A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Posts tagged “benefit Cosmetics

A love affair with dandelions

When you are a little girl, dandelions don’t seem like a weed, instead they are simply beautiful little flowers that you can pick and give to your Mom or perhaps put in your hair.  You certainly don’t have the faintest idea as to why adults seem to concern themselves with their removal.  I’ve always thought they were pretty little rays of sunshine, poking their heads up among the grassy forest.  It seems like sort of a needless fight really… yet people spend their hard earned money every year waging war.  Don’t worry, I live in an apartment, so I’m not your neighbour and you don’t have to worry about my lawn being the bane of your existence.

Their sunny little faces always made me happy.  In fact, I should probably use the words “make me happy” given that it was just over a year ago that I found myself picking a small dandelion bouquet on Prince Edward Island, right after my husband asked me to marry him.

PEI dandelions

Yet I digress… this is after all a beauty and travel blog.

What I mean to say, is that I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with dandelions and I now have a new reason to rave about their existence.  

You guys might recall my being stoked about my most recent Topbox that featured samples solely from benefit cosmetics.  I was so excited about it, I really wanted to make time to go into extra detail  for some of the products.  First up on my hit list is (you guessed it) the sample set I received featuring both the dandelion brightening face powder and the corresponding dandelion ultra plush lip gloss.  

"Dandelion" blush and gloss

These two products have quickly raced their way up my list of favourite products.

The brightening face powder is a gorgeous soft pink shade.  It creates a very subtle and natural looking glow.  This “dandelion” powder applies nearly sheer but is easily built-up for a more noticeable look.  And don’t forget the soft shimmery kiss this “everyday” blush leaves behind on your cheeks.

If you’ve been wanting a blush that leaves a nice natural look without being overloaded by shimmer or looking flat with matte, this product might be just what you need.


photo courtesy of http://www.sephora.com

The full size product is .25oz complete with a brush for easy dusting.  It retails for $36.00 CAD or$28.00 US.

Now, as much as I love the blush and think its a very versatile and flattering shade, my favourite of the pair is the gloss.

benefit cosmetics - dandelion lip gloss

photo courtesy of http://www.sephora.com

This “dandelion” Ultra Plus Lip Gloss smells absolutely amazing for starters!  It smells like peaches with a slight touch of mango but isn’t too overpowering, it’s just strong enough to be noticeable.  When I first did my Topbox research and I discovered the full size gloss from Sephora was $18.00 CAD or $16.00 US (for a 0.5oz) I remember thinking to myself, who is going to pay that much for a gloss…gloss is gloss.  But honestly…I’m now one of those people that would be happy paying that for this product.  This lip gloss by benefit is soft, smooth and as far in the opposite direction of “sticky” as you can imagine.  It glides on incredibly smooth with no dragging.

The only draw back with this non-sticky lip gloss in “dandelion” is that the product isn’t really pigmented.  Don’t pick this shade if you are hoping for a soft pink, it is mostly clear, but will do the trick if you just want a pop of shine…and for your lips to feel amazing.  benefit does offer this gloss in a variety of colours, so if you are wanting something with more colour, perhaps check out their darker shades.

Here is a swatch of both of the dandelion products for you.  It really allows you to see how sheer and soft the blusher is (very faint, yet visible on the left) as well as the clear finish of the gloss (on the right):

dandelion ultra plush lip gloss swatch and dandelion blush swatch

I also used them both in the below makeup look.  Whenever I go heavy on the eye makeup I like to keep my cheeks and lips soft and subtle, so both dandelion products worked great for that purpose:

"dandelion" lip gloss and blush

Now if you are wanting to try out these two products, but don’t feel like spending $54 CAD or $44 US, benefit cosmetics actually has a great value set for those interested in rocking these in tandem this Spring.  It is called “feelin’ DANDY” and is available where benefit products are sold.  Sephora carries it for $32.00 CAD or $28.00 US.

benefit value set, "dandelion"

photo courtesy of http://www.sephora.com

You’ll also be able to try out “posie tint” and “high beam” minis as well.  It’s a hard deal to beat and allows you to try multiple products for a very affordable price!

Have you tried the dandelion Ultra Plush Lip Gloss or Brightening Face Powder by benefit?  What did you think?!?

And now for my most important questionhow do you feel about the dandelion weed? 😉



February Topbox featuring benefit!

