

Sometimes, I swear that cat expects me to sit around the house in YSL couture. πŸ™‚

Other than my rapid descent into grandpa gear, it was a pretty good day. How are you doin’ over there? Anything new to report?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 91 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Hazel says:

    Just curious, but what are you going to do with all the other foundation shades? πŸ˜› Lol.

    BTW, Karen, I love your blog. It’s my daily pick-me-up before or after (and even during) work sometimes. πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Hazel,

      I keep them for reference. Sometimes someone will ask if one color is similar to another, so I like to have them around just in case there’s a swatch request.

      Thank you for the nice comment about the site! I’m glad you enjoy it. πŸ™‚ It’s a lot of fun for me, too.

  2. Rachel says:

    this looks great, i just wish it had spf in it!

  3. Nadine says:

    would you say the coverage is enough to cover light redness on the cheeks?

  4. Sunny says:

    This sounds more or less like my Bourjois Healthy Mix, and I was right for worrying about it turning up a tad too pink! I think I’m going to skip this one!

    Way to go Tabs for destroying grandpa sweater lol
    Sunny recently posted … Swatch & Review: Cargo Blush in Rome

  5. Whitney L. says:

    I think the foundation looks great in your pictures, also! I also liked hazel’s question! You should do a by-shade give away, where we can enter for the color that matches us best!

  6. Anna says:

    This caught my eye when you first posted about it, because I love the idea of a tinted moisturizer with more coverage. While I LOVE how it looks natural and glowy on you, I’m guessing I might have some shade-matching issues as well. I’ll have to sample it before making up my mind! So much Benefit on my list now… Thanks πŸ™‚ haha

  7. Goodness, that foundation looks uh-may-zing on you! I shall definitely have to try this one out :).

    I’ve been noticing a change in my fashion sense ever since hacking my hair short, actually… I used to love really flowy, pretty pieces, but now I’m reaching for edgier stuff… Which, admittedly, I don’t have a lot of; so now I find myself going shopping too much. AGAIN. >.<
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Cheap & Easy: A DIY Earring Organizer

  8. Michaela says:

    I have a grandpa sweater almost exactly like that, I’m wearing it right now!
    Michaela recently posted … Review: Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow

  9. corallista says:

    It absolutely wonderful on you!
    corallista recently posted … Faces Glam On Eye shadow Ruby Quartz : Review, Swatch and EOTD

  10. Kate & Zena says:

    “AVAILABILITY: B+/A- (a limited shade selection, and for $34, the option to go full coverage would have been nice)
    MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: Coming this March to Benefit counters, stores and also online”

    Me thinks you fell asleep at the computer, Karen, or Tabs took control of it! (Zena does this occasionally and reaps havoc!)

    The foundation looks Ah-mazing on you! You should wear it all the time!

  11. corallista says:

    I meant it looks* wonderful on you!
    corallista recently posted … Faces Glam On Eye shadow Ruby Quartz : Review, Swatch and EOTD

  12. Nicole says:

    Hey Karen!
    I was soooooo excited when you first posted about this product but as soon as I saw Bismuth Oxychloride/ CI 77163 listed as one of the ingredients I knew it was a no go for me <\3 This ingredient is a common skin irritant that causes acne πŸ™ Perhaps this is what made you break out …

  13. Nina m l says:

    Uh… Sticking to Nars here …I need more yellow. It looks a bit too pink/ cool on you. To me anyway. I feel washed out without that warm glow. Thanks!!!!! Very helpful!

  14. Fieran says:

    The foundation looks really good on you πŸ™‚

    Grandpa cardigans are actually in vogue now. Tabs should know better.

  15. Dominique says:

    It is not suitable for combination/oily skins, is it ? It looks natural and pretty on you but I don’t know if it would be ok for me. What do you think ? ” Lingerie de Peau ” or this new Benefit Foundation ? Well, it’s not available here yet, should be in March so far I know.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dominique,

      I haven’t worn the first foundation you mention, so unfortch I can’t provide a comparison. Have you tried MAC Face & Body? It’s similar to that.

      • Dominique says:

        Hi Karen,

        Thank you so much for your response. I don’t know the M.A.C foundations but we have a M.A.C store in Bordeaux so I will go and see. As far as ” Lingerie de Peau ” from Guerlain is concerned, it is much appreciated here.

