Benefit Hello Flawless Face Powder

As much as I love my Benefit Porefessional, my last foray into Benefit was with their infamous ‘They’re Real’ mascara, and I wasn’t overly impressed. I felt it was overpriced for what it was, and didn’t exactly deliver on its promises. Foreshadowing…

So anyway, the reason I ended up buying this was that I had heard about the Bare Minerals pressed powder, and I was intrigued. From what I read, nobody was overly impressed, but the idea of having a pressed powder version of my favourite foundation captured me enough to consider looking around for a similar, high coverage, portable powder. A little research led me to this.

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Far from being just any old pressed powder, this product calls itself ‘a custom powder cover up’. How fancy! The idea is that you can build up the coverage, which was pretty much what I was looking for. Something I could keep in my bag in case of skin emergencies that would also control oil. This one seemed pretty decent, and also the box is adooooorable.

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I went with the shade “I Love Me” Ivory, which I believe is the palest. It was a good colour match generally, but building it up made it ever so slightly more orange.

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Did I mention that I love the packaging? The little square, mirrored box is just so cute I want to cry. It also comes with some fabulous applicators; a thick, soft, square sponge and a brush.

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The sales girl told me that the brush is for sheer, light coverage, and the sponge is for layering it on for full coverage. The words ‘full coverage’ convinced me, and I squirreled it on home, thinking that this could be the powder I was looking for.

My friends, it was not.

I’m not trying to be mean here, but I think that Benefit are seriously deluded when it comes to what their products can do. This was nowhere near full coverage. Not even close. In the below pictures I pasted on a few layers with the sponge, and as you can see, the difference was negligible.

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My biggest skin complaint is always red skin, so I was hoping to cover up the pinkness in my cheeks as well as getting rid of shine. One out of two aint bad. As you can see, the powder definitely covered up shine, but that is honestly all it did. My skin looks exactly the same in both pictures. If anything, I would say it looked better in the first one; the powder succeeded in flattening me out somewhat.

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Good points? Ummm…well, it gets rid of shine. But then, so do all powders. It has an SPF of 15, but to me that is so irrelevant they may as well have not bothered; I think that everyone needs a 30 on their face, and no less. Oh, and the adorable packaging I mentioned? Turns out that having a square pressed powder becomes a mite less awesome when it comes to trying to get it out the corners. As you can see below, it’s a hell of a lot less easy to evenly use a palette when it isn’t circular. Not only that, but this is barely a months worth of gentle daily usage. So it runs out fast too! What fun!

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I am very disappointed. It doesn’t do what it says it does, and it doesn’t do it for the bargain price of £25.50. Eye watering is right. Back in the day, when I used pressed powder religiously, I used to be a big fan of the L’oreal true match one, and it is definitely vastly better-and much cheaper- than this one. If you are looking for a decent, buildable powder, I suggest you give the L’oreal one a go, and give Benefit a massively wide berth.

Once again, I find myself in the position of finding Benefit to be overpriced and under truthful. That aint a good mix. A small part of me blames myself; I didn’t take my time to check it out, just taking the brand on faith. A very stupid thing to do, really, given that I had already been burned once. Fool me once, shame on Benefit, but fool me twice…

MUA Pro-Base Prime & Conceal Powder

Today I am reviewing MUA’s Prime & Conceal Powder from their Pro-Base range. There are 3 reasons why I picked up this powder.

  1. I was looking for a new powder, and Instead of the matte finish I usually favour, I decided I wanted something a little more glowy.
  2. It’s MUA, and I am a huge fan of every little thing that they do.
  3. It’s got 4 pretty colours and it looks awesome.

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I spotted this a few months back, and though I was intrigued, I didn’t buy it simply because I had no clue what the hell it was.

To be honest, I still don’t really. The packaging is less than enlightening. The only thing it says on the back of the compact is the following; “A baked, silk touch colour correcting powder that transforms your complexion.”

Lack of commas aside, this description is incredibly vague. It doesn’t explain anything other than what is blatantly obvious. A quick look on the website gave me these two further sentences;

“Apply this powder to help even out skin tone and illuminate. Wear alone or over your makeup to instantly brighten!” 

A little more helpful, at least. We now know that this will even skin tone. It also illuminates and brightens, which is exactly what I was looking for. I had a look at a few reviews, and people seemed impressed, so I invested in one.

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I was super impressed by how cool it looked, but I still didn’t really know what to do with it. I know that green counteracts red, and I know that you’re meant to use yellow on your eyes, but what about the rest of it?? Again, I went to the MUA website…

“Peach – This will warm up any blue hues around your eyes, you can also use this to cover a bruise if you’ve had a bump. 

Lilac – Use this to brighten dull skin tones and counteract yellow tones. 

Yellow – This works especially well on olive and tanned complexions to brighten around your eyes.

Green – This will neutralise red tones in your complexion – if you have rosacea then apply this underneath your foundation.” 

It was at this point that I started to feel a bit cheated. As far as I can tell, peach and yellow do exactly the same thing. I also found the idea that this super pale green powder would neutralise rosacea laughable; this powders are all so pale that you can barely see them doing a gosh darn thing. Seriously. I applied them in all the right places, and my skin looked EXACTLY the same.

