If you’ve been doing a tour of Europe for the past two months with no Internet connection or climbing Mt Everest, you can be forgiven for not knowing that Benefit cosmetics re-launched in South Africa about two months ago, sending Mzansi into a tizz and crazeee Benemania.
If you were in South Africa and you don’t know, then, well, mmmmm . . . idk too.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I was lucky enough to get my hands on a limited edition set of Benefit’s famous Box o’ Powders called the Cheeky Sweet Spot blush set. It was a limited edition set that contained the iconic Hoola bronzer and 5 of their Box o’ Powders and a deluxe size sample of the Watts Up cream highlighter.
All the blushes came in just give or take 5g each, a sizable amount that should see me through a long time
The only way I’ve finished a blush in the past is by dropping and breaking it and I may/may not have broken my fair share. I mean, I have weak wrists . . . I’m not clumsy, I sometimes knock into furniture, walk into glass doors and miss a step, it’s normal, right?
Back to these Benefit Box o’ Powders
A normal size Benefit Box o’ Powder comes in a cardboard box that flips open and closes and encases the box entirely. It comes with a little brush that you don’t have to toss out (I have, because, if I buy a blush this expensive, I would like to buy a blush brush, at the very least) However, if you are really in a pinch, you can you the brushes, especially if you are travelling and don’t have a blush brush.
It also has a full size mirror, which is very cool. While I do like the design and the box, it is bulky to travel with and the cardboard is strong but not industrial strength. If you are going to travel with it, I suggest putting a rubber band around the box to prevent it from opening.
The kit I got came in like a Ginger Bread Man tin box thingy with an Xmas theme. This Benefit kit was one of their holiday sets released in the US last year but I was able to depot them easily and put them into a Z-Palette.
Mmmmm, I wonder if Santa would have visited me a few more times if I had kept it. . . and put some chocolate chip cookies in it . . . just a thought . . .
The Benefit Box o’ Powders, well, let’s keep it real, she’s not cheeep, she’s ssssspensive . . . so investing in one will burn a hole in your pocket (for my budget anyway).
Another interesting fact is that each boxed powder in the regular size as well as the boxed set I got, doesn’t contain the same amount of product. It ranges from 4g to 12g. Now that’s a large difference in the amount of product you get, especially because the price is still the same.
But before you get annoyed, there is some reasoning that Benefit puts behind some of these differences.
For example, Benefit’s Rockatuer has 4g of product while Sugarbomb has 12g of product. Benefit does explain this using factors like the formula of the product and the way it’s made, the pigmentation, how the formula works and comes to the conclusion that the rate of usage of the products is the same as the other Box o’ Powders, so you aren’t getting ripped off and I agree to a certain extent.
That said, I did try ALL of these out for about three weeks and I think I know which ones suit my skin tone and which don’t.
Hoola Bronzer (A Bronzing powder)
This award-winning bronzer is worth the all the love and hype it gets. This can be used for bronzing up the skin or contouring because it’s the perfect matte, neutral brown shade that doesn’t’ t turn orange or look muddy. I was really surprised that it showed up on my skin. It’s also dual purpose and is the perfect transition shade for any eye look. If you have a very deep skin tone, this won’t work for you.
Benefit suggests applying Hoola over Benetint for bronzed cheekbones with a hint of a rose tint. I haven’t tried it but I think I’m getting the Cha-Cha Tint. If anyone has tried it, let me know.
Also, barr Hoola, all the blushes I am going to mention have with a fruity or floral scent that is not overwhelming but worth the sniff!!!
Sugar Bomb (sugar rush flush)” face powder (12g)
This Box o’ Powders is sparkle central with 4 shades of peach, soft plum, pink and rose powders, which when swirled together looks light a peachy/pink with a golden accents. It is very pretty and looks great on darker skin. You can also use these as eye shadows. I wouldn’t say this adds radiance but it does have noticeable sparkle. One the downside, the product can accentuate pores.
Bella Bamba: A 3D brightening pink face powder (8g)
This is one that is sadly being phased out and I think it is now discontinued altogether. It’s meant to give a 3D effect to the face. It is a watermelon pink and with golden shimmer. You are meant to sweep this colour in a ‘3’ formation like you would bronzer. I tried it and it left a notable golden sheen, which I personally don’t like all over my face. I guess the concentrated gold sheen is meant to emphasize the high points of your cheeks, giving dimension by running it on the hollows of your cheeks then on the jawline. Excellent popping concept but I would stick to bronzer, highlighting and contouring for that.
That said, it is pretty, very pigmented but it certainly didn’t give my face a sculpted look.
