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Benefit They’re Real Mascara

Thanks to a Sephora recently and finally opening in my area, I have been able to expand the brands that I test and review.  I picked up Benefit’s They’re Real mascara based on these marketing claims:

What it does:


Research results:
-94% saw dramatic length and volume*
-90% saw base-to-tip curl*
-94% saw visible lift*
-100% saw long-wearing results*

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.

From Sephora.com


The first time I tried this mascara, I swore I had to have applied it incorrectly.  How else to explain the Super-Glue stickiness, clumps, and overall unattractive results?  So the next time I tried it, I tissued off some of the mascara from the brush for a lighter application.  Same gloppy, sticky results, no matter how many times I tried applying it or how differently I applied it.


I shouldn’t have been surprised, since I thoroughly loathed another mascara by Benefit, BADgal Lash Mascara.  It seems to me that Benefit has the real possibility of putting Super Glue and Gorilla Glue out of business with their sticky messes, but have no idea how to make a decent mascara.


My summary: zero stars out of five.  I hated this product and found no redeeming qualities about it at all.


Needless to say, I returned this mess of a mascara and got a refund to hopefully try out something better!


Wet ‘n Wild MegaPlump Mascara

I am a confessed mascara junkie, and it’s very hard for me to pass up trying a new mascara, even if it’s a brand I don’t particularly like. Take Wet ‘n Wild’s MegaPlump mascara, for instance. I am not a fan of Wet ‘n Wild, and not just because the brand has a stupid, 80’s name. I have just found that most of their products end up in the trash can not long after I open them because they are, basically, cheaply made and not top performers.

Strolling through Walgreens one day, though, I spotted this mascara on sale for barely a dollar. It was absolutely an impulse buy, and I fully expected to hate it, toss it, write a scathing review, and be on my way.

Except a funny thing happened: when I first applied it, I thought, “Hey, not bad.”

Wet ‘n Wild’s website claims this mascara “instantly plumps for up to 5X the volume”. Well, I don’t think anyone will be terribly shocked that a cosmetics company’s claims about its products are hyper-inflated, and this one is not an exception. Five times the volume? Hardly. But what I did get were defined lashes that fanned out and looked fuller, didn’t clump, and didn’t flake.

I curl my lashes, so that helps, but I assure you, even with an eyelash curler, some mascaras are still crap. And the no-flakes-no-clumps thing is huge, since I have found most mascaras commit both sins, no matter how much you paid for it.

Pros: inexpensive (about $3 or $4 regular price); clean application; no clumps; no flakes; makes my lashes fan out; makes my lashes look thicker; easy to remove with make-up remover

Cons: doesn’t live up to the 5x thicker claim, but I didn’t expect it to; brush may come out of the bottle a bit gloppy, but a simple and quick roll on a tissue will easily remove excess mascara

Bottom Line: I was pleasantly surprised with this mascara. No, it won’t make your lashes look pumped up and super-voluminous, but honestly, how many mascaras claim to do that but don’t deliver? I like a mascara that goes on cleanly, separates my lashes, defines my lashes, and simply looks good without making a mess of flakes all over my face. This one delivers, much to my surprise (did I mention I didn’t expect to like this mascara?)

Would I Buy It Again?: Yes, I would buy this mascara again.

Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

After my brief self-imposed retirement, I am back, here today to review Maybelline The Falsies mascara. I’ve mentioned before that mascara is one of my favorite beauty products, so when I saw this beckoning to me from the shelves of Walmart, I caved and put it into my cart.

The product claim (according to Maybelline’s website): “The Falsies Mascara delivers a false lash look; giving you a full set of voluminous, bold, fanned out lashes and the appearance of no gaps from any angle. The Pro-Keratin and Fibre enriched formula is designed to deliver immediate results, distributing volume and visible intensity to your lashes. The patented ‘Spoon’ shaped brush helps fan lashes out.”

My first impression of this mascara was that I really liked how it makes my lashes look. They looked thicker and stood out more. Unfortunately, this mascara also flakes like a damn snowstorm. Little black flecks surrounded my eyes all day, and I had to keep cleaning them off.

The next time I tried this mascara, I rolled the wand lightly onto a tissue to remove any excess, a trick I read in a magazine somewhere. It works great for some other mascaras I have used, making application cleaner and preventing clumps and flakes. Well, not this one. I still had flakes around my eyes. I don’t want my eyes to stand out because of the ring of black flakes left by my mascara!

So, much as I how I like how this mascara makes my lashes look, it is only getting 2.5 stars out of 5 because of excessive flaking.

Pros: relatively cheap (about $7 at Walmart); makes my lashes look thick and dramatic

Cons: flakes. Lots of them! And I’m not a fan of bent mascara wands. (How, pray tell, does a bent wand make it easier to apply?)

I wanted to like this mascara, but flaking is a huge pet peeve of mine when it comes to mascara.

Would I purchase this again? No.

Sephora’s LashStash Mascara Deluxe Sampler

When I saw an advertisement for Sephora’s LashStash Mascara Deluxe Sampler, I damn near hyperventilated. Like crack for a mascara lover, this sampler offers deluxe sample sizes of ten different mascaras from brands including Urban Decay, Benefit, Smashbox, Sephora, Tarte, Cargo, and more.

For $39, this is a great way to sample so many different brands without being stuck with a full-size bottle you are not so thrilled with.

