Monday, June 14th, 2010

Benefit Stay Don't Stray

Packaging Woes with Benefit Stay Don’t Stray

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a creamy, smooth neutral eyeshadow base. It’s a light beige, which will be a little tinted on the fairest of skin tones, but it will be very flesh-toned for light to medium skin tones. It reminded me a good deal of MAC’s Beige-ing Shadestick, which was always a popular eyeshadow base. Stay Don’t Stray has a near-matte finish, but there is an ever-so-subtle satin-sheen to it that’s really difficult to see when applied on the eyes.

Stay Don’t Stray is a fantastic product — it gives your eyeshadow something to adhere to without muting those eyeshadows and never creased, smudged, budged, or faded when I used this as an eyeshadow base. For those with imperfections or require some color-correction, this is the kind of base that excels in that department. It’s opaque–this is not a sheer, invisible base in the vein of TFSI and UDPP. This is much more like MAC’s Paint Pots, but it has the consistency of a liquid, rather than a thick cream.

For primer underneath a concealer, it worked well, but I think medium to dark skin tones may find it doesn’t work right.  It seemed to accent my concealer to the point where it didn’t match me at all.  It also was best applied before foundation, but then the foundation covers it up quite a bit.  It works in terms of keeping concealer put, but the color of it makes the concealer stand out a little on my skin tone (like the concealer appears darker – like the base is accenting the color, rather than blending it in with my skin tone).  It works best with cream concealers rather than more liquid-y ones, as well.

Where Stay Don’t Stray fails is in the packaging. I’m completely astonished that the packaging made it through R&D and testing, because one pump and you have more than enough to cover your entire face. The label around the packaging is cute, and I like that it stands up, and while the idea of a pump might be great (less contamination), it distributes far too much. Ridiculously too much! It’s such a shame, because inside is a product that really holds its own amongst eyeshadow bases, but the subpar packaging is so frustrating.

If you wanted to use this, you’d have to pump into a separate jar so you wouldn’t end up wasting a lot of the product–you don’t even need very much at all to get full coverage of both lids, let alone as much as a pump (or a half-pump, or a quarter-pump!). I tried on multiple occasions to ease the product out of the pump, but it’s just not easy to get as little as you need.  More often than not, I ended up with far too much product and nowhere to apply it to!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 1/5

RECOMMENDATION: Make sure you read where this product really failed on, because it might not bother you. The product itself is excellent, but you’re just not getting as much as I’d expect for the price tag, plus the packaging is poorly executed.

AVAILABILITY: Benefit, Sephora

See more photos & swatches!

Benefit Stay Don't Stray

Benefit Stay Don't Stray

Benefit Stay Don't Stray

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57 thoughts on “Benefit Stay Don’t Stray Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. lyla

    the packaging says it can be used as a primer for concealer too. did you try using it that way?

  2. shontay

    I’ll pass. I pass on all new shadow primers. I stay faithful to my Too Faced. I can blend my life away with that baby, I haven’t even finished one tube yet and my shadow lasts all day w/o a problem. Love that stuff. I’ve never been a fan of benefit, despite trying several of their products.

  3. Jasmine

    Christine, could you list all the primers you’ve tried in order of your preference? Just curious.

  4. Stephanie

    I couldn’t agree more about the packaging. It actually irritated me so much that I returned it, even tho I actually like the product itself. D:

  5. Whatta shame! I saw it at the store too, and I tried it on my hand (comparing it to other primers) and couldn’t believe they made it a pump! Unless you have eyes like an anime character (that take up 80% of your FACE) then it’s a big old waste!

  6. Courtney

    Thank you! I’ve been contemplating this product because I have icky lines under my eyes and this doesn’t sit in them quite as badly as regular concealers. I was surprised at the low score you gave it, but if it’s just the packaging that brings it down, I can deal with that.

  7. ruthk

    I purchased this a while ago. The sample I received was in the usual Benefit sample tube with a doe foot applicator in the tube. I try to pump some of the full size product in to the sample pot but it doesn’t really work. The sample packaging was really ideal for this product because as Christine and others have mentioned one pump gives enough for a full face. i find I use it as an eye shadow primer but also in place of concealer – it matches perfectly on my NW15 skin as an undereye concealer.

  8. Michele

    I like the product but agree with you on the pump packaging – so annoying. Trying to use the excess though I’ve discovered it works for me as concealer also and I skip my normal concealer.

