Get a Soft Glow with Benefit Luminizers & Bronzers

January 9, 2010
This is a post for those who have requested photos and swatches of more affordable brands, particularly Benefit. (See below after photos for additional commentary.)

To date, I’ve accumulated 6 of their luminizing and bronzing powders which come in a wide variety of soft pretty shades. The lighter shades like Dandelion, Thrrrob & Georgia (not featured) are on the sheerer side. Some might find they won’t show up on your skin. Dandelion & Thrrrob give a soft pink glow for me, Georgia didn’t show up on my face at the store so I didn’t purchase it. Coralista, Dallas, 10 and Sugarbomb are more pigmented but not overly shimmer or frosty which is nice.

My descriptions:

  • Coralista – a softer version of Nars Deep Throat/Torrid, nice and peachy with pearl
  • Dandelion – soft powder pink, this is pretty sheer, but gives a nice pink warm pink glow
  • 10 – SHOUT OUT to Jojoba from My Makeup Reviews for making me buy this (see her review here), a very pretty soft bronzey color and pale champagne
  • Dallas – bronzey brown-pink, might look borderline muddy on light skintones
  • Sugarbomb – four shades of soft sugary candy colors in peach and pinks
  • Thrrrob – pale cool pink, similar to Dandelion, but cooler

I usually try to avoid this brand because I really don’t like the high pressure sales tactics that I typically experience from associates representing this line. While I understand it might be required of them to use this approach (based on training or corporate culture), I don’t like super pushy sales associates and I’ve found it to be an extreme turn-off. I try to shop for this line at Sephora where I find a much friendlier staff.

*UPDATE* In response to one of the comments below, these retail for $28 USD each which I agree isn’t exactly more affordable. The request for “more affordable brands like Benefit” came directly from several readers (quote on quote). I perceive Benefit as a mid-end brand, but I agree the pricing isn’t quite mid-end. You do get 10-12g of product for these boxed powders depending on color. They are comparable in price to MAC MSFs where you get 10g of product for $27 USD. Benefit also has powder eyeshadows at $18 each for .11 oz (compared to MAC priced at $14.50 for .05 oz) and cream eyeshadows at $19 each for .16 oz (compared to MAC priced at $16.50 for .17 oz).

The pricing of Benefit doesn’t exactly reflect my perception that line is a mid-end brand. While in some cases you get a better deal for your dollar, the prices are as high as brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown (like back in the day before price increases). Is the line priced correctly? Some might argue that something is worth what someone is willing to pay but since us consumers have no bargaining power with big corporate brands/stores, perhaps this isn’t the best justification of price or worth.

I might be in the minority, but I perceive Benefit lower on the brand scale compared to Clinique and MAC, but the prices indicate otherwise. I admit I did not really notice the prices much until a couple months ago when my receipt total was over $50 for 1 blush + 1 eyeshadow from the line. It was when I checked my receipt breakdown that I realized Benefit isn’t quite as “mid-end” as I assumed with regards to price.

Overall, I like the quality of Benefit blushes and eyeshadows, but there are some products from the line I refuse to try out mainly because of my prejudiced perception of the brand such as their mascara or foundation. Will I purchase anymore Benefit? Most likely yes, but I will be thinking out purchases more carefully knowing that I’m not really saving money like I thought I was by picking products from this line over my other favorite high end brands.

Do you have any Benefit Cheek Colors? What are your thoughts?

(Updated with edits, I apologize for the spelling errors!)

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  • Thank you for posting this, great swatches! I'm lemming Coralista, Dandelion and Thrrrob.

    I thought it was funny how you said it was a more «affordable» brand… here in Canada, Benefit blushes (36$) retail for a lot more than NARS blushes (29$)! 36$ for a blush is not what I would call «affordable»…

  • I have Dallas, and it was one of the first blushes in my collection! I like using it by itself or by pairing it as a contour with a light blush like MAC Moonriver.

  • i own all of the benefit boxes of powders except the latest sugarbomb, i found their powders of great value and amount, and i like Dallas and Coralista the best <3

  • Hi Lina.

    Thank you for this great post!
    I don't have all this beuties (yet?!) but my favourite is Dallas. I have fair skin but it looks great on me and I like it better than Coralista.

    But it seems that I will be getting 10 now ;)Thanks to you and Jojoba.

    The new Sugarbomb looks nice, too.

  • I so agree about the staff…too overbearing and pushy! I real turnoff.. i go to buy benefit at the one unsupervised counter where i know ill be left in peace!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for posting, and for the update. The problem with Benefit is that it's a gimmicky line, and the products are, imho, poor to mediocre. Ergo, it is very expensive because price and quality are not aligned.
    Some recent, happy, budget finds: Ulta eyeshadows in "Cashmere" and "Truffle," at $6.00. They've moved right into my Chantecaille palette. "There goes the neighborhood?" Nope, they are beautiful, high-quality neutrals.

