Benefit They’re Real Mascara ($22) has just released to lovely reviews all around.  Liz and I recently bought one at our local Sephora to test the claims that:

  • 94% saw dramatic length and volume
  • 90% saw base-to-tip curl
  • 94% saw visible lift
  • 100% saw long wearing results
We decided to subject this mascara to a comparison with Benefit Bad Gal mascara.  We used what we call “the scary lens” –it is very sharp and it focuses very close.
Benefit’s packaging gives application advice using the wiggle-method.  They add another step–to hold the wand vertically to stroke upward to curl and separate.
The tube holds a respectable 0.3 oz/8.5 grams, and is a pleasant, fun shape in a shiny gunmetal colored plastic.
The brush uses the spikey shape that seems designed to give good separation while still grabbing plenty of mascara.  Here is a comparison between Benefit They’re Real (on the left) with Benefit Bad Gal (on the right).  As you can tell, They’re Real delivers very voluminous results.  Liz’s lashes are dramatically fringed, with plenty of length.  However, as you layer on the product the mascara has a tendency to clump.
Liz applied They’re Real in several layers, going a little strong.  As you can see, after several layers the mascara started to clump.  We weren’t getting the clean separation that we have experienced with some of the more high end (but much more expensive) mascaras.

Side view (note that Liz did not use an eyelash curler before application):
After wearing the mascara for a full day, Liz found that her lashes stayed soft and flexible.  She reports that after a full day, she got no smudging or flaking.  In short, the formula is very flexible, volumizing and lengthening.  As these pictures show, Liz had plenty of curl (without curling her lashes first).
 Overall, Benefit They’re Real had some very good qualities:
  • High volume
  • Dramatic curl
  • Good lengthening
  • No flaking
  • No smudging
  • Lashes stayed soft
The “con” is the tendency to clump, as you can see in the pictures, during heavy application. Wearers will want to keep a mascara comb nearby, or be ready to work the brush to maximize separation.  The $22 price point could cut either way, depending on what you are used to paying for mascara.  By they way, I’ll be receiving my tube that I bought from soon.  I’ll post a separate update after I’ve played with it a bit.
  • Bottom line: Our initial tests show a clumping, which will be a dealbreaker.  Liz reports that yesterday she wore it much more lightly so the clumping was not as noticeable–but the effect was not as dramatic.
  • For other helpful reviews, see Scrangie’s test here on her site and also this review on The Coveted.

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