I’ve tested a lot of mascaras in my day. Not only do I have a general passion for coiffing immaculate lashes (it’s been a thing since my tweenage years), but just earlier this year I reviewed the top 20 best-selling mascaras for this very site. On that list was a formula I'd never tried before—Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Lengthening Mascara ($27)—and in the dozens of times I've swiped it on, it's blown me away with every wear.
The formula left a significant first impression: As mentioned in my previous review, "I'm relatively certain that this mascara could survive a nuclear apocalypse.” But now, six months later, I stand by this statement more than ever.
After this initial testing period in early Spring, I brought this mascara with me to Hawaii (lots of swimming, sweating, humidity, and general stickiness), and just last month to Europe. Here’s what They’re Real! survived in the past month alone:
- A 15-hour, two-flight, San Diego-to-Paris travel journey
- 12 hours of activity in 96º weather in Paris, plus sleeping on it on the overnight train (our makeup removal options/skincare access was limited), plus 12 more hours in the (also very hot) South of France, for—wait for it—36 hours of wear (and it didn’t even look slept on!)
- Multiple swims in the Mediterranean and Tyrrhenian, including jumping off a boat and into the water repeatedly
When I say “survived,” I mean there was no fallout, no clumping, no smudging, no weird bends or kinks in the lashes … after hours upon hours of wear, it looked the same as when I had applied it. And while this isn’t a waterproof formulation, I had a hunch it would hold up for all my maritime Mediterranean activities—and I was right.
Between multiple ocean dips around the world, a few restless nights of sleep, and pushing it to the limits time-wise, this mascara was a true ride-or-die for me this year. From here forward, I will be buying it in bulk.
Last thing I'll say—and you may have gathered this already— is that the formula is tough to take off if you don’t have a specific eye makeup remover. I was traveling with a mini micellar water and foam cleanser, neither of which stood a chance in the removal of this basically-bulletproof mascara. Keep that in mind… it wants to stay on! Make sure you have proper tools at the ready for a clean and easy(ish) removal.
All said, you can rest assured that this Benefit mascara is one that will carry you through anything, and still look great at the end of the day (or, erm, night).
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