Posts Tagged Benefit

My new favourite base combo with Clinique and Benefit

Yikes! It’s been like, two weeks since I last posted…my bad! I find time gets away from me SO easily these days, and it’s not all baby planning. I’ve mentioned before all the extra-curriculars I’ve been partaking in, but (somewhat) happily, one of those has been wrapped up for the time being – my evening French classes have ended and I don’t plan to sign up for any more (I’m still taking lessons during work hours so hopefully that’ll keep me moving forward), so that’s one extra night a week I’ll have to do with as I please. Admittedly, this will probably involve a book and some tea most of the time, ha – I’ve been doing a TON of reading, like it’s going out of style. I just don’t know how much time I’ll have come mid-March (my guess is: ZERO) so I’m getting it all in now.

Nonetheless, rest assured that even if you don’t see me churning out a ton of posts, I’ve still got beauty on the brain! I scored a pretty large haul during the Sephora VIB sale (which I’ll be showing you soon), and I’m employing every trick in the book to really capitalize on the ‘pregnancy glow’ – I don’t really see it myself, but I must be faking doing something right because I’ve been told several times that I’ve got it in spades. Hopefully its being said in a positive way and they’re not referring to me looking like a grease ball O_o  I’m *fairly* certain that’s not the case, as I’ve got a new routine going that I’m really loving! Neither product is new, nor even really new to me, but I started using them together and it’s like a match made in heaven. The duo I’m referring to is Benefit’s The POREfessional and Clinique’s Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup (in shade 19 Sand).

Clinique Stay Matte and Benefit The POREfessional

I’ve used both of these products on their own separately before, but wasn’t terribly wowed by either. Benefit’s primer seems much like every other, blurring the look of pores with a light, ‘cone-based formula; the Stay Matte formula from Clinique’s foundation range is a great choice for combination to oilier skin that requires little coverage (it’s quite sheer), but it doesn’t keep my skin from getting shiny throughout the day. However, the two together just seem to work. The Benefit primer slightly mattifies my skin (I apply it through the T-zone) and the foundation glides seamlessly on top and manages to leave my skin with only a healthy glow by the end of the day – and this is without applying powder on top!

This has been my go-to pairing for the last month or so – I’m always trying to achieve a ‘glow’ that doesn’t veer into disco-ball shine, and I’ve finally found the trick with these two products. If you’re looking for a completely matte finish, neither of these products, together or separately, will give you that look. But if you have skin like mine that tends to get a low-level shine factor by mid-day, you might want to check them out to keep the oilies at bay without sacrificing that ever-elusive healthy glow.

Clinique Stay Matte and Benefit The POREfessional

What’s your favourite primer + foundation combo?

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Benefit’s Lollitint: Not just for kids!

The newest offering in their cheek tint franchise, Benefit’s Lollitint caught my eye right from the get-go.  When Radiant Orchid was announced as Pantone’s Color of the Year, I hopped aboard that train without looking back, and the Lollitint just seemed like the ubiquitous product, perfect for my newest color scheme.

Benefit Lollitint Benefit Lollitint

One caveat: I was SURE it wasn’t going to show up on my darker skin tone.  Something about the milky cool pink hue just seemed completely out of my realm and better suited for the more fair-skinned among us.  However, early in February, the girls behind the Beauty Envy Bag giveaways got together for a Google Chat, in which my girl Lola informed me that SHE had purchased Lollitint, and it showed up just fine on her gorgeous cocoa complexion. Um, SOLD.  I snapped it up the next week :)  And true to her word, it worked!

