I've been trying to remember if I've really featured anything from Benefit before. (Research says: one post) It's not a brand that I've particularly been a fan of over the years, but sometimes they put a product on the market that I'm really interested in trying.
Enter Benefit's Dandelion Shy Beam Matte Highlighter ($26, 0.33oz). Unlike Laura Mercier's Matte Radiance Powders that aren't actually matte, I'm intrigued by a matte highlighter. Thinking about it, it seems to be completely contradictory.
Note: I recently obtained a deluxe mini, which is what I'm basing my review on. Your QBB's makeup funds aren't unlimited, so minis are great for me sometimes. I received this for free as a GWP from a retailer, not from the brand.
Thinking about the concept of a matte highlighter, I think I get it. Highlight is about bringing light to the face- not necessarily shimmer. Potentially this is a way to look lit from within, and to lighten certain areas of the face. I also suspect this would be amazing for some eye detail work (although not on the eye!).
It's a cute little bottle. Benefit does packaging well. I've already shown you the front, now here's the back:
Here's the little applicator wand:
Just like other liquid Benefit products, it's got a small nail polish-like brush. Texture-wise, this is a thicker liquid (it wasn't dripping off of the brush, for example).
Here it is, swatched on my NW15 skin:
It's quite subtle, so it's hard to see when blended out.
That, in itself, is the genius of the product. I tested it for three days with various work looks- which is where I think this product fills a need in the market. I didn't photograph it because it's super subtle.
I tried multiple ways to apply it- MAC skunk brush (188, I think- the small round one), fingers, fan brush. I also tried it above and below my foundation. No matter the method, I kept loving the way that this looks. It's not an obvious highlighter. Although it's called matte, I'd call it more of a skin-perfecting satin on my NW skin.
I'm normally not a fan of Benefit's liquids because so many are runny. This isn't, and it dried down pretty quickly. I can see this becoming a regular in my highlighter rotation for the office since I prefer a subtle highlight.
Wear time was good- it lasts about 8-10 hours on me, and fades gracefully.
Bottom Line: This is one only for those who like their highlights subtle. It's more of a skin-perfector than "that glow" that we've been searching for the past few years. It's a new concept to me, and this mini has won its place in my heart for sure. It's worth checking out for those among the fairest of us all.