Beauty Product Reviews

Benefit's Watt's Up? is a "soft focus highlighter that turns on watt ya got with a delicate champagne glow that's gorgeous. With a cream to powder finish, it's a switch on 'wow' for all complexions. You'll adore the smooth application and luminous sheen." Watt's Up? is one of the few Benefit highlighters I hadn't tried, so I was thrilled to receive a mini version of it in my Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift. The full size of Watt's Up? contains 9.4g (.33 oz) of product and retails for $30. Benefit does not test on animals. This product was made in Italy. Benefit products can be bought through the brand's website, at Benefit boutiques and counters, Ulta, and Sephora. My mini Watt's Up? comes in a purple metallic tube similar to a lipstick's packaging. The product name is written on the cap in darker purple cursive. Several light bulbs encircle the cap. The full size of Watt's Up? comes in a similar styled packaging, but it features a sponge tip on one end to assist with blending. Full or sample sized, Benefit's Watt's Up? has cute packaging. My only fear is that I'll accidentally snap the product out of the tube. I've tried just about all of Benefit's highlighters, most of which are liquid. I don't think I've ever tried a stick highlighter before Watt's Up?, but me and Benefit's products have a good track record, so I expected it to be awesome. Watt's Up? is pretty creamy and glides right on to the skin. Blending is a little bit of a chore, Watt's Up? is kinda stubborn and really needs to be patted into the skin. Once Watt's Up? is sufficiently blended in, it looks pretty great. This isn't a subtle illuminator, Watt's Up? is a very warm champagne shade, so it gives that candlelit effect. Watt's Up? is moderately shimmery, not exactly glittery, but it has a lot of dimension to it. I think most skin tones can pull off Watt's Up?, though I think it has the potential to be too warm for those with the pinkest undertones. I think this champagne hue would look lovely on very olive toned skins. This highlighter lasts for about 5-6 hours on me. Benefit's Watt's Up? isn't my favorite highlighter from Benefit, but its still a good product. Packaging is as cute as anything you'd expect from Benefit. I find this highlighter a little difficult, but otherwise I have no complaints. The strong champagne tone may be too much for some, really its a matter of personal preference. I wouldn't purchase a full size of Benefit's Watt's Up?, but I will continue to use my little version. Swatch Watt's Up? next time you're browsing Benefit's offers, it may be worth your while

Benefit's Fakeup Hydrating Concealer was taking the beauty industry by storm earlier this year. During a recent Benefit binge, I selected a sample of Fakeup as one of my gifts with purchase. What does Benefit say about their newest concealer? "Coverup goes incognito! This hydrating crease control concealer with Vitamin E and apple seed extract - hides dark circles and diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultra natural look. Proven to keep skin hydrated for six hours." Benefit gives several facts and figures about this concealer. Here are some clinical study results: 100% said Fakeup hydrates skin 100% said Fakeup feels comfortable on skin 97% said the formula is lightweight 97% said the packaging makes it easy to use 94% said the effect is long lasting 94% said Fakeup doesn't run 91% said Fakeup concealers dark circles 91% saw a natural appearance.