Benefit Rocketuer: Famously provocative cheek powder (4g)
Now, this Benefit Box o’ Powder was all I wanted to get because it was marketed as a rose gold cheek powder that gives a sexy flush of colour – that turns you from beautiful to a Victoria Secret angel is one sweep! And it’s rose gold so, I mean, well, you know how obsessed I am about Rose Gold and many of you share that obsession, so there’s another reason to get it.
This blush is my personal favourite because it has a satin texture and shows up on my dark skin. However, wearing this blush alone will give you a wash of light pink with a hint of rose gold sheen. It is very pretty and versatile and will make for a beautiful blush topper. This will work on all skin tones. It’s beautiful to wear day or night will give your skin a beautiful glow. It’s not the most opaque which can be a good thing depending on how you like to wear your blush. But this Benefit Box o’ Powder can easily be built up.
Benefit suggests blending
Blend Rockateur over Watt’s Up for a beautiful, dewy glow! I have tried that and it truly makes for a beautiful, glowing combo.
Dandelion: A brightening face powder (7g)
This is a sheer neutral pink with shimmer that is meant to add life to dull skin. This is Box o’ Powder barely shows up on my skin but it would look great as a subtle highlight on the tops of the cheekbones or layered over a cream highlight like a MAC cream colour base, a liquid highlight or Watts Up. This will beautiful on lighter skinned lasses. I don’t know if it’s my nose but this scent is a mix of sugar and OMO (washing/laundry detergent).
Coralista: A “rio” pleasure face powder (8g)
This Box o’ Powders is warm coral-pink I could never see anyone putting all over their face. While the swatch may look powdery, on the skin, this warms up any skin tone and looks great on beauties of every skin tone, especially beautiful on tan skin. It has the same satin texture as Rocketeur and leaves the most beautiful metallic gold sheen when applied. I didn’t detect a hint of sparkle. This is one of those Box o’ Powders that I highly recommend to everyone because while it is metallicy, I find that it doesn’t emphasize pores. It also has a creamy velvety texture. This is also one of the most pigmented of the entire Box o’ Powders.
Watts Up: A soft focus highlighter for face (9,4g)
This is such a beautiful, subtle cream highlight that when you walk into a room, greets people with out you saying a word. I love the name. Saying Watts Up makes you feel like a gangsta and playing some hip-hop! But this has a delicate champagne glow with a texture that glides onto the skin and dries to a powder finish. Apply this to the high points of your cheeks, apply it to your inner corner of the eye, on top of your brow bone, hell, anywhere you want because you can soften and blend this out with the sponged tipped applicator I swatched and tried this method in Red Square. This looks beautiful on ALL skin tones. If you have perfect skin, you can you it alone. Use it under a powder blush or over a liquid cheek stain or foundation because the Benefit Watts Up will not disturb your make up. And it lasts.
Overall, the Benefit Box o’ Powders are worth the money, in my opinion. But I wouldn’t sell my bangles for them. They aren’t bang for your buck products, but Rocketuer, Coralista , Hoola and Watts Up are definitely worth trying or investing in because they are unique in their own way.
Price: Box o’ Powders: R345 each
Watts Up: R375
Where to buy: Selected Benefit counters nationwide or www.redsquare.co.za
Have you tried any of Benefit’s Box o’ Powders? Will you try them? Do you think they are worth the splurge? Which is your favourite? Let me know down below. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow me on my social media for sneak peeks and giveaways.
Until next time, stay blessed and beautiful! Love you all to the Rocky Mountains and back!
When I hear of a movie sequel, I often think it will be rubbish and in my experience, they generally are. Also, when I hear the words, ‘ just add water’, (especially on the packages of pre-mixed sauces) I automatically think it’s bad for me, MSG, High Sodium content, a potential heart attack (okay, that’s a bit dramatic) but I use it anyway (in emergencies only . . . that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)
I guess this has influenced my choices in buying make up too, because I’m weird like that.
Funnily enough, when I heard that the Smashbox Double Exposure palette, the sequel to the Smashbox Full Exposure palette, I wasn’t deterred in the least. Why? Because I love Smashbox eye shadows, especially their Photo Op formula. And while this palette isn’t the Photo Op formula, when I saw them unpacking it in Red Square in Sandton City, I did a happy dance and jumping jacks (in the parking lot of course. I am cray, but not that cray). Since I am on a no-buy, I immediately hinted to my hubby that I really wanted to try it. And if you follow me on Instagram, you would know, I hand it in my hands the very next day! Since it was a gift, I’m still being a good girl and sticking to my no-buy!
