BeneFit: A Love/Hate Relationship

Posted on: Monday, 21 June 2010

BeneFit as a brand seems to be a contentious issue amongst its users. Some love it; some hate it as is made quite apparent by the varying reviews on MakeupAlley. Personally I love some products and am not so keen on others - there's none that I hate per se but certainly some that I feel are not up to scratch for an expensive and respected brand. I know all make-up brands are going to have a few products that they just don't get right - for instance, I don't think MAC have quite figured out the secret to a good mascara - but it seems BeneFit is laden with as many misses as it is hits.

I thought I'd compile a list reviewing all the BeneFit products I've used in the past, as it's probably the brand that I've experimented with the most over the years. I hope you find it useful! I'm going to mark them 'love' and 'hate' just for the purposes of weighing up the products' quality, but it does not mean I absolutely adore nor despise the product, just that they tip the scale of good vs bad!

  1. BADgal Lash Mascara - HATE
    My friend's mum first picked this up for me in duty free whenshe was working as anair-stewardess, and so I got it for the discounted price of £10 (RRP £15.50).It's not awful and I certain
    ly don't hate it but I honestly can't justify the price tag when my Holy Grail mascara (see here) retails at £10.99 and you can always pick one up for cheap on eBay. This mascara certainly has its good points in its heavily pigmented black formula, but for me the negatives outweigh the positives: I found it clumpy, it dried well within its given shelf-life and it just didn't give the volume it seemed to promise not only from its advertising but also from its design. A deceptive product and one I would not buy again. Sorry BeneFit!
  2. Big Beautiful Eyes palette - LOVE
    Just like I don't hate BadGal Lash, I don't love Big Beautiful Eyes. Nonetheless, I'm on my second palette of this now, if it can really be called a palette. It actually comes with two eyeshadows (the middle one is such a pretty colour FYI!) and one equal-sized pan of pressed dark-brown kohl powder that serves as a liner.The whole equal-sized pan thing has always confused me: both my eyeshadow pans have run out yet you wouldn't know I'd even swiped a brush over the kohl. I'd way prefer if they were to rethink thei
    r ratios and give us more of the gorgeous shadows and less of the kohl because, to be honest, you need about one-tenth of the amount you do of the eyeshadows. Kind of bizarre. Anyway, this also comes with a decent-sized pan of concealer, which as far as I know is like a 'one-colour-suits-all' thing (that's another thing I have beef with BeneFit about: quite a few of their products are in just one colour, as if that's going to suit every skin tone out there? I don't think so. See YouRebel and Some Kind-a Gorgeous reviews further down...) So moving on, I do really like this product - you know I love my neutral eyes - but it ain't a Holy Grail or even close for me. It comes with a nifty booklet on how to contour, and the product does what it says on the tin (although whilst I can give the illusion that my eyes are beautiful, they'll never be big. Sob). I think the reason I'm not completely enamoured by this product is that it doesn'tpack the kind of punch you want it to. Also, and this might just be me being messy, but having a creamy concealer in amongst pans of eyeshadow is surely a design fault: I couldn't even review the concealer for you because it's covered in eyeshadow and so I've never really used it apart from maybe when it was brand new. Bummer. I'd give this product a 7/10 on a good day, but I doubt I'll buy it again.

  3. CORALista blush - LOVE
    I've had this blush for over a year n
    ow and for some weird reason I stopped using it altogether after I boughtmy (admittedly Holy Grail) NARS Gilda blush. I've now rediscovered its brilliance and am using it increasingly as we move into summer. I guess the main difference between my two blushes is that Coralista is a shimmery coral; Gilda is a darker, matte coral. As it's getting warmer I'm increasingly using Coralista lightly over my face and then swirling a small amount of Gilda on to the apples of my cheeks and it looks really, really pretty. Anyway, Coralista - like all BeneFit blushes and bronzers - is in a really cute box and smells gorgeous. I don't like the smell of many other BeneFit products, but Coralista smells reallygood. It's also a beautiful pinky coral, with just the right amount of shimmer (NB I hate glittery blushes). For this reason, Coralista is probably my favourite of my tried-and-tested BeneFit product.I'mincluding a swatch here of the difference between Coralista (left) and Gilda (right) so you get an idea of what I mean by how they're both coral blushes, but really different at the same time.
  4. Eye Bright instant eye brightener Undecided
    See here for review.

