Does Benefit Powderflage Powder Concealer Report for Duty?

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Trapped behind enemy lines, miles from base and cut off from reinforcements, I crawled the distance to the freestanding Benefit store under cover of darkness…


Not really, but I did stop by the Benefit store after work this afternoon to conduct recon on their new Powderflage powder concealer ($28).

It didn’t take night vision goggles to appreciate the cute outer packaging.

What can I say? I got a thing for camo and pink. πŸ™‚

Each cutie pie camo can contains a wee lil’ jar of highlighting powder and a small fan brush.

Benefit claims Powderflage’s pink, shimmery powder (it contains mica) disguises dark circles and fine lines under the eyes. Well, I got some real deal Holyfield dark circles, so Powderflage had its work cut out for it.

First, in the store, I removed all of the makeup under my eyes (trying hard not to scare the store patrons in the process).

With the area clean, I dusted a few layers of Powderflage under my eyes using the included fan brush. Right away, I noticed a subtle but sparkly pink tint, but that’s not all I saw.

I still saw my dark circles.

I asked the Benefit gals what they thought, and they told me Powderflage wasn’t designed to conceal heavy duty dark circles (ouch!). For that, one would use a liquid or cream concealer. They suggested that for dark circles like mine I use Powderflage on top of something else, and not by itself.

There are other under eye highlighting powders on the market. Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder ($22) works in a similar fashion but comes in a larger, less expensive jar. Mind you, it doesn’t come with the cute camo packaging or a brush, but you get more product for the price.

One interesting note about Powderflage: it left my skin touchably soft. Checking the ingredient list on the back, I noticed that it contains several silicones, somewhat controversial compounds often used in cosmetics and beauty products to make skin feel soft and smooth.

While I passed on Powderflage, this afternoon’s trip to the Benefit store wasn’t for naught. I managed to finally snag a pot of Skinny Jeans Creaseless Cream Shadow, yay!

Anyhoo, if you’re ever in southern Marin (ya never know) the Mill Valley Benefit store is worth checking out. It carries the entire line; plus, they played the *best* music while I was there, alternating Abba with Wings tunes. “Live and let die!”

I saw this dude getting his brows and lashes tinted. I wonder if he noticed me taking his picture.

Daily Photo


I snapped this picture walking out of the store. I really liked how the light filtered through the leaves. Pretty, yah?

Gah! I can’t believe today went by so quickly. I don’t know about you, but I’m hella ready for dinner (split pea soup and salad).

Have a groovy night!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 61 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jamila says:

    “they told me Powderflage wasnÒ€ℒt designed to conceal heavy duty dark circles (ouch!).”

    Am I the only one wondering then wth is for then? Most foundations will cover “light duty” dark circles. I am boycotting Benefit until they make more brown girl friendly face products. Mmmm… Can you tell that I am still bummed by Erase Paste?

    Jamilas last blog post..My First Request!

    • Miranda Lilly says:

      I have been burned by Benefit as well. I read all these amazing reviews and finally decided to commit to the $24 Fake-up hydrating concealer stick by Benefit. My dark circles (which I thought weren’t that bad) were not covered in the least. In fact, my $8 age rewind eraser by Maybelline makes the Benefit product look like a chump! So far not so impressed by Benefit. But Im glad I’m not the only one.

  2. Karen says:

    Hi Jamila,

    Yeah, Erase Paste didn’t really work for me, either. It was a bit too pink.

    I do like some of their products, though. The Creaseless Cream Shadows have shades that are definitely brown girl friendly, like Birthday Suit and Skinny Jeans.

  3. lindsay says:

    i understand your problem..i have horrible dark circles too (despite my 7-8 hours of sleep every night) and can’t find a remedy. i heard good reviews about laura mercier’s concealer..i’m not too sure of the name, but it looks like a pen (kind of like bare minerals prime time eye primer) have you ever tried it?

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    I’ve tried that before! While it’s nice and it does brighten, just the pen isn’t enough for me. I have to combo it with another concealer and then pop Secret Brightening Powder on top.

    Ahh, I miss the days when I didn’t have to wear concealer!

    What do you use now to cover your dark circles?

  5. parisb says:

    Thanks for this review Karen! I was wondering about this product but I reckon I’d just pass on it. You did good on Skinny Jeans though. Its gorgeous! πŸ™‚

    parisbs last blog post..Review: Makeup: Stila Lip Glaze – Papaya

  6. Karen says:

    Hi ParisB,

    You’re welcome! It’s nice and cute, for sure… but it would take a lot for me to break out of my Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder obsession!

    I am psyched to wear Skinny Jeans tomorrow. What do you usually pair it with?

  7. Marisol says:

    Interesting that they told you that it wouldn’t cover heavy dark circles because when they told me about this product at the Benefit counter in my town, I was under the impression that it did.

