Benefit is one of the biggest beauty brands in the world, so when they announce the launch of a new product, things gets pretty wild.
Hot on the heels of their new Bad Gal Bang! Mascara, Benefit is releasing a brand new foundation which is already making waves online.
‘Hello Happy’ is described as a light-medium coverage foundation, with a soft-blur formula to hide imperfections, without hiding your skin.
With its claims of a matte finish and some seriously adorable packaging, it sounds like the foundation launch we’ve been waiting for. But not everyone is so happy about ‘Hello Happy’.
The launch of Fenty Beauty’s 40 shade foundation range last year opened an incredibly important and much-needed conversation on the topic of diversity in the beauty industry. Consumers quite rightly now expect brands to step up their shade selection and as the likes of Tarte and KKW Beauty prove, you will get called out if you don’t.
So when it was revealed that Benefit’s brand new foundation will only be available in 12 shades, the Internet had a lot of opinions on it.
“12 shades is a little bit lame. Most people won’t be lucky enough to find a match.”
“Fenty has like 40 shades and Benefit has 12? Come on Benefit, it’s 2018!”
“Why should we hold a sheer foundation to different standards than a full coverage foundation. Complexion products in general need to improve, it’s not excusable.”
But some people pointed out that Benefit has not released swatches yet and that with a sheer foundation, the shade range is more important than the actual number.
“12 shades is fine for sheer coverage. You don’t need 40 shades like you would for a full coverage foundation. They haven’t even shown the shade swatches yet.”
“A sheer coverage foundation shade can be worn by more skin tones than a high coverage foundation shade. So it is not surprising that sheer foundations have less shades than high coverage ones. To me what matters most is not the number of shades but the shade range. We cannot see it here so we cannot judge yet. Maybe they will target deeper skin tones as much as lighter skin tones, who knows?”
We reached out to Benefit directly who advised that the 12 shades are made up of 3 light, 5 medium and 4 deep shades, with ‘neutral undertones to give flexibility and stretch’. They also provided the following statement on the efforts they went to, to develop a ‘broad’ shade range:
“At Benefit, we believe makeup should be easy and fun. Hello Happy simplifies the foundation selection experience with an approachable, easy-to-shop 12-shade system. To ensure “Happy looks good on YOU,” we developed the range to reach a wide spectrum of skin tones from light to deep. We tested our shades on over 500 women globally … We didn’t stop tweaking the shades until 100% of the panelists were happy with their shade! We carefully crafted our 12 shades to reach a broad range of skin tones. Among 12 shades, 42% of Hello Happy’s shades are Medium-to-Tans, 33% are Deeps, and 25% are Lights…it’s a Happy Balance!
“Can’t find your shade? Please let us know! We are always listening to our customers and striving to meet your needs. Our goal is to turn your frown upside down!”