Saturday, 25 January 2014

Benefit Counter Makeover Experience

This post's a long'un! Hope you enjoy a good read...

Last month I picked up a couple of products from my local Benefit counter (Eye Bright and High Brow to be precise, both fab), and was invited to have a free makeover in January to try out some of their new and signature products. Of course the words 'makeover' and 'free' resounded in my ears, and I gladly put my name down for 12 noon on January 25th. 

The woman who did my makeup was friendly and clearly explained what each product was and what it was for before applying to my face. I was also asked what kind of lip and eye look I'd like to go for - I said a neutral lip with a hint of pink is usually my thing, with a bold eye, something smokey as a change to my usual liquid liner. I'm not sure this is the look I ended up with... but we'll get on to that later.

She started by prepping my skin with their Triple Performing Facial Emulsion, a light, oil-free moisturiser with SPF15 that felt nice and cool on the skin. Following that, she slathered (yes, slathered) my face in The Pore -Fessional, their well known cult primer that claims to significantly minimise the appearance of pores. It felt lovely and velvety smooth on the skin, but I can't say I was overly-wowed by the effect it had on my pores. I have a sample pot of it in my dressing table drawer but don't use it very often for that reason. For foundation their Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow was of course used (using one of their foundation brushes that felt really nice against the skin) - alarm bells rang in my head when I saw the shade she was about to use as it looked literally orange! As someone who is always matched to ivory shades, I had to say something, but was assured that it would look totally different on the face. Blended in, it did look okay (although not perfect), so I let her off. I think the women who work at beauty counters in general seem to think that I have more colour to my face than I do, however I just have a lot of redness due to skin sensitivity which gives the wrong impression. I do explain this at counters, sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't... 

The foundation was set with their Hello Flawless SPF15 Foundation Power. Now, this was definitely not my colour. When shown my face in the mirror I looked like a tangerine. However, as this makeover was free , I didn't say anything as by now I kinda just wanted to get it over and done with. Under my eyes, Fake Up crease-control concealer was used. It did the job, but didn't strike me as being particularly amazing. 

I did however ask to try out Erase Paste, their full-coverage under-eye concealer that I've been umming and ahhing over  for a little while now. It was applied under my left eye in the shade 01 Fair, while I had Fake Up under the right so I could make a comparison, and I was really impressed. My under eye area definitely looked a lot brighter, and all trace of dark circle was covered. With Fake Up, some slight darkness was still visible. Fake Up was then applied over the top for both sides to match (I guess?). 

For eyes, I was told she was creating a 'purple smokey eye' using the Sexiest Nudes Ever eye shadow palette. From all the "Oooh" and "That looks really great!" coming from the other counter assistant, I was expecting my eyes to look amazing. In short, they weren't, as you will soon see. Some winged Badgal pencil liner and a coating of They're Real mascara finished them off, another one of Benefit's cult products. I didn't think it was overly impressive, but I think that was probably down to someone else doing my mascara so precise application was not achieved - I'm a bit funny about people going too near my eyes and get into a bit of a blinking frenzy ha. I'd really like to give the mascara another go at some point, but using my own hand, before deciding whether or not it would be worth a purchase. Brow Zings was used for my brows, but I feel it didn't help improve their sparseness that much, and the colour was too warm for my liking. I'm very picky about my brows, but this product really didn't impress me. 

To finish, Benefit's new Lollitint that launched in stores today was used on my cheeks and lips. Lollitinit is a liquid lip and cheek stain in a candy-orchid pink shade. On my cheeks, I quite liked it. It gave a pretty, natural looking flush and didn't look too stark or bright, contrary to its appearance on the applicator. On my lips however, I really didn't think it suited me. I've never found bright pink shades to be my colour on my lips, and this was no different. Over the top, the corresponding Ultra Plush Lip Gloss was applied. Again, I wasn't really feeling the colour, but I did really like the feel and smell of it (not sticky at all and really fruity!) so this may be something I pick up in the future but in a different shade. 

So, finally, here's the finished result:

As you can see, the eyes are not exactly bold (or at least, not in my opinion) and I don't feel they look particularly smokey. To me, it just looks like a was of lilac shadow over the lids that gets slightly darker at the outer corners, paired with some grey pencil liner. My brows still look very small, sparse and patchy, and Brow Zings is not a product I will be purchasing. 

I'm also pretty sure I asked for a neutral lip, not fuschia. 

Plus, I'm orange. Brill haha. 

I did really like the feel and finish of the foundation (basically weightless, like I wasn't wearing any, and super natural coverage), and both the liquid and powder are things I would like to purchase in the future. However, I will definitely be visiting a different Benefit counter to get matched, as these shades were way off. I think your boyfriend telling you that you "look the wrong colour... like you've got a spray tan" never bodes well haha. Here's a another photo with the flash turned on to prove it...