  16. Olga says:

    Thank you for reviewing this, Karen!

    I’ve been looking forward for this foundation to hit the European Benefit counters, and now it seems this is exactly what I need! Does it have any SPF in it? Or, if not, how would you apply a sunscreen with it (before or blend)?

  17. I think I’m in love with Benefit’s new foundation! Like you, I like getting my money’s worth right down to the last drop so I really like that these come with a pump. I’m definitely gonna get my hands on this when it comes out! πŸ˜€
    Kelly – Glitter Diaries recently posted … George’s Cream Giveaway WINNER!!

  18. peach_ says:

    It looks great on you! It sounds like it may be fine for the winter, but I need something more matte for summer. Hey, grandpa sweater can look edgy! I love wearing simple, comfy-looking loose tops and a colorful bottom, like colored jeans.
    peach_ recently posted … Julep Maven Box #6: It-Girl (Polish Lover) Resort Collection January 2012

  19. Nina says:

    At Christmas, the hubs only asked for 2 things – the Lego Farnworth House and Grandpa Sweaters. I ended up gettng one for me and my sister too — so comfy!

    That foundation has me interested … im on the hunt for a good foundation to switch too – my face is getting tired of my current one. The only benefit foundation ive ever used was some kind of gorgeous and I remember liking it … I might have to check this out personally!

    • Karen says:

      That’s adorable that he asked for Legos, LOL! πŸ™‚

      What color is your grandpa sweater?

      • Nina says:

        we both like Legos. they have an architectural series, and the Farnsworth house is part of that. there’s a Falling Water box that i really want!

        mine is gray – of course! i got my sister lime green because she is so fashion forward for a 50something year old gal!

  20. Lilly says:

    Karen, I’m thinking about getting this foundation along with Benefit’s Hello Flawless Powder.

    What shades of the Oxygen Wow and Hello Flawless do you think will suit my NC30 skin tone?

  21. mill says:

    yay, two benefit posts in a row! i’d actually love to pick up both Sun Beam and one of these foundations, so i’m glad they got glowing reviews here on MBB!

  22. I really like how it looks on you, Karen!
    And sounds like a perfect foundation to me, happy to hear that it feels better on the dry skin areas as I have dry skin.
    Marina (Makeup4all) recently posted … Daniel Sandler Cosmetics Spring Sunset Makeup Collection for Spring 2012

  23. DalaLuz says:

    Grandpa is the new cutting edge πŸ™‚ I remember wearing my grandfathers hat and silky pyama’s to high school when I was 14 LOL I thought I was sooooo very hip back then, so I think I have earned the right to cuddle up in a grandpa’s vest every now and then πŸ˜€ Maybe I should just add the hat and be cool all over.

  24. Melissa says:

    The foundation looks great on you. Can’t wait to try this out. Right now I mix Benefit You Rebel with the Playstick.

  25. Melli says:

    I can’t wait for this to come out. Seems promising. Just hope I can’t get a shade match.

    That grandpa sweater looks sooo warm. Definitely something I can use right now!

  26. Melli says:

    I meant CAN get a shade match. Hahaha when it comes to mobile, I’m text-challenged. πŸ˜›

  27. Lenita says:

    Hey Karen, I guessed I missed the memo, but didn’t you use to be a MAC NC35? In the pics, you don’t look NC42 actually…

  28. snoopysteph says:

    How does this compare to MAC Face & Body foundation? Seems like from the description of Hello Flawless they’re similar in texture & coverage.

  29. Marian says:

    Karen, this foundation looks fab on you. I’d like to try this one. It’s so sheer and light weight. I love your grandpa sweater too! Looks so cozy!

  30. Amanda says:

    I too was excited about this foundation at first, now I think I’m gonna have to pass. With the new Revlon Mousse and Maybelline Airfoam I’ve noticed watery foundation must be the new thing for 2012. But I hate it! It doesn’t give enough coverage for me. And someone else pointed out the Bismuth Oxychloride which always makes my skin super itchy and irritated. Bummer, I really wanted to like this.
    Amanda recently posted … Revlon PhotoReady Airbrush Mousse Foundation Review

  31. Sexy Sadie says:

    IÒ€ℒm Pure 4 Sure Ivory looks perfect for me. Too bad we do not have Benetint here in Norway.

