If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll know that most of my product buys and reviews are primarily drugstore beauty product finds. Other than a few MAC purchases over the years and a recent NARS lipstick purchase, I have never purchased anything from another high-end makeup brand. Until this: the Benefit Cosmetics Beauty Score! Ten mini-size products to try out and for me to get a little taste of the Benefit Brand:
I received this in the mail from Sephora almost a month ago and I’ve had a good go at all the products. I love the majority of the products; some don’t really float my boat. I’ll try to keep things short as there are quite a few products here.
Bella Bamba Blush
This blush is the bomb dot com. First off, it smells like peaches. WTF for a blush, right? But what a sweet surprise! The colour is a deep pink colour with a subtle gold, barely-there shimmer. It really warms up my cheeks and the pigmentation of this is amazing — just a light swirl of my blush brush picks up a good amount of product. This seems to have some pretty decent staying power as well; I’d say a good 6 hours of wear before it starts to fade. Something I would definitely consider purchasing a full-size of. I’m actually very curious to sample their other blushes now, seeing as I like this one a lot!
Hoola Bronzing Powder
I’ve never been one for bronzers or contouring, but this product is a good introduction for me to test those waters. I have a few bronzers in my makeup stash now from IT Cosmetics, Revlon, and E.L.F., but those never really find their way onto my face because frankly, I don’t know how to use them! The Hoola Bronzer however, is a great practice bronzer/contouring product for me because the colour is such a subtle browny-taupe that it barely shows up on my medium skin tone — which is a good thing because I can’t screw up if I have too heavy of a hand upon first swipe on my face. I am able to build this up under my cheekbones and on my temples and forehead. I usually reach for this when I feel that my foundation is a tad too light — this puts colour back into my face. The formula of this is soft and buttery and easy to blend.
High Beam Complexion Enhancer
I’ve toyed around with powder highlighters and this is my first liquid one. I like this little product and actually prefer the liquid formulation to the powder formulation. This one took a little practice for me to get right, but after a few tries, I put 3 little dots on the top of my cheek bones and blend in with my fingers to achieve a light, subtle glow. The hue is a bit pink, but it works well on top of any colour blush. When the light hits it right, it gives my face a bit more dimension. I’m not sure if I’ll ever purchase a full-size High Beam, but I know that this little sample size will last me a long time, as I don’t use it every day. But if I ever were to invest in a liquid high lighter, I’d consider investing in this.
Benetint Lip and Cheek Stain
This is an interesting product. I had to do my research on YouTube to find out the proper way to use this. It’s a very thin liquid that creates a stain, as the name implies, on the cheeks and lips. I’ve tried this a few times on my cheeks and with about 5 or 6 dots and some quick blending (because it dries quickly) it creates a nice reddish-pink tint to my cheeks — the kind where I look like I just finished a bootcamp class (minus the sweat and smelly armpits!). On the lips, meh… I’ve tried it a couple times and I’m not a fan, but it does create a stain if I apply enough of the product. The only downside, is the staining on my fingers after blending. But with a little bit of extra washing, it comes right out. I like it, but I probably wouldn’t purchase a full-size — I’ll stick with the traditional powder or cream blushes.
Stay Don’t Stray in Light/Medium primer for concealers and eyeshadows
Yup. I like this one. Great for priming the lids before eyeshadow application and it does a good job of keeping the eyeshadow in place for a long time with no fading or creasing. Nice consistency, not to thin, not to thick. The shade itself is nice for brightening up the darkness on my eyelids — sometimes I’ll just wear this alone. I do have a drugstore eye primer from Essence which only cost around $3 which works great, so as far as eye primers go, unless I get really serious about wearing eyeshadow more often, I might consider this.
The POREfessional Pore Minimizer
Love. This. Stuff. I’ve tried a few primers in my lifetime and this one definitely has to be one of the top on my list. With combo skin, I’m always looking to ensure my make up stays in place and control the shine. This does a great job for both! The texture is light and creamy; it feels like velvet once it’s on the skin. With this on my face alone, it does an amazing job of blurring out my pores and gives me an almost airbrushed finish — on a good skin day, I could probably get away with wearing just this, even though it is translucent on the skin. Definitely a product I would spend the $37 on a full-size version of.
They’re Real! Mascara
This mascara claims to volumize, lengthen, curl, lift and separate your eyelashes. For me, definitely volumized and lengthened, but honestly, nothing so spectacular that made me go “Whoa!”. In mascaras, I tend to look for lengthening formulas — my lashes are medium to long naturally, but I really like the look of separated long lashes on me. I am a mascara beast, so I’ve tried many and am always on the hunt for more. The They’re Real! mascara is a good one and I will most likely use up this entire mini-version, but personally, I’d skip the $29 for the full-size as there’s many more affordable drugstore options that give me the same effect as this one. (eg. Almay Get Up and Grow).
That Gal Brightening Primer
Didn’t work for me. This is a primer that’s a pinky sheeny type that’s supposed to brighten your complexion — on me, I just looked a bit too pinky sheeny. I didn’t like the colour or the finish it gave to my skin. Perhaps as a very subtle highlighter, this would work, but as an all-over face primer… not for me. I put this on before my regular foundation and it completely changed the colour of my foundation — I had a weird, shiny-ashy-grey tinge to my face. Not a good look. I’m sure this would look great on certain skintones, just not on mine. Pros: lightweight, easy to apply and gives a glow (but I suspect, on the right skintone).
Ooh La Lift Eye Brightener
Claims to brighten under the eyes with light-reflecting pigments for an illuminating boost. Nope, not on me! All this pinky, sheeny cream gave me was a grey-ish sheen under my eyes that didn’t conceal or brighten any darkness, it actually made me look worse! Again, not sure if it’s because of the colour of my skintone, but this really was a fail for me. This might work well as a highlighter, maybe under the brow bone or along the cheek bones, but High Beam already does a great job for those tasks. No for me.
It’s Potent! Eye Cream
I’m not a big fan of eye creams, I’m actually a little bit skeptical about them — do they really work? The only time I used this out was when I opened the Benefit box to sample each product. It does have a lightweight, yet creamy texture that blends easily under the eyes. It’s supposed to fade dark circles and smooth the appearance of fine lines (as with most eye cream claims). I might not be being fair in this review because I personally, can’t be bothered with any eye cream. I’ve read some reviews about this — very mixed.. most Pretties either love it or hate it. I probably won’t use this, so some lucky friend or relative will get to give this a try for themselves!
Overall, I am really enjoying about 7 of the 10 products in the Beauty Score kit. Not bad for a $43 purchase for a good sampling of some of Benefit Cosmetic’s most popular products. I love the packaging of Benefit Cosmetics – eyecatching, fun and a bit retro. I recently checked the Sephora website and it looks like the Beauty Score is sold out. 😦
If I had to rate the entire Beauty Score! as a whole, I would give it: a HIGH FIVE
Have you tried any of these Benefit Cosmetics products? What do you love, hate, like, dislike? Any recommendations on other Benefit products that you think I might like?
Thanks for reading Pretties!! Please feel free to leave any comments below – I’d love to hear from you!!