  5. Gilded gold highlighter - HATE
    Now I've listed this under 'hate' which is probably a little unfair of me. I tried out a friend's once and that's the only time I've used it. However, when I did try it on, I just didn't really notice any marked difference and felt the product was hugely under-pigmented for what it advertises
    itself as. I think another reason behind my gripe with this product is that I actually don't particularly like gold colours (although I love MoonBeam - see below) around my eyes, which is where I tried this product. So I know I'm hugely under-qualified to give a totally accurate review of Gilded, but its a thumbs-down from me and I wouldn't go out and buy this product.
  6. Her Glossiness lip gloss - LOVE
    I got this for Christmas in my stocking in 2008, which is a longgg time ago, but I still have and use this product a lot. I love this product for a number of reasons: firstly, BeneFit have got the consistency, texture and level of gloss pretty muc
    h perfect in this product. Secondly, when I first opened the product I couldn't help but think it was going to be way too dark for me. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to discover that one thin coat provides a beautiful, dark rose-coloured hue that lasts ages and looks gorgeous. I'd highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a lipgloss, and there's plenty of colours to choose from too.
  7. High Beam complexion enhancer - LOVE/HATE
    I still have a pot of High Beam on the go, although it's definitely on it's last legs. I have a more complex love-hate relationship wi
    th High Beam than I do with various other products, namely because I love some aspects of the product and hate others. What I love about this: it highlights really clearly. You know if you're wearing High Beam, for sure. If you want to highlight an aspect of your face whether it be your brow bone, corners of your eyes, bridge of your nose, philtrum or cheekbones, this will do the trick. But that brings me on to what I hate: it's almost too sheer and shiny. If you know how to use it, you can work it in to get it to look subtle. Unfortunately if you don't have the time (say in the morning) to take necessary care and attention to this, you end up looking seriously shiny. Also, it dries really fast, and so if you don't get it right, it'll set in to your face like a smear. So High Beam, for me, comes out in the evening when I have enough time to work with it properly. Overall, I do like this product, but it frustrates me at times. Warning: make sure you check all the angles of your face before leaving the house! When I first started using this, I'd go out, go to the bathroom in a club and there would be streaks of this across my face that I hadn't seen at home. Natural light would probably help...

  8. Moon Beam complexion enhancer - LOVEI haven't owned Moon Beam for a long time, so I'm working on memory. What I like about Moon Beam is that, even though I'm cool-toned (so should really suit the pinks of High Beam rather than the golds of Moon Beam), it's a more subtle highlighter than High Beam. It has the same sticky consistency of High Beam yet also dries quickly, meaning you have to get the right amount on and blend it in within about 20 seconds otherwise it dries in streaks on your face. I labelled this one 'love' rather than 'hate' because I prefer the colours to High Beam, but it's not a favourite of mine: it still has the problems that High Beam does, just with prettier colours which makes me forgive BeneFit a little bit more!

  9. Some Kind-a Gorgeous foundation - HATEThis foundation, like You Rebel, is sold as being 'one colour fits all'. Well, I beg to differ. There's three issues I have with this product. First of all, it doesn't suit every skin type at all. My skin's a pretty normal, fair-to-average colour, and it was way too dark for me. Secondly, it's very very oily. Again, I have normal skin that responds well to 95% of products on the market, but this just looked slimy on my skin. And thirdly, the price. We all know BeneFit is expensive, but this one takes the mickey! Really dislike this product, and wouldn't buy it again.