But, enough of my rambling and onto the Smashbox Double Exposure Palette.
The Smasbox Double Exposure palette has 14 shades in total, which is more than a full size Urban Decay Naked palette that has 12. Unlike the Smashbox Full Exposure palette that had 7 sparkly/glittery eye shadows and 7 mattes, this palette has seven shimmers, four satins and three mattes. There is also an insert showing you what transformation to expect from each shade when you use it with a wet brush. Nice touch.
Now onto the selling point, Smashbox claims that each eye shadow in this palette, when used with a wet brush, transforms into either a different finish or a more intense colour. Basically, these 14 shades are transformed into 28 shades. Now those are a lot of shades. And you don’t need fancy pants MAC Fix+, just regular H2O (straight from the tap, nogal, not even bottled water!)
I love that this palette has names for each colour.
The layout of this palette is very well thought out. On the left hand side are six cool-toned eye shadows. The white and black shades are BANG in the middle and the six warm and rosy shades are on the right.
The eye shape chart, which came with the Full Exposure palette as well, is also included.
Smashbox is BIG on showing and telling and the chart will help you identify your eye shape and show you how to use the shades in the palette, where to place them to get maximum impact in your eye look.
A quick one, wet, doesn’t mean sopping wet like when you wash your hair and come out the shower, remove the excess water by turning it on either side of a paper towel before dipping it into the eye shadow pans. If you go gung-ho with a wet brush, you will end up with a watery hell of a mess. This brings me to the next point. Usually when you go into an eyeshadow with a wet brush, it can jack up your eyeshadows. This however will not glaze over and dry to the original texture.
The shades are a pretty mix of neutrals, pinks, corals and grey, silver and a beautiful blue. It also has a white and matte black eyeshadow, which is a must in any eye shadow palette.
The palette also comes with a handy dual-ended.
A dense, short shader brush to pack on colour and blend.
The angled brush is not fluffy enough for blending and great to define and smoke out the lower lash line, define the outer crease and apply eyeshadow close to the upper lash liner to intensify any eye look.
The palette is made from heavy cardboard and has a plastic cover. While the Smashbox Double Exposure palette is not the slimmest (it has some junk in its trunk, which I appreciate), it has a magnetic closure so you can travel with it with peace of mind and it comes with a handy, large mirror.
Let’s get to the swatches:
Silver (Shimmer to Metallic): Before you think this is just a flat silver . . . do a double take. It has a beautiful trio-chrome effect with hints of dark blue and a bit of gold. This is a very unique colour. Applied wet, it’s supposed to turn metallic and it does. It’s has a beautiful sheen and the blue and gold are intensified. The shade is nothing like I’ve ever seen, and I have seen a lot of eyeshadows.
Mauve (Satin to Metallic): Dry this a beautiful taupe/ shade that has the texture of satin and a sheen that is slightly metallic. It leans more on the purple/lilac side. When wet, the mauviness is intensified and the metallic is not BOOM but definitely there. However, oddly, when wet, the colour is not as metallic as when applied dry but the colour is darker. It is difficult to blend when wet so I suggest only using it on the lid. Dry, it works like a dream
Peony (Shimmer to Metallic) is a soft rosy shade with a hint of champagne that makes it a soft rosy/gold shade. It leans more towards being a metallic shade because there was no shimmer that I could detect. Applied wet, it’s slightly more metallic. This has a duo chrome finish that I would happily wear alone for a subtle feminine look. Again, this colour when wet, is difficult to blend out, but packed on the lid or on the lower lash line it is beautiful.
Blanc (Frost to Metallic) is a white with a hint of gold. This one was the most different when applied wet. It turned super frosty and metallic. It will make for a great brow bone highlight
Quartz (Shimmer to Amped Up Vibrancy) is peachy/golden shade, which comes off more as a satin than a shimmer. When wet, it turns into a golden shade with a very, very subtle hint of peach.
Flushed (Shimmer to Gets Deeper) is a soft rose colour that again is more of a satin metallic shade rather than a shimmer. It is one of my favourites in this palette. When wet, it becomes deeper and more metallic. This blends out beautifully both wet and dry.
Veiled (Satin to Amps Up Vibrancy) is a creamy buttery highlight shade but when used wet doesn’t seems to get lighter and very sheer. I recommend using this one dry only. That said, it makes for a great all over eyeshadow base as well as the perfect brow bone highlight, especially on darker skin when a stark white shade like Blanc may not suit an eye look, unless of course your going for high drama!
