Benefit Box Powders: Dandelion Twinkle, Galifornia, & Hoola Lite

Benefit Box Powders

I’m a big fan of the Benefit box powders and have every one so of course I had to complete my collection with the recent releases of ‘Dandelion Twinkle’ and ‘Hoola Light’.
I’ve been meaning to show you ‘Galifornia’ for a little while but I’ve been a bit busy finishing up my course so I rolled that into this review too. The box powders are thankfully one of the things Benefit haven’t messed with the packaging on and I hope they continue leaving it alone. I love the way they all match and I can easily locate whichever one I want in my drawer whereas other brands blush products leave me hunting in among a sea of black compacts of various sizes.
The box powders cost £24.50 in the UK and contain 3g, 5g and 8g respectively.

Cheek Parade

Benefit Cheek ParadeThere is also a palette set called ‘Cheek Parade’ available for £49.50 which contains full size versions of both ‘Hoola Lite’ and ‘Galifornia’ as well as three other powders.These palettes are a great option for those buying multiple different Benefit powders, to buy these separately would be over £100! It’s very similar to one I’ve looked at on the blog previously, Cheekathon.

Dandelion Twinkle

Benefit’s first powder highlight since the discontinued ’10’; this is a subtle warm peach-pink toned powder with a sparkle. It’s a very fine powder that imparts a natural looking glow, you’re not going to end up looking like the Tin-Man with this little beauty! It blends well and can also be layered up for more effect. This highlight is perfect for fair skins but may also work very well for other skin tones too as I haven’t noticed any chalkiness at all.
I’ve always been a big fan of the original Dandelion face powder/blush (which I’m hitting pan on again!) so I’m glad to see it getting a little sister to wear with it.

Galifornia

A bright coral pink blush with a gold over-spray sun design. The gold glitter doesn’t seem to carry on past the first usage so whatever you do, don’t buy it just for that! The colour is not orangey and not too rosy, it’s quite a unique coral pink. I found it to be very blendable and easy to work with, I also didn’t notice too much kick up with this one. The scent is of pink grapefruit and vanilla but it’s very subtle and you can only really smell it in the box – it’s not an overload like with the Too Faced perfumed products.
While this looks fine on my pale skin tone I think it will come into it’s own on tanned and medium toned skins.

Hoola Lite

This is a lighter version of the popular Hoola bronzer and is aimed at the paler skinned among us, however, it is quite yellow toned so it might not suit all paler ladies many of whom tend to have a cooler, pinkier complexion. Lucky for me it’s right up my alley! I’ve used it practically every day since I bought it! It does kick up quite a bit of product from the pan but the box packaging means that none of that powder is lost.
Just like it’s big sister it is a matte powder – perfect for those of us who like a more natural look – and blends very well.  My main pet hate about the Benefit bronzers is their insistence that you can contour with them. No. Bronzers are not for contouring! Cut it out Benefit and release an actual cool contour powder for heavens sake.

What’s your favourite Benefit powder? If you’re a pale lady, what’s your favourite bronzer or contour product?
Kath x

Anti-Haul! AKA What I’m Not Gonna Buy

Anti-haulAnti-hauls are a trend that’s taken off on YouTube thanks to the amazing and socially conscious vlogger Kimberly Clark. If you haven’t checked her out on the ‘tube you really should, she’s one of the few channels I subscribe to.

So these are the products and brands that came to mind as things that for one reason or another I am not going to buy! I don’t have a theme for this selection it’s just what came to mind or is bothering me at the moment. So without further ado, these are what I’m not going to be buying: Continue reading

August Beauty Box Olympics!

August Beauty Boxes

I’ve decided to pit the August beauty boxes against one another in an Olympics style competition to see which one comes out on top! Who do you think will win the gold medal?

August Beauty Box Olympics

The contenders; Birchbox, Look Incredible & Glossybox.

I have created the following categories with which to judge them; Presentation, Make-Up, Skincare, Brand Discovery, and Overall Happiness Score! Each will be given points out of ten and the box with the most points at the end will be the winner. Continue reading

Younique? Love It or Hate It?

Before I go ahead with the rest of this post I feel I must point out that I am not a Younique presenter, and I have nothing whatsoever to do with the brand – in fact this is the first and only Younique product I have ever actually tried. The product I have was obtained through a swapping board, I was not sent this to review and nor did I buy it personally.

