Benefit Always a Bridesmaid: the perfect spring eye

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lavender lilac eyeshadow cream - Benefit Always a Bridesmaid

To follow up with Monday’s Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Shadow review (read it here), I thought I’d bring you a quick eye look with the shade.

It applies much more sheerly than it swatches, so I photographed it three times: with one layer, two layers, and then two layers with a bit of shadow for depth. The whole look took me — I’d say under five minutes, all told.

Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow look

Lavender lilac eye makeup look - one, two, shadow

One layer of Always a Bridesmaid / Two layers / Two layers + Urban Decay SWF and MAC Satin Taupe

On the lashes is Senna’s Voluptulash Mascara – I really like this one, but I don’t love it the way I love Fiberwig or Annabelle Expandable. On inner corner is Urban Decay SWF Eyeshadow (mine is from before the reformulation), and on the outer corner, MAC Satin Taupe Eye Shadow.

Just to note, Satin Taupe was colour-adjusted here in post-production – I always forget how warm and ruddy this one goes on me, and I wanted to be fair to the lookAfter all, it’s not Always a Bridesmaid’s fault that Satin Taupe looks amazing on everyone but me!

MAC Satin Taupe, Benefit Always a Bridesmaid, Urban Decay SWF

Two layers of Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Shadow / Two layers of Always a Bridesmaid with a hint of Urban Decay YDK and MAC Satin Taupe overtop. (With Senna Voluptulash Mascara).

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Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Always a Bridesmaid ($20 USD/$24 CAD)

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in SWF ($18 USD/$22 CAD)

MAC Eye Shadow in Satin Taupe (Frost) ($15 USD)

Senna Voluptulash Mascara ($22 USD)

See it swatched »

Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow review, swatches, photos

Monday, May 5, 2014

Benefit Always a Bridesmaid review swatches Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow

The product: Benefit Cosmetics Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in Always a Bridesmaid

I’m going to be frank with you: the Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow formula is not my friend. Like everything else, it’s simply not creaseless when it comes to my lids — so after testing out Always a Bridesmaid time after time last summer, I set it aside for the spring.

The Creaseless Cream formula may not be my favourite, but Always a Bridesmaid is the perfect spring shade.

Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless swatch - Cream Eyeshadow

Leftmost swatch: Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow

The packaging and formula: Packaged in the most adorable, vintage-inspired glass jars, the Creaseless Cream range sits with a low profile and stores upside-down for a longer life. It’s easy to see which shade of eyeshadow you’re reaching for, and the wide opening makes it easy to pick up product, too.

As for the product itself? I find these to apply very smoothly, with an almost oily consistency between my fingertip and eyelid — no dragging or catching here. As I mentioned already, these do crease on me rather quickly (though I can extend the wear with primer underneath and a powder eyeshadow overtop), but I’ve yet to find a cream eyeshadow that doesn’t.

Benefit Always a Bridesmaid Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow review

The shade: Always a Bridesmaid is perfection in an eyeshadow pot. I’m a complete sucker for light violet eyeshadows, especially in the spring, and this one makes me wish so badly that my eyelids could withstand creasing for more than a few hours — in the perfect world, I would love to be able to apply this with a flick of brown eyeliner and a quick coat of mascara.

Described (entirely accurately) as a pearly lavender, this eyeshadow is a beautiful, springy light purple with lovely shimmer. It catches the light beautifully, and isn’t too vivid — against my complexion, it glows but doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Benefit Always a Bridesmaid, Coralista lipgloss, Girl Meets Pearl swatches

Swatched L-R: Benefit Always a Bridesmaid, Coralista Ultra Plush Lipgloss, and Girl Meets Pearl illuminator

Benefit Creaseless Cream eyeshadow review

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow box & product – how cute is that packaging?!

The verdict?

With my struggles to keep it from creasing, I can’t in good conscience recommend the Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow formula based on my experiences with it. I can, however, tell you that it’s a cinch to apply, and that Always a Bridesmaid is the loveliest spring eyeshadow shade in my collection.

I wanted to wait for the perfect day to post this review, for crisp spring air and buttery sunlight, but — this is Canada. I’ve been waiting for ten months and I’m done waiting. Just know this: Always a Bridesmaid is that perfect day.

Availability: $20 USD/$24 CAD at Sephora, Ulta, and Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques.

Packaging & ingredients »

Benefit They’re Real & Watt’s Up review, photos, swatches | Sephora + Benefit “Real Birthday Turn-Ons”

Friday, May 3, 2013

Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift

The products: Benefit They’re Real! Mascara and Watt’s Up! Luminizer

↳  as seen in Real Birthday Turn-Ons!, Sephora’s 2013 Beauty Insider birthday gift

It’s not my birthday, but this year’s Sephora BI birthday gift almost makes it feel like it is. I’ve been playing around with the highlighter and mascara duo, and (while I don’t love it quite as much as last year’s Fresh lip balm duo) it’s pretty great.

