Would you think ill of me if I told you that this was the first Benefit boxed powder I have ever tried? Sure, I have swatched in-store and inspected those belonging to my sisters but, I have never put one on my mug!
I think two things turned me off initially; the box and the price. The box, in my mind, isn't the best packaging for ease-of-use. Granted, they look pretty on dressing tables, all stacked up together but, they just aren't conducive to chucking in your handbag on the way out the door. It's because they're made of cardboard, see.
And, the price? Well, we all know I, like most other beauty junkies out there, am not averse to shelling out for make-up; if it warrants the spend. All of the Benefit boxed powders cost €33.50 and I had no reason to believe that they were worth this rather high price. However, at the recent launch of Benefit's liquid foundation, Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow, we were given Hervana in our goody bags and, always one to admit when I'm wrong, I absolutely LOVE it (though I'm still not convinced such a hefty price tag is deserved, more on that later!)!
The packaging is still a cardboard box, there is no getting around that fact. So, minus one point there. However, it has been dramatically improved over the likes of Dandelion and Hoola that I saw in my sisters' collections all those years ago.
But, enough about the outside, let's talk about what's inside! Hervana is a multicoloured confection of four different shades of pink and peach; Lucky Shell, Divine Peach, Heavenly Rose and Berry Delight. If you were so inclined (and had a small enough brush), you could use each shade separately but, I think they are supposed to be swirled together to produce the most delectable salmon-y pink cheek colour.
The effect this gives to the skin is incredible. It looks glowy and radiant and the super-fine micro-shimmer adds something unique to the finished product that I can't quite put my finger on but, really like! The only thing is that the colour is quite sheer even on us ghostly ladies and, while buildable, I'm not sure that it is buildable enough that it would show up as a blush on those of you lucky enough to have a darker skintone. It's definitely worth swatching though and, if not for use as a blush, maybe as a glowy highlighter instead?
So, now that I've popped my boxed powder cherry, do I think that they, Hervana in particular, are worth the money? Yes and no. I do think that Hervana is a stunning product and I've reached for it everyday since I got it. However, I also think that €33.50 is very expensive for a brand that is marketed largely towards a younger audience with its bright and quirky packaging and clever product names.
To put the price in perspective, Hervana contains 8g of product for €33.50. MAC blushes contain 6g of product for €21.50 and, at the very highest end of the spectrum, Tom Ford blushes contain 8g of product for €55. So, yeah, Hervana is quite expensive.
Tom Ford is a luxury, high-end brand and is marketed as such but, to me, Benefit falls more towards the bottom of the premium brand spectrum yet, their prices don't at all reflect this (That's not to say I condone Tom Ford's prices as I explained here!). In comparison to MAC blushes, you are paying an extra €12 but, only for a further 2g of product and a cardboard box versus a sturdier plastic compact.
I suppose it's all a matter of what you personally consider "worth" the money. Hervana is a great, great product but, I think it's price tag and packaging do it a disservice. Perhaps if Benefit were to lower the price, even just slightly, and revamp the box so that it is more durable and less likely to get grotty and frayed after a few dunks in the make-up bag, it would make Hervana and all of the other boxed powders in the range a lot more appealing to skeptics like me. Because, if a gem like Hervana is in there, who knows what else is!