09 August 2012

Benefit "They're Real" and other Mascaras

Mascara. A makeup essential... unless you have perfectly long, thick, dark eyelashes in which case you need to stop bragging because that's just mean.

Finding the right mascara is a chore because they're all different, expensive, and if you don't like it once you buy it, tough (unless you try out the new Lush Mascara - they have a 30 day return policy, no matter how much you use up!). And depending on your eyelash needs-- volume, curl, length, thickness, VISIBILITY-- different products will come in handy.

For instance, without mascara I have no eyelashes. Fine blond lashes are as invisible as Sue Storm (where are my Marvel nerds??) and take, like... four coats to even resemble a normal lash. I blame genetics. So I look for volume and some length when shopping around. And that's where Benefit comes in.

Say hello to "They're Real."


According to the Benefit "Cosmetic Advisor" at the Macy's counter-- who isn't biased at ALL-- this is the most popular mascara in the entire six-billion-people-populated-and-three-billion-of-them-travel-the-LA-highways-on-a-daily-basis WORLD. Impressive. 

Do my lashes look longer?!

"They're Real" is meant to add length and sure enough, it does. The mascara is thin so it easily coats the lash while the wand is smaller so you don't end up with black splotches all over your face like really uncoordinated people (me). In these photos, I used 3 or 4 or 3.5 coats and think my lashes look great. And no, I didn't use an eyelash curler because I'm scared I don't believe in them.

Rockin' my half-face emo picture.

My cosmetic gripe is that it doesn't really thicken the lashes. Plus this stuff is expensive. The travel size is $10 and the full-size bottle is $23.00. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 winks

As a gal living on a budget, I normally use Maybelline Great Lash:

Mascara Hoarder? Maybe.
From left to right: Brownish Black, Very Black, and BIG Very Black.

Through my extensive experience of wearing makeup, I've used many cheap inexpensive brands. For years I only wore brown mascara because my mom told me it complimented blue eyes (true) and that black is whore makeup. Then I only wore waterproof mascara because I'm really dramatic and cry a lot... and I was too cool to carry an umbrella to class when it rained. But WP is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get off my lashes so I switched to normal and had my tear ducts removed.

Anyway, regular Great Lash definitely adds volume but starts to clump after the second coat. Great Lash BIG starts to clump after the first coat and ends up all over my face because I have clumsy sausage fingers the wand is rather large. But at $4 a bottle I can't complain... not true, I can always complain, but four bucks a bottle is CHEAP!

You can see looks I've done using this mascara here, here, and here.

Rating: 3 out of 5 winks

And finally, the mascara with the longest title - BareMinerals Flawless Definition: Volumizing.

I was fortunate enough to try this when I scored a free sample from Sephora and I still remember how amazing this stuff is. Besides actually living up to its "volumizing" reputation, the mascara softens the eye and uses voodoo magic to prevent any clumping.

This is a great example I found from a beauty blog by a Seattle based makeup artist:

It's $18 a bottle and worth every penny.

Rating: 5 out of 5 winks

In terms of the lasting effects of each product, I haven't noticed much of a difference. They all require a good scrubbing with remover at the end of the day. However, the Great Lash does start getting in my eyes after several hours. 

Couple mascara pointers:

If you do need waterproof mascara and experience clumping problems, use an eyelash primer first then apply.
Fake eyelashes can look amazing-- consult someone else because Lord knows I'd probably glue my eye shut trying to wear them.
This might be common sense but NEVER-- and I mean NEVER or I'll kick your butt-- sleep with mascara on. I used to because I hated washing it off at night when I was tired (whine whine whine) and my eye doctor thought I had glaucoma because he could see little scratches all over my eyeball. True story.

Mascara is tricky and definitely a matter of personal preference, but overall I recommend splurging if possible. My husband made an excellent point as I was about to buy cheap foundation when I ran out of my YSL: Why go to such great lengths to take care of my skin only to throw crappy makeup on top of it? Is he amazing or what?!?! So these days I try to think long term so I can be a sexy old lady rockin' granny panties and bifocals.

What mascara do you use? Are you afraid of eyelash curlers? Do you think mascara is the sign of a "loose woman?"


  1. that's my mascara! i use that stuff every day except when i forget, so scratch that, like 4 days a week maybe! its the best

    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

    1. Which one, BareMinerals?? That stuff is amazing!! And hey, I hardly ever wear makeup but when I do I mean business.

  2. Great reviews! I used to have a cheap mascara before, but yesterday I bought a vibrating mascara from Lancome. We'll see how much more volume it can "vibrate" =)

    1. Haha! Your mascara is X-rated ;)

    2. That's so true..=) So far the feeling is pretty weird =) But you can see the difference... =)

  3. I actually use the Bare Minerals kinds and absolutely love it! I have pretty pathetic eyelashes myself - not blond, but just fine and not all that long either. I do find that this stuff has worked many more wonders for me than any other kind that I have used :) xo Marisa

    1. Ugh, I wanted to purchase the Lush mascara when I ran out of my Benefit... but now you're making want BareMinerals!!! It is such a wonderful mascara. And you always look lovely in your photos :)

  4. Love it, can't wait to see what you do next! Come check out my blog, maybe we can follow each other!
    Material Fixations