Midnight (Satin to Adds Sparkle) is a blackened navy blue with hints of navy blue sparkles. This is one of those magical shades when you wet it because it turns into a beautiful metallic colour with slight, sparkly navy blue that would be perfect for a smokey eye because it blends out beautifully used both wet and dry.
Temper (Satin to Adds Sparkle) is a nice dark plum color with a lilac and pink duo chrome finish. When wet, it transforms into an intense violet and the lilac sheen is amped up and hint of sparkles are noticeable, but not that rodeo-look kind of sparkle. This shade looks gorgeous wet or dry but doesn’t blend out easily so you have to blend until your wrists bend.
Haze (Shimmer to Gets Deeper) is a dark smokey grey/plum but more of a satin formula. Applied wet, it doesn’t get more intense. This works well wet and dry and is easy to blend.
Noir (Matte to Gets Deeper) is black. It’s beautiful. Applied dry, this needs to be built up because it can be a bit patchy. Used wet, it definitely gets deeper and this is a very useful shade to darken a look or even use as a liner.
Copper (Shimmer turns Metallic) is a beautiful reddish brown shade. It looks amazing wet because when it turns metallic the hints of plum and brown really pop. Easy to blend both wet and dry.
Fig (Matte to Gets Deeper) is a rich dark brown with red /plum under tones. Applied wet, it loses the pluminess and looks like deep a chocolate brown. It doesn’t blend out well wet but is super blendable dry.
Espresso (Matte to Gets Deeper) is a brown, with slight yellow undertones. Applied dry, this is a true matte and the texture is beautiful. When applied wet it does get deeper and a more greyish undertone. This is best used dry because using it wet can be a bit difficult to blend out. It is a beautiful shade though.
I was really wowed by the Smashbox Full Exposure pallete but did note that the glittery eyeshadows weren’t pressed enough and needed to be used wet to prevent sparkle face (glitter eyeshadow fallout)
So when Smashbox SA brought in the Double Exposure palette with huge claims I couldn’t wait to get it. There is certainly no fallout and while I like the idea of using the shadows wet, the eye shadows are so pigmented that there isn’t a need to intensify the colour. Some shades don’t work well wet, but those that do work, work so beautifully that I am ok with using the non- wet-working eye shadows dry because they are equally amazing. This is not gimmicky, it’s a beautiful palette, with an excellent variety of shades to choose from and create numerous looks from everyday soft, neutral and feminine to smoldering and sexy.
With insanely opaque eyeshadows with virtually no fallout and double the fun, this palette is a winner and I definitely think it’s worth the splurge.
I’m often asked why I review the Smashbox palettes when I have far too many already, the reason is simple. We are not spoilt for choice in Mzansi when it comes to high-end palettes where you can walk into a store, swatch the colours and even get a make over at the counter before you buy it. Often, we have to read reviews, watch YT videos and shell out a lot to get an UD Naked palette, which may be fake depending on which retailer you buy it from. Beware; a reputable store has been selling fake UD Naked palettes. I have irrefutable evidence. Or you have pay three times the price from a third-party seller. This is why I will do my best to review these palettes because while I love international brands, there’s a feeling of great satisfaction when you buy local, from an actual store. Hey, we don’t have Sephora, but we do have Red Square and Smashbox!
Halaala Smashbox, halaala, this is ayoba for sho!
Where to buy: Smashbox counters countrywide
Have you tried the Smashbox Double Exposure Palette? Which are your favourite shades? I would love to know! Comment down below J
Until next time, stay blessed and beautiful. Love you double than I did since my last post.
It looks awkward and pretty interesting. The only reason I picked it up was because it looked like nothing I had in my make up brush collection and I love make up brushes period and this ONE brush made some lofty claims. It claims to be a multi-tasker that cuts makeup application time in half by replacing 10 other brushes and tools.
Imagine that . . . now, stop imagining and look at this brush!
It has a large, flat ferrule that is made of dark, brown plastic that mimics the look of wood. Despite it’s size, its surprising light-weight
The bristles are made of a mix of goat hair and natural fibres, which is why I guess many people have complained that this brush sheds. And it’s soft, like very soft . . . and I don’t know anyone who’s about that ‘I like scratchy brushes’ kind of life. If you do, let me know in the comments below 🙂
I have used it twice and I didn’t experience any shedding. That said, brushes made from natural hair shed more than synthetic brushes, so it’s expected and unless the shedding is severe, I can get over it.
So this brush claims to be able to do ALL your face make up from primer to powder, yes both liquid, cream, anything in-between and powder.
