Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beauty Review: How to Look the Best at Everything by Benefit

I am constantly searching for the right face makeup.

My skin is pretty light, but kind of uneven, and, no matter how much I take care of it, and I do take really good care of my skin, it still gets dry in patches and shiny in others.

I talked about my Clinique compact that I bought, and I still like it and keep it in my purse, but I'm not sure my skin likes it. Plus I think it's a little heavy for this insane humidity we're having.

Basically it slides right off.

So a few weeks ago (before my insane poverty...ugh, come on fall!) I went to Sephora looking for some good concealer.

I used Murad treatment concealer for a long time, and I like it, but I don't really have much acne, or at least not as much as I just have general unevenness. And it's a great treatment, but the colors aren't great for me and it's not as concealing as I'd like.

The sales girl steered me towards Stila, which is fine, but it's a little oily for me.

I know I'm sounding a little Goldilocks right now.

*Yes, that's a Goldilocks My Little Pony. I have a TON of MLPs and my brother is a brony. This was too perfect. Via

So I looked around for a bit, trying to find something I liked. I recently got the Benefit "Bad Gal" mascara as a free gift and really liked it, so I decided to look at the Benefit stuff, even though I've never worn it. 

Basically, I'm in love. 

I looked at the concealers by themselves, and the pore minimizing "POREfessional," but wasn't sure, and I definitely wasn't sure on the color of the concealer. And then I saw this beauty:

*Via Sephora.

Beyond the fact that I'm a sucker for fun names (seriously - I buy nail polishes mostly based on the name. That weird purple color looks a lot cuter when it has a funny name.) this was the perfect way to try a ton of products, and have the ability to mix concealer colors, for way cheaper than I could have any other way. 

This whole kit was $30. 

Let's break it down: 

- 0.25 oz The POREfessional
- 0.23 oz Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow SPF 25 PA+++ in "Cheers To Me" Champagne (light kit); "I'm so Money!" Honey (medium kit); "I'm so Glamber" Amber (deep kit)
- 2 x 0.05 oz Boi-ing in 01 and 02 (light kit); 03 and 04 (medium kit); 04 and 05 (deep kit)
- 0.14 oz "Hello Flawless!" in "Me, Vain?" Champagne (light kit); "I’m Cute as a Bunny" Honey (medium kit); "I'm Haute for Sure” Amber (deep kit)

So they're small sizes, but let's compare to the full-sizes, with reviews of each:

The POREfessional full size is 0.75 oz. That's 3 times what you get in the kit, but this guy alone is $30. And absolutely well-worth it - it's like a miracle cream. But I would probably not spend $30 on some, admittedly, kind of gimmicky thing without trying it first. VOILA! Problem solved. But seriously, this stuff is amazing. It looks tinted, but I don't see a tint on my fingers when I put it on. 

Here's about how much I use:

*I had some wine last night, and since I'm old, I'm super dehydrated. I need two coffees. Don't judge.

Here's my face with NOTHING.

*Super dry skin, kind of blotchy, and the fluorescent lights don't help. Oh, the office.

So let's start adding!

First I put the POREfesssional on, then a little of this:

The Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Makeup is 1 oz in the full size, and is $36. So about 4 times the size, but, again, would I really buy $36 foundation? Especially when so much foundation out there is...not good? 
I really like this. It's not a miracle worker like the POREfessionial, but I absolutely feel like I get coverage, sunscreen, and moisture without too much of anything and without feeling like I have cake makeup on. My only complaint is the bottle is a disaster - I think I've gotten more foundation on the inside of the lid than I have on myself. But it's absolutely worth it, especially if you have combination skin. 

So I didn't really get the "boi-ing" name at first. Now I do. This is, by far, the best, springiest, least likely to give you raccoon eyes or settle in your (my) wrinkles, concealer I've ever used. It's like a weird combination between concealer and one of my other favorite products, Soap & Glory's Fill Monty:

*Via Soap & Glory
I love this stuff too (and can I please move to the UK where S&G stuff is way cheaper and sold everywhere? Thanks.), and it's kind of a pastier cream texture. So take this plus a stick concealer and that's the boi-ing concealer. 

I use the lighter color, 01, most of the time, but sometimes if I have an especially large bit to cover, the ability to blend 02 in really helps. And I definitely get all day coverage. I have to reapply the powder once or twice if I want to go all day and evening, but I've never had to reapply the concealer. 

You get two .05 oz. portions in the kit, and the full size is .1 oz. The full size is $20, and you get two smaller ones in the kit, so it's especially good to figure out what color you need. 

