REVIEW: Benefit Cosmetics Specialist Dream Screen Invisible Silky-Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen For Face

Suncare is such an important part of your every day skincare routine; however, it’s especially important to consider incorporating a good sunscreen when it’s summer. I wear sunscreen all-year so it’s become a habit of mine in the mornings. I like to keep an eye out for wearable sunscreens that perform well under makeup especially. Additionally, I prefer liquid sunscreens because they’re typically light, non-oily, and can be worn under makeup without feeling like an additional layer of product on the skin. Liquid sunscreens that are high in SPF is key, but a runny texture that will smooth on the skin and absorb fast are important features that I look for. Generally, I stick with Asian brands since they’re liquid sunscreens fit my criteria, they don’t cause breakouts, and I’ve been able to happily use them under makeup during the day.

Currently, I’m trying the Benefit Cosmetics Specialist Dream Screen Invisible Silky-Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen For Face because I forgot my trusty sunscreen when I was traveling. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like Benefit’s version of liquid sunscreens and I returned it after two uses.

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Benefit claims that Dream Screen is a “silky-matte sunscreen [that] is ultra lightweight and truly invisible on skin. It absorbs instantly to help prevent skin from aging by protecting against sun damage…and leaves skin feeling moisturized. The description sounds exactly like what I would ordinarily be looking for. However, I didn’t like this product because it never absorbed into the skin — which made makeup application a little tricky. While the liquid sunscreen did feel light upon initial application, it was very slippery and oily feeling once applied. It didn’t absorb or dry down, so when I applied my foundation on top (which is normally what I would do), the makeup slipped all over the place. In addition, while the product is considered to be oil-free and fragrance free, it made my skin oily from the get-go and the weird plastic scent wasn’t doing anything for me either.

Another thing that I didn’t really like was the this particular liquid sunscreen did not act as a primer — like most Asian sunscreens do. While the product description never claimed to be a type of primer, I hated layering on products (like primer before foundation) after the Dream Screen was so heavy and oily.

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Other liquid sunscreens that I’ve tried and would recommend are: Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 42 For Face, Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50, and Biore Kao Aqua Rich SPF50+.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this product because it just doesn’t seem like a product that can be worn under makeup during the day. Even with powder and countless oil-blotting sheets, I found that it was more inconvenient than anything else since I just didn’t like how it felt on the skin. The whole reason why I avoid thick, creamy, traditional sunblocks is because it feels heavy and oily on the skin. That’s the point of me exclusively using liquid sunscreens. For these reasons, I didn’t like Benefit’s Dream Screen and I would’nt recommend it. On top of that, it was expensive for what it was. I think you could probably wear this on its own without makeup on top, but since it isn’t meant for the water, it may not be worth the hassle. If you do decide to try this, remember to shake well before applying.

Made in Japan.
Retails for $32.00 USD.

Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional: License To Blot

Benefit’s new product seems gimmicky and I was doubtful at first; however, as a Benefit fan I couldn’t resist. The Porefessional: License To Blot is an unlikely product to pop up on my radar, and rightfully so, since I’m not a fan of this product at all. As an “instant oil-blotting stick for a mattified complexion,” I was initially thinking that this would’ve been great for the upcoming spring and summer months. However, I’m sorely disappointed by this and I don’t recommend this product at all.

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Benefit describes this product as an “instant oil-blotting stick with tiny invisible blotting spheres [that] mattifies shine for up to six hours after application.” Based on the product description, it sounds like it would be great for anyone with oily skin or a troublesome t-zone, I know. However, it’s an odd product that doesn’t do even a little bit of mattifying. In addition, the “specially designed triangular tip” may have been great for the sides of your nose, but for the forehead and chin, it was hard to cover all the areas since they’re both a wider, flatter surface. Other than that, the design and the packaging is really compact and thin, which makes it easy for on-the-go application; and, could be an item that would fit easily into your purse or makeup bag. However, since the product didn’t do much for me, it’s not going to be something that I’ll be taking around anyway.

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I applied this product in place of a face primer, after my skincare routine, and before my makeup application. It feels a lot like slippery chapstick, so it glides on the skin pretty smoothly. However, it just stayed there on my skin without really absorbing all the way and the more I tried to swipe on the product, the more it would ball up and peel off a bit. I felt that it was taking what I had applied underneath it with it as it balled up, so that concerned me a bit. I also tried to apply this after makeup on top of my foundation (before powdering) to see if that would make a different. It made it worse by balling up and taking off my foundation that I had just applied. The tip of the product basically became the color of my foundation, and it was really annoying trying to figure out if I was going to re-apply my foundation in the areas I felt it had rubbed off.