26478569743_de26182092_mIf you’re a beauty junkie or even if you’re not, the chances are that you’ll have heard of Younique.

In case you’re somehow blissfully unaware Younique are an MLM cosmetics company with a pretty bad reputation for pushy sellers, high-end prices and not so high end (or even particularly unique) products. As a result of this I never ever thought I would try any of their products!

Many principled bloggers such as Caroline Hirons refuse to review or even mention their products (or those from any MLM) at all which frankly I generally agree with, however, I’m also coming to the conclusion that this is leaving an information gap between the gushing paid-for reviews, the seller’s own demonstrations and well… nothing other than word of mouth.

Why Do Younique Have A Bad Reputation?

YProducts-logo-for-foundation-05-copyUnlike the innocuous Avon saleswomen who pop a catalogue through your letterbox and collect it a few days later without ever hassling you, Younique ‘presenters’ have a reputation for being very pushy. So much so that as soon as the brand is mentioned in beauty chat rooms and Facebook groups there is often an immediate bad reaction!
I myself receive several messages per week through social media from people I have never met offering me these products or trying to get me to sell too. Now obviously not all of their sales people are going to be like this but so many are that they are hard to avoid in the online beauty community and these badly behaved ‘presenters’ give all of them a bad name.

Some have concocted fake “experiments” with the products and make outlandish and totally unreasonable claims about the products or big up aspects that are the legal standard for all products sold in the European Union eg. not tested on animals. They go on about ‘all natural’ ingredients (if anyone finds anything on Earth that is unnatural, call me) and make ridiculous health claims (seriously, even actual coeliacs don’t need gluten free eye-shadow or to worry much about gluten free lipstick unless they plan on eating it… do Younique presenters eat their lipsticks?). The brand don’t have the leaping bunny symbol and nor have they conducted in-depth reviews of their ingredient sources.
Some presenters have gone so far as fake bad reactions to other brands so they can say how much better the Younique product is. One incident involved many presenters using and sharing an image of vlogger Shaaanxo taken from her Snapchat feed edited to say she loved a product before she had even finished and posted her review!
This is all misleading buyers, this is the sort of thing that if it were on mass media advertising would be banned in a hot minute by the advertising standards authority.

Obviously not all of the sales people are like this, some are genuine and trying to do their best, but there are so many that are and that means that those are the ones people are most likely to see and are put off by. This is why the brand invokes such strong reactions from people. None of this is to say that if you like their products you are in some way ‘wrong’.
Many people, including myself, have avoided buying Younique products because of these pushy ‘presenters’ as well as the high prices of the products. Younique cream eye shadows for example are £21, while Benefit (a big brand everyone and their dog has heard of) only charge £15.50 for theirs, a MAC Paintpot comes in at £16 putting them more on a par price wise with Charlotte Tilbury whose cream shadows are £22 and Chanel at £25. Chanel. CHANEL! I know whose product I’m buying for the extra pound or four pounds, what about you? In fact maybe a Tilbury/Younique comparison would be worthwhile?

I’ll stop waffling now! On with the actual review:

The Product: Moodstruck Addiction 1 Eyeshadow Palette

27103185745_5f8216bdec_zThis is the first of their three eyeshadow palettes and is supposed to be warm toned while 2 & 3 are cool toned.
These palettes are £38 each and contain seven 1.8g pans of product, that works out to a whopping £5.43 per shade. Not exactly the kind of value you get from high end brands like Urban Decay whose recent release the Alice in Wonderland palette worked out at £2.15 per shade and whose more comparable Naked Basics palettes come in at £3.80 per shade. When you open up the palette it’s easy to think Younique must have taken quite a bit of their inspiration for the design of these palettes from the Urban Decay Naked range.

26497683404_e0dfa3bd48_zThe packaging is a fairly unremarkable black cardboard affair with a small and fairly useless mirror inside the lid. It is well presented though and does have a magnetic closure which I feel is a nice touch and adds a bit of weight to it.

