Benefit BADgal waterproof eyeliner in Espresso | review and swatches

Monday, July 18, 2011

The product: Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner in Espresso

It’s taken me forever to review this one, and I think that’s because we have a bit of a love/hate relationship going on. Before you read on, I’m going to remind you that (as always,) eyeliners can be very ymmv – that is, “your mileage may vary.” What works for you may not necessarily work for me, and vice-versa!

The formula: The BADgal waterproof liner formula is smooth enough to easily smoke out, but not so smooth that I’d call it slippery. (Hello, Urban Decay 24/7, I’m looking at  you… and giving you the stink-eye!) For this reason, I do find it tugs a little bit going on; enough to notice but not enough that I think it’s a huge issue. It glides onto the waterline, which definitely gets it points in my books, and you have about fifteen seconds to work with it before it sets (which is plenty of time).

The wear: As longtime readers may know, I’ve always had problems finding liners that wear well on my lids. Unfortunately, this is no exception.

I can get a meagre hour or two of wear before I notice migration from the waterline onto the lower lashline, and from the upper lashline to my fold. That’s actually not bad for a pencil liner, when it comes to my monolids – a lot of them don’t even make it to the half-hour mark! I was still left disappointed, though: what good is a gorgeous smudgey eye if it won’t even last ’till lunch?

(Note: while the liner resisted spritzed-on water within this time frame, it didn’t wear through water + friction. Water-resistant, perhaps, but not waterproof!)

The packaging: The smudging end of Benefit’s BADgal waterproof liners is plasticky and smooth, rather than slightly rough and spongey. It’s something I haven’t seen on a pencil before, and it makes blending a breeze – even on my sensitive skin! (Smudging out eyeliner usually irritates the heck out of my eyes.) It’s something that I can definitely see myself using, even if it’s to blend out other pencil liners instead.

The colours: There’s just three shades in this range right now – Charcoal, Espresso (featured here), and Black. All three are smooth, matte shades, without any bells or whistles, and (weirdly enough), I think this is probably the only matte medium-brown liner I’ve ever tried. Most companies either a) make a darker brown or b) sneak in at least a little shimmer or sheen, so don’t miss this one if you’re looking for really minimalistic colour.

The verdict?

This BADgal liner is a lovely matte brown, easy to smudge and brilliantly packaged – but it’s not without its flaws.

All in all, I’d recommend this if you don’t usually have problems with wear and you live in the US (where it’s $20). It does a stellar job of creating a natural “my eyes but better” look in under a minute (and you could quite literally do it with one hand tied behind your back), but while it lasts longer than Urban Decay 24/7 or Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners on my lids, I don’t think it’s worth the $26CAD price tag.

(Ingredients and more…)

Review and swatches: I’d let Benefit’s new Ultra Shines shades frisk me…

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What it is: Benefit Ultra Shines lipgloss in So Frisk Me (new this spring, but not limited edition)

The gloss: I’ll admit that I was skeptical about this one at first – anything with “ultra” or “super” in its name usually makes me a little suspicious (I blame Burts’ Super Glossy line). In all honesty, though, these really are ultra-shiny! I don’t like wearing a lot of product on my lips, simply because I find it uncomfortable, but So Frisk Me leaves my lips quite glossy with just a light layer of product.

Now, keep in mind that these are scented (unlike most of my favourite lip products), but it’s a light, fruity scent – and for once, I don’t mind at all! They’re flavourless, though, which is probably a good thing… because I’d totally want to snack on them if they tasted the same as they smell.

The shade: So Frisk Me is described as a “gilded berry,” and is one of four new nude shades (it’s the least “nude” of the bunch, though!) The others are Nudie-Tude (goldspun twist), Nooki Nookie (opal glaze), and Patootie (oyster pink). Now, I’m not sure about the other three, but I’d say that this one is medium-sheer to sheer, in terms of opacity.

