Benefit x Elizabeth Arden x Make Up For Ever

Tonight, I have decided to make a post on the new makeup I recently acquired during the past month, all of which I got for my birthday. It was a very happy birthday. Hehe. It’s my first time swatching and testing out products to post and as I’ve said, I have zero camera skills. I couldn’t even adjust the flash to the way I want it to so please bear with the bad photography but I promise to make the descriptions compensate for all the photos. 🙂

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadow – Nice Melons

I got this for free from Benefit’s first online order promo. It took me forever to choose which shadow I wanted to get but this shade looked so interesting from all the swatches I’ve seen online and I don’t have a shade that comes close to this one. The name is true to what it is, it really is like velvet. They described this to glide on smoothly and be as light as feather and it was exactly that. I swatched this using my finger and the feel of it against my skin is just amazing – it’s the lightest and softest eye shadow I’ve ever tried on. Benefit described its color to be papaya pearl. On me it looked more on the peachy pink side than it was papaya but it was still a beautiful color nonetheless. It’s finely milled and had a really nice glow thanks to the micro-glitters it had.

I’d definitely use this as a nice base for stage or a night out but I see this working perfectly for a bridal look. I’ll try to post an experimental look on this soon, probably tomorrow if time permits.

Rating: 4/5 for it’s amazing texture and rich pigmentation.

Benefit Box ‘o Powder in Hoola

There's a teeny tiny mirror there.

Hoola on the left and Nice Melons on the right

My mom asked me to pick out a nice bronzer for her and this seemed much better than the other bronzer Benefit offered. The first thing that made me notice Benefit is their unique box packaging – way different from all the compact packaging I’ve seen. I’m quite fond of this kind of packaging as it doesn’t seem as fragile as the plastic ones. And I like the uniqueness and character it gives off. Haha.

More on the bronzer. It’s a nice matte shade of tan that seems versatile on a lot of skin tones as it’s not too dark to use on fair skin and it can be a setting powder for darker skin. The texture of this powder is also amazing; it’s soft and soft, almost creamy. It’s also really light on the skin so even if you pile it on, it won’t feel like you’re wearing anything.

Rating 4/5 for the texture and color.

Benefit Cha Cha Tint

Top: Applied directly. Bottom: Blended

Forgive my face

For the longest time, I’ve been looking for a decent cheek tint that would look good on my skin. Cheek tint isn’t really as popular as powder blushes so there aren’t a very of shades. Once, though, a friend of mine gave me the violet lip & cheek tint from Body Shop and since then I’ve been trying to find ways to make it work on me but it just won’t. Imagine my delight when I saw the preview of Cha Cha Tint on Temptalia (link on the right), finally, a tint that will actually look more natural on me.

Benefit described this tint as ‘a burst juicy mango flush! This sheer lip & cheek stain will have you looking deliciously sun-kissed from cabana to coladas!’ I was skeptic when I read the ‘juicy mango’ bit ’cause I thought it’d be a yellow tint until I remembered that some mangoes are red-orangey and that is what Cha Cha Tint turned out to be. The color is the first of its kind, I think. The formula is quite thick compared to all the other tints I’ve seen.

I’ve been using this tint since I acquired it three weeks ago and I’ve come to realize that it dries almost immediately so you’ll want to put the tint on one cheek at a time if  you’re going to use your fingers so as to avoid having patches on the skin. I never got used to using my fingers for application so I use a foundation (sable) brush to blend it out. You’ll need only a little bit of product since its really rich in color so it’s better to pile it on as it’s practically impossible to sheer it out.

I only apply this once it usually lasts me a whole day as it melts into my skin since my face is quite moist thanks to the humid weather in Manila. I also used this during the UAAP opening wherein I was under the rain for nearly four hours. When I checked up on my makeup at the end of the ceremonies, my cheeks were still glowing with Cha Cha.

Rating 4/5 for its uniqueness and richness in color and lasting power. Wanted to give it a 5 but my difficulty with blending it out got in the way.

