Nars Laguna vs. Benefit Hoola

It’s two hours past midnight and Bentley is curled up in a ball sleeping right beside me (loudly if I may add, who knew a dog as small as him could snore so loudly). Meanwhile, I’m glued to my laptop ready to finish this entry before the sun is up.

I’ve wanted to compare these bronzers for you ever since I bought a box of Benefit Hoola. Nars Laguna was my second choice, and for a long time I couldn’t pick between the two. After all they’re both what most girls call their Holy Grail bronzers.

So I did what any confused shopper would do and looked at the price tags. Hoola was cheaper, so Hoola it was. I used it a lot, loved it, and finally hit pan on it. As a replacement, I now regularly use the Nars Laguna Bronzer. I thought it would be interesting to share a good comparative review of the two just in case, like me, you’re curious about which of them is a better purchase.

battle of the bronzers

Nars came in its usual sleek iconic packaging, in which every Nars owner knows will be covered with makeup smudges after a month. But even then I still like it over Benefit’s cute quirky boxes, just out of preference. Those boxes scare me. I trained my hands to handle it very carefully, in fear that it might tear off into two pieces (it didn’t by the way).

Just out of curiosity, which packaging do you guys prefer?

From afar, both bronzer shades look like twins. But up close, you’ll spot the tiniest specks of gold within the Nars Laguna Bronzer. I worried that they might turn my T-zone awfully shinny. But when the Laguna is on my skin, I barely notice any shimmer. Instead, it translates into a beautiful glowy sun-kissed tan.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer though, is a plain matte bronzer. It can easily be understated beside the golden Nars Laguna, but Hoola has it’s own special tricks as well. It can imitate how shadows would look like on skin (it’s quite intense on the swatch but when blended its beautiful), which makes it the perfect bronzer for sculpting that Kim Kardashian facial contour (or a slightly less intense contour than hers). I like to swipe this on my jawline to slim my face down a bit.

Quality wise, they both make me so proud for lasting an entire day. Although, of course, after a very long while they will fade and will require a little retouching. You can build up their color from the lightest touch of bronze to a darker shade. But Hoola can go a few more shades darker, which is why your skin tone will also play a role in picking between the two bronzers. In most cases I believe light-medium skintones will benefit more with Laguna, while medium-dark skintones will look best with Hoola.

recommendation

Even though Nars Laguna and Benefit Hoola are both excellent bronzers, they aren’t really that alike. Laguna for me is the best bronzer to warm up my entire face. It adds this beautiful light golden tan to my skin. While Hoola, is the perfect bronzer for contouring (and to be honest not as flattering to use all over the face). Don’t get me wrong though, I can still use Laguna for a light contour too, but Hoola does the job a lot better.

If I had to choose just one bronzer, I’d pick Nars Laguna just because I use it more often. Plus, I can easily go through my makeup routine without contouring my face. But if I didn’t have to choose, having both bronzers is a really good treat. They work so well together. If you want something for contouring grab yourself a box of Hoola, but if you want a bronzer to warm up your face go for Laguna. Hope this post was useful for you. What’s your favorite bronzer?

  • Maybe I should get more into using bronzer. I feel like I look much more healthy with a bit of a tan.

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  • I love the Nars Laguna too :)

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  • personally i prefer hoola as if i get tanned , it will still show up
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  • I like both of these bronzers, and I agree with you 100% that “light-medium skintones will benefit more with Laguna, while medium-dark skintones will look best with Hoola”. Because I am the latter, I prefer Hoola more. :)

  • Going by your review, I can see why you'd go for Nars Laguna.. it seems like a much softer and more appealing bronzer. As for the packaging, I'm entirely with Nars on this one which is unusual considering Benefit's packaging is usually spot on! Thanks for the great review (and staying up late to write it haha)! :)

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  • nars packaging for me…i want a bronzer that warms up the face rather than contouring it (unless done by a professional) so it's laguna for me

  • I have to say, between the two, I would go for laguna. It doesn't make me that scared and isn't as powdery as hoola.
    Another one I would recommend for sure is the Bunny Bronzer from Too Faced. It's really nice, smells like chocolate and it's super bendable :3

    Your photos are so pretty <3
    Take care*

  • I love Hoola great product I cannot be without.
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  • I'd choose Nars, too. It's more suited for my skin. Great comparison.