While natural hair bristle are generally used with powder products because natural hair sucks up liquids, this brush is made from non-porous, high-quality natural hair allows product to sit on top of bristles rather than absorbing, ensuring a seamless application with no wasted product.
And it comes with an instruction manual. Yes, it’s that special. It also comes in a box, fancy pants!
Here are the brushes it says it replaces:
A foundation brush: It does and I have never applied foundation so fast in my life because the surface are is so wide, that I dotted the foundation on my face and like a one-swipe wonder, it covered my face with no streaks and I was expecting some streaks to be honest, because the brush is not as densely packed as a regular synthetic kabuki brush. (No streaking)
2. Powder brush: This didn’t work as a powder brush for me because I didn’t find it fluffy enough. I can use it easily to dust excess powder away but not for powdering my face.
3.Contour brush: This brush shines here because it has the density for controlled application of a contour powder or cream and the bristles have the flexibility to blend out the product. The surface area of the brush head also allowed me to contour and blend out my forehead and around the temples in easy back and forth motions. The fine edge of the brush also allows for precise contouring of the nose, (No streaking)
4. Bronzer brush: Again, the density and flexibility of the brush allows you to move the bush in the perfect’3’ formation to distribute the product and blend it out effortlessly and seamlessly. (No streaking)
5: Stipple brush: I was able to stipple and blend out Becca’s Beach Tint effortlessly into the apples of my cheeks using the tapered tip of the brush. (No streaking)
6: Blush brush: Stippling on powder blush using the same method as with the beach tint worked well. Yes, you can stipple on powder or just dip the corner tip of the brush into the powder blush and blend outwards. (No streaking)
7:Fan brush. This brush was made for applying both the liquid and pressed forms of the Shimmering Skin Perfectors. You can easily use the brush’s top surface to run highlight down the bridge of the nose or tops of the long edge of the brush to apply powder highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones and above your brows, for that pop of light . . .
8: Concealer brush: This doesn’t work as a concealer brush. It’s difficult to get into the inner corners of the eye without taking strain. But the bristles are soft enough where I can say it won’t rub your under eyes raw if you stippled concealer on with the corner of the brush and patted it in with your fingers.
9: Kabuki: It applies both liquid and cream products smoothly and evenly and blends it out effortlessly. (No streaking)
10: Sponge: When you think about how sponges are used in place of brushes or vice versa, then yes, it does replace make up sponges, just have to say that a make up sponge is easier to blend out under eye concealer.
Becca says this brush is free of dye, ensuring they will not lose shape or softness over time.
I also realized that the brush handle/ferrule wasn’t designed to grab my attention but rather to maneuver the brush to the various angles you need to achieve your most flawless self.
Becca does say that the bristles are reinforced with shed-resistant technology but adds that it may lose strands during use. But, ‘As with the hair on your head, this is completely natural and will lessen with use and proper care’.
This isn’t a gimmicky brush. I counted 10 beauty tools that it could replace and 8 of them worked beautifully as would a single brush made for that purpose. While it does come with a guide to take the guesswork out of which brush to use, I believe that you should use it the way you feel most comfortable and with products that work for you, at any angle and with your right or left hand or your feet. You do you, boo!
That aside, it looks cool, feels cool (well, soft) and it is cool too. I would buy this high-quality brush just for foundation, highlighting and contouring. While I am not keen on mixing liquid and powder products, I can do this with the brush because it’s so easy to simply wipe it off on a towel if you’re like me and OCD like that.
I love it for highlighting and contouring. This is also a fabulous brush for traveling. It’s lightweight and compact and you got your face make up covered!
Just remember never to fight with your face when applying make up and you’ll see, you won’t exfoliate your face with the brush or have those hairs shed like cray-cray.
Where to buy: www.beccacosmetics.co.za
13 Fredman Drive
Phone: +27 (0) 11 881 1440
Have you tried any of Becca’s brushes? Do you thing this is worth the money or not? Let me know down below.
Until next time my angels, stay blessed and beautiful. Love you lots and lots, more than all the one perfecting brushes in the world !
While Becca’ s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal (the pressed version) took the highlighter world by storm, the original Shimmering Skin Perfector in the same shade has taken kind of a back seat and it should be in the driving seat or at least in the front passenger seat, in my opinion.
The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors are one of the brand’s best sellers and with good reason.
Described as a water-based moisturizer, it has an SPF of 20+. Yip, they thought about that sun protection.
Becca says: “It has light-diffusing particles of shimmer that creates instant radiance and vitality and reduces imperfections.” Basically, it makes you look good!