Honestly, though: the freebie consists of two best-selling Benefit products, shrunk down into miniature form, with puns in tow. How could it not be?

Sephora x Benefit birthday gift BI

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara, $23 USD/#29 CAD

Described as “a jet-black mascara that lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes,” They’re Real! has a very cool applicator. Made out of a flexible plastic, it has staggered short-and-long bristles that go all the way around the tip of the wand – perfect for adding length and separation right down to the roots & the hard-to-get outer corners of the eye.

I haven’t tried the much-loved Benefit BADgal Lash, but according to this cool chart on Benefit’s site, They’re Real! is glossy and lengthening (both of which I can hands-down confirm) while BADgal is matte and volumizing.

Benefit They're Real mascara review

The pitfalls: I really wish They’re Real! wore for longer on my eyes. Like with most mascaras, I start seeing some smudging after 4-5 hours, which (at $29 CAD for the full sized version) is pretty disappointing. My lashes could use a little more volume, too, but that’s easily excusable for a mascara made to focus on lengthening!

The high points: The applicator! You wouldn’t think having bristles on the tip would make much of a difference, but it makes getting picture-perfect outer corners a cinch. It does a great job at providing length, too (particularly on the lower lashes), and I really love the soft, glossy finish. 

Benefit They're Real mascara applicator

Benefit They’re Real! ingredients:

Water (Aqua), Paraffin, Polybutene, Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Acacia Senegal Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Edta, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sericin, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tilia Tomentosa Bud Extract, Citric Acid, Bht, Sorbic Acid. [+/-: Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Ultramarines (Ci 77007), Chromium Oxide Greens (Ci 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (Ci 77289), Titanium Dioxide

Benefit Watt's Up swatches review

L-R: Benefit They’re Real!, Benefit Watt’s Up! (straight from tube), Benefit Watt’s Up! (blended)

Benefit Watt’s Up! Soft Focus Highlighter, $30 USD/$36 CAD

Watt’s Up! is a cream-to-powder “luminous champagne” highlighter for the cheeks and browbones, which (in the full-size form) comes with a little “soft glow blender” to smooth out the luminizer into an even, diffuse sheen.

Honestly, my favourite part about Watt’s Up! is its adorable pun & packaging, but the product itself definitely has its merits, too!

Benefit Watt's Up highlighter review swatches

The finish of Watt’s Up! is a tiny bit too shimmery for my tastes (I prefer a super-finely-milled sheen), but it does still create a gorgeous, noticeable glow. Unlike highlighters that depend on a mix of base pigment & shimmer to lift the complexion, this one is mainly based on peachy-champagne shimmer, which means that it’ll work well on a really wide range of complexions, right from NW15 through to NC42. 

It’s not too warm (orange-gold) or too cool (silvery-pink), either — I can wear this tone without a hitch, but my warmer, darker mother (around a NC35 in the winter) can pull it off no problem, too.

Keep reading! »

On Our Radar | Spring beauty launches from LUSH, Benefit, YSL, & more

Monday, April 8, 2013


A few April (and April-ish) picks

– LUSH Big Solid Conditioner. Fragranced with vanilla, jasmine, and tonka bean, this solid conditioner uses sea salt to add volume to fine hair… & comes free of parabens, silicones, and packaging. $9.95 CAD/100g.

– Benefit Fake Up Hydrating Crease-Control Concealer. Like a lot of these spring picks, Fake Up offers more than just colour: silicone- and paraben-free, these sticks (which come in three shades) bring light-diffusing hydration to the table, too. $24 USD/$29 CAD.

– Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in I Lilac You. How pretty is this 7-in-1 varnish? The reformulated Sally Hansen Complete polishes come in a terrifying 49 shades, and are made to be your base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, colour, and top coat, all in one. $8.95 CAD.

– eos Smooth Sphere Organic Lip Balm Duo. With one best-selling fan favourite (the pink Strawberry Sorbet) & one set-exclusive flavour (the elusive purple Passion Fruit), this is one set that you can’t miss… if you can find it before it sells out, that is. $5.99 USD/$7.99 CAD.

– Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine in Pink in Confidence. YSL’s new Rouge Volupté Shines may be sheerer than most makeup addicts would like, but I love the vibe of this paraben-free dusty pale pink. $34 USD/$39 CAD.

What’s on your radar for the spring?

Get it now | Benefit Hervana Boxed Powder: it’s heeeere!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The one-day pre-sale is here. Will you be trying Benefit’s newest powder? (I’m waiting ’till I can see it in-store first – but it does certainly look pretty!)

Find Hervana on the interwebs…

What do you think? Love it? Hate it? I’m loving the swatches that I’ve seen so far, but I don’t know about $28 (& even more in Canada). It looks like a great blush, but not a phenomenal one! Benefit, I dare you to prove me wrong.

I believe Hervana comes out “officially” in January (Dec 26th for Sephora), but please correct me if you have more up-to-date info!

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