Samples are awesome, aren't they? You can test out the product before buying a full-size, and beauty brands have really been getting behind sampling. Benefit Cosmetics, which is arguably the reigning majesty of beauty packaging, is one of my favourite brands for samples.
With a recent Sephora order, I got their Goodtime Gals sample pack, which contains their "That Gal" primer, their Girl Meets Pearl highlighter and their Posietint cheek and lip stain. These three products are designed to be worn together.
Of the three samples, I'd only every tried Posietint before. I was excited to try "That Gal" and Girl Meets Pearl because A) it's winter and my skin is looking pretty dull and B) who doesn't love highlighters?
First up, let's look at "That Gal", a brightening face primer. According to Benefit, it's a silky pink primer that makes your skin look brighter and smoother. It contains light-reflecting pigments to brighten and raspberry and chamomile to soothe.
"That Gal" is a light pink shade, and contains light-reflecting properties, to make the skin look brighter and healthier. As you can see with the above photo, it's almost liquid, so it goes onto the skin very easily. The applicator with the full size "That Gal" is a click-up pump, so perhaps with a tube, the product comes out too easily.
My skin is combination, with an oily t-zone and drier cheeks. In the winter, my t-zone is still oily, but my cheeks are much drier and this year, the cold, dry outside air and the warm, dry electric heat in my apartment has led to my skin looking dehydrated. While I sleep at night, it sucks up the moisturizer I apply before bed, and I need to exfoliate more frequently to get rid of all the dead skin cells.
A brightening primer is just what I need for my skin at this time of year and I do like "That Gal" for its brightening properties. The sheen of the primer makes my skin look smoother and my foundation likes it a lot too. It applies very nicely on top. "That Gal" is a hydrating primer as well, or rather it feels like it is. The skin on my cheeks doesn't feel tight as it sometimes can during the winter wearing "That Gal".
It's quite shiny once on, and can be worn on its own, but I need a foundation, or at least a concealer most days. Putting foundation on top of this does bring down the shine a lot, especially if you use a heavier coverage foundation, or a mattifying foundation. A foundation will bring down some of the light-reflecting properties as well. Under my MUFE HD Foundation, it works quite well. It's not completely redundant underneath, and there is an added brightness to my skin after I've layered my foundation on top.
It also smells pretty, sort of like strawberries.
So that's the plus about "That Gal". The negatives? Well, in a primer, I'd like something that minimizes my pores and helps my makeup last longer. If it can control oil, even better. "That Gal" works well on my cheeks, but it's too much, even in the winter on my t-zone and it doesn't minimize my pores or control oil, so it doesn't help my makeup last much longer at all.
It's also probably not going to work very well on dark skintones, since it's pale pink in colour. If you've got a dark skintone, definitely test this out before buying. Same goes for those of you with oily skin.
The full-size "That Gal" retails for $28 US and comes in a 0.37 fl oz tube.
Girl Meets Pearl is a golden-pink liquid highlighter and according to Benefit, contains light-reflecting pigments to illuminate your skin. It also, like "That Gal" contains raspberry and chamomile to soothe and hydrate the skin, and it also contains sweet almond extract to improve firmness and smoothness.
Girl Meets Pearl is a similar consistency to "That Gal". It's less pink though, and is visibly shimmering with tiny gold particles. The full-size of Girl Meets Pearl comes in a click-up tube, like "That Gal" does and you can apply it with a brush, or with your fingers.
I really like liquid and cream highlighters because they tend to melt into your skin and look more natural. Girl Meets Pearl does just that, giving a lovely gold-with-a-hint-of-pink sheen to the skin. I think that Girl Meets Pearl would work on most skintones, since it's so sheer and gold is a universally-flattering shade. I can see this working on dark skintones, medium skintones and fair skintones, whether there are warm or cool undertones.
Girl Meets Pearl is creamy in texture, not too glittery, and gives a beautiful sheen to the skin on its own. It can also be mixed with foundation for an all-over glow.
The full-size of Girl Meets Pearl is 0.40 fl. oz. and retails for about $30 US.
Finally, here is the sample I received of Benefit's Posietint cheek and lip stain. Posietint, according to Benefit is a poppy-pink liquid-gel and brightens cheeks and lips with a cheery flush and natural finish.
One of Benefit's first products was Benetint, a rose-tinted stain for lips and cheeks (and nipples!) and for years it was the only one of its kind. Now lip and cheek stains are quite common, and Benefit has improved on the orginal formula of Benetint with Posietint, which has more of gel-liquid consistency, making it easier to blend and absorb into the skin.
I've tried Posietint before and thought it was a very pretty colour, but found it challenging to work with. It takes some layer to get enough colour on my cheeks, and it makes hardly any difference to my lip colour. I'm pretty fairskinned, and it takes two or three layers to look like anything on my cheeks. Yes, cheek stains are meant to be very sheer, very light and buildable. Posietint does that. I just prefer more on my first application than Posietint gives. Perhaps the shade of pink in Posietint too closely matches the natural pink of my skin and it just doesn't show up? Above, it's swatched fairly heavily on my hand and I bet if that photo wasn't part of this post, you wouldn't notice that there's anything on my hand! I need more ooomph to my blush.
This is another product I'd recommend you test before buying full-size. If it works on you, swesome! It's a great way to add a hint of natural colour. This wouldn't show up at all on darker skintones though, considering on how little it shows up on my skintone.
The full-size of Posietint is 0.42 fl. oz. and retails for $30.
Girl Meets Pearl