I love being frugal. Or at-least the idea of ‘frugal’. I envision a minimalist life with a home that’s free of ‘things’. (Um.. don’t open the fridge please. I succumbed to the demon that COSTCO is and now have food and groceries to last me for a year. Bah!)
Anyway with makeup I am determined to be disciplined. Less wasteful. I absolutely do NOT need 4 red lipsticks, 3 black mascaras and 5 shades of a pink blush. You might, I don’t!
So I decided to hit the Refresh button as I was packing up Hong Kong to move to the US.
I purged a lot of my makeup then but even now I think I have too much. Too much for someone who is too lazy to wear makeup. A moisturised, SPFed face is what’s on when I get out the door. So the makeup just sits and sits, and then gets thrown away because it gets too old. What a waste!
ENOUGH! I watched these brilliant ‘Pan the Palette‘ videos on YouTube and decided I am going to do just that. ‘Hit pan’ or finish that makeup before I buy anymore. And more importantly for me, before it goes off.
So I am starting with this.
1. Bobbi BrownEye Brightener in Peach. I love it. It brightens beautifully and at a pinch doubles up as an under eye concealer.
2. Z Palette with 3 Benefit blushes and the Hoola Bronzer. I sometimes use the blushes as eye shadow. The Coralista blush looks really nice. Subtle and nice.
3. Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes and Colour Chameleon in Amber Haze. These two are amongst some of my most FAV makeup items. The tragedy is they are both drying out so I might have to chuck them before finishing it.
4.Estee Lauderlipstick palette (the bright pink also doubles up as a cream blush)
5. Ugh I need to use this one because I spent good money on this, but I think it’s rubbish. The Bobbi BrownExtra Illuminating Moisture balm (read review here). While it’s really hydrating, in-order to cutout the unnatural crazy golden sheen I use it with….
6. Stila One Step Correct serum. I love it by itself but definitely over the Bobbi Brown Illuminating balm.
7.MAC conceal and contour palette in Medium. The concealer is perfect for my NC40 skintone but unfortunately the contour colours are too warm, orangey-red undertones, but I can make it work with Hoola over it.
(5,6 & 7 are only on more special occasions like an evening out or sumtin’.)
My journey with Benefit started in 2007 with just one product – BENETINT.
I wasn’t aware of the Benefit hype and only bought Benetint because a fashion/makeover show referenced it. I enjoyed it. Initially it was a bit hit and miss as stains go. Drying a bit too quick to an uneven tint. But technique, speed and trial & error, as we know, is key with stains. For the next few years Benetint was my only Benefit purchase till 2012 Christmas when my mother-in-law presented mewith this Sampler set.
This opened up the world of Benefit cosmetics for me. I didn’t know what half of these samples were supposed to do.
Porefessional ? I have pores ? Stay Dont Stray ? what ? where ? That Gal, well that one. It continues to baffle me.
But I wanted to put them on my face. I wanted to use them. My dormant, makeup obsessed beast opened one eye and stretched.
I went on a ‘all engines go’ search on the net.
I discovered beauty vloggers, makeupalley.com, Paula Begoun and ofcourse Benefit cosmetic’s own delectable site ! I not only learnt what these samples were for, I learn’t about contouring, and concealing ,and ‘dewy’ makeup, and primers and much much more ! More products I could spend my money on. But makeup is trial and error too. I didn’t wait for that part of my education. I learnt the names and off I went to the Benefit counter in Sogo and bought Boing and Some Kind a Gorgeous in deep. A mistake ! Hong Kong MA at these counters are either untrained or dont know how to advise someone with a different skintone !
She sold Boi-ing to me as an under-eye concealer. Its NOT. Its too dry for the under eye and it creases, ofcourse. Why on earth she didn’t push Erase Paste I will never know. Same with Some kinda Gorgeous. It not the perfect contour colour for me. Its darker than my skintone yes, but sits orange. She could have advised Hoola, but no.Hoola that came with my Sample set is the perfect contour for me ! It might be a bit muddy for some but I love it as a contour shade. I don’t use it as a bronzer because it IS muddy and has no shimmer. So it will dull your skin rather than warm it to a healthy sunkissed look. The other thing I discovered in my sample set and fell in love with was Cha Cha tint.The best ever colour for my NC40 skintone, but what a pain to apply. Its not simple like Benetint(!) and a ‘cat whisker’ application is not your best bet. Rather smear and smear. That would be your best technique. (my own application details in another post)
The Bad Gal mascara in that same set, is sexy. You get big fat black lashes. Bad girl it is because it is more night than day, unless ofcourse you are a bad bad girl.I am impressed ! Benefit was now a contender in my ‘good’ mascara arena, atleast in my Chanel-mascara hallowed world. Sunbeam was one of the highlighters in the set. I know people love Sunbeam, but to me it was meh !I wont be re-purchasing it once the sample is done. I went and bought this one instead.
Girl Meets Pearl . Nice champange shimmer and not disco ball glitter. Great as a highlighter and sometimes apply it all over my face as an all over glow. NB: I would have repurchased this but since then I have discovered MAC’s strobe cream and also read rave reviews of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector so it’s safe to assume I will jump ship and move to Mac or Becca once I am done with this. Porefessional is GREAT. Those with large pores to hide would love this. I don’t have such a massive problem with pores so might not invest on this once I am done with the sample. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ9FfZodB9k and Melissa Raymond’s Primers review are good sources for more info on this) The jury’s out on Stay Dont Stray and That Gal. I HATED them and for months they lay un-used in my vanity pouch. But I hate throwing makeup, so I am giving them another chance to see if they deliver what they are supposed to. I wonder if they might work on paler skintones and probably not designed to suit an NC42 (Indian skintone) like mine. Anyway will give them another chance. Oo La Lift ? does ZILCH. Doesn’t lift my tired eyes, anywhere. This little bugger will sit in my vanity pouch till it goes bad and then I will throw it away. The sampler kit also comes with an eye cream. WHATEVA. Spend your cash on Clinique instead. nuff said.
But the Benefit bug had well and truly bitten me so I decided to extend my sampling a little more and acquired these two beauties.
Right now its safe to say I am having fun with my Benefit stash. But what’s my verdict ?
Benefit mascara- HIT and would probably re-purchase, but I must finish the masacaras I currently own. 3 Benefit (all 3 gifts from MIL) 2 Chanels, 2 Arcancils, 1 Dior and 1 I Nouvi. Their powder blushes are OK. But it’s me. With my advancing years I am now veering to cream and stain formulations rather than powder. I haven’t tried all their Powders and wont be, but Bella Bamba was a sample and I like it. It has a subtle shimmer. I like shimmer ! If price point is not a consideration for a shimmer powder blush I would buy Bobbi Brown. The Coralista powder blush is a MISS. Hoola – HIT Cha Cha Tint – HIT Benetint – HIT Benefit eye shadows– HIT I got to sample just 3 in the Cobana Glama kit. If I were to purchase a eye shadow palette I would give Benefit another try , definitely ! The one thing I did absolutely adore was their Hello Flawless Foundation. I like it as much as Mac’s Face and Body ! I love the way it sits on my face, the way TOASTED matches my skintone perfectly and the way it feels- just like skin. HIT In short, Benefit cosmetics attracts people with their clever marketing and sassy packaging. Its like buying a piece of FUN ! For the what the products end up delivering. they are priced too high and should be ranged to mid range like a Soap and Glory or No.7. Maybelline is a close and respected contender here and if you like Maybelline then dont bother. Other than the FUN aspect of Benefit you aint missing much.