Only a beauty blogger would get excited by a mascara wand…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 29 - 2011

… I squeed when I spotted Benefit’s new mascara wand in person earlier this month.  We all have our favourites don’t we?  Some like ’em long… some like ’em fat and others just like them to do the job well.  If you’re smirking… you are disgusting.

Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara comes in one shade.  Black.  That suits me fine… I don’t really do coloured mascaras they make me feel like an 80s throwback.

So anyway, this brush… what the hell is so exciting about it?

Well, the Boots No7 Exceptional Definition is still my favourite mascara, I even called it Holy Grail (you can see a before/after in the previous link) and do you notice a similarity between the wands?

Boots No7 Exceptional Definition on top, Benefit They’re Real! on the bottom.

They both have the end spikes but I’m liking the look of Benefit’s longer er ‘prongs’… ok, someone MUST know the proper word for that?!

Of course, the brush is only half the story.  If the formula is pants, it’ll end up in my cosmetic graveyard for all eternity but I’m expecting and hoping for great things!

Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara will be coming to the UK in August and retail at £18.00


4 products I want to love… but don’t…

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 12 - 2011

We all have a few of these in our collections right?

Those products that we wanted for ages… thought about more frequently than food or sex and then when we eventually found ourselves clutching them in our hot little hands, wished we’d opted for those other thoughts instead.

Here are my current disappointments.

1. Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder – £18.50

I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for finishing powders, the right one really makes a huge difference.

The reviews for the Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder are generally pretty good but it’s just a bit too sparkly for me.  I’ve tried using different brushes to ensure that I’m not being too heavy handed but I still don’t dig the effect.  It’s a nice powder… but the (albeit minute) particles of glitter seem to catch the light in a sparkly rather than glowy way.

2. Make Up For Ever HD Blush – £21.75

Can’t. Blend. It.

It doesn’t look atrocious but it doesn’t look as well-blended as my other blushes and whilst I’m fully aware, confident even, that the problem lies more with my (lack of) skillz than the product… this knowledge doesn’t make me like it more.

Shame ‘cos the shades I own are gorgeous… *sigh*

3. Benefit Erase Paste Concealer – £18.89

I always thought that Erase Paste was for under the eye area and Boi-oing (or whatever it’s called) was for blemishes but for the life of me, I cannot make this work on my dark circles.  It cakes and gathers in any fine lines within an hour of wear.  It may be heavy duty in terms of coverage but I’m not willing to comprimise about 10 years of my youth for a bit of concealing.

I’ve tried: warming it up before using/buffing it in with a brush/patting it on with my ring finger/setting it with powder/a combination of all the above!  Disappointing.

4. Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation – £21.50

I bought this with the hope of mixing it with a moisturiser and really being able to control the amount of coverage I achieved.  It gives the ‘death mask’ look when worn alone… which is fine for a night out but unwearable (for me) during the day.  I’m fine with this though, I expected it… what I’m not fine with is the fact that everytime I try to use it, it’s separated and takes about 5 minutes to combine with vigorous shaking.

What products in your collection do you wish you loved more?  Are you like me and can’t bring yourself to ditch them incase you suddenly get an a-ha moment?

Benefit Powder Time Lover!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 16 - 2011

I picked this trio of blushes up in Debenhams when it was on sale a couple of weeks ago and I could barely wait until I was home to have a play!

Dandelion was my first Benefit purchase many, many, MANY moons ago and it nearly broke my makeup-loving heart.  I just couldn’t make it show up on me… and back then, I’d spent a considerable amount of my weekly student budget on the damn thing.  Thankfully, things started to look up when I discovered Benefit Creaseless Creams and now I’m back to give the powder blushes another go.

I know that loads of people hate the blush box-packaging, but it’s never bothered me… aslong as it’s sturdy, I’m ok with it.  I don’t generally carry my blush around with me on a day-to-day basis anyway.

You get three 3g blushes in the set.  Clockwise from top left: Coralista, Dandelion, Dallas.

And again…

I think this is such a great way to purchase your Benefit blushes.  At £578579 or whatever it costs nowadays to buy a single Benefit blush, it’s expensive.  Benefit keep releasing these blush boxsets though… and then discontinuing them.  I recommend POUNCING on the sets when you see them or if you can hold your nerve, wait until they go in the sale though you risk missing out alltogether.

Dandelion still barely registers on me but the other two are delightful.  I’m especially pleased with Dallas which I thought would be the ‘bum note’ of the set but I can see myself using this blush-cum-bronzing shade with a light hand.

The texture of all three shades is delightful, lasting power.. impressive and blendability… spot-on.

If you see one of these, pick it up and RUN to the till before it’s gone for good.

