Topbox February 2013 Benefit Prive Box featuring Total Moisture Facial Cream, The POREfessional, Dandelion Wishes (Dandelion brightening face powder and Ultra Plush Dandelion lip gloss), Benetint lip & cheek stain, and Fine-One-One cheek & lip trio.

Topbox: February 2013 Privé Box

I really liked last month’s Topbox, which I made no effort to dumb down in my review. Noting how pleased I was, I figured it would be hard for Topbox to top itself in February (pardon the pun). I was very wrong. February’s Privé Box featured five samples from Benefit Cosmetics and paid tribute to the Lunar New Year celebration, which I loved. The samples had great variety, were good sizes, and came in a lovely Valentines-meets-Year-of-the-Snake themed box.

Keep reading to see what goodies were included and how well these Benefit products held up!

Topbox February 2013 Benefit Prive Box featuring Total Moisture Facial Cream, The POREfessional, Dandelion Wishes (Dandelion brightening face powder and Ultra Plush Dandelion lip gloss), Benetint lip & cheek stain, and Fine-One-One cheek & lip trio.

Topbox February 2013 Benefit Prive Box featuring Total Moisture Facial Cream, The POREfessional, Dandelion Wishes (Dandelion brightening face powder and Ultra Plush Dandelion lip gloss), Benetint lip & cheek stain, and Fine-One-One cheek & lip trio.

Gorgeous was in the air this month. Even from an aesthetic point-of-view, this is a very pretty looking box with very pretty inclusions.

In addition to the nicely themed box and 5 samples, subscribers were also given a product card and an invitation to several Benefit Cosmetic February events being held across the country. I received my box after the events ended. Not because Topbox didn’t mail my box in time – they did – but because Canada Post decided to take 2 weeks to deliver it. (Like really, does anyone seriously have as much trouble as me with Canada Post? I live in a capital city, not a rural village.)

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream for normal to dry skin

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream for normal to dry skin

First up we have Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream for normal to dry skin. The cream is very dense, almost like a super-fine paste. Conversely, a little goes a long way, which is great for people who like a product that lasts. Total Moisture goes on light and makes skin feel smooth and soft like powder. It’s non-oily and doesn’t leave a greasy sheen.

My favourite aspect is the scent. It smells light and fresh, like spring cotton and laundry on a clothesline. For those who like to apply moisturizer each morning, this is definitely a scent worth waking up to and its subtle enough that sensitive noses won’t be bothered.

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream

Value wise, this is a pricey cream, but you do receive a lot and, as I said above, you can cover your face with a very small amount. It’s also for short-term and long-term skin hydration, making it appropriately versatile.  On the downside, this cream doesn’t have any SPF properties which many moisturizers do nowadays. For those concerned with sun damage and protection, this may not be an ideal cream choice.

Sample Value: $16.80 CAD for 8.9 g (0.3 oz.)
Regular: $42.00 CAD for 48.2 g (0.75 oz.)

APPLICATION EFFECTIVENESS SCENT TEXTURE VALUE
RECOMMENDATION:
Benefit The POREfessional pro balm pore minimizing primer

Benefit The POREfessional pro balm pore minimizing primer

Benefit The POREfessional: The POREfessional is a tinted pro balm (primer) that works to minimize the appearance of pores. I’ve used and reviewed this product in the past and didn’t have any noticeable results – my pores were still as visible as ever. Some things are worth giving a second chance, however, so I gave this pro balm another spin.

The verdict? It worked. And well. (Maybe I was just having a horrible skin day the last time I tried it.) I applied it to a clean face, used it sparingly, and blended it well. Even before I applied my makeup, pores were 50% minimized. After I applied powder, my pores were barely visible. The tint is also a great match to my light skintone, although I imagine it will also work well with fair to medium skintones, too.

The POREfessional left my skin feeling powdery soft, similar to Total Moisture, and didn’t result in skin irritation or breakouts. This is a reasonable concern as this product does fill pores and blocked pores usually equal breakouts.

Sample Value: $11.60 CAD for 7.5 mL (0.25 fl. oz.)
Regular: $34.00 CAD for 22 mL

APPLICATION EFFECTIVENESS PIGMENT TEXTURE VALUE
RECOMMENDATION:
Benefit Benetint rose-tinted lip & cheek stain

Benefit Benetint rose-tinted lip & cheek stain

Benefit Benetint rose-tinted lip & cheek stain: To use, dot a little liquid onto the apples of your cheeks and blend well with fingertips. Can also be used on lips for an extra rich yet natural lip.

