Product Type: Benefit makeup
Newest Review: ... kit contains - and forgive me but these aren't technical terms, it's how I would describe them: A silver eye shadow A black eye ... more
There's No Smoke.. Without A Fire
Benefit Smokin Eyes
Member Name: colleen_uk
Benefit Smokin Eyes
Advantages: A number of products in one handy compact, each product is great, easy instructions to follow
Disadvantages: Expensive (but an investment)
I am a huge fan of the smoky eyes look but I always found that I was having to pick an eye-shadow from various different ranges, a highlighter from another and an eyebrow pencil from yet another. So you can imagine that I was pretty excited when I was informed that Benefit had developed "sexy eye & brow makeover kit" which could provide me with all of these in one handy little compact. Benefit say their Smokin' Eyes Compact "This complete eye and brow kit has everything you need for that sexy, smoky look. Now even amateurs can go pro! Colours are build able for extra drama. Ideal for travel or the girl on the go!" It seems like a make-up artists dream, but is this the perfect product for everyday consumers alike?
Benefit Cosmetics were founded in San Francisco, California in 1976 by twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford. They initially founded their business as a beauty boutique, and they then specialized in quick-fix products for beauty dilemmas. Benefit Cosmetics have been into a global beauty brand and they are now sold in 30 countries. Their first shop was named The Face Place and their first product was a blush and lip tint called "Rose tint" (now renamed "benetint"). Benetint was originally designed for an exotic dancer who was in need of a nipple tint and remains the company's best-selling product. In 1989, they developed their extensive catalogue of products and soon after the original Face Place was re-named Benefit Cosmetics. In 1991 Benefit opened up in its first U.S. department store - Henri Bendel, in New York City. Benefit went international in 1997 with their expansion into Harrods in London. Soon after, the Benefit Cosmetics product website was launched. They have had continued success and they are ever expanding their product range full of fun and innovative products for every girl's beauty dilema.
*What attracted me
I was walking through Boots one day after having made some impulse purchases and was pounced upon by one of the Benefit Cosmetics girls at the counter. She seemed desperate for someone to take the time out to listen to her and to be honest I only really allowed her to test out the product on me because I felt sorry for her. However after she enthusiastically explained the product to me and tested it out I realised what she was offering was in fact a great product and (much to her delight) I decided to snap one up. I thought that it was a reasonable investment as I love teaming a smoky eyed look with my false eyelashes for dramatic, statement eyes on nights out and this would stop me from having to waste time opening and closing various different pots and pencils - as everything was contained in one handy compact box with a mirror, which would slot perfectly into my handbag for a night out.
The kit will cost you £28.50. While this seems like a lot to pay for one kit - it should be noted that to buy each of the products separately would set you back over £50 so really you are making a saving and it means that you do not need to buy each of the products separately. You can buy Benefit products online from their website (www.benefitcosmetics.co.uk/gp/home.html) and also from ASOS online. Benefit cosmetics are far more readily available on the high street than they used to be and you will now find them in Boots as well as most department stores - for example House of Fraser, Debenhams as well as Harvey Nichols. They are always sold at a benefit counter meaning that you get help and advice with the use of your products and therefore you get a shopping experience far from just making a simple purchase. I would always advise consumers to steer away from buying products from Ebay where I know that they are regularly available because they will not be genuine products (no matter how much they seem to be) instead they will be cheaper products which have been manufactured abroad and then packaged to look like the benefit products you see on the high-street.
What I love about this palette is that it literally has everything that you could possibly need or wish for in a simply compact form. The kit contains:
~ 3 different coloured Benefit eyeshadows:
~ pink highlight shadow (1.10g)
~ pewter base shadow (1.10g)
~ deep charcoal shadow (0.90g)
~ Mini "smokin'" eyeliner pencil (0.39g)
~ "Brow zings" eyebrow shaping wax (1.00g)
~ "Eye bright" cream eye brightener (0.09g)
~ Eye shadow/hard angle brush
~ Mini Benefit tweezers
~ Product Guide
All these little gems come beautifully presented in the compact palette and so you are not only getting an item which works brilliantly, but one which looks gorgeous too. The flat silver box is magnetic which is perfect as it means that you item will not open and shatter in your makeup bag and pieces such as the tweezers and the brushes will not fall out and become lost. The front has found graffiti styled pictures of eyes - from start to finish from using the product and it says "Smokin' Eyes" across the middle from the bottom corner to the top and it states that the contents are "extremely hot". If you open the palette you will find a mirror on the top side and on the bottom each of the items neatly arranged - with the shadows at the top, then the brushes and eyeliner below, with the brow wax/eye crème underneath and finally the mini tweezers stored in a little magnetic indent in order to keep them in place. The inside of the palette looks lovely and is designed so that the user can make perfect use of the contents. The lesson sits neatly onto of everything but I quickly lost mine because it wasn't attached.
The excellent thing about this kit is that it comes with a leaflet which explains how to use it and the steps that you should take to create your smoky eyes. Not only this but the Benefit website also has a handy step by step guide about how to use the palette available in downloadable PDF format (www.benefitcosmetics.com/medias/sys_master/879653 3882910.PDF). I personally do my foundation and bronzer before applying this product. Benefit advise that you refrain from putting your skincare products below your eyes so that you can brush away any loose powder from underneath once you have completed your eyes and then complete your face however I found little/no advantage of this method. I think begin by sweeping the pink highlighter across my eyelid (using the shadow brush) all the way to just above my brow bone. I then use the cream eye brightener as a highlighter below my eyebrow. After this I sweep the base colour along my eyelid and above it - to just below my brow bone as this opens my eyes and causes them to look bigger. I then use the hard angled brush to fill the eyelid from the mid point to the outer edge of my brow bone with the charcoal shadow, using only a little amount as it is a very strong colour. I use my finger to blend the colour on my eyelid and make it look a more natural transition between the colours. I tend to use my own eyeliner on my lower eyelids (Benefit Bad Gal Kohl Eyeliner) as it is thicker and easier to smudge below the eye. I then go over this with charcoal shadow using the hard angled brush in order to make the look deeper and properly blended. I use the smokin' eyeliner to line the corner of my top eyelid and define my lash line. I tend to use my own eyebrow pencil (Benefit Instant Brow Pencil) as I prefer to fill my eyebrows in with a pencil and I then use the brow zings wax to seal the look and make the pencil effect less harsh. I often apply false eye lashes after to really enhance the dramatic look of my eyes.
I stated that the compact is great because it means that you can carry it in your handbag although I have to admit that I find that the final look is so long lasting that I don't have any need for touch ups and instead I tend to leave the compact at home. The only thing that I would say is that I tend to take/use a different eyeliner as I am not a massive fan of the eyeliner in the kit as I find it is slightly too thin and does sometimes slip out of place over time. Other than that the eye palette provides you with the perfect smoky eyed look which you do not need to touch up and can last through even the wildest of nights.
I love this handy kit and I think that it provides everyday consumers with a professional attempt at a smoky eyed look without needing to invest in numerous expensive tools and products. It will allow you to try out a number of the Benefit products without having to commit to a full-sized, full-priced purchase. I would recommend it to anyone who likes bold, bright eyes which are going to stand out amongst the rest. It may be pricey but my kit has lasted me almost a year now with on and off use and I have been able to make myself a sexy, smoky eyed wonder time and time again!
Summary: The contents certainly are hot!