Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadows for Superior Use & Value

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.11 oz.) are velvety, silky-soft eyeshadows with smooth color that go on effortlessly and blend seamlessly. Seriously, I absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with these from the moment I swatched them on my skin. They’re ridiculously soft and exactly as they’re named–velvety. There’s little else that is as suitable to describe it as like velvet. I find that these also blend really easily both within the Benefit brand but with other brands’ shadows, too (always a plus).

Benefit currently has ten shades of their velvet eyeshadow available: Bikini Line (desert sand), Fawn Over Me (cafe au lait), Leggy (pink nude satin), Buckle Bunny (rosa mocha), Rich Beach (brown sugar), Where There’s Smoke (smoky pewter), Dandy Brandy (copper spice), “Gimme Some” Plum (iced plum), Like What You Sea? (misty blue), and I Cannes and I Will (golden mulberry). I’ve only tried six of the ten shades, but I’m comfortable saying that the entire range is worth checking out, because the six I tried were amazing.

  • Bikini Line is a soft, shimmering warm-toned gold. This has my name written ALL over it, duh. I cannot resist a gold eyeshadow to save my life!
  • Rich Beach is a warm-toned bronzy shade with just a bit of gold shimmer.
  • Dandy Brandy is a lightly cool-toned chocolate brown with copper flecks of shimmer.
  • Buckle Bunny is a muted rosy mauve with soft gold sheen.
  • I Cannes & I Will is a plum purple with gold flecks. I really loved this shade, because it has a very unique look to it.
  • Like What You Sea? is a soft, cool-toned silvery-blue with silver sheen.

They’re also really reasonably priced relative to the amount you get. For $14 at MAC, you’ll get 0.05 oz. of eyeshadow, whereas Benefit’s giving you double that for $18. From that perspective, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with Benefit’s Velvet Eyeshadows!

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: If you’re all about a super soft and silky eyeshadow, these are most definitely for you. I just can’t get over the texture and how soft these are!

Availability: Benefit, Sephora.com

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Benefit is the Girly Cure to Your Makeup & Skin Woes

Have you ever tried the ever-feminine Benefit Cosmetics line? Really? Never, you say? Let us fill you in on some of the best products they have to offer. But between you and me, we definitely suggest starting out with their amazing Velvet Eyeshadows, followed by their Creaseless Eyeshadows.

Hint:  Click the links for reviews (if there’s no link, we haven’t reviewed it explicitly on the blog yet).

  • Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows ($19.00) come in twelve shades, and they often put out limited edition ones as part of their seasonal collections. These are easy to wear, last all day, and can be worn alone or under other eyeshadows as a base.
  • CORALista Blush ($28.00) is a value-sized coral blusher that’s absolutely divine on warmer skin tones, but it isn’t so warm or so coral that it doesn’t work on cooler or paler skin tones, too. (I love how many of Benefit’s products work for a variety of skin tones.) This is a summer staple for me.
  • Gilded Eyeliner ($20.00) is a quick and dirty way to pop open those peepers and make those eyes look alive, even when you’re operating on little to no sleep. A pearly, golden-yellow works well on the lower water line and inner tear duct to brighten up your eyes.
  • Full-Finish Lipsticks ($18.00) came back with a vengeance last fall (in 2008) and is available in fourteen shades. These lipsticks are creamy, pigmented, and moisturizing while giving you great wear. One of my favorite lipstick formulas!
  • One Hot Minute ($30.00) is an all-over loose powder that makes your entire face look brighter and more awake with just a light dusting. It gives a soft, luminous sheen that’s not disco-ball glittery.
  • Benetint ($28.00) is just one of those cult products that you either adore or you don’t understand the buzz. It’s a great multi-tasking product that you can keep in your makeup bag for any spontaneous occasion. You can use it to add color to cheeks or lips, and one little bottle goes quite a long way. It’s soft and natural–the two must-haves of any cheek/lip stain.
  • Velvet Eyeshadow ($18.00) is easily one of the best eyeshadow formulations on the market. Velvety, silky, and smooth describe the finish of these lovelies. Pigmented and true-to-color bring it all home. The only downside? There are only ten shades! I adore, ADORE Bikini Line.

Availability: BenefitCosmetics.com, Sephora.com

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Searching for that dewy, glowy look? Benefit High Beam has you covered!

Benefit High Beam ($24.00) is a liquid highlighter that comes in a small bottle. Twist the cap and you’ll see a brush applicator–all in all, the packaging and application system looks very much like nail polish. I’ve found the best application method is to take the brush and dot it on the areas you want to highlight. I usually dotted two or three small-sized dots on my cheek bones, and then I blended it in with MAC’s 188 brush.

High Beam can act as a highlighter or illuminizer, which makes it a great, multi-tasking product to keep in your makeup bag. (Because of the packaging, it also makes a nice travel companion!) To use it as an illuminizer, mix a drop or two with your favorite foundation or moisturizer and apply all over to face. If you’ve used Strobe Cream, it’s kind of like that, but you’re able to mix to your desired level of lumination. As a highlighter, you use it on the traditional areas where you’d want light to reflect off your face (cheek bones, forehead, nose, chin, and so on). You can also use this on your brow bone — it is especially nice when you’re just wearing mascara, because it helps to brighten and wake-up tired eyes with minimal effort.

