Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Benefit Spring 2010 Eyeshadows

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadows for Spring 2010

Benefit Spring 2010 Eyeshadows ($18.00 each) come in six, limited edition varieties:  Bo Peep, Buns, Nice Melons, Shamrocker, Mermaid, and Fancy Pansy.  They’re new and only available for a limited time, unfortunately, but they are perfect spring-friendly shades.

I am a big, big fan of Benefit’s Velvet Eyeshadows. I have been for awhile (you can see my original review, if you’re curious), so when I found out that there were six new shades for spring, I got a little excited. When I saw that they had pops of color, I couldn’t wait to try them.  You know me, I love me some color–even though I can totally appreciate a good neutral–and Benefit finally brought me some color.

  • Bo Peep is an icy pink with a silver sheen.  This is probably the one with the most frost-like appearance.
  • Buns is a caramel brown with a soft golden bronze sheen.
  • Nice Melons is a peachy-pink with gold sheen.  It would appear that nobody is going to escape spring without some sort of melon-esque shade in their makeup wardrobe.  Yes, it totally reminds me of MAC Melon pigment, but it’s in glorious pressed form.  (For the record, I do not like MAC pigments pressed… they’re not the same!)
  • Shamrocker is a fresh, minty green with silver sheen.  I don’t even know if I have any minty greens in my stash–it’s just not a color you see too often.  I like!
  • Mermaid is a dark green with a teal edge and gold sheen.  I would have loved to see a little more boldness and vibrancy from this shade, even though it is very much in line with the look and feel of Benefit as a line.
  • Fancy Pansy is a iridescent fuchsia-purple pearled shade with an icy sheen.  It’s like a much more purple version of MAC Stars ‘n Rockets (which runs a little fuchsia in comparison).

All six shades have the same softness, smoothness, and pigmentation as I’ve come to expect of Velvet Eyeshadows.  One of my favorite qualities about these is the consistency across the line — there are no duds.  There are no misses in texture, color pay off, or feel.  Everything is as it should be, even if one color may not be to your taste.  I can really appreciate the consistency, because it means you don’t have to worry, “Is this one going to be a flop?”

I would, of course, love to see Benefit add even more vibrant hues (a girl can dream, right?) or even a line of matte or semi-matte eyeshadows to complement the Velvet Eyeshadow line (which is all on the shimmery side of life).  But nevertheless, I hope they’ll continue to release new and/or limited edition shades throughout 2010!

Can’t wait to do a look with these!

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

Recommendation: If you love soft, smooth, well-pigmented eyeshadow, Benefit’s Velvet Eyeshadow is all that and more.

Availability: Benefit

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Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Benefit’s Sale-abration!

Every year, Benefit has their “Sale-abration”, where you can up to 70% off some of their products.  Now, I’m off to see what they have in the sale section…

OMG, they have a few of the Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows for $9.50 (normally $19.00) — Honey Bunny, Bunny Hop, & Recess!  7 Lust Dusters are on sale for $4.50, though.  I saw at least three lipsticks at $9.00, too.

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Benefit Lady's Choice Lipstick
Benefit Lady’s Choice Lipstick

The Spring Season: Benefit Lady’s Choice Lipstick

Benefit Lady’s Choice Full-Finish Lipstick ($18.00) is an ultra creamy pinky-nude with a glossy sheen and no shimmer. It’s pink enough to be almost like a very light and pale pink, but it’s still more of a nude. I love the full coverage of the formula, and it is such a moisturizing lipstick formula. It feels like you’re putting butter on your lips at first, and then it just melts into your lips beautifully. This is the kind of shade that pairs exceptionally well with smoky eyes.

Is this pale pink-nude the one for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

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Monday, December 14th, 2009

Get Glowy Cheeks for the Holidays with Benefit

Benefit Cosmetics Sugarbomb ($28.00 for 0.42 oz.) is the newest powder addition to Benefit’s line-up. It joins cult favorites like CORALista and Hoola, and Benefit describes it as a “sugar rush flush” for the face.

The powder comes with four triangles of color, which Benefit describes as “rose, shimmering pink, soft plum, and peach.” The powder is designed to be used all at once, rather than one triangle at a time. I’d completely agree with that notion, particularly because the space is just not big enough to really grab one shade over another that well.

When swirled together, the outcome is a beautiful peachy-pink shade with a very, very subtle golden sheen. This is half blush, half highlighter, because it’s not ultra pigmented and on my skin tone (which you could describe as “medium”), while it shows up, it looks very soft. It’s certainly not invisible (which would make it more like a highlighter), but it’s not vibrant. This is good and bad, depending on your usage — but it’s a good thing to me.

It actually reminded me of a peachier version of CORALista, but they are different, since CORALista is much more pigmented and pinker. On my skin, it gives me just enough color and really gives me that “glow.” That super sought after glowy cheek look? That’s what this is in a cute lil’ box.