Benefit Lollitint swatch

Lollitint is a beautiful orchid hue that gives the skin a pretty flush, perfect for transitioning from chilly winter days to cool, sunny spring ones! It looks somewhat similar on the skin as NARS Desire, but due to the liquid formulation I find it a bit more natural – if you apply it right.  My first tries with this product were admittedly HUGE FAILS; dotting it on my cheeks directly with the brush and then blending it out with a duofiber brush (MAC’s #130 in this case) either looked non-existent, or gave me serious clown cheeks. Getting the right balance of product was extremely tough, and as it stains the skin quite quickly, a lot of blush would deposit on one main area of my cheek, looking HIGHLY unnatural.  After a few days of this, I was frustrated but determined to persevere.

I finally found the best way to apply the product: I would brush a few swipes of colour across the actual brush head itself, and then quickly blend it in on the cheek in the area I wanted it. This allowed me to diffuse the product around before it had those extra seconds to set, and gave me a truly natural looking pink glow. I’m not generally a fan of fussy products, but in this instance I’ll make an exception, because the finished product is kinda awesome!

Benefit Lollitint brown skin Benefit Lollitint brown skin

Yea, I’m a wee bit in love :)  This has been my most-worn blush since picking it up last month, and I see no end in sight at the moment! Once it’s on the cheek, the wear time is unreal – hands down my longest wearing blush EVER. It does wash off fine at the end of the day though, it you were worried about long-term staining. I haven’t worn it on the lips yet however, and I suspect it would probably be 1) an awesome base for pink lippies, and 2) will leave you with a pink pout even after cleansing. I find that lip staining products tend to always be more tenacious.

My love for Radiant Orchid continues! I have purchased shades for lips, cheeks and nails…I’m pretty much set :)

Have you tried the Benefit Cheek and Lip Tints before? What are your tricks for applying quickly setting products?

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All the Pretty Sparkles: Highlighter Review & Swatches

Highlighters (7)

I often find that my best posts are those that are made up on a whim.  Sometimes I’ll be trying something out for my own personal pleasure, and it leads to something else entirely.  Today I had one such moment; I was trying to figure out just how I could wear my NARS Laguna Multiple effectively, as its quite pretty but gets very little use.  I usually smear it on right from the tube and then blend the heck out of it with my fingers, applying it as a highlight on top of my cheekbones and around my brow bones.  Today I tried buffing it in with a stippling brush, which seemed to work exceptionally well.  Then I wondered how it looked in sunlight, and stepped out on my balcony in the sunshine, only to be blasted with some serious sparkle!  Eeks!  I can tell you right now that it is NOT the kind of product you want to wear outside in the sun (so, best used on cloudy days or at night), or at least if you DO wear it, use a very light hand.  Lesson learned (and thankfully before I made the faux pas in public)!

Highlighters

Of course, this got me thinking about other highlighters/glow-makers I own and how they fare in the bright sunshine.  Of course, being a dutiful blogger, I took photos so we all can benefit from my experiment :)  I chose four others that are all permanent products in their respective brands: Benefit Watt’s Up, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, and Burberry Fresh Glow.  You’ve seen swatches of some of these before in my Chanel Poudre Signée post, but here they are again (give or take a couple):

Highlighter Swatches (2) Highlighter SwatchesLeft to right: NARS The Multiple in Laguna, Benefit Watt’s Up, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, and Burberry Fresh Glow

First let me preface the following face swatches by saying that while I could plainly see the sparkle/shimmer in sunlight, it is incredibly hard to capture in photos!! SO frustrating.  With that in mind, please take my word for it whether or not something is visible or not, as it is tricky to see in the snaps I took ~grumbles~  Also, please note that all of these shots were taken on completely makeup-free skin (apologies for dark circles!), so there is no other potential shimmer interference (I cleansed my face thoroughly between each shot).

To begin, we have the Laguna Multiple I mentioned originally.  Very sparkly in sunlight, and I really would avoid wearing it outside – especially if you do not have my skintone (on me it’s more of a highlight), as it would then be deep bronze + super shimmer, and just wouldn’t be your best moment.  You’ll notice as you look through the other face pics that this one has the most noticeable shimmer, even in photographs.  BELIEVE IT.  However, it IS very pretty and I plan on using it on evenings out over this spring/summer.

