Monday, May 6, 2013

Review! Benefit Sun Beam

I really like Benefit's sunbeam. It came as part of this little set that I picked up at Sephora.  There are several mini-sets of the Benefit products, and I think they are a great way to try out the brand.

Benefit says "this golden bronze highlighter gives you a natural, sunkissed radiance. Dot & blend over makeup on to cheek & brow bones for a bronzed glow that complements all skintones. It’s liquid sunshine in a bottle!"

Here it is blended out on my hand.  It is very subtle on my skintone, and blended almost perfectly to match.  I love the golden sheen it gives off.  I like this color a lot more than I like highbeam, because of that golden color.  I didn't think I would like it because it looks pretty intense before it is blended out, so I would encourage you to swatch it for yourself if you can.

Here it is swiped on my hand.  Can you see it?
Here it is before blending... can you see it now?:
Here it is after blending.  Now I know you can barely see it.:
I love how well it blends, and that it doesn't go crazy in flash photography.  Also, you can hardly see it in photos (see -or not- above), even with a high-quality camera.  I gave up trying to photograph it, because I would have had to PILE it on for the camera to really pick it up, and that isn't a good representation of how you would wear it anyway, nor of how it would photograph in a real-life situation.  I really like how it just blends into my skin to make me appear radiant, instead of making my makeup appear radiant.  This fits in really well with my current makeup choices, which tends to steer clear of putting powders on my face.  There are a lot of powder shimmer bronzers, but not many creams.  I hadn't tried a bronzing cream before, and now I'm totally smitten.

To use it, I like it best with very natural, minimal makeup.  I applied a lot of moisturizer and a tiny bit of foundation to my face (a home-mixed tinted moisturizer, basically), and then put some cream blush on my cheekbones.  Then I put a stripe of Sun Beam on the top part of my cheekbones, going up and over my nose, to the other top of my cheekbones, starting and ending at my temples.  I put a dab on my Cupid's Bow, and down the center of my nose; basically using it as a bronzing highlighter, and blended it with my fingers.  I did not use any powder to set, because that will cover up the golden sheen, and I like a dewy look.

The one thing I can't get past is the price.  At $26 for less than half an ounce, it's an expensive purchase.  You can do what I did, and pick this up on one of Benefit's many mini-kits, and try out several of their products at once.  It will save you from the sticker shock, but be aware that the mini sizes are itty-bitty.

I like it enough to try to find a dupe, so that tells me that if I am unsuccessful, I'll probably end up biting the bullet and buying this one again.  If you don't mind using powders, you can probably find a shimmery bronzer that will work comparably well.  Has anyone out there found a similar product you would recommend?


  1. Thanks for the review! I have an unopened little sample that I've been waiting to use...I usually have to set my foundation with powder though so might experiment to see if it goes on top of that ok!

    1. I found that it gets cakey/thick paste over powder. I suggest trying it on your arm (foundation, powder and all) before trying it on your face. It's less frustrating to wash your arm off rather than your entire face! :-)