Benefit Cosmetics Full Face Review


Benefit Cosmetics is not an unknown makeup brand. It’s got bright, spunky packaging and marketing, cult products like Hoola Bronzer, and is the maker of the famous boxed blush. Even though their products aren’t new to me or to anyone for that matter, I noticed that I tend to look over the brand when on the hunt for new products. In the effort to try out most of the brand, but not spend hundreds of dollars, I decided to purchase a few of their best-selling mini packs. These included their hailed bronzer Hoola in both the powder and cream variety, Watts Up, a cream highlighter, Benetint, the product that put them on the map, and Bad Gal Lash, the one mascara I haven't tried from the brand. These travel sized combos are such great ways to be introduced to a brand’s bestsellers at an exceptional value.


In all I tried out nine different products from the brand and generally liked everything but you’re not reading this post to find out if something is just okay, you’re reading this (hopefully) to find the best of the best Benefit has to offer and whether or not it’s the right product for you. If you’ve read my other full face brand reviews you know I don’t sugarcoat anything. If it’s bad I’ll tell you and if it’s great I’ll be singing its praises in multiple posts to come (like the RMS Living Luminizer, I’ve noticed I talk about 9348023 times week on and off line.)

The PoreFessional: Pearl Primer - $32

One of Benefits best products is their original Porefessional primer. It’s a silicone based primer that smoothly covers pores and texture with a satin matte finish perfect for makeup to layer on top of. I used to wear this primer religiously in college when I started to wear foundation on a regular basis. While I liked it I noticed I craved a more radiant and dewy glow and ditched primer all together until I discovered the Becca Backlight Priming Filter which fulfilled all my glowy skin dreams! I wasn’t planning to buy primer for this post until I noticed Benefit launched a pearl version of the Porefessional primer and decided to give it a go. Because it was pearlized I assumed it would deliver a dewier look but unfortunately it ended up being the original primer with just a pearl tint. The pearl tint was very subtle, too subtle to detect under any foundation, which was underwhelming.

Should you try it?

Pass! If you’re looking for a pore filling primer stick the original. If you’re looking for Glow, try Becca.

Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation - $29

Because I was taught to always be honest, I have to tell you that I bought this foundation solely because it was cute. How can you not see that heart eyed smiley face and not feel a bit happier? The formula itself is not my usual pick — a natural matte finish, but the consistency makes up for that by being extra light and liquidy instead of thick. I love the liquid texture and its ability to blend beautifully with fingers or damp beauty sponge. If you’re someone who needs more coverage, this foundation builds easily without looking cakey. I’m very picky with foundations and take back 80% of the ones I try, but this one was a keeper and I have been reaching for it more than usual. Even though it’s a natural matte finish, it doesn’t accentuate any dryness I may have. It also looks like skin and lets my freckles show through, which is my ultimate desire with any foundation.

Should you try it?

yes! If you like light to medium coverage and have normal to combo skin this is perfect!

Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer - $22

I believe concealer is the one makeup product that has the highest expectations to fulfill. It must cover dark circles, blemishes, and other facial marks, while brightening under the eye, without creasing, smearing, or drying, and look invisible. Why don’t we just add on world peace too and maybe two loads of laundry? Because concealer needs to do so much, getting it right is H.A.R.D. I had a lot of hopes for this concealer being that it’s a cult favorite and labeled “industrial strength.” Unfortunately, like a lot of concealers, I was let down. It creased, smeared, and accentuated dryness. You can particularly see the dryness on the above left picture, near the corner of my eye where I have the most darkness. If it's doing that to my 24-year old eyes, you can only imagine what it will do to yours.

Should You Try It?

Nope, the quest for the perfect concealer continues.

Hoola Cream to Powder Quickie Contour Stick - $28

I remember when this product hit the shelves and EVERY beauty vlogger was using it and singing it’s praises. Hoola’s perfect neutral brown ash color is perfect for contouring and the cream to powder stick made placement quick but precise. I was soooo excited to try this out because I actually prefer cream face products to powder for the natural but hydrated finish. The shade of this stick is perfect just like the classic Hoola bronzer, and blended so nicely. No streaks in sight! One place it was particularly nice to use was the nose. The stick’s shape allows for very precise placement. One place I wish I would have used it but didn’t was in the eye crease, it would be perfect to use for a quick five minute face!

Should YOU Try It?

Yes! it’s not a must but it’s a fun product to try out if YOu love contouring.

