For some reason, whenever I see the packaging for any Benefit cosmetic I am immediately transported back to my youth. I think it has something to do with the vintage-inspired, delightfully whimsical packaging–or maybe it’s the fun, feelgood philosophy of the brand. Benefit was also one of my first higher-end makeup purchases. I was about 15 and I remember my mom told me I could pick just a few things and she would treat me. I was excited beyond belief, but what to choose? I wanted literally everything! Be it the colors, the fun, nostalgic packaging, or the huge array of goodies to choose from–I was stumped. It took me hours (literally) of poring over one of their little catalogs (aren’t they so cute? I used to read those babies cover to cover like they were Elle magazines!), before I finally came to a decision: a BadGal eyeliner (the original version that was later replaced with the current waterproof version), BadGal mascara, and Dandelion blush. It was love, love, love all around. Cut to a little over a decade later (*sob*) and I am still a devoted Benefit fan. They consistently come out with such fun and totally lust-worthy products that quickly become cult-favorites. Benefit’s always been a staple in my beauty collection, and I have no doubt that their newest offering, the Ultra Plush Lip Gloss, will become a permanent fixture in the lineup.
*Warning: this is a picture-heavy post!
Described as “a silky, plush gloss that glides onto lips”, they “drench your lips in brilliant shine and a burst of juicy color that’s never sticky.” These new glosses were created to correspond to a matching Box Blush counterpart, with 6 varieties in total: Bella Bamba (sheer bright watermelon), Coralista (sheer coral), Dallas (dusty rose), Dandelion (softy pearly pink), Hoola (shimmering golden nude), and Sugarbomb (shimmering pinky nude). I don’t know about you, but I love the concept behind these glosses. I am big on matching my lips with my blush…but maybe that’s just me? Of course, everything moderation though…and I like that these glosses are obviously supposed to go with their matching blushes, but they’re also not totally the same. If I’m wearing a super shimmery blush, I generally don’t like to go heavy on the shimmery gloss too. The glosses and blushes have enough variation between them that it doesn’t take the idea overboard yet they still play off of each other nicely. I would say they compliment each other rather than being a complete match.
First off: packaging. The Ultra Plush glosses come in a plastic squeeze-tube that have a soft, rounded tip that makes it ideal for contouring to the shape of your lips. I prefer to squeeze a bit of product out onto the tip and then use my finger to apply it, but that’s just how I’ve always preferred to apply glosses that are in this type of packaging (otherwise, the tip gets all messy and gloss tends to get into the threading of the tube and cap). As an aside, I absolutely adore the boxes that the tubes came housed in–so cute!! Benefit always gets the small details right, and it makes such a difference!
The feel of these glosses is really great: non-sticky with the perfect medium consistency–not too thin to where it drips off your lips but not too thick so that it’s really hard to squeeze out of the tube. Dallas definitely has the creamiest, “liquid lipstick”-like feel–being the most pigmented, that’s kind of to be expected. The rest have a very smooth, slick feel to them. They glide onto the lips with the ease of a much thinner gloss but don’t run off your lips like one. I wouldn’t say the formula is incredibly moisturizing, but it leaves my lips feeling very comfortable and I don’t have to rush to apply lip balm after it’s faded away. There is an artificially-sweetened peaches kind of smell to these glosses. It’s not too potent though, but it does tend to linger on the lips. I don’t mind it at all.
In terms of finish, the glosses do vary a bit. Bella Bamba, Coralista, and Dallas are shimmer-free and Dandelion, Hoola, and Sugarbomb are shimmery. In terms of opacity, however, I find that Coralista, Dallas, and Sugarbomb are the most pigmented, with the remaining 3 being a bit more sheer. I like that they mixed up the finishes, but I do wish the the pigmentation was just a little more consistent. Worn, Bella Bamba lends a sheer pink tint to the lips, Coralista leaves a warm sheer coral hue, Dallas looks almost like a light, glossy, “my lips but better” rosy lipstick, Dandelion looks clear with a pearlescent sheen, Hoola looks clear with a hint of golden glimmer, and Sugarbomb is another “my lips but better” kind of pinky-plum with beautiful silver microshimmer. I love Dallas and Sugarbomb. I really do think Bella Bamba and Coralista give a nice, pretty tint to the lips and I like them a lot–but if they were just a touch more pigmented, I think they would have been perfection. But I can barely tell the difference between Hoola and Dandelion on my lips, so they definitely could have used an extra bit of oomph too. They’d look great layered over a lipstick, though!
The wear time on these was good for a gloss, averaging in at about 2 hours on my lips (without food or drink). These didn’t even come close to lasting through a meal and after a cup of tea, I definitely need to reapply. But, I will say that I’m not a huge stickler on gloss longevity–I just think that if you really wanted your lip color to last, you would invest in a different formula. Glosses, tinted balms, and sheer lipsticks generally don’t last long on the lips and I’m really okay with that! I think even if I didn’t need to reapply, I still would just because the habit of reapplying my balms all the time is so ingrained in my head. But, different strokes for different folks–I understand that some people will have different requirements from a product. Wear time for a lip gloss is not one of mine, though (within reason, of course. If a gloss slides off my lips within like, 15 minutes, then I will not be a happy camper!).
My picks? Probably Dallas and Sugarbomb because aside from being nicely pigmented, I feel like they are neutral enough to go with just about any makeup look and are total “my lips but better” shades (for not being a huge fan of that term, I seem to use it quite often!). Still, Bella Bamba and Coralista are my new go-to, easy daytime glosses for summer. They’re bright and girly and give some polish to my look. My “least favorites” (I don’t not like them by any means–it’s just, if I had to pick my favorites out of all 6, I’d probably leave them out) would have to be Dandelion and Hoola. They are just too sheer for my taste and look like any other clear drugstore lip gloss I could pick up for $5. Still, they’re nice to have and now that I own them, I will be getting a lot of use out of them–so it really depends on you. If you really love Benefit and try these and adore the formula, packaging, smell, and everything, then by all means–these are great! They’ll be a quick and easy way to add some “pretty” with a touch of shine to your look.
Pros: love the concept of matching the glosses to their cult-favorite Boxed Powders; smell is pleasant enough; shades are lovely; packaging is SO cute!; formula has a very nice, super smooth consistency and is non-sticky; rounded tip is comfortable on the lips; decent wear time
Cons: inconsistencies with pigmentation (I wish Dandelion and Hoola were a tad more pigmented)
»»Pricing: $16/0.5 oz. (15.0 mL)
»»Availability: Sephora (available in-stores by July), Benefit, and coming soon to Benefit counters *update: I was just told by a friend that these glosses are now available in-store at the Ulta she works at, so they should be pretty much everywhere by now–if not, by next week probably
»»Recommended for: anyone looking for an easy, pretty gloss that matches their blush!
»»Overall Rating: A/B+ for Hoola & Dandelion
So what about you guys: do you like matching your lip gloss to your blush? Will you be checking these glosses out? What’s the story of your first Benefit purchase (or beauty purchase in general)?? I’d love to hear, please share with me in the comments!
Disclaimer: the product(s) featured in this post were provided to The Beauty Sample free of charge by the manufacturer/PR for review purposes only. Regardless of how the product was obtained, my priority is to you, my readers, and I will always give you my honest opinion.