NEW! Benefit Bella Bamba

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 22 - 2010

Described as a 3D Brightening Pink Face Powder, I’m wondering if this is the Benefit blush we’ve all been waiting for?

Bella Bamba is described as the triple dimension of pink!

[stextbox id=”alert” bcolor=”b0c4de” bgcolor=”e6e6fa”]Laced with shimmering gold undertones, this 3D watermelon blush is multi-dimensional to the naked eye… wear it on your cheeks or dust it lightly all over your face to look brighter, perkier, prettier![/stextbox]

I’m always excited to see a new Benefit face powder and this is no exception.  It’s set to retail at £23.50 and is due out in February 2011.

Will you be heading to your local counter to give this one a spin?

Tweezerman for Benefit, a match made in design heaven?

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 16 - 2010

I like the look of the retractable Brow Shaping Brush (plus I’d totally use it for my lashes too), I can’t even tell you the number of times I’ve caught sight of myself in a shop window only to see this staring back at me.

Have you seen any of these on your local counter yet?  What say you?

MUFE Aqua Creams

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 10 - 2010

While up in London last weekend, I headed over to Fulham to check out Guru Makeup Emporium in person… it’s down this super cute little cobbled mews.

The shop itself is lovely… spacious and well stocked and the lady behind the counter couldn’t have been more helpful and accommodating.

I actually went there to have a look at the MUFE HD Blushes, but when I was swatching I was finding them quite hard to blend aswell as being perhaps just a little too pigmented for me.  I’m fairly ham-fisted with blusher and to put it simply, my skillz weren’t up to the job!

Anywayyyy

I was distracted by the new Aqua Creams.  I’d snagged one already from one of Goss’ infamous blog sales but I figured I’d check out the other shades… I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with 3 of them *eek!*

£16.95 each maketh for an expensive splurge.

But check out these shades….

Beautiful no?  There was another one that I really loved too… a medium bronzey shade… I think it was #14.  But I had to bitch slap myself and remember that my family need to eat.

#13 (Warm Beige) is a shimmering nude champagne, it’s a great lid colour.

#2 (Steel) reminds me of Benefit’s Skinny Jeans, but it’s more cool-toned… slightly greyer and more complex.

#5 (Peach) I bought to use as a blush.  In the pot it looks like everything I wanted NARS Enchanted to be… on the cheeks, it’s nicely pigmented but there’s too much gold glitter for me to use as a blush *sigh*.

So how do these work?  Are they cream shadows? blushes?

Well… they’re described as multipurpose.  They’re simply waterproof cream colours that can be used on your eye, lips or cheeks.  I’m not really interested in using these on my lips… I’ll mostly stick to using them on my eyes.

Are they crease-resistant?  Not completely… but kinda.  If you don’t have any problems with the Benefit Creaseless Creams, then I think you’ll be good with these aswell.  On me, they don’t crease or ball-up… but they do settle a little more deeply in the lines after a few hours.

For £16.95 you get 6g of product compared to 4.5g in a £14 Benefit Creaseless Cream so it’s not too bad value-wise (although of course, you can get the Creaseless Creams much cheaper if you shop around).  The obvious benefit to the MUFE Aqua Creams is the huge range of shades available.

Would I buy more… oh yes!

MUFE Aqua Creams are available to buy from Guru Makeup Emporium who do mail order and have a pricelist on their website!

Benefit Creaseless Cream in Flatter Me

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 13 - 2010

I found it, I found it!

I thought I’d add a swatch to my collection of Creaseless Cream swatches… you can find the rest here.

Flatter Me is described as a ‘Toasted Mauve’… which basically means it’s a strange mix of mauve, taupe and brown.  It’s quite, quite beautiful.

As with the other Creaseless Creams, this is budgeproof on my eyelids.  More, more.. I must have more!  I think I’m going after Stiletto or Pre Nup next!

Do you like this one or are they all a bit too neutral for you?

Benefit Creaseless Creams

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 28 - 2010

These little pots of loveliness are currently enjoying a bit of a resurgence in popularity, and so they should.

I own 4, yes I can count (just about)… but couldn’t find my ‘Flatter Me’ shade for the photos – boo!  Above, from left to right are: R.S.V.P (a peach shade), Skinny Jeans (an oh-so-popular pewter) and My Date’s My Brother (a girly pink).

The heavy glass jars seal well, ensuring that your product stays in the best condition for as long as possible before eventually (like most cream products) becoming a little drier and harder to work with.  So don’t forget to screw the lids on as tightly as possible!  The usual cutesy kitsch Benefit design is apparent on both the outer box packaging and the glass jars.  I think I’m in the majority when I admit to being a perpetual fan of this 50s style design.  A lot of brands try to mimic the Benefit styling, but none pull if off quite so well in my opinion.

