Everytime Benefit releases a new boxed powder blush, everyone gets all excited! The last one that had me all riled up was Bella Bamba and here is Benefit's latest creation for Spring, HERVANA
You know, I wasn't paying as much attention to the "angel" as I was to the Devil ... ooops .. cos he's all nicely taut and rippled ...
Benefit always has a way with their promotional images and tongue-in-cheek name and product descriptions - Hervana is a play on the term Nirvana, where Benefit says "Achieve Hervana. Swirl these blissful shades together and sweep on your cheekbones for an enlightened flush" .. all in good fun of course.
The packaging to me is by far the prettiest of all the Benefit blush boxes - Bella Bamba and Coralista are pretty but in a more fun and technicolour way whereas Hervana is more chic and classy.
Similar to the Bella Bamba box, this is a hinged box with a concealed magnetic clasp. Though made of cardboard, it seems to be of good quality and feels nice and sturdy in the hand. As with all Benefit boxed powders, this comes with a brush but I always prefer to use my own.
Here is how the blush looks like in the pan ...
Benefit describes the 4 shades as shell, peach, rose and berry and I think they are rather spot on (perhaps pale berry or berry mauve would be more accurate). The pinwheel placement of the shades may not be easy for one to apply the shades individually so I think the idea is to use them swirled. You can of course use a teenier brush to pull out more of one shade or concentrate your swirling on particular segments.
Here are the swatches of the individual shades (on dry skin, no primer or creme blush underneath)
They look almost matte (especially in the 2nd shot with no flash) when swatched but the peach and shell segments contain very very fine, miniscule gold shimmer. This is a far far far cry from the shimmer laced through the other 2 Benefit blushes I have, Bella Bamba and Coralista so if you are very averse to any sort of frost or shimmer, this might be a good option for you.
The powder itself is very very finely milled - even the paler shell and peach shades are not chalky and patchy and it feels so soft and smooth going on.
Here is a swatch of it swirled - you can see the slight satiny sheen once the shades are swirled
Now the beauty of Hervana comes out in its full glory once its applied - I used my MAC 109 to swirl all the shades together and here is how it looks like on the brush ... it reminded me a little of how my beloved MAC Fleur Power looks like
Interestingly, the pinwheel design does not get smooshed and distorted after several carefree swirls :)
I think on lighter complexions, you could likely get away with using Hervana on its own for a softly blushing cheek.
On deeper complexions like mine, it doesn't show up prominently enough on its own but it shows up beautifully once I apply a very sheered out, buffed layer of creme blush (I usually apply a smidge of creme blush underneath any powder blush I use - the logic of using a "primer" (regardless of the colour or pigmentation) just so the blush has something to grab on to and it lasts the whole day).
I just sheered out a smidge of Topshop Creme Blush in Pinch and then applied Hervana on the apples of my cheeks and upwards towards my hairline.
(I've got GA Eyes To Kill in Blast of Blue and L'Oreal Infallible in Goldmine on my eyes in this shot; Lips are MUFE Rouge Intense in 29)
Like I mentioned, although it looks matte in the pan and when individual shades are swatched, it actually creates a rather glowy cheek - I didn't apply any other highlighter in these shots. I think perhaps the best phrase to decribe this - a "soft gleam"
(In this shot, I've got Dior quint in Smoky Crystal and MAC Carefree Eyeshadow on my eyes; Lips are MUFE Rouge Intense in 29)
I would have to say Hervana is a sleeper-hit for me - honestly, when I first saw swatches of it elsewhere, I was convinced it was one of those super pale blushers that would likely turn chalky on me. Then I changed my mind when I saw the actual product and was taken by the pretty pinwheel design. But I was totally sold once I applied it on my cheeks. I think this is something that will be appreciated by many, given the soft gleam you can achieve with it.
Another fact you will love - Benefit appears to have done some price adjustments and now, their box blushers, including Hervana, retail at SGD$46 (down from SGD$55 I think) (I also saw the new prices reflected at the Benefit counter at Sephora ION). You might save about SGD$10 or so if you order online but you'd usually have to wait for a free shipping promo + hit the minimum purchase amount (usually about USD$115 and then wait in bated breath for your loot. With the reduced price, I'm definitely more inclined to purchase at our local Benefit counters!
Looking for that soft glow?
Check out Hervana and see if it is the right path for you! :)
Disclaimer: Product provided for consideration. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influecned by anyone.