Hoola Matte Bronzing Powder - $30

Unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve seen, heard, or currently use Hoola bronzer. It’s Benefit’s most popular boxed powder product and has the perfect neutral shade of brown for contouring and bronzing without looking orange. Even though I had used the cream stick to contour already, I amped up the contouring and bronzing with the powder. It smoothed over the cream nicely and the powder itself is incredibly fine and practically invisible on the skin. While it’s a nice powder, I wasn’t wow-ed by it. I don’t think it’s worth $30 by any means and actually prefer my beloved Too Face Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer.

Should YOu try it?

Pass! it’s good but not groundbreaking.

Watt’s Up! Champagne Cream to Powder Highlighter - $30

If you’ve read any of my Makeup Spring Cleaning posts you know I have a soft spot for highlighters. It’s my “deserted island” pick and the one product I ALWAYS have on my face. Watt’s Up is an iconic cream highlighter in a very cute lightbulb shaped packaging. The cream formula is soft and smooth and blends quickly with fingers and the champagne color is perfect for a vast range of skin tones because its not too warm or too cool. While I’m not afraid of more “in your face” highlighters, I do prefer subtlety for everyday and Watt’s Up delivers just that. My only con for the product would be the price. I think $30 is a bit steep for this product and that’s saying a lot because I own a $38 highlighter from RMS that I would pay over and over again for. If you’re looking to dabble in the cream highlighter, this is a good option but I know there are cheaper and just as good products out there.

Should YOu Try it?

Yes! But if you want something cheaper try out Glossier’s HaloScope in Quartz.

BeneTinT Cheek and Lip Stain - $30

I mentioned above that one of the products I tried out is my new FAVEEEE and this is it! I have seen Benetint for years and the bright red liquid scared the crap out of me. Even though it’s the product that put Benefit on the map, I just didn’t trust the hype…until now. First I’ll say that I’m so glad I got a mini because this product will probably last me for the rest of my life, because you need so little. The product reminds a lot like nail polish. The brush is almost identical to one in a polish and you apply to the face like a polish too..3 swipes and blend! In the bottle the shade seems super intimidating but when you brush it onto the skin it is so watery that you actually find yourself wanting more. To get the perfect rosy glow I swiped three lines across the apples of my cheek and then used my index and middle finger to pat and blend up toward my temple. Repeat on other cheek! The product sets fast, which is why you need to work one cheek at a time, and lasts ALL day! I have using this product religiously on no makeup days and more. This product is also marketed as a lip stain but as you tell from the photos above it was must too dry and clung to any dryness, so I’ll pass on the lips.


YES YES YES! I want to pick up more of the shades now that I see how amazing this product is.

BADGal Lash Volumizing Mascara - $20

I have tried every mascara offered by Benefit except two, so you can trust me when I tell you this one is NOT their best. For a volumizing mascara I was VERY underwhelmed. Maybe it’s because my lashes aren't naturally curly or the formula was just too light, I don’t know. What I do know is that I did not like it. I tried building up the layers throughout the day and all that left me with was heavy straight lashes. This mascara actually reminded me a lot of Loreal’s Voluminious (which I also hate…sorry if you love it, it just doesn’t work me), but if you like that one save the money and stick to Loreal. The mascara that I do love from Benefit is their Rollerlash! It delivers perfectly curled and separated lashes.

P.S. The one thing I did like was the effect on the lower lashes, but I’m not going to pay $20 for a mascara I can only use on half my eye (lol).

Should YOu Try it?

No. Try their Rollerlash or They’re REal MAscaras.

Brow Contour Pro 4-In-1 Defining and Highlighting Pencil - $34

Benefit knows brows. They have designated booths in stores for them, Instagram hashtags and accounts, and a million and one different products all designed to achieve your perfect eyebrow look. Because they are the leading innovator of brows, I decided to try out their newest product the Brow Contour Pro. It looks like one of the funny pens you’d always want as a kid that had the 6 different color cartridges in one — a brilliant concept for our brow obsessed generation! The four shades are range for a light shade for the front of the brow, darker for the tail, a definer to outline and define and a highlighter to lift. While all these features seem great, for the average woman it’s just too much. I’m a no fuss natural brow type a girl, a quick fill in and then an even quicker brush through with tinted gel. So trying out this product was ROUGH for me. It took my 4 times as long to finish my brows and it didn’t not deliver what I wanted at all. If you are a brow expert and like that sharp and chiseled “Instagram brow” then you will love this but if you’re not then move along to their other simpler pencils and gels.

Should YOu Try It?

Only if you like very detailed brows and don’t mind taking 15 minutes to do them.

If there are some other Benefit products you love that I didn’t try out please let me know below and if you’re one of the ladies who does take 20 minutes to do their brows, please teach me your ways and your patience. Two more posts are coming to you this week on Wednesday and Friday, so look out for those soon. Now I’m off to Disneyland where I’ll be wearing no makeup at all! Happy Monday!

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