Good evening lovelies!

Every so often, I think about the amount of time I spent making personalized makeup recommendations for people while I was working at Ulta, and how one of the most time consuming and hard-to-tailor requests was finding a decent mascara. Mascara is a tough one – some people want it to perform as dramatically as a set of falsies, and others want it to be minimal almost to the point of being undetectable.

Like eyeliner, I think the way a mascara performs is all about how you apply it, and in my book a good mascara can achieve both the looks I listed above depending on application and the heaviness of your hand. While I thought it was impossible to find a mascara that actually is versatile to that level, I FINALLY found one – Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara.


If you’re unfamiliar with the name Benefit, you’ve probably seen their catchy posters and 50’s era fashionistas with the jelly rolls, and the brand’s products which are known for their very pun-centric names (lookin’ at you Porefessional). Benefit is also the company that supplies trained estheticians at the Ulta Brow Bar. Anyways, to be completely honest I was never really drawn to Benefit because I felt the brand itself was very kitschy and not worth the price.

That said, I noticed that, for people I was not assisting, most of the customers who bought mascara from me checked out with Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara. After about 3 months of having at least one person buy this stuff on a daily basis, I figured it was time for me to dive in to the Benefit pool and find out what all the fuss was about.

Ironically, I didn’t even buy this mascara at Ulta – I actually got it as part of that Lash Stash I mentioned in another post. Now, I have a confession to make – I have become a mascara whore. I can’t stop buying different brands because I keep looking for “the one,” which is why I bought the Lash Stash because I figured it was way more bang for my buck. Having tried every mascara in that set, I seriously think Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara is by far the best one in the collection.

I have a lot of lashes naturally, but they are somewhat thin and uneven, and they fall out quite frequently so I’m always following that old wives’ tale about blowing fallen ones away and making a wish. Having used mascara for many years, I already had a few favorites – MAC’s PlushLash, Diorshow, and virtually all of the Maybelline mascaras from my drugstore days – but none of them gave me the length and volume I secretly craved. That’s the reason I instantly fell for They’re Real!, as it gave me both in abundance!

Do be warned – this has a big brush. A very big brush. However, I do NOT find it hard to use or manuever. It may take some practice, but I find the bigger brush gives me more volume and fullness. Basically, big brush = big lashes! They’re Real! gives me dramatic looking lashes almost to the point of looking like falsies when I use more than one coat, yet is very subtle and natural looking when I use only one coat. It does not flake, and stays on all day. It is rather difficult to remove, so if I forget to remove it at night, I can still see it well in the morning. Clumping is very minimal, but I attribute any clumping to the fact that there must be some in order to coat the lashes thickly enough to accomplish the volume.

From what I’ve seen as far as reviews outside of the people who bought They’re Real! while I was at Ulta, this appears to be a love or hate product – I have trouble understanding how some people say this mascara is too dry, while others say it’s too wet and runny; others say it doesn’t make a difference on their lashes while some are saying this stuff is amazing and gives them the look of false lashes.

The only thing I can say is if you are on the fence about trying it, buy it at either Sephora or Ulta where you can return it if you don’t like it (obviously if I wanted to return it I’d have to return the entire Lash Stash, which I would never do). If you’re looking for dramatically full lashes one minute or amazingly subtle yet noticeable lashes the next, They’re Real! is definitely one to keep your eyes open for!


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