  32. Sabah says:

    Which foundation shade did you wear here Karen?!

  33. Katrina says:

    The foundation is intriguing, but I think I’m still far too in love with Chanel’s foundations, specifically Perfection Lumier. It is really just perfect.

    I….actually love that sweater! Haha. I have a serious knitwear affliction.

  34. Shannon says:

    that looks AWESOME! Wow. Once I’m in the market for foundation again, I’ll definitely have to try this stuff out.

  35. Thanks for posting before and after photos, Karen! It helps me better see what the foundation can do. I really like how it looks like it provides some coverage, but it’s not full coverage, which can look like a mask. Natural and pretty!
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … Nubar Midnight Glory Swatches & Review

  36. Chris25 says:

    I would like a touch more yellow in I’m All the Rage Beige. I’m a very yellow person. πŸ˜›

  37. eight says:

    I want to try this. The Benefit selection at my local Shoppers is limited, so I hope they get it and have a tester available.

  38. gio says:

    The foundation looks great on you! I’m interested in trying this too but because of the limited shade selection I’m not sure I’ll be able to find a good match for my skintone.
    gio recently posted … Product Review: Giorgio Armani Armani Code For Women Fragrance

  39. Sophie says:

    Hey Karen,

    I think you should get Tabs his own grandpa sweater. He is obviously jealous of yours.

    Oh yeah, and the foundation does look very nice on you! When I want a sheer kind of coverage, I mix my L’Oreal liquid foundation (perfect match?) with my moisturizer (Aveeno w/ 30SPF). Works ok, but I always end up pouring out too much foundation. This looks like a more economical method.

  40. LauraA says:

    Ah, that foundation looks really good. Thank you for doing the swatching on this product, and I am definitely going to check it out.

  41. Harshleen says:

    Thanks for the useful review Karen. I am definitely going to get this once it’s released! It looks really good on you.
    Harshleen recently posted … L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner in Brown – Review, Swatches and Photos

  42. sweeks1980 says:

    Thanks for the review Karen! I was interested in it, but I think I will pass. Although the foundation looks lovely on you, the small pimples you mentioned scared me off (I had a bad experience with Benefit’s tinted moisturizer breaking me out).

    For sheer/medium coverage, I’ve found that I really like Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua. It’s pricey, but it lasts all day (even on my oily patches) and it seems pretty gentle on my skin.

  43. Sarah says:

    Hi Karen,

    How would you compare this to Nars sheer glow, both in terms of coverage and wear time? Thanks a bunch!

  44. Tiffany C. says:

    That foundation makes your skin look gorgeous!!! I must try this!!

  45. Neeraj says:

    I think my previous comment did not get posted or probably got deleted. I liked the coverage of this foundation as it looks simply flawless. Does the texture match with Clinique’s superfit foundation?

  46. How about a picture of you in that grandpa sweater? I’d love to see!
    Bun Bun Makeup Tips recently posted … Why Do People Leave Negative Blog Comments On Blogs?

  47. Jackie says:

    This stuff looks intriguing! I just discovered Benefit’s Pore Professional after receiving it in my Birchbox this month. Have you tried that? I ordered the full-size yesterday (after just a two days of using the sample), but I’m pretty sure it’s more than mental…seems to shrink my pores and create a more flawless look.

  48. DSM says:

    Looks really interesting. How would you compare this to the Chanel foundation you’ve reviewed in the past, the mate lumiere?

  49. Mireya says:

    So sad that it has bismuth in it. I thought this looked promising, but bismuth makes me itch and break out. πŸ™

  50. Rica says:

    Oh my, this foundation looks lovely on you. I must get a sample when it comes out. I hope it doesn’t break me out though…

    x Rica
    Rica recently posted … No budge but you can smudge: Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Eyeshadow

  51. Lilly says:

    What are the undertones in the Champagne and Honey shades of the Oxygen Wow Foundation? I can’t really tell from the photo…

  52. Sondra says:

    Hi, I’m an NW20 in mac what color in the new benefit do you think i am? I use the hello flawless powder in champagne that was what was matched to me. I got a sample card from HSN and have a hard time with honey or champagne those were the 2 colors of the three. The other was darker. I saw your swatches and in looking it looks more like i’m petal or champagne. Thanks.

