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Benefit Cosmetics LLC

You might recall watching Tyra repeatedly plug Smashbox Studio on America's Next Top Model, but you might not have realised the photography studio had anything to do with the cosmetics line at all. In actuality, the studio came first.

Founded by Dean and Davis Factor – great grandsons of the legendary Max Factor – the cosmetic line was created out of need. With models' makeup melting under the sweltering heat of photography lights, it was only natural that the heirs to the cosmetics empire do something to combat the problem.

And thus, Smashbox cosmetics was born.

What is the key make-up trend for Spring/Summer?

This Spring, it is all about the statement eyeliner. It's about moving away from the blacks and browns and into the purples and the navy blues. With the economic environment bumming everyone out, it's really time to put a happier, colourful face on. Summer will be an extension of that. Pair a bold eyeliner, with its relevant eye shade, eyeliner, and glossy lips. Glossy lips never go out of style!

With this in mind, Smashbox has released the Muse Cream Eyeliner Artist Pencil Set (HK$295) which includes four new shades in their ultra-creamy formulation: Lapis, Imperial, Slate and Antique Gold. Wear it alone with a neutral face or experiment with different eye shades.

What's the concept behind the Muse collection?

People don't have luxury of having a make-up artist on their beck and call. Smashbox is about sharing the cosmetic application knowledge and experimenting too. This Spring, we've brought out key colours in our limited edition palette so everyone can give it a go. If you've never tried greens, you can do it. If you've never tried blues, you can give that a go. It's got all the shades you need for a casual day, a glam evening and neutral shades for work too. That's why it's called the Muse – you are your own muse.

You can't go wrong with the Muse Artist Eye Palette (HK$495). The 10 shades include: Biscuit, Chocolate, Soft Green, Dark Celery Green, Light Silver-blue, Dark Blue-grey, Sheer Lilac, Deep Orchid, Rose Copper, Coffee. Also comes with a custom artist eye shadow brush.

With the summer coming up, what are your top tips on keeping the make-up put?

The Anti-Shine (HK$235) is a must for the humid summer months. This was the first product created by Smashbox and it's a keeper. It's designed specifically to keep the make-up on your face. Just dab it on before you put your foundation on.

What shades are best for Asians?
If you like a colour you should go for it. You shouldn't stop wearing a colour you love because someone says it doesn't match your skin tone. It's about learning how to make that colour work for you. And that's what our staff is there for – to help you.

The Review

Our favourite product was the Hybrid 2 in 1 Luminizing Primer (HK$290). As one who is weary of foundation primers - one layer too many will clog pores - I was pleasantly surprised. Smashbox's primer is translucent and incredibly light. Its gel formulation makes it a winner in the overcrowded primer market. Coupled with their Artificial Light, which softens the way the light reflects off the skin, it is a must-buy.

The innovative packaging – there are two squeeze holes when you open it up, so you get equal distribution of both products – makes it a clean and easy to use product. It smoothed my skin, gave it colour and most importantly, even with nothing else on, my skin glowed. This product is only available with the collection so buy if you're on the fence, get it before it runs out.

The Muse Lip Paint (HK$185) in adorable mock paint-tube packaging was another winner. Sticky glosses are a pain but these lip paints are rich, creamy and moisturising. We recommend the Luminary shade which is a sheer nude that can work with existing lip colours or on its own for a neutral look.

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