Back in the wonderfully-festive month of December, I received the aptly-named and quickly sold-out Benefit ‘Party-Poppers’ (£34.50) advent calendar. My mum decided, on impulse, that it would be a suitable thing to motivate me through my mocks and BOY was that a good decision. Normally, surprises can leave me feeling a little “Ohhh, that’s lovely…”- that feeling when you unwrap your fifth pair of fluffy socks on Christmas Morning, but this one I was truly excited about. 12 mini Benefit staples all for me to test out! Along with this, on Christmas morning, I was given the most adorable set of Benefit skincare minis (£18); and, what is a girl to do with a whole bunch of high-end minis? Test them out and blog about them of course!
BADGal Lash (£17.50) 6/10- A tapered, oversized wand with jet black mascara that’s intended for utmost volume. Benefit describe it as “brush-on falsies” and, well they don’t lie… really. It does give ridiculous volume, but wire mascara wands aren’t really for me; I find them way too clumpy – I’m a ‘definition’ kinda girl. So, not really my favourite mascara ever and I don’t think it’s worth the splurge, you may as well buy something like Soap and Glory Thick and Fast (£10) or Revlon Ultra Volume (£9.99) (part of their new ‘tailored-to-your-needs’ collection).
Highbeam Highlighter (£19.50) 9/10 – I genuinely love this liquid highlighter (the best of those I’ve tried so far); it gives a really natural highlight whether you’re wearing makeup or not, and is super easy to use. The only downside to this product is that it becomes pretty difficult to blend pretty quickly – it’s definitely a ‘bit-at-a-time’ application process, but using a brush like Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (£9.99). If you’re interested in seeing a swatch of this or Watts Up (soon to come), take a look at my post on my highlight collection.
Hoola Lipgloss and Sugarbomb Lipgloss (£14.50) 8/10 – Pretty damn expensive for a lipgloss in my opinion, although no different to the prices of other luxury cosmetics. Hoola and Sugarbomb are part of Benefit’s complimenting blush/bronzer and gloss collection, which is a wonderful idea. Both the most moisturising, least sticky lip glosses I’ve ever tried, however, I’m a bigger fan of Hoola due to it’s natural, nude tone. See it here in my Nudes and Corals post.
Rockateur Blush (£23.50) 7/10 – At a first glance this is a bit overly pink for me, but actually, when applied this is a lovely natural blush tone. I love wearing this to give my face some depth when I’m wearing minimal make-up, but it’s definitely not a long-lasting blush. Well, not compared to my crazy-pigmented Emite blush (€19) anyway!
POREfessional Primer (£24.50) 8/10 – Okay, fair dues, this works. Very well indeed. Any open pores are concealed instantly, but this primer is one of the balm-formulas that I, personally, really dislike the feel of. They make my skin feel a little grubby, to be honest, not what you want right before applying makeup. Instead, I highly recommend No7 Stay Perfect Shine Free Primer (£12.50), as it does a similar job.
They’re Real Tinted Lash Primer (£18.50) 10/10 – I absolutely adore this; it came free from an ELLE magazine a few months ago and I’ve literally used it every day since. Designed as the perfect base coat for They’re Real Mascara (£19.50) (the wand is identical), but I prefer it as a stand-alone product. This brown-toned primer creates gorgeously defined and natural lashes – it looks like you’ve had a real eyelash tint! By far my favourite Benefit mini from this collection.
Lollitint Lip and Cheek Tint (£24.50) 4/10 – Now, I’ve never used a liquid blush/cheek tint previously, so I could have been using this totally wrong, but somehow I don’t think so. According to Benefit, this is ‘build-able’ – I couldn’t disagree more. I applied a teeny bit of this product to the apples of my cheeks and immediately went to buff it out with my Expert Face Brush (£9.99), but it had stained already and become completely unblendable in a matter of seconds! It’s fair to say I looked like a genuine clown. Cream blushes like Rosie HW’s new English Rose Flush Cream Blush (£14) or Bourjois’ Blush Exclusif (£7.99) are much easier to use.
Watts Up Highlighter (£24.50) 7/10 – I ended up giving this away to one of my close friends, as she wanted to try it out before purchasing the full-sized product. It’s truly golden and has great pigmentation, but, unfortunately, it’s just the wrong shade for my ghostly complexion. Relatively easy to blend, but overall, not a stunner.
Ooh-la Lift Under Eye Brightener (£17.50) 9/10 – Admittedly, to begin with, I thought this product was a rather expensive and unnecessary addition to a make-up routine. Surprisingly, I couldn’t have been more wrong; Ooh-la Lift is subtle, but build able and is my secret to looking awake when I feel dead inside. Pinkish tones brighten up the under eye, and with a little Maybelline Fit Me (£5.99) or another creamy concealer over the top, you’re good to go.
They’re Real Mascara (£19.50) 9/10 – Almost as loved as the lash primer, but Benefit Rollerlash (£19.50) remains my go-to mascara – nothing quite matches it’s defining and curling powers. They’re Real is just as defining and has a plastic wand too, although it’s more a length than a curl type of product. It depends what you want from a mascara really.
Total Moisture Facial Cream (£29.50) 9/10 – First of all, this smells absolutely gorgeous, as does the whole b.right range, however, it also has unbeaten moisturising powers. A thick, creamy moisturiser, it’s just the right amount of nourishment to keep winter dryness at bay without causing an outbreak of spots. This is the perfect cream to add to a night-time routine, but if you struggle with oiliness, pick an oil-free cream like Clarins Hydra-Matte Lotion (£28.00).
It’s Potent! Eye Cream (£25.50) 7/10 – Yep, it’s more nourishing than the facial cream, but it stings my super-sensitive skin (which is odd as none of the rest of this range does). I’ve tried much more soothing eye creams in the past, like Clinique All About Eyes (£26.50), for example, so I really don’t think this product is anything special.
Foamingly Clean Face Wash (£17.50) 8/10 – Again, a lovely scent, this creamy wash is perfect for removing all daily-dirt or even makeup. Although it’s not specifically targeted towards a certain skin type, every who tries it seems to love it, just like Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish (£9.75). Creamy cleansers are generally best for dry skin, though.
Instant Comeback Facial Serum 6/10 – Whilst this doesn’t cause terrible breakouts or reactions and feels a little refreshing, it doesn’t really do anything in the long term. Clarins’ Mission Perfection Serum (£53) and the likes may be more expensive, but they do have an effect, so they’re far more worth it in my opinion.
Triple Performing Facial Emulsion Oil-free Moisturiser 7/10 – I’ve tried a few oil-free moisturisers throughout my teenage years to try and keep the oily parts of my combination skin at bay. Clarins and Clinique have proved to be the best so far and this just comes nowhere near them – also, it’s a total pain-in-the-arse to get out of the bottle.
What are your favourite Benefit products? Are there any that you’d love to try? Let me know in the comments below!