Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 87.0 – Never Ask a Lady: a review of Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara

I’ll admit it: mascara really was never something that excited me. For the most part, I thought it a little boring–after all, how different can one black paste be from another? While I wouldn’t dream of leaving my house without it now, there were years where I “forgot” mascara even existed. My lashes are naturally pretty thick and rather long, so aside from darkening them mascara really never did it for me.

Oh, how that has changed!

When I heard that Benefit was putting out their new They’re Real! Mascara, I was unenthused. I was happy with my Clinique High Lengths mascara, and while I knew Benefit put out some quality products and had a cult following, I really didn’t care to experiment. Why spend almost twice the money of my current mascara when I wasn’t even sure I’d be happy with it? As is always my luck, reality always works contrarily. Look what arrived on my doorstep*:

Most mascaras I get end up tossed into my eye drawer, waiting for my current mascara to expire before seeing the light of day. This wasn’t exactly the case with this baby. With all the hype surrounding this product, I simply had to try it immediately.

The tube itself is remarkably different from most mascaras I’ve seen. As opposed to the plain tube, this is a sort of angled, squared-off shape in a metallic pewter. Super snazzy. But it’s what’s inside that counts. The packaging claims:

94% saw dramatic length & volume
90% saw base-to-tip curl

94% saw visible lift
100% saw long-wearing results

Those are mighty-big claims for a mascara to make! I’ve read things like this a million times and am usually disappointed, so I went into this with absolutely no expectations. Honestly, I could not imagine it being any better than my Clinique High Lengths.

You’ve probably heard me go on and on about mascara wands. I get sort of picky when it comes to my wands–you probably couldn’t pay me to use the typical spoolie brush that comes with most of them. Clinique’s High Lengths comes with my favourite: it’s like a comb, with teeth only on one end, allowing you to get right at the lash line and coat from the base up. Benefit’s They’re Rea! comes with a fat, rubberized brush with countless little spiky teeth to really pack in the formula.

I feel like the brush is a little difficult to get near to the roots, but I have very sensitive eyes so others might not have this problem. Given that I can’t get right down in there I do feel this takes a bit more time and care to apply. The inner pamphlet says:

To use: Position wand horizontally & wiggle from side to side, base to tip, to achieve maximum volume, length & lift. Hold wand vertically & stroke upward to curl & separate. Layer generously as desired.

Even Benefit seems to acknowledge that this product takes a bit of “work” to achieve the false-lash look women will want from this product. Honestly, I’m not going to hold a wand vertically at any point–I know myself too well to think I won’t sneeze or blink on it and end up permanently blinded by teeth. Regardless, I was surprised by the results.

This may be the only mascara that has ever “curled” my lashes. I normally don’t curl my lashes–in fact, I haven’t touched an eyelash curler since highschool. I just don’t see the point. My lashes have enough natural lift that I don’t need to “open up my eyes” by curling. Frankly, I’ve always hated the feeling of my lashes touching my eyelids, making me look like a startled animal in the crosshairs. Not a good look for me. They’re Real! doesn’t deliver quite that drama, but curls lashes well enough that they look fuller, longer, and more dramatic. It lengthens and creates fullness as well, though I find it takes a few swipes both on top and bottom of lashes to get the length I’m used to.

Below are side-by-side comparison shots of They’re Real! and High Lengths. Benefit is on the left, where Clinique is on the right.

Benefit’s They’re Real! (left) vs. Clinique’s High Lengths (right)

Benefit’s They’re Real! (left) vs. Clinique’s High Lengths (right)

Benefit’s They’re Real! (left) vs. Clinique’s High Lengths (right)

I don’t think I need to tell you who the winner is.

My biggest criticism at this point is ease of removal: it takes me several swipes of the makeup remover to get this baby off, and even afterward I feel like it clings to the lashes. Even so, it doesn’t create the dreaded raccoon effect in the morning but I like to be squeaky-clean before bed.

Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara will retail for $22. I really do like the formula, and I will probably buy it again when this tube expires. If you’re looking for a super-black, super-performing mascara that promises (and delivers!) curl, length, and fullness, it’s well worth the price tag!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

* This product was provided as a promotional sample for my honest review. This has not affected my opinion at all.

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