Last week I was invited along to the brand new Benefit Boutique in Debenhams in Norwich to experience one of their Masterclasses. I went along with Glamourologist, Missy Vintage and Fabulous Miss K to try out the new Hevana product and their skincare range.
The boutique is currently unique to Norwich Debenhams, but is being rolled out across the country at Benefit stands in department stores, it’s about time we got something first! It’s basically like a mini Benefit shop within a department store with treatment rooms and a a special area for running masterclasses.
The classes are a brilliant chance to play around with Benefit products before you buy. I love Benefit, but they are pricey, which makes investing in something new a bit more of a risk if you don’t like it. The cost of the class is £50, which is redeemable against purchases made on the day. You get to play with so many products it’s really worth it for the opportunity to properly try before you buy.
There are mini cup cakes, which I’m fairly sure used to be fairy cakes, when did the cup cake take over? and we each get our own little work station with a mirror, little book of post it notes and an organza bag of sweeties to take home (or eat immediately if you’re me)
Rather terrifyingly the classes start with a run through of the Benefit skin care range. This means removing all your make up, in front of people. This does not make me happy. The products are nice enough though, and I quite like the moisturisers and they come in lovely blue packaging.
We then, thankfully, start putting it back on again! We’re talked through each product we use, given individual advice on which shades to use and the class is flexible enough to adapt to the styles of those of us in the room. In our case they adapted from a smoky eye and nude lip look to give us a chance to play with some of their red lipsticks and eyeliners.
Benefit are very particular about their brows, so we’re given quite detailed instructions on finding the perfect place for your brows to start and finish before enhancing them using a pencil, or my favourite product of the day, Brow-Zing.
My favourite products of the day were the Hevana, which was brilliantly versatile as we used it as blusher and eyeshadow, the Watt’s Up highlighter and the Brow-Zing brow definer. I also quite liked the Magic Ink liquid liner. I was less taken with the They’re Real mascara. Missy Vintage loved it, and it is amazingly lengthening and thickening, but on me it was a little too thick and clumpy, and the Playstick foundation didn’t give me a matte enogh finish, while those with dry skin loved it. Doing this in a group really bought home how not all products are suitable for everyone and it really is trial and error to find the perfect one for you.
I’m about to share a terrifying picture now as I go in for a before and after *gulp*. I don’t think I shall make a habit of being make up free in public, at least not without a sneaky brow and lash tint!
There is a certain amount of sales pitch that goes on when the products are described, but there was no pressure to buy and the focus really was on just playing with the products If you’re interested in the Benefit Masterclasses then you can pop into the Debenhams store in Norwich to book yourself a place on the next one. The rest of the boutique is worth checking out as well. If you’re not in Norwich then I’m afraid you’ll have to wait till the boutiques are rolled out in department stores nationwide, or visit a Benefit boutique.