This stuff is a brown girl’s dream and is the perfect rosy gold shade. It comes in a sleek rubberized bottle with a pump and a chocolate brown cap with a metal centre, which has the Becca logo engraved on it.
It’s looks sleek and modern.
The consistency is on the thicker side so it is great for mixing in with your foundation, which is what I generally use it for.When I use it in this way, it adds ‘rose goldiness’ (it’s a word, now) and sheers it out without totally compromising the coverage of the foundation. I love this because I wear full coverage foundation. It gives a beautiful luminosity to the skin and it not greasy, unless you go cray-cray with it. It thick enough to add to the tops of your cheekbones and worn this way it dries to a beautiful sheen that really just makes you look like a shimmering goddess as the light hits the your face. If you want a more intense highlight, you can easily apply a powder highlighter over top. . This is BAM! Can I get a collective YAAAASSSS! You can also wear this alone on your skin for a healthy glow and is a great product for strobing.
This works well on all skin tones because of the hint of champagne in it that looks great on everyone, everyone. Did I mention that I think it looks great on everyone?
It comes with a pump . . . but the one downside with all these Shimmering Skin Perfectors is that it pumps out too much product in one pump. This can appear wasteful, but you can use this guy all over your body (that sounds wrong, but you beauties know what I’m talking about.)
It looks especially nice on the décolletage and try a bit on you legs, I know this is a bit out there, but it gives such a sheen to the skin, especially when it’s summer and those sexy pins are on show! This is the beauty of Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfectors; it’s just minimal effort with maximum impact to really glow. It’s subtle yet so visibly gorgeous at the same time. It’s the epitome of feminity. It’s beachy elegance . . . that the best way to describe these shimmering skin perfectors. It’s multi-purpose? It truly is perfection in a bottle
Brown girls, if you have been following me for a while, you know I hate boxing us into only using golden illuminators or highlighters, but let me tell you, when brown and rose gold collide, magic happens. You know my approach, if it doesn’t look ashy or chalky, go for it!
Where to buy: www.beccacosmetics.co.za
13 Fredman Drive
Phone: +27 (0) 11 881 1440
Price: R410 for 50ml (Yes, it’s ssssspensive, but you are getting a bucketful of product)
Dupe: I don’t have anything in my stash that matches the formula and I don’t think I ever will. But in terms of something comparable in shade is Inglot’s Face and Body Illuminator in #63.
Have you tried Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfecto in Opal? What’s your favourite liquid illuminator? Do you know of a dupe that’s cheaper? Would you try it?
Let me know down below.
Until next time, stay beautiful and blessed.
Yes, it’s hit Mzansi’s shores (sooner than i thought, you know we’re always 7 months behind). While reading a local magazine, I came across it in the beauty section and boy did I get on the phone faster than you can pull a rabbit out the hat and called my local Red Square to find out if they had any stock.
They did and I quickly asked Mr Hubby to get it for me. Technically I’m on a no-buy right now so if he buys it, it’s not breaking the no-buy, right? Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it ☺
So what is it?
Smashbox explains on their website: Think priming benefits, hydration and sheer radiance—all in just 1 spritz! Primer water is free of silicone, alcohol and oil, but it’s packed with revitalizing electrolytes to wake up skin and restore moisture—like a supercharged energy drink for your skin. Passed through positive energy fields during the production process, our enriched water instantly absorbs into skin for lasting hydration (and when skin is hydrated, makeup looks better).
They claim that it’s the new icon, the former being the Photo finish Foundation Primer that was born 15 years ago. I love that primer and the idea of having that in a liquid form was heaven to me. It is supposed to the lightest, purest, most refreshing form of the iconic primer. Yes, this super fine mist is meant to be magic in a bottle!
These are the claims: Silicone-free. Alcohol-free, Oil-free Creates the sheerest canvas for makeup application Wakes up skin, leaving it vibrant and radiant for hours Restores moisture and hydrates skin for hours—shine free! Refreshes throughout the day Perfect for all skin types
Ooooookkkaaayyy . . . lots to live up to, no?
Basically, this is a 3-I mist that is supposed to prep the skin for foundation, set make up and refresh the skin all day. It comes in a plastic bottle with a pump. The nozzle does indeed spray a fine mist, like fine, really really fine.
Now this is a selling point for me. Often, hydrating mists tend to squirt rather than spray and it can be uneven on the skin, but this sucker sprays an even mist onto the skin and covers the entire face in a few sprits.
