Benefit is one of those brands that I am constantly drawn to by the pretty packaging, however, I every time I try the products I feel let down by them. They just haven’t lived up to the hype or my expectations. Porefessional was nice but not enough for me to purchase the full size, I didn’t get on with Roller Lash when it first came out as there were better mascaras in my collection and They’re Real just isn’t for me. Despite this, every time I go past the counters I swatch the blushers and bronzers and love how they look but I just can’t part with £24.50 each, especially as I couldn’t pick a favourite so I would have to spend out on more than one! As you can imagine, I was ecstatic when the cheek parade palette was released and even more excited when I finally got my hands on it at the weekend!
The Cheek Parade palette contains 5 FULL SIZE pans and one of the standard blusher/bronzer box brushes, this means that you get £122.50 worth of product for £49.50 which is fantastic value if like me you don’t yet have any of the products which it contains. When you consider this palette, each pan is worth £9.90, this is less than the travel minis cost each (£12.50) for double the product! This means that if you don’t already have 3 or more of these, this is a fantastically priced product and well worth the investment if you know it will get used.
Skip to the Bottom Line Paragraph at the end for a quick summary!
The outer packaging of this is lovely, a pretty light blue with gold diamonds made from lines shaped like drum sticks. At the top of the box Cheek Parade is written in a way that looks like a banner with a gold background and deep pink/purple writing. Front and centre of this are 5 women using the boxes from the blushers and bronzers inside as drums. The front of this with this style actually reminds me a lot of TheBalm eyeshadow palettes Nude’tude, NudeDude and the upcoming Nude Beach where the eyeshadow pans cover parts of the body on pictures of people.
The back of the box has pictures of the products inside shown nice and big. These photos are of the products partially smashed and I have to say, I find it quite sad seeing this, what a waste of product just for a photo!
Opening the box you will find the palette and a little booklet, in this, there are ingredients details for each product in many different languages and tips for how they recommend each product is used.
Onto the palette itself, the front is the same image as the box and the sides have a gold woven rope pattern around them. Opening this up, I’m actually a little disappointed in the size of the mirror. This isn’t a small palette but the border around the mirror is almost an inch wide which feels unnecessary and like a waste of space to me. The scent when the box is opened is very prominent which I personally love, however it may put some people off. The smell is a very tropical fruits scent which I am fairly certain I have smelt in a sun cream or after sun before as this is definitely what it has me thinking of. Looking past this, there is one glaringly obvious issue to me which may just be with my palette but I’m not entirely sure. On my palette, GALifornia is raised above the other product pans slightly and evidently the lid of the palette rests on it because there is an obvious pattern of GALifornia on the mirror and it really bugs me. It’s wasting a bit of my product and means I need to keep cleaning my mirror which is a pain. I also noticed recently, which may be part of the cause of this, that when I accidentally opened the palette upside down, the cardboard insert holding the product pans fell out and I’m very lucky that they didn’t break! I am hoping that this is also just an issue with my palette (surely they stuck the insert down?!?) so most people won’t have this issue but it’s still worth being aware of. However, from this I have decided that I won’t be reaching for it when I travel as it just seems too fragile and needs to stay fairly well undisturbed… going to need the bubble wrap when I move house in August!
Again, moving past the growing list of packaging issues, we can start to look at the product pans…
This is of course one of the Benefit showstopper products, raved about by all who try it and for good reason. It’s a lovely warm toned bronzer. In terms of the undertones it is very similar to my TooFaced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (review here), however it is slightly darker on the spectrum. I actually really like this. It isn’t too dark for my lighter skin tone and it’s a lovely warm shade that could also be used as a contour if you were careful. I think I’m more likely to reach for this in the evening as I don’t tend to go too heavy with bronzer in the day. However, it may be more of a daytime shade in the middle of the summer with a bit of a tan so I certainly wouldn’t write it off for daytime use. It’s soft to apply and doesn’t drag on the skin (although this is dependent on brush too) and it is very pigmented so a little goes a long way.
