Friday, November 11, 2011

Benefit's "They're Real!" Mascara vs. Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion (now with 50% more rambling)

I have been trying to get my hands on a tube of Benefit's "They're Real!" Mascara for about two months now. Every time I go into my local Sephora or Ulta, it's sold out. Finally, last weekend at the very busy Kenwood Towne Center in Cincinnati, OH, I got the last tube their Sephora had on the shelf.

The Kenwood Towne Center is kind of a strange place to me. It's right across the street from the shopping center with Ulta, and not far from the Trader Joe's. It is a very swanky looking place, with all the middle American luxury brands you might expect  - including a Swarovski store that I didn't go into, having had bad experiences with the one close to me in Louisville, KY, where they treat jewelry makers who use Swarovski products with all the hospitality you might give your drunk, meth-head second cousin showing up to your gala wedding in a tube top, cut off sweatpants hoochie shorts and dirty flip-flops. And now that I've put that image in your heads (and mine), I'll just say that while the Kenwood Towne Center takes great pride on being swanky, the area surrounding it is definitely not, so the whole setup seems a bit incongruous to me. People in Lexus SUVs with bags full of Restoration Hardware and Nordstrom purchases are cutting you off in mall traffic to get in line for valet parking at the Cheesecake Factory while less than a city block away, there's the down-at-heel gas station and decaying strip mall with all the evidence of a part of town that's glory days of prosperity are never coming back.

Of course, none of this stopped me from snatching up my purchases and heading to the Sephora "Gauntlet of Impulse Buys" checkout and out the door, to take the two hour-ish drive home. Joey, sweet man that he is, drove the whole way up there and back home, allowing me to sleep, while trying to convince him that I wasn't napping out of guilt because he was so tired too. I don't think he bought it.

Once I got home, I was too tired to put on makeup, so my research would have to wait until Monday morning, when I got ready for work. After applying my standard combination of primer, cream shadow for all over the eye and brow highlight, and loose shadow on the lid, I applied "They're Real!" to see if the reality lived up to the hype.

I should state for the record, that according to everyone I've ever met, my lashes are declared to be quite long. I've never thought they were all THAT long, but I have been using Silk Naturals Eyelash Conditioning Gel this past month, and I do think it's doing what it says it will, so my lashes feel a bit longer and more lush than they did before. I should also mention my undying love for Silk Naturals products in general. I am going to need a whole new shelf in my bathroom for their products alone, and I use their products every day now. The Argan Oil moisturizer is my new best friend, as is the Awesome Sauce serum that I use nightly.

Okay, back to the mascara talk.

To be honest, They're Real! lived up to its hype up to a point. I certainly had long, more defined lashes that were very black indeed (They're Real only comes in jet black). There wasn't quite the amount of volume as shown on the product packaging, but maybe I just didn't wiggle the brush quite as much as the instructions intended. The brush itself isn't bad, and the varying bristles do seem to pick out every lash and coat them as you sweep it across your lashes. The formula is not terribly wet nor terribly dry, but it does want to clump up easily, so some care has to be taken when you apply the second coat using the little spiky ball end of the brush to give you even more lash length.

The finish after two coats is very dramatic, and it does give you a "You're totally wearing fake lashes" look. If you wanted to make sure your evening makeup had the perfect finishing touch, this would be one mascara you'd definitely want to check out. Since I like the juxtaposition of drama with sedateness, I liked the look of the dramatic lashes with my rather calm (but lovely) pink and grey satin workaday eye makeup.

Of course, there are some drawbacks. I found that the formula could not completely fight against my oily skin, so at the end of the day (12 hours plus), I had a some raccoon eye smudging going on. The mascara dries somewhat stiff, probably for the curling effect, but it might irritate you if you have sensitive eyes. It's also hell to take off. Your average cosmetic wipes aren't going to make a dent in this stuff, and even some of the more gentle eye makeup removers might fail. I was able to get it off using a rather generous amount of my usual cleansing oil mixture, but even that took a while. I didn't lose but a lash or two, but if you're not careful, removing this mascara could remove quite a few of your lashes with it, so be gentle and be patient when taking it off.

Which brings me to the question that I'd set out to answer when first making this blog post - how does They're Real! compare to my every day, go-to mascara, Cover Girl's Lash Blast Fusion in Blackest Black? Well, it's really an apples to oranges comparison to me. They're Real! gives a very dramatic, exaggerated look, while Lash Blast Fusion gives a you a "your lashes, but better" look. Lash Blast Fusion has a very easy to use brush, the formula is not as prone to clumping in my experience, it doesn't smudge under my eyes and it's very easy to remove with a cosmetic wipe or eye makeup remover. The formula is not too stiff, nor flaky, and I think the Lash Blast Fusion gives a more balanced look of extra volume and length, giving your lashes a lush, but more natural look. All in all, I don't see myself giving up my Lash Blast Fusion for every day wear, but when I want that little extra bit of oomph in my look, They're Real! is definitely on my list of products to use to get there. 


  1. Unrelatedly, can I just say "Awesome Sauce" is the best name for a facial product EVER EVER EVER?  ^_^

  2. Whenever I get the money, what I truly want is another tube of Bourjois. NOT "clubbing," that one has a sucky brush. For now I will work with the telescopic explosion lol.

  3. I want to try the Boujois Liner Effect Mascara.


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