Considering this is shown online by representatives as being the ‘warm’ palette the majority of the shades are actually on the cool side to my eye. The browns are not warm and chocolatey they are cool and crisp, the taupe is also cool. Only an inexperienced eye would compare brown to grey and automatically see it as warm, browns can be cool as well as warm! The warmest shade in the palette is ‘Brassy’ but even that manages to come out quite neutral toned,

Swatched with no primer and 2-4 strokes of each shade, left to right below are: ‘Elated’ is a matte nude and is nigh on invisible on my skin. ‘Sincere’ is billed as a “metallic beige” I would describe it as a very pale cool shimmery taupe. ‘Brassy’ is billed as a “shimmer golden copper” but personally I would describe it as a champagne gold with silver shimmer the two balance out to an overall neutral tone. ‘Chipper’ is a matte medium brown with a neutral tone. ‘Swanky’ is shimmery and supposed to be “antique gold” however to me it’s more of a brownish taupe with a silver shimmer, cool toned – definitely not gold! ‘Forthright’ is a matte dark cool brown and ‘Zealous’ is a satin cool chocolate brown.

26829145500_fa6c70dd3f_zI have to say actually do quite like the shimmery shades in the palette, they apply nicely and are very reflective. The silver glitter in them is quite finely milled. I particularly liked ‘Swanky’ which has to be the best shade in the whole bunch for me personally. They feel soft and have minimum fallout.
The mattes and the satin chocolate ‘Zealous’ are awful though, thankfully they are buildable so they are usable. I found them nice and soft but very badly pigmented, patchy and they sheered out easily making them very hard to work with. Frankly all of the shades could have been better pigmented for this price point, the taupe shade ‘Sincere’ looks gorgeous in the pan but this simply doesn’t translate onto the skin where all you can really see is the silvery shimmer. I can see how this could seem very good if you had only tried very cheap high street brands in the past and were not at all brand savvy but for a make-up geek like myself it’s not that great.

Overall

All in all it’s not total crap but it’s certainly not worth anywhere near the £38 price tag either. You can quite easily get an equivalent palette of nude shades from the high street (Max Factor have released 4 amazing little palettes I want to show you all, they’ve really upped their game!) and get the same or better quality for a lot less money if you shopped wisely. If you go high end you can get much better quality, colour pay-off and probably more shades to play with for your hard earned cash too.

I hope that Younique the company will eventually listen to the opinions of the many many people out there that don’t and won’t buy their products and use this feedback to improve their reputation and their prices – they could certainly generate a lot more sales by reigning in their presenters and taking a leaf out of Avon’s book.

Have you had bad experiences with Younique presenters? What do you think the company should do to fix their image? Shall I do that comparison with the Charlotte Tilbury cream shadow? Let me know in the comments!

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Benefit Bold is Beautiful Project

NewsArticles-image-107I’m so happy about this! One of my favourite brands, Benefit, is supporting a charity I mention a fair amount here on my blog, Look Good Feel Better as well as another very important women’s charity, Refuge, all throughout the month of May.

Benefit’s Bold is Beautiful project includes two different ways you can join in and help support these causes:

Join the Bold is Beautiful March

The 3.7 mile march on Sunday May 8th, follows a circular route around London starting and finishing in Cavendish Square, it will take in attractions including Marble Arch, Wellington Arch and Piccadilly Circus. March participants will be encouraged to start the route with minimal make-up, stopping at checkpoints throughout the route to receive beauty ‘touch-ups’ to their skin, lips, eyes, and of course, brows, courtesy of Benefit.
It sounds like a heck of a lot of fun and a way to raise money for two great charities, do register if you can spare the time to join in.
You can register for the march over at BoldisBeautiful.com

Get a Brow Wax!

If you can’t join the march you can still join in and support Bold is Beautiful simply by booking a brow wax at your local Benefit brow bar. Benefit will be donating all of the proceeds from brow waxes to the Bold is Beautiful charity fund, not to mention that in addition to getting your brow wax you will also get a full size ‘Gimme Brow’ for as a free gift with your service to say thanks.

“Brows have the ability to completely transform someone’s appearance.  They frame your face, draw attention to your eyes, and can even take years off your look. Taking the proceeds from a service that creates such a remarkable change on the surface and donating them to charities that ignite a deeper change in the lives of women is the easiest way to look good and feel good doing it.” – Benefit Cosmetics

Find out more about the project, sign up for the march or book a brow wax at BoldisBeautiful.com