When I was a wee preteen first discovering the
addictive wonderful world of Sephora, Benefit caught my eye. With their ultra-feminine packaging and adorable displays, they were among the first few items in my budding collection. However, I quickly discovered that not all their products are for me, and this isn’t simply a matter of taste – it’s a matter of skintone.
I recently received the Benefit BeneFaves VoxBox complementary for review from Influenster. The product contained four products, three of which I had tried in the past, one of which I had never tried. I’ve used Ka-BROW Cream Gel Eyebrow Colour, The Porefessional Primer, and They’re Real Mascara in the past. However, Benefit leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth, largely because of products like Hoola Bronzer. Nonetheless, I decided to revisit these products with as open a mind as possible to deliver my honest review.
When it comes to Ka-BROW (which I got in shade 5), I stand by most of my previous review. It’s easy to blend, kind of powdery, and surprisingly forgiving. I can get some fantastic results with it; however, I hate the packaging. Not only is it bulky with a useless brush (who applies a brow pomade and doesn’t use a spoolie? If you do, you might be doing it wrong…), but the product dries out super quick. I do my brows every day I wear makeup (4-6 days a week), and even with everyday use, I didn’t get halfway through the pot before it dried out. For the average makeup user, considering how much you get and the price, it’s not worth it. Get some DipBrow and a brush.
The Porefessional is a decent primer. It’s mattifying, makes my makeup last longer, evens out skintone, and certainly blurs pores. I don’t love the silicone-y feel, but with a primer that promises to fill pores, that’s pretty standard. My pores don’t bother me, but for people who don’t like theirs, it’s a good option.
Wearing Ka-BROW, They’re Real Mascara, and The Porefessional (under Fenty ProFilt’r Foundation)
They’re Real Mascara doesn’t agree with my lashes. Mascara is so personal, though, so it might work for yours. My lashes are extremely straight, so I’ve got to curl my lashes, apply waterproof mascara to hold a curl (Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof is my Holy Grail, you guys), curl again, and then put on whatever mascara(s) I actually want to wear. I also prefer a bristle-y brush rather than a plastic one, and I like my lashes volumized to borderline-spidery levels. They’re Real does none of that. The plastic brush separates like crazy, and it delivers decent length, but without any volume. It also causes my lashes to drop the curl I worked so hard for. If you like definition and length, though, this may be the one for you.
Finally, Hoola Bronzer. And where to begin? Hoola, along with Benefit’s horribly limited foundation and concealer range, is why I often overlook Benefit. Hoola is supposed to be a bronzer, and it only comes in two shades: this one, and Hoola Lite. The most frustrating part is that Benefit insists (both on the Sephora description page screenshotted below because #receipts and on my exchanges with them on social media) that this shade “flatters any skin tone.”
But Hoola is just a smidge lighter than my skintone – not light enough to highlight, but certainly not dark enough to bronze or even use as a powder, either. And also, I’m sick of trying to make products that are clearly not meant for me work for me, especially when there are brands that actually make foundations, concealers, bronzers for dark skin out there. My philosophy is, if a brand doesn’t make complexion products for me, then the brand is not for me. They don’t want my money, so I won’t buy even mascara from them.
It’s 2017. We’re in the age of intersectional feminism, Black feminism, and post-feminism with a racist-sexist president in charge of a hegemonic power and actual Nazis rearing their ugly heads. Makeup may not seem important, but having a full and inclusive shade range reminds folks of colour that we exist and that we matter. Brands like Benefit need to step up their game and acknowledge all skin tones. Until then, I won’t be spending my money on their products.