Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Huge Benefit Haul!

Benefit products are great for giving that natural, better than you look with subtle quick tricks. The brand has a lot to offer to jazz up your style and any simple product can be incorporated into a dramatic look. I don't wear a lot of natural looking makeup, but when I do, I want a quick spritz of flash to make me look healthy, fresh and ready for fun! Here's my haul from Benefit with swatches and reviews.


I grabbed a bunch of stuff from Benefit and had a code from their email newsletter for a free "I'm glam… therefore I am" makeup kit. I definitely suggest signing up to their mailing list to receive plenty of offers and codes. They also give you a couple of samples when you order which is quite nice. Click here to check out the Benefit site.

Benefit always pack your package neatly and the printed tissue paper is a nice personalised company touch.

The products I got were Bella Bamba Ultra plush lip gloss, High beam, Brow zings, Speed Brow, Ultra shines lip gloss in Back to the Fuchsia, Powda Wowza, and of course the free “I'm glam… therefore I am" makeup kit. My two chosen samples were Total moisture facial cream and Stay don't stray primer.


Bella Bamba Ultra plush lip gloss

The box for this product is gorgeous. I can't bring myself to throw it away. Just like the Bella Bamba blush box, it's holographic and really colourful. As for the lip gloss; the watermelon scent is delicious! I love the taste and almost want to eat it. The tube is pretty and colourful and I enjoy reaching for it when I want some shine that's pleasant to wear.

The application method isn't the neatest, but the slanted end of the tube is ok for putting on a sheer gloss.

Hand Swatch & Lip swatch, fluorescent light

 Natural Lips

The colour is pretty sheer on the lips, and is a pinky watermelon colour. It's very nice and not too gooey or sticky, a really great every day lip gloss.

I like the gimmick of matching their blushes to the lip glosses and think it’s cute. The other shades to match their box o' powders are Coralista, Sugarbomb, Dallas, Dandelion, and Hoola. I like the neat add they made for these, check it out. The Plush lip glosses each go for $18 which gets you a 15mL/0.5fl.oz. tube. The product is delectable and the flavour and shine make it worth it for a non-sticky, comfortable gloss!
High beam

High beam is a really nice liquid cheek highlighter. It's straightforward to use and easy to blend into your makeup. You can wear it over or under foundation, but don't put it on over powder as it will give you a bit of a mucky mess.

 Hand Swatch & Lip swatch, fluorescent light

The applicator may seem strange as it is a nail polish like brush, but it works well to let you dot the liquid on your cheek bone before blending it out. There is no real colour change to the skin and it adds a really nice, slightly pink/white shimmer. It gives a lovely subtle glow that's natural and seems complimentary to any skin tone. A 13mL/0.45fl.oz bottle costs $26 and will last a long time. I like this liquid highlighter a lot and recommend it to anyone who wears day to day makeup or likes a lovely sheen on their cheeks.

Brow zings

I bought this Brow zings kit for myself a couple of months ago and I liked it so much that I bought this one for my Mama too. It’s a neat little kit that you can even take with you for some travelling brow care. The little palette fits neatly in your purse or makeup bag and has a mirror too. It comes with a brow wax for all brow types, and a brow powder corresponding to your choice of Light, Medium or Dark.

It also has an angled brush for the wax, a paddle type “blending” brush for the powder and a tiny pair of tweezers (they are really stiff and take an enormous amount of pressure to use, but it’s the thought that counts). The tweezers really are cute and I like to have them in the kit even though I don’t use them. The wax and powder work well to shape your brows quickly and easily by adding the wax first in angled strokes then keeping it in place with the powder. The light powder colour is a good match for blondes and brunettes, depending on how dark you want your brows, and the packaging is quite nice. It’s a basic tool and really useful, yet looks sleek and fun in its little box. You get 2.65g/0.09wt.oz of powder, 1.7g/0.06wt.oz of wax  and the three tools for $30 that should last many a brow sketching. I recommend this kit for anyone and use it almost every time I do my makeup.
Speed Brow

Speed Brow is designed to tint and style your brows in one step. I got it mainly for styling purposes, however also like it for a day time or less dressy look if I don't want heavy defined brows. It tints the hairs by coating them but doesn't go all flakey and make your eyebrows feel crunchy. The hairs still feel natural, smooth and only very slightly more firm than usual.

