Splurge or Save? Bronzer Edition: NYC Sunny vs. Benefit Hoola

Hello everyone!

Splurge or Save seems to be a pretty popular post series, so I decided to do another one! This time, I’m comparing two bronzers: cult favorite Benefit Hoola and NYC Sunny. To those of you who don’t know, Splurge or Save is an ongoing post series where I compare a high end product and a drugstore product. I include photos, swatches, and “showdowns” on specific traits, and I give my final verdict (including which I would repurchase and why) at the end. I hope you enjoy!

The Contenders:


Hoola runs about $28 and Sunny is approximately $3. Do we have a winner? I think yes. Sunny wins this round by a mile!


Both have good pigmentation, though Hoola has a good deal. Obviously, if you like to build color, more pigmentation can be a con, but for me, it’s a big YAY! It’s easy to swipe, tap off, blend a little, and go, instead of taking time to build up the color. Plus, you use less product! Hoola wins this round.


Hoola is in a pretty, island themed box, which includes a magnetic lid and a brush. Sunny is in a slim, plastic compact. While Sunny DOES have nice packaging, especially for traveling or throwing in your purse, the packaging design of Hoola is a bit better. Some may like Sunny’s compact better, but for me, Hoola’s packaging is superior.


Anyone with fair or light skin like me who’s tried to search for a bronzer knows that the shades (especially drugstore brands) run orange. Obviously, if you’re trying to contour, orange is not an option! I was so very pleased to see that Hoola was NOT orange. It’s a slightly yellow toned medium brown that looks amazing on fair to light/medium skin. Sunny, on the other hand, is a reddish, slightly orange tan. It’s not as orange as some bronzers, but it does lean that way. Obviously, Hoola wins this one!


Both bronzers are surprisingly smooth and easy to apply. Though Hoola is extremely smooth and very pigmented, Sunny is very good quality for a drugstore bronzer, so I’m going to call this round a tie.

Ease of Purchase:

Sunny is in almost any drugstore, department store, or grocery store that sells NYC, as well as on Amazon and other online retailers. Hoola is at Ulta, Sephora, Birchbox, Amazon, and online at a few other retailers. Though Hoola is pretty easy to find, Sunny is definitely easier to purchase, especially for those without an Ulta or Sephora near them. Sunny wins this round!

Ability to Bronze and Contour:

Both Sunny and Hoola work well to warm up your face, though if you have a light skin tone, Sunny may be too orange for you. However, for contouring, Hoola is the only option! Both bronzers are matte, which is hard to find but essential for contouring, but Sunny is too unnaturally colored to be convincing as a bronzer. Hoola blends in with skin, making a convincing shadow under your cheekbones. Hoola definitely wins this round!

The Verdict: 

Sunny: 2 wins

Hoola: 4 wins

Plus 1 tie in texture.

Well, the numbers speak for themselves…Hoola wins! It’s no surprise, though – Hoola is a cult favorite bronzer, thousands of YouTubers, beauty bloggers, and makeup artists love it…even with the $28 price tag! I’m in love with it, and I’m definitely not disappointed that I purchased it! However, beginners, people who just want to warm up their face and don’t mind a slight orange undertone, or those who like to build color may prefer Sunny. It’s certainly a great drugstore dupe for those on s budget! Check out the swatches below to see the colors a bit closer.


Left: Benefit, Right: Sunny



Top: Sunny, Bottom: Hoola

How did you like this Splurge or Save comparison? Have you tried either of these bronzers? If so, which did you like better? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. – Keep an eye out for my upcoming January favorites!



2 thoughts on “Splurge or Save? Bronzer Edition: NYC Sunny vs. Benefit Hoola

    • Thanks for the suggestions! I hate shimmer in my bronzer too, it’s so hard to find a matte option. I’m glad you found some that work for you! I’d love to try the NYX bronzer but unfortunately NYX products break me out 😦 I’ll have to check the Rimmel out though! 🙂 thanks for reading!


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