The best part about High Beam is that it isn’t noticeable that you’re wearing makeup. It’s subtle, soft, and has just this beautiful dewy, glowy finish that looks incredibly natural and yet adds so much more to your complexion. It doesn’t look or feel like a typical shimmery highlighter; it feels more like a radiant highlighter, where the luminous feel comes from a soft sheen instead of sparkles or glitter. I’ve had both my mom (older than me) and sister (deeper skintone) try this, and it looked equally lovely on them.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you love dewy skin and are looking for a new highlighting option, consider Benefit High Beam. The product itself is high-quality, they give you plenty of it, and it’s fairly easy to use. The packaging is functional and cute, though the applicator system could use improvement. Overall, it’s a solid product and worth purchasing.

Availability: BenefitCosmetics.com, Sephora.com

Have you tried Benefit’s High Beam? Yay or nay?

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Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Benefit “It” Girl Collection for Fall 2009

Being an ‘It’ girl is a full-time job. ‘It’ simply never stops…I’ve always gotta be on ‘it’ with all these cameras flashing from dawn to dusk. Because when you got ‘it,’ you got ‘it’ & when you don’t, get ‘it’ with these new full-finish lipsticks & velvet eyeshadows. Jeweled berries, pewters & pinks, these are the fabulous ‘it’ shades for Fall. See & be seen in them…after all, there’s plenty of room on the red carpet for the both of us!

Full-Finish Lipstick ($18.00 U.S.)

  • Fame Game Dusty pink (Pearl)
  • Label Lover Spiced rose (Pearl)
  • Breakup Rumor Jeweled berry (Pearl)

Velvet Eyeshadow ($19.00 U.S.)

  • Fawn Over Me Café au lait
  • I Cannes & I Will Golden mulberry
  • Where There’s Smoke Smoky pewter

Availability: August 2009 at BenefitCosmetics.com.

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Friday, July 17th, 2009

Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner ($19.00 each) is available in twelve different shades, ranging from soft white-gold to golden brown to gray. The Creaseless Cream Shadow is a crease-proof formula that can be sheered out or layered for a more intense effect.

I found that they did indeed live up to their name — they didn’t crease or smudge on me at any point during the day, when worn alone or as a base. I will say they did seem to perform better when used as a base, but I imagine most cream-based products do. Since I didn’t notice any creasing or fading when they were worn alone, I think they held up incredibly without anything on top, too. All of the shades I tried had a light sheen or subtle shimmer to them, which was just fine with me, but I’d definitely love to see Benefit add some more matte shades to the line-up in the future.

If you’re a big fan of MAC paint pots, I think you’d adore these! I found these more blendable/buildable than some paint pots, and I didn’t have as much trouble blending shadows on top of the deeper shades as I have with some of MAC’s darker colored paint pots (e.g. Nice Vice).

Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows

  • R.S.V.P. is a slightly warmed-up champagne shade with not much shimmer but more of a golden sheen. This makes for an excellent all-over lid color when you need a quick look, but it also works well as a base shade, particularly for golds and greens.
  • Skinny Jeans is a smoky, pewter-green shade. It’s kind of like like gray meets green meets gold. So, basically, all sorts of awesome. (I’m totally obsessed with the color pewter–go figure!) I love using this as a liner on the lower lash line or as a base for a really dark green smoky eye.
  • Stiletto is a soft, reddish-burgundy shade flecked with microfine golden shimmer. I found this to be one of the sheerer shades just from the get-go, but it layers really well so you can increase the intensity if you want to use it on the lid. When I used an angled eyeliner brush to apply it as liner, I didn’t have any sheerness issues, it was pretty deep and intense.
  • Tattle Tale is an opaque shade of white-gold with golden shimmer laced throughout. This was one of my favorites, just because it looks amazing on my warmer skin tone. It works well as an all-over lid color, neutral base (and I love that it’s a bit on the white side, so it helps colors pop more), as well as a highlighter on cheeks! Gotta love a multi-tasker!
  • Busy Signal is a golden-toned bronze-copper shade. It’s incredibly pigmented, needing just one thin layer to get intense color. It is definitely a little warm, but not overly so. It seems almost neutral at times. I found I preferred to use this one as a liner than an eyeshadow (just because I personally prefer to use cream shadows as bases rather than individual shadows).
  • Strut is a silver-gray with slight bluish-gray sheen. If you want a smoky eye, try this as a base!
  • Flatter Me is a neutral, slightly subdued pinky shade with a little bit of peach and gold shimmer. I think those with cooler toned skin may find this perfect for an all-over color when warmer, more golden tones shades don’t work. I’m warm-toned, but I still like this as a soft lid color. It also can double as a blush if you work quickly with it!
  • Birthday Suit is a soft, antique gold shade, which means I am ALL over it. It is such a gorgeous shade, and it has great pigmentation. I love it for layering with brown and gold shadows, as well as greens. I love wearing this alone or as a liner.
  • Get Figgy is a mauvey-pink with slight golden shimmer. I liked this one with purple shadows, as well as some pinks, but I did find myself reaching for it more as a liner than a base color.

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Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Benefit 10 Powder ($28.00) is a combination highlighter and bronzing duo. If you’ve seen Benefit’s other powders like CORALista or Dandelion, it’s the same idea, but the powder is split in half — half is a bronzer, half is a highlighter. The highlighter is a light, milky silvery-pink with soft sheen but no real glitter particles (that’s a good thing, by the way). The bronzer is similar in texture and sheen, except it’s a peachy-bronze color with gold sheen. You can see how I used it in a look here.

10 is one of those products that takes some trial and error before you can appreciate its genius. Once you do get the hang of it, though, it is a grab-and-go kind of experience. I personally used the 168 and 169 respectively for this product, and I found it worked just right for me. I do suggest using a light hand initially, so you don’t over-do it or get a ruddy/muddy result. The highlighter is just that–a highlighter–so unless you are extremely fair, don’t go into it expecting to use it as a pink blush!

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