That's a lot of statistics. Anyway, I received a free .06 gram sample of this concealer. The full size, which retails for $24, contains 3.5g (.12 oz). The shade selection is very limited, only three shades are offered currently. Benefit products can be bought through the brand's website, at Benefit counters and boutiques, Sephora, and Ulta. Benefit does not test on animals. This concealer is made in the USA. My sample came attached to a beige card that lists the claims of the products. An image of the full sized packaging is printed on the card, along with a full ingredient list. The product its self is pre-mixed and contained under a small tab. The full size of this concealer comes in a silver twist tube with the product name and pink detailing on the cap. The concealer is in stick form and is surrounded by a "hydrating ring". From what I hear, the texture of the stick concealer is supposed to be quite soft and easy to work with. I swatched one in an Ulta store and it seemed dry, but that's likely because it was sitting out without a cap on. I wasn't sure what to expect from Benefit's Fakeup. I've heard so many mixed reviews, and now I'm writing one. As I mentioned, my sample of Fakeup is premixed, so I can't tell you how the stick form feels. I loved the texture of Fakeup initially, it is indeed very moisturizing and super lightweight. This creamy concealer is easy to apply and blend, it pats into the skin easily. The finish is amazing, it looks just like skin. I wish I could find a foundation with this finish. For testing purposes, I applied only Fakeup on one eye, and layered it over Benefit's concealer primer, Stay Don't Stray, and powdered it with Bare Mineral's Mineral Veil on the other. Luckily, my under eye circles aren't very bad (thanks to Benefit's awesome It's Potent! eye cream), so Fakeup's light coverage is good enough. There's still a hint of darkness, but its fairly reduced. This is not a good concealer for those with strong dark circles, now will it work well on blemishes. K, are you ready for some irony? Benefit makes claims about how Fakeup won't crease, right? This is the only under eye concealer that's ever creased on me. Well, to be fair, only the eye that wasn't primed and powdered creased, but still. The eye with the extra layers held up nicely for a full eight hours, but jeez that other eye was a wreck. All the concealer was bunched up in to fine lines I didn't even know I had! It made that eye look old, or at least like I had applied Ooh la Lift to it. So this is a concealer that really needs to be set, but I guess that shouldn't be too surprising, considering it's moisture content and rich, emollient texture. The shade "Light" is ok on me, but it won't always be that way. For the first time in many years I have a hint of a tan (if you want to call it that), so this concealer won't match my normal deathly pallor. I really hate that Benefit offers only three shades, none of them covering the extreme ends of the skin tone spectrum. Luckily the light shade of Fakeup has a translucent quality to it, so it'll blend into a range of fair complexions. Like many under eye concealers, Fakeup in Light has a moderate yellow undertone to help cancel out the bluish purple hues of the under eye area. I'm equally impressed and disappointed in Benefit's Fakeup Concealer. The texture and finish of this concealer are amazing. If Benefit ever comes out with a Fakeup Foundation, I'd buy it in a heartbeat! While this product lives up to the majority of it's claims, it fails miserably at it's most important one - being crease free. If you buy Fakeup, make sure you have a good setting powder to go along with it. The coverage provided by Fakeup is fairly light; if you have bad dark circles, opt for Erase Paste to cover them or battle them with the It's Potent! eye cream. I doubt that I'd purchase a full size of Benefit's Fakeup, but I'm glad I tried the sample, it quelled my curiosity. If you have dry under eyes and mild to moderate under eye circles, try Benefit's Fakeup, it might work wonders for you; but otherwise, skip it.

Benefit's Dandelion Box-o-Powder is a "sheer ballerina pink face powder to take your complexion from dull to radiant with buildable color and just a hint of shimmer. Sweep it on the cheeks as a soft blush or dust it all over face as brightening finishing powder." I love Benefit's Box-o-Powders, I think most bloggers and beauty lovers do. I received a 3 g (.1 oz) sample of the Dandelion Box-o-Powder in Benefit's Dandelion Wishes set, which I received as a free gift from Ulta. The full size of this Box-o-Powder contains 7g (.28 oz) and retails for $28. Benefit offers a selection of 9 Box-o-Powders. Benefit does not test on animals. This blusher was made in America. Benefit products can be purchased through the brand's website, Benefit counters and boutiques, Sephora, and Ulta. Benefit's Dandelion Box-o-Powder comes in a green cardboard box with a flip top lid. The Benefit logo, product name, and a pinky, puffy dandelion. A natural hair bruh is included with each Box-o-Powder. My little sample comes in a small plastic clamshell container with the same general design on the front. A short description and full ingredient list can be found on the back. Benefit's Box-o-Powders are known for their excellent textures. My past experience with these blushes lead me to believe that the texture is highly variable. The Dandelion Box-o-Powder is a very soft, silky powdery that's solidly pressed and kicks up very little residual powder. It's very easy to pick Dandelion up on a brush. This powder blush applies with ease and is very to blend. Honestly, I