Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Textbook Glamour

I held out on these Benefit World Famous Neutrals kits for several months, but after watching this video featuring the Most Glamorous Nudes Ever, I literally ran out to the shops the next day to buy it. I find Benefit to be on the pricier side in Australia, but this set is fairly good value for money, considering you get two cream eyeshadows and four powder eyeshadows for $44. Of course, buying it in the States would be cheaper (it's $30 before tax), but it's about the same price as buying in the UK (£23.50). There's two other kits (Easiest Nudes Ever and Sexiest Nudes Ever), but Most Glamorous Nudes Ever seems to be the most popular pick.

Is it just me, or is that Kelly Clarkson on the cover?

There's a protective plastic sheet covering the contents that suggests once you're done with the shadows to use the box to store your keepsakes. I find the packaging of Benefit products to always be meticulously thought out, but invariably bulky and a little overdecorated, if you will. Still, the box doesn't take up too much space and in any event, is more practical than the Go TropiCORAL Lip & Cheek Kit, where everything could be taken out and used except a small pan of Coralista blush that was stuck to the cardboard packaging.

l-r: Birthday Suit, My Two Cents

The major selling point of these kits to me are the two cream eyeshadows in their own mini pots. While I was drawn to No Pressure! from Easiest Nudes EverMy Two Cents is exactly the kind of shade I normally go for, and Birthday Suit has been on my radar since Estée first brought it to my attention. I've waxed lyrical about the Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Busy Signal, so I welcomed the prospect of adding two new shades to my collection. The pots in this kit are 3.2g each while a full size cream shadow is 4.5g. Thirty percent less product isn't a big deal to me, given I can't see myself finishing up a whole pot (full size or not) any time in the distant future. Plus, I'd rather have variety than more of the same. My only complaint is that the packaging of the smaller pots seems a little flimsy, particularly the lid, and because the jar itself is quite small but deep, I can see it being a challenge to get product out with your finger beyond a certain point.

On the underside of my arm (which is about 2-3 shades lighter than my face), Birthday Suit is one of the most aesthetically pleasing eyeshadows I've seen — a sandy taupe with subtle but glistening gold shimmer. On my lid, it's barely visible and very underwhelming, like a cool-toned, pale, silvery grey with grainy gold/white shimmer. One of those colours that I think would be stunning on pale-skinned girls, but very ordinary otherwise. In that respect, it reminds me a bit of L'Oréal Infallible eyeshadow in Sahara Treasure, another eyeshadow I fell in love with from swatches I'd seen, but that simply didn't work for my colouring.

My Two Cents reminds me of a darker, more brown and less goldish-peach MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque. It gives a relatively light gold/copper/bronze sheen to the lids that's not too scarily metallic in a gritty, overly frosty way. The metallic pigment in this is very fine and overall, it gives a relatively muted wash of warm, coppery bronze to the eyes. You could definitely wear it on its own, but I prefer to use it as a base for the other powder eyeshadows in the kit.

l-r: Call My Buff, It's Complicated, Gilt-y Pleasure, Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy

The four Longwear Powder Shadows inside are 1.2g compared with 3g for the full size.

Call My Buff is an off-white shadow that looks almost matte in the pan, but has a subtle pearl running through it. It seems like every eyeshadow kit or palette needs to have this kind of highlighting shade in it, but they rarely excite me. I haven't found much purpose to them except the obvious (inner corner or brow bone highlight, or occasionally as a blending shade), and they're all virtually indistinguishable to me.

It's Complicated, along with My Two Cents, is the star of this kit. I wasn't expecting to like this shade as much as I do, considering my aversion to anything pink around the eyes. This is a stunning pale peachy pink with a perfectly woven gold sheen that borders on duochrome. I was instantly reminded of Too Faced Satin Sheets from the Naked Eye palette, but Satin Sheets is far more intensely light gold (almost white in comparison). Neither Organza (a much darker pink) nor Gateau (missing the peach) from the Sleek Oh So Special palette are all that similar either, though they're much closer than Satin Sheets.

Gilt-y Pleasure is a light-to-medium orangey gold. It's not as distinctly orange as say, LORAC Gold from the PRO Palette or theBalm Mischievous Marissa (from ShadyLady Vol. 2), mainly because the emphasis is on the sandy gold quality while the copper element is toned down. It's more understated than I expected, but still a solid all-over lid colour, particularly if you're after something that's not excessively shimmery.

Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy is a warm dark chocolate that appears to have a load of sparkle in the pan, but hardly any translates onto the lids. I felt the pigmentation fell short of impressive, and there was some noticeable fallout. Unless it's the brushes I'm using, I need to pat this on 2-3 times to get my desired opacity, though similar shades have no such issues (L'Oréal Infallible eyeshadow in Endless Chocolat, the left Definer shade in Wet n Wild Comfort Zone, but to be fair, both lean closer to black than brown).

l-r: Birthday Suit, My Two Cents, Call My Buff, It's Complicated, Gilt-y Pleasure, Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy

One of my go-to eye looks of late is taken from Alix in her Updated Everyday Makeup Routine, where she uses My Two Cents over the lid as a base, It's Complicated in the first third of the eye, and Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy in the outer corner. I use my Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush to blend the dark colour out. I don't bother repeating the same colours on the lower lash line. It doesn't seem like it'd work with my eye shape, but surprisingly pulls together in the end. The cream shadow base really extends the life and vibrancy of the shadows, and the shades themselves have a fine, sophisticated sheen to them that are daytime-appropriate but still live up to their glamorous name.


