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Benefit At-A-Glance

Strengths: Worthwhile foundation and powder options; excellent assortments of blushes and a good bronzer; nice brow-enhancing options; several beautiful lip colors; excellent illuminating products.

Weaknesses: Skincare products could use more innovation (many contain potentially irritating fragrance and have bland formulas).

Benefit was developed by twins Jean Danielson and Jane Blackford, whose initial claim to fame was a stint as the Calgon twins back in 1960s television commercials. They opened their first cosmetics store, The Face Place, in San Francisco circa 1976, and then, perhaps recognizing the need for a name with more impact, The Face Place became Benefit in 1990. From there the line took off and expanded its presence beyond the Bay Area to include national department stores and, eventually, Sephora boutiques.

Benefit's makeup philosophy is outrageously fun, or its product arsenal centered on impossibly cute names and a lexicon that aims to make beauty enjoyable. Benefit single-handedly started the trend of selling makeup and skincare products with ultra-cute appellations for less than ultra-fancy prices. As with most lines, there are enough missteps and problem products to shop carefully, but Benefit shines in several categories, including foundation, bronzing powder, blush, and shimmer products.

Unfortunately, some of the products simply can't live up to their promises. This is mostly true of their skincare formulas, where the showcased ingredients are either present in itsy-bitsy amounts or the claims attributed to them are very exaggerated. Despite this, if you're in the mood for a fun experience and can manage to choose products wisely while enjoying the whimsy, Benefit deserves a look.

For more information about Benefit, call (800) 781-2336 or visit www.Benefitcosmetics.com.

585623-IIS1 v1.0.0.401 7/5/2015 4:08:08 PM