As you would expect from the name, Hoola Lite is a paler version of Hoola and has the same undertones. Once again, comparing it to TooFaced Milk Chocolate Soleil, it’s a bit lighter meaning that it’s definitely for the pale girls. I didn’t actually think I would like this. I thought it would be too pale to be a bronzer on me but it just about works. It adds a nice warmth to my skin which is hard to over do and is perfect for an everyday work look for me. I don’t think it will work very well for anyone with skin darker than mine unless your skin is warm tones and you can use it as a finishing powder. The formula for this is the same as Hoola s it also goes n smoothly and blends well.
I don’t think there’s anyone in the blogging world who hasn’t heard of GALifornia after it’s recent release. It’s fast becoming another of Benefit’s showstoppers and it certainly makes an impression on first glance. I can’t tell if the whole palette has the scent or if it’s just coming from this shade. I know this is the only singular shade which has the scent so I wouldn’t be surprised, packs a hell of a punch if it is just that though! Perfumed powders seem to be a thing right now, a trend most likely started by TooFaced with the Chocolate Bar Palettes. This is something that I’m all for. Personally, my memories are very much connected to scents and if I smell certain things it can really send me back to a happy memory in my life and getting that feeling every time I apply my makeup is really lovely.
The shade of this is the definition of summer. A warm toned coral pink with a lovely golden shimmer on the top which adds a lovely glow to the skin… on first use… and only the first use. The beautiful golden shimmer highlighting the sun embellishment in the powder disappears pretty much straight away meaning the effect on the cheeks is very different on the second use compared to the first. Both of the looks are pretty, it’s just a shame the gold shimmer isn’t more prominent throughout the rest of the blusher. You can see the difference in the photos.
I also previously said that I thought this was similar to my BareMinerals Loose Powder Blusher in Flowers so I swatched them both next to each other. As you can see, Flowers has cooler undertones with less coral shades and more of a silver shimmer than gold. Despite they are still fairly similar and both add a lovely glow to the cheeks which is perfect for summer.
Another Benefit classic shade, Dandelion is a similar soft formula to hoola and blends really well. It’s a very pretty baby pink shade with a subtle champagne shimmer to it. This is another shade which I think is better suited to paler skin so another reason why it’s not worth it for those with darker skin tones, however for those who can pull it off it makes a perfect subtle spring blush. I have reach for this shade quite a lot for work and I really like it as it’s perfect for a barely-there, natural makeup look. This could easily become a holy grail shade for me as, while it looks most like a spring shade, it wouldn’t be out of place any time of year.
Finally Rockateur is another highly embellished shade in the palette as it is raised above the others like GALifornia with the word Rock. Although this pan isn’t resting on the mirror… Rockateur is a dusty rose/pink with brown undertones which has a rose gold/bronze shimmer over the top similarly to GALifornia except that this didn’t disappear after just one use. For me this is a perfect autumn-winter glow shade t make the skin look healthy in the colder months although I am happily wearing it now too. It does seem as though there’s some of the shimmer running all the way through this though I’m not sure how much there will be with it still partially coating the top. Rockateur and GALifornia have very similar formulas to eachother which have a slightly less powdery feel than the other 3 in this palette and I think this contributes to the seamless glowing effect they give as the blend well into liquids instead of sitting on top.
As I haven’t tried the individual box blushers for anything more than a swatch, I can’t comment on whether or not I think the formula has been altered and the quality reduced for the lower price. However, from the patterns and looks of the pans it seems as though they are the same and the pan has just been set in different packaging.
Overall in terms of value for money I would certainly say that for £49.50 you really can’t go wrong with this IF YOU HAVE PALE SKIN. If you have a darker skin tone there will be two or three shades that sadly just won’t be right for you so I would recommend putting the money towards the individuals that you would actually make use out of.
For me, the quality, pigmentation and overall feel of the powders far outweigh the cons however, there were a lot of these, mainly in the substandard packaging. I really am hoping that the powders touching the mirror and the carboard insert holding the powder falling out (along with the powders) is just a malfunction of my palette but I’m not sure so it’s worth keeping an eye on this.
Overall, I would certainly recommend this if you have been wanting to try these and you have a fair skin tone. They are the best Benefit product I have tried yet and it’s finally something that’s really got me excited about the brand!
Please let me know in the comments what you think of this palette and whether you have had any packaging issues too!
Thanks for reading,