Benefit‘s boxed powders are immensely popular within the makeup community, but for some reason I hadn’t tried any until I laid my hands on the Coral My World set. The set comes with a mini Coralista blush (3 grams/0.1 oz) and a mini Sun Beam Golden Bronze Complexion Highlighter (4ml/0.13 oz). It goes for 12 USD, so I thought it’s a great opportunity to finally give Benefit a try!
Even though it is a mini set, the packaging is still pretty cute. Sun Beam is just a smaller version of the full-size product, while Coralista is housed in a plastic container. I don’t think it’s the most sturdy thing in the world, but I’ve used it several times during the past couple of weeks, and I haven’t encountered any problems so far.
Benefit Coralista is a pink with a tinge of coral. The texture of the powder is remarkable. It is very silky smooth and finely-milled (to the point that it almost feels powdery, but it isn’t really), and the pigmentation and blendability are excellent. It has an interesting flowery smell that I can’t quite identify, but it doesn’t bother me. It also has great lasting power that requires no touch-up throughout the day!
Here is how Coralista swatches. Left: one pass. Right: blended out
I hope you can see what I mean by too shimmery in the photo. I personally think Coralista has more sheen than pigment. It is not that it is not pigmented, but the sheen is the first thing I spot, and it is borderline frosty. I like shimmer in my blushes, but only when it ends up looking like a glowy sheen on my face instead of frost. Coralista unfortunately falls more into the latter category. From a normal viewing distance it might not be too noticeable, but say the person is two to three steps away from you, the frost becomes apparent. Something else that stops me from loving this one is the fact that I almost never have issues with shimmer emphasizing my pores, but with Coralista it is the case. I can see shimmer stuck in my pores, and that is something I am not prepared to deal with.
Benefit Sun Beam is a liquid highlighter. It is a beautiful golden bronze when you dot it on straight from the applicator, but if you sheer it out it doesn’t have a “color” anymore. It is not scented, though it does smell naturally like the chemical composition. It goes away fast though, so I am not bothered.
Here is how Sun Beam swatches. Left: straight from the applicator, one pass. Right: lightly blended out. Do note you can blend it out further.
I dot it on the top of my cheek bones a couple of times before blending it out. The applicator makes it easy to dose the amount of highlighter you put on, so packaging-wise it is very user-friendly. All in all I would say Sun Beam is a decent highlighter except for one thing… I do spot the light-reflecting particle relatively easily on my face.
Let me be honest here: all the terms like micro-glitter, shimmer, light-reflecting particle, glowy, shimmery, and frosty are to a very large extent subjective. Some people welcome them more, and some people are more skittish. I personally belong to camp skittish. I prefer light-reflecting particle that is so fine that I can’t see on my skin and just a very soft veil of light where I want it to be. Sun Beam is not obnoxious, but it already is a bit out of my comfort zone.
In the photos I’m sporting Coralista and Sun Beam. I piled a bit more of Coralista on so you can see what I mean with “frost”. I hope I made a point here, though blushes in general are notoriously difficult to capture in photos.
In case you’re curious, I’m wearing Make Up For Ever 20E Aqua Shadow all over my lids with Bobbi Brown Wheat in the crease, as well as NARS Niagara on my lips (which will be reviewed soon)!
Bottom line: I hope I haven’t upset too many Benefit fans out there by now, but I have tried both products multiple times as well as comparing them with similar pieces in my stash, and I kept coming to the same conclusion. While both are great products quality-wise, the level of shimmer/frost is something I am not used to. I would still recommend this set to people who are curious about some of Benefit‘s best-selling products. It’s a pretty good deal, and the quantity will last you quite a while!
Have you tried any of Benefit‘s boxed powders/highlighters? Do you have a favorite? Is there something with a lower shimmer factor that you think I might be more comfortable with?
Sunny. your beauty culture translator xx