Friday, June 10, 2011

New Benefit 'They're Real!' Mascara - Review and Flash Sale Info

Recently I got the chance to test drive Benefit's brand new, not-yet-released mascara, "They're Real!" I was actually quite surprised and amused when upon my doorstep arrived this lie detector box accompanied by images of a very well-endowed film noir bombshell exclaiming, "They're Real!" However, the packaging isn't quite as important as the product, so here's my review.

It comes in a very nice tube. No plain plastic utilitarian tube here. It's a mirror-shiny black chrome-esque material, somewhat reminiscent of Hourglass' dark metal packaging.

The brush is pretty interesting. It's a plastic/rubbery type brush (I'm very fond of these) but instead of being tapered toward the top like I'm used to, it has a spiky thing at the end. It's like a cross between a normal rubber brush √° la Lash Blast and a spiky ball brush like Telescopic Explosion. What it really reminds me of is one of those antique lightning rods:
The brush is designed to be used horizontally to grab lashes and add volume (like a normal wand) and then to be turned vertically to use the spiky end to lift, define and curl.

Here's one side without any mascara and without my lashes curled (the naturally have a bit of a curl to them, though). My eyes are so puffy and itchy... Super bad allergies this year.

Here's the other side with two coats of Benefit They're Real! Mascara. Well... maybe two and a half coats. I started to do a third coat but then stopped because I noticed it was starting to get chunky.

It adds a ton of length, gives a significant amount of curl to uncurled lashes and a modest amount of volume.

The formula is really smooth feeling. It feels very soft and thick, almost like a very soft wax. It reminds me of the way a tubing mascara feels like when you're applying it. It's not a tubing mascara, but it definitely feels like one going on and gives a similar look when applied. It's not a wet formula, but it's definitely not dry or flaky. When it's on your lashes it feels very soft and hydrating, but sometimes a little sticky or waxy because it's so soft. It doesn't dry hard and crunchy at all, it gives you very soft lashes. Removal is also easy; it melts away gently with water or makeup remover.

I love the rubber brush, the shiny tube, the way it curls my lashes and the silky, non-drying formula. However, there were a few things I didn't quite like.

The main downside for me is that this seemed to have a tendency to look chunky after the second coat. To be fair, I normally have this problem whenever trying a brand new tube of mascara, and I've only worn this four times, so it may get better with use. But, it was worth mentioning. It likes to clump up and give a rough appearance when applying more than two coats. If you're a one-or-two coat mascara wearer, you shouldn't have a problem.

The other downside for me is that I can't figure out the spiky ball end of the brush. Each time I try to use it vertically like it says, I make a bit of a mess. Maybe I'm not using a light enough hand... But when I do it, it sticks my lashes together and I get mascara on my lid. I think I just need more practice.

Overall, this is a great lengthening and curling mascara that isn't drying and doesn't flake. It doesn't add quite enough volume for me, but that's what the iconic BadGal Lash is for. Compared to BadGal it gives more length and curl and is a lot softer, but BadGal gives much more volume, a bit more definition and is darker.

This mascara officially releases in July and will retail for $22, but Benefit is doing a special one-day-only flash sale on it today (June 10 2011):

The preview sale is happening at these locations:

Macy’s Union Square
170 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94101
415-397-3333 x4886

Bloomingdale’s Santa Monica
315 Colorado Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Ulta Laguna Gateway
9141 West Stockton Blvd.
Elk Grove, CA 95758

Ulta Creekside Town Center
1232 Galleria Blvd.
Roseville, CA 95678

Ulta The Promenade at Sacramento Gateway
3591 N. Freeway Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95834

New York
Sephora Times Square
1500 Broadway #304
New York, NY 10036
(212) 944-6789

Benefit Boutique Armitage
852 West Armitage
Chicago , IL 60657

Sephora Eaton Centre
220 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2H1

(This was sent to me for review.)


  1. Thanks for the review! I've been curious about this mascara. How's the wear time on it? Any under eye smudges over time?

  2. Great review! The mascara looks amazing!

  3. Wow that looks awesome! I will have to give that a try!

  4. It looks really lovely and I'm digging the fact that it leaves your lashes soft and not hard and crunchy :)

  5. sorry Scrangie, this mascara does nothing for you, I see no added lenght, curl or volume (making you look like you have 10 eyelashes instead of your gorgeous,thick, natural lashes is not what I call volume..) I do like the name though.

  6. What's up with the arm/boob on the model in the ad? Creepy!

  7. Yeah, not doing it for me. I'm such a drugstore mascara junkie though. If I pay $22 for mascara it better make me look like I'm wearing false lashes but they are totally mine and last for a week straight without having to take it off!

  8. This is an attempt to create their version of Tarte's Lights, Camera, Lashes non-waterproof formula that is of LCL. I am not a fan at all of how this looks, sounds, $ for perfomance. I predict a huge flop on this one and it off the market in a yr or less. For those who WANT to try a good mascara that is natural, leaves your lashes soft all day, no racoon eyes, gives your some oomph to lashes - spend your $ on Tarte Lights Camera Lashes - and for the best deal on it, buy it from QVC where you get a duo set. Despite the shipping you pay for the duo there - it still comes out cheaper than buying 2 at retail.

  9. Wow. I love how BLACK it is. How is the lasting power though? Does it flake and make your lashes droopy after a while? Otherwise, your lashes look awesome with the mascara on! :)

  10. Your eyes don't look puffy at all here, but sorry to hear that your allergies are making them itchy!

    Even without mascara, I think your eyelashes look beautiful. With the mascara, they're slightly enhanced. Good to hear that they leave your lashes soft, but this mascara has a heavy price tag...especially for someone like me who hardly ever wears mascara anymore.
    - Mary


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