Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion
Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion

Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15 PA++ ($28.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is a new moisturizer from Benefit’s b.right! Radiant Skincare line. It’s designed to be lightweight while being oil-free. This moisturizer does have SPF 15 in it, and it uses chemical sunscreens (Octinoxate, Avobenzone, Octocrylene, and Sulisobenzone).

my skin type: I have normal-to-dry skin that tends to be drier in the winter months but more normal during the rest of the year. I have minor breakouts with the occasional cystic acne spot that seem to be related to hormones/stress (and not typically products). I have some fine lines around my eyes but am not currently concerned about anti-aging (beyond religious use of sunscreen and generally taking care of my skin).

It is a simple moisturizer–it hydrates without leaving behind any greasiness, and it dries down within a few minutes so a semi-matte finish. The consistency is very thin–think a lightweight lotion–and a bit watery, though not runny. It’s housed in a glass bottle with a “cork” (not actually made out of cork) cap that you pull off to reveal a pump dispenser.

Unlike Stay Don’t Stray, which killed me with its pump, this pump works marvelously. I find I use anywhere from five to six pumps per use. What I like about pumps is you can figure out how many you need and be consistent with your usage–plus it’s more hygienic.  The glass bottle is lovely without being too heavy.

I’ve been using this for about four weeks, but I’m too sensitive to the scent of the product to continue using it personally. It has a very strong floral scent with some sweetness. To me, it is the scent I smell when I know my allergies are going to go haywire. I catch whiffs of it throughout the day and find it a little cloying. I’m not normally that sensitive to scents in products, and I wouldn’t consider my nose an excellent sensory device either–but I still detect this hours later. It seems to turn more sickeningly sweet as the day goes on. Scent is immensely personal, and for those who prefer subtle to no fragrance in their skin care, I would avoid this. For those who don’t mind scented skincare, it’s still worth checking out and deciding whether it’s a scent you enjoy or not.

good for: I would recommend it to normal-to-oily skin types, because it is such a lightweight moisturizer that it’s not going to provide enough hydratoin for drier skin types. I noticed that on my drier days (when I started using it, which was closer to winter), it didn’t quite seem like enough, but it was usually just fine.

final thoughts: Despite finding it unsuitable to me personally, I don’t think taking away points for scent (just because the scent doesn’t appeal to me) would be a fair assessment of the product. I’ve disclaimed it, my feelings on the fragrance, and it’s something personal enough that individual users will have to determine how that factor weighs in. It’s a nice lightweight moisturizer that spreads easily, moisturizes well on normal-to-oily skin types without feeling heavy or greasy.

where to buy: Sephora

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Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Video Review: Benefit for Brows

With Benefit’s announcement of free brow service on your birthday, they also included a few of their cult favorite brow products, which I swatch and talk about in this video–a bit of first impressions with some review, since I have used a few products mentioned in the video previously!  I posted reviews for both Brows A-Go-Go and High Brow this past week, and since the pencil isn’t my shade, I’m not reviewing it at this time.

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Benefit b.right Skincare

Benefit B.Right Skincare

Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15 PA++ ($28.00)

You may not know you’re dehydrated, but your skin does. triple performing facial emulsion spf 15 pa++ hydrates, protects & comforts the skin with an oil-free, lightweight formula. Contains exclusive tri-radiance complex to help develop the skin’s reserves of water. SPF 15 PA++ protects the skin against sun damage with a broad-spectrum blend of UVA & UVB filters.

Total Moisture Facial Cream ($38.00)

Say good-bye to dry skin and hello to “total moisture”. This facial cream provides concentrated immediate & long-term hydration for an ultra radiant complexion. Contains exclusive tri-radiance complex to help develop the skin’s reserves of water & reinforce skin’s moisture barrier for a radiantly refreshed complexion. For normal to dry skin.

It’s Potent! Eye Cream ($32.00)

Your eyes can’t keep a secret…they’re the first to show signs of age & stress. it’s potent! eye cream fades dark circles & helps smooth fine lines for brighter, younger-looking eyes. Contains a peptide complex known to help restore elasticity & firmness, a blend of hydrating botanical extracts including apple extract, known to help boost collagen, & loquat extract, known to help protect the skin from free radical damage.

Foamingly Clean Facial Wash ($21.00)

There’s clean & there’s really clean. This 1-step facial wash effectively cleanses the skin & removes makeup & impurities with a soft, gentle lather. Formulated for all skin types.

Refined Finish Facial Polish ($22.00)

Dull skin from daily stress? refined finish facial polish beautifully brightens the complexion, gently exfoliating to purify the skin & help minimize the appearance of pores to reveal skin’s natural radiance. Contains natural clay & seaweed extract rich in minerals, nutrients & sugars, known to purify the skin.

See promo photos…  Continue reading →

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Benefit High Brow
Benefit High Brow

Benefit High Brow ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is designed to “lift” and enhance brows by brightening with a “soft, matte linen-pink” shade. Benefit recommends applying it beneath your brow, just following the arch, and blend.

