Since then, Benefit has stuck to the don’t-fix-what-ain’t-broke mantra with Hoola, the formula and packaging of which hasn’t changed a bit in the past 20 years. Clearly, that seems to be working because one box of the bronzer sold every 15 seconds throughout 2020 (the brand had to produce 1,200 bronzers every hour just to keep up), according to statistics from the brand. Unsurprisingly, it’s also a Best of Beauty Award winner.
What makes Hoola such a success? Probably a combination of things. For one, Hoola addressed a hole in the beauty market at the time of its launch. “Hoola’s formula was unique at the time for offering a shimmer-free, neutral matte bronzer for a natural-looking glow,” Helfrich explains.
And there’s also the fact that Benefit “spent quite a lot of time to find a perfect blend of white, brown, red, purple, and yellow pigments,” in order to create a shade that worked on a wide variety of skin tones and truly looked bronze rather than orange.
You don’t have to overthink its application, either. Just take it from makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, who previously told Allure that “bronzing is about warming up the skin where the sun would naturally hit.”
With Hoola’s provided brush or a separate tool of your choosing, dust the powder onto the high points of your face (cheekbones, bridge of the nose, center of the forehead, and chin). If you feel like you’ve overdone it, makeup artist Pep Gay recommends you “buff the edges of your bronzer with a clean makeup brush,” as he previously told us.