I didn't expect to like this. Benefit and I usually have a relationship based on shivering cold indifference, where Benefit tries to be all 'But look what I can do!' like a hysterical child and I just shrug and continue trying to blend the hell out of my war-painted Benetint streaks on my cheeks, which look like I've face-planted into a beetroot.
It's safe to say, Benefit and I usually just don't get on, especially due to the usually over-enthusiastic nature of their staff, who seem to take every opportunity they get to swipe some form of glitter-laden radioactive powder product over your face and convince you it makes you look really healthy.
A couple of things changed a week ago on a routine shopping trip. I was doing that loitering thing, where I wait for the Benefit sales assistant to be busy hard-selling someone else before I grace the counter with my presence and analyse everything in a sort of Bruce Willis 'get in and get out' fashion (but I don't usually go for the army rolls, as that kind of practice is usually considered uncouth in a crowded shop). I should say at this juncture that I am a completely awful candidate for bored sales assistants. I am the queen of 'Oh, I'll be back later' and fake contact details; I simply do not like it when people try to talk to me when I'm browsing, even if it's their job.
Anyway, I got snagged by an assistant who was hiding (hiding!) behind the counter bending down below eyesight, and I asked the fateful question which sent me spiralling from haughty disregard of Benefit to handing over my card and paying for yet another thing I didn't need.
It was all in her lashes. They were so curly and thick and I wanted them. And then she told me what it was, and I felt conflicted - buy another Benefit product and hate it? Or maybe, just maybe?
And that's how we got here. To a review which was supposed to be of the flash variety, but, as with all of my posts, I… have no excuse. I'm completely incorrigible.
|My bare, sad lashes.|
|An unimpressive picture trying to illustrate the volume and curl. Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of your own eye? This is the best one of about 40.|
1. In the thick of it: I have straight lashes which are not really anything in any spectacular way. They're not really long, or short. They don't do anything special, they just exist and cause me to spend lots of money on mascaras. They're Real! really thickens and lifts my lashes, and not just temporarily - my lashes stay curled and perky the whole day, and my lashes look so awake and my eyes look brighter.
3. Exercise-proof: This mascara does not smudge, flake or budge throughout the whole day, and survives every hour-long work-out (and I mean, there is some seriously gross sweaty-face going on there) without smudging at all. There's a down-side - it takes some effort to remove. It's very resilient, let's just put it that way. Even the Bioderma takes a couple of passes.
4. High and not quite dry: This mascara seems to take ages to dry on me - I'm one of those types of people who seems to sneeze 50% of the time while applying mascara, and smudge everything everywhere. Add into the mix that it's also kind of hard to remove and you've got a bit of a mess on your hands, especially if you smudge it on your top lid.
5. All in the clique: The packaging! I don't really care much for the aesthetic so much as the execution: the tube clicks shut, so you know it's properly air-tight and isn't going to dry out too quickly.
Winner winner, chicken dinner. Whether or not it's worth the price of £18.50 is up to you - I do think it's overpriced - but it's a fantastic mascara. I get great volume and all day curl hold in this, and it's really really black without going grey at the end of the day. The wand, however, is sort of a tromp l'oeil. It looks like those rubber wands that have become really prevalent recently, but the spikes are harder and… spikier. Just don't poke yourself in the eye, because it hurts even more than with a normal mascara.
I'm impressed, Benefit. You're out of the doghouse, for now...