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Here comes the sun… summer make-up at Benefit

As you may have seen from my previous article, I tend to go a bit crazy at the make-up counters in summer, cherry-picking my favourites from all the new collections and ending up with huge bulky bags of loot. However, if you want to shop smarter, savvier and sassier than me, Benefit has got you covered!

Their Cabana Glama seven-piece make-up kit contains basically everything you need for a gorgeous summer glow. With Some Kinda Gorgeous for your complexion, Posietint for your lips and cheeks, Hoola plus a brush for bronzer and three different shades of eye shadows, all encased in a beautiful box (there’s even a mirror in there), it’s essentially a one-stop shop for getting an easy breezy pretty summer look. The shades are all neutrals which, much as I love me some colour-popping blues and greens, I have to admit are much more versatile, likely to suit everyone and work-able on a day-to-day basis!

Benefit describes Some Kinda Gorgeous (in the shade Medium) as a ‘foundation faker’ and whilst I love the extremely soft and feather-light cream-to-powder formula, coverage is very much on the minimal side. If you’re after just the sheerest amount of coverage for a beach day, it might work but that, and the lack of SPF, means you’re more likely to need to supplement Some Kinda Gorgeous with your tinted moisturiser, foundation or concealers of choice; I used Benefit’s new Hello Flawless Foundation SPF 25 for my look! (I’ll be doing a full review of it later in the year but in short: it’s awesome)

Moving onto Posietint, the pretty-in-pink sister of cult product Benetint. This is a liquid lip and cheek stain, which I find works much better as the latter than the former! Dab three dots of Posietint onto the apple of your cheeks and blend for a cute natural-looking pink flush. I’m not a huge fan of it for your lips as it’s very drying, but it does give your smackers a super-pretty, very kissable, bright cool pink colour; I’d advise using it in combination with a moisturising balm or gloss to ensure your lips aren’t parched by the end of the day. The upside of it being a stain is that the colour is in it for the long-haul, meaning it’s perfect for staying put on long beach days and in Hong Kong’s sweaty summers!

There are three eye shadows, all neutral but none boring. Peach Fizz was my favourite – a shimmering peachy pink that shifts to a gorgeous glowing rose-gold at certain angles. The medium shade, Bronze Buzz, is a light taupe brown with additional gold shimmer; the final, Cocoa Pizzazz, is a warm chestnut with a gold sheen. All were soft and velvety to the touch and were lightly pigmented but still buildable. The gradation of the colours means they’re pretty easy to create a lovely eye look with – Peach Fizz as a highlighter, Bronze Buzz an all-over wash on the lid and Cocoa Pizzazz for contouring; if, like me, warm tones don’t really suit you, it’s probably best to stick to the first two… and Peach Fizz is so pretty that it’s practically crying to be used on its own too!

Finally, Hoola is a smooth light matte tan bronzer that you can either use all-over the face (as Benefit suggests) or for contouring. The flat square brush that comes with the kit is great for applying this, though go easy as it is super-pigmented – remember to aim for ‘sun-kissed’ rather than ‘toasted’!

Cabana Glama is an absolutely perfect companion for weekend trips away or short city breaks. The packaging is gorgeous but sturdy (a nice touch is that you can remove the make-up tray when it’s finished and still use it as a storage box) whilst with the neutral colour selections, high-quality products and even a step-by-step instruction manual included too, it’s practically fool proof!

What it is missing, though, is a highlighter – and good job, because Benefit have just released two new shimmers that scream summer glow! Sun Beam is the honey-hued sister of their cult highlighter High Beam; whilst the latter is a pale pink shimmer, Sun Beam is a gorgeous light liquid gold. Just like High Beam, it comes in a glass bottle and with a brush in the cap for application.

Meanwhile, Watt’s Up is a little different; it’s a more champagne rose-gold in stick form (that I’d associate more with concealers), with the product one end and a blending sponge on the other. For me, the blending sponge did less blending and more removing already-applied make-up, so I just used my fingers instead!

Both are absolutely gorgeous; they’re very light so should suit every skin tone, and deliver the perfect amount of long-lasting shimmer without getting too sparkly. Apply these on your cheekbones, the arch of your brow and perhaps a little on the bridge of your nose and your cupid’s bow; you could also blend it into your foundation/tinted moisturiser for an all-over summer shimmer or even use them as pretty glimmering eye shadows too. Both give you the kind of glow that instantly but subtly brightens and lightens your entire face, that ‘I can’t quite but my finger on it but you look gooood!’ quality, which is always a winner!

For me, Sun Beam wins for a beach-ready glow in the daytime (I’m wearing it in the photo), whilst Watt’s Up’s more romantic sheen seems to work better for evening; I also prefer Sun Beam’s brush application and it has very quickly worked its way into becoming a summer essential for me. However, you’re onto a winner with either!

So if you don’t fancy traipsing around all the make-up counters and just want an easy breezy failsafe look for summer, Benefit won’t let you down!

Benefit Cabana Glama, $360; Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow SPF 25 foundation, $340; Sun Beam, $240; Watt’s Up, $300; all available at Benefit counters now.

See all Benefit Cosmetics locations in Hong Kong here.

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