If the Shimmer Factor Were More Toned-Down, Benefit Might Really Coral My World

Benefit Coralista, Sun Beam

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!

Benefit Coral My World review

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

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!

Benefit Coralista closeup

Here is how Coralista swatches. Left: one pass. Right: blended out

Benefit Coralista swatch

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

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.

Benefit Sun Beam swatch

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.

Benefit Coralista, Sun Beam FOTD

Benefit Coral My World FOTD

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



  • http://www.chloeash.com Lily (@ChloeAsh)

    I think both look good on you, Sunny. You suit all these warm colours very much :-)

    • Sunny

      Thanks Lily! I heard Coralista actually isn’t too warm for the cool-toned gals though!

  • http://wandsandpliers.wordpress.com wheetnee

    I hate it when powders get stuck in the pores! I’ve always wondered about sun beam, thanks for the review! I was about to buy Benefit High Beam today but I thought it was too glittery/frosty as well :/ I’m not too into Benefit products at the moment, I only use the Hoola bronzer! :)

    Nevertheless, you look great in the picture!

    • Sunny

      Hey girly, I know! It was a bad moment when I saw the shimmer stuck in my pores! If you’re looking for a liquid highlighter, I would highly recommend Becca. I only have Topaz, but for me that is a reasonable, believable amount of glow!

      • http://wandsandpliers.wordpress.com wheetnee

        Thanks!! I will check that out! Not much Becca here in Canada though :(

        • Sunny

          Same here. I actually only have access to the brand online. Still. well worth the hassle!

  • http://procrastinatingpretty.blogspot.com Procrastinator

    For some reason I thought Sun Beam would be much darker, but I actually really like this! I feel like the past few Benefit Boxed Powders have left me a little wanting…they’re all really shimmery! Bella Bamba is the only one I’ve purchased recently and even then it was only because it came in a kit.

    • Sunny

      Hey girl, the “color” of Sun Beam actually works really well for my skin tone! I’ll have to swatch the boxed powders before I make a decision in the future, though from some of the swatch photos I’ve seen Coralista seems to be on the more shimmery side compared with the others!

  • http://aucupariabrumalis.wordpress.com Claire

    I am not a benefit person at all (almost all their products beak me out and just look horrible on my dry skin) but their ‘beams’ are good, I like them. I have some sitting in my drawer, you remind me, I have to use them more :D I think coralista looks very nice on you, I like the finish a lot, looks very natural xxx

    • Sunny

      Aww I’m so sorry to hear that! I do like their cream shadows. It’s something I would like to explore more!

      The most frustrating thing with blushes is even if I try my best to over-apply, the camera doesn’t seem to capture what I see in the mirror. Trust me, you don’t want to see me with Coralista heavily-applied in person. It’s not a very pretty sight!

  • http://mybeautysample.com/ Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    Pretty! I’ve always wanted to like Coralista because so many people rave about it (just like Nars’ Orgasm), but, as with Orgasm, I found it to be too shimmery for my taste when swatching it. It looks gorgeous on you though but I definitely agree–I like less shimmer. After all, my pores are HUMONGOUS and I do NOT need any help highlighting them, thank you very much! :P

    • Sunny

      Hey Becca, I have swatched Orgasm a couple of times and it just hasn’t been able to persuade me! I keep thinking I want to try a NARS blush, but I probably won’t start from there!

    • http://www.glambunctious.com Kristen @ Glambunctious

      Yes! This! I am in the same boat – errrbody raves about Orgasm but it makes me look super oily and crazy! I love a refined shimmer, but I have to be careful that it doesn’t make my normal-to-oily skin look even shinier! :)

      • Sunny

        Oh Gosh I have swatched Orgasm a couple of times, and every time I cringed and walked away ;) I LOVE shimmery eyeshadows, but on my face I prefer the shimmer factor to be low!

        • http://www.glambunctious.com Kristen @ Glambunctious

          I completely agree! :)

  • http://beautiesatwork.wordpress.com/ beauties

    They’re too expensive for my budget :) Love the products though.

    • Sunny

      I don’t know if this set is available in Belgium. If it is and the price isn’t too jacked-up, it’s actually a very sweet deal!

  • http://www.bellachique.be Teri

    Okay, too bad about the pore thing but I must say that it looks really nice in the photographs. It gives you the right amount of glow ^^. I can see how it looks to much in real life tho but for pictures it’s really perfect!

    • Sunny

      Thanks Teri! Maybe I should reserve this for picture purposes from now on LOL

  • http://kissandmakeupsbeautyblog.wordpress.com/ Kiss & Make-up

    Hmm, yeah, I don’t need make-up that will emphasize my pores… I don’t see it in the pictures though, but I’ll believe you anyway :-) But thanks for the warning, I’ll skip Coralista.

    • Sunny

      Hey girl, you won’t see the pore issue unless you’re really close and I don’t want to creep anyone out! It doesn’t do that to everyone though. Maybe we’re just not meant to be!

  • http://icarias.blogspot.ca Icaria

    Thank you Sunny for this review! I almost purchased Coralista last Saturday. I swatched it but it was difficult to see the real effect due to the lighting in the store. Also, it’s never the same on hands as on cheeks. I will pass on this one.

    • Sunny

      Hey girl, you’re welcome! I Googled a bit more Benefit boxed powder swatches and realized not all of them are so shimmer-heavy, so perhaps look at those instead!

  • http://memoiselle.com/ Meryl @ Memoiselle

    Hi Sunny,
    glad to hear your honest review. I personally don’t mind high shimmer so I would love to check this out :)

    • Sunny

      Hey Meryl, you can’t like everything (good news for the wallet)! It’s a lovely shade and I’ve seen it looking really good on many. You should have it applied to see how you feel!

