Benefit's redesign and expansion of it's brow collection caused quite the stir, and if you watched my haul video here you'll know I attended the Glasgow press launch and was so impressed I ended up going to my local counter to purchase a few more bits and bobs.
Since then I've picked up even more things from the collection and now that the initial hype has died down I decided it was time I came along and weighed in my with my opinions. Spoiler alert though - it's overall a massive thumbs up!
I'll start with my favourite product from the collection - the Ka Brow eyebrow pomade. When we were asked to pick what products we wanted at the launch this was a firm choice for me - apart from anything else it's a ridiculously pleasing package to have sitting on your dressing table with its art deco silver lid.
That lid actually cleverly conceals a little brush and I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say the brushes that are usually included with products aren't all that great, but I've used the brush with both the colours I have and I don't have any real complaints. I'm sure at some point I'll buy a separate brush (perhaps the Benefit one since everything else has gone down so well with me) which will give me a tad more control and may be easier to wash, but it's not that high on my priority list right now and for travel I'd have no issues just using the one in the lid (I took shade number 3 to NY with me and only used the included brush.)
At the time of the launch I went for shade number 1, but as the sun has disappeared I've decided to switch up to shade number 3. The lighter and darker shade in the larger swatches are obvious, however you can see with the brush strokes next to the larger swatches (created with the included brush) how buildable this product is - all of those lines have been created with shade number 3 and various pressure levels. Adjusting to light, medium or firm pressure and layering this product means there's a range of shades that can be produced from each colour (like the majority of the collection it comes in 6 shades, meaning there's pretty much a shade for every hair colour) so if you like a lighter, more natural shade by day but want something more defined by night you can get that without using more than one product.
All round, this ones a straight up 10 out of 10!
I tried this out at the press launch and didn't on first impression think there was anything particularly special about it - it just seemed like a standard brow gel. But when I got home and my unruly brows were still somehow neatly in pace, with no tightening or discomfort and no white marks, I realised I had to have this in my life.
My main brow routine is to brush my brows into place, use my KaBrow, if I'm feeling particularly fancy I might neaten them up with some Precisely My Brow pencil but not always, then seal it all down with this gel. If left to their own devices my brow hairs will go in all different directions so I know this is making a massive difference - though I do think the texture of the KaBrow helps keep them in place too!
The brush on this has 2 different sides as well, which allows me to either gently brush over my brows with these or to use it as a way to comb individual hairs into place - so it gives me ultimate control. Again, a firm 10 out of 10 for me.
Since I mentioned the Precisely My Brow pencil above I figured I should probably review it next.
As you can see this is a brow pencil with a small fine nib on one end and a spoolie on the other - following the popular model from the likes of Anastasia Beverley Hills and Soap & Glory.
The fine nib allows for small, precise (get it?) strokes and the second row of swatches underneath the KaBrow swatches I showed previously come from this pencil. I have shade number 3 in this and again you can see how you can get a range of shades from one pencil by using different pressures when applying, or by going over the area more than once.
Whilst I prefer KaBrow overall, for days when I don't have time, when I'm on the go or when I'm being particularly fancy and am combining the pomade with a more precise pencil through the arch or edges this is the pencil I'm currently reach for.
Gimme Brow is a brow mascara - ideal for those of you who prefer a more natural brow. I have this in shade number 1 and as you can see this isn't the full size - I actually got this free with either Marie Claire or Elle around the time that Benefit did the relaunch.
What this does is pick out those little invisible hairs and coat them to make them more defined, longer and make your eyebrows appear thicker. For anyone looking for the 'instagram' eyebrow, this won't get you there but for anyone looking to just throw a little bit more definition on your brows - this does the job and the tiny spoolie means you can be precise with it and make sure you catch every hair you want to.
For me this is the least interesting product in the collection - but that's just my personal opinion. Used daily this will condition brows and encourage growth so for those of you with sparse brows this is probably ideal, but for me it just isn't necessary. When I remember to use this I can definitely see that my coarse, unruly brow hairs are in slightly better condition but overall it's just not something I add in to my routine often enough to say it's a staple. I'll use it every now and again and sooner or later I'll use it up, but I can't see it being something I would rush out to buy a replacement of if I'm totally honest.
When I went to purchase my Ready, Set, Brow Boots were running an offer where you'd get bonus points if you bought two products from Benefit's brow collection - and I decided to make this the other product.
The Benefit Grooming Tweezer and Brush had diamond dust coated, angled tips to allow for precise and firm plucking of hairs, and the brush on the other end always comes in handy. I actually can't deal with my own eyebrow maintenance (quite frankly because my eyebrow hairs are so course and strong it's one of the most painful pieces of hair removal I have to do and I'm just no good at putting myself through pain!) so I just use these for plucking the odd overgrown hair in between threading or waxing appointments, but I have absolutely no complaints. The little brush on the other end makes them super handy to have to hand for travel as well.
PS Excuse my cuticles - I'm using my cream but somehow in winter they just end up a mess no matter what I do or don't do!
The Benefit High Brow Pencil is one of the products that is repackaged as part of the new brow line rather than being a new product. I actually had this years ago and really liked it at the time so when I saw it was included as part of the Bigger & Bolder Brows kit I was really excited to give it another go.
This is a super creamy pencil which I use under my arch just to give the illusion of a little extra lift under there but if you are after the 'carved out' brow look you could take this the whole way round your brows. It blends out beautifully - I just use my finger, as I did to blend out the swatch from the initial one to the one above, and the heat from that works perfectly to work the product into the skin.
I also sometimes dot this just at the inner corners of my eye to throw some matte highlight in there, but if your skin-tone calls for something less pink there is also High Brow Glow on offer, which is more golden in tone.
When I decided to purchase the KaBrow in the darker shade I noticed these little kits at the counter and decided to go for it instead - this one contains a full size KaBrow and High Brow, which alone would retail for £36 vs the £28.50 for the kit, but the kit also includes a mini Ready, Set, Brow which is perfect for holidays, as well as some brow stencils to help guide even the complete eyebrow novice through the process.
In addition to this kit Benefit also have a Defined and Refined brow kit and a Soft and Natural brow kit - which may be better value for you depending on what products you're looking to try and if you have more than one on your list.
The actual tins these come in are also super cute and reusable (I think I'll be really original and keep my brow products in them as the KaBrow is a bit too big to fit into the Muji drawer I currently house my eyebrow products in) and a huge step in the right direction from the thick cardboard packaging Benefit have always use for their kits in the past.
I always think it's important for bloggers to be willing to put their money where their mouths are and I hope you can see from the mix of *'s products and non *'s products that this launch from Benefit is genuinely something I think is very worth your cash - and mine.