The products: Benefit They’re Real! Mascara and Watt’s Up! Luminizer
↳ as seen in Real Birthday Turn-Ons!, Sephora’s 2013 Beauty Insider birthday gift
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.
Benefit Watt’s Up! ingredients:
Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Mica, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polyethylene, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Soybean Glycerides, Silica, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Butyrospermium Parkii (Shea Butter) Unsaponifiables, Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (77499), Lecithin, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Oleate, Citric Acid.
Sephora + Benefit Beauty Insider Birthday Gift (2013)
Benefit They’re Real, Watt’s Up! swatches (indirect sunlight + flash)
Sephora Beauty Insider + Benefit “Real Birthday Turn-Ons!”