Benefit Boiing Cakeless Concealer Review

I have always been a sucker for shiny new school supplies, so imagine my delight when Benefit and Influenster sent me a tube of Benefit’s new Boiing Cakeless Concealer, shaped like the eraser end of a pencil. As my recent posts have indicated, I’ve been very into reducing and camouflaging my under eye circles, so I jumped right in to give it a try.

I received a tube of shade 01, the lightest of 12 shades offered in this full coverage liquid concealer that is designed not to look cakey. Great news for my fair skinned friends – this shade is very fair without being too yellow, which is often hard to find in a concealer.

This truly is a full coverage concealer; I usually use products with a sheer or medium coverage and so I was a bit shocked when I first dabbed some on. However, once blended in the concealer looked natural, brightened my eyes and kept my dark circles at bay for a full 24 hours. Or at least they did when I forgot to wash my face one night before bed – the next morning at brunch my sister commented on how good my skin looked. We’ll call that a win!

As promised, this concealer hasn’t caked or creased on me, and I plan to continue using it, especially on days when my eyes are looking particularly dark. One word of caution: the tube features a cushion tip applicator that I find deposits far more product than I need. My advice: use a very light hand to dab some on and then blend lightly with the tip of your ring finger.

I received this product free for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Birchbox Best: Benefit Lollibalm

Benefit LollibalmBenefit’s Lollibalm has been at the very top of my must-try list for quite some time, so I was absolutely delighted to find a mini tube of this hydrating balm in my May Birchbox. I was even more delighted when I put it on; its smooth, creamy texture feels heavenly, and the sheer pink-purple shade is incredibly pretty and flattering. The balm is long lasting and moisturizing. Another plus: the cap stays put, so I can just throw it in my bag without worrying about lip balm smears getting all over everything in my purse (a lip balm pet peeve of mine). In short, Lollibalm did not disappoint and was definitely my top pick from this month’s box.

Runner Up: I’m rather surprised to report that my second favorite product in the May Birchbox was Parlor by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray.Parlor by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray My past experiences with texturizing sprays like this one have always been wildly disappointing; my dreams of easy, pretty, surfer-girl waves have always been dashed by the reality of limp, crunchy hair that looks like it hasn’t been washed. I was so sure that this product wouldn’t work that I almost didn’t even try it. Then last week, running late one morning, I decided that I’d save myself a few minutes of hair drying time and give this spray I try. I combed out my hair, spritzed it all over with the salt spray, then used my fingers to scrunch it up and ran out the door.

Much to my surprise, by the time I arrived at work 30 minutes later, my hair had fallen into spiraled, beachy waves. While I think I look best with straighter hair, I was definitely impressed with this product. My one complaint, which is my complaint with all hair products that come in a spray, is that it’s difficult to distribute the product evenly throughout your hair. One side of my head had much more defined waves than the other, and I have no idea if that side had more or less product. Other than that, I’d say this salt spray is a definite winner in the battle of beachy hair products.

The Long Overdue Benefit Advent Calendar Finale

Happy New Year lovely readers! I hope you are having a beautiful start to the new year. I woke up this morning feeling very optimistic about the year to come, pondering what my beauty resolution should be this year (more on that later) and realizing that my final Benefit Advent Calendar post is long overdue. As such, my first order of beauty blog business this year is to finally tell you all what treasures I received on the final three days before Christmas!
Benefit Bad Gal Lash, Cha Cha Tint and Fake Up
Day 22 held a tube of Bad Gal Lash mascara. I’ve mentioned this mascara before on the blog. I used it in college, and it was quite literally the prettiest my lashes ever looked. However, something about the formula stung and burned my sensitive eyes, so I had to give it up. I haven’t given this mini a try yet, but I’ve decided I am going to give Bad Gal another go, just in case the formula has changed. I’ll let you know how that goes in the near future.

Behind door 23 was a mini of Cha Cha Tint, which might be the only Benefit complexion enhancer that I didn’t already have! Like the others it gives a nice subtle wash of color. This one is a soft peachy shade that I think would be great for spring.

Christmas Eve revealed a mini of Fake Up, a moisturizing under eye concealer that I recently wrote about here. Since my tube is almost gone, I was delighted to add this one to my stash!