  1. Gorgeous shades ! All beautiful shades, but still wearable !

    Madeline | Its a Mads Mads World

  2. Wow, these are really beautiful shades! I'm not much of a matte girl in what concerns eyeshadow so, these are just perfect for me! I'm in love!


  3. It looks perfect! I love neutral colors!!!


  4. I really like these Benefit sets, I always think they do them so well. All of the shadows look super pretty, especially that gold!! <3

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

  5. I have and absolutely love this palette! The cream shadows are my favorite part of the palette and the quality is great! x

    Daphne | Peanut Butter and Chocolate Life | bloglovin

  6. Didn't think much of this set but the colours are amazing! I've already got Birthday Suit, I just might have to pick up My Two Cents aswell x

    Roxanne | Sweet Style Beauty

  7. Great choice! I really like the shades in this kit. Super wearable and all around pretty. I have Birthday Suit and it's one of my favourites that I reach for over and over despite drowning in eye shadows. It's pale and subtle with just one or two soft pats, but you can build it up, too. I love the look you showed us here!

  8. I really want this set, it's so gorgeous! Such a detailed review too! xx

  9. beautiful tones!!!


  10. This is a fantastic review! I must admit I'm not bothered by benefit at all but this post has made me want to try this particular product :)
    Amy x | A Little Boat Sailing

  11. I love your very in depth review! I have this set as well and I like it but I am not crazy about it and I dont reach for it often.. I find that the tiny pots of the cream shadows are too small for my banana fingers. The overall quality is okay though, but not groundbreaking..
    btw I totally agree with you about the loreal infaiilble eye shadow ; sahara treasure, it looks gorgeous on my hand swatch but it looks too tacky and gold on my eyes. T,T

  12. Amazing review dear!! These eyeshadows look divine...omg these swatches, thanks! ♥

  13. This set looks amazing! I've always been put off by the price of Benefit products in Australia, but I'm really tempted to splurge since this has so many versatile shades. Maybe as a Christmas present from me to me, haha...

  14. Alix makes it work sooo well! That girl is gorgeous. I've swatched the Creaseless Creams and I find they're too creamy for my taste, granted I've not put them on and worn them out but they have too much slip imo. Your eye look is really pretty- reminiscent of MAC Rubenesque with a hint of smokey. I had a look at these kits when I found out the price but they're so little and the packaging is excessively bulky.

  15. Eee, this is so pretty! I've been looking into one of these sets for a while now. Love the packaging and the colors <3

  16. Seen this set in several ladies collections too and they are really pretty and great solid basics! I just want some of their cream shadows, they're so raved and apparently very waterproof! I need that!

  17. This is such a nice set! Especially with the cult cream shadows, I think Benefit's sets are a great price for value, even over here! I don't think I need too many more similar neutral colours though, haha. xx

  18. Birthday Suit IS probably one of the prettiest eye shadows ever, it's so gorgeous! The colours in this palette go so well together. Sometimes, I think, brands try too hard with their nudes to make it so different and new but Benefit did really well with this one.

  19. I've been thinking if I should or not get these palettes. I own a cream eyeshadow and a powder eyeshadow from benefit (they came with my the bronze of champions kit) and I really love the cream eyeshadow - it's one of my favourites along with the MAC Paint Pots - but the powder one...it's not that pigmented or easy to work with...
    I'm not really sure...I know that I really love the cream ones and that I would for sure get more - even if I have to pay full-size price - but the powder ones...I don't know.
    Specially because I have yet to get a nice Z palette or book of shadows palette to depot my current benefit palettes. They are really chunky and big...

    Anyway, I might look for this and swatch it during my Christmas shopping.
    Please take care, have a nice day!*


  20. This kit is gorgeous and I need it now.

  21. Love this set. I went and got two of the creaseless creams yesterday, wore birthday suit today and it did not crease at all!

  22. Everything about this palette is awesome. From the packaging to the colours to the pigmentation. x

    Shang J. | The Feminine Crusade

  23. You finally got this palette! Yay! hahaha I totally agree with everything you said about this palette, and those creme eyeshadows were exactly the reason as to why i was attracted to getting this palette as well. The next neutral eyeshadow palette you need to get is The Balm Nude'tude ;) haha

  24. I think this is a fab little set. Would be perfect for a Christmas or birthday gift for any beauty lover!

    Leanne @ Leanne-Marie | Beauty, fashion & lifestyle. x x

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    Jeux de coiffure


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