Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of all shades and photos

Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of all shades, photos
Last Fall, Benefit Cosmetics launched their new makeup range, all in art deco packaging. Leading the pack was the Hydra-Smooth Lip Color. I liked the Full Finish lipsticks from Benefit, if only a couple of the shades (dusty pink variants, of course!) and they were being phased out to make way for the Hydra-Smooth range, so I wanted to try the new lippies out as soon as I could.
I got my chance in December. I have swatches of all the 10 shades of Hydra-Smooth Lip Color for you, and a couple of on-lips swatches as well. And, let me tell you, I love these more than the Full Finish lipsticks. Much, much more.

Here's the review and swatches of the Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Colors.

Packaging of Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color:

The external box is a cardboard tube and quite sturdy. There is a lime green and teal green art deco design, not Benefit's usual thing. I expected more of those girls saying sassy things, but this makes a nice change.  My Dad came over and saw this on my desk and said, "Are these tubes those pistol caps we popped in school?" I corrected him and saved my lippies from being taken away for New Year fireworks.
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of all shades, photos
The ingredients are listed on the back of the tube; no parabens, and the lippy is made in Canada.
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of all shades, photosBenefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of all shades, photos
Inside, the tube is made of plastic and may appear cheap to some. For me, it makes a nice change from most lipsticks and it resembles one of those Grecian pillars. The lid is also plastic, but transparent. The tube is white and striated and is longer than most lipsticks - there isn't a metal inner tube.
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of all shades, photos
Instead, a smaller part of the bullet peeks out and you can twist out more as needed. The bullet slants on both sides.
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of all shades, photos
Somehow, I like the idea of pulling this out of your handbag; makes a bit of an eyeball-grabber in public with the Grecian pillar look :)

Formula of Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color:

The formula is incredibly creamy and hydrating. In fact, they feel like balms and not lip colours.
This is what Benefit says about the Hydra-Smooth Lip Color:
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of all shades, photos

Staying power of Hydra-Smooth Lip Color:

I have compared the staying power of the Full Finish lipsticks and this is on par. Definitely not as long-staying as Rouge In Love, but much better than Diorific, Dior Addict Extreme and Dior Serum Rouge. It lasted four or so hours on me, withstanding a drink of water but didn't survive my tacos. Nor does it leave behind a stain, though the hydration lasts. But I like pulling this out of my bag to reapply, so I'm not whinging much.

Swatches of all 10 shades of Hydra-Smooth Lip Color:

Swatches are in natural light. From left to right:
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of all shades, photos
  1. Nice N' Teasy: Sheer rose-ish neutral. Not a fan, but it might suit those who want to go in for the no-makeup makeup look.
  2. Dare Me: A bright fuchsia. There are red undertones somewhere, but definitely in-your-face fuchsia.
  3. Juicy Details: Pale pink. This is a great lip tint but don't expect much coverage.
  4. Frisky Business: Shimmery neutral brown. I can see coral undertones. This is a lovely shade for work.
  5. Lip Service: I doubt the colour would show up unless your lips were pure white, but maybe for those who want a balm-y look?
  6. Air Kiss: Sheer bubblegum pink. Did I mention sheer?
  7. Wing Woman: A great peachy-brown. Love it.
  8. Tutti Cutie: Sheer peach. Think Luna from the Rimmel Apocalips range and water it down to make it as sheer as you can.
  9. Fling Thing: Berry mauve. Doesn't overdo it, but gives a nice, bright look.
  10. Talk Flirty: Come to mama! I love this shade to bits! Benefit calls it orchid pink but I know my dusty pink - although with mauve undertones this time - when I see it!

Pigmentation of Hydra Smooth Lip Color:

There are three levels of pigmentation for these 10 shades - sheer, medium and full finish. Coverage is buildable, but the sheer shades remain sheer even if you lay them on with a trowel.
The sheer shades, which I've pretty much avoided, are: Air Kiss, Lip Service and Tutti Cutie (nice names)
The medium coverage lipsticks are: Frisky Business, Nice N' Easy, Juicy Details and Talk Flirty (my favourite). I'm surprised they call Juicy Details medium coverage. I find it sheerer than Tutti Cutie!
And the three full-finish lipsticks are: Wing Woman (my second-favourite), Dare Me and Fling Thing
To give you an idea of the pigmentation, here are some of them swatched on my lips. All worn over bare lips - no primer or lip liner, so you can see all my flaws!
The first is Fling Thing, in natural light outdoors, and under artificial white light indoors:
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of Fling ThingBenefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of Fling Thing
Below is Talk Flirty. Nice, innit? Natural light indoors, and outdoors against the sunlight, respectively. Mind you, that's supposed to be medium coverage!
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of Talk FlirtyBenefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of Talk Flirty
And here's Dare Me in natural light, artificial light and with flash, respectively. Didn't like it with flash - the flash made it look more red than fuchsia.
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of Dare MeBenefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of Dare Me
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Color review, swatches of Dare Me
So I especially love Talk Flirty, Wing Woman and Frisky Business. These are also great for layering over other lip colours, and will see much use from me over the coming months. You wouldn't think these would give such decent results on the lips, on seeing the swatches, would you? Oh, and Benefit, please don't change these shades!

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