Saturday, September 10, 2011

Benefit They're Real Mascara - Review & Comparison

When I was 14 years old I experienced my first heart-wrenching cosmetics discontinuation. It was my very favorite mascara, and while I can't for the life of me remember what brand it was, I can tell you that ever since, for 27 years now, I've been looking for a mascara I love. In the process, I've become somewhat of a mascara aficionado.

Over the past almost-three decades, I've found a small handful of mascaras that I've liked, but none that I loved. Those I liked the most are:
  • Estee Lauder MagnaScopic Mascara - I don't get much length or volume, but it doesn't smudge or clump, and that alone makes me like it. Most mascaras smudge or clump and by the end of a work day, my makeup is a mess, even though I didn't touch my eyes. With this one, I can wear it all day long and there are no smudges under my eyes at all at the end of the day. 
  • Too Faced Lash Injection - I love the way it adds both volume and length and makes my lashes looks amazing. Too bad it is a super-smudger. 
  • Tarte MultiplEYE Natural Lash Enhancing Mascara - Excellent for adding length and volume. It smudges a little, but the reason I won't buy it again is because it dries out super, super fast. For the amount of money spent on buying a tube, it should last longer.
  • Benefit BADGal Lash Mascara - Oh, I love how this looks on my lashes -- they look thicker and longer and downright sassy! But the brush is way too big for my shorter-length lashes, which means I have a ton of clean-up work after I apply it, and the smudging is terrible. It's a great mascara to wear if I'm only wearing it on my upper lashes. I need something for everyday upper/lower lash use, though. 
  • Fresh SuperNova - Another one I just adore. It makes my lashes look so long and full, and I can't get over how gorgeously glossy my lashes look when I wear it. However, as far as smudgers go, this is the most criminal of all of them. I simply can't wear it on my lower lashes at all. It's a great mascara to wear if I'm only wearing it on my upper lashes. I need something for everyday upper/lower lash use, though. 

When Benefit released They're Real mascara this summer, of course I was interested. I mean, I always peruse the mascara section of the Sephora catalog in detail, and have done a lot of reading online about mascaras in my ongoing effort to find my holy grail mascara.

Benefit's They're Real is supposed to do everything you want a mascara to do - lengthen, curl, volumize, lift, and separate. Benefit claims it's long-wearing and won't smudge or dry out. 

Sounds too good to be true, so I do some research online, and the lion's share of reviews of this product are extremely positive. I read a few reviews that said it's mediocre, but  most of the reviews I read said they've left their former fave behind and are switching to They're Real. 

I went to Sephora today and picked up a tube. The tube design is simultaneously sophisticated and cute. The wand is made of plastic bristles that wrap around the end, which help grab the smallest, finest lashes and coat them. When applied, it definitely does what it claims. It's not the best mascara for doing everything it claims, but considering that it's one mascara doing all of those things, it's a pretty impressive product. 

I'm especially impressed by the lengthening, thickening, and curling. I did find it slightly clumpy, and so the "separating" ability is really the only claim where I think they're stretching a little. I had to use a separate brush to separate some of my lower lashes that stuck together due to clumping.

I have very straight eyelashes with no curl that point down naturally -- "National Geographic" eyelashes, if you know what I mean! LOL  The first time I tested They're Real, I did not use a lash curler. I wanted to see how much lift and curl I got. I did get more than I expected, but not enough to throw away my lash curler. However, if I were traveling and forgot my lash curler, I could live for a week without having to go to the store to buy one, as long as I were using They're Real. 

Ultimately, I like it and will use this tube. The jury's still out on whether or not I can live with the stickiness and clumping. If I can, I'll likely keep using it. So, while I like this mascara, I may still be on the continued hunt for one I love. However, time will tell -- I may fall in love with this yet!

Below is a series of photos taken of the tube, my eye without mascara, my eye with my former go-to mascara, my eye with They're Real without a lash curler, and my eye with They're Real used after curling my lashes.

 My eye without any makeup:

My lashes with Estee Lauder MagnaScopic mascara:

 My lashes with They're Real without using a lash curler first:

My lashes with They're Real applied after using a lash curler:

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