Review of Benefit’s they’re real! Mascara | Fallen out of love

The first time I used Benefit’s they’re Real! Mascara, I was impressed with how it gave me luscious and jet black lashes that were reminiscent of a poster pin-up girl. As you know, a Pin Up look focuses on a few key makeup pointers, one of which is to give strong emphasis to the eyes. It is often achieved with the use of black mascara or full falsies.

Benefit they’re Real! mascara delivers on this front and gave me a really good first impression. However, after a few uses, I’d fallen out of love with it. Read on to find out why our relationship fell apart so quickly.  

Benefit they're Real! mascara
Benefit they’re Real! mascara (deluxe mini)

 What’s Good?

1. Thick & Luscious Lashes

There’s a reason for the naming of this mascara, and I think they live up to it. You get dense and fluffy lashes effortlessly with Benefit’s they’re Real! Mascara.

Before vs After (Benefit they're Real! Mascara
Before vs After (Benefit they’re Real! Mascara

2. Intense Colour

Although black is a very common colour used for mascara, the black tone used by they’re Real! Mascara is more intense and prominent than many other mascaras in the market. My very first thought upon using this mascara was, “Wow. This black color is so loud and outstanding, it literally opens up my eyes instantly!

3. Coat and Separate the Lashes well

What’s different about Benefit’s they’re Real! Mascara is the use of stiff bristle for the brush.

Brush head (Benefit they're Real! Mascara)
Brush head of Benefit they’re Real! Mascara

The brush works really well in separating the lashes and ensuring that each gets a good amount of mascara coated. Great volume, with almost no clumping – this is a great achievement on its own (FYI, slight clumping occurs if you give your lashes multiple coatings).

The brush even has some bristle towards the end, at the top of the tip. Benefit claims that this can help one reach the difficult corners.

4. Soft Lashes

I love how soft and natural the lashes feel even with the mascara on. It almost feels like I’m wearing nothing on my lashes.


What’s Bad?

1. Big Brush Head

The brush head was quite thick and long as compared with other mascaras. It was difficult to maneuver without the brush touching places that it shouldn’t. For instance, when I work on my upper lashes, my lower lashes would get in the way.  In other words, the brush is so thick it touches both my upper and lower lashes at the same time.

Brush comparison (Benefit they're Real! Mascara)
Brush comparison

I also frequently stained my upper eyelids while working with they’re Real! Mascara, a problem I seldom encounter with other mascaras. The fact that its brush is ruler-straight didn’t help. 

Needless to say, it was even more challenging when working on the lower lashes and outer corner lashes. Even the bristle at the tip did not help, as the brush was just too thick. I feel that a thick brush like this would work better if it is curved. Perhaps, this is not created with Asian girls in mind, who are known to have shorter lashes and smaller eyes. 

2. Smudges Easily

I really love the colour. However, I dislike how it smudges on me all the time (lower lashes).

The last time I tried this (last weekend), it smudges in less than 3 hours. I wasn’t even engaged in any outdoor, vigorous activity. I was merely shopping in an air-conditioned environment, with no perspiration or excess oil on my skin yet. My other makeup was still looking quite fresh, with the exception of smudges on my lower eyelids.

That was embarrassing as the smudge was pretty obvious and I could have been walking around for a while before discovering the smudge during my first toilet break.

I just tested it with water, and OMG. You better not cry when you have this mascara on. I mean it!

3. Lengthens and Curls?

They’re Real! mascara claims to volumize, lengthen and curl.  Indeed it volumizes well. However, I didn’t feel that it lengthen or give my lashes exceptional curl. The curl if any was a result of my Shu Uemura eyelash curler.

Side profile (Benefit they're Real! Mascara)
Lengthens and curls? Don’t think so.
Before vs After (Benefit's they're Real! Mascara)
Before vs After (Benefit’s they’re Real! Mascara)

Final Recommendation 

Benefit They’re Real Mascara may be suitable for those with long lashes or huge eyes. For the rest of us, you may want to consider carefully if:

  • You have short-to-average lashes
  • You have small-to-average eyes
  • You use mascara on your lower lashes

Rating: 3/5.

I feel bad that Benefit has received some of the lowest ratings on this review site. It does have some pretty good products like its hello flawless! Powder and hello flawless Oxygen Wow. I’ll get to those reviews soon. Stay tuned. 

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8 thoughts on “Review of Benefit’s they’re real! Mascara | Fallen out of love”

  1. I thought I’m the only one because of my oily skin, I love how it looks on my lashes but sadly it smudges pretty easily instead of looking fab I looked badly in need of sleep.

  2. This smudged for me, and went on thin. I prefer L’Oréal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara. Goes on, builds up nicely and defines, and doesn’t smudge on me.

  3. I love the mascara, it`s hypo allergenic and I don`t react to it, which is great. I do get the smudges as well but what really gets me is after I used about half of it the stopper gets stuck in the lid and then you can`t get the excess mascara off the brush. I bought so far at least 10 of them and every single one does that. I have a hard time to get it unstuck if I can at all get it back out. I never experienced anything like this with any other product, you`d think they could come up with a better design that reflects the price ( $ 30)

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Sylvia. That must have been frustrating. If this happens so many times, it may really be a design issue. Hopefully, they’ll do something about it soon so as to justify the price and to prevent wastage.

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