Getting Pom-Pom Pretty With Benefit’s Jose Rivera



There is always a certain aura emanating from makeup maestros which lets you know that you are in the presence of the truly skilled. Watching them at work and explaining how each product works is a privilege I’ll never get tired of. Benefit Makeup Master, José Rivera was in his element when he demonstrated his makeup techniques.

José has more than 15 years experience under his belt. He was the creator of the Sephora PRO Beauty Team, a team of 14 skilled makeup artists from across North America. He served as Lead Artistic for twelve seasons of New York Fashion Week. During his makeup demo, José introduced us to 2 new Benefit products which will be available soon.



Instant Comeback Age-Defying Booster Serum RM185 has a tri-radiance complex to help protect against the visible signs of aging. Tired skin looks plumped and hydrated and feels smoother, firmer, energized. Available August 2014.



Majorette RM115 is a cream-to-powder booster which gives cheeks an instant “cheer” up. Shade is peach-pink and can be worn on its own, under or over powder blush. New fragrance : pom-pom peach & pomegranate. Available September 2014.


José explained that what he wanted to achieve in this demo is “lit-from-within” skin which is a subtle, natural sheen. Primer and foundation should create dewy (not satin) but lightful skin.


As the model already has a bit of foundation on her face, José begins by spraying Ultra Radiance Mist on her face covering her eyes. Take a sponge or cotton pad and lightly dab on skin after spraying the Mist as this will soften the foundation. Press on the sponge or cotton pad, don’t rub. Spray some Ultra Radiance Mist on a mascara wand to soften existing mascara. This way, you don’t need to take off existing mascara and can re-apply over existing mascara.

There are 3 steps to achieving “lit-from-within” skin – prep, prime and perfect.




Prep by mixing Moisture Prep Toning Lotion and High Beam for luminous skin. Take a brush and apply the combination with light pressure focusing only on the top of chin, bridge of nose, forehead. The more you prep, the less foundation you will need as skin won’t oil up. That’s the secret to long-lasting makeup! Build up sheer layers of luminosity.



To prime, apply POREfessional and Girl Meets Pearl using hands to apply. Feel the texture of skin with hands. Does skin need more hydration or feel slippery? Take off some product if skin feels too slippery. Skin should have the right tackiness, then it’s just right!



To perfect, combine Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow and Instant Comeback – 2 pumps foundation + 1 pump Instant Comeback. Skin is plump if properly hydrated . What tools to use? José recommends:-

  • for a natural look, use a sponge or fingers
  • for a dramatic look, use a brush (preferably flat brush)
  • for oily/porous skin, use a sponge or blush brush

Use the flat part of a brush to apply foundation and the tip of the brush to blend. To create a natural contour/dimension, focus foundation on where you want light to reflect on your face. Always keep it natural because the more foundation you have on, the whiter your face will look when photographed.





Next it’s on with Majorette. Take 2 fingers and place them next to your nose, that’s where you should start applying. Majorette has a silky texture like POREfessional. Spray Ultra Radiance Mist on a natural bristle brush to soften the bristles and sheer out the colour. Hold the brush further back, using hard, medium, light strokes across cheeks. Create colour as if emanating from cheeks. Majorette can be applied over powder blush (use a brush) OR under powder blush (use fingers). You want to create an allure, people will wonder what you are using but don’t dare to ask.





Sprinkle Agent Zero Shine on Hervana to use as an all-over powder. After swirling your brush over Agent Zero Shine and Hervana, tap the brush against your hand to remove excess powder. When no more powder comes off, it’s time to apply. Start applying from outer to inner as oil glands are in the middle of the face. The powder will grab on to Majorette like velcro.  This sets BB Cream and foundation.


Sugarbomb and Hula can also be used together with Agent Zero Shine as all-over powders.

ben lollitint

Use Lollitint for lips. José has just been to Korea and picked up this useful tip there – press a warm towel to lips for 20 seconds to remove dead skin cells. Lollitint will look a lot brighter once that’s done. Massage in the tint.


For brows, use Gimme Brow and Stay Don’t Stray or Brow Zings. Apply with a mascara wand against the hair. Stay Don’t Stray gives hair texture. Sheer out the wand on hands first to create natural brows.




Fully rotate They’re Real! Push Up Liner, go under the lashes and mark the line. This is José’s base lining technique.

benefit kiss you ultra plush lip gloss

To complete, apply Kiss You Ultra Plush Lip Gloss on lips.


Enlightening and fascinating watching a true makeup maestro at work. José makes it all seem so effortless and demonstrated the versatility and multi-purposeness of Benefit products. This was the best hour and a half of my week.


  1. Thank you for such details and superb description of the makeup tips, techniques and products for the make up classes! It is sure interesting to pick up the tips from such famous makeup artist!