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I’m sure most of you have heard about a little San Francisco based company named Benefit. Founded by twin sisters, Jean and Jane Ford back in 1976, the company has some of the best packaging and products out there–it’s a perfect blend of function and whimsy and has a really fabulous retro vibe. We recently were lucky enough to get to try their Erase Paste concealer and their Hello Flawless powder (check out Goodbye Foundation!) and now we’re beyond lucky to get to try their latest offering, Smokin’ Eyes.
I don’t know about you, but eye makeup intimidates me. I see all of the different applicators and tools and colors and my palms sweat. This anxiety gets worse when I plan on doing a smoky eye. I have almond shaped eyes and the crease in my lid is a little low, so getting a precise application is difficult. If I use my crease as a guide, it looks like I’m channeling my inner Alice Cooper. Not a good look for me, I assure you. In any case, you get my drift-smoky eyes intimidate the heck out of me.
When I received Benefit’s Smokin’ Eyes palette to test, for whatever reason, a sense of calm overtook me. Everything I need to make a smoky eye and perfect eyebrows to frame them is in this palette. You can tell that great care was taken in planning this set. Upon close inspection, you see that the brushes are high quality, not your standard palette fare. The compartment holding the tweezers is even magnetic (we all flipped at this! ~wht), so the dainty pair enclosed is secure. In short, this latest offering from Benefit is genius! The Smokin’ Eyes palette contains a pale pink highlight shadow, a pewter base shade (it’s a perfect marriage between grey and brown), a charcoal shadow/liner, a black eye liner pencil, brow zings wax in light, eye bright, a double-ended brush with a fluff eye shadow brush on one end and hard, angled brush on the other, the tiniest, most precise tweezers ever, and step-by-step instructions. The instructions are very easy to follow and have diagrams to guide you in your makeup application. Dare I say, this palette is fool-proof! Yes, that is a challenge!
Following the instructions, I was surprised by how precise the fluff brush was in applying the shadow. It’s more precise than even sponge-tip applicators and remarkably dense and soft. I’m used to palette brushes resembling those cheap paint brushes that are included with water color paint sets for small children. I was almost shocked when my finished result actually looked like the diagram without it being a blue moon or some once-in-a-lifetime planetary alignment. I will warn that the brow zing wax in light was a perfect shade for my dark brunette eye brows, so I would advise those of you with paler brows to use a very light hand with it.
The best testimonial I can give this palette is that I used this on one of the days I volunteered at my local national park and one of the rangers said my eyes looked “real pretty”. Most of these folks don’t even know what makeup is and talk about the bicentennial like it was yesterday, so for one of them to notice how my peepers looked, much less that I had a full pair, gives proof to the wonders of Smokin’ Eyes.
Anybody else out there smokin’ with Smokin’ Eyes?