Benefit They’re Real! Mascara Review

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Read ALL about my review process including how I take swatches, photos, and more here.

Folks, there’s something I need to tell you and it ain’t pretty.

I’m a reformed mascara snob. I used to only buy $20 and up mascara not because I liked to spend more money on cosmetics, but because I felt they worked better. Then a few years ago I came to my senses when I realized drugstore mascaras gave me the same results and I could sock the savings into other makeup splurges *smh*. So I basically no longer spend more than $8 on a mascara (except for the other day when I had a relapse and bought Urban Decay’s $20 Lush Lash Mascara *sigh*).

Anyway, there’s a point in all this. So being the best Sephora VIB I could possibly be, some time ago I cashed in the Beauty Insider points I was hoarding and got a deluxe sample of Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara. I almost wanted to get a permanent marker and add “and they’re spectacular” on the tube (remember the episode of “Seinfeld” when Teri Hatcher played his girlfriend and they—oh, I’m rambling again *smh*). I used it a few times and actually forgot I had it until The Style and Beauty Doctor reader Maya tweeted me and asked if I could do a review.

Benefit They’re Real! is described as a jet-black mascara that lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for a spectacular “out-to-here” look.

And to add…

This mascara features an exclusive brush specially designed to maximize the performance of the long-wearing, glossy formula revealing lashes you never knew you had! Staggered bristles grab close to the root, boosting length and volume beyond belief. The precision bristles on the custom-domed tip lift, define, and curl even your tiniest lashes. The end result is luxurious, silky lashes that won’t smudge, clump, or dry out.

They’re not lying. This mascara IS amazing. My lashes were stretched out without clumping. My eyes looked all wide eyed and innocent and suddenly all my troubles had gone away and there was world peace. No seriously, these are results you have to see to believe. The magic is all in the brush–any time you see a brush like that on a mascara and you’re looking for length and a little volume, get all on it.

I’m not wearing any other eye makeup or even concealer in these pics. Scary, I know.

Quick tip: get the most out of this mascara by wiggling the brush from root to tip, but work fast while the mascara is still wet. If you wait until the mascara is dry, it’ll clump.

BUT at $22 this sadly doesn’t fit into my “I’m not spending more than $8 on a mascara” lifestyle. Maybe on a particularly tough day I might break down and do it, but honestly I can get the same results from drugstore mascara. This is coming from a girl who doesn’t particularly own a ton of drugstore makeup, mind you. But with mascaras like CoverGirl Volume Exact, L’Oreal Voluminous Millions of Lashes (which I will review soon if it doesn’t slip my slowly aging mind), and Rimmel Glam’Eyes Lash Flirt, I don’t find a need to spend $22 on mascara. And don’t let there be a BOGO sale.

Have you tried Benefit They’re Real?

And what’s your mascara philosophy? How much would you spend on mascara?

Check out more mascara posts in the Mascara category.

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas,, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.
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14 Responses to Benefit They’re Real! Mascara Review

  1. The brush design is awesome. Your lashes looked great. Looks like a product true to it’s name.

  2. Danielle says:

    New blog post: Benefit They're Real! Mascara Review:

  3. Benefit They’re Real! Mascara Review by @StyleNBeautyDoc

  4. Maya says:

    Thanks, Danielle! Glad to know you love it too and that I wasn’t just exaggerating about it!

  5. Danielle says:

    New Blog Post: Benefit They’re Real! Mascara Review

  6. love the lashes/brush, agree on price! RT @stylenbeautydoc: Benefit They're Real! Mascara Review

  7. Candice says:

    I’ve been using it for about a month now and I’m in looooove! Haven’t tried any of the mentioned drug store brands, but I must say that I like the They’re Real better than… Dare I say… YSL Shocking–and it’s more budget friendly! Win-win

    • Danielle says:

      Yay!!! It’s an awesome mascara, but I’ve definitely had the same results with drugstore mascaras like Rimmel Glam’Eyes…lol. YSL Faux Cils Shocking got me a super black pigment, more volume, and length than They’re Real and is currently the only mascara I can personally co-sign paying $30 for…lol. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll easily spend $40 on blush as I did with Dolce & Gabbana’s, but it’s gotta excite me…lol.

      Thanks for your comment :)

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  11. Michelle Hazelbaker says:

    I got this mascara in one of my past Ipsy bags a while back. I couldn’t believe how long, full & not-clumpy they looked after using it the first time. And time & time again it was like I had put fresh falsies on. It was a small tube. At Ulta it’s about $12 for this size. The average size is $22. To keep it from drying out you could probably just get the smaller one. There’s also a primer that you can buy along with this mascara for around $10. I haven’t used it but plan on trying very soon. This is better than both of the younique mascaras I tried. And any other I have ever tried. Will use this for as long as they will produce it.

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