I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for quite some time: A blog post that is brand-specific, where I feature some of my favourite products of theirs, AND give you a sneak peek into some of their other products that you may not know about. This will be in the form of a ‘To Buy List / Wish List’ – products that I’m looking forward to buying in the near future, which will double up as a ‘Wish List’ for a special day that might be coming up. For example, my birthday is coming up on the 8th of February and so I’ll have to send Neal over to take a look at this blog post for some inspiration.
There are many, many more Benefit Cosmetics products that I have been using for YEARS i.e. Hoola bronzer, Stay Don’t Stray eyelid primer, Posie Tint Lip & Cheek Stain, and They’re Real mascara. And I continue to love them, but the products featured in these ‘Products I Love’ blog posts are CURRENT favourites.
Let’s start with the Benefit Cosmetics products I have tested and loved recently:
Sun Beam Highlighter ♥ R325,00
This liquid highlighter is actually an old flame of mine (I’ve owned it for quite some time already) but our love was recently rekindled when I started using it again. I’m not sure why I ever stopped using it because it is the most stunning liquid highlighter I own at the moment, and that’s saying a lot because it knocks Benefit High Beam and MAC Lustre Drops out of the park! A liquid highlighter can be used in a number of different ways:
♥ You can mix it in with your moisturiser or foundation to give you an all-over glow.
♥ You can apply it to the high points of your face to accentuate those areas i.e. tops of your cheeks, bridge of the nose, above the arch of your brow, or your cupid’s bow.
♥ You can use it as a type of lid primer or subtle wash of shimmer on the lids.
♥ You can also apply a tiny amount to the centre of your lip on top of your gloss or lipstick, doing this will make your lips appear fuller when the light catches it.
♥ You can dab & blend it onto your shoulders or décolletage to catch the light. For pale or lighter skin tones, I would suggest using a pearlescent highlighter, and for medium to dark skin tones a gold looks stunning!
When using a liquid highlighter the world is your makeup oyster, but not all highlighters are created equal. When choosing liquid (or cream / powder) highlighters, I tend to look for one that is smooth and doesn’t contain any noticeable glitter particles. It should look like liquid gold, or liquid pearl.
Anyway, I love Sun Beam because it truly looks like liquid gold – but it’s not too yellow gold, and it’s not too bronze gold. It’s just perfection. It gives you that lit from within glow wherever you apply it, and it looks beautiful on most skin tones. If you have very pale skin, though, I would suggest you check out High Beam (pink pearlescent). The packaging is very user-friendly, think of it as an oversized nail polish bottle with a screw top lid that houses the brush applicator.
I’ve learned the best way for me to apply any liquid highlighter is to: 1. Use it as a base highlighter before you apply your foundation. If you use it as a base, you can use the brush applicator to dot it onto the areas you want to highlight (for me, it’s my cheekbones, tip of the nose, chin and cupid’s bow) and blend it out with a makeup brush or your finger. Then go in with your favourite foundation on top using a dampened makeup sponge, this will ensure the highlighter stays where you applied it (and won’t be blended or buffed around the rest of your face if you use a makeup brush).
Or 2. Apply the liquid highlighter on top of your foundation for a more intense pop of glow. For this, I like to apply the highlighter to the back of my hand FIRST and then use a dampened makeup sponge to focus it on high points of the face. DO NOT apply it directly to your foundation face using the brush, as it tends to merge with any foundation quite fast making it more difficult to blend (and you’ll end up disrupting your foundation). Also, try to steer clear from using a makeup brush to blend this into the skin after you have applied your foundation, I find most brushes tend to remove the foundation layer underneath. The only brush I have found that doesn’t do this is something like the MAC 130 or Real Techniques Stippling Brush.
Gosh, I’m sorry if I always go off on a tangent but I like to explain things to my readers because I’m sure not everyone knows the best way to use these types of products.
Sun Beam gives your skin a healthy, luminous glow and it’s fit for all seasons as it will give you that bronze goddess radiance during Summer and will warm up dull & lacklustre skin during Winter. If you’re more into soft & radiant glowy makeup looks, then use a light hand and only apply it to the cheekbones and tip of the nose. For a more dramatic makeup look, you can always add a few extra drops for more intense shimmer.
