Among the last minute items I picked up for my recent vacation was Benefit’s Hoola Lite, the perfect bronzer shade for my fair complexion. I loved thdramatice smell, and it just looked fantastic. Finally, something that wasn’t too orange looking on me!ย And then I got home and tan happened. Finally, I looked like I’ve lived in Florida for 30 years! (there’s that 30 word again…) And Hoola Lite, my brand new Ride or Die bronzer, my most exciting review to write about, was in fact too light for me. Ugh!!

makeupThankfully, I hit the mark to remain a Platinum Perks member at Ulta through 2017, and they sent me a 20% off coupon good throughout the whole store as a way to say “Thanks for all your hard earned money, lady!” Honestly, they’ve taken all my budgeted spending money for April as I’ve done all I can to keep up with my tanned complexion. C’est la vie, no?

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As I perused the Benefit display, checking to see whether or not the original Hoola bronzer would now work for me, I found myself looking at the Dandelion blush also. These are not inexpensive products on their own so buying two seemed like a dumb plan. And then it was as if the pearly gates of heaven rolled open to lead me to the promised land of cheek perfection: Benefit’s Cheek Parade. I hear Lorelai Gilmore singing to her mother, Emily, “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon, you’ll be the grandest fella in the Easter Parade,” and any product that gives me a Gilmore Girls moment is one I need to have, especially when it’s 20% off. Especially when I will get the bronzer AND blush I gawked at AND three more products to squeal over as well- Galifornia, Rockateur, and (another) Hoola Lite!

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The packaging is phenomenal, sturdy, vibrant, and inviting. It is laid out well with appealing colors and clear labels of each product. I appreciate the included brush; it will be nice in a pinch, but I’m certain many are choosing to use their own tried and true brushes. It’s not pictured, but the inside of the cover is framed with a large mirror making this a practical travel companion. You have selection of blush and bronzer giving the ability to create both day and evening appropriate looks. Again, it’s very sturdy, so travel shouldn’t be a worry.

Names of products are my favorite things about them. I mean, GALifornia?! Love it! Thankfully, Benefit put as much quality into their formulas as they did in the careful selection process of naming each one.

Hoola is still a little dark for me, but swirling together both Hoola and Hoola Lite works just swell! I am pleased that the formula is consistent between both bronzers, and it is only a matter of pigment that differentiates the two. Both melt seamlessly into the skin, neither creates a weird texture, and both are completely buildable. A+ on these items!

Back to Galifornia. It’s a beautiful blush that I’m highly drawn to. However, the golden sheen which once adorned the sun imprint was a faux layer of glitter. After one brush swirl it disappeared completely leaving a flatter blush beneath. It applies great, looks great, feels great, but I was a bit disappointed that this wasn’t a consistent feature of the blush itself.

Dandelion is a beautiful, light flush perfect for the spring. It’s not intense but definitely holds its own with a subtle wash of color on the apples of your cheeks. Perfectly buildable, application is a sinch as you can control the volume easily.

Rockateur is a stunning creature for all the glamazons out there. I love the geometric pattern that gives a vibe of crossing beams of light at a concert. The plum tone is related to Dandelion, but more sophisticated and quite a bit edgier. A perfect compliment for day and night looks is found within these two blushes.

Retailing for $58, this palette is a STEAL. Each Benefit bronzer or blush will run you $29! If you snagged the Cheekathon this isn’t worth the buy unless you want/need both Galifornia and Hoola Lite, or you’re out of one of the other products. Cheekathon differed by including Dallas and Coralista (two I wish I had). There isn’t anything limited edition in these palettes, just a superb deal. Everything can be purchased individually, but I certainly found the kit worth it since I was considering buying two of the products. If only I had thought to buy this before purchasing Hoola Lite! Oh well, I’ll get pale again soon enough, and it’ll be there waiting for me.

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The kit came with a multipage guide filled with suggestions for all the products. From application to looks you’re covered with this. I love when companies do this. It’s always an excellent source of inspiration and a comfortable beginning when you have no idea how to us a particular item. These are all pretty standard, but Benefit is never short on creativity and gives ways to amp up your look.

I feel like a broken record player, but this is really an excellent add to your collection. I’m always a fan of saving money, especially on products that are high quality and have earned the higher price tag. Benefit is not a brand to give sales often, so these bundles are a prime opportunity to sample full sized products.

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