From L-R: Nudie-Tudie, So Frisk Me, Nookie Nookie, Patootie

While So Frisk Me has more glitter than I’d usually go for, I still do like it – the glitter’s really finely milled, so it’s not gritty, and the gloss is well-formulated, so the glitter doesn’t migrate down my chin (ahem, Rimmel StayGlossy)!

The verdict? I’m on the fence about this oneSo Frisk Me is a great colour, and I love the scent and packaging of the Ultra Shines, but $23 is a little high. If it these were either a little cheaper (say, $18, which is the US price) or more moisturizing (all the reviews I’ve read have said they’re quite moisturizing, but I personally found I really needed to layer lip balm underneath), I’d give them the go-ahead… but as they stand, I’m just not sure!

Try them if… your lips aren’t chronically dry (mine are), or if you find a shade that you really, really love.

Pink and violet Versace-inspired look

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I’ve actually been doing a lot of looks recently, but for whatever reason, I feel like we haven’t posted one forever. So, to change that…

A few months back, I stumbled on the most gorgeous Versace dress while flipping through Monika Jagaciak images (LOVE her). I wanted to mimic the white/pink/violet gradient of the fabric, and added three tiny pieces of glitter to translate a sort of toned-down version of the sparkle. Here’s the dress:


Read on full-face photos, more close-up shots, and a product listing!

Found it: a Benefit Posietint dupe by Etude House

Friday, February 11, 2011

While organizing my blushers this past weekend, I found quite a good dupe for Benefit PosieTint, and I thought I’d share it with you ladies this morning. The stain in question is Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint, in 02 Pink.

The similarities:

Packaging. Both stains feature similar packaging (PosieTint is smaller in the photos because it’s a mini), with opaque pink bases and lids that screw off. However,  the Etude House product has a doe-foot applicator, while the Benefit has a brush-tip.

Colour. They are a bit different when swatched (it’s more obvious when you look at the stains, below), but they’re pretty similar. Though the Benefit is a bit more vivid and blue-based, the difference when the product is actually used is negligible.

The differences:

Scent. This one’s my big hang-up, because while PosieTint is blissfully scent-free, Etude’s version has this awful, synthetic cherry scent. It’s sort of medicinal and bitter, and smells very much like something that I wouldn’t feed my family dog (that is, if my family had a dog, which we do not.)

Price. The Benefit is $28USD (yes, it’s $28… even more in Canada!) while the Etude House ranges from about $ to about $15. Have fun doing that math.

Freshly applied: Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint, Pink (l) / Benefit PosieTint (r)

My choice? Posietint is expensive, for sure, but it’s still the one I’d recommend. I prefer the blue undertones (despite the fact that the two really aren’t that different), but it’s the scent that gets me – I can’t stand the “cherry” odour of the Etude House version. However, if you’re on a budget & you don’t mind the scent, then the Etude House is the way to go, hands down.

Just the stains: Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint, Pink (l) / Benefit PosieTint (r)

P.S. Here are a few shops you can find the Etude House tint at. I’m not affiliated with any of these & don’t make a penny if you purchase at them, but I thought I’d do the searching for you ;) Just for reference, these are about 6, 000 won in Korea – about $5 USD.

{$14USD at Makeup Flair} {$13.90SGD at Korea Beauty House} {$8.88 at Miss Hong} {$5-$10 on ebay}

Find Mr. Bright with Benefit’s cheeky new complexion set

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What it is: Benefit Finding Mr. Bright, a cute boxed set that includes minis of four fab complexion products. Check out our first post on it here.

Girl Meets Pearl

Once upon a time in Sephora, a sales associate was insistant that, like the similarly packaged “That Gal,” Girl Meets Pearl was meant to be used as an all-over luminizer.

Nice girl, but I’m calling her bluff. The rose-gold sheen (more on the gold than the rose) of Girl Meets Pearl is gorgeous, subtle, and deliciously demure, but it’s definitely a full-fledged highlighter (and not just a primer with a glow). The base shade is quite sheer and the shimmer particles quite small, so I honestly can’t come up with a single skintone that this wouldn’t flatter!

