It was 2010. I was 25 years old.
The plane had landed at McCarran International, and I was ecstatic to be getting a weekend away, as well as to be getting off the plane. We had arrived. The sunlight shined in through the windows, poisoning my bare skin with its warm rays. I squinted, turned away.
She looked at me. “I thought you had flawless skin,” she said. “But your pores are huge!”
Not a remark typical of a friendship. But a remark typical for a hungry, tired 20-something who had just taken the red eye might say without thought to someone close to her. And a remark that stuck with me for years — ever since that day, I’ve been forever looking for ways to camouflage my pores. While still rather small and pencil tip-sized, they might as well be craters.
Fortunately, a friend of mine (a different one) recently turned me onto Benefit Erase Paste ($29.95, Amazon.com). The little 0.15 ounce jar is filled with a highly concentrated paste-like concealer that makes you look flawless in under ten seconds of applying it. I’m dead serious. (And, if I use the lightest colors, I look dead serious). With all due seriousness, it’s the best concealer I’ve ever tried. For special occasions and photographs, it can’t be beat!
Ingredient Analysis: Thick and Must Be Washed Off Nightly
Benefit Erase Paste is comprised mostly of petrolatum and lanolin.
Despite a plethora of internet rumors surrounding petrolatum, it is safe. In fact, many dermatologists consider petrolatum to be one of the best moisturizers (Cosmetic Dermatology, 2002). This is because petrolatum is able to trap moisture into the skin, making petrolatum what is known amongst cosmetic chemists as an occlusive agent.
The rumor that petrolatum is not safe stems from the fact that impure petrolatum contains compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). However, cosmetic-grade petrolatum must meet industry standards for purification, meaning that it has next to none, if not no, PAHs.
Where petrolatum gets into trouble is when it is used with known pore-clogging ingredients like coconut oil, squalene, and, yes, lanolin. Because petrolatum traps these ingredients within the skin, it can cause stronger reactions (Allergy, 2004). So it is important that you make sure you wash your face nightly when using Benefit Erase Paste — you don’t want to go to sleep with the ingredients on your face! For best results, use Benefit Erase Paste after your favorite moisturizer and a primer, so the ingredients are not resting on your bare skin.
5 Tips for Best Results
Benefit Erase Paste works best with the following tips in mind:
- 1.) Apply after moisturizer and primer. You do not want petrolatum and lanolin directly against bare skin.
- 2.) Use the mini-applicator included.
- 3.) Start with the smallest amount possible. The formula glides across the skin and distributes evenly and quite well. It is surprising how far a little bit goes!
- 4.) Use the shade closest to your skin tone. Typically, I choose a concealer that is one shade lighter than my skin, because the yellow pigments tend to oxidize and turn darker on the skin. However, Benefit Erase Paste does not have yellow or warm undertones, so it will make warm skin tones appear a bit lighter. So stick to the shade closest to your own — don’t go too light!
- 5.) If you experience redness, itching, or irritation, discontinue use and return immediately. You may have a lanolin allergy.
If you’re getting your photo taken anytime soon, be sure you try Benefit Erase Paste! I honestly won’t leave home without it. I’m not using it daily, but for special occasions, photographs, dates and the like, it’s so on. 🙂
What are your thoughts on Benefit Erase Paste or concealers in general? Let me know in Comments below!