    That is my fave Benefit boutique. Whenever I am in town and need a waxing & tweezing, that is where I go.

    Yay on the skinny jeans!

    Marisols last blog post..Yes We Can

  8. Karen says:

    Hi Marisol,

    Hmm, interesting. It’s really pink and sheer. Maybe for skin shades significantly lighter than mine, it could probably work to cover up some dark circles…

    Can I just say I can’t wait to bust into Skinny Jeans for tomorrow? It’s the first thing that’s taken me out of my Cult of Cherry haze.

    I gotta say, I always see girls up in that spot getting their brows done, and today was the first time I ever saw a dude up in there. Homie was getting his lashes tinted, LOLOL. Boys need their maintenance too, I guess!

  9. Jenny says:

    I’m so excited to get the Benefit Powderflage! I have HORRIBLE dark circles and I want a setting powder to go on top of my concealer. I’ve been using Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder but it makes my undereyes a gray ashy tone and makes it look worse. Kinda weird huh? I hope this really brightens my undereye area and sets my concealer well… I have to wait till friday to get it since I don’t have a freestanding store near me and that’s when the counters get it in. Thanks for the review Karen! it was helpful.

  10. Elena says:

    Hey Karen,

    Not too surprised with the powder, unfortunately. Benefit and I have some issues in terms of me wanting to use their products and their products wanting to kill me in return (lol). Everything I’ve used from them has either resulted in a horrible breakout or an eye irritation. Maybe it’s for the best this powder didn’t work… πŸ™‚

    Also, LOL @ the picture of that guy! Can you imagine if someone saw and told him – “Dude, I think that lady just took your picture… 0_o” It would be the funniest thing ever. πŸ˜€

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Jenny,

    You’re welcome! I am a die hard LM Secret Brightening fan but I realize it doesn’t work for everyone… keep me posted and let me know if Powderflage works for you! I hope it does. πŸ™‚

  12. Dao says:

    Enjoy your dinner, I love soup and had soup for dinner too! Anyhoo, Powderflage looks and sounds like a fancy mineral concealer, with “concealer” being stated loosely. I noticed a crosspolymer ingredient in the list and that would probably adds extra adherence to the product. It’s scary that I can read that whole list and understand how most of the compounds are supposed to work. Years of chemistry finally paid off, woo hoo!

    Daos last blog post..MAC 129 Look-Alike: Winsor & Newton series 240 #3 Brush

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Elena,

    Ha, ha, I totally wanted to stop him and ask him why he was getting his lashes tinted! What possesses a man to want deep, dark lashes? Does he own a Shu Uemura curler? So many questions!

    El Hub’s got the most amazing lashes (they’re long, thick and perfectly curled, it’s totally not fair)… he doesn’t get them tinted, though (at least not to my knowledge)!

  14. etherealprey says:

    I was wondering about that product! And how it would work on asian skin, since we have yellow undertones to us. And the powder being pink and all, I didn’t know if it would work with us. but apparently it doesn’t cover up dark circles, geez why would we get it then? there are tons of fancy powders out there…

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    Girl, isn’t it late for you? It’s almost midnight here…

    Somewhere, buried deep inside my brain, is the part of me that remembers how to name and synthesize those ingredients. All I really remember from chemistry are the “chair and boat” formations. Oh, and titrations… but that’s about it.

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Etherealprey,

    Right? It’s a very cool-toned pink, too. I think if I popped it on top of my regular concealer it would look way obvious.

  17. Elena says:


    If you ever figure out the secret as to why men have perfect eyelashes while the rest of us suffer through curlers and mascara just to look passable, please let me know. Every male relative or male friend I have has perfect, lush eyelashes – how is that fair? I can only hope that that gender is secretly getting them tinted just to make us feel bad. Maybe you *should* have asked that guy! πŸ˜› πŸ™‚

  18. Karen too says:

    I totally get the guy that got his lashes tinted! Guys can want a bit of definition in the eye area as well, and tinting is waaaay better that mascara on a man, right? I have super light lashes, and when I don’t wear any makeup I look like such a baby face. I’m volunteering to stand up for this guy (LOL)! Leave him alone! πŸ™‚

  19. Asta says:

    Ohhh, organic chemistry, how I miss thee…

    I was a chemistry major until I realized I had to take p-chem. Ugh. Nursing is way better.

  20. Lehea says:

    Too bad with the Powderflage, but at least you didn’t leave empty handed. The flowers in the picture are lovely. Speaking of lovely, how about this weather we’ve been having lately? Makes me feel like I’m on vacation again. *sigh* Heard it’s gonna get scorchin’ towards the weekend!

  21. Laurie says:

    The flage sucked me in with the cute packaging. I’ve been using it for a few days now and I am contemplating returning it. I probably won’t though since I bought it online and don’t have a Benefit store to return it too – I’m lazy like that.