Benefit Cosmetics Prive Box - February 2013 Topbox

Topbox won my heart over for a good long while with their February Prive Box featuring all products by benefit cosmetics!

benefit Cosmetics Topbox

As I mentioned in my January Topbox post, I opted in to receive a benefit Prive box instead of this months standard mystery box.  I knew they had limited quantities and wasn’t sure if I would get one.  But when I ripped open the brown paper and saw a bright fuscia wrapped Topbox and the words “benefit” written along the top, I actually let out  an excited victory yelp “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

February Topbox review and photos

My excitement continued as I pulled out item after item.  This month was by far my favourite Topbox and I’m sure anyone who unsubscribed a couple of months ago due to a bad box (December), are kicking themselves now!

February Topbox Review, Haul and Photos


The first item I found at the top of my Topbox was “benetint”.  It is a rose-tinted lip and cheek stain.  One of my best friends Rachel actually turned me onto this product a few years ago, and like her, I fell in love with it immediately.  I have two mini’s of this product already from different Sephora value packs and I know I can put this sample to good use as well.  This is one product that I will definitely repurchase when my samples run dry.  The full-size version of this product is 12.5 mL and retails for $36 CAD making this samples value $7.20.

benetint sample - Rose

lip and cheek stain

rose-tinted lip and cheek stain

Total Moisture Facial Cream

Then out came benefit’s “Total Moisture Facial Cream” in the exact same packaging as the full size, an adorable small glass pot.  Said to “provide concentrated immediate & long-term hydration” this face cream may be just what one’s skin needs during the dry winter months.  Formulated specifically for normal to dry skin, this cream “contains exclusive tri-radiance complex to help develop the skin’s reserves of water.”  I’m personally looking forward to trying this out against my new favourite moisturiser from Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration line.  The full size version of this cream is 48.2g and retails for $42 CAD.  This sample is 8.9g making this samples value $7.75.

benefit face cream "total moisture"

normal to dry skin face cream

the POREfessional

Next up was “the POREfessional” face primer which I’ve been curious about trying for a long time.  This PRO balm is said to minimize the appearance of pores and can be used either under or over your makeup.  The full size version of this product is 22mL and retails for $34 CAD.  This sample is 7.5mL in size which makes its value $4.85.

"POREfessional" face primer by benefit cosmetics

"the POREfessional" face primer

Dandelion Wishes Powder and Lip Gloss

The largest of the samples was actually one of the last to come out of my Topbox.  This sample set featured a matching lipgloss and luminizing powder in one of benefit’s best selling shades “Dandelion”.  I was super stoked about receiving these as I’ve never actually tried any of their powder or lip products (excluding the lip/cheek stain) before.  The brightening face powder has a full size version that is 7g and sells for $36 CAD.  This 3g sample is an absolute steal valued at $15.43.  The corresponding lip gloss can also be purchased as a 15mL full size version for $18 CAD.  This 6.5mL sample has a value of $7.80.

Dandelion sample from Benefit

"Dandelion" face powder and lip gloss set

"Dandelion" blush and gloss


“Fine-One-One” is something I was also excited to receive a small bonus sample of.  This is a brand new product from benefit Cosmetics and is receiving some mixed reviews in relation to its value and its wear time.  So I’m stoked to be able to try it out for myself.  This sheer  brightening cheek and lip trio has a full size 8g version (seems small for a full size product) that retails for $36 CAD.  This sample is very small, only good enough for one use (maybe two if I stretch it out) and a value can’t be calculated.  I guess that is why they call it a bonus!  It came in a Chinese New Year envelope with a shout out to the Year of the Snake.  “Happy Gorgeous Year!” was labelled on the box wrapping as well as the flip side to this envelope.  Very cute touch!

February Topbox Review

Topbox February

"Fine-One-One" Sample

The Verdict:

Benefit Cosmetics Topbox Review, Pictures and Haul

I am absolutely ecstatic with my February Topbox and ALL of my new products from benefit Cosmetics.  This Prive Box struck a much better balance between makeup and skin care products than last months Clinique Prive Box did.  With two skin care products and 4 makeup related samples in my February Topbox, I couldn’t be happier.  All of the packaging this month is super pretty and all of the samples are in easy to use containers.  Total value of this month’s Topbox $43.03.  Not bad for the $12 my subscription.

