Brows A-Go-Go brings together several of Benefit’s brow-enhancing products into one cardboard compact. Included are two shades of their Brow Zings powder, a sheer brown brow wax, a pressed yet creamy version of their Eye Bright pencil, a very tiny black eye pencil, mini tweezers, and a mini dual-sided synthetic-bristle brush. Benefit also included simple step-by-step instructions for shading and shaping the eyebrow area, a nice touch.
If only all of the products were as helpful as the paper instruction guide! The Brow Zings powder and wax are great, but only if you have light to medium brown brows. The pencil is utterly standard and almost too small to use (sharpen it once and you’ll be shocked at how much smaller it gets), as are the tools. The Eye Bright product is OK but its slightly greasy texture doesn’t last long; the Brow Highlighter Powder is pale pink with a strong iridescent finish that can look too contrasting next to dark brows (subdued shine is preferred).
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. Sephora's parent company, LVMH, purchased Benefit in late 1999, and, for the most part, has allowed the brand to stay true to the zany irreverence that put it on the map.
Fortunately the change hasn't eroded Benefit's makeup philosophy, which 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 skin-care products with ultra-cute appellations for less than ultra-fancy prices. It seems that in recent years, LVMH's influence may have trickled down to Benefit's marketing department, because most of the cute, attitude-based product descriptions have been tempered to more clearly communicate the products'... you guessed it, benefit. But that's a smart move given the number of products Benefit competes with in department stores and at Sephora.
Yet even with the more straightforward claims, most of these products simply can't do what they say they can. In almost every instance, the showcased ingredients are either present in itsy-bitsy amounts or the claims attributed to them are not even remotely true. 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.
It's refreshing to see a cosmetics line espouse fun and frivolity, but if product quality and performance aren't there to sustain the philosophy there's not much to discuss. Luckily, that's not the case with most of Benefit's makeup. 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.