Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Breakfast with Benefit: One Hot Minute

This morning, I drove up to San Francisco to have a little breakfast at the Benefit Boutique with the Benefit Team. In attendance were a few other local bloggers (hey, there aren’t that many of us Bay Area bloggers!), like my girl Karen of Makeup & Beauty Blog, Lilan of The Daily Cookie, and Sonja of The Coveted. Benefit was hosting an event exclusively for bloggers to preview One Hot Minute–their newest addition to their line-up.

Benefit One Hot Minute ($30.00) is one of the newest products to be launched by Benefit this summer. Called the “Sexy-in-Seconds-Face-Powder,” it’s all about getting an easy, all over natural glow/finish in no time flat. Available exclusively at Sephora in July (and then available at counters in September), One Hot Minute is an extremely fine milled, loose powder meant for all skin tones. At the breakfast event, each of us bloggers got a little makeover a la Benefit, and of course, it featured the new product! (And you can see a full-face photo of me included in this post!)

I’ve always been a sucker for Benefit’s packaging, because it’s cute with a vintage edge and a modern twist. Plus, my first ever makeup haul was Benefit back in high school, so I always get a bit nostalgic when I use Benefit, too. One Hot Minute comes in a copper tin, and it includes a small, almost miniature-sized fan brush (but it’s a bit curvier — reminds me of a peacock spreading his tail). There is also a “sifter guard” to help keep your powder intact. Benefit makeup artists recommended using their fantail brush ($22.00) if you’re not on-the-go, but the included brush will do for touch-ups. (I always prefer to use my own brushes, because I like brushes with handles for more control!)

One Hot Minute is a silky powder that gives you a “luminous” finish, which is really that subtle, natural glow we’re all after. It’s not shimmery, shiny, or glittery. It really just gives you a very soft, subtle sheen and enhances your natural skin tone. It is also really quite universal, because the lovely Erin of Benefit is far fairer than I, and she was rockin’ One Hot Minute. Karen of MBB is also significantly deeper in skin tone than myself, and she worked it, too. I was surprised, because the powder does look colored initially, but it really isn’t since we’re all wearing the same product. Benefit describes it as a “loose rose-gold finishing powder… for a gaze-at-me-glow.”

(Oh, by the way, Benefit is giving you 20% off — but you can only use the code once per customer — for a few days! Just use code MAKEUP20, good through May 29th.)

You can see for yourself how it looks like when applied — see photos, swatches, and more! Continue reading →

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Benefit’s CORALista ($28.00) is fast becoming a cult favorite amongst the beauty crowd. It’s 0.42 oz. of a lightly warmed up coral-pink powder blush that works well to give you a soft, summery flush. It’s housed in cute packaging (exactly what I’d expect from Benefit!) and includes a miniaturized brush that fits inside. The brush is so-so, as most included brushes are, and I much prefer to use a traditional blush brush with this product. But it is nice to have something that can be toted with it, too.

What’s really fantastic about this shade of blush is it goes on extremely natural–you get a soft, glowy sheen with just a touch of coral color. It’ll instantly brighten up your complexion, and it is such a great product for summer when less is definitely more. There is a bit of a flora fragrance that’ll sneak out of the box each time you open it, so if you’re sensitive to fragrance, that might be a reason to check it ou before you purchase.

CORALista isn’t too warm, so it is great for a range of skintones–not just warmer toned faces. Since it can be built up in intensity, you don’t have to worry about overdoing it from the get go. There’s no chunky glitter or large shimmer particles, but there is a soft sheen/fine shimmer in it. (It’s what gives you the “glow.”)

If you’ve found NARS blushes to run too shimmery, you might find Benefit CORALista more up your alley. If you’re a bit hesitant because of the price tag, NARS’ blushes are $25 for only 0.16 oz. and MAC’s blushes are $18.00 for 0.21 oz., which makes Benefit cheaper by the ounce. CORALista is one of those easy-to-wear, everyday colors, so it is also a practical purchase you’ll use forever.

See the inside & get swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Benefit Smokin’ Eyes ($36.00) is an all-in-one palette to give you sexy, smoky eyes in no time. It contains three eyeshadows, black eye liner, brightener, two brushes, mini tweezers, and then instructions. The palette is housed in traditional Benefit packaging (cardboard/paper), which I can appreciate for its earth-friendliness. What I like most about this palette is the inclusion of eye liner, brow wax, and the mini tweezers. Those mini tweezers can really come in handy, actually! The brightener can be essential for those of us who aren’t getting quite as much sleep as we’d like, too.