... waaayyyy off. She didn't attempt to do any swatching or colour matching before going for my entire face. I think the shade of foundation contributed to my dislike of Lollitint on my lips, as the orange and bright pink just clashed with each other. Perhaps retrying it with a base that actually matched my skintone would make me see it in a different light, but for now it remains a no-buy. 

I do actually like the eyeshadow shade, it's a pretty pastel-lilac and I think it suits my eye colour. I was just disappointed as the look was not what I was expecting to have from the 'purple smokey eye' description. I'll probably be on the hunt for a dupe for this in the not-too-distant future.

As soon as I got home, I blended in the foundation more to try to make it work, fixed up my brows a little and whipped on my beloved liquid liner - I felt much more like myself again!

Despite not being overly impressed with the makeover as a whole, I didn't walk away from it empty handed. I decided to purchase Erase Paste as it's a product I've been thinking about getting for so long, and I really liked what it did to my dark circles i.e. made them invisible! For some reason I also signed up for another makeover in March. Ah well, it's free! 

Erase Paste comes in a cute little pot with a little spatula to get the product out with, and comes with a handy little instruction manual with Benefit's tips and tricks on applying it. I'm super happy with this purchase and can't wait to make it a part of my regular routine. I'm sure a full review will be on it's way! 

Hope you've made it to the end! Have you ever had a Benefit Makeover? How was your experience?


  1. Your little added touches definitely made the look a lot better. I love your boyfriend's "subtleness" in pointing out how they really didn't match the products to your skintone.

    Raise The Waves

    1. Haha I know, I'd have been cross if it hadn't have been so true!

  2. you look lovely! RR xx

    1. Thank you! But I hope you mean the 'after' photo, not the ones where I'm queen of the tangerines haha (:

  3. You look so nice! :) I'm always wary of these make overs because at the end it seems I don't have any products (and bank balance) to re-create the look at home... But they're great for tips and tricks!

    P.S. Please can you remove your captcha from your blog so it is easier to comment on the posts!

    1. I've been meaning to change it from Captcha to Comment Moderation for a few days now - thanks for the reminder (:

      And I know, it can be hard not to over-spend as they can be a bit pushy at the counters. I always find that having a good look at their products and reviews on them online before I go helps me decide what I am and am not interested purchasing, and having a look at my bank balance and giving myself a little financial reality check before I leave helps keep me on the spending straight-and-narrow haha!

  4. Great review- I definitely agree with you about the foundation shade! But you look lovely. I am always wary of Benefit as I saw on the PETA site they are on the list of companies who test on animals, but before I knew that I thought their products were great. Love how you do your eyeliner!

    Sarah-Jane xo

    1. I know, although Benefit don't actively test on animals, they allow their products to be sold in China where animal testing is a requirement for products to be sold, so Benefit allow scientists in China to carry out tests on their products. It's such a shame but I find it's very hard to avoid unethical companies - even The Body Shop which is in itself against animal testing is owned by L'oreal, which is not a cruelty free company.

      Apparently Tarte cosmetics (currently in the US) is coming to the UK via QVC this year - they are a cruelty free, high-end cosmetics company and many of their products are also vegan friendly (: I'll definitely be checking them out! x

  5. Love this post!

    Im a regular Benefit Counter customer who loves a good makeover but i have the EXACT same experience with the colour match and foundation. I stupidly bought a darker shade, granted I asked for a glowing/natural look but i still dont think its me.

    Just found your blog and its great!!!

    Stevie :)


    1. Haha, when I was asked if there was anything else I'd like to purchase from the makeover, I was just like "Ummm... no..." - awkward! You could try mixing the foundation with a lighter shade to get the best match for your skintone, just try to match the formula and finish of what ever lighter foundation you use as closely to the Benefit one so how it sits on your skin isn't too different (:

  6. This post is hilarious! "pretty sure i asked for a neutral lip, not fuschia" haha. sounds like a bit of a let down although you definitely managed to fix their mistakes and still look great :) I'm not overly sold on Benefit either, I think there's a lot of hype around products that are a bit average. xox

  7. I associate Benefit sales people as having the wrong foundation (they often look orange...) and that they all have the same eyebrows. I was terrified when I went to get my eyebrows waxed because the woman who was doing it was incredibly orange and had tiny little eyebrows. Luckily my eyebrows were ok, in case you were wondering.
    I agree with you, that isn't really an intense eye look. I mean, the purple is nice, but it's not bold (or smokey, for that matter). I love the look of Lollitint on your lips, and it's such a shame it clashed so much with the foundation - that should never be the case... Well hey, at least you picked up Erase Paste!