There are so many great products in this February Topbox that I will do swatches and reviews in upcoming posts (seeing as this post is already long and super pic heavy).

If you are wanting to sign up so you can try a variety of deluxe samples every month too, you can do so here, online via their website.

I’d love to hear what you think of this month’s Topbox!  Did you receive a benefit box too?  If so, was it the same?


Benefit Cosmetics

They’re Real! by benefit – the World’s #1 Mascara?

before and after pictures using They're Real! mascara by benefit cosmetics

They’re Real! mascara by benefit is quickly becoming  a cult favourite and it is in no way news to the blogging community, but I still wanted to share my experience with it nonetheless.  I actually purchased it quite a while ago but was waiting for a time when I could photograph my first application of it for all of you!  I’ve always thought the best way to review a product is to simply show you real pictures and my experiences.  Then it is up to you to decide how you feel about them.  🙂

But first, a little bit of background.

What’s its claim?

They’re Real! mascara lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts & separates beyond belief.  The jet black, long-wearing formula is smudge-proof & budge-proof…and the specifically designed brush reveals lashes you never knew you had!

They're Real! Mascara by benefit cosmetics

Value pack of They're Real! Mascara by Benefit

As you can see, right on the front of the box, it claims “WORLD’s #1 MASCARA”.   I’m not sure how they have substantiated that, if at all – it seems like too bold of a statement for any mascara if you ask me.  It is benefit’s best selling mascara though and has received a great deal of rave reviews on-line.

How to Apply:

Wiggle wand from base to top for maximum volume, length & lift.  Hold wand vertically & stroke upward to curl & separate.

mascara review of "They're Real!"

close up of They're Real mascara wand by benefit cosmetics

My Before and After Pictures:

before and after mascara pictures

before and after pictures - mascara review

before and after pictures featuring They're Real! mascara

before and after pictures using They're Real! mascara by benefit cosmetics

Where to buy:

You can of course get this at Sephora if you are a Canadian or US resident.

The full size retails for $29.00 CAD or $23.00 US.  If that is your plan though, I recommend you grab it online because they have the full size that comes with the bonus mini for the same price as the full size sold alone (I didn’t see the duo in the Sephora store when I went).

They're! Real mascara by benefit, review complete with before and after pictures

The mini is also sold individually if you would like to try it out for yourself and see if it lives up to the hype – $12.00 CAD or $10.00 US.

You will also be able to find this anywhere benefit cosmetics are sold.  That means Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada and Ulta in the US are also options.  They will have the same prices as Sephora though, so my recommendation is just to go where ever is most convenient.

My Pros:

  • Extremely long lasting, no smudging or fall out below your eyes after a long day.
  • The wand truly finds lashes I didn’t know I had.  It gets right into your inner eye and finds them all, without making a mess.
  • Great mascara if you only have time for one coat!
  • Fantastic value if you purchase the duo and receive the travel size mascara for free!

My Cons:

  • Currently only available in black, so for those of you ladies that prefer a brown mascara, you are out of luck for right now.
  • Its “waterproof-like” formula can make removing it a bit of a pain.  It will take more work than other non-waterproof brands to get it all off.
  • No actual waterproof version available yet.

Note: I’ve found after trying this mascara for the past couple of weeks that this mascara will clump if you apply more than 2 coats.  So I recommend you stick with 1 or 2!

With full make-up:

bright summer eye makeup  - passionate, coral and orange eyeshadow

They're Real! mascara by Benefit

My verdict:

I think this is a fantastic mascara, and good value if you are able to pick up the duo.  Do I plan to stop trying other mascaras though and only use this one?  Definitely not.  It will however get more use than the other mascaras I have hanging around on my vanity right now.  The no fall-out under my eyes is a quality that  I haven’t experienced with any other non-waterproof mascara – and shouldn’t be overlooked!  Will I buy again?  Probably.

For other before and after pictures with various brands of mascara, please check out my Ultimate Mascara Review featuring mascaras by Urban Decay, Stila, Too Faced, MUFE, Tarte and many more.

For those of you that have given this one a try, I would love to know what you think in the comments below!  And tell me, what is your favourite mascara?

Thanks for reading!



bright summer makeup, funky makeup, dramatic makeup