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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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 →