A bronzer for the palest of pale girls

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Benefit’s Hoola Matte bronzer was sitting in my beauty closet unused for I’m not even sure how long. I forgot about it, to be honest. I never LOVED the packaging, so it wasn’t something I grabbed for enough to keep on my vanity.

But I pulled it out a bit ago and remembered how nice the warmth is from the bronzer. I always had to have a very light hand, like I do with many bronzers, to make sure it wasn’t too dark on my light complexion. You can imagine my EXCITEMENT when I learned they were launching Hoola Lite, a lighter version of the original bronzer. I first heard it was going to be released in April, but I got a promotional email from Ulta and in it was the newest bronzer! I made a point to swing by there to pick it up, and was very hopeful that it would be the right fit for me when I wear bronzer in the spring and summer.

Here are the two shades next to each other on an alarmingly close photo of my arm that needs a bit of lotion.

It should be obvious, but the original is on the left, and Hoola Lite is on the right. It’s VERY light compared to the original formula. But it feels and applies the same in my opinion. They are both matte, which I love with all my heart because shimmery bronzers are not my jam.

Hoola Lite is on the left, and original Hoola is on the right.

I found that I did have to work a bit to get the color to show up on me. It was the opposite problem I had with the original formula that was a bit too dark. I love the subtleness of it, and how it’s nearly impossible to apply too much, but I would say that it’s probably too light for my skin. I’ll still use it because I’ve never liked a deep bronze, but if you have similar coloring to me you may have the same issue.

However, if you have lighter coloring than me or are really apprehensive about bronzer, definitely try this shade out. Think Nicole Kidman or Julianne Moore skin tones, you know? This bronzer shade would be perfect for them!


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Elizabeth says · 03.20.17

I am SO pale and always struggle finding the right color. Definitely giving this a try!
Xo, Elizabeth

Sarah says · 03.20.17

Likely a dumb question, but do you ever have issues with their packaging? I’m always nervous to buy Benefit products in those little cardboard boxes. I’m worried they’ll fall apart, or get crushed!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 03.20.17

Shimmery bronzers are NOT my jam too – will be looking into this bronzer for sure.

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Alyssa says · 03.20.17

I’ve been wondering about this one. I’m very fair and my favorite bronzer is the milk chocolate one by Too Faced.

I totally get what you mean about the packaging. I love their powders, but can’t stand those boxes. I always end up with this really awkward square of leftover powder that’s hard to get out of the box. I wish they’d make them more of a compact shape.

kait says · 03.20.17

I miss your “get ready with me” videos. Would love to see a new one with products you are loving!

Liv says · 03.20.17

Ah I’ll have to try it out!! New post/ http://www.oliviaschueller.com

Stephanie says · 03.20.17

I’m so pale, too, and have always shied away from bronzers because they look weird on me.

I might have to try this one, though.


Kayley says · 03.20.17

I can’t wait to try Hoola Lite when it comes to the UK I am so pale and I really think this might work for my skin tone! I use Hoola now because it’s so good but it is a little dark! Xx

Laurel says · 03.20.17

Ya, seems like they went too subtle on the color.

Bonnie says · 03.20.17

Now show us palefaces how to use bronzer without looking freakish!

Anna says · 03.20.17

I’m very pale, and this shade is definitely workable for me. I think I like this more as an all over powder though, to liven up my whole face. I use a really big fluffy brush, concentrate on the usual “bronzing” spots and then blend it out over all of my face. It doesn’t give me the contoured look I feel most people go for, but it definitely helps give me a little color.

lynn says · 03.20.17

I would love to see a tutorial on how to use blush and bronzer!

fannyanddailybeauty says · 03.20.17

I didn’t know about this new, lighter shade, but, seeing it in the picture, I actually believe it would be perfect for my very pale skin. It almost looks like a setting powder for an olive skin and that’s what I tend to use as a bronzer, I also like the fact that it is matte! Thank you for sharing!


Erin @ Her Heartland Soul says · 03.20.17

This shade is perfect for me!!! Thanks lady!

Tess says · 03.20.17

I’m always on the hunt for a new good bronzer! Thanks for sharing 🙂
xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

Rebecca says · 03.20.17

Thanks for the tip! I have super pale (porcelain) skin too and never know what to do with bronzers that end up in my monthly boxes/bags other than to use them as eyeshadow or blush. They’re always too dark for anything else!

Alicia says · 03.20.17

I personally use the normal Hoola as more of a contour shade since it’s too deep on my skin however, I feel like Hoola Lite would be perfect to use as a bronzer, especially as we head into Spring and Summer.
Alicia x

Sydney says · 03.20.17

Ah the packaging of this makes me want it but i know it will be too light 🙁
I am pale too though and I’ve found charlotte tilbury’s shade and light palette is the perrrrrfect bronzer for my skintone!! Xxx

Leann says · 03.20.17

I’m light skinned, i wear light to light/medium in foundations and i feel like the original hoola brozner is too light, i never see anything on my skin, no matter how much i layer. Plus it has a strong perfume smell. Not my favorite at all.

Maria says · 03.20.17

I know a lot of people rave about this bronzer but I’ve never loved it. Not sure why.

Maria Cano | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Kristin S says · 03.21.17

My latest bronzer (which I don’t love at all – I see you IT Cosmetics) hit pan months ago and finally this morning all side pieces detached all over my sink. Not sad. But now I have to hunt down a new favorite bronzer. I used tarte or NARS for years but both are pretty dark. I take a Laura Geller one when I travel because it can be blush and bronzer and eye shadow with all her colors. I may try this one. Not the light one. I also might try the BeautyCounter one.

Now my blog comment has just become one long, rambly train of thought. Gracious.

Caroline Malone says · 03.21.17

oh my goodness I can’t believe I haven’t heard of Hoola Lite! I love the normal hoola but it only really works well for me in Spring or Summer time when I finally have a bit of natural colour on my face! I’ll have to see if I can find it in the shops anywhere when it releases! xx


Linda says · 03.21.17

I am quite pale, but this is too light for me. It doesn’t even have a bronzed colour!!

On another note: Each time I try to visit your blog I get a security warning that I am trying to visit an unsafe website (for years now). This is the only blog that ever happend to me. If that is because of something on your end, maybe you could work out why that happens, I’m always a bit uneasy beeing here.

Melissa says · 03.25.17

I went and snatched up the Hoola Lite as soon as I could get over to Ulta and I do not regret it. I’m fair skinned and it is the PERFECT bronzer for me! It gives my face shape and color but it’s so subtle. I’m in love.

Sarah Chappell says · 03.26.17

Love this post! I really want to try this bronzer – I own the original Hoola but it can be a bit muddy on my pale skin. So I can’t wait to purchase the Hoola Lite.
Sarah X

Ryan Jones says · 03.27.17

Hi Kate,
Really loved that post, got some great information!
What do you think about natural based skin care? I kind of want to move away from the chemical products in my older age! I have been using this brand here: https://itchy.net.au but I am looking for more! Any suggestions?

Erin says · 07.10.17

I tried the hoola lite, but it didn’t work for my skin tone. My skin is basically white so it’s just straight orange on me. :((( I have yet to find a single bronzer that doesn’t look atrocious. If anyone has any recommendations, let me know.