Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Colour: Review, Photos, Swatches

Benefit Hydra Smooth Lip Colour

New this month from Benefit is a 10-strong line of lipsticks designed to be universally flattering and to moisturise the lips. 

What's really interesting here, aside from the gorgeous art deco packaging, is the fact that three levels of coverage are on offer - sheer, medium and medium-to-full - and I have samples of each to show to you today. 

Benefit Hydra Smooth Lip Colour Packaging and Presentation

They all go on sheer to begin with, but the medium and medium-to-full shades will build up easily in a couple of swipes. The finish of each is quite youthful and flattering, with a soft and glossy sheen.

The formula, enriched with shea butter, mango butter and vitamin E, feels nice and lightweight and does a good job of hydrating the lips - on par with the Revlon lip butters, but with a thinner consistency and a bit more slip. 

Longevity is better than average for this type of product and you should get a good few hours of wear (depending, of course, on how much tea/wine/cocktail swigging you've planned). 
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lipstick Swatches
L-R: Dare Me (medium to full coverage); Tutti-Cutie (sheer coverage); Talk Flirty (medium coverage) - several swipes of each 
The packaging and presentation divides people but I'm a fan - the double slanted tip is clever and helps with application (I turn it on its side to follow the shape of my upper lip) and the product winds up from the base. I worry, though, for how that faux-crystal lid is going to fare in my handbag...
Benefit Hydra Smooth Lipstick Tutti-Cutie Swatch
Sheer Shades: Tutti-Cutie (coral, pictured); Lip Service (pink-peach), Air Kiss (bubblegum) 
So that's the good news; is there any bad? Well the shade range is limited enough; there are lots of easy to wear neutrals, but Dare Me is really the only bold shade in the bunch. Tutti-Cutie looks quite intense in the bullet but because it's in the sheer category, it (quite deliberately) doesn't translate to the lips. I'd like to see some reds, oranges and purples in the mix and I'd be surprised if we don't see more colours introduced down the line. 
Benefit Hydra Smooth Lipstick Talk Flirty Swatch
Medium Shades: Talk Flirty (orchid pink, pictured), Nice ‘n Teasy (rosy neutral); Frisky Business (shimmering nude); Juicy Details (natural pink)
The other negative is a common complaint with Benefit: the currency conversion. The Hydra-Smooth lip colours are €22 here in Ireland, but pitched at a more affordable £15 in the UK -  so by rights, we should be forking out no more than €18. With Irish consumers being such supporters of the brand, it's disheartening that we have to shell out more than our UK sisters. 
Benefit Hydra Smooth Lip Colour Dare Me Swatch
Medium Full Shades: Dare Me (fuchsia, pictured); Fling Thing (Very Berry); Wing Woman (Peachy Neutral)
What do you reckon, and have you tried any of the shades in the range? 

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