MUA then go on to add this gem;

“#MUATip – Remember to apply your skin tone concealer after you’ve corrected the colour to avoid a multi-coloured complexion!” 

I think you’re seriously overreaching there, MUA. I think I would struggle to have anyone notice I have anything on at all, let alone be shocked by my blindingly bright rainbow face.

Plain arm on the left...and with colour stripes on the right. OMG, sooo multi-coloured, amirite?!

Plain arm on the left…and with colour stripes on the right. OMG, sooo multi-coloured, amirite?!

 

I proper layered in those pictures, too. I put on a good 10 fingerfuls before I gave up. There is an incredibly vague, super light amount of colour to each of these, but any attempt at blending will whisk it away in an instant. Pretty much, don’t bother.

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I hadn’t totally given up; I was still hoping that it would work as an all over illuminator, which of course is what I wanted it for. I grabbed a brush, gave it a swirl and covered my face in powder.

It made no difference.

Like, less than no difference. I think actually not putting it on would have been more effective. It doesn’t make me look luminous. It doesn’t correct my skin tone or brighten or do anything of note. It does literally sod all.

I’m willing to believe that maybe I’m using it wrong, somehow, but until someone proves this to me I will just have to assume that all the people who gave it good reviews are on some kind of trendy new hallucinogenic drug.

I bet this looks hella bright on LSD.

I bet this looks hella bright on LSD.

I still think it’s pretty. But I wasn’t exactly hoping to frame it, so that’s no good for anything either.

I tried to like it, I really did, but what am I supposed to do with it? it has no discernible use. I truly believe I could layer this on until I hit the pan, and still not notice anything of merit. If, for some ungodly reason, you are interested in buying one yourself, you can pick it up here for the bargain price of £4. Good luck with those poor life choices.

In the meantime, my friends, I give you my new MUA paperweight.

FYI, it was rubbish at that, too.

FYI, it was rubbish at that, too.

Staple Switch! Witch Pressed Powder Review

As much as I’m a totall product hussy, there are a few that tend to stick- staple products I will buy over and over without question (Bio Oil, I’m looking at you…). It is a rare thing that I find a product that will lead me to replace a staple – rare, but not impossible, as this next product is about to prove. Since this is such a rare situation, I’ve decided it deserves its own tag, and I’ve landed on ‘Staple Switch’- from here on out the warning sign that I have found something so awesome that it’s taken number one spot from someone else. In this case, the product is the surprisingly simple and pretty mundane Witch pressed powder.

Ordinarily I am very happy with my face powder- I used L’Oreal true match and had done ever since it was released years back, so I wasn’t on the market for anything new. Recently though I’ve been trying to fix a bad skin phase by using only bare minerals, since it’s pure and natural etc. and it seems to have been working since my skin is looking pretty good at the moment- so good I decided I could get away with just pressed powder over bare skin. I figured it was destiny, then, when Bare Minerals announced they were releasing a pressed version of the foundation I love so much. I went straight into Debenhams to try it out and….it’s SO not what I was looking for. Far from a pressed powder, it’s a ‘mineral veil’ that the sales girl told me was great for holding your make up in place but was also – here’s the key point – translucent, offering no coverage at all (unless you get the tinted one- waaaaaay too dark for me). Huh. Best laid plans…

With that out the window, I wandered dejectedly into Superdrug and came across their Witch line of products, all half price. I didn’t know Witch made a pressed powder but there it was, and since I was on the hunt for a skin friendly one it seemed worth a go. I picked it up for the bargain price of £2.49, and since I was make-up free in preparation for trying out the bare minerals, I put it on right there.

Wow. I was not expecting it to be awesome, but it so was. Very light, flattering, almost neutral colour and an even, matte finish. Not to mention the awesome coverage- this is just as good as a single layer of most of the liquid foundations out there, but with no cakiness or oliness- just matte fresh! I didn’t even feel as if I was wearing anything, but straight away my skin looked smooth, soft, sleek and almost airbrushed! The shade was even more flattering than my L’oreal powder, slightly yellow toned where L’oreal was pinkish, and had enough staying power that a quick dab over any unsightly marks removed the need for concealer. And on top of that, being Witch it’s filled with all sorts of lovely things that are good for your skin! I was beside myself! It was so exactly what I was looking for that I immediately knew I was a convert, and at a usual full price of £4.99 it couldn’t be more of a steal!

There are only 2 drawbacks I can see, the first being that it only comes in one shade. It seems to be only slightly tinted, so I imagine it would work for most skin tones, but if your skin is very olive or dark toned it may not be for you. The second is that for no reason at all this powder comes without an applicator sponge. Not a huge issue, I picked one up super cheap in boots, but still worth mentioning, especially if you get it home and don’t have one spare. But really, these are such minor points, and they in no way impart on my new found love for this stuff.

So there we have it, my very first staple switch. With its combination of great coverage and a subtle finish, with a lightness that defied the coverage level and whilst simultaneously being good for your skin, this powder is a winner. I can say in all honesty this is my new definitive face powder!