In a rush? Call Benefit Fine-One-One for soft, dewy cheeks in a flash! (I believe Fine-One-One is a play on words for 9-1-1, correct me if I'm wrong!)
Whenever Benefit comes out with a new product, I always thought the packaging could not get any cuter than this, but it always did. Including this new Fine-One-One stick that comes in the most beautiful shade of rose gold case.
According to Benefit, this multi-tasker is supposed to get you that soft sheer flush by doing three things in one quick swipe: illuminate (highlight), shape (blush), and contour. Sounds easy, right? Well, not really. The first problem I encountered was I just couldn't get the three things to perform equally at the same time. The top of the stick is completely flat and straight so it doesn't really conform to the curve of the cheeks very well. So if you are picturing a smooth application on the cheek with all 3 colors show up nicely with equal intensity, well, that isn't going to happen.
Let me break it down for you.
The pink champagne shade is very lovely, but it's also very, very pale. The color payoff is extremely poor. I understand it's a shimmery highlighter and you only need just a dab to brighten up the cheeks but if you are applying it at the same time with the other two shades on the stick with the same pressure, you are not going to see anything. I usually end up having to apply the highlighter shade on the angle by itself so that it shows up more. Or you can just use a small brush or a fingertip to pick up more color too. Don't get me wrong, this shade is as I said, very lovely once you have enough intensity for it to show up on the skin. I occasionally like to dab just a bit on the inner corners and cupid's bow as well.
2. Shape (blush)
The middle, watermelon color. This one has excellent color payoff. It's the boldest and most pigmented. If you apply from a stick, this is the color that will show up with no problem. There is something about this color that once you blend, it really brightens up your cheeks, heck, your whole complexion even! I can't get enough of this color, really. It's very gorgeous.
On the other end of the stick is a light coral color. If I had to grade it, I'd say this color is better than the highlight color but not as good as the blush color in terms of pigmentation. It's quite sheer and undoubtedly if you are going to use it to contour, you are going to need a heck lot more than one swipe. And honestly? I don't think coral, especially this shade of coral, should be used as a contouring color. It doesn't look very natural to me.
The formula is cream-to-powder and true to that. Apply as a cream under or over foundation, it turns into a nice powdery finish that I like. It is instructed to apply the stick across the apples of the cheeks and slightly up towards the temples. Then blend. But my advice is, apply, then apply more, and some more, if you are NC30 and above, before you blend. Because once you blend, the color sheers out quite a bit especially if you are going to mix the three together.
In term of texture, it isn't as creamy and soft as other cream blushes I've tried. It is forgiving though since the stick is meant to be portable, having a too creamy formula may not maintain the shape of the stick very well. I'd say it feels a little more “stiff” and a little more dry than most cream blushes but nothing too uncomfortable.
This stick is meant to create a soft flush on the cheeks and I guess that's why it's made on the sheer side. The color is totally buildable though, you can build to the desired intensity without feeling heavy. But if are you going to have to do that every time, it's not really a quick flush in a flash, then.
Benefit said you can also use this as a lip tint. I say absolutely not! Unless you like dry and flaky feeling on your lips! This stick doesn't blend into your lips, it doesn't moisturize either, it just sits there making you feel uncomfortable throughout the wear time. So I recommend you only use this strictly on the cheeks.
I hope this review was helpful. I probably will use up this one but would I repurchase? I highly doubt considering there are so many other cheeks products even from Benefit's own line that would do a much better job. If you are considering, definitely try it on your skin at the counter before you buy. This is one product that is not going to work on all skin tones.