Best for: all skintones

The effect: a sheer, subtle gold sheen appropriate for a day at the beach or a night out with the girls.


One of the problems I had with BeneTint was that it’s really, really liquidy. While I have no issues with this in theory, it does make the product hard to blend out before it’s set! PosieTint is sort of like BeneTint’s creamier, pinker sister, and I find it a great deal easier to work with.

As you can see in the swatches, PosieTint comes out looking like a (slightly garish) hot pink, but blends out and sets to a much softer, more translucent rose. It’s fairly sheer but layers really, really well, and is a “true” stain – none of this sticky-finish business (ahem, Tarte.) I should note, though, that like other liquid stains, it’ll catch on dry bits if you’re not careful (and should be topped with gloss of balm)!

Best for: light to medium skintones

The effect: a really natural-looking cool-toned pink stain (but wearable on warmer skintones as well).

high beam (l) vs girl meets pearl (r)


This one was Benefit’s original liquid highlighter, and it’s definitely worth the raves. It’s a great deal more noticeable than Girl Meets Pearl, with a dewy off-white base (it leans a cold pink) and tons of shimmer, but I do know people of all skintones (super fair to super dark) who wear this.

Best for: medium to dark skintones

The effect: this is subtle on light skintones, but offers a lot of pop! for medium and dark tones.

Erase Paste

Because this was in Medium, I couldn’t try it out for wear time, etc. However, I did test it out on my darker-toned mother, and I gotta say – it’s good stuff! It’s creamy and well-pigmented, and has just enough salmon tones to counteract the violet/red of dark circles (but not so much that it’s an undereye-only product.)

Best for: dark undereye circles, occasional blemish concealing. Watch out for creasing if you have fine lines and/or oily skin, though!

The ingredients:

The verdict? The box is a bit too clunky to carry around with you, but it would be perfect to keep in your desk drawer or on your vanity – it’s everything you’d need to touch up (& amp up) your complexion on your way out to dinner ;) It’ll start hitting shelves in March, so if you’re a Medium in Erase Paste, keep an eye out for it!

Pass on it if… you’re not a medium-toned beauty. At $35US/$40CAD, it’s not worth it unless you (or a friend) will be able to use the entire set. (more…)

Now seeking… Mr. Bright

Monday, January 17, 2011

Benefit‘s coming out with a very cute new product this March, and I wanted to share a couple photos with you before then! (The best part is that I can totally do this guilt-free, because all of the products are available on their own right now.) I’ll be testing the products over the next little while, and will have a (much) more detailed review for you lovely ladies closer to the actual launch.

Swatches of Benefit Finding Mr. Bright:

L -> R, swatched heavily and then lightly: girl meets pearl, posietint, high beam, erase paste (medium)

  • Girl Meets Pearl: A liquid highlighter with a soft gold sheen on a sheer pink base. As far as I can tell so far, it’s just as pretty as it sounds!
  • Posietint: The first three products are all described as liquids, but this is the most… liquid-y. It’s like the coffee cream to Benetint’s cranberry juice, if you will. Despite its milkiness in the bottle, this dries down to a really gorgeous translucent pink stain for lips and cheeks. Paraben- and silicone-free.
  • High Beam: As described, this is a ethereal pink liquid highlighter, and it might just be versatile enough to work on more fair and more dark skintones! We’ll see…
  • Erase Paste: I won’t be able to test this one personally for wear etc (Benefit puts Medium in the kits, and I’d definitely be a Fair), but I’ll try to find a medium-toned beauty to try it out for me! This is a (really, really) creamy concealer, with undertones that are a bit more yellow/salmon than usual to help brighten up those dark circles.

What’s the weather like where you are, lovelies? We’re knee-deep thigh-deep in snow, which is… less than optimal, to say the least. I mean, I adore snow, but this is pushing it – even for me! Hope your Monday’s going well tolerably (after all, it’s a Monday. Can’t expect too much!)

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