have a very hard time figuring out how to use Benefit's Dandelion. Is it a blush? Is it a powder? Is it a highlighter? All of the above? I don't really understand the concept of this powder, I guess it's up to the user and their skin tone. For review purposes, I chose to use Dandelion as a blush and a highlighter. Really, I don't like it as either. This powder is too subtle to be used as a blush, yet too pink toned to be a highlighter. On my very fair skin, Dandelion provides very little color but a subtle sheen. The subtly of this product makes it very difficult for me to judge it's longevity. Benefit's Dandelion is very pretty in the pan, it's a very light pink with subtle gold microshimmer. Don't be too concerned about the shimmer, it shows up on the skin as a sheen, not as a glittery finish. In a heavy swatch, Dandelion shows up as a light peachy pink, a very pretty color that would appear as a soft, natural flush on fair skins. However, once Dandelion is blended out, the pink hue is barely visible. I don't know who Dandelion would would show up on. I'm very hair and like many pale people, I have rosy cheeks, and their natural pinkness trumps any color Dandelion deposits. Skin tones more than a few shades darker than mine likely won't be suited by such a light sheer powder. For me, Benefit's Dandelion isn't a blush, face powder, or a highlighter. The shade just doesn't suit any of those purposes. I do, however, like to use Dandelion on the eyes, its great for blending I'm still so mixed up about Benefit's Dandelion powder. The packaging is precious and in the pan it looks promising. The texture of this powder is lovely and very high quality. Pigmentation is light, but I'm pretty sure that's intentional. The lgiht pink shade doesn't suit my skin as a blush or highlighter and I really can't imagine using it as an all over face powder. I do like it on the eyes though. I'll continue to use and and experiment with Benefit's Dandelion Box-o-Powder, but I don't recommend this puzzling product.

Pro Tip: A similar but more potent color can be created by mixing the Bella Bamba and Sugarbomb Box-o-Powders.

Fun, but not needed

Benefit's High Brow Glow is a new, shimmery twist on their classic High Brow highlighting pencil. Benefit calls this product an "instant brow lift! Champagne pink pencil for eye opening WOW! A single stroke under your arches instantly lifts and illuminates." High Brow Glow contains 2.8g (.1 oz) and sells for $20. This highlighter was bought for me by a friend. Benefit does not test on animals. This highlighter was made in Germany. Benefit products can be bought from the brand's website, at Benefit boutiques and counters, Sephora, and Ulta. High Brow Glow come in a long, champagne colored cardboard box. An image of the product graces the front of the box along with the product name. A description can be found on both sides of the box. Directions and a full ingredient list are printed on the back. High Brow Glow is a pencil form highlighter. The pencil is made of wood with a champagne coating and topped with a loose fitting black cap. The product name is written on the pencil in black lettering. Sharpening High Brow Glow is a pain in the ass for two reasons. First off, its made of splintery wood. Secondly, its a very awkwardly sized pencil. Thicker than an eyeliner, yet thinner than a jumbo pencil, it doesn't quite fit into either barrel of my NYX Pencil Sharpener. I'll probably just drop the $5 on Benefit's special pencil sharpener, but I'd rather not have to. I bought High Brow Glow with high expectations. Highlighters are Benefit's forte, at least in my eyes. The brand describes this pencil as a champagne pink, and that's pretty bang on, though I feel like it can have a bit of a gold reflect in some lights as well. This highlighter has a frosty finish when applied in a high concentration, but it blends out to a soft shimmer. High Brow Glow is like a warmer, shimmery, amplified version of it's sister High Brow, which is a matte light pink. High Brow Glow has a soft yet slightly waxy texture. This highlighting pencil glides on with little resistance and is very easy to blend. Once on the skin, it feels like a powder product. High Brow Glow's effect is quite subtle, it doesn't add much to a look, overall. It does, however, give the brows a lifted look, as promised. Honestly, I don't feel like the effect of High Brow Glow is much different than putting any shimmery eyeshadow on the brow bone. This highlighter only lasts about 4 hours. Of course, High Brow Glow can be used for more than just an under brow highlight, it can be used on the face. I use this pencil to highlight my cupids bow and inner corners. This pencil can also act as a shimmery eyeliner or cream eyeshadow (but make sure to set it, it works well with Urban Decay's Bootycall). I don't suggest using High Brow Glow on the waterline, I found it irritating and not very long lasting. I'm neutral about Benefit's High Brow Glow. The product has it's pros and cons, but overall High Brow Glow seems unnecessary and a little bit gimmicky. Do yo really need a separate highlighter just for under the brow? No, I never though that'd be the case. High Brow Glow was fun for me to try, and I'll continue to use it, but it hasn't become a staple in my routine. I wouldn't recommend this product. Should you try High Brow Glow? That depends on a few factors. Do you already have a highlighter you love? Does the shimmery champagne color speak to you? Do you really want to buy a special pencil sharpener? Think long and hard about these questions before forking over $20 for Benefit's High Brow Glow.