It has diamond powder in it and when you spray on bare skin, you do glow and the tiny reflective particles are visible. It does have a scent, that’s very difficult to explain . . . it’s fresh, it smells like a garden, a mix of floral and freshly-cut grass. However, it’s not annoying and the scent goes away quickly.
So how does it perform as a primer? When applied, it feels tacky at first but dries down to a lightweight, sheer, base. If you’re using a more liquid foundation, it will glide onto the skin. It you’re using a heavier, creamier foundation, you may need to apply some primer. Also, this is not going to fill any pores, potholes, craters on your face, so I would suggest using a pore minimizing primer where you have those pores. If you don’t have Victoria Secret Angels’ skin (I don’t), this would work great as a setting spray. It really pulls together your make and makes it last longer. I think if MAC’s Minerally Charged water (they have the same ingredients, Estee lauder does own both companies) and the UD make up setting spray had a baby, this would be it.
To be fair, at first I thought that this was another hydrating mist. It’s not. It has a hydrating, cooling quality that refreshes the skin but it’s also got a hold (you know, hairspray-for-your-face kind of hold?). Not lock-down hold, but enough to give a significant increase to the longevity of your make up. I have combination skin and tend to get oily on my T-Zone and it hit the 6- hour mark without my make up starting to break and grease up. I wish I could throw this into my bag, but it’s too bulky. I will decant it and but it in a mini bottle with a pump and fine nozzle.
It guy is super cooling on the skin, think throwing a bucket of iced water on your skin and Smashbox does advise putting it in the fridge to get more of a cooling sensation, I won’t be storing this this next to my milk any time soon.
These are the ingredient in the primer water: WaterAquaEau, Butylene Glycol, Caffeine, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Sulfate, Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Phosphate, Polysorbate 80, Diamond Powder, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate.
It has caffeine? Hmmmm, Red Bull for my face . . . I’m sold!
Yes, it is pricey and I wouldn’t say it is a ride or die product, but for me, it doubles up as a primer and setting spray, so to me, it’s worth the money.
Possible Dupe: MAC’s Mineralize Charged Water Revitalising Energy has the same ingredients, not the same nozzle.
I can’t say they give the same results, but the ingredients are much the same. Will do a comparison review soon:
MAC describes this product as : A fusion of Mineralize Charged Water and pure diamond powder. Instantly enlivens, energizes and revitalizes the skin while adding radiance. Keeps skin soft and supple. Refreshing green tea and citrus fragrance.
Price: R300 for R100ml.
Where to buy: MAC FFS and counters nationwide and www.maccosmetics.co.za
PS. My MAC’s Fix+ is not leaving my vanity any time soon but the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water is sitting next to it, in fact, they’re holding hands right now. Smashbox is one of my favourite brands and they come out with the most gimmicky sounding products that turn out to be anything but. This primer water is revolutionary . . . and that’s got the Smashbox stamp on it.
Price: R400 for 116ml
Where to buy: Smashbox counters across the country. I got mine at Red Square in Sandton City
Have you triedthe Smashbox Photo finish Primer Water ? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Love you guys 🙂 Until next time, stay beautiful!
Every make up company is coming out with contour kits, Smashbox, NYX (not available in South Africa yet), Anastasia Beverly Hills (this started the craze) and I’m sure many of the brands available in South Africa will be bringing a few of these palettes soon . . .
However, usually, these palettes are pre-made to suit a variety of skin tones and more often than not, often you end up using two or three colours from the palette example a 6-pan palette because those shades suit your needs. After you’ve used up the shades you either find a use for the unused shades or you bin it.
But we needn’t suffer that any more.
These come in 5 shades of individual pans and you can choose the highlight and contour shades you want. You can get this in a 4-pan Inglot Blush palette and maybe add a blush or bronzer/shimmery highlight colour to make a customized full-face palette.
I got two powders one for highlighting and the other for contouring.
The highlighter shade I got is 501, which is a pale, yellow banana colour, perfect for my dark skin.
The contour shade I got is 504 , which is cool-toned grayish brown.
I haven’t bought the Freedom Palette yet because I didn’t want to fill it up with stuff I already had and I didn’t have enough time to look at the goodies on offer. I’ll admit, I do have a make up addiction, but I’m not cray cray to waste cash. Maybe I will fill it with a Classic Blush, a Fusion Blush and Illuminator or even a Classic Blush with a golden shimmer that can be used as a bronzer!
Any-hooo, for now my Inglot highlight and contour sculpting powders are holding hands in my Z-Palette.
These Pro Sculpting powders are matte. There’s no shimmer allowed in my Highlight and Contour party or yours if I’m to be taken seriously.