I haven’t had the opportunity to review this product yet. Stay tuned!

Sample Value: $7.20 CAD for 2.5 mL (0.08 fl. oz.)
Regular: $36.00 CAD for 12.5 mL

Dandelion Wishes featuring Ultra Plush Dandelion lip gloss and Dandelion brightening face powder

Dandelion Wishes featuring Ultra Plush Dandelion lip gloss and Dandelion brightening face powder

Benefit Dandelion Wishes: This combo pack features Ultra Plush Dandelion lip gloss and Dandelion brightening face powder. Both products are very soft coloured and gentle on skin. The powder is also good for 12 months use – that’s a lot of product for a travel sample! :)

Ultra Plush Dandelion lip gloss

Ultra Plush Dandelion lip gloss

Ultra Plush Dandelion lip gloss: This gloss has a light pearl-pink tint, giving lips a little added pop and sparkle. It is non-sticky, applies easily and evenly, and has a sweet fruity scent. It doesn’t wear long though and will require multiple touch-ups throughout the day.

$18.00 per gloss, while expensive in my opinion, is on par with most “luxe brand” lip glosses. If you want a non-sticky gloss with subtle colour that you don’t mind reapplying fairly regularly, then this gloss is worth trying. It does feel nice on lips and doesn’t dry them out.

Sample Value: $7.80 CAD for 6.5 mL (0.22 fl. oz.)
Regular: $18.00 CAD for 15 mL (0.5 fl. oz.)

APPLICATION EFFECTIVENESS PIGMENT TEXTURE VALUE
RECOMMENDATION:
Dandelion brightening face powder

Dandelion brightening face powder

Dandelion brightening face powder in soft pink: A luminizing powder with a shimmery rose touch, adding colour and dimension to skin without the need of blush. (That wasn’t suppose to rhyme, honest.) To use, swipe the brush in powder and apply powder to face, blending well.

The colour worked nicely with my light skintone and did pump some life into my ugh-why-is-it-morning face. I’m pale normally but extra pale when I crawl out of bed. This powder really did brighten my cheeks in a natural-looking way. It also applies nicely over Benefit The POREfessional for added seamlessness.

As said above, this product provides 12+ months of usage, making it a reasonable buy. I’m a fan of powdered luminizer opposed to liquid as it goes over primer and BB creams with less fuss (in my personal experience). The cost is also on par with other luminizers, falling in neither a low or high price range.

Sample Value: $14.40 CAD for 3 g (0.1 oz.)
Regular: $36.00 CAD for 7 g (0.25 oz.)

APPLICATION EFFECTIVENESS PIGMENT TEXTURE VALUE
RECOMMENDATION:
Fine-One-One brightening cheek & lip trio

Fine-One-One brightening cheek & lip trio

Lastly we have a sample of Fine One One brightening cheek and lip trio. This product is designed to be versatile and to “lift, shape and pop”. When it comes to blushes, I prefer powder over cheek creams. Maybe I just don’t like getting my fingers dirty.

Fine-One-One brightening cheek & lip trio in pink champagne, sheer watermelon and soft coral

Fine-One-One brightening cheek & lip trio in pink champagne, sheer watermelon and soft coral

To use, blend the 3 colours with your fingertips and apply blended cream directly to cheeks. Blend well and don’t use too much.

I was skeptical, but it blended into skin easily and wasn’t too evident or sharp. The pink champagne, sheer watermelon and soft coral colours resulted in a peachy-pink blush that made for nice sun-kissed cheekbones.

Although I think I’ll be staying with my powdered blush, this is a nice alternative for the girl who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty and wants more hands-on (literally) control of her blush blend.

Sample Value: $0.90 CAD for 0.2 g (estimated)
Regular: $36.00 CAD for 8 g

APPLICATION EFFECTIVENESS PIGMENT TEXTURE VALUE
RECOMMENDATION:

 

Overall, this was an amazing Topbox! Fantastic sample diversity, gorgeous packaging, a great brandname, good samples sizes, and Topbox delivered 5 (6 if you consider there were 2 items in Dandelion Wishes) products. I’ve previously said I wouldn’t give Topbox 5/5 stars for Quantity until they provided 5 items, but congrats Topbox, you delivered! This box’s value was also ~$57.80 CAD before taxes (AN: I calculate values based on volume, not weight).

SAMPLE SIZE DIVERSITY QUALITY QUANTITY VALUE
OVERALL IMPRESSION:

Definitely worth the $12.00/mo. Until next month!


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