Covergirl's Liquiline Blast pencils will help you "effortlessly create striking eyeliner looks with lasting, liquid-like intensity. High pigment formula and smudger work together to give you intense looking eyes that will get you noticed". This is supposed to be a waterproof eyeliner. Covergirl offers six shades, today I'm reviewing Blackfire, but I also have and love Green Glow. I was sent this eyeliner by Free Beauty Events in exchange for promoting their monthly giveaways. If you're interested in grabbing this eyeliner, it'll run you between $7-8 and can be bought at most drugstores and major retailers. Each Liquiline Blast eyeliner is smaller than your average pencil and contains 950mg (.33oz). This eyeliner was made in Germany. Unfortunately Covergirl does test their products on animals. I like the packaging for the Liquiline Blast eyeliners. The cardboard backing this pencil comes in offers a fair bit of information, including a full ingredient list, product description, and directions, in English, French, and Spanish. The pencil it's self is made of black wood and is coated to be the same color as the product (that's not very obvious on Blackfire's black). The name of the product and the Covergirl logo grace the pencil in silver lettering. Both the tip of the pencil and the smudger are covered by clear plastic caps that stay on quite well. The smudger, which is also black and made of a dense, stiff spongey material, is surprisingly functional, though I don't tend to use it very often. I'm just not much of a smudger. Though Covergirl calls Liquiline Blast's formula liquid like, it's really more of a gel pencil. The formula is very similar to Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide On Pencils, I'd go as far as to call them a dupe. The texture is nice, soft and moderately creamy, it never tugs during application. I still don't think it's quite soft enough to use effortlessly on the upper lash line. Blackfire applies nicely to the waterline, gliding on comfortably. It lasts decently on the waterline, giving me 3-4 hours of wear. On the lash lines, it sticks around for about 7 hours. Wear is passable but not perfect. This isn't the eyeliner I would turn to on a work day. Covergirl's Liquiline Blast eyeliner smudges really well immediately after application, and sets after 20-30 seconds, so you get a reasonable amount of time to work with it. My disappointment with Blackfire, much like Urban Decay's Zero, is that this eyeliner isn't very dark. Blackfire is more of a soft black. This is definitely a pencil liner to look into if you don't want a harsh black liner, but still want something darker than a charcoal shade. Covergirl's Liquiline Blast Eyeliner in Blackfire is good, but not great. A solid drugstore eyeliner and a budget friendly for the wildly popular and wildly expensive Urban Decay Zero. Packaging is nice. The texture is creamy and easy to work with. Wear could be a little better but it's not awful either. I wish Blackfire was just a touch darker, I'm not really into soft blacks, but that's a matter of personal preference. I won't repurchase Covergirl's Liquiline Blast in Blackfire. I have better black eyeliners. I will continue to use it though, and would repurchase the other shade that I have. I only recommend this pencil if you want a spot on dupe for Urban Decay's Zero.

