Having sufficiently scratched my cultural itch (for now anyway!), it’s time to bring my blog back to basics – beauty basics, that is! And as every girl knows, one of the key building blocks to any well-stocked make-up drawer is an arsenal of neutral make-up!
Now I know… neutral and nude generally equals beige and boring, right? WRONG. Not when Benefit are involved anyway! Benefit has been one of my favourite beauty brands ever since I first started getting into make-up, thanks to their cute and quirky (but never cringe or kitsch) packaging – and of course, you can trust them to bring a fun take on neutral make-up… Enter Benefit’s World Famous Neutrals Kits!
I’ll admit to being borderline obsessed with palettes like these; as soon as I see one, my mind automatically clicks into Rach’s self-rationalising for why she should buy as many palettes as she can get her grubby mitts onto:
‘OMG, totally cute packaging – I can display it on my dressing table!’
‘Limited edition – it’ll be a collector’s item!’
‘Many products in one = bargain!’
‘Ultra convenient, perfect for going on holiday!’
[Bear in mind that I don’t have a dressing table, that I’ve never attempted to sell a single one of my palettes, that I buy so many palettes that any bargain aspect has long been negated, and that the last proper holiday I went on was about five years ago – and I ended up moving here!]
ANYWAY. There are three different variants of the Benefit World Famous Neutrals Kits – and I opted for Most Glamorous Nudes Ever. All of them feature a rather Mills & Boons-y stylised fortune teller figure on the packaging, Eyenessa (Benefit on typical pun-tastic form) – and she looks the prettiest on Most Glamorous Nudes, so there was me sold!
The World Famous Neutrals Kits comprise of four long-wear powder eye shadows and two cream eye shadows, in a cute and convenient book-shaped box that also includes a tips and tricks pamphlet showing a couple of easy eye looks to replicate. For Most Glamorous Nudes, the colours are (swatched left to right):
Call My Buff – a barely-there pale porcelain (brownie points if you can even see it on my arm!)
Kiss Me, I’m Tipsy – a warm russet-y dark brown
It’s Complicated – a peachy gold (and my fave shade here)
Gilt-y Pleasure – a yellow-toned golden sand
Birthday Suit – an uber-versatile shimmery beige (and the one neutral everyone NEEDS in their make-up kit)
Two Cents – a polished copper
Now how does someone get a job as Benefit shade name thinker?!
Of the three kits, Most Glamorous Nudes also boasts the most warm-toned palette – and make-up assistants are usually full of advice on how I should steer clear of such colours, thanks to my cadaverous complexion. Of course, I usually ignore them because I like shiny gold things – and this is no exception!
All the powder eye shadows in Most Glamorous Nudes are super-soft to the touch, but they probably aren’t going to be winning any “Best Pigmentation” competitions any time soon! My favourite shade was It’s Complicated, a gorgeous rose-gold shade that I just can’t get enough of. It’s essentially a powder-version of Clinique’s Pink & Plenty Chubby Stick Eye Tint – except I don’t have to practically gouge my eye out to get the colour to show up! It’s also the smoothest and most pigmented of the bunch.
Gilt-y Pleasure is a lovely shimmery gold wash (although it verges on being a little too warm-toned for me), even if it’s a pretty common shade. I find it best to use this over the top of another shade to create a gorgeous glistening gold effect. Meanwhile, Call My Buff is basically the same colour as my skin-tone, so didn’t really do much for me – I’d have preferred it to have a little shimmer so I could at least use it as a highlighter. In exchange for that, Benefit could have taken the shimmer out of Kiss Me, I’m Tipsy; I found it a little patchy and a darker matte brown would have been more versatile here, for shading and creating lightly smoky eyes.
However, the main draw of World Famous Neutrals Kits selection is the Creaseless Cream shadows. For those that don’t know, Benefit has some of the best cream eye shadow out there and this is a quick, easy and affordable way for you to try two of them! I already own a full-sized Birthday Suit and it is easily one of those beauty essentials that everyone should have – doesn’t crease, feels comfy, lasts ages, suits nearly every look or occasion, enhances your overall appearance… just get one already!
Two Cents is a little too warm-toned for me (on it’s own, it makes my eyes look bruised) but if coppers are for you, then this is a sterling example of one (talk about mixed metallic metaphors!). I personally like starting with a Creaseless Cream shadow underneath, then adding It’s Complicated or Gilt-y Pleasure on top to give a more multi-dimensional look… And yes, you found me out… just more pure sparkles.
The only thing is, the Creaseless Cream pots here are so dinky, you may require a brush for application; even using your littlest finger doesn’t allow for much wiggle room. I found the Creaseless Cream formula to be a little more slippy and slick than I remembered it (especially in the case of Two Cents), but that could just be that I’ve had my regular Creaseless Creams so long that they’ve vaguely dried out!
The tips and tricks booklet is a cute touch, although having now experimented with Most Glamorous Nudes, I do believe it’s more suited to daytime looks as the colours are mostly on the lighter, more subtle side. Above you can see my attempt at their suggestion of a “Playtime” look – Two Cents as a base, Kiss Me I’m Tipsy in the crease and smudged into the lashline (with default Clinique Cream Eyeliner, of course) and Gilt-y Pleasure as a highlight. I added Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eye Pencil in Baked on my waterline to up the ante; although I did like the overall result (and received a few compliments on it – total ego boost to any beauty blogger!), it still feels fairly restrained for a night look.
For daytime, Benefit’s suggestion of dabbing It’s Complicated as an accent into the middle of an eyelid washed over with Call My Buff is nice in theory and looks pretty awesome when you have your face pressed up against a mirror – but the effect is fairly negligible in person (see above). Honestly, a simply wash of any of any of the colours in Most Glamorous Nudes on their own or over a thin Creaseless Cream base works pretty nicely for an easy, flattering daytime look (see below, Gilt-y Pleasures over Two Cents with just a slick of eyeliner).
Overall, for me the main sell of Benefit’s World Famous Neutrals Kits is the amazing packaging – the kits are SO pretty and quite clearly the cutest-looking palettes out there. Although the colours are far from unique, they’re ideal for yes… neutral eye looks… and the shades are a nice, easy mix that should suit and flatter most complexions, all conveniently housed in one box – even if they are a little on the subtle side. And for those of you who haven’t leapt on-board the Creaseless Cream love boat, these are a great entry point for falling in love with the formula!
So if you identify with any – or all! – of Rach’s self-rationalising reasons earlier and are in the market for a nude everyday palette, then Eyenessa may well be predicting that one of Benefit’s World Famous Neutral Kits ends up in your make-up stash soon!
Check out my review of another great neutral eye palette here
Note: this product was sent for my consideration