NARS The Multiple in Laguna NARS The Multiple in Laguna (3)

Next, we have Benefit’s Watt’s Up luminizer – I only have a sample size of this but honestly that is enough, as a little goes a long way.  I want to say it’s my least favorite of the five, but today changed my mind a bit, as the initial BAM! sparkle of it seemed to settle after a couple minutes, and then it really just gave me this lovely radiance.  It’s still fairly shimmery, but not as much as the Laguna, and you could probably get away with it in the day if you went very minimal on shimmer elsewhere.  Also, I’d probably layer my blush OVER this rather than under (which you’d likely do anyway if you chose powder, as this is a cream, and that’d just get weird), which would tone it down a little bit too.  It took me AGES to get photos of this and I’m still not satisfied, so trust me when I say there IS visible shimmer (look for little particle-like things on my face – those are them :P).

Benefit Watt's Up (7) Benefit Watt's Up (6)

Moving right along, next is the insanely popular Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, in the shade Opal.  I snagged this deluxe sample in a swap about a month ago and I LOVE IT SO MUCH YOU GUYS.  I’m not going to go on a big ‘You have to buy this!’ rant, because everyone else has done such a good job – so just go buy it already!  This product comes very close to the ‘might be too shimmery for day’ line but manages to toe it exceptionally well, so you can totally rock it out all summer long.  I adore the glow this gives and because the shimmer particles are so small, they don’t look tacky at all, just nicely done.  I will continue to wear this now that the sun is out, day or night.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (5)

Continuing on, we come to the Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer.  Next to Laguna this one is the most shimmery, and is also the only powder in the bunch.  This was one of my first highlighters (and again, its a small sample size compared to the real deal) and I tended to wear it more in the corners of my eyes than anywhere else.  Now, I wear it both ways (on my cheekbones too) but generally keep it to nighttime, as the shimmer combined with the lighter tone and powder formula can make it more obvious than I’d like.  Still, the powder is butter-smooth and is nice to have on hand now and again!

the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer (6)This second shot is kind of bizarro for sure, but it highlighted the shimmers so well I had to include it >_<

Finally, we have the most natural of the bunch, and my personal preference for a foolproof glow – Burberry’s Fresh Glow Luminizing Base.  If you recall, I bought this last year as a birthday treat for myself (which I think I might do every year – buy Burberry makeup, I mean!) and was unsure if it was genius or useless.  Well, consider me converted because this give the most subtle yet glowing look of the bunch.  It can be worn a multitude of ways: on bare skin, under foundation, over foundation, mixed in with foundation, etc. – but I prefer to use either on a bare face to just give me a pick me up if I’m going super low-key, or on top of foundation on the high points of the face.  Even though there is shimmer, somehow there is no shimmer - like Houdini or something.  I haven’t quite figured it out, but I will say that looking at it worn in full sunshine today for the first time, I was totally amazed – I looked utterly radiant but like I had absolutely nothing on.  Kind of like how you look when you put on a face oil, and you look glowing, but without the adding ‘shine’ factor.  Good times.  Dammit Burberry, why is everything you do SO DAMN EXPENSIVE GOOD?

Burberry Fresh Glow Burberry Fresh Glow (2)

Thus concludes my research – I hope you found it helpful!  I know it’s tough to see the nuances between shots but I think the gist is there in terms of comparing the five.  As always, this kind of post is helpful for me too, so yay for killing two birds with one stone!

Highlighters (6)

Do you wear a highlighter?  What formula/finish do you prefer?  Which of these ones would you choose?

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How Convenient That Pantone’s Color of the Year Was Also PERFECT for St. Patty’s Day!

So.  Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day!  7 years ago (OMG how time flies…barf) I was in Dublin for Paddy’s Day (as they shorthand it in Ireland), and yea…it was as crazy as you’d imagine it to be!  Not so much a drunken mess, but just the sheer amount of people…yowza.  It was a fantabulous time, and I’ll never forget it!