  9. The idea of pump packaging is so much better than the execution. I have the same problem with the MUFE HD Blushes. They are amazing blushes, but too much product!!

  10. I went to try this out at sephora, pumped out one pump, and my entire hand was covered! Kinda Rediculous!

  11. nicci

    I just got this and I am still undecided…I really dislike the packaging & when I tried to put it under my concealer it made a big mess. My shadow did stay on all day but I think I will go back to using Chanel primer – I agree with others, if something works, don’t keep looking for something else!

  12. Julia

    I’m just running out of my TFSI, and thought I’d try this for something new…. not now! Although I like trying new products, I’m not going to try something that I know I will return because of the packaging. Guess I’ll check out the NARS primer instead!

  13. Riiis

    am i the only one who think the package looks cheap? like a sample or something.

  14. Kai

    Thanks so much for this review!
    I was seriously considering trying this, because Urban Decay Sin hasn’t really been working for me, but now I don’t think I will. I hate to give in to consumerism and things, but packaging does influence what you buy!

  15. RR

    Apparently you’re supposed to ‘tap’ the pump for a proper amount. :/
    I was intrigued by this product, but after checking it out in-store, I’ll stick to my UDPP, thanks. The packaging is way too much hassle for me to endure.

    • Man, I tried all sorts of methods, but there was nothing that I could get that would consistently give just the right amount. Maybe… a very heavy tap… but a light tap won’t push the pump down at all. :(

      • No, the tapping is the way to go. You need to tap it repeatedly with a really light tap — the top of the pump will not go down at all — and eventually you will see a tiny bit come out of the mouth of the pump. (And when I say “repeatedly” it really means “repeatedly”!) The same method works (although not quite as well) with the MUFE HD blushes, where it’s also hard to avoid wasting product.

        I ended up sticking with my TFSI because this was too yellow for me, though.

      • RR

        Yeah, I struggled with variations of force for quite a while before I finally gave up. It’s sad because I’m such a fan of Benefit’s products; this is the first to be such a dissapointment. And their packaging is usually the best part with the cute graphics and bright colors, but this pump is just… Hopeless.

        • It shouldn’t take so much work to make it work, LOL! Especially since we’re all familiar enough with pumps to assume that you would *pump* it out.

  16. happybadfish

    I bought this product as soon as it was available. I’m not very impressed. I would say — don’t buy it.
    It creases my eyeshadow, which qualifies as a fail in my books.

    I only use it as a concealer, but the way the pumps works I would never purchase this again.

  17. narsdelight

    Benefit actually just posted a video on the “proper” way to pump out the product…maybe they should put it in the actual product’s directions too.

    • She makes it so easy (and I love her – met her once @ Benefit in SF!)! I couldn’t get it to do that for the life of me! I’ll probably just pump all of it out into a sample jar myself.

      But if a pump dispenses WAY too much and just a tap will do it, why can’t it just be a pump that only dispenses that much? I’m no packaging expert, and certainly don’t manufacture any, but I do wonder.

    • Jennifer

      I’ve tried the tapping method. It doesn’t always work.

      It’s a shame, because I like the product as a concealer primer and for covering under eye circles. I’ve even used it as an actual face primer.

      But the pump has made me crazy with anger and frustration since the beginning. I can’t tell you how much product I’ve wasted by “tapping” too hard! Thank goodness it was a gift, hehe.

      • Mirna

        Hey Jennifer, How did it work as a face primer for you?

        • Jennifer

          It worked well. The color is just right (for me!) and its very blendable/ buildable. Keeps my makeup pretty neat for the work day, though sometimes I just pat it on in discolored areas and don’t add anything else. It’s easy that way.

          My skin isn’t really fussy, so I can’t comment on whether it would cause a breakout. I’ve actually seen less blemishes since using it, but who knows!

  18. Linda

    I got a sample of this product at Sephora and tried it, but it always creased on me, I prefer UDPP! Pass

  19. Elaine

    i love this product, i was prepared for crap packaging when i got it though. The MA showed me how to gently push so you just get a (largish) dollop. What irks me is that its only 10ml (vs 11g of TFSI). I love it, but its not a repurchase. i would repurchase smashbox lid primer over this (also opaque and evens skin tone well), it would seem like i have to soon since it only comes with 2.5ml! have u tried this yet christine?

