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.

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  • 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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Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Benefit Georgia Face Powder ($28.00 for 0.4 oz.) is a pale, warm-toned peachy pressed powder. Benefit describes it as, “Our “just peachy” face powder leaves your complexion warm and vibrant. Georgia is a dream…it’s peaches and cream!”

Georgia is best used as a sheer, all-over powder on light to medium skin-tones. I think darker skin tones will find this can go on ashy or so sheer they’re not sure they’ve put anything on. It’s really good for brightening and warming up lighter skin tones, so it’s actually a very product for barely-there makeup days. When I’m in a rush, this is something I can easily dust on to make my face look a little more alive and less likely I only slept four hours the night before.

I think only the lightest of skin tones will find this useful as a blusher, just because the color is both sheer and pale. In my swatch, there’s only a hint of product that shows up, so you can see that my NC25/30 skin tone starts to get close to the end of the spectrum for this product’s usefulness. I also think that some people go into purchasing this product expecting to use it as a blusher, and then find themselves disappointed by its sheerness. I do like it as an all-over face powder, but it does have shimmer in it, so if you don’t want shimmer all over your face, this isn’t the best choice in all-over powders for you.

Additionally, this can be used as a highlighter on cheeks alone, too. It’s a more versatile product than you’d think, but I think a lot of us just get trapped into expecting a blush and not getting it. Georgia also feels a bit powdery/chalky, which is yet another reason I think it’s not a workable product on darker skin tones. I find this best applies with a stippling brush (like MAC’s 187) all over the face for a light, warmed up look without too much shimmer or product.

By the ounce, Benefit Face Powders/Blush colors are actually cheaper than MAC! Benefit comes in at $70.00/oz. while MAC is $88.10/oz. Benefit Face Powders/Blushes are actually some of the most bang-for-your-buck in the high-end department. The packaging is cute and exactly what I’d expect out of Benefit. Georgia actually does have a light peach scent to it, though it’s not something I notice while wearing the product–only when I sniff the product itself.

Bottom line: It’s not replacing any products I’m already using, and I’d probably be more apt to use it if it provided more of a peachy blush color than an all-over color.  I prefer other highlighters and all-over powders with setting qualities, as well.  It’s a quality product, but it doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s best used as an easy all-over powder.  I think if that’s what you’re looking for, you’d enjoy this product.  For others, this is nice, but it isn’t a must-have.

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a sheer, warm-toned all-over powder and you’re light to medium in skintone, this might work for you.

Availability: BenefitCosmetics.com

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009


Benefit Lipglosses: Almost Famous, Fresh Squeezed, Zone Out

Benefit Lip Gloss: Review, Photos, Swatches

Benefit Lip Gloss ($18.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is available in eight shades from copper to berry to gold. Each is scented with an apricot-lychee scent with a non-sticky, slick-feeling texture. They’re fairly glossy with lots of shimmer.

  • Almost Famous is a sheer rosy-bronze with amber bronze glitter throughout. This one felt a little glittery to me.
  • Fresh Squeezed is a pinky-coral with smoother, more shimmer-esque multicolored shimmer.
  • Zone Out is a sheer nude gloss with golden shimmer to add some sparkle.

These glosses wear about average (four hours), and they don’t dry out lips but don’t feel extra hydrating either. I like them, but I don’t love them. Both Fresh Squeezed and Zone Out felt nice on my lips, but Almost Famous has a gritty glittery texture that I didn’t appreciate. (Luckily, neither Fresh Squeezed or Zone Out felt like that!)

These lip glosses are slightly pricier (by the ounce) compared to Make Up For Ever and NARS, but they’re a better value than Dior and Chanel. At $18, I’d probably opt for a NARS gloss instead (though these smell much, much better).

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

Recommendation: If you sheer, shimmery lipgloss, you may want to snoop at the Benefit counter for these!

Availability: Benefit

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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009


Benefit Lipsticks: Fame Game, Label Lover, No Competition, Breakup Rumor

Benefit Full Finish Lipsticks: Review, Photos, Swatches

Benefit Full Finish Lipstick ($18.00 for .10 oz.) are slim lipsticks available in fourteen different shades and two finishes (cream and pearl). Today, let’s look at four shades — Fame Game, Label Lover, No Competition, Breakup Rumor.

  • Fame Game is a soft frosty pink with silvery-white shimmer. It’s opaque and has a pearl finish.
  • Label Lover is a bronzy, russet rose kind of color with a gold-bronze shimmer and pearl finish. It goes on semi-opaque on lips.
  • No Competition is a creamy, opaque muted berry that is dark and bold, but not overly so.
  • Breakup Rumor is a shimming rosy plum with gold and rose shimmer and pearl finish. It applies mostly opaque on lips.

Benefit’s Full Finish Lipsticks are mostly opaque to opaque in color, feel creamy, and don’t leave lips dried out while you’re wearing them. They wear well (I get about six hours of wear-time with minimal drinking/light eating), too, which is always a plus. I love the shade range Benefit has, because I feel like they offer a good mix of shades that flatter many skin tones. Their pearl finishes aren’t drying in the least, as some frost-finish lipsticks often can be. I love all four of these shades, though I love the way Breakup Rumor shimmers.

The packaging is slim and compact, and it looks sleek in an all slightly shiny all-black case with Benefit’s logo wrapping around it in white. The value is so-so; it comes in as slightly more expensive (by the ounce) than Urban Decay and MAC, but it’s still less than brands like NARS and Dior.

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

Recommendation: If you love more opaque lip colors, these lipsticks are a great place to start your search!

Availability: Benefit

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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