These powders are finely milled and creamy. They are super easy to work. The beauty of these powders is that they are highly pigmented but have a translucent coverage, which allows you to create a soft and natural illusion of a slimmer face, bringing out your best features and disguising those imperfections. Result? Greek Goddess! It’s great value for money because you use less product to achieve that chiseled look. It’s also great for beginners in a sense that you can’t go overboard with these powders because unless you have bad eyesight, in which case you should visit your nearest optometrist, (and I mean that in the kidest way), you can easily see when you’ve applied too much and blend it away before you start looking like a zebra.
These guys contain HD pigments so they are idea for everyday use, photography and film . . . you know, when you’re doing a spread for Cosmo . . .
Where to Buy: Inglot counters nationwide or inglotsouthafrica.com
Price: R139 each. Each pan contains 5,5g of product.
The 4-pan Freedom palette is R149
Have you tried any Inglot Pro Sculpting HD powders? Let me know your experiences. Also can you recommend two products to fill the two spaces in my palette?
I love all the Disney princesses, but the story of Cinderella is one of the first fairytales my mum read to me. My Barbie dolls always reminded me of Cinderella . . . I was about five years old then . . .
I wonder if Cinderella and her glass slippers is the reason for my shoe obsession? Mmmm . . .
So I was excited as that five-year-old when I heard of MAC’s collaboration with the launch of Disney’s Cinderella the movie. Can’t wait to watch that!
The hype surrounding the MAC Cinderella collection was huge . . . but was it worth the hype? HELL NO!!!!
I wasn’t impressed with the products themselves. They weren’t very brown-girl friendly, I mean, I know Cinderella has blonde hair and blue eyes and I’m probably more Princess Jasmine-friendly, but Cinderella fans are all colours of the rainbow and MAC should have put some thought into that. But, it is what it is.
However, I had to get something (yes, you know I am a macaholic). I chose the MAC Coupe d’Chic Iridescent pressed powder because it is a mirrored compact.
I want to place on record that I hate the plastic packaging . . . it just looked cheap . . . for a princess . . .
Now, let us take a moment to appreciate what I loved about the packaging, I just did.
The iridescent periwinkle colour of the packing is a sight to behold. The gold lettering and the gold inner rim (this is also plastic) LOOKS like it’s fit for princess. I personally wouldn’t have minded paying a bit extra for sturdier packaging.
In the pan, Coupe d’Chic iridescent pressed powder looks super pigmented. It looks lie a deep golden peach with sparkle. It swatched beautifully, but I thought it would be a great highlighter. But when applied to my NC40 skin, it’s had to be built up (heavily) to show up.
This powder is not finely milled and when applying the powder, fairy dust and glitter was flying through the air, I thought my Fairy God Mother would appear. She didn’t though I did didn’t see a glass slipper . . . I called my prince and he didn’t have it either . . .
An average product, but it is a compact mirror so I can pop something else into the pan and het to hold Cinderella in my hands!
If this is your jam, some stores may still carry them. I got mine from the MAC FFS in Rosebank. I believe Melrose Arch in Johannesburg also carried the collection.
Pink and coral in a super luxe tube . . . that’s MAC’s Burmese Kiss from their latest Bao Bao Wan collection. It’s one of the four lipsticks released with this collection.
MAC describes this lippie as a “bright coral pink with a matte finish”. Bright and beautiful, this lipstick is and it’s one of the boldest lippies I own. I love it!!!!
Unlike traditional MAC matte lipsticks, which can be very drying and pull on the lips on application, this guy is a smooth operator.
It has velvety consistency (to match the velvet-like texture of the outer part of the tube?).
This lipstick is so opaque that it leaves a stain on the lips as it fades through the day. The finish is not as matte as I thought it would be, it looks like more satin for most of the wear time. It feels a bit dry on the lips as time goes on, but it’s still comfortable and that’s huge coming from someone who battles chronic dry lips. As with all matte lipsticks, make sure to exfoliate to get the smoothest possible finish.
The packaging sold me, the duo chrome teal and brown is beautiful. The Bao Bao Wan logo is written in a burnished copper adding to the luxury look of the lipstick. Even the box has the same iridescence. The metal parts are also copper and not the regular silver. It’s a MAC collectors dream or a great lipstick to start a collection.
It gets huge thumbs up from me and anyone can rock this shade, if they dare . . .
Where to buy: www.maccosmetics.co.za or MAC FFS. These guys are selling fast so get it while they are still available.
I would like to find a dupe, for now, I just want to pucker up . . .
Have you bought any of the Bao Bao Wan lipsticks? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it