Inside you get:
- "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer (7.5ml)
- The POREfessional (7.5ml)
- Benetint (4ml)
- Dandelion Brightening Face Powder (3g)
- Watt's Up Soft Focus Highlighter (2.5g)
- Total Moisture Facial Cream (8.9g)
l-r: "That Gal" Face Primer, Dandelion, Watt's Up, Benetint
I'm not a huge fan of primers, but The POREfessional is a well-loved classic. It probably isn't catered to my dry skin type (it seems to be tailored more for oily/combination) and visible pores aren't a primary concern for me, but it's good to know it's there for occasions when I want to prolong my makeup and take extra precautions to keep shine at bay. Whether or not it is effective in that respect still is up in the air. I find primers on their own can't perform miracles unless everything else on the face (general condition of skin, type of moisturiser) is cooperating. It has a very siliconey, powdery feel which isn't my favourite. I prefer primers that apply and absorb more like regular moisturisers on the skin. "That Gal" is more like that, but as a brightening primer it's certainly not as effective as alternatives like Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Radiance or even MAC Strobe Cream. It does distinguish itself with its pearly pink tone, but there's not much point when you can't really see it after you apply your foundation on top. As a liquid highlight, it's on the subtler side and can't compete with the mega-glow of something like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone.
The Total Moisture Facial Cream is a bit meh to me. I tried it and found it to be a decent, generic moisturiser that didn't particularly stand out to me in any respect. It's on the thicker/richer side, which I like, and might be a better night cream option for that reason. The cute little jar is ideal for travelling, especially as it can be used as a spare container once the cream runs out.
I already have Cha Cha Tint and Posietint, so Benetint was a welcome addition. It always looked like a watered down red to me, but it's pinker and sheerer than anticipated. It's aptly described as "rose-coloured". The shade is spot on: not too bold, not too cool, but not ruddy or overly autumnal. Compared with Cha Cha Tint which is more potent and staining, Benetint is more liquid, easier to blend and positively forgiving. It's a breeze to apply to the cheeks and lips, whether straight from the odd nail polish-like brush or with the fingers. As is characteristic of Benefit products, the shade is universally flattering and instantly adds youthful pep and vitality back to the face.
Now for the two stars of the show: Watt's Up and Dandelion. I've been eager to get my hands on Watt's Up for literally years, but have been put off by the unwieldy and redundant sponge applicator that comes with the full size product, the hefty prices of Benefit products in Australia, and the fact I have a zillion highlighters already. Needless to say, when I discovered the mini size included in the set, I was sold. Watt's Up is a prominent, warm, light golden highlighter that has a smoothing, soft focus effect. It's not gritty, glittery, shimmery, or pore-emphasising, and blends easily into the skin. It really just looks like your skin is gleaming. Staying power is also impressive.
I'm a Benefit blush devotee and have, either in full or sample size, Coralista, Sugarbomb, Hervana, Dallas and Rockateur (I also have Hoola, because it's a cult product for a reason). I'm just missing the discontinued Thrrrob and Bella Bamba. I jumped on the chance to add Dandelion to my collection. I'd previously dismissed it as being too pale for my skin tone, but seeing it on a friend with deeper skin than mine, I realised that it could work for me. However, it was too similar to Hervana in my eyes to justify purchasing outright. I find the sample sizes for Benefit blushes (at 3g) to be incredibly generous, given the amount is close to a full size powder blush from comparable brands (Clinique Cheek Pops are 3.5g each, Hourglass 4.2g, Illamasqua 4.5g and NARS 4.8g). While most full size Benefit blushes are 8g, their latest release Rockateur was controversially reduced to 5g, making their mini blushes an even better value proposition. Dandelion is soft but not powdery in texture, effortless to blend and never patchy, a sweet, girly, understated "ballerina pink" that you virtually cannot screw up. Importantly, it's not cool-toned, but not reddish on my skin either. I also find it relatively subdued in the shimmer stakes, especially compared with Coralista and Sugarbomb. As with all Benefit blushes, wear time is excellent.