Benefit They’re real! mascara review


M: I don’t know what it is about magazine freebies, E.

E: Flip flops. Endless canvas totes.

M: Body cream you will never use.

E: Crap sunglasses. I’d rather they stuck a pound coin to the cover. “Here, buy yourself something nice. Like a Kitkat.”

M: Yes. Or a nice pack of generic ibuprofen, perhaps. SOMETHING USEFUL. So I was pretty excited when I saw this month’s gift with purchase (GWP) in Elle.

E: Oh?

M: It will be of no interest to you, I fear. It is Mascara.

E: Oh, pff. They did that here with Belgian Elle. It was Chanel. I felt cheated of my GWP.

M: This is from Benefit. How do we feel about Benefit, E?

E: We are ambivalent. We own three half finished Benetints.

M: At first I thought their packaging was nice, their products intriguing. Then I started working right next to one of their London boutiques. They will. Not. Stop. Harrassing. People. About. their. EYEBROWS.

E: Ha, my friend Valerie swears by the Benefit brow bar and she is a proper beauty person.

M: It’s like some sort of weird eyebrow perversion. If you even glance in their direction, they will pounce upon you clad in those weird striped benetint aprons (what are you – BUTCHERS?), tweezers in hand.

E: They are brow fiends, feasting on stray brows.

M: Anyway, this mascara is “amusingly” called They’re Real! Please to be noting the annoying exclamation point.

E: I am singularly unamused by these jokey product names. SOAP AND GLORY, I AM LOOKING AT YOU.

M: Oh yes, Benetint and Soap and Glory clearly went to the same boarding school of perky cheeky hilariousness.

E: Playing lacrosse. Bliss was Head Girl.

M: Unscrew “They’re real”, though, and you’ll find a rather sinister little brush, like a mediaeval mace, but shrunken.


E: Ha. Is it full sized, this mascara?

M: No, it is pint sized.

E: “Shrunken medieval mace wand” Make a joy ad of that, Benetint.

M: It’s basically the mascara equivalent of one of those Lord of the Rings dwarves getting ready for battle.

E: Your nerd reference is lost on me, but no matter. How is the mascara itself?

M: It is good. Rich, glossy, dark. Defines your lashes well. The mace does a good job of separating them.



E: But?

M: It starts smudging half way through the day. Panda eyes, E. THE PANDA EYES OF DOOM.

E: Poor show, Benedwarves.

M: Poor show indeed.

E: Would you buy it with your actual money? I’m guessing that’s a no.

M: No. I need my mascara to stay where it’s put. Mace or no mace.

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M likes bright powders in tiny pots and anything that will make her hair more Jen Brill and less Shaun the Sheep.


  • May 17, 2013


    YES!! I have also had panda eyes of doom with this! (and I got a free shrunken pint size medieval mace with the foolish purchase of my full-sized one. So much of it left…) I am glad it’s not just me though. I was worried my eyes were unusually weepy. I shall be returning, tail btw legs, to Lancome whose lovely lovely mascara never runs (and yet comes off easily with normal cleanser in the shower). Poor show indeed Benetint.

  • May 18, 2013


    Ta for this – I spend loads trying to find the perfect mascara – I have very long eyelashes and just want something with good pigment but not waterproof or ‘volumising’ (sic) i.e. with lots of irritating fibres. However, more to the point, when is the FACEGOOP SECRET SHENANNIGANS going to be revealed? I do read Belgian Waffle you know …

    p.s. I am not a stalker – honest … x

  • May 20, 2013



  • May 21, 2013


    Finally, some justice in this world! There are no more deserving beauty bloggers on the whole interwebs than you lovely facegoopers – fact. So twas bout time the Guardian invited you to grace its pages. Wooohooo! Will make my multiple visits to their website much less soul-mining.
    BTW, Bourjois serum foundation is wonderful. I was using Armani $$$uperduper one till recently and – whisper it – I think the Bourjois is better…

  • May 21, 2013


    Oh so glad you like it, soleils! And thanks for your very sweet words.

  • May 22, 2013


    OMG this CRACKED me up!

    I think this is an overhyped product, to be honest.


  • May 22, 2013


    Horrid stuff. It didn’t even have the decency to wait an hour before it was creeping down my face. I shall remain loyal to the Bourjois one (I am too lazy to go upstairs to check the name) that stays put FOR EVER. I also adore the serum foundation, but I am now terrified that it will be all sold out because everyone else in Canada is going to read your review and love it too.

  • May 23, 2013


    like a mediaeval is so latin, mace,no like a cat dick or a snail rádula or…

  • May 24, 2013


    Eh? Where? Put up link to new BIG THING. I can’t find nowt on t’interweb.

    Monica x

  • May 24, 2013


    Doh – found it on your twittery doobrie on the right – ta.

    Well done both on your new illustrious direction.

    Monica x

  • May 27, 2013


    I too have had the panda eyes of doom with every Benefit mascara I have stupidly bought. To be avoided…. all of them. Unless you play World of Warcraft in which case you probably enjoy looking like a panda.

  • June 5, 2013


    Is there mascara for old people? And where can I get my creepy old hands on it?

  • June 9, 2013


    I wish that I had read this before I purchased this mascara!! I have to keep the panda eyes of doom at bay all day every day. The product was so hyped up I thought it must be a winner…sorely mistaken.

  • […] face: we’ve had much mascara-based disappointment. I’m looking at you, Topshop, Rimmel, Benefit and your ilk. But the crown of beauty disasters has to go to the eyelash extensions I tested for […]

  • […] face: we’ve had much mascara-based disappointment. I’m looking at you, Topshop, Rimmel, Benefit and your ilk. But the crown of beauty disasters has to go to the eyelash extensions I tested for […]

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