Topic: Benefit

Unsung Makeup Heroes: Benefit Ready Set Brow 24-Hr Setting Gel

Published in: Benefit, Makeup, Ulta, Unsung Heroes

benefit ready set brow

Benefit Ready, Set, Brow!

The long-running Unsung Heroes series here on Makeup and Beauty Blog features some of our all-time favorite permanent collection products.

Desert island brow gel right here!

OK, if I were a castaway stranded on a desert island, I would very likely be more concerned about finding enough food and water and getting the hell off said island than I would be my brows, but assuming there was a sheltered fresh water lagoon and all of the mangoes and papayas I could eat, and I had the luxury of worrying about keeping my brows from moving while I bathed under the waterfall or dove into the lagoon, I’d be all about $24 Benefit Ready Set Brow 24-Hr Setting Gel.

Girl! I’ve been using this for almost a year, and I’m about to finish my first tube. Squee! And for sure, I’m getting another.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, right, how exciting can a clear brow gel be?” Well, I think this one is really, really exciting, and I feel like with some makeup basics, like brow gel, if you’re going to go through the trouble to use them, they should be really, really good. And this one is.

To put it in context, I think it’s better than the Anastasia Clear Brow gel, which was my gold standard for years. This one has a stronger hold, and the brush combs through my individual brow hairs better, which makes brows look more defined and fuller, yay! It mellows out whatever brow powder or brow pencil you happen to be using to fill in your brows, too, without lifting away the product.

That’s the thing about the Anastasia Brow Gel… If I fill in my brows first, then run that gel through them, it tends to remove about half of my pencil/powder/whatever I use. Then I have to go back in and refill the empty spots.

Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I was so in love with that brow gel, but I digress…

tom ford shade illuminate cheeks sublimate k

Wearing Benefit Ready, Set, Brow! in my brows with MAC Brow Sculpt Pencil

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Benefit GALifornia Blush Will Put You in a Sunny State of Mind

Published in: Benefit, Makeup, Product Reviews

Benefit GALifornia blush ($29), coming April 2017

Shout-out to my fellow Californians!

You know, it’s weird. I always see California portrayed in movies and videos like it’s a perpetually sunny place with palm trees and beaches and everyone’s got a tan and walks around all the time in a bikini top and sunglasses like it’s Bay Watch.

For the record, it’s not always like that. Right now, golden rays of sunshine are not falling upon my cheeks, skin and hair. I’m actually looking out my window, and it’s gloomy, overcast and cold. But haaay! — that’s alright, because when I wear Benefit’s new GALifornia blush, I feel like I’m in the fantasy California. 😎🌊⛱️

It’s nuanced

GALifornia, a new $29 boxed Benefit blush coming this April, is a wonderfully warm golden pink, and when I opened the 0.17-oz. pan for the first time and saw the sunny design, which is, sadly, an overspray, I thought of a bronzer from Guerlain a few years back that had a similar design.

GALifornia is gloriously nuanced in a way I don’t expect to see from Benefit. It reminds me of something from Guerlain or Hourglass.

benefit galifornia swatch

Swatch of Benefit GALifornia Blush

Different for Benefit

It’s infused with subtle golden pearl particles that so much more subdued than the shimmer in Coralista, Sugarbomb and Bella Bamba, all of which I like, but over the past few years, I haven’t been wearing them as much as I used to. My skin’s changed, and my pores are a little bigger than they were in my 30s.

The shimmer that Benefit usually sprinkles on their blush highlighters is…maybe a bit more sparkly than I’d like. I’d say that GALifornia’s fine pearl is closest to the pearl in Sugarbomb, but warmer and finer.

GALifornia’s pearl is more my speed now. At first, you may not even think there’s any there, but it is. And I love it!

benefit galifornia

Wearing two layers of GALifornia on my cheeks

I don’t usually send my girlfriends who are 30 and up to Benefit for blush, but I can happily recommend GALifornia if you’re…let’s just say, not 18 anymore. LOL!

It’s like the Energizer bunny (keeps going, and going, and going, and going…)

The wear time is great too. I popped it on my cheeks at the crack of dawn today, and eight hours later it still looks fresh and beautiful.

I did two layers using a regular old blush brush, so you don’t need any finagling or special tools. The blush does come with one of those silly square shaped brushes that Benefit always includes with their boxed blushes, but I’d probably only use it in a dire blush emergency, LOL!

benefit galifornia box

GALifornia girl!

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A Dashing Duo: Benefit They’re Real Shadow Blender in Bombshell Brown, and One of the Best Musical Duos of All Time

Published in: Benefit, Makeup

benefit bombshell brown

Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Bombshell Brown and They’re Real Double the Lip in Fuchsia Fever

All I have to say is this: golden brown deliciousness. Of the three new Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blenders I’ve tried so far, Bombshell Brown is my favorite.

I think the two shades in it have the loveliest finishes.

benefit bombshell brown fuchsia fever

Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Bombshell Brown and They’re Real Double the Lip in Fuchsia Fever

I am *so* particular about shimmers and shimmery products. I’ll admit it — sometimes I’m a frost hater, especially when the shine comes with gigantic grains of powder. But the two shadows in this duo are much more satiny than super shiny frost.

benefit bombshell brown eyes down

I’m also wearing Chanel Noir Petrol Stylo Yeux on my lash lines and Hourglass Radiant Bronze Light Bronzer and Radiant Magenta Blush on my cheeks

This duo really makes my eyes look bigger and sexier, and I’m a big fan. By the way, I keep trying to use the round sponge applicator it comes with, but it ends up a hot mess, so I just use regular eyeshadow brushes instead.