    I wear it over my concealer and I like what it does, but I almost don’t notice anything at all. But after reading this I just touched my undereye and noticed it was silky smooth!

  22. Dao says:

    Hi Karen,

    I could not sleep last night because the AC broke down and blew in warm air instead of cool air. So I went online and blog hopped a bit. I wish I could go back to be a chemist again. It’s a really fun major to me πŸ™‚

  23. Tammy says:

    You have all of the cool stores by
    I’m not surprised that this didn’t work..I’ve never been too impressed with Benefit’s foundation/concealer selection..everything is usually really light coverage.

    Too bad they don’t sell the packaging seperately, it would be a cute brush holder.

    Tammys last blog post..Shimmering Shadows

  24. Brittany says:

    I love the packaging. It’s so cute. Unfortunately, I don’t think this would work on me either. I never had dark circles until I entered the wonderful world of college and then all of a sudden I had them hardcore like nobody’s business πŸ˜›

    Randomly, the best thing I’ve found for mine so far is a stick concealer from Rimmel. I think it’s technically for pimples, but it’s really heavy and blends easily so I use it on my under eyes too.

  25. KristyQ says:

    Awww…sorry it didn’t work for you.
    I might still try it out as I’m fair-skinned with pink undertones, but I kinda think a setting powder for my concealer just adds another step in my routine that I don’t need most days…
    Love that packaging, though πŸ™‚

  26. Elle says:

    Aww, Karen, your circles aren’t that bad! And I swear Benefit packaging is such a big selling point with me. Shallow, but true!

    I’m now curious to try that LM product. That combined with my newfound use for NW25 concealer (so funny that you learned the same thing about it πŸ˜‰ ) will have me looking like you in that pic! πŸ™‚

  27. Louise Gray says:

    Hi there!!!
    I am not a big fan of Benefit cosmetics. They seem to be gimmicky with their packaging and their products are only so-so. I love your before and after pictures with the Flage. After you put the powder on your dark circles, then it will settle into any wrinkles or folds that you might have under your eyes. Blech!!! I have always had dark circles under my eyes. I have tried many concealers-from high end Chanel, YSL, Benefit, Laura Mercier to low end. What I am using now is Max Factor Pan Stick. People online complain that it is too heavy, too oily, blah, blah. This gives me coverage which I can layer by using a brush to achieve whatever I need and the price is around $6 or $7 and lasts a long time. Perhaps those of us with dark circles under our eyes should make it into a glamorous fetish and compel those who don’t have them to buy beauty products that imitate our glorious natural beauty attribute. hahahahaha!!!! Louise

  28. Megan says:

    I’m sticking with my prescriptives site unseen πŸ™‚ good review though…always good to know what’s not worth it! And really…who are these girls with all the light duty circles?

  29. Glosslizard says:

    Yay, Skinny Jeans! That shadow is so in my future! πŸ™‚ Too bad about the Powderflage, I usually don’t have good luck with under-eye powders, but I’m constantly waiting for my miracle product to come out anyway!

    Pretty pictures, looks like it was a gorgeous day over there! Stay cool!

  30. Lipglossme says:

    Hilarious about the guy getting his eyebrows tinted. Maybe it was that guy from I Love New York (dang, forgot his name already) that liked to put on facial masks.

    “I asked the Benefit gals what they thought, and they told me Powderflage wasnÒ€ℒt designed to conceal heavy duty dark circles (ouch!).”

    I had a similar thing happen to me when I walked into Sephora and asked the sales associate that I was looking for a good moisturizer and she said “What kind of moisturizer are you looking for? An Anti Aging one?”

    At that moment, I didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy.

    That’s a great picture of the plants. Very pretty.

    Hey, did you have mascara on in those pictures?

  31. Bella says:

    Great review! I’m cool-toned and pale and this product didn’t do anything for me, either. The packaging is adorable (if kinda wasteful) but I am sticking with my heavy-duty concealer. Sincerely, Uncle Fester

  32. tatiana says:

    I got dark circles like a mofo and because of my eye-rubbing addiction, they’re getting darker! I love your reviews of dark circle combat products, keep them coming because I’m still looking. So far, I’ve just been using Boing, the Benefit concealer. It works pretty good but I’m still looking for something heavier so that I can use it in photographs (headshots, etc.)

    Karen is the coolest!

  33. Amanda says:

    wow that brush is *tiny*….I was wondering about that. and I’ll add that when I first saw you mention this on the blog the first thing I thought was….how will it compare to LM secret brigtening? so I can pass. (hugs cheaper, larger LM pot)

  34. jenna says:

    great review! some of benefit’s colors just don’t match my skin tone…

    I’ve been having problems with my under eye concealer starting to crease.. any ideas on how to fix this? I’ve tried all formulations of concealer and they all age me soo much =(

  35. lindsay says:

    HAHA NOTHING! i used to use eye cream at perfect world for eyes and no puffery in the morning (it’s a little puffy too) but i got lazy..and didn’t see results. and i don’t use concealer either, i just smile a lot, cause i’ve noticed that it’s not as noticable when i smile. haha!

