Benefit Cosmetics always seem to have something that I want. It’s probably something to do with the retro-glam feel of their packaging. Benefit makes a girl time-travel back to 1962 when Sandra Dee sat at her makeup table in layers of white crinoline, powdering and primping for Bobby Darin.
All of Benefit’s products have some cheekiness about them. They also pay homage to a bygone era of feminine perfection either in their packaging or in the product itself. I love the concept.
For a company dedicated to whimsy, it’s a natural to do something special for the holidays. All-in-one kits make a big splash at gift-giving time. Who isn’t seduced by lots of makeup miniatures, especially with that cute packaging? I’m no exception and was thrilled to try Celebutante the “Personal Stylist Makeup Kit.”
Now, Celebutante doesn’t quite bow to Sandra Dee so much as it tips its hat to Paris Hilton. The sturdy hinged cardboard box with magnetic closure (that holds the goodies) is printed to resemble a quilted, gold chain-strung clutch (a la Chanel). Ms. Hilton notwithstanding, who doesn’t like Chanel?
We will dive into all the details of the all-in-one Celebutante in a moment. First, I want to mention a few other Benefit Holiday Sets that the we heart this received for review. You can check the comments for our thoughts on the following:
First off, there’s Bright Lights Big City!, a limited edition brightening kit sold exclusively through Sephora. Now, brightening is something that Benefit does best so I can’t wait to see how the That Gal face Primer, BADgal Blue Mascara (hey, why didn’t Celebutante get a mascara…it was the only thing missing from that package!), and Eye Bright pencil measured up.
Then there’s Sexy Starlet, which contains Some Kind-of gorgeous, an oil-free foundation faker, CORALista coral-pink blush (oh, what a blush! ~wht) and BADgal mascara, all enclosed in a funky box/clutch.
And finally, there is Glam Idol, a package of Benefit faves that some lucky girl out there is going to win in the latest wht giveaway! This package also includes That Gal, Posietint, a pinker version of the fabulotastic Benetint, and California kissin’, a smile-brightening lipshine to gloss up those posie-tinted lips, packaged in a cute designer-inspired clutch box.
Now, let’s get into the all the details of Celebutante…
Upon opening the case you find what every Celebutante-wannabe needs: a REALLY big mirror to admire yourself. The mirror is as big as the box (3”X6”) and makes applying on-the-go easy. The size of the kit makes it awesome in its portability and the content is nearly all-inclusive.
What’s inside Celebutante is definitely Paris (Hilton again, not the city). Lips are the star attraction in this kit with two mini-lipsticks and a gloss. The silky-smooth lipstick colors are Lady’s Choice, a nude and No Competition, a brownish pink-red. As with all kits, there are things you’ll use, and things…not so much. My personal throwaway here is Lady’s Choice because the color makes my lips blend right into my skin—not my shade. No Competition is, however, perfect. The color is a slightly deeper version of my own lip color, and I would wear this day or night.
Also included for lips is the mini-gloss in I’m With The Band, a pure gold gloss with pink undertones. A word of advice: if you haven’t had your teeth whitened (like, yesterday) this may not work for you. I found a good use for this one, though: a single dot in the center of a No Competition lip brings some sparkle and dimension to your lip for evening glam.
Two of the best beauty products ever made come from Benefit, and both are included (again, in miniature) in this kit. One is Benetint, the cheek and lip stain that has garnered fans for years. Benetint works well with any skin tone or color. A dot on the apples of your cheeks makes you look like you just came in from building a snowman. A swipe on your lips makes them look as ripe as a Red Delicious. Add clear gloss or not, it’s a great product to take ten years off your face and give you a youthful flush…and after the flush, how about some glow?
The second, Highbeam, is a white-pink shimmer gloss-highlighter with a sponge applicator. Apply this any place light hits your face (cheekbones, top of your forehead) or swipe some under your eyes (especially the corners near your tear ducts) for a quick wide-awake-and-happy-to-be-alive look. Benetint and Highbeam are priceless (but check out Moonbeam if you have darker skin or yellow/olive skin tones).
Rounding out the Celebutante Lesson are an eyeshadow duo in Leggy and Dandy Brandy, and a matte bronze cheek color in Dallas. The eyeshadows are requisite neutrals in shimmery champagne and slightly shimmery brown. The two-sided shadow brush included is probably the best applicator included in a kit that I’ve ever come across. At one end of the brush is a soft fluff shadow brush that holds and deposits color on the lid amazingly well. The opposite side of the brush is the talent brush: a smaller, stiffer (though still silky and comfortable) brush for lining. The Dallas cheek color is more of an all-over bronzer. Use it along with the Benetint (on your apples) to keep from looking too muddy (‘cause only Donatella Versace can use bronzer to excess and have us believe it’s high fashion). The brush included for Dallas is underwhelming in it’s small-ness; be careful or you’ll be streaky. On the plus side of the blush brush, it’s as good as a small brush gets in that it’s skinny but rather wide, and the bristles are super-soft and splay well.
Final summary for Celebutante: it’s as good as the all-in-one kits get with some true essentials that no woman should be without. All colors would probably look great on fair-skinned blondes, but most are neutral enough for all (I’m a fairly fair brunette).
So what say you all? Are all the chicks on your list going to Benefit from these gift packages this season?[ratings]