Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Project Samples: 6/6/10 - 7/1/10

Here are the samples I used during the month of June... most of it is Benefit and from the "Benefit To Go Beauty Bestsellers" kit I got from Sephora a while back. It came with 4 sample sizes of their most popular products.
Along with the Benefit products I tried, I tried the Nars shadow base, and one of my scent shots from Candles by Victoria.
So, here we go!

- Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
Full size: 0.26 oz / $24
Availability: Nars, Sephora, Nordstrom/department stores

I've tried 2 other eye shadow primers/bases and I still think I like the Urban Decay one the most. For starters, UDPP is $18 for 0.34 oz. That's 0.1 more for $6 less. Yes, the packaging is cute but cumbersome because it's hard to get all the product out. It has the slanted doe-foot applicator though which I like. The Benefit Stay Don't Stray (previously mentioned in a Samples post) has the pump which is hard to control. Formula wise it had the same amount of staying power as the Urban Decay, it was just slightly thinner which was harder to blend in. When comparing the UDPP to this, I found that the Nars dried faster, because it was slightly pastier. It also comes with a doe-foot applicator which is something I like because it makes controlling how much product you use easier. The problem i had with this was that if you didn't apply the shadow in a timely manner, it became difficult to blend on top of the base. It had tremendous staying power though so that was a total plus.
The base itself was transparent so it wouldn't even out skin tone or anything on the lids. In general I do like the Nars products, but this is probably not something I'd purchase again because there are other products I could use instead.

- Benefit Some Kind-a Gorgeous Foundation. Shade "Medium"
Full size: 0.34 oz / $28
Availability: Benefit, Sephora, Macys/department stores

Benefit calls this a "Foundation Faker". It's a cream-to-powder foundation and is super sheer. It comes in Lite, Medium and Deep and the sheerness of it really allows for it to come in just 3 shades. The one thing I never really loved about Benefit (I'll always be a supporter of Benefit, it's the first brand I ever used and I'll use it forever) was that their face products don't come in a large variety. If you have pink undertoned Lite, Medium or Dark skin, you'd be set. Otherwise, you wouldn't really have an option, like me. So this sample was a little iffy for me in the beginning because I didn't expect it to work for me at all.
The product is quite creamy, but not thick at all. It's very sheer so the pink undertones in the product really don't show up. Since this sample size was small, it was really difficult to use it as a foundation, so I mainly used it as a light concealer which is great for the summer.
Since it is so creamy to begin with, it didn't really strike me as a product that would be great for oily skin. So, underneath the product I used UDPP and it stayed on well all day.
I'm honestly probably not going to order a full size of it because it's not a foundation that I could use since its so creamy. If you have a drier skin it would probably be great for you.

- Benefit Posietint
Full size: 0.42 oz / $28
Availability: Benefit, Sephora, Macys/department stores

Like High Beam, Moon Beam, and Benetint, the full size of Posietint comes in a nail polish bottle like package - it has a brush and you apply it straight to your face with it. That's probably the one thing that intimidates people the most about these 4 products that it's a liquid and you have to apply a liquid directly to the face with a tiny little brush.
I own a full size of the other 3 and like the other 3 didn't have any problems whatsoever with the brush applicator in the sample.
Posietint is a cheek/lip stain like Benetint, but comes in a cute flower pink color (Benetint comes in a sheer rose red color). I didn't purchase this previously because I didn't think I needed a blush color that's so cute, and mostly because I have naturally pink cheeks.
Initially I thought it was going to be much brighter because as you can see the product on the brush without being blended out looks super bright. When swatched, it doesn't look bright at all and then when blended out it's just a very cute pink color.
It's a great summer blush because it's a fresh pink, it's not a powder at all so it won't look overly makeup-y on the skin and it stays on all day.
I applied it over and under foundation and it was fine either way. Putting foundation over it did subdue it slightly so if you don't like to put color on your cheeks it's still totally usable.
It's definitely a must purchase in the future.

- Benefit "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer
Full size: 0.37 oz / $28
Availability: Benefit, Sephora, Macys/department stores

To be honest, I never thought about purchasing this at all because I was intimidated by the full sized packaging. It comes in a glue-stick like package and I just... didn't think I could deal with rubbing a stick all over my face without getting too much product on my face.
When I saw that a sample size of this came in a tube, I was sold (more so than I was before with all the other products I could try in the set).
I used this once as an all over face primer, and hated it. I have oily skin so a primer with reflects in it didn't work out at all. That and my foundation didn't stay at all because it wasn't oil free or made to mattify the skin.
I did end up using it as an under the eye brightener. I previously used High Beam under the eyes and liked how it worked but sometimes could be overwhelmingly bright. Using this under the eys was nice because it wasn't too bright at all and it blended well. The brightening was enough to make a positive difference but not to be too bright under the eyes.
Alone it's a baby pink sheer color that doesn't really change the skin color at all, unless you are really deep. I feel like if you have a deeper skin tone, this might look slightly funny because of the light pink and slightly brightening quality of it.
I'm iffy about purchasing a full size of this because I wouldn't use it for anything other than under my eyes.

- Amaretto Scent Shot from Candles by Victoria
Availability: Candles by Victoria

Scent shots on Candles by Victoria are $1.95 each and a great way to try, mix and pick fragrances you want without committing to a full sized candle.
Candles by Victoria has 580 scents and counting and by being able to order scent shots makes you able to mix and make an infinite amount of scents on your own. She also makes different sized, shaped and colored candles that you can design on your own (like the Love Victoria line) or individual candles in one of the scents she offers. There's even a "make your own" candle option where you mix 2 scents, choose the color and name of it.
In order to melt the scent shots, you will need to have/buy a tart warmer which she sell on her site. The one in the picture is the Ivory 2 Piece Tart Warmer.
Amaretto is supposed to smell like almond liqueur. Given that I've never had/smelled even seen Amaretto, I have no idea what it's supposed to smell like. It didn't smell almondy at all to me, more cranberry-ish. It definitely smells fruity to me and not nutty or earthy the way I'd assume something with almonds is supposed to smell.
I did enjoy it though. It is a scent I'd probably use again around Thanksgiving because of the cranberry-ness I smell in it.
I don't know if I'd by a full candle of it because I enjoy the more standard butter infused bakery scents more (Fudge Brownie, Buttercream, Buttery Caramel etc). I will keep the melted shot and melt it again later though.

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