  53. Sondra says:

    Well good news is launching this on Feb 2nd. If you want you can pre-order now for this & I did I pre-ordered 2 colors b/c i’m not sure on color and I can mix them if I have to. Well the pre-order is until the launch in Feb. Also right now there is free S & H which is great. I would take advantage of it. Well thought you guys should know.

  54. Phyrra says:

    I’m dying to try I’m Pure for Sure Ivory. Excited by this!
    Phyrra recently posted … Hotlinking

  55. Lancy says:

    The foundation shades were fabulous and your smile is very cute πŸ™‚ I love your complexion πŸ™‚
    Lancy recently posted … Unforgettable Moments and My Own Clicked Pictures of 2011 {Sure you’ll love this post}

  56. Katie says:

    Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation
    Active ingredients:
    Octinoxate 5.49%
    Titanium dioxide 2.37%
    Inactive Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Dimethicone, Glycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isododecane, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Pentylene Glycol, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Phenoxyethanol, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Silica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Stearic Acid, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Alumina, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylene Carbonate, Prolinamidoethyl Imidazole, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate. May Or May Not Contain: CI77002 (Aluminum Hydroxide), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

    MAY or MAY NOT contain Bismuth Oxychloride. It’s not even that much content in each bottle. I doubt it could break anyone out.

  57. ~T says:

    Is the Honey yellow or pink based? Thanks! :), I need a neutral or pinkish based light/med color.

  58. Nyle says:

    Hello! I’m from Brazil!

    What color is good for MAC SFF in NC 15, Ivory or Champagne? I have combination oily skin and I’m not sure if this foundation is a good choice for me. Without primer and/or blot powder, after how many hours the shine and oil returns in your T zone with this foundation?

    I love your blog!


  59. Sondra says:

    Ok, I was so excited to get the oxygen wow foundation. I got two shades b/c i wasn’t sure on color i’m champangne in the powder. Boy was I wrong on both ends I got petal & champange and wow both were so yellow that i looked sick. I had people asking me if i was feeling good. Now thats not what you want to hear. i sent them both back to HSN. I’m a NW20 in mac and thats perfect for me b/c im cool toned. I really wanted to love the foundation. It covered well it didn’t sink into my fine lines and i loved the feel of it. I wish there was a better color range for us pinky girls. I guess I’ll stick to my MUFE in 120 and Smashbox HD Healthy FX in F! for now and keep looking for something simular. I hear that Estee Lauder is coming out with a unique skin like finish in March I can’t wait I hope this is the one.

  60. Phyrra says:

    I picked up I’m Pure 4 Sure Ivory and it’s a great match on my skintone. I love the finish, too πŸ˜‰ Really happy that you swatched all the shades. Thank you so much!
    Phyrra recently posted … Nicki’s Moss Garden

  61. Summer says:

    You look REALLY gorgeous, just FYI! Maybe it’s the picture, but I really think the color you’re wearing matches you perfectly; no more yellow seems needed. (Though things always look a little different in person!)

    Hmmm. I’m dry-skinned and cool-toned, so I may be the right candidate for this foundation. (Or maybe I should say that this foundation is the right candidate for me!) Thanks for the heads up about the pimples though! I think my little NW15 self needs a generous Sephora sample in Ivory or Petal before I commit to purchasing.

  62. Nia says:

    i want to ask what shade would be good for me? im nw20 in mac. petal? there’s no benefit counter in my country. so i’ve to buy it online. thanks πŸ™‚

  63. Your blog has definitely convinced me to pick one of these foundations up in my shade!

  64. This hello flowless oxygen wow seems wonderful! I have just bought the powder: it’s light and covering. Love it!
    I want to try it in liquid!

  65. Jaimee says:

    Hello flawless sounds like my perfect foundation. I’ve been yearning for something light in texture but not light in coverage. I’m definitely gonna have to try this one!

    I just found your blog and I think it’s great! πŸ™‚ Have a great day!

  66. Sasha says:

    Hi! I love reading your reviews they are very informative! πŸ™‚
    I was just wondering if you found the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow liquid foundation to be transfer free?
    Thank you!

  67. farah says:

    Hi!!! i am using dior skin forever foundation in 023 peach plz can u tell me what i will be in benefit hello flawless oxygen foundation??thank you plz do reply…

  68. Piper says:

    Does this cover up lots of freckles?

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