Erase Paste Brightening Concealer ♥ R325,00
I’m prone to dark under eye circles and discolouration from the occasional blemish on the rest of my face, so a product that promises to brighten and conceal is a total no-brainer for me. There are 3 shades available (Fair, Medium and Deep) and all have a slight salmon undertone, which means this will act as a corrector as well. Let me start off by pointing out that this is an extremely creamy concealer, which is both a pro and a con – it covers EVERYTHING on the skin (imperfections, dark marks, under eye circles) and it does it really well, but it also tends to settle into fine lines if you use too much / don’t set it with a powder.
A cute little spatula is included in the packaging, making it easy to scoop out a little bit of product each time (just make sure you clean the spatula for next time, as bacteria loves to set up shop in a jar). I like to apply 3 or 4 dots to my under eye area and then blend them outwards using my ring fingers. It’s important to use dabbing / patting motions when blending the product and I find it blends out a lot easier if your fingertips are a bit warmed up. The first time I used Erase Paste I was quite impressed with the results, it blends out evenly leaving no noticeable trace of the product. It delivers on its promises: Conceals and brightens and stays put until you remove your makeup at the end of the day. Even though the price tag is rather hefty, you need not worry about Erase Paste running out anytime soon – the jar will last you for absolute ages, as only a tiny little dab is needed each time.
Top Tip: Apply your foundation after you’ve blended out Erase Paste, this will ensure your entire complexion matches, and you won’t have to worry about your under eyes or any other areas being lighter or a different colour.
They’re Real Tinted Primer ♥ R295,00
Lash gals, listen up! It’s not often you hear about a primer for your lashes, right? The idea behind this lash primer is to apply it underneath your normal mascara and it will add definition, length and volume to your lashes. The packaging and brush design looks almost exactly like the original They’re Real mascara (which is one of my all-time favourite mascaras) but the wand is just a teensy bit smaller. The bristles really grab hold of the each lash and separates them really well.
If you don’t own the Benefit They’re Real mascara, don’t worry – I don’t have it in my makeup collection at the moment either, so I tested the primer with 3 other mascaras: Maybelline Lash Sensational, Smashbox Full Exposure and Benefit Roller Lash. All 3 worked really well with this primer, and I can’t say one worked better than the other. The primer certainly helps your lashes to ‘POP’ more, but won’t give you that false lash effect. It is definitely a double-duty product, as it can be worn alone for a more natural makeup look or as a primer for more amped up lashes. The colour of this primer is a beautiful medium brown shade (it looks darker once applied to the lashes), so if you’re not into bold, black fluttery lashes for everyday wear then this is definitely something you should check out. Thank goodness glaring white mascara primers are a thing of the past, I never liked them because I could always see tiny white areas peek through.
The primer is enriched with Pro Vitamin B5 and features a lightweight water resistant formula (not waterproof), meaning it stays soft and flexible. If worn alone, you can layer mascara on top of it at the end of the day to transform your makeup look from day to night. Simples! I’ll be sure to use this primer in an upcoming YouTube video, to give you an indication of what it can do for your lashes.
It pains me to tell you this, because I usually don’t like featuring products on the blog before they are available to the public BUT I really like this product and so it deserves a mention. See it as something to look forward to – it is set to launch on Monday, 15th of February 2016 at your local Benefit Cosmetics counter in selected Edgars & Red Square stores. Alternatively, you can also purchase Benefit Cosmetics products in the Red Square online store here.
The POREfessional Primer ♥ R125,00 (7,5ml) or R395,00 (22ml)
Most of us have them…those troublesome pores that can ruin any makeup look. My problem areas are my nose and inner cheek area, and so to ‘conceal’ them I like to use a pore-filling makeup primer. These types of primers temporarily fill in pores, creating a smooth canvas for your foundation.
The POREfessional has a fiercely loyal following, and has been Benefit’s bestseller ever since it launched in back in 2011. The oil-free formula gives skin a soft-focus finish and silky (but not slippery) texture. Its main purpose is to make large pores look less noticeable, and keep your makeup in place all day long. I’ve been using POREfessional for a couple of months now (my 7,5ml tube is just about finished) and it has become one of my favourite makeup primers. There’s just something about it – the slightly firm consistency melts into the skin upon application and feels velvety to the touch. It ensures my makeup stays put for at least 8 hours, which is one of the reasons why a makeup primer is a non-negotiable in my makeup routine. My skin tends to eat up my foundation as the day progresses, and I’ve found using a primer helps with that as it creates a barrier between my skin and the foundation / concealer. Half a pea-sized amount is enough to cover the areas where I need it most i.e. nose, cheeks and forehead – this means a full size tube should last you for quite some time. I really can’t say enough good things about The POREfessional, so I suggest you go check it out next time you’re at a Benefit counter. Swatch it on your hand, it feels heavenly!