So, 2014 is officially behind us, which means the shopping ban is officially over! I’ll be posting this month about my experience with the ban and what I learned from it. In the mean time, I want to know what your beauty resolutions are! I still haven’t decided what to do this year, and I might just steal your idea. Please feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!

Thanks for a great year, readers!

Benefit Advent Calendar Days 1 – 3

As I mentioned in my last post, my wonderful family surprised me with the Benefit Cosmetics advent calendar after Thanksgiving dinner last week. I always imagined that an advent calendar filled with miniature beauty products and pretty little trinkets would be amazing. Turns out, I was right. Each morning when I open a door on the calendar I feel a bit more like a princess. And so far, each day has revealed a better little gift! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the month holds.

These adorable little paperclips brightened my office - and my day!

These adorable little paperclips brightened my office – and my day!


So, without further ado, let’s get into the good stuff – what I got! The advent calendar goodies started off on a somewhat underwhelming note when I opened the first door and found a set of four pink heart-shaped paperclips. Now don’t get me wrong, I love office supplies and under normal circumstances would be delighted by such a thing. But, having spent the last 11 months not shopping for makeup, I was more than a little excited by the prospect of getting a new product to try. So the sight of those adorable little paperclips on day one took a bit of wind out of my sails. However, I took them to work with me, where they brightened my office and totally made my day.

Starting on that less-than-thrilling note day one turned out to be brilliant, because when I opened the door on day two and found a mini tube of Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Gloss in A-Lister I actually squealed with glee. A-Lister is a light bubble-gum pink colored gloss, and is a lighter shade than I would typically pick out for myself, but I have to say that I’m quickly becoming obsessed with it! It’s super smooth and moisturizing, and gives lips a nice full appearance.

Pretty pink gloss and loads of mascara are the secret to winter pretty.

Pretty pink gloss and loads of mascara are the secret to winter pretty.


The magic continued this morning when the third door revealed a tube of They’re Real! mascara. As regular readers will know, this is one of my all-time favorite mascaras, and I used mine up earlier this year. Also, I’ve determined that gobs of mascara and pretty pink lip gloss is the secret to looking (and feeling) pretty on a cold and stormy December morning. Well played, advent calendar!

Travel Treats: Benefit Vending Machine!

I just returned from my honeymoon a couple of days ago, and while I was away I soaked up some sun, ate good food, had an unreasonable amount of fun and experienced one of coolest things I, as a product junkie, could imagine – a makeup vending machine!

Every product junkie's dream: a makeup vending machine!

Every product junkie’s dream: a makeup vending machine!


In case you’ve never heard of this wonderful thing, here’s a little more info. Cheeky beauty company Benefit Cosmetics has placed these magical machines in airports throughout the country, and I was lucky enough to pass one in JFK airport.

Now, as you all know, I’m in the midst of a shopping ban, so you can imagine my delight when my husband said he would let me pick out whatever I wanted and purchase it for me as a honeymoon gift! And the joy didn’t stop there – I’ve been lusting over Benefit’s newest cheek and lip stain, Lollitint, for months now, and there it was, just waiting to be dispensed through the world’s greatest vending machine.

A full-sized bottle of Benefit Lollitint, fresh out of the machine!

A full-sized bottle of Benefit Lollitint, fresh out of the machine!


Now that I have it, I cannot say enough good things about Lollitint. I’m a huge fan of all the Benefit tints and highlighters, but this one feels as though it were made just for me. The perfect shade for pale-skinned girls with cool undertones, Lollitint is a rosy lavender color and leaves a delicate sheer wash of pigment on the skin. This will definitely be a springtime staple in my makeup bag.
Blend Lollitint right away for a soft wash of color (right) instead of a dark streak of pigment (left).

Blend Lollitint right away for a soft wash of color (right) instead of a dark streak of pigment (left).

One word of caution: like all the Benefit tints, the color sets rather quickly, so you want to dab it on and then blend it in right away. If you don’t, you’ll end up with a very unnatural looking streak of color across your face!

