Review: Benefit Hoola Bronzer (#1 Natural Sun Kissed Glow?)

There are some product categories we dabble with over time, but with Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer, this has always remained a classic and personal favorite for years.

It definitely has a loyal cult-following, and is infamous for creating a natural fresh from the sun glow, without the cost of a fancy vacation (or any yellow or orange undertones).

While we have all probably played with a few bronzing products throughout the years and developed personal favorites, Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer remains a cosmetics staple for its sexy finish, natural look, ease of use (for us non contouring experts) and warm glow finish.

It generally works on fair to medium complexions, and can be used as an all over powder or to define certain areas on the face.

More recently Benefit has developed a new color addition to the line in a light finish as well.

If you’re looking for a warm bronze anytime of year without a pricey salon treatment or the risk of turning orange, this may be a first defense.

We reviewed this product to see how it ranks up so you wouldn’t have to.

Review: Benefit Hoola Bronzer (#1 Natural Sun Kissed Glow?) 1

Review: Benefit Hoola Bronzer

Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer is a matte-finish 8g product designed to give you a healthy looking and natural sun-kissed off the beach look during any time of the year.

Out of all of the bronzers I have experimented with, this one by far is the most natural in appearance and never looks fake, cakey, orange, or unnatural.

Coverage is very buildable, so you can dabble on a very small amount for a natural glow, or build up coverage for a night out to pair with a sexy red dress.

The bronzer works best for fair to medium complexions, but even worked well on my pretty fair and freckled tone, so it’s fairly user-friendly, even if you aren’t a contouring expert or are new to bronzers entirely.

In fact, this was the first bronzer I can remember purchasing, and in experimenting with many down the road, this is the only product I have ever come back to- it’s either that good, or that simple to use, or both.

Either way, we’re all looking for that post-vacation healthy glow even during the dead of winter (or when you wake up to dreaded pale skin and need a boost now and then).

This is your fix, and the only issue is getting hooked on it.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer in Hand
Image Credit: Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Hoola Bronzer Lite

Hoola Lite is a newer addition a lighter shade than the traditional Hoola Bronzer, and a bit more subtle in tone. It can be used as a standalone product if you’re seeking a more natural or lighter finish, or it can be used along with the regular Hoola Bronzer (as shown in the featured video).

To use it as a bronzer alone, you can simply sweep the product all over the face or apply to desired areas to highlight (the cheekbones, under the chin, the forehead).

To use it with the regular Hoola Bronzer, you can apply the Bronzer Lite to the forehead and cheekbone areas to begin to add warmth to the skin, then finish with the regular product (again, as shown in the tutorial).

Personally, while I like and have tried both products, even with a fair skin shade, I still prefer the traditional Benefit Hoola Bronzer and find that it blends well and evenly into my fair complexion. For those who enjoy more dimensional looks and highlighting, the use of both products is a great way to add volume and flair.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer and Light
Image Credit: Benefit Cosmetics

How Do I Use Benefit Hoola Bronzer?

You can use Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer in all of the following ways: 

  • Sweep across the entire face/neck/collarbone areas to add warmth and tone
  • Sweep across the forehead, chin, and cheekbones to add subtle warm and build as desired
  • Apply under the cheekbones and neck to sculpt and define (may use with contouring)
  • Stroke from the cheekbones down towards the chin for a sexy warm glow 
Benefit Hoola Bronzer Product
Image Credit: Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Hoola Bronzer Pros and Cons

Here is a look at some key pros and cons to bear in mind prior to purchase with Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer:


  • The bronzer has a natural matte finish and does not contain and sparkle or shimmer, so it is great for day or evening looks
  • It has a very natural, warm, and sun-kissed finish that does not look fake and looks very “fresh off the beach”
  • Does not have any unusual orange or yellow undertones
  • Makes the skin look healthy, glow, appear more vibrant, and radiant
  • Blends on smoothly and easily using a bronzing brush and blends into other makeup evenly
  • Can be used for sculpting or contouring
  • Can be used as an all over finishing powder or used on certain areas to define the face (i.e. cheekbones, under the chin, forehead)
  • Excess powder can be easily removed if too much is applied accidentally
  • Product longevity: even with everyday continual use, this product lasts so long (8+ months), that you will generally need to discard it due to expiration dates before it runs out
  • The Hoola Bronzer is free of any parabens, sulfates, or harsh chemical binding agents (or mineral oil)
  • Safe for all skin types (even with sensitive and acne-prone skin this product was not irritating and did not cause any breakouts, redness, rashes, or issues after use)
  • Coverage is quite buildable, so you can opt for a very natural look, or apply heavier coverage if preferred
  • Adds a sexy warm glow to the complexion during all seasons for fair to medium skin tones
  • Cruelty-free company: company does not test on animals, use any animal products in any product formulations, or during any manufacturing processes


  • Price point: the $30 range can be a bit steep for this category, however the product truly does last for months (in fact, if I was not afraid of allergic reaction I would continue using this product way past the expiration date, as the full size product literally seems to last an entire year even with daily use)
Benefit Hoola Bronzerr product photo
Image Credit: Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cosmetic’s Money-Back Guarantee Policy

Especially considering if you are new to the brand or if price barriers are a concern to you, the return policy in this case may be a highly important factor for you. The manufacturer, Benefit Cosmetics, has a strong return and exchange policy that honors full refunds upon dissatisfaction or allergy, and this policy favors the consumer, both new and returning. If you are dissatisfied with the use of Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer, or if it does not work for you to provide suitable cosmetics benefits, or you experience any product allergy or reaction to the formulation, you may elect to return it at any time.

In this case, you will receive a full refund equal to the entire purchase price of the item.

If the item was received as a gift (without receipt), the policy applies for an even exchange, and individual store policy may vary depending on location and distributer.

Please note, this policy applies to online Amazon purchases and may not always apply to individual store merchants.

I was happy to discover that the formulation was gentle enough to use even with very sensitive skin and did not cause any irritation, but due to varying sensitivity concerns this policy may help assuage fears, as individual allergies are highly variable.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer and Light 2
image Credit: Benefit Cosmetics

Review: Benefit Hoola Bronzer (#1 Natural Sun Kissed Glow?) 1

Benefit Hoola Bronzer: Worth It Winner?

Very few products on the market that describe themselves as leaving you “sun-kissed” can actually meet that promise, but with Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer, this is truly the only bronzing product I’ve found that looks like you’ve naturally stepped off the beach or gotten back from a vacation- simply by adding a makeup product into your routine.

After using it, your skin simply looks healthier, glowing, and warmer.

When used after a primer and radiant finish foundation, and with a soft blush and sheer lip color, you’re good to go for a perfect and natural look that works for day and night.

When any friend asks me for a bronzer recommendation or simply how to freshen up their skin (with one makeup product), this is my first response.

The matte finish without any sparkle and without any orange or fake looking undertones seal the deal for a perfect finish, and the complexion simply looks “brought back to live,” especially during colder months or days your simply tired.

Need to freshen up and get back a healthy skin glow? Step 1. A simple skin oil or serum as a base, Step 2. Swipe on Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer.

We give it a glowing recommendation- without a hint of sparkle!

Benefit Hoola Bronzer



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