  20. Sexy Sadie

    There is always something with this shadow primers.

    Christine: You should try a pottet one. Like Artdeco’s or Make Up Factorys.

    • I don’t even know where one would find either brand here…

      But I’m really loving NARS Smudgeproof, so if it ain’t broke… definitely not going to seek out a new one :)

      The one thing about potted ones is you have to make sure you close them right so they don’t dry out, and if you like thinner consistencies, you typically won’t find it in a pot!

  21. Sarah

    I absolutely love this product and the packaging doesn’t bother me at all, I use this is a face primer too since it helps keep my make-up from breaking down in my oily areas. As a primer just for eyes, you just pump really lightly and just a touch comes out.

  22. Rochelle O'Brien

    Hi Christine, Like you, I was really disappointed with the pump on this product. Like you say, if you press the pump normally it dispenses WAY too much product.

    HOWEVER, if you lightly tap the top of the pump several times, you will get just the right amount you need. Don’t press the pump like you would a Chanel foundation pump, just lightly tap tap tap several times and I promise you, you’ll get just the right amount. Give it a try and then let me know how you got on.

    • TBH, I’m just not getting the amount I’d like – either too little or too much. I’ve spent 6 weeks with this product, tapping, pumping, etc. I’ve all but dismantled it.

  23. if you push the pump down fully you get far too much product. You need a pumping action with out pressing it down fully approx 1 mm. It really works.

  24. Mirna

    Thanks for this review Christine. Despite so much negative feedback, I like it. What really sold me on this was the fact that it was marketed as a undereye concealer primer. I’ve only used it a few times for undereye because I finally found a concealer that I am loving. It the MAC studio SPF35 one. So using this with my new concealer will give it more staying power.
    The pump issue is workable for me because I just take all the excess and put it in a small container. Then I grab from there instead of the pump.

  25. Valerie

    I agree with this completly, but I think the Urban Decay Primer Potion has the worst packaging of all. They put a sponge applicator in the bottle that absorbs half the product! Also, there’s no way to get the all of the product out of the tube- unless you want to saw it apart. It’s a shame because UD primer works the best out of all them imo.

  26. Kat

    What is it with eyeshadow primers and packaging? First UDPP, now this…when I need a new primer, i’ll probably just go for the old tried and true ones. Although the NARS one does look interesting.

  27. Maureen

    what i do is wind or “click” it. then i LIGHTLY tap on the pump. Emphasis on the lightly and then I find get the right amount of product that I need. But yeah really awful packaging on Benefit’s part.

  28. Ashley

    I too hated the packaging but I also hated the product itself. It definitely wasn’t a good “primer” for my concealer & using it alone as a concealer was the absolute worst. It looked really cakey & this stuff kinda stinks (literally)! It made it hard for me to blend my eyeshadow too =(
    I have such bad luck with multi-tasking products.

  29. Nicolle

    I have a trick to minimize the product that comes out of pump bottles: use a pipe cleaner and wrap it around the base of the pump so it cannot go down all the way – of course this is dependent upon the design of the bottle but it should work here.

  30. I bought this when it first came out and wound up returning it to Sephora. The packaging was definitely frustrating (because it pumped too much); but I thought the product inside was rather disappointing, too. This primer did not hold up all day for me like my other favorites do (MAC Painterly Paint Pot with Lumene eye makeup base underneath, and Bare minerals Prime Time eyelid primer). I found that it just wasn’t worth the money.

  31. Krista.K

    I like the product, and like everyone else hate the packaging, I wish Benefit would consider their packaging sometimes, especially this one, its frustrating and a struggle, it cuts back time when you’re in a hurry. I was sooo sad when Benefit discontinued the FY-I primer and replaced it with this, soo sad.

  32. Erin

    I have learned to go feather-light on my first pump of any product. I barely push down at first to see what the spoot factor is.

  33. Italia

    I tried a sample of this primer and I hated it as an eyeshadow base. It creased on me within a few hours. However, I love it as a primer for under eye concealer! I’m a Mac nc40 and although this is lighter than my skintone, it instantly brightens and makes my concealer look and feel fresher, nicer. But, since people seem to have a big problem with the pump, I might have to skip on buying the full sized bottle.

  34. lily

    I think it smells like syrup. Its a great product but I can not stand the smell.