Even when the product was applied, it didn’t necessarily control my oil or help my skin look any better as the oil broke through. My skin reacted the same, like it does everyday, with the occasional blotting that I have to do. Additionally, it also didn’t really mattify my skin either since no matter what I did the balmly texture didn’t realyl absorb or sink into my skin. I didn’t like this product, even though in theory, it sounded like a product that I could really benefit from. I don’t recommend this and I would suggest a blotting powder instead for some decent oil-control.

Retails for $20.00 USD.

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash

I can’t believe that the Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash is available! I’ve been seeing promotional material for this mascara for weeks now, so I definitely had to snatch it up when I saw that it was available in-stores. You guys know how picky I am about mascaras, and in other mascara posts, I’ve stated that I rarely deviate from my Japanese mascaras. I gave this mascara a try and I was thoroughly surprised! :) Benefits describes this mascara as “an innovative mascara with a 12-hour setting formula that hooks, lifts, and curls lashes.”

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The Benefit Roller Lash Mascara “lets you create ultra-long, full lashes to achieve your best wide-eyed and gorgeous lash look. With a brush that’s designed to grab and lift lashes for a super-curling effect, it’s perfect for all types—including short and straight lashes.” I’m very happy with this mascara and that’s saying a lot since I’m so unbelievably picky about them. The formula is in-between wet and dry, so it gives you enough ability to get the best of both worlds. The texture of the mascara is quite creamy, but applies evenly. It thickens up the lashes just enough to give you noticeable volume, but it isn’t sticky or tacky so it doesn’t get messy or goopy during application.

In addition, I like that this mascara has a straight wand and not a curved one. I hate curved wands. Since I have quite wimpy, sparse, straight Asian eyelashes, I need all the lift I can get. While Benefit claims you just toss our your eyelash curler, I definitely curl my lashes before applying this product. The bristles are plastic and spaced out, which kind of worried me. But it works with the formula perfectly and coats my lashes well.

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Any mascara that can hold the curl is a winner in my book, and this one gets the job done. You have no idea how much this excites me since I’m always dreading re-ordering my beloved Japanese mascaras from overseas. The degree of the curl is held well, and can withstand weather and my watery eyes. While the curl doesn’t fall, sometimes I feel like throughout the day it may fall a teeny tiny bit. I just re-curl my eyelashes if it bothers me, but for the most part, I can live with it. I’ve noticed that the mascara’s formula is a bit waxy, so you have to put a bit of work into it during your makeup removal process. But I’m used to that anyways so I don’t mind. I recommend you give this mascara a try.

Made in France.
Retails for $24.00 USD.

Benefit Cosmetics Puff Off!

Lots of new products to try with this new year! The newest member of the Benefits Cosmetics line is the recently released Puff Off! eye gel “that assists with smoothing the appearance of puffy eyes.” While I fall victim to gimmicky products all the time, I find that this one is less gimmicky — and, in its defense, preps the eyes and lids well for eye makeup application as well. “This innovative undereye gel minimizes the appearance of puffiness and creases around the eye, creating a “satiny smooth” look. It’s designed with a custom “ironing” tip, which works to instantly smooth the look of puffiness and fine lines.”

Admittedly, this product is so cute with a clever name — much like all of Benefits Cosmetics’ range. While I don’t have discolored under eyes or deep bags, I like to keep my under eye area healthy and glowy so that my skin doesn’t look or feel crepey or cakey. It’s still important to use eye cream, which I reserve for night time use, so the Benefit Cosmetics Puff Off! is great for day time use underneath my makeup.

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Suggested use for this product is to “squeeze once and dot under each eye…then go[ing] back and glid[ing] on with [the] ‘ironing’ tip” to blend out the product. “Puff off! works on bare skin or over makeup; when applying on top of makeup, gently pat with fingertips to blend.” For me, this goes along great with my day time routine before I apply makeup. After my skincare, I use Benefit Cosmetics Puff Off! in place of a traditional eye cream. I find that heavier eye creams are great for night time when my skin is working to recover and repair itself. I also find that using a regular eye cream during the day makes my eye makeup smudge and wear off — even with primer and setting powder.

I apply Benefit Cosmetics Puff Off! as my last step in my morning skincare routine under my eyes. I don’t see the “iron tip” doing much for me, so I like so squeeze on a few dots before blending everything in with my fingers. This absorbs and sets quickly without feeling too dry or matte. It feels slightly cooling, but most of all, it feels like my under eye area is soothed. Then, I proceed onto my makeup routine.