As the years pass, it seems the crew of hardcore Paddy’s Day party-goers dwindles in my crowd – job responsibilities, babies, and aging in general all seem to keep everyone at home on one of the most fun days of the year ~tear~  Thankfully, I have an excellent partner-in-crime who I can always count on to celebrate with me!  This year it was just the two of us, so it was more low-key than usual, but I still made sure to dress the part – which includes green makeup (and nails), of course!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (5)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (7)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (4)

I usually do a lot more green on the eye, but since it wasn’t a rip-roaring party I went subdued and just wore a simple flash of green liner on the top lash line.  I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liner in Covet (an emerald green with silver microglitter) on top of MAC’s Blacktrack Fluidline – the black gave the green more depth and helped the line look more crisp.  I added MAC All That Glitters shadow all over the lid, as I find it gives the most beautiful shine to the eye without ever seeming like too much, and then a dab of Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill shadow in #6 Khaki Pulse to the crease to add a little bit more depth.  *Side note – anyone notice that I’m trying to grow my eyebrows out?  It’s so frickin’ hard dude!  I want to pluck all the random stray hairs but I’m trying to be patient ~sigh~ They are coming along though :)

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (2)

Since it was going to be a long day, I wore MUFE’s HD Blush in #12 First Kiss on bare cheeks, layered foundation on top, and then added a touch of MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Early Morning to make sure my blush had good staying power.  I quite liked the way it made my skin look kind of lit from within.  I don’t usually layer cream and powder blushers but I really need to get on that!  I topped off my cheekbones and other high points of the face with MAC’s Beauty Powder in Shell Pearl, which gives the best glow – I finally got my hands on the Year of the Snake version last week and I LOVE this product.  Review will be forthcoming!

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013  (3)

I finished with a very simple lip using Benefit’s Ultra Plush gloss in Hoola.  I didn’t want anything competing with the green liner, so this gave the barest hint of shimmer and warmth, but that’s about it.

St. Patty's Day Makeup 2013

Of course, the look isn’t finished – gotta get some flash on the nails too, right!?  Because I’m not a fan of green nail polish as a whole, I don’t actually own any that are going to give me serious pizazz.  But I have shades with a green tinge… haha.  I made it work, I think!  I just read about sideways manicures, so I tried it out – easiest nail art EVER.  And also my new favorite!!

St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (3) St. Patty's Day Nails 2013 (2)

The shades I used were a-England Tess d’Urbervilles as a base, and Chanel Peridot on top.  This was probably more subtle than I should have gone with – the nature of Peridot with it’s duochrome nature just makes the a-England shade look like a shadow.  Nonetheless, I loved the effect, and loved how darn easy this one (no nail stickers required – freehand works perfectly!), so I’ll definitely be trying this again and again with other shades.  Fun!

I always have intentions to get these kinds of event posts up before the actual event, but who am I kidding?  That’s never going to happen – I’m too busy prepping for the occasion to actually have time to post!  LOL  Anyway, all the other bloggers have got this covered for me :D  And it’s not like I did anything particularly unique, and both the makeup and nails could be done any time of the year, right?

How did you celebrate Paddy’s Day??  Did you do any themed makeup and/or nails?

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Beat the Winter Blues – Enter to Win Our Winter Edition Beauty Envy Bag!!

Winter Edition Beauty Envy Bag
We’re back with the Winter Edition of the Beauty Envy Bag! We’ve handpicked several of our beauty
favorites that will help you make it through this winter season with some new goodies. The bag consists
of all full-sized products to help meet your beauty needs. For those of you who may be new to our blogs,
here’s a quick introduction.

Lakeisha is a nail polish blogger from Florida. She is obsessed with polish, fashion, and merging the two together. She is the blogger behind Refined and Polished.

