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

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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

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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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Saturday, March 12th, 2011


Is it your birthday?

Free Birthday Brows by Benefit

Benefit is offering customers a free brow arch service on their birthday–all you need to do is show them a valid government issued photo ID with your date of birth and you’re good to go. You can locate your nearest Benefit Brow Bar here.

Mellan wholeheartedly approved of the birthday hat they sent along with the announcement of the new birthday offer–plus I think he quite enjoyed the musical card, too!

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Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Benefit Bella Bamba Powder
Benefit Bella Bamba Powder

Benefit Bella Bamba Boxed Powder ($28.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a brightened medium pink with pale gold shimmer-sheen. It’s fairly pigmented and can easily be used as an intense blusher, but it’s soft and fine enough in texture to be used as a sheer color on cheeks when blended out. I want to say it’s like a mix of Coralista and Sugarbomb but distinctly pink, not really a coral at all.

At first glance, it seems like Bella Bamba might just be another NARS Orgasm variation, but it’s so much pinker than those peachy-pinks. The closest dupe I could think of was Chanel Pink Explosion Joues Contraste, which is slightly cooler and has less gold shimmer. NARS Angelika is closest in color by NARS, but it’s really more a mesh of that blush with Albatross, I’d say.

I’m a little disappointed to see Benefit cutting the product size down by so much–a lot of their boxed powders have as much as 0.42 oz., while ones that are lower hover around 0.35 oz. It’s just as pigmented and incredibly similar in texture to Coralista, which is a full 0.42 oz. It’s still a lot of product for $28 (most blushes are 0.15 oz. or so), but it was something I thought was worth noting. I’m also not a fan of the flip-top packaging, because it doesn’t stay open on its own (probably more frustrating to photograph than to use, I suppose, though). I prefer the removable lid myself.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think this is a great boxed powder, and even though they reduced the size, it’s still a ton of blush for the price.  It’s nicely pigmented win a flattering pink that’s not too cool or warm; the golden sheen makes it suitable for warmer skin tones while the slightly cool-toned pink of the shade itself works well on cool skin tones, too.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Benefit Dandelion Powder Blush
Benefit Dandelion Powder

Quick Review: Benefit Dandelion Box Powder

Benefit Dandelion Box Powder ($28.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a softened peach with a hint of pink and a golden shimmer-sheen. On me, it definitely leans a little peach, but I could see the pink tones being pulled out on cooler skin tones that have more pink in them naturally. This is meant to be a soft color, so it works best as a highlighter or if dusted lightly, an all-over powder. I would the very palest of skin could use this as a subtle blusher. One box will last you quite awhile, given the massive size of the powder, as most blushes are half the size!

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For something that adds a natural glow without going overboard or adding a lot of color, Dandelion works well. It flatters both warmer and cooler skin tones, too!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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