Sunday, January 17, 2016

Benefit Real Cheeky Party Blush Palette - First Impressions and Swatches!

Hello! I hope you're having a great day! I also hope you're still staying warm; it's currently -12°F with a windchill of -38°F. Neat. Anyways! For this post, I want to share with yous some swatches and my first impressions of the Benefit Real Cheeky Party blush palette.
As I mentioned in the haul post that included this palette, Benefit released a similar one for the holiday season last year that I was super disappointed to have missed out on. I think Benefit assumed this year it would sell just as well so they made a bunch more since this palette ended up going on sale even before Christmas. Which is why I bought it!
I'm really glad I held out on buying this palette; as the sticker says, this palette originally retailed for $42. I'm pretty sure the blush palette from last holiday season retailed for the same price, but it sold out before it ever went on sale. This palette dropped to $30 pretty quickly, and it was on sale at all retailers, including Ulta and Sephora. I don't know if this palette is still available (I don't think it is online anymore), but I figured this post was still helpful in case you do stumble across it somewhere or if Benefit releases another version of it next year.
The box design fits in with all the other special holiday packaging that Benefit did this year; a very bright, pop art inspired, almost retro kind of vibe. While I don't always like Benefit's products, I do like their retro-futuristic British pin-up aesthetic.
The palette itself is in a metal tin with the same design as the box it came in. The tin is pretty nice and, once you use all the products and/or depot them into a different palette, it's reusable.
The back of the tin lists all the products' weights, names, country of origin, and what type of product they are. I find it kind of odd that some of the powders have the "how long is it good for" icons and others don't; I also find it odd that some powders last longer than others. Dandelion only lasts 6 months while Rockateur lasts 12 months.
You also get a tips and tricks booklet which, again, has the same exact design as the box and tin.
It's nice to know what Benefit's intentions are for their different cheek powders, but the pictures aren't particularly helpful. It's all the same exact photo, which has been heavily edited to fit the pop art/retro theme.
When you first open the tin, there is a plastic insert to protect the powders which also lists their names. Since the name of the powders are embossed in the powders themselves, the names aren't really necessary, so I forgive Benefit for printing them on the insert and not on the palette. In this palette, you get five of Benefit's box face powders (Dandelion, Rockateur, Sugarbomb, Hoola, and Coralista), a plastic compact of the Watt's Up cream highlighter, and minis of the They're Real mascara and Push Up liner.
The powders look exactly the same as the full sized box versions, except Rackateur, which has a geometric texture in the box. I've had sample sizes of Sugarbomb and Dandelion that I've gotten in other Benefit kits, but I've never owned a full sized version. I've heard that these powders are a bit more stiff and less pigmented than the full sized versions (and even when compared with the palette that was released last year). If you've experienced a Benefit boxed face powder before, you know that they each have a scent, and the scent is actually pretty strong. These powders do have a scent, but it's hard to tell if they all smell the same or have their distinct scents; they're so close together that it just blends into one.

These five are not the entirety of the Benefit boxed powders, but I think it's a good sampling of their top sellers. Dandelion is a pale pink powder meant for highlighting and bringing light back into the face; I really love this powder for brightening up my complexion. Rockateur is a rose gold shimmer blush that was released around the same time as the UD Naked 3 palette, when rose gold was all the rage. Sugarbomb is a a set of four colors - rose, pink, plum, and peach - that you can blend together or use individually. This is another powder that I've used before and really liked the effect of; blending the four colors gives it a lot of depth and interest. Hoola is Benefit's infamous matte bronzer; it works well as a bronzer, but it's way too warm and orange toned to use as a contour. It does pull kind of orange on me, so I do need to be careful when applying it. Finally, Coralista is a warm, shimmery coral pink blush; it's not unique, but it's very flattering.
 I couldn't decide which lighting I liked my swatches in more, so I'm including a swatch that's more in shadow...
...and one that's more in the light. Since these are cheek/face powders, I'm okay with the level of pigmentation these have. These show up well enough on my lighter skin tone, but they're not so intense that I feel like I need to worry about blending them. They might not perform as well on darker skin tones, though, since the color payoff is more sheer. Left to right on both swatches is the Watt's Up cream highlight, Coralista, Hoola, Sugarbomb, Rockateur, and Danelion.
I'm torn on whether or not I like this packaging for the Watt's Up highlighter; the samples I've gotten of it before have kind of looked like lipbalm tubes (the full size looks the same; it twists up and looks exactly like a Fresh Sugar lip balm), and I liked being able to apply it without having to touch it with my fingers. The plastic compact is cute and makes sense in this palette, but now I have to stick my fingers in it every time I want to apply it, which is very contaminating, especially for a cream product. The deluxe size minis of the They're Real mascara and Push Up liner are the same size as the minis you can buy for $10-$12 each, so you do get a lot of product. I'll use the They're Real mascara even though it's not my favorite, but I can't stand the liner, so that will get passed on to someone else.

Overall, I think this is a good palette, even if the quality is a little bit lower than the one last year (or the full sizes). I don't think this palette is worth $42, but the $30 sale price is doable. I was also able to use my 20% off coupon which brought this palette down to $24, which is totally worth it. If you're interested in trying Benefit's face powders and don't want to risk the $29 they cost individually, this is a great way to try the colors and see if they work well for you.

Thanks for reading! <3

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