To see The POREfessional in action – take a look at this video of mine.
As for the products that I’ve added to my ‘To Buy List / Wish List’, I’ve included items that I have wanted to get my hands on for the last 1 or 2 years. Thankfully Benefit products are now available in South Africa, and so I can start building my collection again. I haven’t used any of the below products, so I’ll describe them as best I can based on the info on the Benefit Cosmetics website. I have my heart set on 4 products, here they are:
Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer ♥ R345,00
This lid primer with broad-spectrum SPF20 contains a special complex known to help guard delicate eyelids against sun, smoke and pollutants. It also extends the wear of eye makeup for longer lasting colour that won’t crease, fade or smear. The packaging features a ‘CushionCalm’ tip is easy to use, pressure-free and softer than your pinkie.
I’m not sure if Air Patrol offers any coverage to even out skin tone on the eyelids and brow area – hopefully it does, as I have slightly discoloured lids. I love the packaging of this product and I think it will be interesting to see how it performs compared to some of my all-time favourite lid primers.
Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel ♥ R295,00
This brush-on fiber gel adheres to both skin & hair, bulking up sparse brows all while keeping them in place. I suffer from ‘droopy brow syndrome’ and so I need a brow gel that will provide hold, without feeling crunchy. From what I’ve heard the tiny volumizing fibers stick to each brow hair for a fuller brow look, plus the teensy brush combs them into place, while the water resistant gel adds colour and definition. Available in 2 shades: ‘Light / Medium’ and ‘Medium / Deep’.
This little guy has won many awards in the beauty world (what’s good enough for Allure, is good enough for me):
♥ Allure Best Of Beauty Awards Winner, 2015
♥ Total Beauty Editor’s Choice Award Winner for Best Brow Color, 2014
♥ Good Housekeeping’s Beauty All-Star Awards, 2014
♥ Star Beauty Awards for Best Brow Definer, 2014
♥ Shape Beauty Awards for Best Brow Enhancer, 2014
♥ Allure Best Of Beauty Awards Winner, 2013
Dallas Blush & Bronzer ♥ R345,00
This multi-tasker can be used as both a blush and a bronzer, thanks to its dusty rose tone, and gives your complexion a natural sunkissed glow. From what I can see online, it contains just the right amount of shimmer to give your complexion a healthy radiance. I’ve even heard this particular shade is a decent dupe for NARS Douceur blush. I own most of the Benefit boxed blushes & bronzer (Hoola) and I really enjoy the formula of all of them – they are smooth, blend easy and last well on the skin.
Fakeup Hydrating Under Eye Concealer ♥ R295,00
A very interesting under eye concealer indeed, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before! This hydrating crease-control concealer is enriched with vitamin E & apple seed extract, and promises to hide (conceal) dark circles and diffuse fine lines for a silky smooth, natural look. The concealer itself is surrounded by a serum-type gel / clear moisturiser, so you get the best of both worlds: A medium coverage concealer plus a moisturiser to help the concealer glide on effortlessly.
I struggle with dry under eye areas, and although I always apply an eye cream before my makeup, I sometimes still feel like it just isn’t enough. Fakeup comes in a twist-up, lipstick-like container (I love the silver and pink packaging) and is fragrance-free, so it’s suitable for even sensitive skin types. I’m interested to see if it really is crease-free, though, as most concealers tend to camp out in the fine lines under my eyes after a couple of hours. Available in 3 shades: Light, Medium and Dark.
Fakeup has also won an award in the world of beauty:
♥ Allure Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Concealer, 2014
Benefit Cosmetics products are sold at Benefit counters in selected Edgars and Red Square stores (for a list of the stores, click here). Alternatively you can also buy some of their products in the Red Square online store, they don’t stock the whole product range though.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post – I think it’s a fun way of introducing you to my current favourite products from a specific brand.
If you have used any of the products mentioned in my ‘To Buy List / Wish List’, please give me your thoughts on the product(s) in the comments section below. I’d love to hear whether you think I’ll enjoy using them.