Latoya is a beauty blogger from the East Coast of Canada. While she loves all things girly, she’s also a closet gamer and is a die-hard Walking Dead fan. She is the blogger behind Beauty Obsessed.

Leticia is a beauty blogger from the Pacific Northwest.  She is a dog lover, sci fi nerd, handbag collector, and makeup junkie. She is the blogger behind Cosmetics Aficionado.

Lola is a Midwest blogger with a passion for polish, science, and music. She is the blogger behind Burb Beauty.

The Winter Edition of the Beauty Envy Bag contains:

Please feel free to click the links above to learn more about each product. Accompanying all of the items
is a purple metallic beauty bag from Sephora and additional samples will be included as well.

Here is what you need to know to enter in the Rafflecopter widget below:

  • Must leave a blog comment (just one blog, doesn’t have to be all four) letting us know your
    favorite winter beauty product.
  • Additional entries for following each blog on social media networks (Facebook, Twitter,
    Instagram)
  • Open internationally
  • Must be 18+
  • Giveaway closes on Monday, January 28, 2012 at 11:59 EST

Good luck dolls!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Indulging My Inner Consumer with Benefit’s High Flyin’ Glosses Collection

Back in November, having missed out on buying cosmetics for so long, I did damage control by picking up Benefit’s High Flyin’ Glosses set, a collection of six mini Ultra Plush lipglosses that gave me a good bang for my buck ($28CAD for a $52CAD value) and a fistful of new shades to get me back into the game in a (semi) big way.  Since I’ve been terribly delinquent in filling you in on these glosses, I’ve had lots of time to review them in full and can give a fairly clear picture of the product. Let’s begin, shall we?

Benefit High Flyin' Glosses Set
Each of the glosses in the set are 6.5mL (full-size are 15mL), and the colors correspond with each one of Benefit’s boxed blushes/bronzers (except Hervana): CORALista, Bella Bamba, Sugarbomb, Dandelion, Dallas, and Hoola.

Benefit High Flyin' Glosses Set SwatchesLeft to right (sunlight): Sugarbomb, Dandelion, Hoola, Dallas, CORALista, Bella Bamba

These first three glosses have shimmer and give a nice sparkle to the lips:

Sugarbomb is a cool-toned mauvey-pink with shimmer – it has the most shimmer of all six glosses. The gloss is sheer in pigment and merely lightens my lips very slightly and adds a very wearable sparkle.

Benefit Sugarbomb (2) Benefit Sugarbomb

Dandelion is a pale pink shimmered gloss that looks very similar to Sugarbomb on the lips, but with less shimmer.  It is also quite sheer and very natural-looking except for a slight pearlized effect.

Benefit Dandelion (2) Benefit Dandelion

Hoola is a sheer golden bronze shade with a hint of shimmer and nearly translucent on the lips.  Strangely, this shade is one of my favorite shades of the collection!

Benefit Hoola (2) Benefit Hoola

The second group of glosses do not have any shimmer:

Dallas is a rosy nude shade that has the most opacity of all six colors.  It can be a bit tricky to apply evenly and I found it collected a bit in spots if I didn’t apply it carefully.

Benefit Dallas (2) Benefit Dallas

CORALista is, as the name implies, a coral shade that leans more orange than pink.  It’s quite sheer and imparts only a hint of color to the lips – which should make the hue very wearable for all skintones.

Benefit CORALista Benefit Coralista

Bella Bamba is a deep pink gloss that doesn’t lean warm nor cool.  It is also very sheer once applied and while it does give the lips some color, it is subtle.  Someone with less pigmented lips may get a more noticeable effect that myself (my lips are of medium pigment).

