Booking an appointment to have your makeup done at a beauty counter can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before.
With so many different makeup brands offering the service it can be hard to know which will do the best job.
On top of this it can be tricky figuring out which would best suit the event you’re going to.
With this in mind I set out to test three big name makeup brands in Australia, MAC, Benefit and Bobbi Brown, to put them to the test.
To make it as fair as possible I went to each counter for an hour and simply told them to do my makeup as if I was going to an event such as a wedding or an important birthday – all of the big decisions were made by the makeup artists.
Here are the results.
I set out to test three big name makeup brands in Australia, MAC, Benefit and Bobbi Brown, to put them to the test
MAC: ONE HOUR = $120 REDEEMABLE ON PRODUCTS
Heading into MAC I knew that the brand is known for their bright colours and their bold, artistic looks.
As I had dehydrated skin on the day my makeup artist, Jody, said she made sure to use a variety of products that would hydrate it as she emphasised that you always need a nourished base before applying makeup.
The look she ended up creating focused on a very dramatic eye, which she emphasised with a flawless base and a glossy lip that didn’t take away from the impact of the eyes.
Looking at my completed face I couldn’t help but notice the impressive skill that went into creating the look, especially when it came to the eyes.
Heading into MAC I knew that the brand is known for their bright colours and their bold, artistic looks
The light handed bronze application sculpted my face well and my skin looked flawless.
Even though I was obsessed with the look, I had to fix the foundation on my chin after a couple of hours as it had started to crack due to how much product was on my face.
I also broke out the next day as my skin wasn’t able to breathe properly.
Although I got a few odd looks while I walked around the grocery store afterwards, when I went out that evening I received lots of compliments.
Looking at my completed face I couldn’t help but notice the impressive skill that went into creating the look, especially when it came to the eyes
The light handed bronze application sculpted my face well and my skin looked flawless
Many people said it was the best makeup they’ve ever seen on me and were impressed with how long the eye makeup lasted.
I was really impressed with MAC and decided that if I ever needed someone to do my makeup again I would go back – but I would get them to go lighter on the foundation.
The skills were impeccable and it lasted from day to night, apart from the top up on the chin I had to do six hours in and the reapplication of lipstick.
What products did MAC use?
Prep + Prime – Hydrant
Strobe Cream – Hydrant
Studio Fix Foundation
Pro Longwear Concealer
Perky Longwear Eye Primer
Rosy Cheeks Blush
Extra Dimension Skin Finish Highlighter
Soar Lip Pencil
Dazzleglass Lip Gloss
Prep + Prime Mascara
Brush Black Eyeliner
False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara
Extended Play Mascara
Ready to Party Eyeshadow
BENEFIT: ONE HOUR = $120
I knew that Benefit had an amazing reputation when it came to how well they treat people’s eyebrows but I wasn’t fully aware of the bevy of makeup products they sold.
My makeup artist for the day, Hasina, paid attention to detail when it came to prepping my skin and I actually noticed the condition of my skin transforming in front of my eyes.
She made the effort to explain to me the benefit of each product, as well as how to use them, as she worked.
The finished look was a lot less dramatic than MAC’s version and initially had me underwhelmed but as the day went on I grew to appreciate it for what it was.
My makeup artist for the day, Hasina, paid attention to detail when it came to prepping my skin
The main issue for me was that I tend to be a bit more dramatic with my makeup for special occasions so if I was to have had this look done for an event I would have added more to it myself.
I felt like this look was more of an everyday face of makeup and although Hasina’s makeup skills were impeccable, there was nothing about it visually that stood out.
Although I did receive compliments from friends and family when they saw me, many of them said it didn’t look too different to the makeup I do normally.
After having an experience at MAC that wowed me I wasn’t as impressed initially by how my face turned out after going to the Benefit counter.
The finished look was a lot less dramatic than MAC’s version and initially had me underwhelmed but as the day went on I grew to appreciate it for what it was
I felt like this look was more of an everyday face of makeup and although Hasina’s makeup skills were impeccable, there was nothing about it visually that stood out
This being said, I was impressed by how much attention she paid to skincare and when I looked back on photos I became more inspired by the look she created.
Unfortunately, similar to MAC, the foundation on my skin started to crack, this time in four hours. I also found that the makeup around my eyes was too heavy as it settled into some of the lines there.
The eyeliner on my waterline, which I haven’t done for years, also made my eyes look smaller.
Benefit would be perfect for those who prefer a much more subtle makeup look for special events but not for those, who like me, want something a more dramatic.
What products did Benefit use?
Moisture Prep Toning Lotion
Triple Performing Face Moisturizer
Puff Off! Under Eye Gel
The POREfessional: Matte Rescue
The POREfessional Face Primer
Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation
Boi-ing Hydrating Concealer
Hoola Matte Bronzer
Dandelion Twinkle Powder Highlighter
GALifornia Sunny Golden Pink Blusher
Dandelion Brightening Finishing Powder
Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer
They’re Real! Duo Eyeshadow Blender
Foolproof Brow Powder
Gimme Brow+ Volumising Eyebrow Gel
BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner
Roller Lash Curling Mascara
They’re Real! Double the Lip
BOBBI BROWN: ONE HOUR = $120 REDEEMABLE ON PRODUCTS
Going into my appointment with Bobbi Brown’s makeup artist Rosalie, I knew the brand were known for their more subtle looks.
Rosalie went above and beyond when it came to looking after my skin and she was thorough when she explained the use of everything she put on my face.
The finished look from Bobbi Brown proved to be the most subtle look of them all and left a lot to be desired.
I liked how she treated my eyebrows and loved the fact that she managed to highlight how big and almond shaped my eyes were but I was disappointed.
Going into my appointment with Bobbi Brown’s makeup artist Rosalie, I knew the brand were known for their more subtle looks
Even though there were aspects of my experience of Bobbi Brown I enjoyed, overall I wasn’t impressed with the finished product.
When I headed back to work my colleagues were also disappointed with what had been done.
Although it can’t be argued that it showed off impressive skill, the makeup she did wouldn’t suit a special occasion and I personally would have gone home and made adjustments to create a more striking look.
Even though there were aspects of my experience of Bobbi Brown I enjoyed, overall I wasn’t impressed with the finished product
When I headed back to work my colleagues were also disappointed with what had been done
I came back to work knowing that I could have done as good a job so know I would have felt upset if this is what I received after spending $120.
As the day wore on the makeup didn’t last either as cracks began to show only a couple of hours in.
This being said, if someone wants a natural face of makeup this would be a good option.
What products did Bobbi Brown use?
Hydrating Face Tonic
Intensive Skin Supplement
Hydrating Eye Cream
Hydrating Face Cream
Skin Relief and Skin Clarifier remedies
Light Bisque Corrector
Instant Full Cover Concealer
Intensive Skin Serum
Illuminating Finishing Powder
Desert Pink Blush
Highlight Powder Pink Blow
Pale Mauve Lip Pencil
Crushed Lip Lilac Lipstick
Malted Pink Eye Base
Cream Shadow Stick Eyeshadow
Nude on Nude Eyeshadow Palette
Rosey Nudes Eyeshadow
Black Ink Eyeliner
Smokey Eye Mascara
All three brands have their own distinct looks and approaches to how they do their makeup but it is clear some were better than others.
Overall MAC did the best job and created a look that I was most impressed with and it received the most positive reaction from friends and family.
Benefit did the next best job although in my opinion it wasn’t an interesting enough look.
Last place was taken out by Bobbi Brown, as although they showed good skill the completed face wasn’t anything I couldn’t do myself.