  • Okay, I'm getting both. Hahahaha!

  • I just purchased the Clinique Pressed Bronze Powder, but I realized it is way too dark for my skin tone… After reading this, I think I might give Nars Laguna a try since I'm looking for more of a light contour :) As far as packaging goes- I think I like the Benefit box better, it just looks so cute! haha.

  • I prefer the Hoola more because of my skintone, but i love Nars Laguna too.

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  • I was honestly contemplating whether I should get Laguna Bronzer or not. But I came to a conclusion that I simply don't need it. LOL.. I'm an NC35 so, I'm not that light. That's why I bought The Balm Bahama Mama to use for contouring, since it's a bit darker than either laguna or hoola… but I'd sitll love to add Laguna in my kit though. since I intend to use it for clients. (what an excuse. LOL!)
    Random Beauty by Hollie

  • I don't have Laguna yet and but I do have Hoola. When I'm really into contouring my face I warm my it up with a bronzer then I contour with either Hoola or a different product. Now I'm really thinking about getting this one. :)

  • NARS all the way for me :-)

  • I heard so much about how awesome Benefit Hoola is and I have always been tempted to get that. I have the Laguna and they look quite similar in the pan but look quite different swatched. Now you got me really getting Hoola :)

  • I love your pics and this review. I should say, reading the post and observing the swatches, that Nars is better.
    Thanks for sharing :)))

    xoxo
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  • I wanna try that laguna bronzer so bad.

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  • NARS Laguna fan here. I'm almost finish with the one I have and it's the first time for me to finish a whole bronzer. Annnnd I'm planning on buying one again! My sister has the Hoola one. She likes it but she still borrows my Laguna when she's back home. :P

  • Thanks for this review!! It was very helpful. I think I'm going to go out and buy the Benefit one, just because I contour my face every single day ala Kim Kardashian.

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  • I've always wondered how these 2 would hold up against each other. Thanks for doing a comparative review! On another note, what kind of brush do you favor using for each of these bronzers?

  • it does give that effect vee! :)

  • oh nice! its an HG bronzer for me <3

  • yea i think hoola will suit your skintone better than laguna :)

  • i just realized that nars actually have other bronzer shades too, i think may darker shade pa than laguna. but since laguna is so popular some people (or maybe its just me lol) thinks thats the only shade they have hhehe :)

  • haha its actually cause of my insomnia. thanks garbrielle! i think hoola has the least appealing design of packaging among all the boxed products (coralista, sugar bomb etc…) from benefit.

  • same its more sophisticated tignan (pag hindi pa madumi cause of the dusts and makeup smudges haha)

  • ay i want that too haha. i didnt know it smells like chocolate, so thats more plus points bunny bronzer. i wish they made the bonjour palette permanent.
    thank you! <3

  • thanks jackie!

  • thanks kallie! <3

  • hahaha i support that decision! <3

  • melissaa i think youre going to like laguna :) it suits your skintone and personality (if that makes sense lol) let me know if you end up getting it

  • thanks sarah! <3

  • i support that excuse! hahaha go get sis ang ganda <3
    ah i didnt know bahama mama was darker than hoola. i thought they were the same shade buti na lang pala i didnt get it :)

  • i do the same, warm up with laguna and then contour a bit with hoola :) i hope you get laguna yette its really nice! <3

  • good choice! :)

  • hoola's really nice for contour and it looks nice on top of laguna, although tbh i wish it had a sturdier packaging :)

  • thanks elena! <3

  • go try, its one of the best bronzers ive ever used and swatched <3

  • perks of having a sister <3 i think im going to hit pan on laguna too. i love it when that happens, theres a feeling of accomplishment that comes with it haha :)

  • its nice kylie, lalo na if you like the kim kardashian look :)

  • thanks tellie! glad you find it useful. real techniques buffing brush (the one on the pic above) is the best for both bronzers, ganda for contouring too :)

