'It always looks and feels like my skin but better': The $44 summer foundation our editors are loving

Alyssa Tria
Shopping Editor

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BENEFIT COSMETICS Hello Happy Air Stick Foundation

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As seasonal temperatures begin to reach those uncomfortable highs, you may have considered skipping or swearing off makeup completely this summer. I know this beauty editor has. After all, summer makeup trends are all about showcasing that natural, sun-kissed glow — and nobody likes a face riddled with melted-off and runny pigments. But with that said, the summer weather also comes a handful of skin woes that I'm not brave enough to showcase — such as oily pores, acne scars and heavy eye bags that concealer or a tinted moisturizer can't cover up alone.

The ultimate solution? A lightweight foundation that offers buildable coverage and can outlast the blazing heat and humidity. And while there are many formulas on the market that have earned their cult-favourite status by proving their long-wear, the right summer foundation should feel or look like you aren’t wearing anything at all. Luckily, I stumbled upon (more like it arrived at my desk) my perfect summer foundation.

Introducing the newest addition to the Benefit Cosmetics’ roster of foundations, Hello Happy Air Sticks ($44).

Available in 12 blendable shades, these foundations come conveniently packed in a stick form for easy, on-the-go application and offers a natural, medium-cover. As its name insists, they glide on silky-smooth for a light-as-air and breathable feel on the skin, thanks to its complex of lightweight powders and shea butter. Perfect for that no-makeup makeup look, happy blend of chamomile and botanical extracts also help for a seamless, non-cakey finish.

For my full review on the Hello Happy Air Stick foundation, scroll below for my thoughts and application techniques. And because I loved this formula so much, I also invited my colleagues to put it to the test.

Benefit Cosmetics Hello Happy Air Stick Foundation

Benefit Cosmetics Hello Happy Air Stick Foundation

SHOP IT: Sephora, $44

Alyssa Tria, Shopping Editor

Benefit Cosmetics Hello Happy Air Stick Foundation in shade 5 (medium neutral warm)

While I aim to go for that flawless, no-makeup look, I do a pretty rough job when it comes to blending in my foundation. Rather than using a sponge, I directly glide the foundation on to the skin (focusing on my problematic areas) and quickly blend it in with a tightly-packed foundation brush to avoid lifting and wasting the product. And with a few swipes, this foundation finish is never dry or cakey — it always looks and feels like my skin but better.

It looks and feels so natural that I often forget that I’m wearing foundation and have made the bad mistake of going to bed with it on.

I wear shade 5 and occasionally use shade 6 for subtle bronzing.

Kate Mendonca, Shopping Editor

Benefit Cosmetics Hello Happy Air Stick Foundation in shade 4 (medium neutral)

To be completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of foundation and usually only wear it for special events, instead sticking with a tinted moisturizer for everyday wear. That said, I really liked that the Hello Happy Air Stick feels extremely lightweight when applied. I’d say that it offers a light to medium coverage (I still need to use concealer under my eyes and to cover up any blemishes) and a matte finish, which depending on your preferences may be right up your alley. 

The first time I put it on, I applied it just to my bare skin with my fingers and found the finish to be almost drying - however, my skin does tend to run more on the normal to dry side, depending on the season. After playing around with it, I found that I much preferred the look and feel of the Air Stick worn over my favourite lightweight serum, blended with a Beauty Blender rather than a brush for an even lighter finish. I used the colour number 4, which was a perfect match for my light-medium olive skin, and didn’t leave me looking orange like some other foundations that I’ve tried in the past. 

I still haven’t been converted to a regular foundation wearer, but the next time I’m looking to put on a full face of makeup I’ll definitely be reaching for the Benefit stick.

Elizabeth Di Filippo, Lifestyle Editor

I *should* have a photo with this, but I’m already out of product! I started using the Hello Happy Air Stick as my daily foundation as soon as it arrived in March.

I was initially hesitant to use stick foundation, since I apply liquid foundation (mixed with boosting glow drops) using a beauty blender on a daily basis. My go-to for the past year has been Valmont’s L'Elixir Des Glaciers Teint Majestueux in Ivory but I quickly became a fan of the Hello Happy Air Stick - especially when I began working from home.

Benefit's Hello Happy Air Stick comes in 12 different shades. (Image via Benefit).

Benefit’s stick foundation provided just the right amount of coverage for a natural, fresh finish. After using sunscreen (yes, even during a pandemic I wear sunscreen) I applied the stick foundation to my face and blended with a damp sponge, and was able to provide light coverage to my face before applying a thicker concealer for my dark circles and setting with powder. This became my new everyday routine during quarantine, and I used this stick until I wore it right down to the nubbin.

The coverage is a little too light for my liking if I had an event (I enjoy a full coverage beat), but I think for summer this is the perfect everyday foundation that takes little to no time to deliver a flawless finish.

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