Benefit Advent Calendar Days 10 – 14

Hello my pretties! With Christmas fast approaching I’ve been a holiday-partying fool this past week! Add in some present-wrapping and Christmas shopping and I’ve barely had a second to rest, let alone update all of you on what’s been inside my advent calendar! We’ve got five days to cover, so let’s jump right in.

Days 11 and 13 both featured items that I already have and adore: Benetint and Posietint. If you’re not familiar with these lip and cheek stains I suggest you check them out, because they are the ultimate I-just-happen-to-naturally-have-this-gorgeous-flush products. Posietint is my favorite summertime tint, while Benetint is a classic red that’s great for parties. Since I already have bottles of both, I gifted them to my sister!
Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream and Stay Flawless Primer
Unfortunately, day 10 gave me the first dud of the calendar – Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer. This little primer stick comes in adorable polka dot packaging, but my love for it ends there. It did nothing to extend the life of my makeup, and made me look far less flawless than I normally do – it made my dry spots even flakier and gave me a somewhat chalky appearance. Not cute.

The advent calendar gods must have known that my skin was in need of some TLC, because behind door number 12 was a nice little jar of Total Moisture Facial Cream. It has more of a perfumey smell than I’m used to in a moisturizer, and that made me a little nervous, but so far it hasn’t bothered my skin at all and after one use I woke up with much softer, less itchy and non-flaky skin – hooray!

Today’s gift was an elastic hair band with a bow charm on it. Cute, but a little too youthful for my style – I’ll be gifting it to one of the littler beauties in my life!

What Benefit product is on your wish list this year?

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White Lies

Confess. You’ve done it. You’ve stayed up late on a school night. You only got a few hours of shut-eye before an early day at the office. Maybe you drank too much at karaoke night. Or perhaps you were just way too into Twilight to put it down and go to bed. Either way, there’s been a time or two when you woke up looking, well, tired.

Lately I’ve been noticing how pronounced the dark circles under my eyes have become. Overly tired is certainly not a youthful look. No matter how cute an outfit may be, it is definitely overshadowed by purple smudges below bloodshot eyes. So, my mission as of late has been to find a way to look well rested.

Just a little white lie.

Turns out, the trick to this white lie is white liner. Flipping through January magazines, all the beauty looks I liked had one thing in common – bright-eyed models, sporting white liner. It is surprisingly subtle, and instantly makes eyes look brighter and more awake. I bought a cheap Wet N Wild pencil last weekend, and am now officially hooked.

To give yourself some extra help in the no-I’m-not-hungover-and-sleep-deprived department, use your white liner in conjunction with these other eye-brightening tricks, and you’ll be looking more lively in no time.

1. Curl your lashes, curl your lashes, curl your lashes. I know I say it all the time, but it makes a huge difference. Your eyes will look twice as wide, I swear.

2. Dab on some concealer. A little on the yellow side is good for under eyes, as it helps counteract the blue tones. I like L’Oreal True Match Concealer. And be careful not to apply too much – nobody wants that streaky concealer ring around their eyes.

3. Use a highlighter. A light reflecting highlighter on your cheek and brow bones brightens your complexion and makes your eyes look about 1000 times more awake. Right now I can’t get enough of Benefit High Beam. Try the travel size for $10 (available at sephora.com).

Oh, Sephora…

Sephora is a beauty junkie’s ultimate fix: a limitless supply of products and tools all gathered into one store. I love ordering myself a big ol’ box full of treats from www.sephora.com; it is not unusual to find me gleefully tearing open a package filled with lip glosses, eyeliners, body lotions and various other beauty tools. This past week I ordered myself a variety of new products to try, and yesterday I came home to find them neatly packaged along with two perfume samples and a slew of haircare samples designed to keep my hair from frizzing. Sephora’s selection and service are what got me hooked initially, but the generous samples (you can pick three free with every order, and deluxe samples are often available with new promotions) and free shipping (with 50 dollar orders) have made me a loyal Sephora customer for years.

Of my latest beauty purchases, one product already stands out as worth mentioning: Benefit’s “Hello Flawless!” powder makeup. It comes in a cute mirrored case, with both a powder brush and an applicator sponge included. I found that the velvety powder did almost nothing for me when I used the brush, but when applied with the sponge my skin looked, well, flawless. It’s very smooth and natural looking, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone that  likes coverage but isn’t a fan of thicker liquid foundations.

A word of caution to fair skinned ladies: I chose the lightest shade available, and it’s still bordering on being too dark. It’ll work for me in the summer months, but come winter (and pasty skin), I’ll have to go with something lighter.