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

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →

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

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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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!

See photos and swatches! Continue reading →

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 →