  10. You Rebel tinted moisturiser - HATEThis product, I'm sad to say, has no redeeming qualities for me whatsoever. Greasy with patchy coverage and a very orange colour. Some people love this but it's absolutely not for me! And to add insult to injury, the tube became such a mess, with the label peeling off horribly and the metal casing becoming completely disfigured. Would never dream of repurchasing!
  11. It Stick concealer - LOVE
    See here for my review. I can't find this at all on their website, but I'm pretty sure they haven't discontinued it given that it's part of the Glamour Magazine giveaway this month. Instead, I'll link you to MakeupAlley reviews of the product - enjoy!
  12.  Betty Brushes Up On Beauty set of brushes - LOVE
    A very pretty set of brushes, very soft and lovely to work with. Not much else to say about these, but definitely would recommend.
  13.  Non-Fiction Foundation - HATE
    See 'Some-Kind-a-Gorgeous' above. Thick, greasy and orange!
  14. b-spot fragrance - LOVE/HATEThis is definitely a pretty summery scent, but I found it quite cloying and the fragrance wore off far too quickly. For the price, probably not worth it. Luckily I got mine free as a gift with a purchase, but I wouldn't spend the money on this.

Thus confirms my previous thoughts: I really do have a love-hate relationship with BeneFit products, though the 'loves' slightly outweigh the 'hates'. So I guess it's a half-hearted thumbs up from me...

5 Products I Couldn't Live Without

Thought I'd do a fun post of the 5 make-up products I couldn't live without. Without further ado:

  1. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Santa Fe
    This has been my Holy-Grail foundation since I bought my first bottle in February this year. I've only just started my second bottle so it lasts a pretty long time. It's a medium coverage foundation with a great colour range - I use Santa Fe which is described as "for medium complexions with a slight peach undertone". It blends beautifully into my skin and I often find that I get the best results just using my fingers to warm the liquid onto my face. It also works really nicely with the MAC 190 and 187 brushes, and I'm sure there are others out there I haven't tried it with (leave me a comment with your favourite liquid foundation brushes). This foundation is certainly expensive, but you definitely reap the benefits of such a high-end product. It's bittersweet that this has become my Holy Grail; I've finally found a foundation that I adore, but it's also expensive and I don't know how much longer I can afford this for on a student budget! Luckily I got my second bottle for £20 on eBay - the seller had swatched it once and it was the wrong colour - so that softened the price tag somewhat! Anyway, I would 110% recommend Sheer Glow to anyone who was considering a new foundation; but make sure you get matched to the right colour in-store (Space NK and some Selfridges stores stock NARS in the UK). At such a high price you can't afford to get it wrong!

  2. MaxFactor False Lash Effect Mascara
    I've always bought and loved drug-store mascaras, and this is no exception. I've used False Lash Effect for a couple of years now and I love it so much I haven't considered trying out a different mascara since. The brush is deceptive; it looks like it's going to give you thick, clumpy lashes, but it actually glides on smoothly giving pretty intense volume whilst separating the individual lashes. It's not the cheapest of drug-store mascaras but it's certainly not of the same price-range as YSL, Dior etc., and actually I know a lot of people feel the same as I do that drug-store mascaras are in fact better than high-end ones. It's also a product that I think MAC falls down on, so I would honestly plug False Lash Effect as the ultimate go-to mascara for day and night.

  3. Rose & Co. Apothecary Rose Petal Salve
    I first bought this lip salve in 2008 and it has grown to be a staple of my make-up collection. It is rose-scented (would you believe), a light pink colour in the pan but a pale sheen when applied to the lips. I also love this product because it keeps my lips moisturised and lasts forever. I think what puts this salve in my top 5 is its multi-purpose use, at least for me, anyway. The Rose & Co. website (which is really cute, by the way), says
    "there seems to be no end to the uses of this magical little balm...: to tame brows and condition and define protect the skin when tinting soften cuticles on fingers & smooth elbows and a sheen over a lipgloss on its an eye gloss on brow bones...mixed with shimmer powder to highlight cheek fix body glitter and sequins..."

    I've definitely used this salve for a variety of purposes, and it's especially handy with my MAC pigments (my current squeeze is Cornflower, if you were wondering). I also use it on my lashes for a more natural look - works better than clear mascara in my opinion - and to shape my brows.

