The POREfessional: Agent Zero Shine
This product is essentially a fragrance-free, pale peach-tinted loose powder with a clever name and equally clever packaging. Although some may perceive the packaging as bulky, it's definitely less cumbersome and more portable than loose powders packaged in jars with sifters.
Agent Zero Shine is housed in a cylindrical component whose base is narrower than its top, which is where the powder is dispensed. Hidden in the base is a handy and well-made brush that's easy to use. You twist the base to release the brush, uncap the product, shake a bit of powder into the cap, swirl the brush in the powder, and apply over your face. Done!
As for the powder itself; despite the peachy tint it goes on sheer and has a wonderfully soft texture and absorbent, dry finish that doesn't make skin look dull or dried out. The single shade will work for almost all skin tones, except perhaps for very light or very dark skin. The matte finish makes it best for combination to oily skin.
One more comment: The brush is designed with a twist-up plastic protector for the bristles. When you're done using it, simply twist up the protector and replace the brush in the base of the component, with no worry about the bristles splaying.
- Very good, lightweight powder keeps shine at bay.
- One shade works for most skin tones.
- Cute and clever packaging that's actually helpful.
- More convenient for use on the go than regularly -packaged loose powders.
- None, unless you happen to prefer pressed powder, which remains easier to apply on the go and is definitely less messy to use.
Benefit was developed by twins Jean Danielson and Jane Blackford, whose initial claim to fame was a stint as the Calgon twins back in 1960s television commercials. They opened their first cosmetics store, The Face Place, in San Francisco, circa 1976, and then, perhaps recognizing the need for a name with more impact, The Face Place became Benefit in 1990. From there the line took off and expanded its presence beyond the Bay Area to include national department stores and, eventually, Sephora boutiques.
Benefit's makeup philosophy is outrageously fun and its product arsenal is centered on impossibly cute names and a lexicon that aims to make beauty enjoyable. Benefit single-handedly started the trend of selling makeup and skincare products with ultra-cute appellations for less than ultra-fancy prices. As with most lines, there are enough missteps and problem products to shop carefully, but Benefit shines in several categories, including foundation, bronzing powder, blush, and shimmer products.
Unfortunately, some of the products simply can't live up to their promises. This is mostly true of their skincare formulas, where the showcased ingredients are either present in itsy-bitsy amounts or the claims attributed to them are very exaggerated. Despite this, if you're in the mood for a fun experience and can manage to choose products wisely while enjoying the whimsy, Benefit deserves a look.
For more information about Benefit, visit www.Benefitcosmetics.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.