  • http://www.beauty-reflections.com Tracy@Beauty Reflections

    I HATE HATE Coralista!Even on my pale skin I had to keep layering to see anything and all I saw was shimmer too! Threw it out. And I’m not a fan of their liquid highlighters either-such a metallic look that’s not for me either!

    • Sunny

      Hey Tracy, aww I’m sorry to hear you’re not a fan either! Coralista actually packs quite a bit of pigment, but the shimmer seems to end up dominating the look. I don’t think Sun Beam is metallic, but the light-reflecting particle is a bit bigger than what I’m used to (Becca Opal).

  • http://willworkformakeup.blogspot.com/ Tiffany

    Hi Sunny, I actually love Coralista and the strong sheen, but I agree that it may be a bit much for some. I still think it looks lovely on you though – that’s too bad the frost emphasizes your pores :(

    • Sunny

      Aww thanks Tiffany! I know there are MANY MANY Coralista fans out there, and I really hope I haven’t offended anyone! It is a little unfortunate that the shimmer does emphasize my pores. That doesn’t happen often so it’s very curious.

  • http://beautyreductionista.blogspot.ca/ Liz

    I actually really like both of them, and I used to be a total shimmer-phobe. The shimmer might be a bit much during bright summer days, but I found they’re excellent during dim days of winter. Guess there’s nothing you can do about the shimmer in Coralista, but you can try Sun Beam under your foundation to reduce some of that glare. :)

    • Sunny

      Hey Liz, thanks for the tips! I do think the weather has a lot to do with the fact that the shimmer seems more prominent. I suppose I can also mix a bit of Sun Beam in my foundation for more of an overall glow. Will have o try!

  • http://www.nymphette.be Marijke

    I loove Coralista! One of my favorite blushes ever! :-)

    • Sunny

      Hey Marijke, glad to hear it works for you!

  • VickyM

    This looks great on you :D I don´t really see it as frosty it suits you very well, we don´t have Benefit here, but it looks like a nice brand.

    • Sunny

      Thanks Vicky! In person you definitely see the frost quite well. I hope you’ll manage to lay your hands on some Benefit at some point!

  • Libby

    Aw, I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t work out well for you but I’ve had similar issues too. I do prefer matte blushes so I’m not a huge fan of shimmer either (the only reason I stay away from NARS blushes and find myself reaching for Illamasqua and or Becca xD).

    • Sunny

      Hey Libby, I like shimmery blushes but only when they look more like a glowy sheen on my cheeks! Do you have a favorite Illamasqua blush? I keep thinking I really need one, but haven’t been able to make up my mind so far!

      • Libby

        I do have a favorite! I really like Naked Rose but my all-time favorite has to be Lover. It looks scary in the pan but it’s gooooorgeous. It’s extremely pigmented but it gives a really lovely glow to your cheeks! :D I hope you do get to explore their blushes! I’m extremely fond of peach-y blushes though xD

        • Sunny

          Thanks Libby! I was definitely eyeing Naked Rose, but I might have something rather similar so I haven’t taken the plunge. Lover is on my radar as well! Thanks for the recommendations!

  • http://mylucitedreams.com Taylor

    From here it looks gorgeous Sunny. But in your swatch it so shimmery. I totally agree that’s its too much! Shimmer in pores.. Eek! I’ve swatched these blushes a few times and I just can’t get into them. I do really like their tints though, posie-tint is beautiful.

    • Sunny

      Hey Taylor, you don’t want to see me closer than what you see in the photos with Coralista piled on LOL I haven’t tried any of the tints! Maybe that should be the next thing I try :)

  • http://thehappysloths.blogspot.ca/ jasmine

    OOh, cute! I want them!

    • Sunny

      Haha I know! I can’t say no to miniatures :)

  • http://www.unprofessionalbeautyblog.com Angela @ The Unprofessional Beauty Blog

    I have Coralista in full size, and I have to say that it’s a very nice blush. Even though I don’t reach for it everyday, but when I do want a nice and beautiful cheek, I go for it.

    • Sunny

      Hey Angela, glad to hear it works for you! I think MOST people seem to really like Coralista. Too bad it just decides to settle into my pores.

  • http://missmakeupmagpie.com Gemma Turner

    I absolutely love this trio! What a fab way to try the products out before buying the full size. Coralista just looks like the most beautiful blusher imaginable xx
    Gemma ♥ | Miss Makeup Magpie

    • Sunny

      Hey Gemma, I like the idea as well! This is something I’d pick up out of sheer curiosity, because it’s not a big loss if I turn out not to like it (and let me admit it: I have a thing for miniatures)!

  • http://wade-ashore.blogspot.com Caise

    my mother loves Sun Beam :-) my favorite Benefit product is blush Hervana. it smells amaaaaaaazing!

    • Sunny

      Hey Caise, glad to hear your mama is so cosmetics-savvy! Mine probably can’t tell a highlighter from a blush :p I wonder if all the boxed powders smell the same? I don’t dislike how Coralista smells!

  • http://bronzerbunny.com Joyce (bronzerbunny)

    i’ve looked at these two multiple times and always thought they were too shimmery :/ I always wondered if coralista would make a good highlight! I used to love high beam in college, and if you overdid it , it was totally SPARKLY!

    • Sunny

      Hey Joyce, I think your instinct is right! I don’t really think Coralista will be a highlighter per se, but you know how some blush duos have a matte shade and a more shimmery one to place right on the apples of the cheeks? I think it might work that way. I enjoy shimmer in my eyeshadows and some on my lips, but on my face I am really cautious.