I’m back today with a recap of my Advent calendar! This year I purchased the Benefit Cosmetics Candy-Coated Countdown. I love Benefit so I wanted to get this set because each day you un-wrap a mini of a bunch of their products and there was so much out there that I still hadn’t tried. I wanted to go over this with you because A) they have this every year so you can totally put it on your wish list for next year B) It’s still available on Sephora’s website and C) I really wanted to focus on Benefit for my first makeup post because they are one of my favorite brands.
This set was $99 and comes with 24 products, 18 of them are makeup or skincare related. That comes down to about $4.13 per product which is about half of what it would be to buy a deluxe sample which runs around $8. I think some of the products art teenier than the deluxe samples? Not positive.
Into the review!
This calendar definitely had a little bit of everything except for powders. I was really interested in trying some blushes or bronzers and this didn’t have any. There also wasn’t a sample foundation. Bummer. The set did contain almost everything else Benefit has to offer.
Firstly, there were 2 mascaras in the calendar. They’re Real and Bad Gal Lash. They’re Real is one of my favorite mascaras of all time. It has a plastic brush with a round nub on the end that really allows you to get even the teeniest of lashes. The formula coats really well and I haven’t had any troubles with this flaking throughout the day. It’s also pretty difficult to remove unless you really go at it with a makeup remover which is pretty nice. Bad Gal lash was something I had never tried but am really impressed with. It has a bristle brush that really coats every single lash all the way around. This doesn’t clump at all and the formula is wet enough where you can really get an even coat around all your lashes before it dries up. This mascara comes off super easily with makeup remover and it holds a curl extremely well!
3 tints! Yep, this calendar had Benetint, ChaChaTint and Posietint. I love all three of these in different ways. I had never tried the cheek and lip tints before because I was honestly afraid that I’d look like a clown. But, they do take a lot longer to dry than I thought so you can really blend them in. Benetint for me is perfect for my lips or cheeks. It’s not too crazy of a red but it’s more of a winter shade for me. ChaChaTint is a pretty peachy/mango color that I was terrified of. I will probably never wear this on my lips but it’s great on my cheeks it gives a really nice peachy glow, perfect for summer! And finally, Posietint. This one is my favorite. It’s perfect for my lips and cheeks and I’ve already worn it frequently. The formula of the Posietint and ChaChatint are a bit more gelly which I like a lot more than the Benetint which is more of a liquid; It makes them so much easier to blend out. Oh, and these basically stay on forever if you don’t use makeup remover. YAY!
Now onto something I wasn’t a huge fan of. The lip glosses. I know I’m in the minority here but I am not a lip gloss fan. This set came with 3 Ultra Plush glosses, A-Lister, Fauxmance and Dandelion. A-Lister is a shimmery bubblegum pink color that’s actually really pretty. Too shiny for my taste but I do love the color. I did wear it all day recently and I did get a few complements. So that’s a win. Fauxmance may have actually converted me to a lip gloss wearer. Seriously. This is the most beautiful mauve-y pink color and it’s one of those your lips but better colors. It has ZERO shimmer in it (hooray!) so it looks really nice on my lips. I will buy this full sized. Dandelion had the best packaging but was the color I liked the least. It’s peachy and shimmery so I honestly haven’t even worn it. Out of the 2 I did try, they weren’t very sticky which was a pleasant surprise AND they all smell like a sugary vanilla. So good. They staying power is similar to other glosses I’ve tried so nothing to write home about but the Fauxmance’s color definitely makes it worth reapplying.
Next up is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE Benefit product. So far anyways. I have been using The Porefessional for years now and I love it. I wear it every day on my forehead and cheeks to make my pores disappear and I have yet to find anything that works as well. I was over the moon to get a mini size for traveling. The Porefessional goes on so smoothly and it feels velvety soft like a primer. My foundation goes right over it without smearing it or looking cakey. I could honestly do a whole post on how much I love The Porefessional.