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I can’t say that the “iron tip” makes much of a difference. Additionally, I don’t find that my under eye area looks drastically better. It feels nice and gives my under eye area a nice cushion before applying foundation or concealer. However, this alone isn’t going to perform miracles, in my opinion. I like the product and it’s fun to use, but it’s definitely not necessary. If you have under eye discoloration and bags, it’s more important to use a proper eye cream at night and follow up with a reliable color corrector and under eye concealer. Also, this product is tiny. Even though it doesn’t take much to use under the eye area, I feel that it will run out soon since you require a few squirts/dots of product under each eye.

Overall, I like the product but I wouldn’t recommend it. I didn’t real results and found the product to be somewhat gimmicky. In terms of helping with puffiness and fine lines — which is what the product is used for — it helped a little, but didn’t make a noticeable difference. For lines and creases, the skin around our eyes are the thinnest on our faces. I feel that it’s more important to use sun cream during the day and a proper eye cream at night. For $29.00, I’d find more useful Benefit products to try!

Retails for $29.00 USD.

Benefit Majorette Blush

Newly released from Benefit Cosmetics is the Majorette Blush, and it’s marketed as “cream to powder blush” that is a “peppy booster blush that amplifies cheeks.” I’ve been waiting for its release since I began to see it appear in some beauty blogs over the summer, and I was thrilled to see that my local Sephora had them in stock! There are no other colors available; in fact, “Majorette” is the color of the product as well. In the future, I hope that Benefit will release additional colors because the formula and texture of this blush is fantastic.

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Benefit released this blush as a way to “amp up your flush.” This cream-to-powder blush is powdery soft; almost bouncy in texture and lightweight on the skin. The product is subtly scented with peach and pomegranate, which is no surprise for Benefit’s products. The “spirited pink-peach shade can be smudged onto cheeks alone, or underneath your favorite powder blush for an instant glow.” At first glance, the blush looks like a typical powder blush. The creaminess of it is unusual — as I previously stated, it’s quite bouncy. A little bit goes a long ways, so I’m satisfied with the pigmentation.

I like to apply this blush with my finger tips and then blending the edges with the Real Techniques dome-shaped brush from the Core Collection. However, the product lingers on my fingers so sometimes when I’m not in the mood to deal with the messy, I’ll directly use the brush to dab into the product before lightly applying it on my cheeks.

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The peachy-pink hue is pretty and transfers lightly and naturally onto my skin. It gives a subtle and glowy flush without looking too much, which I like in blushes. As the directions stated, this is great to layer underneath other blushes as well; but for the ultimate glowy look, I like to wear this on its own with a dewy finish foundation. I like this blush and I think the formula and texture are great. I hope that there will be additional colors to follow. My only gripe is that the packaging is huge and bulky; and, it takes up way too much space in my makeup bag — not to mention, it doesn’t even fit inside my Muji makeup drawers, LOL. I recommend this blush and I think you’ll really like it, especially if applying cream blushes has been a horrible experience for you. The blush applies easily like a powder blush and blends beautifully.

Retails for $28.00 USD.
Made in USA.

REVIEW: Benefit Foamingly Clean Facial Wash

I’d like to think that I’m not normally fussy with face washes — but this is because I use a cleansing oil prior to cleansing. As a treat for myself, I picked up the Benefit Foamingly Clean Facial Wash, and I’d have to say, I’m thoroughly surprised with how much I adore this face wash. A little bit goes a long ways, so I like that it will last me a long time. The foam lathers nicely and rinses clean, which is really important in night time makeup removal/face cleansing.

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This cleanser by Benefit is designed to be a “1-step facial wash [that] effectively cleanses the skin and removes makeup and impurities with a soft, gentle lather. This facial wash has a subtle floral and cucumber fragrance…[and is] formulated for all skin types.” The cleanser is surprisingly gentle and feels nice and cooling on the skin. It removes all residual oil from my cleansing oil, and that’s really what I’m looking for in a cleanser. As for makeup removal, I can’t say — since I use a cleansing oil to remove my makeup prior to using this face wash. However, I did read some conflicting reviews where people stated that they felt that makeup removal was not as thorough as they’d liked.

In my opinion, it’s not necessary to have a fancy cleanser (especially if you’re a cleansing oil beforehand); however, if prior makeup removal isn’t your kind of thing, a 3-in-1 kind of product like this may be more efficient for you.

