Life Style

A Makeup Artist’s Review of Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara

benefit they're real mascara

Although I love makeup and have plenty of eye, lip, and cheek products, I truly am a lipstick and lashes type of girl. Pairing bold, flirty lashes with a strong lip colour is my favorite way to present myself to the world. Seeing that big lashes are a must with this type of look, I’ve tested out plenty of mascaras in search of the perfect product to give me the look I’m after.

Giving my current favorite mascara a break, I decided to take Benefit Cosmetics’ They’re Real Mascara for a spin. I was curious to see if it lived up to the hype and was truly deserving of being one of the brand’s most popular products. As a bonafide mascara person, I put this product to the test to determine if it lived up to my (very) high expectations.


  • Incredible length
  • Design of mascara wand allows for laser-sharp definition
  • Mascara gives lashes an enormous amount of volume


  • The wand may be too big for shorter lashes
  • Mascara formula on the clumpier side (but this helps build length)
  • The product can flake slightly

The Bottom Line

Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara is a product that gave my lashes great volume, definition, and length. If you’re looking for a mascara that will make your lashes look like you’re wearing falsies, this is it.


BEST FOR: Lengthening, definition


CLEAN?: No; contains Sodium Laureth12 Sulfate.

POTENTIAL ALLERGENS: Mascara contains iron oxides; iron oxides can irritate sensitive eyes.

PRICE: $25

ABOUT THE BRAND: Benefit Cosmetics is a global beauty brand, founded by twin sisters Jean and Jane Ford in 1976. Benefit’s line of cosmetics covers the lip, eye, and face categories while being best-known for their brow products, mascaras, and quirky packaging.


benefit mascara
Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara $25.00

About My Lashes: Medium length, strong curl

My lashes are decently thick average length, and hold a curl. I typically prefer mascaras that define and volumize my lashes more than lengthening formulas (a years-long favorite of mine has been MAC Extended Play Giga black Mascara, $21). Regardless of what mascara I’m using, I finish my makeup off with several coats of mascara on my top and bottom lashes. The more coats I can get on my lashes without too much clumping, the better.

How to Apply: Comb through and coat each lash

Using the applicator, I brushed the mascara onto my lashes, making sure to brush product on each lash individually. I tend to jump back and forth between each eye, applying one coat of mascara before moving on to my other eye, and then back again. I find that this helps the mascara adhere to my lashes, as well as stick to the second layer of product I apply.

The Results: The length is unreal

For length, this mascara is incredible. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried several mascaras that claim to lengthen eyelashes, but the length is often accompanied by clumps. I’m not soft with my mascara, either; I push the boundaries and try to use as many coats as I can before my eyelashes fuse together and look like spider lashes. What stood out most to me is the fact that my lashes were full, dramatic, and remained defined with each coat of mascara I applied. They’re Real gave me so much volume, length, and definition with its creamy texture and jet black color. As you can see, after three coats it looks like I’m wearing a set of falsies, but just like the product suggests, they’re real.

benefit cosmetics they're real mascara before and after

After three coats, it looks like I’m wearing a set of falsies.


The wand has tiny teeth on its body and tip that combed through my lashes, guaranteeing an even coat of product on each individual lash.. As impressed as I was, I did find that the mascara wand was a little too big for my liking; I prefer wands that are smaller in width so that I can work the wand right into my lash line, wiggle back and forth for added volume, and brush upwards. With “They’re Real!”, the closer I tried to get to my lash line, the more the product ended up on my eyelids; I noticed small clumps on my lashes as well, but I tend to be overly enthusiastic with my mascara application. Overall, the size of the wand and the minimal clumps are small critiques for such a fantastic product. My application lasted all day, with only one or two flakes on my face at the end of the night. To me, that’s a win.

The Value: Worth the price if you love lashes

Considering how integral mascara is to my beauty routine, I definitely plan on re-purchasing They’re Real. The product added an immeasurable amount of length to my lashes that I’ve been missing out on. Taking into account that mascaras need to be replaced every two to three months, I would consider the product to be expensive for those that don’t wear mascara often or prefer a soft, subtle coat on their lashes. If that’s the case for you, then $25 for 0/3 oz is a bit steep. There are plenty of drugstore options that provide similar results (more on that ahead). But if you love dramatic lashes or wear mascara as much as I do, this product is worth every penny.

benefit they're real mascara wand close up

Similar Products: You have options

L’oreal Paris Voluminous Mascara ($9): This mascara is a beauty lover favorite for many reasons: it volumizes, defines, and is affordable. This mascara won’t give you the same amount of length as They’re Real will, but it’s a strong contender in the drugstore mascara game.

Mac Cosmetics In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash Mascara ($24): With a similar brush design to They’re Real, this mascara gives lashes the same amount of definition, but much more volume. Lashes are incredibly thick when using this product, but, in terms of length, “They’re Real!” takes the cake.

CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara ($7-$12): Another drugstore find is this defining and volumizing product from CoverGirl. For the price, this product is an option you can use to give you the same amount of volume and definition as They’re Real. But if length is really important to you, Benefit’s mascara still reigns supreme.

Our Verdict: This mascara won’t disappoint

The intensity, length, and definition that They’re Real gives can elevate your beauty routine and take it to the next level. Personally, I think that everyone needs to try this mascara at least once. This mascara complements my makeup so well that I have officially become a believer in lengthening mascaras that aren’t clumpy.


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