Elizabeth Arden 3 High Shine Lip Glosses

01 Shimmering Pink, 02 Sparkling Ruby, 03 Radiant Mauve

My mom bought these from the Duty Free in the airplane on their way back home from Guangzhou, China for my birthday. This box of three lipglosses are my first designer makeup ever and damn, I can see why they cost a fortune. When I get older, I’ll make sure I’ll be able to afford all of these luxury designer makeup! Hehe.

As a general review, the formula for all three lipglosses aren’t super sticky such that your hair will get caught on it and stay on the hair once pulled out. It’s not non-sticky that it’ll seem like you’re wearing lipstick either. It’s the perfect measure of stickiness, for lack of better terms. It’s also true to its name, it is high shine. Each lipgloss has subtle glitters in them but none of that arts & crafts kind of glitters on them that look awkward. I like to call the glitters in these as microglitters, again, for lack of better terms. Haha.

For reference, these are my natural lips.

01 Shimmering Pink

First, I’d already like to apologize for my bad photo rendering skills.

On the tube, it’s a light shade of pink with gold microglitters in them. As I predicted, this definitely wouldn’t appear pink on my lips. It was really sheer but it provided a nice shine anyway. I can only see myself using this on top of a pink or nude lipstick or on the rare occasion that my lips aren’t chapped and I just need that extra shine. I guess if I build it up enough, it’d show but that seems like a waste of product I could on better things.

01 Shimmering Pink

02 Sparkling Ruby

From the tube, it looks like a dark shade of red with a hint of gold but when applied, it was much brighter that it seemed. It’s a richly pigmented lip gloss that worked well with covering my pigmented lips completely with two swipes – a feat not a lot of lip glosses can do. I really love how the color worked on me, it’s just the perfect shade of red with that gold sparkle I’ve been trying to create with my MAC Viva Glam I, gold eye shadow and clear gloss. This is immediately my HG red lip gloss I can’t even wait for the next event I get to wear this and be photographed in it. Heehee. I think, now, I can delay hunting down that NARS Wonder lip gloss I’ve been wanting since May. It’s that amazing.

02 Sparkling Ruby

03 Radiant Mauve

This lip gloss leaned more on the darker side of violet but the gold microglitters on them seemed to lighten it. When I swatched on my hand, I was convinced that it wouldn’t look at all good on me as I remember from makeup classes that Mauve shades look better on darker skin tones. Just like Sparkling Ruby, it’s richly pigmented and succeeded in covering my lips within two swipes. But, I wanted to build it up a little bit so I could really see how mauve would look and to my surprise, it looked good on my skin and my weirdly shaped lips as well. I asked my sister to try it on so that I could see the difference for light-medium skin tones and it looked just as good on her as it did on me.

03 Radiant Mauve

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense #49

This lipstick was described as ‘satin blueberry’ and I might have to agree with that except for the satin part. This looked absolutely matte on me (except that the flash made it look satin). Either way, it still looks as amazing as I expected. This lipstick is highly pigmented and quite creamy compared to my usual MAC lip sticks. This glided on thickly so I suggest you use a lip brush for this one. It’s dry compared to my MAC lipsticks but it doesn’t dry out the lips, which my forever chapped lips are extremely grateful for. It also lasts long as I’ve been wearing them for nearly 4 hours now and I’ve eaten and drunk quite a lot since then. I expect this to bleed through my lips too so I might need some heavy brushing in the morning.

I bought this mainly to replicate the lips that I did for Toni’s b&w photographic makeup look. I think this’ll look much better and fuller when I put it on top of my MAC Viva Glam I.

So that’s it for my set of makeup reviews. I don’t think I’ll be able to have another post like this soon as I’m running low on funds to buy the makeup I’ve been eying since summer. I hope this has been of help to anyone out there and should you have any follow up questions and comments, don’t hesitate to drop a line on the comment box and/or make use of my formspring (link on the right hand side bar).

Happy Sunday to everyone!

Nicole x

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