  • thanks for posting the swatches…
    I think Benefit is over priced and overrated…
    I don't get it – I don't think that have anything that's amazing…
    but I feel the same way about Lush.

    I don't get the cult following around those brands.

  • i have sugarbomb! And I love it. $28 is very high for a blush but since I didn't really have many, I splurged. Like every line, Benefit has its own hits and misses. Just like I refuse to buy MAC mascara, UD lipstick, I refuse to buy anything other than box powders and highlights from Benefit. Each line has a "Holy Grail" product and I'd much rather shop that way.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Lina,

    I couldn't agree more with some of the things you said in this post:

    * I might be in the minority, but I perceive Benefit lower on the brand scale compared to Clinique and MAC, but the prices indicate otherwise

    * there are some products from the line I refuse to try out mainly because of my prejudiced perception of the brand such as their mascara or foundation.

    * I really don't like the high pressure sales tactics that I typically experience from associates representing this line.

    I admit to being a bit of a snob when it comes to cosmetics. While some Benefit products are nice (mainly the creaseless shadows), I also am less than impressed by some of their other products, which is why I don't shop the line anymore. I have also had SA's tell me that they are under pressure to sell, sell, sell at the counter. I wouldn't want to work for them.

    I started trying out Benefit years ago when they didn't have their website set up yet and thought their kitschy names and such were fun. The follow through on some of the products like Dr. Feelgood and the drying lipsticks helped me to move on. The only thing I have from them today is the creaseless shadows, which are really well executed, IMO.


  • Oooh, thanks for the swatches. Coralista and 10 are just so pretty!

    I agree with you on the weird pricing on Benefit though. For some reason… the packaging just doesn't quite say high-end to me, and yet it's more expensive than NARS or Laura Mercier! For the price of $28, and with their boxed blushes/powders being so sheer I think I'd much rather spring for either of those brands instead…. I think that's also why I've never really paid much attention to Benefit…

  • Ladies, can I say how much I love you all! I'm so glad you have all written your opinions on the line and I'm even happier I am not alone.

    I got sucked in one boxed blush at a time and while I like these, I don't love them simply because they are from Benefit. Snobby I know, but you ladies have summed it up.

    The line is fun at times, there are hits/misses, but I agree about the gimicky part.

    I did this feature because in my last survey, I got maybe 5-6 requests to feature Benefit products.

    Hope you are having a great weekend!

  • I've always wanted Dallas, but I hate the stupid box design. How the hell am I supposed to store it with all of my thin, flat blushes? =)

  • Hello Lina,

    You are not alone. Benefit products are "cute" and if I need a gift for my younger niece, or little cousin something from their line is acceptable, but not really for anything else. I remember about 7-8 years ago I bought my first Benefit products, it was the dandelion and georgia peach powders and a blush brush. Those 3 products are the only things I've ever bought from them that I liked.

    I think they're over hyped, I have tried their cream shadows and they are okay but nothing to write home about. You are so spot on about the pushy sales tactics.

    LOL after all that, I still want to try the Sugarbomb =P

  • I think one reason I stay away from Benefit is the packaging. The blush packaging doesn't seem very sturdy? I feel like having it tossed in my purse all the time, it will look like crap in no time. It definately does not reflect the price. I would like it to be more sheek and sturdy. Honestly, thats probably why I don't buy Urban Decay much either. I hate the packaging. Especially the deluxe eye shadows. Are you serious?? The pictures are so childish looking and cheap. And the plastic pops off of all of mine. Blah. Anyway, lol. I do like the way Dallas looks. I'll have to check it out. I've always wondered about Hoola too. I never knew they were $28 though. I'd rather by a MAC blush for $18.50. Great Post!!

  • I am a big fan of their creaseless shadows but that's about it. I have own Dallas in the past but I gave it to my sister. I felt like it would last past 3-4hrs on me. I own hoola bronzer – I haven't used it in a year or so but I do like the matte finish. I may have to check out sugarbomb.

    I'm not the biggest fan of Benefit but I do like that they are based in SF and I like the history of the company (ran by Twin Sisters).

  • One time I had a makeover at a Benefit counter. Let me try that again. One time I was quietly browsing at a Benefit counter and I was given an ambush makeover by the SA. She used a panstick foundation on my entire face. Straight. From. The. Tube. EEEEEWWWW! It was like a germ-filled mask that was about three shades darker than my neck. Then she topped it with a ton of other makeup that made me look clownish. When she was done, I looked in the mirror and she asked me what I thought. And before I could censor myself for the sake of politeness, "I just wanna wash my face" flew out of my mouth! Good thing this was on a vacation so I never have to look the SA in the eye again!