There is a light pink highlighter, a soft gray with shimmer, and a deeper, gray-brown base shade. The eye liner is pretty black, surprisingly, and the brushes are average. I’ve never found palette brushes to be particularly noteworthy; they usually get the job done in a pinch, but they’re not brushes I’d use by choice. The instructions are a nice touch for those who are not so makeup-savvy. So, this makes a great gift to give to the new beauty fan or to someone in need of an all-in-one palette for special occasions.

See inside and swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Benefit Posietint ($28.00) is a lip and cheek stain in a cool, bright pop of pink. The bottle feels very small, but this is a product where less is most definitely more! You need very little — just a little dot on each cheek, then blend either with fingers or a stippling brush (I love the 188 for all cream/liquid products). I do recommend applying cheek at a time, because you need to work fairly fast. If you’re new to liquid/cream cheek products, I implore you to start off slowly so you don’t end up with any splotchiness!

The color of Posietint does run a bit cool, but I still think it’s quite wearable for all skin tones, as I liked the soft, natural pinking it gave my cheeks. It was just perfect for that barely-there-flush to match with barely-there makeup. The color of the box (pictured above) is very much the color of the product itself (but you can compare with the swatch, too). With summer nearing, I start reaching for creamy blushes, because I use them as a base. I layer a cream blush on my cheeks after foundation, then apply a powder blush or powder highlight to set the cream blush. I set my whole face by applying translucent loose powder, and I find my makeup gets me through even the hottest days.

One great thing about Posietint is that you can build up the intensity of the stain, either on lips or on cheeks. Just keep layering and blending it onto cheeks (or lips!) to increase the color until you get to the level you desire. I’d say I like it more on cheeks than lips, but on lips it helps add more “natural” pink to my otherwise kind of muted-mauve-dead lips.

Recommended For

Oily skinned folks — this is less likely to slide around if you set it
Ladies on the go; super easy to apply
Work-safe looks, because it just gives you enhanced natural cheek color
Summerproof makeup — stays on longer than powder blushes, less likely to budge/smear

Have you tried Benefit’s Posietint? What did you think?

See it on! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Benefit The Overnighter Gift Set ($38.00) is the classic Justine Case, plus their “hanky panky thong.” The Overnight Set includes California Kissin’, Eyecon, Benetint, and Some Kind-a Gorgeous. All of these products are designed to help make you look flawless even when you’re not feeling your best. Benetint is a classic lip tint, but it’s also great on cheeks, too. Eyecon helps to reduce the appearance of dark undereye circles–perfect for that late night out. California Kissin’ is a “smile brightening lip shine.” Some Kind-a Gorgeous is a foundation “faker”; it’s a translucent powder that helps to brighten your complexion. All in all, it’s a cute set, but you can grab the Justine Case set for $32 and save $6. It seems like you’re just paying for the thong. Of course, if you need a lacy pair of panties, then maybe the set is up your alley ;) ** Edited:  Looks like a few of you have purchased the panties alone for $18, so then this is a deal if you like thongs!

See more product close-ups! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Benefit Sexy Gold 24K Gift Set ($32.00) is an affordable gift to give to any of the fabulous women in your life. Though I’ll admit this particular set is more suitable for the women who like a lil’ sparkle. It contains Sexy Gold lipstick, which is described as a “true gold shimmer,” along with Nugget Shimmering Loose Powder, described as a “pale shimmering gold.” Both of these fit easily in the included gold clutch.

The only downside to this otherwise fun set is the clutch is quite tiny–it can’t be more than five inches or so in length. It’ll fit a lipstick and a gloss, plus your ID, so it’ll do the job, but I think it’s so tiny I’d end up losing it somewhere. Plus, without a wristlet, I’d definitely lose it somewhere! The clutch isn’t really the star of the set, and I know I don’t buy sets because of the included clutch–I’m all about the products!

Sexy Gold lipstick is this gorgeous, shimmering wet-gold color. It’s like an amber gold, very reflective, and it goes on SO SO smoothly. I was intending to give this set to my sister, but I’m just passing on the clutch and loose powder. I refuse to part with this lipstick! I think it’ll be a fun lipstick to go-to for an everyday lip, because I can top it with any colored lipgloss to really make it fun and wearable and not at all “too much.”

Nugget Shimmering Loose Powder is exactly the color it is described as. It is a pale gold with lots of shimmer. It’s incredibly silky and finely milled, so it goes on smooth as butter. I could see this being used to highlight the brow bone or the face. It’s pretty, and the texture is unbelievablely soft, so that I do love. Personally, I probably wouldn’t reach for it very often, just because I don’t wear loose powders very often (they just get all over me and my bathroom, which results in frustration). If you do, though, this is worth checking out. But it’s almost worth getting just for that lovely lipstick.

This is a Sephora limited edition set, so get yours at your local Sephora or shop online at Sephora.com.

See product close-ups and swatches! Continue reading →