L-R: R.S.V.P, Skinny Jeans and My Date’s My Brother.

The creams pick up well on a synthetic brush like a concealer brush or simillar.  I mainly use my creaseless creams as an allover base which is why I prefer the paler, more neutral shades.  I only use Skinny Jeans if I’m doing a smoky eye.  My favourite of all the Creaseless Creams I own is R.S.V.P, it’s a beautiful peach that works well as an allover wash with a taupe shadow (powder) blended into the socket line for some definition.

As their name would suggest, these things don’t crease.  Infact they don’t budge an inch once set, which means that any other shadows you apply ontop also hold fast.  Benefit Creaseless Creams hold a dear place in my collection and I’m always on the hunt to add some new shades!

Are you a fan of cream shadows?  What are your favourites?

Confessions of a BeneBabe…

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 18 - 2010

I’ve got a treat for you this afternoon, stop that multi-tasking and give me your full attention, like NAO!

Remember a few weeks ago, I enlisted your help in devising some questions for a lovely Benefit counter manager and MUA who had agreed to be put under the spotlight?

Well, the lovely lady was game and rightly impressed with your levels of scrutiny!

Read on to learn a little bit more about working for one of the world’s most popular cosmetic houses.  Her brutal honesty is quite the eye-opener…

Q: Does Benefit have a specific policy on sampling (i.e. only with purchase etc..) or is it left to the discretion of the counter staff?
A: The rules are that Benebabes are only allowed to sample certain skincare products (Honey Scrub, Dear John, Do It Daily) to purchasing customers who are willing to put their details on file and commit to a further appointment.  It is *very* rare that Benefit sample makeup.

Q: Working on counter, do you develop a radar for sample hunters?  How do you deal with them?
A: If people are after samples, the trick is to get them to sit down and try the product whilst at the counter.  Half the time, they end up buying the full size product anyway.  If people come up asking for samples and wont sit down, then they are told that Benefit doesn’t do sampling.

Q: Can you share your tips on how to get the best from Benefit Eye Bright?
A: Eye Bright is a lovely product, to get the most out of it, use it on the inner corner of the eye in a < shape and smudge slightly.  It works wonders at opening up the eye.  It can be used on the waterline to combat any red-eye, but be sure to apply before mascara or you’ll end up with funny looking lashes!

Q: What’s your favourite Benefit product?
A: Browzings, definitely.  The wax keeps brows in place, and the powder fills in any gaps, giving you a really defined brow without looking ‘drawn on’.

Q: What’s your favourite non-Benefit product?

A: Oh gosh……..there’s hundreds!!  Staples in my makeup bag are; NARS super orgasm blush, Bobbi Brown gel liner in graphite shimmer, Dolce&Gabbana lipstick in Nude and Bare Minerals foundation in medium beige.

Q: Do you agree with the opinion that Benefit’s shade range is a bit limited?  Are there any particular products that work very well on WOC?
A: Theres an inside joke that Benefit only cater to three types of people……Chinese, White and Sunbed Lovers.  They havent quite ‘got’ that darker skinned women wear makeup too.  The foundations (Some Kinda Gorgeous Deep, Playstick and Hello Flawless) all have a slight orange tinge which never ever ever works on black skin.  Yet we’re still expected to put them on during a makeup session…..and they wonder why these customers never return!

Q: Benefit MUAs are notorious for being forthright in their sales tactics.  Is this something that is encouraged during training and do you think it secures more sales?
A: There is something called the Magic Formula, which every Benebabe has to stick to with every customer.  It goes like this;
~ Traffic Stop – This is how we snare customers.
~ Sit n Spritz – Spray customer with a Crescent Row fragrance to create a ‘Benebubble’.
~ Demonstrate – We show 6 products in this stage, doing half the face first, giving product knowledge. during the 2nd half we get product and fragrance feedback.
~ Commit/Continue – Get commitment from the customer that they want to purchase at least one thing, once we have that commitment, we continue with 2 more products……and again and again til they say STOP!
~ Close – Show a body product to the customer, try to force that on them too.
~ Celebrity File – Get customer to put their details on file, create customer loyalty.
~ Sample/Appointment – Book your customer in for 4 weeks time (preferably just after payday) to try out a new ‘look’ and send her on her merry way with a sample of skincare.

Q: In your experience working for Benefit, does a position as counter MUA offer good opportunities for an aspiring MUA or do career progressions and promotions generally head more towards managerial and sales roles within the company?
A: If you are a young girl who loves makeup, Benefit would be a good choice for you.  If you are trained in Makeup Artistry at all, this job/brand is not for you in the slightest.  You will be trained to forget all prior knowledge and do things the Benefit Way.  If you dare to do freelance makeup outside of work, you will be crucified……..as I have been on several occasions.  Trust me, its not pretty.  As for promotions……they’re incredibly rare unless you continually hit all sales targets and even then, you can only really progress to a trainer.  Look out for them in store from time to time, they have the general manner of an ADHD kid who’s been given orange smarties.