Sun Beam is one of Benefit's newer products, released earlier this year. This product is described as a "golden bronze highlighter to give you a natural sunkissed radiance. Dot and blend over makeup on cheek and brow bones for a bronzed glow that compliments all skin tones. It's liquid sunshine in a bottle!". Whoa there Benefit, lets not make silly claims here. I got a tiny 2.5ml sample of Sun Beam in Benefit's Sexy Little Stowaways value kit. The full size bottle contains 13ml (.45fl oz) retails for $26, giving my little sample a value of around $5. Benefit does not test on animals, but doesn't consider themselves "cruelty free", you can read more about that in their FAQ. Sun Beam was made in France. Benefit products are available at the brand's website, free standing Benefit boutiques, Benefit counters in select department stores, Sephora, and Ulta. My mini bottle of Sun Beam is pretty different from the full size version. This little tube kinda looks like a mini lip gloss. The tube is an opaque bronzy gold shade that's just about the same color as the actual product. The name of the product is written vertically on the front of the tube, along with Benefit's logo. A small amount of product information can be found on the back of the tube. Twisting off the black cap will reveal a small, stiff brush applicator that's super saturated in product. This brush is only for dotting the product onto your face, do not attempt to use it to blend the product out, that's what fingers are for. Sun Beam is a bronzey gold, creamy, liquid highlighter. I believe that Sun Beam is the liquid version of Watts Up?. Sun Beam is actually quite thin, blending easily and evenly into the skin. This highlight is on the shimmery side and seems opaque if you make a quick swatch of it, but once blended out Sun Beam becomes quite sheer, but still retails some golden warmth. When I initially swatched Sun Beam I thought it would be way too much for my very pale complexion. It was so shimmery, so bronzey, something that would look stunning on tan skin, but not me, I'm too pink and fair. Boy was I wrong. I applied Sun Beam to the cheekbones - just four dots, compared to the eight dots I use when I apply High Beam. I blended this highlighter out and wow...this is by far the most realistic, natural, complimentary highlight ever! Sun Beam warms my face up in the way a bronzer would, but without imparting as much color. The golden glow is still there, but its no where near as strong as it shows up in a swatch. The glowy golden sheen really gives the effect of being out in the sun without actually going outside, which is great for attic dwellers like myself. Benefit's Sun Beam has quickly become my new favorite liquid highlighter. I much prefer it over it's sister High Beam. I find that the warm golden effect is so beautiful and flattering. I wish I had a larger sample size, I feel like I'm going to finish this tiny tube up so quickly. I won't splurge on the nearly $30 full size, but I'll snatch up another sample size as soon as I can in another Benefit value kit. Try Sun Beam some time, don't like it's bronzey hue intimidate you, the effect is so subtle and pretty. I don't know why Sun Beam doesn't get more buzz, it seems universally flattering. Definitely a new favorite from Benefit.

Maybelline's brand new Color Whisper lipsticks will give you "Sexy, soft, see through color" with "just a kiss of shine". Many people are calling Color Whisper Maybelline's answer to the incredibly popular Revlon Color Burst Lip Butters. Maybelline describes the formula as "pure color pigments suspended in a weightless gel. No heavy waxes or oil." There are currently twenty shades to choose from; I have one shade, Berry Ready. I normally wouldn't have chosen this shade, I was leaning towards Cherry On Top or Orange Attitude, but they were all compromised. I bought my Maybelline Color Whisper lipstick at Walmart (does that explain all the compromised lipsticks?) for $5.94. Each Color Whisper lipstick contains 3g (.11oz) of product. This lipstick was made in America. Maybelline does test their products on animals. By the way, believe it or not this is my first Maybelline lipstick! I kinda love the packaging for Maybelline's Color Whispers. The square, transparent cap matches the color of the product, which is always really visually appealing. The name of the product is written on the cap in silver, cursive lettering. Very cute. The tube it's self is silver, with a square base and rounded body. The twisting mechanism is very smooth. The cap can be a little stubborn to remove, but I'd rather have a cap that sticks a bit than one that falls off. The shade name and number can be found on a sticker on the bottom of the tube. I think the packaging is cute and sleek, very eye catching. The texture of Maybelline's Color Whisper Lipstick is amazing! These are so smooth and soft. The texture is barely comparable to Revlon's Lip Butters, Color Whisper is a much softer, lighter, silkier formula. This lipstick glides on so nicely, where as I found that the Revlon Lip Butters had a bit of a waxy pull to them. Application can be a little bit tricky though, the creamy texture can slip around on the lips, smearing out of the lip lines. A lip liner might be a good idea. Color Whisper has a lovely, moisturizing feel on the lips. These lipsticks also give a subtle shiny, but not glossy, finish. Because of the slick, moist nature of the Color Whisper formula, these lipsticks don't have the best wear time. I experience a lot of transference, especially onto straws and cups. I get about 45 minutes of initial, glossy wear, and then about two hours of a residual, stain-like color. I'm sure wear time differs from shade to shade, Berry Read is one of the darkest