Benefit

Benefit At-A-Glance

Strengths: One of the few cosmetic lines that tries to bring fun back to skin care, but succeeds more with their makeup; nice SPF 15 powder foundation; well-deserved reputation for liquid blush; several excellent powder blushes and a good bronzer; good brow-enhancing options; beautiful lip colors; excellent shimmer products.

Weaknesses: Clever names and product descriptions are much more interesting than product contents; skin care lacks impressive formulas and contains fragrance; cream concealers fall short; mostly average mascaras.

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.

Benefit Makeup

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.

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Your results are in the table below. You can narrow your results by using the drop down menus or sort by toggling the column labels. If you would like to add an item to your faves check the box in the "+" column. Click the add to faves button when you're done adding items.

+ Rating Product Brand Category Price Size
Best The POREfessional: Agent Zero Shine Benefit Loose Powder  $30.00
Good Bigger Than BB Big Easy Multi-Balancing Skin Perfector SPF 35 Benefit BB Cream  $38.00 1.18 fl. oz.
Good Lollitint Benefit Liquid/Gel Blush  $30.00
Good Hydra-Smooth Lip Color Benefit Sheer Lipstick  $19.00
Best Gimme Brow Benefit Eyebrow  $22.00
Good The Rockateur Benefit Powder Blush  $28.00
Average Longwear Powder Shadow Benefit Powder Eyeshadow  $20.00
Average Fakeup Hydrating Crease-Control Concealer Benefit Stick Concealer  $24.00
Average Fine One One Sheer Brightening Color for Cheeks & Lips Benefit Cream/Cream-to-Powder Blush or Bronzer  $30.00
Average Ultra Plush Lip Gloss Benefit Lip Gloss  $16.00
Best 10 (Discontinued) Benefit Face Shine  $28.00
Best Foundation Brush Benefit Brushes/Applicators/Curlers  $24.00
Good Rush Hour (Discontinued) Benefit Cream/Cream-to-Powder Blush or Bronzer  $22.00
Poor You Rebel SPF 15 Benefit Tinted Moisturizer w/ Sunscreen  $30.00 1.70 fl. oz.
Best “Hello Flawless” Oxygen Wow Broad Spectrum SPF 25 Brightening Sunscreen Makeup Benefit Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen  $36.00
Best Chacha Tint Benefit Liquid/Gel Blush  $30.00
Best Benetint Benefit Liquid/Gel Blush  $30.00
Good Hervana Benefit Powder Blush  $28.00
Good Sun Beam Benefit Illuminating/Shimmer  $26.00
Good Some Kind-A-Gorgeous Benefit Cream-to-Powder Foundation  $30.00
Average Watt’s Up! Soft Focus Highlighter For Face Benefit Highlighter  $30.00
Average Ultra Radiance Facial Re-Hydrating Mist Benefit Toners  $26.00 4.50 fl. oz.
Average Moisture Prep Toning Lotion Benefit Toners  $30.00 6.00 fl. oz.
Good Hard Angle / Definer Brush Benefit Brushes/Applicators/Curlers  $20.00
Average Thrrrob Benefit Powder Blush  $28.00
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