Photography: Zoe London
You may have seen these new Benefit launches. Do they actually work?
Benefit new in is probably one of the most curious things in all of the beauty industry. Always forefront with the kookiest and most playful packaging, their products can sometimes be a bit hit and miss with the novelty factor. I received a huge amazing box of the Benefit They’re Real! Double The Lip Lipstick and Liner in One* as well as the Benefit They’re Real! Duo Eyeshadow Blender* and I wanted to properly put them to the test and give you the full lowdown. I have all eight of both products to show you, so let’s get stuck in!
above: Eyes – Bombshell Brown, Lips – Revved Up Red
Lets start with the Eyeshadows.
So I don’t think this product innovation is totally new, as there seems to be history of a similar thing from back in the day floating around. However, in terms of what is on the market right now – there is absolutely nothing (as far as i’m aware, do correct me if i’m wrong!) like these out there. First making a mini debut in a gift box set of three just before Christmas, they now exist in individual form. Wrapped in a chrome rectangular casing, they feel sturdy and slick, and even though the product itself is actually quite small – they found room for a little mirror. Perfect. With eight different shades to choose from, all very wearable and neutral but with some offering a more pink, and others offering a more khaki shade – the majority of them are a very safe nude brown. Most are shimmery, but one – Beyond Nude, has a matte shade in. With a small sponge applicator to apply, they come in very lightweight and portable with everything you need all in one.
top row: Kinky Khaki, Easy Smokin’, Sexy Smokin’, Provocative Plum. bottom row: Beyond Nude, Bombshell Brown, Brazen Bronze, Naughty Neutral
Onto the nitty gritty.
Do these things actually work? Okay so it took me a couple of attempts to get the knack of it right, but yes, they really do work. You need to swipe the little sponge applicator across the product about three or four times to pick up enough product, and then apply to your eyes. Now, Benefit say you can use them either way around, but personally for my eye shape they did not work at all with the darker shade in the ‘crease’ part of my eye. It went really smudgy and didn’t look good at all. However, on other eyelid shapes, it could work that way around. What does work, however, is the way they are mostly presented in the pan – with the darker shade at the bottom along the eyelid. Man, it really is so easy. You just swipe it over the eyes once and then back again to blend a bit, and your eye makeup is done. It’s not the most groundbreaking, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, but it is perfectly done eye makeup, which anyone can apply.
above: Eyes – Kinky Khaki, Lips – Nude Scandal
Do I think these are worth the money?
Yes and no. In a balanced view point, for the most seasoned makeup addict, the girl with the insta tutorials bookmarked and the room full of clean brushes, the addict who knows off the top of her head her Sephora from her Space NK (or his!) – no. They’re too basic and too easy for you. However, for the slightly less experienced at makeup among us – hey there’s really no shame in that at all here, it’s not an easy thing to master overnight – yes, they are worth the money. You will absolutely love that you can do this so easy, and achieve that blended soft smoky eye look, without having to work hard and get frustrated in doing so. Honestly, it really is easy. I’m not even just saying that. In the photo above, i’m wearing the shade Kinky Khaki, which just so happens to be my favourite of the lot, and you can see how flawlessly easy it created a smudgy eyeliner and highlighted eye look on me. You could very easily fool those curious into thinking you did it yourself, and even better if you’re in a rush as no joke putting these all on, taking them all off and photographing them took me less than 30 minutes. If you’re a whizz at makeup, you’ll probably have shades like this in your collection, but if you are a newbie or a bit shy of makeup, I think you’re genuinely going to love these.
As I was applying them I got thinking about the older generation, and how they too still want to look fabulous but can sometimes find it tricky to know where to start in an often youthful feeling market. I think these would make the perfect gift for your mum, auntie or grandparent, as they’re honestly foolproof, and will soon become their favourite makeup item. I can see my auntie absolutely loving these, for example, as she’s a busy lady who needs makeup to look good fast without any fuss.
Let’s move on to the lipsticks.
As with the eyeshadow duos, there are eight shades of the lipsticks. They are a semi-matte, soft wearable formula, with a pointed end to create a ‘liner’. This really intrigued me as I was curious how you could use a darker shade to create a liner whilst applying your lipstick at the same time, and I was very curious to try them out. For some shades the liner is quite obvious, and for others it’s really subtle. Let’s look a bit further into how they swatch and apply.
l-r in both pics: Lusty Rose, Nude Scandal, Criminally Coral, Pink Thrills, Fuchsia Fever, Juicy Berry, Revved Up Red, Flame Game
A full lowdown on all eight swatched.
Hopefully the photo here is giving you the best view of all the shades, as they appear on my pale skin. For me the stand out shades are Nude Scandal, Revved Up Red, Lusty Rose and Juicy Berry – but that’s just my taste. If you look through the photos on this blog post you can see i’m wearing three out of the four highlight shades for me. I think that Criminally Coral will suit those of you with beautiful tanned skin, I think that Flame Game will suit those with fair skin and red hair, and I think that Juicy Berry and Fuchsia Fever will look gorgeous on those with dark skin. I mean they’re all universal really as I’m a firm believer in wearing what shades you like – but those would be my recommendations. Onto the formula, it is a semi-matte that glides across the lips easy. I didn’t find them to drag, or cling to dryness, and over time they did go a little powdery and more matte – but never made my lips look dry. To apply them you use the lipstick with the liner the right way round for how your lip shape is, so upward for the top and downward for the bottom – and while again I think it’s a little gimmicky, for some of the shades it does make a difference.
above: Eyes – Easy Smokin’, Lips – Lusty Rose
If you look at this photo above of me, i’m wearing Lusty Rose, and you can quite clearly see along my bottom lip line how it has created that sort of liner effect. I do think it does make my lips look a little fuller, and again is a really foolproof method to easy makeup application. Again, the shades are nothing out of the ordinary, but they are very wearable and beautiful – which I think seasoned makeup lovers and makeup newbies alike will enjoy. Nude Scandal in particular is really gorgeous, and definitely on par with some other luxe makeup brand nudes, such as Charlotte Tilbury.
All in all a slightly mixed review of these new Benefit launches – fundamentally I think they are great products, but play it quite safe with shade choices, therefore eliminating some of you guys I know who are like me and enjoy bold/bright/unique colours. However, they are perfect for most women and men out there who may need help with makeup, or makeup application quickly and on the go. I’m so aware that so many of you are busy, go getting people who don’t have the time I do to apply intricate and complicated makeup, and these little two minute wonders really will be a powerful arsenal in your makeup bag.
Don’t forget to click on the little pictures above to shop the range from a variety of retailers, and also let me know what you think in the comments! I don’t know if you guys have seen, but Benefit have just added a new blush box to their range – Galifornia – and i’m practically squealing with excitement to see it IRL! As always I know they’re going to bring out exciting and new products throughout the year, and it’s one of the reasons why I adore this cutesy happy makeup brand so much. Let me know your thoughts!