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I like this cleanser, but it’s not Earth-shattering! There are plenty of other cleansers out there that do a great job with cleansing the skin, so it really boils down to personal preference here. I’m still just as happy with my Cetaphil cleanser, so this face wash was just something new to try. I still recommend it though, and if you were initially curious about this product, I’d say that it’s an effective cleanser that gets the job done.

Made in France.
Retails for $22.00 USD.
Item contains 4.5 oz.

REVIEW: Benefit Cosmetics The Big Easy Liquid To Powder SPF 35 Foundation

Newly released from Benefit Cosmetics is The Big Easy Liquid To Powder SPF 35 Foundation. Originally, I was going to skip this item until I was sucked in by its promises: a “multibalancing complexion perfector with broad-spectrum SPF 35 sunscreen” that “contains ingredients known to help balance moisture and control oil, while the cushiony liquid-to-powder formula melts in like a cream.” The finish is “lightweight and velvety like a powder,” that “self-adjusts to your exact shade to even out skintone and conceal imperfections. It also contains ingredients known to soothe and comfort the skin and help fight free radicals.”

As a “bigger than BB” product, its high claims of radiant perfection and a velvety finish convinced me that purchasing this would be a great idea. :)

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My shade is 01 Fair and it’s the lightest shade in the range of six available colors. All the colors lean on the warm side, but seems to adjust quickly on the skin. As a “multibalancing complexion perfector,” this product is just like a BB cream with a more semi-matte/matte finish that functions more like a foundation. The high SPF protection is an added bonus, much like a traditional BB cream. However, it doesn’t seem to contain any skin-friendly ingredients/benefits. In that aspect, it’s like a foundation — in that it’s lightweight, provides buildable coverage, and controls oil on a pretty good level.

The liquid to powder notion is quite true. The texture of this product is light and mousse-like and blends like velvet onto the skin. Once it absorbs and sets, the finish is matte, but comfortable. There isn’t a need to powder over this product and the oil-controlling abilities seem to be good as well.

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My shade 01 Fair balances my skin well. This covers pores, evens redness and pigmentation, and provides high sun protection — all of which I really like. However, this product oxidizes to adjust to skin tones, so it may help to go on the lighter side just in case. I think this will be a great summer product, but to me, it’s just a regular foundation (and not really a BB cream; and, certainly not a tinted moisturizer). This product is long-lasting and controls oil well, so that will help the makeup not slip and slide once my skin gets oilier during the summer months.

I think this is a cool base product and would recommend it. For the price, you get more than an ounce, which is more than a regular bottle/tube of foundation — so, for just under $40.00 USD I’d say that this is a pretty good deal. Also, a little bit of product goes a long ways, so this may ideally last you all summer with every day application. If you’ve already got base products that work well for you and your skin, this isn’t a life changing product that you’ll need to run out and get.

Made in Japan.
Retails for $38.00 USD.
Contains 1.18 oz.

Benefit Lollitint

Benefit Cosmetic’s newest tint that’s been released in the new year is called Lollitint, and it’s the most perfect candy-orchid color that works so well with my skin tone and natural lip color. As a “smudge-proof lip and cheek stain in a candy-orchid tint,” Lollitint functions just like Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint, Posietint, and Benetint — mentioned here in a full face of the day post.

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Designed to be a “lasting lip and cheek tint [that] adds a beautiful flush of pink to lips and cheeks with true staying power,” this smudge-proof and smooch-proof color lasts all day without smearing or transferring. Just like the other tints available in Benefit’s range, the formula is tricky to worth with — meaning, you must work quickly to blend the color on your cheeks. Or, it will leave a blotch of color that will stay put until you remove it properly with makeup remover! For this reason, it’s best to apply the product to one cheek at a time. Also, I’ve found that using a dense, duo-fibre/synthietic brush to buff it quickly works best.

On the cheeks, the candy-orchid shade initially looks purple-ish — but, once blended out completely, it’s a cool pinky shade that’s feminine, pretty, and isn’t overpowering. Because it doesn’t lean too pink like Posietint or too orange/coral like Cha Cha Tint, Lollitint is the perfect in-between. On the lips, the pink tone goes well with my natural lip color — making my lips look multi-dimensional without looking glossy or dry. So far, this new shade seems to be doing well for Benefit and I recommend you check it out. Practice with the formula; and, once you get the hang of it, Benefit’s tints will become a staple in your makeup collection.

Product contains 0.42 oz.
Retails for $30.00 USD.
Made in France.

