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Fools blush in at Benefit Cosmetics

By Dara Colwell

Beauty requires attitude, and Benefit Cosmetics has got enough cheek to make beauty mavens blush in delight. But that's just for starters--there's also a steady supply of sultry lip glosses, sassy eye shadows and mockingly named concealers to smack the vain right where it counts: over the counter.

Benefit's shops are happening. In fact, perusing the cosmetic array proved to be a difficult task, as the shop I entered was packed full of glowing mother/teen daughter duos and chic cell-phone shoppers, all groping for testers. As luck would have it, the gal in front of me had to press "redial," and taking advantage of the one-second distraction, I edged in for some counter space. Phew, this was a beauty workout for the physically adventurous!

Benefit has an incredible selection of fun, cleverly named products. There's Ooh la Lift ($16) eye de-puffer; F.Y. . . eye ($20) shadow base; Smooch ($15) vitamin-enriched lip balm; Touch Me Then Try to Leave ($18) body cream; and, my favorite, Show-Offs ($13), a tube of iridescent powder which can be dusted onto eyes, lips and cheeks. In flavors such as meringue, cookie, icing, sugar and pistachio, Show-Offs will make you look good enough to eat--forget the cone! Although the powder tends to spill out in clumps (which could be a clothing disaster) the colors are so groovy, you'll probably want to cover yourself nonetheless. And if you get carried away, a shop assistant is on hand to wipe it all off with a kleenex.

If shopping for makeup is a chore, then the hip, youthful atmosphere at Benefit will even rev up those seeking to cover up their wrinkles (like me). And if you're smart, elbow your way in past the distracted teenagers. Try paging them and they jump like puppies .

Benefit is located at both 2117 Fillmore and 2219 Chestnut.

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From the September 13, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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