I dunno… Maybe I can re-purpose the sponge brush and use it like a mini beautyblender for the inner corners?

benefit bombshell brow closeup

Bombshell Brown has a light golden beige (I want a HUGE pan of this color. It’s perfection!) and a mid-toned golden brown, and both are totally my jam.

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A Dashing Duo: Benefit They’re Real Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’, and the Awkward Double Date With the Vanilla Ice Mullet Brothers

Published in: Benefit, Makeup, Product Reviews

benefit theyre real easy smokin

I’m wearing Benefit’s They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’ ($24) and They’re Real Double the Lip in Criminally Coral ($20)

So, what do I know about double dates? Well, I know that they’re awkward…(but more on this in a sec), and I know that I thought about them a lot today because of the new $24 Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’ (one of six new duos available now), which has — not one — but TWO eyeshadows geared to give you bigger, sexier eyes.

benefit theyre real easy smokin

Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’ ($24) and They’re Real Double the Lip in Criminally Coral ($20)

I feel like Easy Smokin’ is more elegant than Sexy Smokin’, the duo I wore yesterday. It has a warm, dark bronzed brown coupled with a light and warm shimmery peach, and the powders seem more finely milled. Thank goodness, too, because the shimmery light shade in Sexy Smokin’ was giving me a complex (frost is not kind to my fine lines).

By the way, when you mix the two shades in Easy Smokin’ together, it creates a beautiful bronzed peach, which is how I’m wearing it in these pics. I blended them together, and then I also lined my lash lines with warm bronze MAC Teddy liner (I bet MAC Costa Riche would totally work, too).

benefit theyre real easy smokin swatch

Swatches of Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’ and They’re Real Double the Lip in Criminally Coral

This reminds me of the time my best friend Jen and I went on a double date together with these two boys who were brothers (we met them in marching band). Basically, it was not the most awesome time in the whole world.

I dated the older brother, who had a Vanilla Ice mullet, and Jen dated the younger one…who also had a Vanilla Ice mullet, and the four of us went to a community theater musical presentation of Camelot.

I can’t remember who’s idea it was… What I can remember is that it was four hours long, and I was starving! I can also remember that because it was a musical, we couldn’t really talk to each other, and I got very antsy about halfway through. I wondered why we didn’t just go to Great America or grab a pizza instead, because at least then we would have been able to talk, but I digress… (Plus, I wouldn’t have been starving to death for four hours!)

benefit theyre real easy smokin

I’m also wearing MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy on my eyes

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A Dashing Duo: Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Sexy Smokin’, and the Unwritten Rule of Middle School Dancing (Circa 1989)

Published in: Benefit, Eyes, Makeup

benefit theyre real sexy smokin

Wearing the new Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Sexy Smokin’ ($24) on my eyes and They’re Real Double the Lip in Pink Thrills on my lips

Middle school dances were the worst. I don’t know why anybody thought they were fun.

Well…I know that there were some kids who probably had fun, like the kids in the popular clique who planned the dances. I bet they had a good time, but I never did. I always felt awkward sitting there in the bleachers, wringing my hands and tap-tap-tapping my lace-less Keds.

This was before it was OK to dance with a group of your girlfriends out on the dance floor, so you had to wait for someone to ask you, ugh! So painful. Nobody I ever actually wanted to dance with would ask me, which wasn’t a big surprise. I mean, I was beyond shy and awkward and nerdy.

I did get asked a couple times…which leads me to the unwritten rule of middle school dances (circa 1989), which is that two is the magic number.

I’m thinking about this because I’ve been all about “the twos” today. I’m rockin’ a new eyeshadow duo and a new lipstick duo from Benefit — They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Sexy Smokin’ ($24) and They’re Real Double the Lip lipstick ($20). They’re part of Benefit’s new spring collection (available now at Benefit stores and counters), which is all about duos.

With the eight neutral powder eyeshadow duos and the eight lipsticks, and they’re basically um… the whole deal is they make your eyes and lips look bigger, instantly.

The shadows have a funky round sponge applicator, which you swipe across the pan (the pan has the two shadows stacked on top of each other horizontally). You swipe the funky sponge across the pan, and then across your eye, with the darker shade closest to your lash line.

The idea is to make your eyes look bigger, brighter and schmexier with just one swipe.

And you do something similar with the lipsticks. They have a teardrop-shaped bullet, with a slighter darker color at the tip, so that when you swipe the tube across your lips, the darker edge makes the lighter part in the center pop.

So your lips look bigger. 😊

benefit theyre real duo shadow blender

The eight new They’re Real Duo Shadow Blenders ($24 each)

I plan to do a full review of the whole collection soon, but today was all about Sexy Smokin’. It’s a dark, satiny, cool-toned brownish taupe, and a shiny, silvery taupe shimmer.

I’m all about the darker taupe, and when I wore it with my NARS primer last Saturday, it stayed put all day long.

benefit theyre real sexy smokin

Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Sexy Smokin’ and They’re Real Double the Lip in Pink Thrills!

So, back to the unwritten magical rule of twos… It was one of those things that nobody ever told my me or my friends. Ever.

You know how there were things that your friends never told you, and you had to figure out on your own? Well, one of them was that back in the late ’80s at middle school dances, you couldn’t just move your arms and feet to the beat however it moved you. There were, like, actual dance moves that the kids in my school did, like the snake, the running man, the kid ‘n’ play and the robocop #datingmyselfsohardrightnow. And the unwritten rule was that when you were dancing with somebody, you couldn’t just do one of these dances… You had to do two of them. Two dances.

benefit theyre real sexy smokin pink thrills

Swatches of Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Sexy Smokin’ and They’re Real Double the Lip in Pink Thrills

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