shades, the lighter ones may not stain like this one. Oh, and the scent and flavor? Virtually non-existent. Berry Ready is, as you probably already guessed, a berry shade. This shade is somewhere right between a blue-red and a purple, and has a cool undertone. Despite being on the darker end of the spectrum, I find it quite complimentary against my very fair skin. I think Berry Ready could suit just about anyone with cool or neutral undertones, I think it'd look particularly lovely on someone with very dark skin. I've heard a lot of people describe the Color Whisper line as having sheer color payoff, Maybelline even calls it "see through", but that certainly isn't true for Berry Ready, which goes on nearly opaque in one swipe and entirely opaque in two. The intensity of Berry Ready can be built up, it applies a pinky berry color, but can change into a nearly purple hue with just two additional layers. By the way, Berry Ready pairs wonderfully with Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Dare Devil. I'm a fan of Maybelline's Color Whisper Lipstick in Berry Ready! The only thing I would improve is the slippy texture, apart from that I love it! I've been wearing it very frequently and will continue to til the warmer months. I love this lipstick's packaging, and I love the light, buttery, moisturizing texture even more. In my opinion, Maybelline's Color Whisper lipsticks are far superior to Revlon's Lip Butters. I would definitely suggest these over the Lip Butters. I'll definitely try at least one more shade from this range (I have a coupon ^_^), and will repurchase Berry Ready if I work my way through it (which at this rate I will!)

Bare Minerals Mineral Veil is a corn starch and mineral based setting powder. The brand says that this powder will "make the most of your makeup" and calls it a "see through but spectacular finale for any kind of complexion. Minimizing lines, absorbing oils, and softening your complexion. It gives you a flawless finish that's too good to miss. And best of all, it's utterly weightless. Just a bare veil of minerals that locks makeup in place and give your skin an airbrushed perfection." Bare Minerals offers a few different formulations of their Mineral Veil, I just have the regular one, no SPF or anything. I have a 2g (.6oz) jar of this setting powder, it was passed on to me by my sister in law, who didn't like it. A full size jar retails on it's own for $20, but this product is also available in several value kits. Bare Escentuals and it's subsidiary brands Bare Minerals and Buxom are cruelty free. I'm not sure where this product was made. Bare Minerals products can be bought through the brand's website and free standing stores, as well as at Ulta and Sephora. Packaging isn't anything to get excited about. A clear plastic jar with a screw on black cap. The name of the product can be found on the lid. An ingredient list can be found on the bottom of the jar. This jar includes a sifter, which is convenient at first when you have a load of product, but gets in the way of dispensing product when you barely have anything left, like I currently do. Luckily the sifter pops out without much of a fight. Plain but very functional packaging, I can't complain. Bare Minerals Mineral Veil is a very finely milled, soft powder. Bare Minerals has a very specific application method that they recommend for this powder. I'm pretty sure "Swirl, Tap, Buff" is the brand mantra, and it works well for this product. Mineral Veil is very different from the only other loose powder I've used; Palladio's Rice Powder. I feel like I only need to use a very small amount of product per application. And the results? Amazing. Bare Minerals Mineral Veil sets any liquid foundation or concealer and really provides a flawless look as promised. It gives a more refined, almost airbrushed, but very natural look to the skin, all while being practically invisible. I've used this powder with every foundation I own, and in a variety of weather conditions, and never once has my skin looked powdery or cakey. Mineral Veil blends and buffs in beautifully. This look powder even provides a touch of coverage all on it's own. Not lots, just a slight reduction in redness, and some oil absorbtion. Mineral Veil lasts all day when applied over foundation, but it will need reapplied if you wear it alone over bare skin. Obviously, like any loose powder, this isn't the best product for on the go touch ups, so it isn't travel friendly. Bare Minerals calls the color of their regular Mineral Veil "translucent", but honestly it seems to be just about the same color of my skin; more of an ivory than translucent. I hate when brands call very light ivory colors translucent; they usually match my skin tone (which I do not consider translucent). I don't think this powder would work out too well for those with darker skin. I think Bare Minerals may offer a darker shade as well, I certainly hope they do. I really enjoy Bare Minerals Mineral Veil. I'm not a fan of their bronzer or mineral foundation, but their Mineral Veil setting powder totally makes up for their fail. The packaging is boring, but does loose powder really need a cute container? The texture of this powder is great and that totally translates into application, which is smooth and easy to blend. This powder is very natural looking on the skin and so lightweight. While I really enjoy this loose powder, I doubt I'd repurchase it. The price isn't too bad, but $20 seems a little bit much to spend on a powder that's comprised of corn starch and stuff. If you're on the hunt for a very good loose powder and don't mind spending a bit more for a great quality product, please consider Bare Minerals Mineral Veil. Thanks for this awesome powder, sister in law.