  4. NARS Laguna Bronzer
    NARS Laguna is a cult product, and I'm afraid I completely buy into it. It's a gorgeous, slimming bronzer that works all-year round and it's perfect for contouring (I use the MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush). There's little else to say about this product other than it is incredible, certainly mine (and many others') Holy Grail bronzer. Check out some other reviews on MakeupAlley for more tips and comments.

  5. MAC Prep & Prime Skin
    I got this product for Christmas after putting it on my wishlist (quick shameless plug for my mum's wishlist website) and it's safe to say I haven't been disappointed. It provides a strong shimmery base and helps my make-up to stay on all day. I'm also convinced it's worked wonders for my skin, keeping it smooth and taut and perfect for applying my Sheer Glow foundation. A pea-sized amount of this goes a long way and so serves to justify its price tag (it's MAC, what can you expect?) and this has to go on my Top 5 products not only because of its quality but also because I use it every day without fail. It's a complete staple of my make-up collection and I haven't yet applied foundation without this primer in my 6 months of owning it.

Glamour Magazine BeneFit Giveaway

For all those living in the UK, go out now and buy Glamour magazine! This month's issue is giving away 3 separate BeneFit products, namely ItStick, Eye Bright and Bad Gal. The magazine price is £2 and the RRP for all 3 products is around £15, so I make that a £39 (worth of make-up) profit. Not bad!

My reviews of the three products are probably a little skewered given that it's been years since I've tried Bad Gal, so take that one for what it is - an out-of-date review. The other two I've purchased and tried over the last couple of days so are potentially a lot more relevant. I don't know if BeneFit have changed the Bad Gal formula in recent years and if they have, my bad!

So as I said, I tried this product out a few years ago. I know it's a popular product, but I personally am not a fan. I prefer more defined eyeliners and ones that allow for more precision. In fact, I'm a huge fan of drugstore eyeliners, notably Rimmel's Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil. I've used this product for years and it's highly pigmented and workable to whatever effect you choose. Bad
Gal on the other hand is expensive and I personally don't like how 'fat' it is; it is almost impossible to get a really defined line. I'm sure this product is great for full-on smokey eyes, but I wouldn't buy it. Speaking of Bad Gal, I'm also not a huge fan of their BadGal Lash mascara. I've had 2 tubes of it - so I definitely gave it a second chance - and for me it's too wet and makes my lashes too clumpy. Sorry BeneFit - not a fan of the Bad Gal range!

I haven't used too much of this because it's a frosty pink colour and I usually prefer to use more yellow highlighters like BeneFit's Moon Beam (I've always wondered why High Beam has become such a cult product when - at least in my opinion - Moon Beam is a much nicer, more natural-looking highlighter with a better colour spectrum).
Anyway, Eye Bright comes as a pretty pencil, much like It Stick, and is easy to apply to the inner corners of the eye. If you gently line under your lower lid and smudge it in it also gives a beautiful iridescent sheen to your eyes. One tip: I'd put this on your eyes before any other item because it's difficult to be precise after you've put on your liner, mascara, eyeshadow etc. I guess that's one downfall of the packaging even though it looks so pretty; it's so big it's almost clumsy to use. Nonetheless, a nice simple product and for £2 I'm happy to keep it in my makeup collection!

I was talking to another make-up obsessed friend of mine who conceded that this was her least favourite of the 3 giveaway products. Well, I beg to differ, and it certainly proves that it really comes down to opinion a lot of the time, because of all 3 It Stick is definitely my favourite.
Firstly, I love the packaging and the fact that it's a pencil. It makes it way more handbag-friendly and avoids messiness which I do get with my (admittedly wonderful) NARS Duo Concealer.
This also provides me with a great concealer for my area because, whilst the rest of my face is 'normal' in terms of skin type, my eyelids do get oily and so my regular concealer can create a crease on the lid line. It Stick combats that problem for me because it's quite a dry, chalky formula and still blends well. So a huge thumbs-up from me for It Stick and it looks like most over at MakeupAlley agree with me!

I'd love to hear your views on the 3 giveaway products so please leave comments or links to your reviews below!

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