Both the texture and the results reminded me quite a bit of my beloved Dior Skin Shimmers (particularly Pop Diamond). The shade itself is a reminiscent of NARS’ Orgasm, but it’s less orange (on me) and the shimmer more refined. But here’s something fun: Benefit is way, way cheaper than both. Benefit’s Powders are HUGE–a whopping 0.42 oz.–compared to the average blush that weighs in at a mere 0.20 oz. NARS’ blushes are $156/oz., MAC’s are $88/oz., and Dior’s are $150/oz., but Benefit is $67/oz.

It’s packaged exactly like other Benefit powders, which is in a cute little cardboard box. If you don’t dig Benefit’s packaging, this is probably not going to do it for you either. It’s typical Benefit–and I say that as a good thing–and even though I do prefer sturdier packaging, this will hold up quite well, even if you do keep in your purse. Of course, if you toss it in your bag, the outside will get dinged up a bit, but in the end, it should still survive with the product intact, which is the more important part.

Bottom Line: This is a beautiful get-glowy-cheeks product if you’re light to medium-dark. If you have a deeper or darker skin tone, I think this will end up being more of a highlighter–if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s worth considering, but I don’t think the color will show much very well. I fell in love with this product at first swatch (and I had a hunch it’d be mine kind of color just from looking at it, too) – it’s everything I love: soft, subtle shimmer (think Dior Skin Shimmers, mmm!) that gives me glowy, naturally flushed cheeks. This is something I could wear everyday, with or without other makeup. Benefit, I’m totally impressed by this!

P.S. I also want to give props to Benefit’s website for showing incredibly color accurate photos of Sugarbomb, too. You don’t always see such accuracy in official product imagery, so it’s really a nice touch.

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

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

Recommendation: If you love glowy cheeks, check out Benefit’s Sugarbomb!

Availability: Benefit Cosmetics, Sephora

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Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Benefit Powderazzi ($30.00 for 3 0.10 oz. powders) is part of Benefit’s holiday offerings, and it features three shades of their popular powders: CORALista, Dallas, and Hoola.

This past summer, I reviewed and adored Benefit’s CORALista powder, which is a soft, pinky-coral with subtle sheen. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It’s particularly flattering on my warm-toned skin, and I’ve always been a big fan of wearing coral. I’m glad they chose to include it in their powder trio this year!

Also featured is Hoola, which is a matte medium dark cocoa brown meant to be used as a bronzer. I rarely wear bronzer, but when I do, I tend to gravitate towards very lightly shimmered or matte shades, like Hoola. Hoola also feels more like a neutral shade, so it’s something that has more universal appeal.

The third shade in this trio is Dallas, which is a plummy color with kind of a dirty feel. It reminded me a bit of MAC’s Marign blush, but more on the plum side. It’s not as shimmery as CORALista, but it definitely has a sheen and shimmer to it. I think this is a great shade for the fall/winter, where darker cheeks always feel more appropriate (to me, at least).

The packaging is typical Benefit — cute print on cardboard packaging. I don’t tote my makeup around very often, so I don’t mind cardboard packaging. Others who often toss products into their bag may find the cardboard will take a beating, though it probably won’t disintegrate or anything–it just won’t look perfect.

As far as size goes, you get 0.3 oz. of product total in this kit, and each full-size Benefit powder goes for $28 for 0.4 oz. You’re paying a little extra to be able to try three shades at once rather than picking up one huge-sized powder. This is a good opportunity to try three shades without having to purchase all three separately. If you find you love any of the three enough that you actually finish it, the full-size is available to you.

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: If you’ve wanted to try out Benefit’s powders in the past but haven’t wanted to fork over the money for each one, this trio may prove a better chance for you to try a variety of colors instead.

Availability: November 2009 at Ulta

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Benefit BADgal Liner (Waterproof) ($20.00) is a medium black pencil liner designed to be smudgeproof and waterproof. It’s a follow-up release to the original BADgal liner, which many had trouble getting to really stick on the lash line.

While the newer Waterproof version is longer lasting in comparison to the original formula, it’s not quite waterproof enough. I guess, in that sense, it sort of fails to live up to its name, because I do find that it can be smudged a bit with watery eyes. I think the average person may find this to be long-wearing and smudge and water resistant, but it’s certainly not going to pass the cry test. It’s also not something that lasts well on my waterline (but so little does, and most liners are never touted as waterline safe…).

Personally, it lasts for hours on my lower lash line with little smudging and definitely no creasing or serious migration. My eyes aren’t, though, watery on a regular basis, but I happened to wear this while suffering some seasonal allergies (pollen, dust, and the like) and found it just didn’t hold up well. When it gets hit by tears/water, it has a tendency to smudge a bit. Now, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t start cascading down your face or anything! It does stay within a tolerable distance from where I originally put it, but for something called Waterproof, I expect just that.

I do like that the liner itself is double-ended; it has the liner on one side and a sponge smudger on the other, so it can really give you a quick and dirty sultry eye on a whim. (Really, just smoking out the lower and upper lash lines can add drama to eyes–even if you don’t wear any eyeshadow!) It’s slim and portable, and the formula itself is very creamy and easy to apply… but I just wish it was truly waterproof — I’d describe it more as a water-resistant formula, so it’s like 80% there.

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

  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don’t have watery eyes and like a soft, medium black, BADgal liner (Waterproof) might be a match for you.

Availability: BenefitCosmetics.com

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