Hand Swatch, fluorescent light

It's really simple to use and super quick to run the small spoolie-style brush through your brows and you’re off or the day. The colour is designed for a natural look and is medium toned to attempt to suit everyone. It doesn't leave a whole lot of colour on my brows, as they are pretty thick and lustrous (haha), but it helps to keep them in place. The tube is 3gm/0.10wt.oz. and will set you back $16. That’s not much to check out this tinted brow gel and set my brows in place. It's a swell product for gals with lush brows and can be used over Brow zings without adding much more colour to your perfectly sculpted brows.

Back to the Fuchsia Ultra shines lip gloss

I did an actual double take the first time I saw Ultra shines lip gloss Back to the Fuchsia in real life and had been lusting after it or a while. I'm so happy I ordered it, because I love this gloss so much!

The application method is awesome; with a taklon brush instead of a doe foot so you can add shine to your lips with great accuracy. I really like this tip for a lip gloss, definitely the best method.

Hand Swatch & Lip swatch, fluorescent light

 Natural Lips

I love the colour, which is a bright pink with fuchsia sparkles throughout it. There's so much glitter it's amazing and it really does shine to give you "glimmering shimmering lips" as Benefit says. The texture is smooth and not gritty at all, and it's not sticky and gross like some lip glosses. It’s comfortable and flashy! The colour isn't super pigmented on the lips, but goes great over lipstick, balms or lip stains to amp up the colour. The 5mL/0.17fl.oz tube is plenty to last a life time and it’s definitely worth the $18 for obtaining this yummy gorgeous lip gloss. It's easily my favourite product I ordered from Benefit and would recommend it to any pink glitter gloss aficionado!

Powda Wowza

Hmmm, Benefit certainly do like their silly, funky names. Anyway, Powda Wowza comes with three cheek powders and a tiny brush that's soft, but not the greatest.

The box has similar bright colours to the I'm glam... therefore I am kit with a cool pseudo mirror on the front. This package is a great way to try some of the Benefit cheek powders without forking over full price for full size if you're not sure if you like them. They're available a couple of times a year cause Benefit tends to come out with a similar pack with different shades every so often.

This one comes with 3g/0.1wt.oz. each of Hoola, Coralista, and Bella Bamba. I already have the full size Hoola, but wanted to try the other powders. I think even for two blushes this box is still good value and at $28 for 9g/0.3wt.oz. total of blush, it’s a steal.

Arm swatch, fluorescent light

Hoola direct sunlight left, fluorescent light right

Hoola is a matte bronzing powder that is a medium brown and suitable for fair skin tones. With a light hand you can get a nice contour or all over bronzed effect. A matte bronzer is preferred for contouring so it won't reflect the light and will instead create shadows where you want them. It's a nice colour and doesn't look grubby and dirty when you blend it on the skin.

Coralista direct sunlight left, fluorescent light right

Coralista is, as the name suggests, a coral based blush with a nice peachy gold shimmer to it. When it's on the cheek the peachy shimmer comes out more with a coral under tone. It's a nice blush and the shimmer isn't too full on. The peach hue in Coralista gives a softer overall look and isn't too orange for neutral day looks. The colour is buildable, blends well and is more pigmented than some of the other Benefit blushes. It's a nice addition to my blush collection and totally worth checking out if you like shimmer or coral blushes!


Bella Bamba
Bella bamba direct sunlight left, fluorescent light right

Bella Bamba is a watermelon pink blush with gold particles that are larger than those in Coralista. The glitter gives Bella Bamba a less shimmery appearance in the pan, but it's still very shimmery on the cheek. It's described as a 3D brightening powder as the glitter is meant to act as a highlighter while the powder acts as a cheek colour/contour depending on the light angle. I'm not sure how much that actually works but it has a nice bit of shimmer to it on the cheek and a lovely deep pink flush. It is the most pigmented Benefit blush I own, the list including Hervana, Thrrob, and of course, Coralista. I was the most excited about trying this blush and it stood up to my expectations. I hadn't tried a shimmery blush before and I rather liked it. It wasn't crazy shiny on and the sparkle added some oomph to my cheeks. I really love the packaging for the full size Bella Bamba and will definitely be buying one almost because of the holographic shiny box, but I really do like this blush too. A pleasant surprise is the fresh fruity scent in Bella Bamba. I love Benefit's scented blushes and it makes it a pleasure to apply them. This one is definitely my favourite in the Powda Wowza box and favourite of all my blushes!