If mascara isn’t quite your thing, Sephora also offers:

Sephora Favorites Lip Service Deluxe Sampler

Sephora Favorites Radiant Skin Regimen Deluxe Sampler

Sephora Favorites Glitz & Glam Shimmer and Shine Deluxe Sampler

Sephora Favorites My First Makeup Kit Deluxe Sampler

I already know what is at the top of my Christmas wish list…

Avon Spectra Lash Mascara

Avon recently had several mascaras on sale, 2 for $7.99. Since Spectra Lash’s regular price is $9.50, I decided to try this one out while the price was right.

This mascara has a dial at the bottom, ranging from 1 to 3, so “you can customize your lashes to build volume for any occasion or mood. More volume. More options”, per Avon’s website.

I remember Maybelline’s Dial-A-Lash, and this seemed to be the same premise. For nostalgia’s sake, I had to try it!

I wound this baby up to level 3 for its first test run. I noticed right away that the brush is super-saturated with mascara at this level…not a good sign. I don’t like simply coating my lashes with caked-on mascara. It will get you noticed, but not in a good way.

I noticed a lot of flakes as I curled and combed out my lashes, another not-so-good sign, and the black flakes continued to rain down during the rest of the morning. Hmmmm.

Let’s try reducing the dial to 1 and see if that works out better. The brush wasn’t quite as loaded with mascara, but I still noticed the same clumping and flaking.

The sad thing is, this mascara did a good job defining and volumizing my lashes. But considering the sole function of mascara is to make my lashes look good, I can’t stand the flaking and clumping that this mascara brought along for the ride.

My verdict? One star out of 5. The concept of a dial to control the intensity is fun, and the price is great, especially if you catch it on sale. The mascara defines the lashes no problem…but it’s not worth the continuous, tiny black flecks under my eyes or the trouble of separating the clumps from the brush being overloaded.

I won’t buy this mascara again, but something good did come of my purchase. The mascaras were on sale, 2 for $7.99, and the other mascara I selected was Supershock mascara. This one impressed me and more than made up for Spectra Lash, and I will write a review of that one very soon!

Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara

Recently I clipped a coupon from All You magazine for a free tube of Rimmel Sexy Curves mascara, and being the mascara junkie that I am, I wasted no time picking it up to give it a try.

The very wordy product description promises “Triple Plump brush with 3 x the curves for 70% curlier lashes. Voluptuous brush with CurveControl technology wiggles easily through your lashes quickly coating them. Exclusive brush design curves IN to maximize lash loading, curves OUT to curl and de-clump each lash for a complete curved look. Lashes look lusciously curled, plumped and defined. Plump ’em up! Enriched with proteins, the plumping formula strengthens lashes over time for a continuous lash boosting effect. Rich cream texture instantly amplifies your natural volume x 7 and fixes the curl for 12 hour hold. Fabulously fuller lashes.”

Hmmm. I have tried Rimmel mascaras before and was thoroughly disappointed. I wouldn’t have tried this one if it wasn’t free.

I have worn this mascara for about a week and have drawn my conclusion:

*shrug*

Ho-hum.

It’s not a bad mascara, and it doesn’t flake, which is a huge plus, since flaking is incredibly annoying. But beyond that, it just doesn’t do much. I hate the brush and have to wonder about the quality of the mascara itself when the brush has to be bizarre and odd to distract you. The curves in the brush make it hard to apply evenly. I have to apply my make-up when I am barely awake yet, so if it requires a trick or tip to apply properly, then it’s too damn convoluted for me.

Out of 5 stars, I would give this a 2.5. It’s just sort of okay, nothing great, but not terrible either. I would not buy it again, as there are definitely mascaras out there with more ooomph than this one, like Avon’s SuperShock or Maybelline’s Define-a-Lash.

My Wish List

Here are some items I’ve spotted and would love to try!

1. Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion: Sin:

I saw this on Sephora today. According the product description, “Sin combines incredible staying power with a shimmering champagne hue that complements almost any eyeshadow. This two-in-one beauty miracle can be worn alone to give eyes just a hint of tint for when you’re in a hurry or in need of that “no makeup” look.”

I love the regular Eyeshadow Potion, and this one got excellent reviews.

2. Avon Spectra Lash Mascara:

This reminds me of Maybelline’s old Dial-a-Lash! According to Avon.com, “With the innovative spectra dial, you can customize your lashes to build volume for any occasion or mood. More volume. More options. No clumps or flakes.” The mascara comes in black, brown, black/brown, and navy.

I’m a sucker for new mascaras but will hold off on this one until there are some reviews posted. Has anyone tried this yet?

3. Oscar Blandi Trattamengo al Fango Not many products get a full five-star review on Sephora.com, but this intensive hair conditioner is deeply loved by everyone who raved about it. I’ve tried one other Oscar Blandi product, the Jasmine Smoothing Conditioner, and it was a lifesaver after a nightmarish perm gone wrong. VERY wrong. It didn’t provide a miracle fix for the bad perm, but it made my hair softer, smoother, shinier, and healthier-looking, a minor miracle after being butchered at the salon.

4. Cover Girl Outlast Lipstain:

I saw these at Walmart and am dying to try one. I have a love/hate relationship with lipstick and lipgloss. I love the touch of color and shimmer on my lips, but I hate having to reapply and fuss every time I drink, talk, eat, etc. I end up falling back on trusty old lip balm instead of digging out the lipstick and a mirror from my purse every time it needs to be reapplied.

Cover Girl claims these lipstains “give lips a beautiful, lightweight flush of color that won’t come off, lasting for hours without the heavy look or feel of an ordinary lipstick. Its pen-like precision applicator makes it easy to define your lips-just draw on color without any hassle!”

The reviews on CoverGirl.com are hardly positive, though. Has anyone tried these to give us an opinion?