6 August 2013

New from Benefit - Worth the hype?

A picture of Benefit Longwear Powder Shadow, Stay Flawless Primer and Ultra Plush Gloss

I don't know of many brands who bring out as many new products as Benefit do. It seems the hard working benebabes over at Benefit HQ are constantly up and down the Country promoting their newest marvel product. They know how to advertise, I'll give them that! But do the promises of their ad campaigns and product claims match the products ability? I've put three new Benefit products to the test, wearing them each in multiple ways, seeing if they really are as fabulous as Benefit claims. 

Let's start with a product I was really excited to see join the ranks of the UK Benefit ranges; the long-wear powder shadow. I have been excited about this launch ever since it was introduced to America. I have to be honest, it's the almost vintage style packaging which caught my eye. There's just something so lovely about the colours used within the packaging, the design and patterns used, the shape of the shadows and the delicate embossed detailing. Lovely. I was kindly sent a longwear powder shade in the shade Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy(Benefit*, £15.50) which is a gorgeous brown with copper undertones and a slight shimmer which looks more sparkly in the pan, but rest assured not much shimmer transfers to the eye. The new longwear powder shadows have been made with a long-wearing formula. Soft to the touch, you need a light hand to avoid fall out. I've used this all over the lid, applied more lightly towards the inner corner and middle of the lid, with a bit more oomph in the crease and blended out. The colour really is beautiful and I think it works very well with my brown eyes and it's definitely a shade which would bring out brighter eyes. I've also applied this over various cream bases and teamed with various other shadows, which it works just as well with. Lasting time I can wear this shadow all day and I only experience a tiny bit of creasing if above a cream base, but for the most part and when used just with an eye primer, it lasts and lasts. There are 12 shades in the new longwear range which have three finishes; matte, satin and sheen. I think I'll be investing in a matte shade, as I think a good matte shade can become a real staple in your makeup collection. But other than a matte shade, even the gorgeous packaging can't sway me just yet to pay £15.50 for a shadow - that's more expensive than a lot of high-end brands for a single shadow. It's worth checking out the Benefit box kits which have shadows in, such as the World Famous Neutrals kits, as these contain a variety of shadows of decent size which work out far more purse friendly.

A picture of Benefit Longwear Powder Shadow, Stay Flawless Primer and Ultra Plush Gloss

Next up, a product I have seen some very mixed reviews on and one which had me raising an eyebrow. Not so much for the product, I was actually eager to try the Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer* (Benefit*, £24.50) as I love POREFessional which is another primer from Benefit. But the advertising and 'science' behind Stay Flawless did have me a bit like 'Yeah, right... makeup magnets'. But as I often say, don't judge something before you've tried it. And I take it back, I eat my words. OK so I still don't believe the whole makeup magnets bit - which basically means that if you apply your Stay Flawless primer, then straight after apply your foundation, they bind together like magnets making your makeup last longer. But makeup magnets aside, there are big claims to Stay Flawless and for me these are claims which have been met. Stay Flawless has been formulated as 'pro'-long primer, making your makeup last up to 15 hours all whilst staying perfect and flawless. Almost like sand in colour, I was pleasantly surprised to find the primer itself is very, very firm. It's super solid and this is great because I was worried it may be one of those high-end products which doesn't last and can be used up very quickly. Quite the opposite, I've used this primer over my beloved Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion everyday for the past ten days and it's hardly made a dent. I think the key to Stay Flawless is how you apply it. I took the advice of many reviews I had read and rather than just swiping it across the areas I wanted it; my t-zone, top of my cheeks and chin, I apply it in circular movements. It applies completely clear and leaves a very smooth finish. I do find foundation lasts really well with this primer, however I do struggle using a makeup brush to apply my base with this primer and opt for a beauty blender instead. I like the packaging, which is a bit quieter than Benefit's usual style but still funky and stylish all the same, and I really do think it's fantastic it's such a firm product - this won't run out any time soon. I have oily skin and this primer works for me, but it does come second to my Urban Decay primer. That said, I think I would happily repurchase this even at the steep price of £24.50, because it does make my makeup last and not once whilst using it have I had to blot or powder. For someone with oily skin, that's a pretty good primer!

A picture of Benefit Longwear Powder Shadow, Stay Flawless Primer and Ultra Plush Gloss

The third and final product I have been trialing from Benefit is the new Ultra Plush Lip Gloss* (Benefit*, £14.50) which I received in the shade Icebreaker (clear). With the same trend of packaging as the longwear shadow, the Ultra Plush glosses come in tubes which I actually prefer with glosses as I find doe foot applicators can get very messy and very unhygienic, very quickly. I don't really own any other clear lip-glosses and so I wasn't sure it would get much use and I was worried applying the clear gloss straight from the tube to vivid lipsticks, even nudes, would transfer onto the tube and become messy. Thankfully, after some clever-thinking I decided each time I have used this to apply it very lightly with a lip brush, ensuring no lipstick ends up on the tube, but still leaving me with a soft, gorgeously shiny gloss over my lipsticks. I've teamed it with a few shades, but the shades I find it works best with as a clear gloss is my red lipsticks. It just adds that extra bit of something-something that can be lacking in many of my matte lipsticks. There's six shades in total in the Ultra Plush range and I pretty much want all of them! 

Overall, I have to say I'm impressed Benefit. I do think the lipglosses and powder shadows could be a bit more purse friendly, but if you're willing to part with the pennies they are great quality products. I would adore to see Benefit bring out a proper palette of shadows at a reasonable price, as I am definitely more of a palette girl for ease. I'm besotted with the packaging for both the longwear shadow and ultra plush gloss and I think the Stay Flawless primer, if used in the right way, is a very, very good primer. Now to decide which matte shadow and which shade of lipgloss I want to treat myself too...

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*This post contains PR samples which were kindly sent for review. All views are 100% honest and my own.
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