Monday, October 19, 2015

Travelling Minis

Last time I was in the US, I gravitated to Benefit more than any other makeup brand, reeled in by how much more affordable the products were given the strength of the Australian dollar and pricing differences. Most items were 30-40% off the Australian retail price. Blushes were $30 rather than $51, They're Real mascara was $25 rather than $40, Hello Flawless! Oxygen Wow foundation was $39 rather than $58. This time around however, with the Australian dollar flopping hard, there really weren't any significant savings to be had (I bought Rockateur at Sephora for $43, which is still cheaper, but not earth-shatteringly so). It wasn't until the very last day of my holiday, killing time at LAX before the flight home, when I spotted the First Class Flirts Travel Set. It was reasonably priced (working out to be $6/mini), but most attractively, it contained an array of Benefit products I didn't already have. I was most drawn to the adorable Watt's Up cream highlighter and Dandelion blush. The inclusion of both sealed the deal.

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.


  1. I have a lot of these and love the benefits minis. I need to try the dandelion and highlighter as they both look gorgeous.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

  2. Minis are such a good way to try out products before you actually commit plus they look so cute. I've always wanted to try out the Porefessional too!
    Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue

  3. What a great set! I picked up a Benefit deluxe sample set after christmas from Myer and it had: Dandelion (the blush and lipgloss), the porefessional, girl meets pearl, bad gal lash and I don't remember what else but I'm obsessed with the fun sized blush. I wish more brands would make blush minis! I've been thinking pretty hard what make up I want to bring to America (to pack as light as possible) and I'm defs taking my deluxe sample of Dandelion as my blush :)
    Watts Up was one of my first products I ever bought from Benefit, I always think it looks amazing on everyone else but me??

    chloé⎪ status.chlo

  4. Ahh what an amazing little set! I love the Benefit mini's, I actually prefer them to the full size products for some reason!

    alice x // beautybyalicee

  5. I love Benefit minis too! and have been contemplating to get the Benefit's advent calendar because it's basically full of minis lol. But it retails for 100€ here so I still hesitate.. :/
    Btw, I love Watt's up too!! it's one of the best cream highlighter I've encountered so far. Glad it works well for you too! And dandelion belongs to one of my fave blushes too! it didn't look like something I would love, but I ended up loving it ^^

  6. This travel set is so adorable! I have heard of the brand benefit, I have never tried any of their products because they don't sell them where I am from.
    Nice post :)xx

  7. Benefit do the best minis! I've never had to buy a full size from them because they last so long!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

  8. Benefit minis are great and travelling is a great excuse to buy them)

  9. I love mini products! I have the mini Watts Up and I love it!

    A Little Dose of Makeup

  10. You haggled a good deal on Benefit. I love looking at Benefit's packaging, it is adorable and mini's are so useful while travelling.

    Chaste & Beautiful

  11. This set is gorgeous!!! I've always wanted a set of mini sized products from them and if any chance their count down christmas set comes to singapore I might just splurge the $100 it likely will cost because it would be sooo worth it to try the products in minis. I own nothing from them and have never tried anything from them either! I would love to own minis of their blushes as I'm in love with the shades rockateur and sugar bomb! I'm sure I'd love them! Sorry to hear the primer isn't catered to your skin but that's lovely that benefit is nice. It's such a classic stain shade but I'd never purchase it full size! I'd never finish it!

  12. Benefit always have the best minis - I was able to travel very light makeup-wise last time because I packed most of my Benefit minis. They're so convenient to have on hand! :)

  13. What a great travel minis set. The highlighter and the blush look lovely. I havent tried any of their box blushes.

  14. This looks like an amazing set. I've been wanting a lot of the things in there, so maybe I'll have to pick up in December when I head over to the U.S.! (bummed out about our exchange at the moment though)

    Vanessa /

  15. I love mini and even thought they are tiny, they last quite a bit and you can truly tell if you're going to like the products or not, unlike those foil samples which I avoid getting. Dandelion doesn't show up much on my skin tone and I am glad I got the mini instead of the full-sized one.

  16. I have that tiny version of Watts Up too and the color of it is so pretty!

  17. Benefit's minis are a must. They might be tiny, but they have a huge life-time ( at least in my hands).
    Benetint isn't really my thing, but what's up is pure golden love.
    And yes, their mini blushes have more product than what it looks at the first glance.

    Take care*


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