Keeping up with the theme of primers this calendar came with That Gal, Stay Don’t Stray, and Stay Flawless 15hr primer. I had never tried any of these before and I hadn’t even realized that Benefit made so many primers. That Gal is not my friend. It’s supposed to be a brightening primer that really just made me look pink. The consistency was very liquidy so it took a lot of blending to get it to dry enough to put foundation on. Not a fan. Stay Don’t Stray is a great primer for my concealer because it really does not move and it keeps my concealer from looking cakey. Although I don’t really wear eye shadow I still put this on my lids and it really evens out my skin tone and it keeps them from getting oily. Stay Flawless is my favorite of the 3 and I REALLY like Stay Don’t Stray. This primer really keeps my t-zone from getting oily throughout the day and it goes on basically invisible. My foundation stays true to color with this underneath which is a huge bonus. This product keeps my skin feeling super smooth and you can’t beat the packaging. I will definitely be buying this in a full size.
These next 2 products are highlighters/brighteners. Watt’s Up and Highbeam are both products I like and highly recommend. I don’t like to be sparkly or greasy looking and both of these add shine without making you look sweaty. Watt’s Up is perfect because it comes in a stick form so it’s incredibly easy to apply to the top of your cheeks for added shine. I also like to put this on my collar bones if I’m wearing a tank top to really make them stand out. Watt’s Up is more of a flesh tone so it’s more subtle than Highbeam which is a white shimmer. Highbeam is also more of a liquid consistency so a little bit goes a long way. Trust me. It’s really easy to over-do it. But, if you have a light hand this is beautiful on the brow bone as well as the cupids bow. I’ve even put the tiniest dab on the center of my lips when wearing lipstick and it really makes them stand out. The sample sizes will basically last me forever, but when they run out I would totally buy the full sizes.
The calendar also came with 2 skincare products. I had never tried anything from their skincare line so I was stoked when these were in the kit. It’s Potent! Eye cream is fantastic so far. It’s hydrating and it doesn’t irritate my eyes! There is no fragrance in this or the face cream which my skin loves. I have fairly sensitive skin and any cream that has a fragrance is not good. I’ve been using this as my night cream and I really see a difference every morning; my eyes are less puffy. Extremely impressed. Next up is the Total Moisture Facial Cream which is also awesome. No fragrance=happy skin. I also like that this is very moisturizing but not at all sticky. My skin really sucks this stuff up and it keeps my face hydrated throughout the day. This was the perfect moisturizer for wintertime. Also, did I mention how much I love the packaging? The little glass containers are ADORABLE. And the full size ones have cork looking lids. I need them.
Ohh La Lift was completely new to me. It’s an under eye brightener that brightens without being shimmery. It also goes on over my concealer very smoothly. This really has been making my under eye area look less tired. I have even tried this out on my lids. So far I’m really enjoying it.
Last up for the makeup is Fake Up. Hahaha that rhymed. Fake Up is a hydrating concealer which sounds like it would be awesome right? Well, not for me. I really did not like this. I was disappointed in the concealer, which barely covered anything in my opinion and I am not at all happy with the hydrating portion. I felt oily all day. If you have a dry under-eye area this is probably fantastic but I don’t. At least the packaging is adorable.
And last but certainly not least! Just kidding. This is all the random stuff that got shoved in the calendar. I get that you can’t have all makeup without this being like $400 but I was still mildly sad to see all of this other stuff. Firstly, there were paperclips. Heart shaped paperclips are pretty adorable but this was Day 1’s prize and I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t get makeup right off the bat. Oh well. There were also 3 different hair ties that are actually very pretty and I will use them. I’m always losing hair ties so these will be perfect in my purse. The calendar also had 2 notepads which I’m pretty excited about. I always need sticky notes and I always need paper. I am always looking for scrap paper so into my purse these go too!
Overall I really enjoyed the Benefit Advent calendar this year but I don’t think I will be repurchasing it next year. I do find it was well worth the money I spent because I never would have tried out a lot of these products without it. Also, from watching some YouTuber’s with their calendars last year I do believe the products don’t change much so I’m going to hunt for a new one next year. Leave me some comments below with your suggestions!
Thank you so much for reading, sorry it was such a long post but I had a lot to say! Let me know what your favorite Benefit products are and if there’s anything else I should try!
*None of these products were sent to me and none of the links are affiliate links. All opinions are my own