REVIEW: Benefit The POREfessional Agent Zero Shine

Newly released in the new year is the Benefit The POREfessional Agent Zero Shine loose powder. Described as an “ultralightweight powder that minimizes pores and reduces shine,” this powder allows the skin to sppear smooth and fresh-faced upon application. This shine-control powder is designed to instantly mattify the complexion, softly even the skin, and blur noticeable pores.

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Normally, I’m not a fan of powdering my skin; in fact, I only reserve powdering for the t-zone on most occasions. In my experience, using a powder to control oil has always been a mistake because powder and oil mixed together would leave a cakey mess on my skin. In my quest to control oil, only one powder has really proven to do just that — and, that’s the Chantecaille Compact Makeup Foundation. It helps that it’s a powder foundation, so it’s nice to cut out an extra step.

The Benefit POREfessional Agent Zero Shine functions as a setting powder that has oil-controlling properties. For this reason, I rely on my usual base makeup — such as a BB cream, CC cream, or foundation (depending on my mood) before dusting on this powder. I dust the POREfessional Agent Zero Shine powder where I need it the most — around my nose, chin, and forehead. I also concentrate the powder in the inner cheek area, closest to the sides of the nose since that’s where my pores are most visible.

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The powder is impressive — even though it seems gimmicky. Simply put, it does exactly what it claims to do — control shine/oil and minimize pores. There’s no color correction or coverage, so don’t expect this product to be a powder foundation since it’s not. For shine/oil control, my skin looks fresh for up to 6 hrs before I need to blot and/or touch-up. I’ve used this powder as an all-over powder when I did some additional concealing (on bad skin days), and those delicate areas didn’t suffer from dryness at all; so, overall, I’d say that powder is useful for many reasons.

My one gripe is the horrendous packaging. While the twist up top is great for controlling the amount of product you want to dispense and it’s not as messy as traditional loose powders, it’s not ideal to pour the product into the teeny tiny cap. Not only does a regular brush not fit in there, but the brush that it comes with is too small. In general, I suppose if you were in a pinch (and, perhaps traveling), the screw top and a brush that releases from the bottom of the container is a nifty idea — however, for regular, every day use, it’s a total pain.

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Accompanied by the already popular POREfessional primer, the two can work well together — but I don’t think it’s entirely necessary to have both. I recommend this powder if oil control and pores are your main concerns, but if it’s heavy coverage you seek, a powder foundation may be a better option. Other popular oil/shine controlling powders are the MAC Blot Pressed Powder, the MAC Blot Loose Powder, and the Too Faced Primed & Poreless Pressed Powder. If I had to choose between the Benefit POREfessional primer and the POREfessional Agent Zero Shine powder, I’d choose the primer since it pairs well foundations. For a drugstore option, check out my post on the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder.

What are your thoughts on the new POREfessional Agent Zero Shine? For an informative YouTube video, watch Emily, from Beauty Broadcast Express, to see the product in action.

Product contains 0.24 oz.
Made in USA.
Retails for $30.00 USD.

Benefit Eye Bright

Lately, I’ve been really into creating the bright eye effect. While it isn’t for the purpose of concealing undereye circles or bags, I’ve been obsessed with highlighting around the eyes for a more wide-eyed, awake look. Using products like the Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift Concealer or the Benefit Ooh La Lift help tremendously — but, I feel like those products are good at hiding problem areas or helping them look better. The Benefit Eye Bright is more for brightening the looks of your eyes.

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Benefit describes this product as a “nap in a stick” because it claims to incorporate a “pop of pink” to brighten your eyes. As a “pink perk-me-up stick,” it can be used on your lids, under your eyes, and most importantly, the corners of your eyes to give you an overall awake and healthy appearance. For me, I use this before my eye makeup — concentrating it on my inner and outer corners of my eyes. I blend it in and the pinky tone disappears instantly. Its effects are subtle, which I like because I don’t want stark whiteness anywhere on my face. It’s surprisingly effective even though it looks like it doesn’t do much!

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I’m not sure how this will work for medium-toned and dark-toned gals, but I think since the product disappears well, anyone will be able to use it. In other reviews I’ve read, some people were applying this to their cheekbones for highlighting, and also using it under the brows for a lifted effect. Others were using it on their cupid’s bow, down the bridge of their nose, and even filling in their waterlines as well. Either way, I find that this product is incredibly versatile and seems to do what it claims. I notice a difference when I forget to use this product, so it must be doing something. :)

Retails for $20.00 USD.
Made in Germany.