There's also this:

This is thHello Flawless!" in "Me, Vain?" Champagne, with SPF 15. The sample is .14 oz, and the full size, which is $34, is .25 oz. 

I love this powder, and it honestly feels better on my skin than the Clinique. Maybe it's just summer, but I feel like this is both less heavy and has better coverage. This is absolutely a case where I needed to try the color, since I would probably have gone one lighter, but this is perfect. 

Here's with POREfessional, foundation, concealer, and powder, but no eye or lip makeup, and no highlighter/blush:

*Stumpy blonde eyelashes and all. You can see the huge difference in shine, tone, and especially evenness. 

I honestly feel like this gives me that flawless, almost airbrushed face I've seen on girls my whole life but never been able to get. Highly recommend, especially if you don't want to reapply constantly. 

Seriously, it's hot in Memphis. The fact that I made it til about 2 today without thinking, huh, I'm kind of shiny is a miracle. 

Here's with everything - face kit, "Bad Gal" mascara, no eyeshadow (lazy...), and Benefit's "Sugarbomb" lip gloss:

*I look a little paler here, but it's just the light really. SO MUCH BETTER than the first one, even if I'm still forced to work under these lighting conditions. :)

So let's do some math. Anyone who knows me knows I never do math, so this is a real sacrifice people. I'm assuming that each piece in the kit is $6, since, ya know, $30 divided by 5 is $6: 

Powder - $34 full size, $6 half size
Concealer 01- $20 full size, $6 half size
Concealer 02 - $20 full size, $6 half size
Foundation - $36 full size, $6 quarter size 
POREfessional - $30 full size, $6 third size

If you bought all of those in full sizes, you'd pay $140. I'm absolutely sure I'd use all of these products, but, honestly, if you didn't like a color, or didn't use one as much, that would be so much money wasted! 

Basically, by buying the kit, you pay $30 for $56 worth of products. So you're still saving money.  


*My best friend from college (Hi Courtney!) and I used to watch Sandra Lee ALL. THE. TIME. We're both obsessed and horrified. 



In the kit, you also get a little "how to use this stuff" guide, which, yeah, I know how to use powder, but wouldn't this be a cute gift for like a teenage cousin? And I didn't know what to do with the pore minimizer, so it was really helpful. It also has a little mirror in the lid. And it looks like a book. 

So here's my plan. I'm going to use this kit and then when I make money again (again, come on fall!) I'm going to buy another one and the full size products, since I love them. 

And then I'm going to put the kit in my purse. 

Because sometimes you need to touch up.

Sometimes you need to do your makeup at work. 

Sometimes you go out and intend to come home and just don't make it back before work/other things where you have to see people not looking awful. 

Sometimes you stay out

And how perfect would this little, book shaped kit be to just keep in  your purse? 

Super perfect. 


*Oh Cougar Town. 

*One of my favorite movies. Also, I clearly identify with blondes. This has me rethinking my "I'm going red!" hair decision...

There are a few other Benefit products I want to try. Kate at The Small Things Blog reviewed the Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer, and loved it, so I'd like to try that. Their cream eyeshadows look like they would be a good introduction to creams for me. And the tinted moisturizer with SPF would be really nice for going out on the lake or lounging by the pool - when you want to look good but don't want a bunch of makeup + sunscreen on. 

Days like this: 

*Pool day!

One of the best things about Benefit is that they're likable as a company. They don't test on animals, but they don't say they're not cruelty free, which I actually like, because, honestly, that's super hard to guarantee. They can't absolutely guarantee that none of the products in their products haven't been tested on animals, and they don't want to mislead anyone. Which is really transparent and honest to me. Hopefully at some point nothing will be tested on animals, ever, but until then we can be educated consumers and trust companies like Benefit that stand behind their products while admitting the problems in the cosmetics industry. 

So if you like products, and like trying new stuff but have commitment issues like I do (don't let the tattoos fool you), I would try this kit. It comes in 3 shades, and is available for sure at Sephora, probably at Ulta, on Amazon, and it looks like, for my UK readers, at Boots



  1. I wish I could wear a decent concealer. Even the lightest creams and powders designed for acne prone skin make me break out. I've never found one that my skin likes :(

    1. They'll give you a sample of pretty much anything at Sephora! I have a similar problem - I have super sensitive skin, and concealers are the worst. This, the Murad (which is an acne treatment more than it's a concealer really) and, weirdly, the Neutrogena Skin Clearing one are the only ones I've used with any real success. Benefit isn't labeled hypoallergenic, but it does seem less harsh at least.

      Beauty shopping trip? :)