"I'm glam… therefore I am" makeup kit

I like the bright colours of the packaging for this kit. It's fun and fancy and I like the reflective mirror with the title on it and the glamorous gal on the front showing ya how it's done.

The kit opens up to display a nifty almost 5 inch mirror that's lined with a purdy frame to match the front. It also comes with a tiny cheek brush and sponge tip applicator, so the kit is self supportive and can be used anywhere in a pinch. Benefit added a lesson in with this kit to give you a few tips on how to use the products included. A great addition to the kit is the plastic sheet overlay that has the names of the eyeshadows and face powder on it.

In this kit you get Girl meets pearl liquid pearl for face (7.5ml/0.25fl.oz.), Glamming face powder with brush (2g/0.07wt.oz.), Life on the A list lip gloss (5.2ml/0.18fl.oz.), A little bit BADgal lash mascara (4g/0.14wt.oz.), Eyeshadow palette (5g/0.18wt.oz.) and a double ended sponge applicator.

The box can be reused after the products are finished and repurposed into a storage container, after you remove the palettes and cardboard bits which may take some slicing and dicing. It's a fair enough size for reuse and could be the home for other Benefit products and solve some rattling around storage problems.

The best thing about the "I'm glam therefore I am" kit is, you can use it on the go. It can be left in your desk at work or in your purse and used to touch up or amp up your makeup for night time. It's great for after work drinks or meeting friends when you have little time to spruce up.

The items in the kit are neatly packed away and the cardboard insides secure all the tubes in place nicely. The magnet keeps the lid closed well but isn't super strong. I wouldn't be too worried about the kit exploding in your bag, cause all the liquids are closed in tubes and the pressed powders aren't usually that messy. The kit costs $36 and is limited edition. I do like how the kit allows you to sample a wide range of Benefit's products and help you decide if you want full versions or like the brand. I was the happiest to try the BADgal lash and Girl meets pearl and would like to purchase full sizes when they run out. The I'm glam… therefore I am makeup kit is great if you are starting your makeup collection, need a travelling palette or want to see how Benefit floats your boat.

The products included are....

Girl meets pearl
(Deluxe mini liquid pearl for the face)

Hand Swatch, fluorescent light

Now, when they say mini, they mean teeny-tiny! I wanted to try out this product anyway and cause you only use a little bit at a time, there's plenty to give it a decent go. It has a nice sort of candy smell and feels light on the skin. It comes out of the tube a peach colour, but goes on the skin translucent. It adds a soft golden glow to your complexion but not a whole lot of colour, so if you're pale it doesn't change your hue. It can be worn under or over foundation or even by itself to add a subtle sheen and give a natural luminescence. I like this product for summer and warm toned looks as a face or cheek highlighter. I think I like High Beam better, but this is still a really nice highlighter and if you like a golden glow this is a Benefit product you should definitely try.

Eyeshadow palette

 Eyeshadow palette in direct sunlight 

Arm swatch, fluorescent light 

The eyeshadows are nice neutral shades, which I really don't have, but are good to own. The colours are flattering for any skin tone and are quite complimentary. They aren't strongly pigmented, which helps for a soft day look, they blend well, even using the sponge tip applicator, are pretty smooth but crease a bit. They are a bit powdery and don't have huge staying powder without a primer, but a cream/sticky base and a primer would help these issues. In the lesson they include two different looks with these shades, but they're very versatile and can do a lot for you.

The colours...

 Pink fancy left, Icy lilac right; under fluorescent light

Pink fancy works great for a brow highlighter or an all over lid shade. It is very light pink and is a bit shimmery. A really nice soft colour.

Icy lilac isn't as purple toned as I would like and is more lilac/grey/silver looking. It works well on the lid for a shimmery look.

