How To Be “That Gal” with Benefit That Gal Brightening Face Primer

Published in: Makeup

Today makeup artist Johnie of The Beauty Junkie blog talks up the benefits of Benefit’s That Gal brightening face primer.



I’ve always wanted to be “that gal,” and now I can thanks to Benefit’s pretty and pink That Gal ($28) brightening primer.

It’s one of those magic Holy Grail products I’m recommending all the time, and I cannot say enough good things about it!

I’d tried many primers before Benefit blessed the world with That Gal…

I know everyone loves the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($36), but I could never get it to work for me. It felt greasy to me and didn’t seem to make a big difference. I know everyone in the makeup world will probably hang me for saying this, but I just feel like it’s overrated.

Not like That Gal.

It’s a silky pink primer with light reflecting pigments to brighten the complexion, and it comes in an interesting glue-stick like container. You click the base, dispensing the product out of the vent at the top. A few clicks is enough to do my entire face.

Why I like it

I see a huge difference when I use this stuff. It…

  • visibly brightens my skin,
  • makes my complexion appear more even and smooth,
  • helps keep my skin hydrated throughout the day,
  • helps my makeup stay put, and
  • makes my foundation go on a lot smoother.

I cannot go a day without using it and keep a backup at all times.

One small downside

The only downside I’ve found is that I can’t tell when I’m about to run out. It’s not clear how much product remains in the tube until it’s empty (click click click), which is why I keep a backup. That was a lesson I learned the hard way.

Application tips

One way to apply it is after your moisturizer but before your foundation; that’s for a smoother application.

Another way is to apply throughout the day on top of makeup to re-brighten the complexion.


It also works when worn alone, like on one of those “no makeup days” to keep the complexion from looking too dull and to help the skin look more even-toned. That’s how I’ll wear it sometimes, when I’m going to the gym or going out to run quick errands.

Also, I would like to add that my skin is more on the dry side, but I’ve used That Gal on dry, combo, and oily skin types and find it works for all of them. If, however, you’re crazy oil slick oily, then I might give it a test run before committing to a purchase.

It retails for $28 (0.37 fl. oz. tube), which I find lasts me about 3 months, but I use it every single day; a few clicks goes a long way.

As Benefit puts it, “It’s That Gal perfection for a happy complexion!” — so find your happy complexion today. 🙂

This post was written by Johnie, makeup artist and beauty blogger behind The Beauty Junkie blog.


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So far, 26 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. TUPRNUT says:

    Yay! So glad to read a review on this… Benefit just came here, and I’m happy not to have to blindly order it from Sephora online anymore 🙂

    Question for you – do you clik the product and then put it on your fingers to apply? Or do you apply it directly from the tube to your face? Does it have to be warmed to apply better?

    This is on my to-try list. I’m really liking my MUFW primer, but I’m always up for something new. Thanks, Karen 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi TUPRNUT,

      Johnie may want to comment, but the product has a lil’ grid on the top, and when you turn the bottom it clicks and product comes through the holes. It’s not solid, but more like spreadable lotion. I don’t think you need to warm it up first, but I still like to use it with my fingers because that’s the fastest way for me to apply. 🙂

  2. Rochelle O'Brien says:

    Oooh I got a sample of this a while ago and haven’t tried it yet. I’ll have to give it a go.

    I hated the Smashbox primer too, you’re not alone!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rochelle,

      I think a lot of people have trubs with the Smashbox one because it’s heavy in the silicones. A lot of women love it, though.

      How are things on your side of the pond? Busy with weddings this season?

  3. TUPRNUT says:

    Thanks, Karen! Didn’t realize Johnie wrote this entry. Oops 😉

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tuprnut,

      No worries! I have it here sitting on my desk… I’ve worn it and tried it too and like it a lot.

      How’s your day going? Is it Friday yet? LOL!

  4. April says:

    I used the benefit ‘that gal’ primer but it didnt work for me.. My skin is combination and also im of a tan complexion so the primer made me feel a bit greasier in the spots that are oily and also i didnt feel like it “brightened” my skin.. I do however, LOVE makeup forever foundation primer! they have like 6 different types to that has different targets.. the one i like best for me is 0, which is a neutral one for all skin tones. But the green primer really corrects redness as soon as you put it on!


  5. Benefit “that gal” is definitely my HG primer, and I bet a lot of other girls will soon find this silky-pink primer their HGs too! I have dark complexion with combination-oily skin, yet this product still work wonders! I LOVE how it brightens up (not whiten) my overall complexion.

