Benefit’s Benetint Was Originally a Nipple Tint—Here’s How to Use the Lip and Cheek Stain for Maximum Results

Photo: Getty Images / Westend61

The most successful companies are born after finding a hole in the market. This rings true for Benefit Cosmetics. In 1976, twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford opened a San Francisco boutique called The Face Place, which specialized in quick-fix products for beauty dilemmas. As confirmed in Benefit’s 2012 short film Glamouriety, Benetint was born after an exotic dancer came into the shop looking for something to help her nipples appear more prominent on stage. Using advice from their mother, the sisters boiled a concoction of rose petals and carmine to help stain her nipples. Within a week, the dancer returned asking for six more bottles to share with her coworkers. The rest is history. 

As word of mouth spread, Benetint built a reputation as a brilliant cheek and lip tint. And after 46 years of showing up on the faces of celebrities like Eva Mendes and Nicole Kidman, now Benetint is having a resurgence on TikTok. A viral video on Benefit's page recently showed Benetint applied the tint to a man's nipples. The cheeky caption read, “Y'all asked to see #Benetint on a Benedude’s ripple, so obviously, we had to do a demo. Our Benetint was originally used for ripples in the 70s.” (The brand interchanged ‘nipples’ with ‘ripples’ to adhere to TikTok’s community guidelines.) Six million views later, Benetint is once again on everyone's lips.

How to use BeneTint for maximum results 

Benefit's original product has a buildable long-wear formula that glides on the skin and lips with ease. If you do a quick TikTok search along the lines of “best product for vacation” or “best cheek stain,” you’re bound to find a slew of videos praising Benetint. One big fan, Amanda Diaz, recently told her followers it was her “fav thing to use on vacation.” The seven-second video saw the star swipe the product on her cheeks and the bridge of her nose before rubbing it in with her hands for a natural, sun-kissed look. 

One professional makeup artist, Sarah’s Super Spa, said she preferred using a brush and advised to work fast, as the product is very quick-drying. Using light strokes, she placed the tint on her cheeks before using circular motions with her brush, and then repeated the process to build the color. 

And then there's advice from Benefit itself. A short YouTube tutorial from the brand recommends users brush three strokes on the apples of their cheeks before quickly blending it in with their fingers and repeating the process on their lips. 

Regardless of how you choose to use this versatile product, it's hard to go wrong—no matter where you apply it.

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