Tuesday 21 October 2014

Achieving A Healthy Glow All Year Round With Benefit The Bronze Of Champions Total Bronze Kit

With the howling winds and rain we've had over the last 24 hours or so, Summer really does seem like a lifetime away now. The clocks go back at the weekend and we know what that means, longer nights, shorter days and less sunshine.

I can honestly say that I don't mind the change in seasons, I hate the rain, the wind and the snow, but I love the freshness and crispness of the air. The fresh air gives the skin a really healthy glow, but in the depths of winter when you spend so much time indoors and out of natural daylight, your skin can start to look pale, and almost peaky looking. In the winter time I probably use more blusher, bronzer and cheek colours than I do at any other time of year, not only to help shape my face but also to give my skin a much needed healthy appearance. I guess that's why I make no apologies for reviewing a perceived "summer" product now. So many of us need a bit of a glow all year round, and this kit will give us that no matter what the season.

Benefit's The Bronze Of Champions Total Bronze Kit For Eyes Lips And Cheeks, to give it, it's full title is one of those boxed collections for which Benefit are so famous. Ideal gifts and travel companions, these kits also give you an opportunity to try some of their most famous products, for a fraction of the price that the full sizes would cost.

The kit comes boxed and is the familiar almost book style, cardboard packaging, which can be reused as a jewellery or trinket box when the products have gone. It features a large mirror in the lid, and a tips and tricks booklet , with suggestions on how to use the products and a step by step guide to create a make up look using all of the products inside.

So, what's in it? As you would expect from the name, this kit is all about the bronze, but don't think in your face bronze, some of the shades are actually quite neutral. First of all you get a 3.2g Creaseless Cream Shadow / Liner in Bikini-Tini, you also get a 1.2g Longwear Powder Shadow in Thanks A Latte and 3g mini They're Real Mascara. Face wise you get a 3g Hoola Bronzer and a mini cheek brush to apply it with. You also get a little 2.5g Watt's Up Cream Highlighter, and you also get 1 lip product, a 6.5ml Ultra Plush Hoola Lip Gloss.

We'll start off by looking at the eye products. The first product in the kit is the Creaseless Cream Shadow / Liner in Bikini -Tini. I'm a huge, huge fan of these products and Skinny Jeans is easily one of my most used eyeshadows of all time. Bikini-Tini is a gorgeous, shimmery, creamy, champagne colour, it's fab on it own but it works equally well as a base. This one like all of the shades I've tried in this line wears incredibly well.

The next item is the Longwear Shadow in Thanks A Latte. This must be one of Benefit's most popular colours by far, as it appears in at least two other boxed kits, and I can see why. It looks a tad grey in the palette but it's actually a beautiful, shimmery, taupe brown. It's soft and very pigmented, and purely based on this one I honestly don't understand why Benefit powder shadows don't get more love

I'm not going to review They're Real here, I'm still a little bit undecided as up until now I've only used the sample sized ones. Once I've had a chance to try the full sized version I'll put a review post up for you x 

Next up the cheek products and the biggie Hoola Bronzer. I already own the full size of this and I have to say it always scared the hell out of me. It's a matte bronzer with virtually no orange in it but I always thought it was just a bit too dark to work on my pale, pink, skin. I thought about selling but instead I asked Benefit UK's head make up artist Lisa Potter Dixon, via twitter the best way to apply it. Her answer wasn't complicated - in a 3 and E motion, hitting just under your cheek bones to contour, and do you know what? the lady was right. The little brush supplied in this kit is just a scaled down version of the normal box o' powders brush, and it does the job perfectly. The pigmentation is immense and you need a very light hand to avoid overdoing, but I've just been apply it and blending it out with another blush to give me a face a bit of contour and a bit of colour.

The next product in the kit was a new one to me, and something I'd been wanting to try for a while Watt's Up. This is a shimmery, iridescent, champagne highlighter in a stick. It's really creamy, and easy to blend. I've mainly been using it on the top of my cheek bones and on my brown bone to provide a bit of light and a bit of a glow.

The final product in the kit is a mini Hoola Ultra Plush Lip Gloss. Despite the very brown appearance in the tube, this is a proper nude gloss. There is a little bit of colour and sheen to it but it looks quite sheer on the lips. I have a few of these glosses and by and large I'm pretty impressed. Unlike a lot of lip glosses they aren't sticky in the slightest, and they actually feel quite moisturising on the lips. I also love the almost peach and apricot fruity taste and scent.

The tips and tricks leaflet gives you a step by step guide to a really easy and quick make up look using the products in the kit. It's really easy to follow and the result is a really pretty, natural look, that will work equally well in the summer or in the winter. My pictures alas aren't the best, thanks to the autumnal weather but I hope at least they give you some idea. Apart from my foundation, concealer and powder, every thing else is from this kit.

This photo is probably the worst of the bunch which is a shame, but I just want to give you an idea of the eye look that you can create with this kit. You just blend the creaseless cream shadow all over the lid, adding a touch of the powder shadow into the crease and the outer corners, before finishing with a slick of mascara and a bit of the Watt's Up Highlighter on the brow bone. This has been one of my go to eye looks over the last few weeks, it's a nice natural look that's ideal for any occasion. You could of course alter the look by using a little bit of Hoola Bronzer on the lid too.

Despite it's summery theme and imagery, this kit really does prove that being bronzed and glowy isn't just for summer. If I had been abroad this year this kit would definitely have came with me but by the same note I won't be shoving it to the back of the drawer when the snow starts to fall. The shades are very neutral and can easily be worn from season to season, even Hoola bronzer, if you apply it with a more delicate hand. This kit was a gift and to be honest it wouldn't have been something that I would have considered purchasing myself but now I have it, I'm not saying I couldn't live without it but it's been a very useful addition to my make up collection and I can definitely see myself buying Watt's Up in a larger size.

Benefit kits aren't the cheapest and this one is no exception at £26.50 but if you want to try a few products without shelling up for the full sizes kits like this are well worth it and make fab gifts. Are you a Benefit fan? Leave me a comment and let me know your favourite Benefit product x


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