  • This is so perfect sis! I'm actually been contemplating between the two, you're such a mind reader :P Looking at the swatches.. Hoola is definitely really deep, and I would agree with you that it's not going to look flattering all over the face since it's too dark, especially for my skintone. I think Laguna would be the perfect shade for me.. I'm sold! hehe and oh, I wonder if theBalm Bahama Mama is a great bronzer too, in comparison to Laguna. Thanks so much for the helpful review sis <3

    Take care always, love Christine ~ xx
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  • Wow. Nice comparison dear. I would prefer NARS too :-)
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  • Hi Shayne! :) Super love this review. This will be very useful for me as I'm still clueless about bronzers. Hee. For the packaging, Benefit always has cutesy ones (and normally, I'd go with that) but for makeups, I prefer classic, sleek, and durable packaging. In fairness naman sayo sis, ang linis pa rin ng NARS mo! Hehe ;)

  • I was so interested to read this because over the last 3 months I have managed to treat myself to both of them! but I have to say I do prefer NARS packaging (although mine is in a duo with Orgasm) because I also find the box from Benefit to be a bit of a faff! having said that I've played around with Benefit more often and although at first I wasn't so sure, now I'm amazed at its sculpting capabilities! fantastic comparative review <3

    Iqra |The Blushing Giraffe x

  • Wow! amazing battle Shayne! I think both products are amazing! How about the bronzer from the Balm sis,do you also use it? hehehe curious lng.read so many good reviews about it also ehhe <3 so glad to be back,lol

    love lots,
    Tin

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  • Again, being a make up newbie, this made me realize a lottttttt of stuff. Haha! :) How I wish I am equipped with these kind of knowledge as you do! :D

    Awesome post!

  • i noticed from the replies a lot of us are curious on bahama mama. i have really tried it but i did swatch it a couple of times and from what i can remember it is like Hoola. Although some said that its actually darker than Hoola, so now im not sure if i remembered correctly haha. it has a good quality daw like their other products :)
    thank you hehe! <3

  • thanks belle! :)

  • ay sis it has its own compartment in my makeup storage (away from other powdered stuff) hahaha. im glad you found it useful jean! have you decided which bronzer you like to try? bahama mama from The Balm is also nice daw :)

  • the word FAFF made me lol so hard hahaha. im not even sure what it meant!
    thank you iqra! <3 im curious which one do you like more tho between the two overall?

  • ay i dont have it sis, but ive swatched it na a couple of times before. very nice quality and to me it's shade is like hoola. some girls are saying its darker than hoola tho :)

  • im glad you found it useful jhanz! <3

  • nars laguna does look softer and like it does its work better, but I wouldn't mind trying both :D and see for myself!

  • natasja! so nice to hear from you here! <3 yes go try have a feeling that nars laguna will compliment your nice tan really well :)

  • Rae

    I only have Laguna and I don't have the need to get hoola. I actually like that Laguna has shimmers because it gives a healthy sheen, like you're bronzey ang glowing, not bronze and flat. If I'll need a contour powder, I'll probably go for kevyn aucoin sensual skin enhancer.

  • Great Review! I am so tempted to go and get the benefit Hoola now. I swear by Nars but I think the best of both worlds would be great.

  • agree! its the micro shimmers are the selling factor of nars laguna for me too. it makes me so contented with it that i barely try and look for other bronzers na… okay except for your sonia kashuk cream bronzer haha

  • yez! its nice to have a warming bronzer and another darker bronzer for contour (to make the face slimmer looking <3)

  • Bo

    Great review! Personally i prefer the bronzer of Nars, cause it's more softer!

  • Thanks bo! :)

  • NARS Laguna will forever be in my makeup stash, I just find it so easy to use and it's not too overwhelming of a shade!

    xx Alyson
    The Beauty Vanity

  • true, its very warm subtle but really beautiful. sometimes i wish it was my actual skin color lol!

  • I love love love NARS Laguna as I've emptied 3 na ata…but I think I'll try to get myself a Hoola and see if I like it as much you do din ^_~

  • Go get sis <3 its really nice for contour. I missed hearing from you!!