  36. Karen says:

    Hi Elena,

    I know! He looked pretty high maintenance, so I bet the next time I go back to the store he’ll be there. I’ll have to grill him, LOL!

  37. Karen says:

    Hi Karen Too,

    πŸ™‚ Okay, okay! I’ll cut him some slack. I too, am obsessed with the quest for perfect lashes. I can’t hate on him!

  38. Karen says:

    Hi Asta,

    LOL, you crazy chem loving people! I don’t understand ya’ll. Let’s talk about the photosynthetic chain! Now that’s fun!

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Lehea,

    OMG, it’s was so hot today! I was actually glad to be in our freezing office for once. Did you get to go outside today? I ran this morning and it was fantastic.

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Laurie,

    Oh yah! It leaves the skin super silky! I couldn’t stop touching my under eye area when I had it on.

    Girl, return that jar if you don’t like it. Get some Cream Shadows instead! πŸ™‚

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    Yowza, that’s rough! I hope you get it fixed soon so that you can sleep in comfort.

    I give you props for loving chem. I had a rough time with it so I was always in awe of the students in class who just got it!

  42. Karen says:

    Hi Tammy,

    I was thinking the same thing! That camo tin is really cute. πŸ™‚

  43. Karen says:

    Hi Brittany,

    Hmm, I will have to try that Rimmel concealer. What brush do you use with it?

  44. Karen says:

    Hi KristyQ,

    I agree — if you don’t need a setting powder then just skip a step!

  45. Karen says:

    Hi Elle,

    Oh yah! The LM combo with MAC concealer is fab. I use #2. πŸ™‚

  46. Karen says:

    Hi Louise Gray,

    Hmm… how do you use it? Do you put moisturizer underneath? I do like that it’s cheap!

  47. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    Right? And why are they buying this to cover up their light circles?

  48. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Skinny Jeans wants you!

    Hope you’re staying cool. πŸ™‚

  49. Karen says:

    Hi Lipglossme,

    LOL — that guy’s name from the show Tailor Made. I wonder if those two are still together. Cause true love can be found on reality TV!

    Yup, I’m wearing mascara. I *wish* my lashes looked like that.

  50. Karen says:

    Hi Bella/Uncle Fester,

    What’s your heavy duty concealer?

  51. Karen says:

    Hi Tatiana,

    Aww! Thanks girl!

    I’ve tried Boing before but it migrates on me. πŸ™

    I am so on a mission to find the ultimate concealer!

  52. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    πŸ™‚ I just hugged my LM pot, too!

  53. Karen says:

    Hi Jenna,

    Hmm, do you wear eye cream underneath? One thing that helps me is to blot the area gently before applying. Primer might help, too. I sometimes use Laura Mercier’s Oil Free primer on my eye area if I need extra staying power. Setting powder helps a ton to keep it in place.

  54. Karen says:

    Hi Lindsay,

    I will have to test your theory. πŸ™‚ Plus, smiling a lot is always a good thing for the soul.

  55. parisb says:

    Karen: I usually wear Skinny Jeans by itself or with a silver/grey shadow over it. Its gorgeous with nearly anything. Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    parisbs last blog post..Review: Makeup: Stila Convertible Color Cheek and Lip – Lillium

  56. Eileen says:

    OMG!!! Have you ever thought about writing a book?!?! Like a beauty book based on ya experiences and stuff (kind of like what Nadine in the city or Jolie Nadine or whatever she’s called). That beginning of the post…AMAZING!! All of your posts are hilarious but very informative.I love the “undercover operations” lol (I still laugh and think of the post with the MAC swatches and El Hub in the car waiting lol)

    Ok enough. Great post. Keep it up. Write a book lol.

    Eileens last blog post..FREE YSL TOTE!!!!

  57. Alina says:

    So, let me get this straight: this is a $28 product that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do AND contains controversial ingredients? Sounds like a clear loser in my book.

  58. lexi says:

    Skinny Jeans – yay – love that color and sadly it’s the only ones I can fit into at the moment! =(

  59. Becca says:

    Make Up For Ever’s full cover concealer is a miracle worker on my scary dark circles of death. I’m quite fair, which means no matter how much sleep I get, you will always see my veins. It’s vaguely the same effect as wearing a black bra under a white shirt. Oh, plus I have oily skin so most hidey-stuff slides around and creases on me. MUFE is the best I’ve found. Beware though… they will try to sell you on “lift” instead of “full cover,” because supposedly it is brightening. I have lift as well, and it’s fine, but not wonderful. Full cover is wonderful. Trust.

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