Friday, April 5, 2013

Sephora's Birthday Gift 2013: Benefit's Real Birthday Turn-Ons

I'd like to start out by apologizing for being away for so long. Work has been sucking the life out of me and since I write for a living, the last thing I want to do when I get home is pound away on the keyboard some more. I'm on vacay this week, so in between the original 90210 episodes I'm addicted to, I figured I could conjure up a new post. Basically, what I'm saying is: please check back once in a while, because I promise to update more!

So, after stopping by Sephora for a quick mascara fix, I was delighted to get this year's birthday gift from the cosmetic superstore. This year Benefit is offering a cute little gift box packed with its mascara powerhouse, They're Real and its underrated highlighter, Watt's Up.

Benefit and Sephora's 2013 Birthday Gift

I was thrilled to get this mascara after seeing reviews raving about it basically everywhere on the internet. Unfortunately, I'm not going to follow the praise pack, because I'm just not really that into it. Let me start out by saying that my lashes need all the help they can get, so being a fan of the huge fake-lash look with my situation proves to be difficult. I've had lash loves, but for some reason they always end up breaking my heart on the second tube (Dior Show is consistently decent though). Because of this, I've never really had a monogamous relationship with any brand.

Once I put They're Real on, I could see some lift and separation and I was impressed with the first coat. I figured it could only get better. NOPE. Unfortunately, while most mascaras give some of their best performances during the second act, this mascara seemed to develop stage fright. The second coat made my lashes gooey and after three coats what used to be individual lashes seemed to congeal with their neighbors and form one mega-super lash. Not cute. The second coat provided no extra length or volume and the third coat provided mega clumps. So if you can be satisfied with the way your lashes look after one coat of They're Real, maybe you've found your perfect mascara but unfortunately for me, I always want more.

I'm not completely bashing the mascara since the one coat I put on did more for my lashes than two coats of other brands- but I just don't like the idea that I can't really dial it up a notch if I want-so to speak. What really pushed me over the edge, though was just how hard it was to remove. Makeup removers shivered in fear at the thought of stepping up to bat at this unfair game (Yay baseball season! Go Cubs!). No matter how hard I scrubbed or how long the lashes soaked, some goo still managed to glom on in full force. I even tried to get some globs off by picking them from my lashes, but that didn't really work so well because 50% of the time a lash would come along for the ride. Uhg.

One coat of Benefit's They're Real VS. no mascara on uncurled lashes

Now, on to my favorite part of the birthday gift: Watt's Up. I swiped this little champaigne-colored glam stick down the bridge of my nose, along my cheekbones, the inner corner of my eyes and on my cupid's bow then lightly blended in the edges. This brightened up my work-zombie complexion and made me look younger and rested. It looked like I was in on some sort of fountain of youth secret. I was glowing and shimmering but without visible glitter particles. It's a really cool effect. The lasting power is pretty good too considering the creamy formulation. I would say every three hours I'd need to touch up to keep the effect the same as when I applied it. I love this little pocket version for on-the-go glam, but I will undoubtedly buy the full version as soon as possible!

Unblended swipe of Benefit's Watt's Up

For reference, I'm NC25 and once blended, there are no harsh lines or streaks from application. Overall I think Sephora really stepped up their birthday game and while I didn't love everything, it was awesome to try such a popular mascara and discover my new favorite highlighter for free!

Read my most recent blog post on Philosophy Skincare here!

The tricks: Only use one coat of the famous They're Real Mascara. 

The Rating: A+
I love the fact that this is all free, so how can I rate this lower than perfect. While some of the products inside may not be perfect, I'm rating the value of the overall gift box.

Would I Purchase or Re-purchase? Yes, I will repurchase Benefit's Watt's Up. It's sitting in my Sephora cart as we speak!

Cost: Watt's Up- Full Size 30$ on 
          They're Real- Full Size 23$ on 

Ok, that's my opinion-now what's yours?