Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Unexpected Benefit Makeover

Last weekend I found myself in Boots buying a couple of bathroom essentials when I was approached by a lovely lady, who asked me if I would like to have a free Benefit pampering session.

My first thought was 'Of course!' swiftly followed by 'Oh No!' - I'd woken up that morning with horribly dry skin and a number of horrid blemishes - typical, on the one day when someone wants to get up close and personal with my face!

However, I excitedly agreed and headed over to the Benefit counter, where I had spend many moments before looking at the products longingly and creating a wishlist in my head.

I've never been able to use Benefit makeup before, unless you count a very miniature sample of Posie Tint I got in a magazine about three years ago (even that sample was sublime!). I couldn't wait to have this makeover - mainly because I am slightly challenged when it comes to applying my own makeup and I now had the opportunity to ask for any makeup tips. I'm never sure which products I should be wearing where, so this was the perfect opportunity to gain some confidence as well as road-test a few Benefit products!

My Benefit lady, Lauren, was extremely cheerful, chatty and friendly the entire time. Whilst she applied my makeup we discussed television programmes, films and local restaurants, and I felt completely at ease and even felt confident enough to ask about what she was doing, what she recommended and any tips she might have.

She cleaned the very little  makeup I had applied that morning off of my face, applied a deliciously indulgent moisturiser (which felt like a good!) and started to apply my makeup. She asked me what I usually wore - neutrals, I told her, normally brown eyeshadow and / or winged eyeliner - and she set to work recreating my normal look.

As well as all of the basics (primer, foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, blush) I even asked her about doing my eyebrows and applying highlighter - two things I'm not so confident about doing myself, which she did without a fuss.

And here's the finished result:

(Please excuse the awful photos - I'm not one hundred per cent confident having my face on here looming over you all, but I wanted to show you what the makeup looked like - you can't write a blog post about a makeover and not show the finished product!)

Here are all of the products she used on my face - I've linked each one to the Benefit website, so you can see more about the products.




Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow in Bikini Tini 

Longwear Powder Shadows in Gilt-y Pleasure; Kiss Me I'm Tipsy; Call My Buff

Unfortunately Lauren didn't write down what she used on my lips (it was a beautiful nude which tasted of lychees!) but you can find Benefit's lipgloss selection HERE.

So after having lusted after Benefit makeup for years, what did I think of the finished result?

The look was wonderful, and exactly what I would wear for an important day in the office or for a gorgeous day-to-night look if I was going out straight from work. I loved my eye shadow, and was particularly impressed with the quality of the colours. Using Stay Don't Stray  beneath the shadows made them stay in place for the rest of the afternoon, and even made it tricky to remove them - which is exactly what I would want from high-end makeup like this!

I have to say that I was very impressed with The POREfessional. I've seen so many reviews floating around the blogosphere absolutely raving about this product, so I was extremely excited to have the chance to try it out - I would definitely consider buying it for myself in the future - though I may have to save it for a special treat as the price tag isn't in my usual budget price range! If I could find a cheaper alternative, I'd be very happy.

I did like the They're Real! Mascara. It didn't blow me away as I expected, but the great thing was it didn't clump or go flaky - my lashes looked fresh, separated and very cute. I won't be rushing out to buy this mascara, but it certainly gets my seal of approval.

The only think I wasn't so impressed with was the Hello Flawless foundation. At the beginning of this post I mentioned I had terrible skin - very, very dry in my T-zone and nose areas - but the foundation just looked flaky and dry once applied, and really didn't give me any coverage. I'm sure this is due to my own bad skin, and so before I really write the product off completely I would be interested to see if it looks better once my skin has improved. It was a little disconcerting, however, since I was given a good coat of moisturiser and primer at the beginning of my session.

I was curious to see what my already large eyebrows would look like having been touched up with Brow Zings. I am very careful not to touch my eyebrows but have always wondered if I should take more care of them - mine tend to be quite big even after a good plucking session (thank goodness that's quite fashionable now!) and are very naturally thick and dark. I liked the result - they didn't look fake or overdone - the only problem was that it highlighted how badly shaped my brows really are! I'd never realised they were so uneven. I think a trip to the local salon is needed!

In retrospect, then, I would definitely be interested in buying The POREfessional, the longwear and creaseless cream shadows, High Beam and the Stay Don't Stray eyeshadow primer. I'm not really convinced about the others; I'd never say never, though, and will happily try them out again in the future to give them another chance!

I had a great time trying out new products and I thought that Lauren gave great customer service (if anyone from Benefit Cosmetics is reading this, she works in the Boots store in Southampton City Centre) - I'd definitely recommend heading over to the Benefit counter near you if you have any makeup-related questions or queries. I'll certainly be going back if I need help with anything else!

Do you rate Benefit Cosmetics? What do you use or lust after?



  1. My Boyf did amazing this year and got me the primping with the stars kit. I'm in love with the stay don't stray too, its fab!
    Cute post, I'm going to go and loiter near my local benefit counter asap.
    Bread and Beauty x

    1. Oh your boyfriend did do well! I'm definitely looking into getting Stay Don't Stray or at least hunting down an alternative.

      Jo x

  2. You look so pretty! I have a friend whose Benefit gal got a little too ambitious with the smokey eye and ended up making her look like a panda so I've heard mixed results about the make overs!

    I used to LOVE Benefit. It was pretty much the only "expensive" make up I used as a teenager but then I drifted away although I still love a lot of their products. I keep getting seduced by other shiny make up companies!

    Sorcha x Bright Field Notes

    1. Thank you! What a lovely thing to say. Haha I was very wary of asking for a smokey eye as that's always a risk.

      It is very expensive but perfect for a treat, and sometimes it is worth paying slightly more for a product which will last longer. But you're right, there are so many to choose from!

      Jo x