Fresh Faced

I don’t know any girl who wouldn’t love to wake up each morning and go about her day with glowing skin, perfect hair and a kick-ass outfit. I certainly would. And luckily for me, although my perfect hair days are few and far between and my outfits are usually just a little bit off, I’ve got pretty great skin. Sure, good genes play a part in the equation, but I also credit my skincare routine and a few key beauty products. And so, in the spirit of the season, I’d like to share some of my favorite products and best practices, so you, too, can enjoy the gift of great skin!

First and foremost, it’s important to stick to a regular skincare routine. Daily cleansing and moisturizing is a must, and weekly treatments such as face masks or chemical peels will only improve your complexion. I personally start each day by splashing my face with warm water, patting it dry, and following up with a tinted moisturizer with SPF. My favorite happens to be ultra-affordable: CoverGirl CG Smoothers Tinted Moisture. I have combination skin that’s on the dry side, and this SPF 15 formula leaves my skin soft and flake-free without ever looking oily. Plus, the light tint smooths minor blemishes and evens skintone – it’s my number one tip for faking flawless skin.

Another pretty-skin secret? Complexion enhancers and cheek stains. It’s a rare day that I don’t apply one. I love Benefit’s various versions. My favorites are High Beam, a light pink highlighter, and Posie Tint, a poppy pink stain that creates the prettiest, healthiest, most natural looking glow. It’s my go-to product when I’m looking for a bit of a flush.

Once I’ve smoothed on my tinted moisturizer and a complexion enhancer, I usually finish my face with a dusting of powder. I’m still obsessed with Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Powder. A bit on my nose and chin and my pores vanish and any extra shine is kept at bay.

Those are the products I use on a daily basis to keep my complexion looking fresh, but the easiest way to look like you have healthy, glowing skin is to actually have it! I only use plain water to wash up in the morning, but at night I lather up with my favorite face wash, Philosophy Purity Made Simple. This one-step cleanser is mild and effective; I gently massage it into my skin for at least 60 full seconds before rinsing off with warm water. Then I follow up with a thicker nighttime moisturizer. I vary my evening moisturizer based on season, but right now I’m using Philosophy Miracle Worker. This ultrasmooth anti-aging formula has a satiny texture that my skin drinks right up. After a few days of using it I noticed my skin felt softer and a persistent blemish on my chin was fading fast; after weeks of use, it’s my new favorite skincare product.

These products may work for you or you may have your own favorites, but no matter what you use, the most important thing is to be consistent. Take the time to take care of your skin, and it will pay off. Before you know it, you may wake with a gorgeous, glowing complexion. A perfect hair day can’t be far behind.

Eye Spy

It’s no secret that one of my greatest beauty woes is my endlessly tired-looking eyes. Dark purple smudges are a permanent fixture below them, and some unfriendly crinkles are showing themselves around their corners.

I decided it was time to do something about it.

Over the past month or so, I’ve been testing a variety of eye creams that promise to brighten, tighten, de-puff and generally perk-up my peepers. Here, the lowdown on which eye creams really work – and which ones don’t.

Benefit B.Right It’s Potent! Eye Cream: I applied this luxurious cream in the morning with my pinkie finger, dabbing on from the inner corners outward. The result? My eyes looked significantly brighter immediately, and stayed that way for hours. It didn’t irritate my sensitive eyes, nor did it make my makeup run. This one gets top marks from me.

Caudalie The Eye Cream: I applied this lotion with my ring finger (as instructed) from the inner corners out. While the cream felt smooth and did not bother my eyes, I saw absolutely no difference in their appearance.

Ole Henrikson Visual Truth Eye Serum: I applied this serum before bed using my ring finger, from the outer corners working in. While I did notice an increase in brightness, the serum started burning my eyes within three minutes. In my opinion, the pain was not worth the slight improvement in appearance.

Murad Eye Lift Illuminator: I patted this lotion around my eyes in the morning. It felt incredibly silky and softened the lines around my eyes, but I didn’t notice an increase in brightness. Additionally, the cream never absorbed into my skin, causing my makeup to cake up in little pills. Not a good look.

Clinique All About Eyes Rich: This cream is a must-have. I applied it morning and/or night, dabbing in either direction. It made my dark circles brighter, my eye crinkles softer, and had a great, non-irritating feeling. I’ve used the All About Eyes Serum in the past, and it works well to soothe puffy eyes, but this cream is hands down the best bet.