Benefit Bella BambaBenefit Bella Bamba

Overall, I quite like these glosses – all are wearable across skintones, and feel nicely hydrating on the lips.  I also like the fact that the shine isn’t glass-like, which is a turn off for me – it’s somewhat more subtle and therefore great for someone who doesn’t generally like glosses, or who usually prefers lipstick.  They do have a fair bit of slip so they only get a few hours of wear at most, but I don’t mind.  As they don’t give a vast amount of difference in tone when worn, I wouldn’t suggest picking up each shade on their own – my recommendations would be to choose either Sugarbomb OR Dandelion, Hoola, Dallas, and CORALista OR Bella Bamba depending on your preference in color. However, owning the set of these minis is ideal as they are fun and terribly easy to carry around with you day or night.

Benefit High Flyin' Glosses Set (3)
Though the High Flyin’ Glosses set is no longer available, you can get the full-sized glosses for $18CAD, OR opt for one of their great kits that contain mini sizes of the gloss and their corresponding powder blush, along with a cheek tint and one of their highlighters in complimentary tones (available for Dandelion, CORALista, and Sugarbomb, for $32CAD at Sephora).

OR stay tuned for a possible li’l surprize coming later this month :)

Did you pick up this set, or any of the Benefit Ultra Plush glosses?  Are you a gloss wearer or all about lipstick?

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Upcoming on Beauty Obsessed…

So it’s been a week since I’ve been returned from my New Zealand adventure, and I’m slowly (verrrrrry slowly) getting back into the swing of things.  It’s quite an adjustment to go from an action-packed-always-on-the-go-surrounded-by-people-partying-every-night atmosphere, to being…back to work, home alone, same-old same-old.  I’m not knocking my life by any means – I’ve got a warm, cozy condo; a good (though perhaps boring) job; and great friends – but it’s still quite a change to get re-established into.  And I’m someone who really likes to have things to look forward to (which is why I’m planning my next adventure!).

When I googled this country, I noticed it ALSO has a lot of sheep…guess it’s my thing ;)  *Hint hint* 

ANYWAY.  Enough whining, and on with the show, right?  Right.  Tonight, I opted get a bunch of ‘To Do’s’ done and make bread (because what’s more comforting than baking bread!?), but I want to show you what you can expect to see on the blog in the next week or two.  I happily came home to a few surprise packages that had been sent my way, so despite the fact that I haven’t been buying much in the way of exciting cosmetics in the past couple months (though…I did pick up an eyeshadow this weekend ~guilty face~), I do have several holiday sets – four to be exact – to fill you in on!

Illamasqua Lip Twin Set*

Intense Lipgloss in Plentiful & Lipstick in Obey

Hourglass Best of Hourglass Collection*

(Top to Bottom): Veil Mineral Primer, Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara, Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss in Ignite, No. 28 Primer Serum

Make Up For Ever All Eyes On You Set*

(Clockwise from left): HD High Definition Powder, Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Color in #16 (Pink Beige), Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara, Aqua Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils in 21L (dark grey) and 0L (mat black)

Benefit High Flyin’ Glosses Lip Gloss Set

(Clockwise from top left): Coralista, Dallas, Bella Bamba, Dandelion, Sugarbomb, Hoola

I think that’s a pretty good start to the holidays, don’t you?  I will tell you now, I am absolutely IN LOVE with the Hourglass No. 28 Primer Serum – it makes my skin look amazing on it’s own, improves it’s texture, doesn’t cause ANY breakouts or irritation (even on my normal-to-oily skin), and my makeup wears better and smoother with it on (though I will say, it doesn’t make it last all day long).  I’m definitely buying a full-size when money isn’t so tight!

So – keep your eyes peeled!  I spent the morning Sunday taking photos of everything, though I have to redo my lipgloss swatches as I had a bit of unnoticed flaking going on – yikes!  I don’t want to scare you away just when I’ve gotten back! :)  Also…..one (or even two!) of these sets just *might* be part of a giveaway coming soon to a blog near you – just sayin’.

What’s on everyone’s wish list for the holiday season, cosmetics-wise?  Anything you’ve already picked up and are loving?
*Products marked with an * were provided to me for consideration of review by the PR company/brand.

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