    However I’m wondering, how can it be applied after makeup??? I never try it.
    .-= HaNNa_HuLLaBaLoo’s last blog post… Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen =-.

  6. ines says:

    hey karen/johnie,

    i can’t say i’m very into primers… i don’t wear that much face makeup to begin with (blessed with good skin). i just tend to conceal and go!

    if i put a pop of blush that usually works.

    i did try this one though, very nice and cooling feeling upon application. i won’t use it so i didn’t buy it though.

  7. ines says:

    ps – say hi to me at my very very n00b blog!

  8. Tania says:

    Girl how dare you! Like I need another reason to go to Sephora. I REALLY want to try this. I like MAC’s Prep + Prime protect but the price is high and the bottle is small. I like the idea of it being pink and I can wear it sans makeup which would be awesome. Too bad it doesn’t have sunscreen in it. Uggh, I’m in New Orleans and it is so humid everyone just drips and looks super shiny. Blech!!! I read that you could put clear deoderant on your face to prevent sweat which prevents makeup meltdown. Have you done this? I’m scared of doing something like that on my sensitive mug!! Eeek!

  9. Nicole15 says:

    Johnie, great post! I have always wanted to try this primer..always. Now may be the time. Question though, have any of your clients that have acne-prone skin said that it has caused them breakouts? My skin is uber acne-prone & sensitive.

    I, too, couldn’t manage the regular Smashbox primer cause my skin & silicone are NOT friends. However, I do use their oil-free water based primer, Photo Finish Light & like it a lot but don’t love it. Does “That Gal” have silicone??

    Thanks for your input!

  10. Linda says:

    I love That Gal! It definitely helps brighten your complexion.

  11. Karen B says:

    I’d love to try it as I only use mineral powder now and then for a finish. This might be something I like: not too much of a complete made-up face.

    And to continue our conversation in the Illamasqua post: my favourite is Hamlet so far but I also like A Midsummer’s Night Dream and I recently got into Othello.
    For summer school I’m really happy with A Winter’s Tale. It’s so exciting, I cannot wait!

  12. Stef says:

    Great post, I’ve been wondering about this primer. I’ve been searching for ANY primer that I like. Silicones so do not work on my face (and as Karen said, Smashbox is full of ’em).
    I wish I could remember where I read it (it may have been Lucky), but an editor was singing the praises of That Girl too.

    It’s going on my shopping list right now, thanks!
    .-= Stef’s last blog post… Benefit Smokin’ Eyes review =-.

  13. Tiffany says:

    I looove this primer as well! For summer I have just been wearing it with bronzer on top, and that’s it. It’s way too hot for tons of face makeup!

  14. Trude says:

    Thanks for the review! I love Benefit but somehow missed the memo that this is really a primer…chalk it up to the blondeness. 🙂 I’ve LOVE Kevyn Aucoin’s primer but can’t justify the cost right now, so this is much better!

  15. Camellia says:

    i could never get the product out of this thing no matter how many times i’ve tried turning and everything :[

    • Karen says:

      Hi Camellia,

      Oh, bummer… 🙁 That’s happened to me too with other products. I try to remember to keep my receipts so I can return ’em when it happens.

  16. thiamere says:

    i love this primer too!
    how can i not?
    it works!
    its pink!
    its cute!

  17. Katie says:

    I totally agree, smashbox’s primer NEVER worked for me! it made me greasy and I could almost feel the breakouts start bubbling on my face the moment i would put it on.
    But a primer that i’ve never heard any makeup guru review is philosophy’s the present primer, and geeze that stuff is fabulous! It moisturizes and smoothes my skin to perfection! its effects aren’t even compromised when i mix it with a blob of spf in the morning 🙂

  18. SusyLovesMac says:

    Just got this and love it!!! Silicone free!!! makes your face look pretty and no breakouts!

  19. starrkissed says:

    Thank you! I just bought a sample that has That Gal in it and I’ve never used a primer before, so I went on the hunt to see how to apply it and found this article. Very helpful and informative. I’m subscribing to your blog. 🙂

  20. glittergirl says:

    Will this pink primer neutralize or brighten asian skin (yellow undertones) that has recently tanned with a tinge of orange?

    My skin colour is strange. Sometimes it looks yellow green and other times it looks tanned brown (with a slight orange tinge).

    I can’t tell if this primer will help neutralize the orange or brighten my yellow/sallow complexion?

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