Inevitably, one wonders what is the difference between Benefit’s Eye Bright and High Brow, as they’re both pink pencils designed to help brighten eyes — well, Benefit wrote a blog post explaining the differences. To summarize, High Brow is a neutral pink while Eye Bright is a cool-toned pink; the cooler tones in Eye Bright as designed to combat dark circles. Benefit warns that using High Brow on undereye circles may look too light, while using Eye Bright to define brows may look too pink.

It’s absolutely true that Eye Bright is a cooler-toned, more blue-based pink, and it also has a bit of micro-shimmer–very subtle but still there. I think those who are naturally cool-toned, one could get away with using both. For those with warmer undertones, the difference is likely more noticeable.

I like High Brow for more minimal looks; not necessarily five-minute looks but when one wants to have that natural look. The creaminess of the product makes it easy to blend, and it dries down quickly and holds up fairly well alone (about six hours). I applied it in the photos below so you can see how it looks, and I deliberately went heavy-handed, because I wanted it to show up in photos–the effect can be subtler if one desires.

The Glossover

product

Benefit High Brow Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
I like High Brow, and I think it may be a must-have for some but for others a totally unnecessary addition to their stash. It depends on what features are most important to you, because some love really defined brows and others will wear eye makeup nearly everyday so a powder highlight will generally be enough to define the brow area.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Benefit Brows A-Go-Go
Benefit Brows A-Go-Go

For the Brow Enthusiast

Benefit Brows A-Go-Go ($38.00) is an all-i-one brow kit, which includes both Light and Dark Brow Zings Powders (0.04 oz. each), Brow Zings Wax (0.03 oz.), Smokin’ Liner (0.01 oz.), Eye Bright (0.03 oz.), Brow Highlighter Powder (0.04 oz.), mini tweezers, and dual-ended brush.

Benefit and brows take me back almost ten years (which makes me a little nauseous to think about, because sometimes I think I’m still 18 and when I’m clearly not). One of my first beauty experiences was begging my makeup-enthused best friend to tweeze my brows, and she always carried Benefit’s Brow Zings and their mini tweezers. I can’t tell you how I longed for a pair of my own mini tweezers–they just seemed so cool at the time. (With my hands, I can appreciate full-size tweezers for regular maintenance but minis are nice in a pinch.)

The lighter shade is a medium-dark taupe brown, while the darker brow shade is a dark brown with subtle red undertones. The wax is a cross between the two–not too dark, not too light. I found the eyeliner to be fairly black but a bit stubby so it may be difficult to hold for some. I actually liked the shimmering icy pink of the highlight powder; not quite as cool-toned as Eye Bright, which is a creamy, pale white-pink.

The dark shade works well for me, having nearly black natural brows.  I like mixing the two, though, for a softer look as well.  I would be careful using the highlighting products on deeper skin tones, because I think it may turn a little ashy, but they work well on light and medium skin tones.

The Glossover

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Benefit Brows A-Go-Go Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If you're someone who likes to have immaculate brows and tends to focus more time on them, the kit is useful. If you don't find yourself doing much to them, it may be too superfluous to merit buying. For something more compact, there is the traditional Brow Zings, which is a smaller-sized palette featuring a coordinating brow powder and wax (available in light, medium, and dark) along with mini tweezers but retails for $30.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, March 14th, 2011

Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner
Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner

Say Hello to New Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliners

Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is now available in two new shades: Espresso and Charcoal. The BADgal Eyeliner formula is designed to glide-on without smudging or smearing, rain or shine. I’ve reviewed the original BADgal, which was in black, previously, and I didn’t have excellent results.

Espresso is a medium-dark brown with subtle red undertones, while Charcoal is a softened medium gray. They both applied very smoothly, practically gliding on, and they delivered enough pigment in one pass to give a nice solid line of color. Each pencil has a spongy smudger brush on the opposite end, and these do stay “wet” long enough to smudge as one desires.

These eyeliners wear decently, but I did not find them to be waterproof. I didn’t find that these created excessive raccoon eyes nor migrated terribly, but they do have a tendency to smudge and migrate noticeably when hit by water. You might wonder how does one do a tear test… one cuts onions and ensures to nick the bulb to send an onslaught of natural tear gas. I also wore it in the shower, because of the water element as well as the heat and humidity that tag along. There is some fading and smudging.

On an average day, these wear six to eight hours without any major concerns, but if my eyes tear up at any point (allergies, dry eyes, whatever). For a product that’s specifically touted as waterproof, it does not hold up to my waterworks! It’s unfortunate, because the texture and glide of the pencil is excellent–soft without being prone to breaking, smooth without being too creamy (and therefore too wet and not drying down!).

Have you tried the new shades, or perhaps the original Extra Black shade?  Weigh in!

The Glossover

product

BADgal Eyeliner

C-
I've seen enough mixed reviews on this particular eyeliner to know that for some it reaches holy grail status and for others, it is a mess. It's decent on me, but there are enough eyeliners that stay on all day without smudging even with some watering eyes in my stash that I never reach for this.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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