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.ย 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:ย 

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!



Birchbox Haul!

Hello everyone!

Have I told you how much I love Birchbox?! It has so many product options and a fantastic points system. I finally caved and decided to join the KBeauty trend, plus, I ordered Benefit’s Roller Lash to see if it lived up to the hype, and I tried out a hydrating cleanser. I got all of them the other day and was pleasantly surprised at the quality, quantity, and packaging! I wanted to give you a brief review and description of each of my new products, so read on! Swatches at the end.


Derma e Hydrating Cleanser with Hyaluronic Acid

This cleanser is really nice. I believe it comes with 6 oz. of product, which is a really great size. It’s a gel consistency with a pump bottle (YAY) and it foams lightly. It has hyaluronic acid, a moisturizing ingredient, but it cleanses really well. I read reviews that said even acne prone skin reacts well to this cleanser! It does sting a little, which is probably because it’s working ๐Ÿ™‚ I have had a few blemishes since using it but I don’t think it’s due to the cleanser. The only bad thing is the smell… It smells like bananas and paint thinner… so that’s not great ๐Ÿ˜› but I definitely will keep using it as I like the formula and ingredients. 7.5/10 stars, approx. $13.50.

Tony Moly Brightening Eye Base

Okay, so first of all, it comes in the most adorable panda container. It’s great for travel, compact, and easy to use. Because my dark circles aren’t that horrible, I apply this with my ring finger and pat it under my eyes. It looks bright white in the container but when applied, blends in to a lovely brightening shade. It actually covers my light dark circles well and doesn’t give me reverse racoon eyes (you know what I’m talking about)! Plus, lots of bonus points for the cute packaging ๐Ÿ˜€ 9/10 stars, approx. $12.

Peripera Ah Much Real Cushion Blusher in Lively Lavender

THIS IS MY NEW HOLY GRAIL BLUSH. I am obsessed with this! It’s actually not purple, it’s a gorgeous light pink with a hint of lavender that looks extremely natural and flattering, especially on fair skin. It’s a really unique product that you dab on and blend with your fingers. It’s super buildable and very easy to apply. Definitely a repurchase, I’m in love with it! 9.5/10 stars, approx. $16.

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

I love this! It really does live up to the hype. I bought the mini because I didn’t want to splurge on the full size without knowing I liked it. The first time I applied it, I wasn’t too pleased with it, but once I figured out how to apply it correctly, it’s magical! It doesn’t flake or smudge, which is rare for a non waterproof mascara. It does take a while to dry, but once dried, your eyelashes will look amazing! I do still curl my eyelashes, as I think that’s necessary. Remember to apply with the curl of the wand facing outwards, as it keeps the mascara from clumping. Plus, facing the brush that way cups your eye, so you get well coated lashes. The formula is great and the mascara is a deep black. 8.5/10 stars, approx. $12 (for the mini) and $24 (full-size).

Peripera Peri’s Tint Water in Cherry Juice

This was a free, full size sample with my purchase…and ended up being one of my favorite products! I am hoping to buy Strawberry Juice, as I’ve heard it’s very flattering on fair skin. Cherry Juice is lovely, too, though! It’s a really pretty pinkish red that (when applied lightly) would be very flattering on any skin tone. It comes in a cute little red bottle that looks a bit like nail polish. It has a doefoot applicator that works well to dot the product on, though blending it with your fingers works best. I would even dare to use it on my cheeks, though sparingly. This product is definitely a repurchase! 8/10 stars, approx. $12.

Sample Pack: Lollia Wish Hand Cream and Vasanti Brighten Up Fave Scrub

This was my free sample pack, which is my second favorite of the three I’ve recieved. I love the hand cream, it’s sweet and vanilla-y, with some floral notes as well. I would even consider repurchasing if it wasn’t so expensive! The facial scrub I haven’t tried yet, but it’s a very fine grained exfoliant, which would be great for my occasional dry patches! Overall sample pack: 6.5/10 stars. Hand cream: approx. $25. Facial Scrub: approx. $34.

Time for swatches! ๐Ÿ˜€


Blush blended, swatched


Eye base blended, swatched


Lip water blended, swatched

Have you tried any of these products? If so, how did you like them? How did you like this haul? Let me know in the comment