It’s not my birthday, but this year’s Sephora BI birthday gift almost makes it feel like it is. I’ve been playing around with the highlighter and mascara duo, and (while I don’t love it quite as much as last year’s Fresh lip balm duo) it’s pretty great.
Honestly, though: the freebie consists of two best-selling Benefit products, shrunk down into miniature form, with puns in tow. How could it not be?
Benefit They’re Real! Mascara, $23 USD/#29 CAD
Described as “a jet-black mascara that lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes,” They’re Real! has a very cool applicator. Made out of a flexible plastic, it has staggered short-and-long bristles that go all the way around the tip of the wand – perfect for adding length and separation right down to the roots & the hard-to-get outer corners of the eye.
I haven’t tried the much-loved Benefit BADgal Lash, but according to this cool chart on Benefit’s site, They’re Real! is glossy and lengthening (both of which I can hands-down confirm) while BADgal is matte and volumizing.
The pitfalls: I really wish They’re Real! wore for longer on my eyes. Like with most mascaras, I start seeing some smudging after 4-5 hours, which (at $29 CAD for the full sized version) is pretty disappointing. My lashes could use a little more volume, too, but that’s easily excusable for a mascara made to focus on lengthening!
The high points: The applicator! You wouldn’t think having bristles on the tip would make much of a difference, but it makes getting picture-perfect outer corners a cinch. It does a great job at providing length, too (particularly on the lower lashes), and I really love the soft, glossy finish.
Benefit They’re Real! ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Paraffin, Polybutene, Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, C18-36 Acid Triglyceride, Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, Acacia Senegal Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Edta, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sericin, Calcium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tilia Tomentosa Bud Extract, Citric Acid, Bht, Sorbic Acid. [+/-: Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Ultramarines (Ci 77007), Chromium Oxide Greens (Ci 77288), Chromium Hydroxide Green (Ci 77289), Titanium Dioxide
L-R: Benefit They’re Real!, Benefit Watt’s Up! (straight from tube), Benefit Watt’s Up! (blended)
Benefit Watt’s Up! Soft Focus Highlighter, $30 USD/$36 CAD
Watt’s Up! is a cream-to-powder “luminous champagne” highlighter for the cheeks and browbones, which (in the full-size form) comes with a little “soft glow blender” to smooth out the luminizer into an even, diffuse sheen.
Honestly, my favourite part about Watt’s Up! is its adorable pun & packaging, but the product itself definitely has its merits, too!
The finish of Watt’s Up! is a tiny bit too shimmery for my tastes (I prefer a super-finely-milled sheen), but it does still create a gorgeous, noticeable glow. Unlike highlighters that depend on a mix of base pigment & shimmer to lift the complexion, this one is mainly based on peachy-champagne shimmer, which means that it’ll work well on a really wide range of complexions, right from NW15 through to NC42.
It’s not too warm (orange-gold) or too cool (silvery-pink), either — I can wear this tone without a hitch, but my warmer, darker mother (around a NC35 in the winter) can pull it off no problem, too.