Benefit's Cha Cha Tint is a "mango tinted stain that beautifully blushes lips and cheeks with a tropical coral hue. Smooch proof and smudge proof, our sheer stain has a natural finish that will leave you looking deliciously vibrant for hours." I got a little 2.5ml (.08fl oz) sample in Benefit's Sexy Little Stowaways value kit, which sold for $34. The full size 12.5ml (.48fl oz) bottle of Cha Cha Tint retails for $29. giving my itty bitty sample a value of almost $6. This lip and cheek stain was made in France. Benefit does not test on animals, and offers a good amount of info of their testing policy for those that are interested. Benefit products can be bought on the brand's website, at Benefit boutiques and counters, and at specialty cosmetic stores like Ulta and Sephora. This stain sample's packaging is pretty cute, it's so tiny. The sample's bottle is fairly similar to the full size's. Cha Cha Tint comes in a recyclable orange tube similar in color to the actual product. The name of the stain is written on the front of the tube in white lettering. A small amount of product info can be found on the back. Removing the black twist off cap reveals a small, stiff brush applicator. This brush isn't great for applying this product. I use it to pain Cha Cha Tint on my lips, or to do the product on my cheeks, but in both cases, I need to use my fingers to blend the product in. I don't recommend trying to use this brush for blending purposes. Brush applicators aren't really that sanitary for multi use products like lip and cheek tints. I love using Benefit's Cha Cha Tint on my lips! The application isn't the best, a little messy and definitely not convenient when you're out and about. Cha Cha Tint is a gel like liquid that sets quickly, so it can be hard to get an even coating, but the slight unevenness isn't visible from more than a few inches away. Cha Cha Tint is definitely buildable product, it goes on sheerly at first, but a second or third coat can really bring some intensity! Despite appearing as a neon orange on the brush, Cha Cha Tint dries down to a strong reddish coral. Despite being a lip stain with a matte finish, this product is surprisingly comfortable, not at all drying. However, I do like to layer lip glosses and lip sticks over Cha Cha Tint, because its a great base for similar colors. Cha Cha Tint is definitely a new favorite lip color for me, I can't wait to wear this stuff in Summer! The best part about this lip and cheek tint is that it wears for ages on the lips, I get about five hours! I'm not quite as crazy about Cha Cha Tint on the cheeks. I already have fairly pink cheeks and pale, cool toned skin. Cha Cha Tint goes on sheerly, just like Posie Tint I can barely see it. I find that it's barely there corally red color is unflattering, it makes me look a little sick and feverish, all while making any acne and discoloration I have much more apparent. Not a cute look. This look would probably be a better cheek tint of those with warmer, deeper skin tones. Funny how something so flattering on the lips looks awful on my cheeks. Its not all bad though, Cha Cha Tint lasts all day on the cheek, applies and blends evenly, and isn't drying. Benefit's Cha Cha Tint has it's pros and cons. Just like Sun Beam, I feel like this is one of Benefit's more underrated products. Maybe a lot of people are intimidated by it's very misleading neon orange color? I was intimidated at first, honestly. I don't know why it appears so bright at first, but it oxidizes into a lovely red coral that can suit a huge range of skin colors. For me, Cha Cha Tint is going to be used strictly as a lip stain, but it has the potential to be a great multi-use product for most. I would love to grab another mini size of Cha Cha Tint in a value kit, this is a product I definitely recommend to anyone willing to splurge.

Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman is a line of makeup brushes designed by one half of YouTube's beloved Pixiwoo Sisters. I'm a long time subscriber to their channel and had been wanting to try Sam's brushes since they launched, but I always put off buying them for one reason or another. This stippling brush is the rush I wanted the most because I've never owned one before. I finally bought my Real Techniques Stippling Brush at Ulta for just $5.75, almost half off. If you weren't aware, Real Techniques is a sub brand of EcoTools, another favorite brush line. All Real Techniques brushes have hand cut, cruelty free taklon bristles and light, extended aluminum handles. Samantha Chapman says that her "dual fiber brush is the trade secret for creating airbrushed, high definition results with all types of makeup." This brush is also claimed to give you a "pixel perfect look even in harsh light." Real Techniques brushes are cruelty free and made in China. These brushes can be a little hard to track down, so let me steer you in the right direction. These brushes can be bought on the brand's website, at Ulta and Fred Myers in America, Target and Priceline in Australia, Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, and Boots in the UK. Real Techniques brushes are packaged pretty nicely. Each brush comes in a plastic case with the name of the brush on the front. On the back of the case you can find information on the brush, the brand, and Samantha Chapman herself. Real Techniques brushes are separated and color coordinated into three categories. The Stippling Brush falls into the "finishing" category, so it has a pink aluminum handle. The bottom of the handle features a black, rubbery piece with a flat bottom so that it can be easily stored standing upright. The brush handle, which is very lightweight and comfortable in the hand, features the name of the brush on one side, and the Real Techniques logo on the other. Some Real Techniques brushes have no noticeable ferrules to them, which gives them an interesting look. Despite the lack of a defined ferrule, the brush seems to have a firm grasp on the bristles. Like most stippling brushes (or skunk brushes, as some call them), Real Techniques Stippling Brush has duo-fiber, black and white bristles. The black bristles are significantly shorter and more densely packed than their white counterparts. The white bristles are evenly distributed throughout the black ones and are ever so slightly longer in the center of the brush head. When you run the brush through your fingers, it feels quite soft, but when used on the face I find the bristles kinda jagged and uncomfortable, especially when used in the eye area. I don't really love the Real Techniques Stippling Brush the way I thought I would. Maybe I haven't perfected my stippling technique yet, but I've tried multiple methods and multiple foundations, and I'm yet to pleased by the results. Whether I stipple, swirl, swipe, or use any combination of method, my foundation always looks kinda off, streaky, and splotchy. I always feel like I need to go back in and blend with my fingers or my Avon blending sponge. I'm really not sure if it's me or the brush, but I think it may be the brush? Why? Well I've watched almost all of Pixiwoo's videos and I noticed that Sam rarely uses this brush and when she does, she doesn't use it to stipple, she kinda wipes her foundation on with it, so maybe it really isn't all that great of a brush. Despite it's application flaws, Real Techniques stippling brush is good quality and well put together. I have never lost a bristle from this brush. It washes well, almost all the product comes out, but for the most part the white bristles don't return to their original white state. This brush dries fairly fast for being so dense. Real Techniques Stippling Brush is pretty good quality, but I don't feel like it's the brush for me. Maybe I need more practice, but I just don't like the effect this brush has on my foundation's overall appearance. Honestly though, I've never really liked any brush for liquid foundation, I'm a sponge kind of girl. I'm pretty disappointed and glad that I didn't pay the full $10 for this brush. I think I'm going to try an ELF Stippling Brush next, to see if I'm not a fan of this brush, or stippling brushes in general. Though I don't love Real Techniques Stippling Brush, I don't regret buying it either, because it satisfied my intense curiosity about stippling brushes. Whether or not you should pick this brush up depends on if you're looking to expand your brush collection and if you're pleased with your current foundation application method.

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