Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Flash Review: Benefit They're Real! mascara

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.
2. Givenchycheat!: The end of this brush is sort of mace style, like the renowned mascara designed by Givenchy.  According to Benefit lore, it's supposed to help lengthen the lashes… It sort of just clumps them up for me. In fact, I don't get a lot of length from this mascara, but the fact that I get such a curl means length is less important.
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.

The conclusion:
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...


  1. Great review, I love how you're always refreshingly honest! May take a wander to look at this tomorrow! x

  2. I've been using this for the last couple of weeks and am pleasantly surprised by how much I like it! Still think that £18.50 is a little over-priced for a mascara, especially as I get though a tube every 2-3 months...x

  3. ahah sooo true about the benefit staff! i am not fan of their products, but was curious about this new mascara, so i reached the counter and the girl there told me "uh, we must do something for your brows, it makes me sad to watch them".... excuse me?!?!?!? now, this is an employee who knows how to please a customer! :)
    as for the mascara, apparently i am the only one who has problems with it-it smudges like crazy, just like bad gal did.
    try again, benefit!
    bisous x

  4. Great review hon, I know I can always rely on yours xxx

  5. I have this and its so amazing, i hated the other benefit mascara(bad gal?) and got this from buyapowa on a deal, so glad i decided to get it. Its so different from other mascaras too!

  6. Supremely entertaining review - how dare an SA be below eye level - I cannot do mascara to save my life but I do need a bit of girth in my lashes rather than length so will maybe sidle up to the nearest Benefit stand and have a look.

  7. Eeeh, blogosphere seems to be in love with this mascara, but I'm not anywhere near paying this amount of money for a mascara... Ehm, for the time being. Because I might just change my mind some time, right?

  8. I really want to try this mascara, resisted the urge so far but 99% of the things I've heard about it have been positive, so may have to give in and buy!

  9. LOL, your review really made me chuckle :) I love the result you got, might just try it myself too xx

  10. @samwells87 Thank you lovely! I always strive for complete unflinching honesty on my blog, there's no point otherwise :)

    @LilyLipstick That's true. I do very much like it, but I always feel like life's too short to stay loyal to one product for long... x

    @lucia HAHA oh dear! Your experience completely shows how hard it is to shop at Benefit, it's just so annoying how pushy they can be! x

    @Laura Thanks lovely, you're always so sweet! xxx

  11. @Zoe I loved Bad Gal back in 2005, and then I repurchased it and it was dry and terrible all of a sudden, it was so awful! I was put off completely at that point! I'm so glad this mascara is so much better :) x

    @Jan Definitely do! It's actually a very good mascara and I'm very impressed - which is something which almost never happens ;)

    @Rocaille It definitely is a good'un, but still, very expensive! Mind you, the drugstore mascaras are pushing their prices up so I just pay a few more pounds than the 'cheaper' brands now for a high-end mascara :( x

    @Sarah Ooh I hope if you did that you like it! I think it's a great product from Benefit and that's saying something!

    @Nadia Well, I do aim to entertain ;) I do hope you like it if you end up purchasing! xx

  12. richtig schöner blog )
    ich würde mich echt freuen wenn du mal bei mir vorbei schaust :>
    liebe grüße ♥

  13. thank you soo much!! i'm currently on the hunt for a new mascara and this may very well be the one!


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