A lot of times beauty blogging is all about what’s new and fresh. But I’d like to take some time to celebrate the tried-and-true products that I’ve been relying on for years. So from time to time, I’ll be posting about the products with which I’m in a long-term relationship — things I’ve been using for about five years or more (let’s say since before the birth of my first child… that’s a good marker, right?) and that I still love after all this time.
Let’s kick things off with my longest LTR: Dandelion from Benefit.
Length of relationship: 13 years
Product type: Pressed powder/blush
Great for: An all-over glow on fair skin
Benefit was the first prestige beauty brand I really got into, and it happened when a Benefit consultant saved my life. Well, my sanity, at least. I’d tell you the story but I’d probably get it wrong, so I dove into the archives of my OG blog, started in 2004 and no longer public, to get the details.
This fateful meeting happened on a Saturday evening in December 2004, when I was fighting my way through midtown Manhattan with visiting relatives. After surviving going to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (along with basically every single other person in New York City), I suggested we take a swing through Henri Bendel:
It’s amazing how simply allowing strangers to apply beauty products to one’s face can give one a whole new lease on life. … I was just standing at the Benefit counter, minding my own business, when the shopgirl accosted me, gushing about how I must be familiar with the product line because I have “that fresh-faced Benefit look.”
Well, what’s a fresh-faced Benefit girl to do? I allowed her to put me up in a director’s chair and dust me with Dandelion powder. I oohed and aahed at the way the undereye cream made the mascara runoff (the curse of the long-eyelash set) and sleep circles vanish. (“We call it A Nap In A Bottle,” she giggled conspiriatorially.) And then I let her sell me blemish serum. I had intended to buy it from the get-go, but she was obviously dying to refresh my Fresh-Faced Benefit Look, so I let her go for it.
That makeover gave me a new lease on life, I tell you. Suddenly the lights were brighter. The garlands were greener, the tinsel was twinklier, and all those Middle Americans I’d so hated a few minutes earlier were raised in my regard, all the way up to disinterested disdain. Back on the street, I was able to walk down the sidewalk and, if not enjoy the crowd, at least refrain from kicking people in the shins and running away. And if that isn’t a true blue miracle, I don’t know what one is.
I went back the next week and bought a box of Dandelion, and we have been together ever since.
Nowadays there are a ton of different Benefit boxed powders, but back then I think Dandelion was the only one. I’ve seen people refer to it as a blush, and you can use it that way, but I’ve always applied it the way the Benefit consultant at Bendel’s did — dusted all over my face. It’s a very soft pink with a light scent, and it gives my skin a nice rosy glow.
Dandelion was my absolute go-to daily necessity for years, and I can’t tell you how many empty Dandelion boxes I had stacked up at one point (I always thought I was going to do craft projects with them, but I never did. We finally parted ways during a move). When my combination skin started to demand a more intense setting powder, I moved Dandelion out of daily rotation in favor of Tarte’s Smooth Operator finishing powder, but I always have a box of Dandelion in my vanity for times when I want to sweep on a brightening wash of pink.