Q: What do you think is Benefit’s most universally flattering product? (and you’re not allowed to answer eyeshadows apparently!)
A: Moon Beam.  A pinky-gold liquid highlighter which can be used neat or mixed with foundation to give a dewy look to the skin.

Q: What’s the thing you love most about your job, and the thing you like the least?
A: The free makeup, obviously!!  And i love the excited girls who come in for prom makeup, its a chance to step away from the traditional formula and do things my way.  The thing I like the least?  Traffic Stopping.  If people want, they will come….and if they come, I can work my magic and make them want even more.  They do not need to be harassed whilst looking for bedlinen/underwear/handbags.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: I wish I knew…….

.

Well there you go!  What do you think?

I think that the next time I’m accosted by a BeneBabe I’m gonna sit myself down, enjoy the BeneBubble and hide my purse in my knickers.

.

If you enjoyed the frankness and good humour, please leave my lovely secret BeneBabe a comment of thanks for taking the time out of her busy day to answer our questions.

I would Benefit from some questions please!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 16 - 2010

ho ho ho…. or not.

I have been given the green light to ask a bonafide (and rather lovely) Benefit counter manager some questions about her job as MUA to the “rich, famous and downright ugly” (her words not mine!)

She’s recently launched a shiny new counter and I’ve been following her tweets, stunned by the sheer amount of hard work and effort opening and promoting a new counter takes.  I don’t know how this lady drags herself out of bed in the mornings!

Do you have any questions you’d like to put to her?  Wanna know what the latest and greatest Benefit products are?  Curious about the company’s sales tactics?  From what distance can she spot a sample hunter?

Check back soon for the interview and Q&A.

Benefit Bad Gal Mascara – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 8 - 2009

Yes, I’m behind the times… by about 7 years.

Let me start by saying that my name is Charlotte and I am a total mascara whore.  I love it and I have a real problem staying faithful to any particular brand.  There’s just too many to choose from and companies come out with shiny new ones all the time to tempt me.  If there’s one product that I can’t leave the house without.  This is it.

Anyway, back to Benefit Bad Gal…

I got accosted this time last year by a pink clad MUA from Benefit whilst browsing The Vitality Show at London’s Olympia (which I really recommend for a fantastic day out!).  The MUA proceeded to cover me in You Rebel (nice but too dark for me), You’re Bluffing (meh), and Bad Gal Lash Mascara (which wowed me).  I couldn’t stop fluttering my eyelashes at everyone.

Roll forward nearly a year and I still hadn’t picked myself up a tube.  I dunno why, well actually I do.  I bought Benefit Dandelion after having it dusted over my cheeks by an over-enthusiastic MUA in Boots and it was a super huge disappointment.  I just couldn’t get it to show up on my skin, despite my uber paleness and I was worried Bad Gal was gonna disappoint in the same way.

Anyway, last week I finally succumbed and spent some of my hoard of Boots points on a lovely shiny tube of the black stuff.

badgal1

badgal2

I know some people think it’s over-rated.  I think that it’s probably suited to a specific type of eyelash (of which I’m lucky enough to include myself).  If you’ve got small eyes and short stubby lashes, this isn’t gonna do anything for you.  The brush is too large and unwieldy and you’re bound to make a mess.  I’ve got naturally long and curly lashes – they just need some serious darkening and beefing up which is exactly what this mascara does for them – and it does it well!

badgalwand

I love the density of the brush that really allows me to ‘brush’ my lashes from root to tip and create some proper separation to enhance the volumising effect.  My lashes tend to clump (especially on a 2nd coat), so the even distribution provided by the brush is particularly welcomed!  This mascara also leaves my lashes super soft and flexible and not at all crunchy, not a big deal for me – not bothered by stiff lashes, but I know some are – so thought I’d mention it!

badgalbeforeafter

All other mascaras in my stash are currently being ignored (apart from a Blinc tester that I’m slowly falling in love with – see, I told you… fickle!).

However, my one and only problem with Bad Gal is the price.  I know it’s not exactly break the bank expensive at £14.50… but, there’s so many other lovely mascaras out there begging me to buy them (don’t cry Diorshow I haven’t forgotten you – despite your eye watering price, nor you Lash Blast you lovely drugstore temptress you)… and with new ones appearing on the market quicker than I can apply a second coat of this one.  What’s a girl to do?

Are you a faithful Felicity? or a shamefully promiscuous Pandora like me when it comes to Mascara?

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