Posh amethyst left, Precious Peweter right; under fluorescent light

Posh amethyst is more maroon tinted than a purple colour. It works well in the crease next to any of the other colours.

Precious Peweter looks more like its name and is dark grey shimmer, although the least shimmery of the bunch and is more dusty. It's good for light smoky looks and for a crease colour and perfect for a transition shade to blend out black shadows.

It's a great group of shades they put together and should please any natural girl. I'm happy to have them because I don't own any colours like this. I like Pink fancy the best, then Ice lilac and Purple amethyst are close for my second favourite.

Glamming face powder

Glamming face powder direct sunlight left, fluorescent light right

Arm swatch, fluorescent light

The Glamming face powder is a nice blush and definitely a necessary addition to the kit. Straight off I'll say, the brush is just a cute toy and not much of an applicator. It's the same one they put in the box o' powders and Powda Wowza that has natural goat hair. It's good they put it in the kit; it's soft and it does work, but don't count in it unless you’re out and about. That's harsh for such a sweet brush, I know, but it's the truth. The powder outshines the baby brush though. The lighter side is a very light peachy colour with quite a bit of shimmer and the darker section is a pinky/coral that's shimmery but less so. I tried the lighter shade as a cheek highlight and mixed the two together for a cheek colour. It is a surprisingly decent blush, but not as good as the box o' powders. The glamming face powder is a nice coral blush with a slight shimmer and is quite flattering. It's decently pigmented, so watch out for doll cheeks when using that little brush, but if used lightly is good for a pretty flush on the cheeks.

A little bit BADgal lash mascara

The little tube looks pretty funny next to the giant head of the brush on the BADgal mini. You would think the short handle would be make it awkward to apply the product, but it's actually pretty convenient and gives you more control. The formula is pretty good, it's not clumpy or flaky and is fluid enough to coat the lashes well. BADgal is a nice dark black and good for a natural look with one coat or can be layered to darken up your peepers for a more dramatic appearance. I'd say it's better than most drugstore mascara but not super fancy. I like it and based on this one, would also consider trying other benefit mascaras.

Ultra shines lip shine in Life on the A list

Hand Swatch & Lip swatch, fluorescent light

Benefit calls this gloss a bubble gum pink, but I think it leans a bit more peach toned than straight pink. It is fairly opaque and blocks your natural lip colour quite a bit, and it's a bit too pale for my taste. Speaking of taste, it has a yummy light candy-esque flavour. The texture is a bit sticky to allow it to last longer, but isn't annoyingly so, just more sticky than the other Benefit lip glosses I've tried. You get enough to test out the shade and formula and the little tube is good for chucking in your handbag or whatever. It's got a standard doe foot applicator that’s easy to use but not super accurate. Overall, Life on the A list Ultra shine lip shine is nice but doesn't wow me.

To showcase these products, here's a look with the “I'm glam… therefore I am” makeup kit.

Products Used

Eyelid primer
Urban Decay eyelid primer in Sin

Pink Fancy while lid
Icy Lilac outer half of lid
Maybelline Master precise liquid eyeliner (black)

Icy Lilac layered under
Posh Amethyst
Precious Pewter to deepen crease

Brow highlight
NYX Jumbo eye pencil in Milk
Pink Fancy
Upper Lashline
Precious Pewter

Maybelline Master precise eye liner

Lower lid
Icy Lilac inner lashline
Precious Pewter outer lashline
Chi Chi eye pencil in Virgin

BADgal lash mascara

Brow zings
Speed Brow


You get to choose a couple of samples to add to your order and I chose Total moisture facial cream and Stay don’t stray primer.

Total moisture facial cream

The total moisture facial cream seems thick, but it isn't too greasy. I have used it for few weeks and like it. It smooths on the skin easily and has a lovely lightly perfumed smell. It's just on the edge for too much moisture for combination skin and it seems it would be better for dry skin. A good moisturiser either way.

Stay don’t stray primer

I'm not a fan of this primer and it doesn't work for me. I get really bad creasing quite quickly, especially underneath the eyes. I've tried two samples of this to no avail.

Buy these and many more items at Benefit cosmetics

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