Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Benefit They're Real Mascara

September was the month of mascaras for me. In addition to testing out Blinc, I also finally tried Benefit’s They’re Real mascara.

I have to say, I think I would prefer this product if it had a different name. No, I don’t have any issue with the double-entendre, no, my issue is with the name’s accuracy because while this is an above-average mascara, it’s not going to fool anyone into thinking you have false lashes on.

Benefit claims this product, “… lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts and separates. “ I’ll give you the first four items. This product really does do a great job at adding in volume and length while perking lashes up. While not at false lashes-level, this mascara does add in plenty of drama, resulting in a visible difference.

Unfortunately, sometimes that "difference" results in ugly spider lashes. While Benefit claims that this product "separates" lashes, I found that too often I ended up with sections of lashes stuck together. Clumps and lumps were also an issue and one that I've never had with false lashes.
Compared to Lise Watier’s 24 Hrs. Glam mascara, this product was noticeably messier to apply and took more fussing with to get my lashes right (or more likely close to right). I suppose this shouldn't be surprising since a formula that clearly ramps ups lash volume and length is likely to be rather thick and sticky but, since this product costs $28, I was expecting something a bit cleaner-applying than what I got.

My lashes didn't look
quite like that pictures
I do have to give this mascara full points for staying in place. While there was some minor flaking, it didn't smudge at all and I can understand why 100% of participants in a consumer poll on this product agreed that they saw long-wearing results.

Of course, there is a downside to staying power and that’s that this mascara is a pain to get off. While it’s not waterproof, warm water and facial cleanser, even a makeup removing kind like Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple, aren't powerful enough to do the job on their own. To get this stuff off you’ll need to bust out the eye makeup remover and be prepared to use every night.

On a vaguely related note, researching this product led me to discover that Benefit has some surprisingly honest and useful product Q&As on its website. For example, someone asked this question about They’re Real mascara, “I have thin, straight, short, sparse lashes. Will this mascara help my lashes?" to which a Benefit employee replied simply, "No.” I don’t think I've ever seen that kind of honesty on a company-run website before.

Would I buy this product again: Not right away. While I do like it, I don’t love it so I think I’ll keep on searching for the perfect mascara.

Should you buy it: Maybe.  This mascara is pretty close to the whole package except for the clumping/spider lashes issues. Oh, and that it’s pricey and hard to get off. But if you have some extra cash, don’t have sensitive eyes and are looking for a mascara that will deliver both volume and length, you’ll want to pick this one up.

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