Benefit Smokin’ Eyes review

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase.

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?


  • krista

    Lives in the middle of nowhere with her amazing hubby and two codependent dogs that love to hate each other. She enjoys dance parties of one and last minute road trips, prays for Angela Lansbury's immortality and can never own enough blush. She averages one "Silence of the Lambs" quote a week and feels no shame over this. Perhaps she should. skin tone: NW15 skin type: sensitive/oily favorite beauty product: Blush, lots and lots of blush


  1. Krista’s right- this palette is sheer genius. I’m pretty good at a smoky eye, I’ve practiced. But even I learned a thing or 2 from this. And the color selection is great. I’ve been reading everywhere that grey is the new go-to shadow shade. The grey/pewter shade is divine. It makes my blue eyes look pretty darn amazing, I must say! I also love that you can tone this down for day or totally smoke it up for night.

    This is also one of those rare palettes that everything is usable. You know how there’s usually one color that’s like ‘huh?” Everything in here is getting used. Like Krista said, the brush is really high quality. Very soft and dense. And I’ve pulling out these tweezers over my tweezermans lately! So, that’s really saying a lot.

    5 stars for another killer Benefit product.

  2. This set has it all. I will give some helpful tips for some of you ladies. The brow zings eye brow wax in light is a perfect shade for my dark brows, so if you have lighter brows, use a light hand. It’ll still give you a perfect result, you just don’t need as much. Also, I initially had some troubles with the tiny tweezers–I found that they were so sharp that they actually trimmed my eye brow hairs instead of tweezing them. I laid off the steroids and used a more gentle hand and my eyebrows have never been so well-groomed. This set is a must-have!

  3. Oh Benefit! Always so stylish and cleverly practical. Everything you need for fab and smoky eyes (sans mascara) in one portable palette! I love the smoky, subtle colors that can be layered for more drama – the Pewter base color is just the prefect grey. Like most Benefit products, it’s all the little touches that make this palette so awesome. Like, as mentioned the tweezers – they are super precise (I needed to break mine in a bit, but after a few uses they loosened up) and I love that you can travel with them. The magnetic slot is genius. You’ll never drop the twisters on a dirty or hard surface (which knocks them out of alignment. The teeny, tiny brush is way above standard “throw in” brushes. It’s really great for shading the crease of the eye. I also really like the eye brightener and eyebrow wax. Sometimes my eyebrows can get a little unruly and running the wax over them with the slanted brush does a nice job in taming them. Don’t be intimidated by smoky eyes – the step-by-step guide is nice primer for novices and pros alike. If you have a tendency to lose things, like instructions, you can find a Smokin’ Eyes tutorial at under Beauty Lessons on the Benefit site.

    Another big thumbs up for Benefit. I love that you get so many products in one purchase – eye shadows, liner, brush, tweezers, eye brightener and wax – which can be worn day or night and all year round –for $36 you get a lot of bang for the buck!

  4. Benefit rocks the mic. I love everything I have ever tried by them. I have to order this. I just looked it over at Ulta and fought the urge, as I was in the market for another Benefit product and had only enough in my budget to get Coralista which I LOVE. This will be next on my list. Sounds so well worth it, 6 items in one.
    What’s not to love. It’s moving to the top of my wishlist ASAP!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *