This product is essentially a fragrance-free, pale peach-tinted loose powder with a clever name and equally clever packaging. Although some may perceive the packaging as bulky, it's definitely less cumbersome and more portable than loose powders packaged in jars with sifters.
Agent Zero Shine is housed in a cylindrical component whose base is narrower than its top, which is where the powder is dispensed. Hidden in the base is a handy and well-made brush that's easy to use. You twist the base to release the brush, uncap the product, shake a bit of powder into the cap, swirl the brush in the powder, and apply over your face. Done!
As for the powder itself; despite the peachy tint it goes on sheer and has a wonderfully soft texture and absorbent, dry finish that doesn't make skin look dull or dried out. The single shade will work for almost all skin tones, except perhaps for very light or very dark skin. The matte finish makes it best for combination to oily skin.
One more comment: The brush is designed with a twist-up plastic protector for the bristles. When you're done using it, simply twist up the protector and replace the brush in the base of the component, with no worry about the bristles splaying.
- Very good, lightweight powder keeps shine at bay.
- One shade works for most skin tones.
- Cute and clever packaging that's actually helpful.
- More convenient for use on the go than regularly -packaged loose powders.
- None, unless you happen to prefer pressed powder, which remains easier to apply on the go and is definitely less messy to use.
Talc, Nylon-12, Water, Magnesium Myristate, Lauroyl Lysine, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Fruit Extract, Silica, Isoceteth-10, Ethylhexylglycerin, Aluminum Dimyristate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate.
May Contain: Red 6, Red 7, Red 7 Lake, Yellow 6, Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 1 Lake, Red 27, Red 27 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Red 30, Red 30 Lake, Ultramarines, Bismuth Oxychloride, Chromium Oxide Greens, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Iron Oxides, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, Manganese Violet, Titanium Dioxide.
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.