Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review - Cosmetopia Digest Beauty and Makeup Blog

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
I was somewhat surprised to find that Sephora ME was giving out travel-sized samples of the Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner from the Benefit counter. I had expected sachets of The Porefessional, minis of They're Real mascara or That Gal, vials of perfume, even mini kits as gifts with purchase, but not something this recent.
I am someone who does not really mind any kind of black eyeliner, as long as the fiddly thing is pigmented and black enough, if you get my drift. I'm not into pencil eyeliners except on the lower waterline, but apart from that, I am not fussy about liquid or gel eyeliners. In fact, I can even put up with wonkiness or gloopiness or thickness. Who is going to examine my eyeliner that closely?
Very few people like the Bourjois Erasable Eyeliner, whereas I do - reviewed here - and have used it in quite a few eye looks I have done. I draw the line (pun intended) at an eyeliner flaking and spreading all over the place of its own free will. But apart from those, anything from an eyeliners goes with me.  I'll take anything, although I reiterate that I do not like pencil eyeliners.

Here is my review and swatches of the Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been really playing with this - note the absence of EOTD posts! I have swatched, scraped, smudged, swiped, smelled, sketched, scratched and run out of suitable verbs beginning with the letter 's'. And, my first impressions changed.

Packaging of the Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner

This is possibly my favourite thing about this eyeliner. Mind you, this is the mini size I am talking about. The external box, as you can see, is very reminiscent of They're Real mascara. I foresee confusion arising.
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
The inner tube is no-nonsense and non-garish. Very nice.
The applicator is where the surprise begins. It is a slanted flex-tip applicator with a little slit for the product to come through when you twist up the back-end.
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
The sealed product came with a little orange stopper, which you MUST keep to prevent the product from drying out.
The applicator is a lint- and dust-magnet. Look at the tips carefully. The photos below are taken on different occasions.
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos

Formula of Benefit They're Real Push Up Eyeliner

I was showing my Mum my recent haul and her description of this formula is most apt. I am quoting my Mum verbatim here:
"The thing that comes out of this applicator is JUST [caps added by me to show emphasis] like the kajal my mother used to make at home with castor oil or pure ghee, over a lamp. She used to store it in little steel jars. My sister and I had to apply it every day until I discovered makeup, rebelled and insisted upon Max Factor." 
So. Kajal in a tube. That's what it is. With the consistency of butter, rather than "gel". My Mum thought it would go on better with a brush and she is right - what is the whole point of a proper eyeliner tube or pen if you have to faff about with a brush?
But that home-made kajal would go on the waterlines, not on the eyelids. It would need to be thinner to go on the eyelids.
The ingredients are paraben-free.
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
Have a dekko at the swatches. Forget the line, I have proper, on-eye swatches ahead; I want you to look at the texture here, untouched by brush or hand, directly from the tube, two times to drive it home:
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
Post-application, you get these stringy and blobby bits on the applicator. These need removing before you put the orange stopper back. You are running late and have to clean up an applicator tip first. Of course you will be sweet-tempered and patient as you try to get black blobs off an applicator, your fingers, dress and elsewhere!
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
My problem with this is that it comes out "goopy", if you know what I mean - in pills or strings. Uneven.
And, the ends of the line tend to be more blobby (sorry for using words like that but I cannot think of something more apt). Pilling, if you like. Even the SAs in Sephora were saying how uneven the texture was and promptly recommended the Benefit Magic Ink liquid eyeliner or the Bad Gal pencil.
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
If you have ever seen home-made kajal in little jars, you know it can only be applied with a brush or even the fingertips for evenness. Squeezing it out of a tube is going to lead to "blobs" or pills of the product coming out. A thin, angled brush, on the other hand, would do a much better job.
I do not know if this is going to improve with practice. These days, who has the time to practise using eyeliners? I would have persisted with it had I been a Regency debutante. We all lead busy lives. 
The product does not smudge easily. You can spread out the blobs and make the line thicker, which is messy if done in a hurry.
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
After a nice while, it "dries" enough to be be scraped out, like this:
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
Like... dry manure, innit?

Application, results and thoughts

I admit that I sometimes get even liquid eyeliner wonky. So yes, I definitely struggled with the uneven pills and blobs that were coming out of the applicator. If at all anyone can get this right without using a brush, it is probably those with loads of patience, really steady hands and loads of practice. Presuming I ever acquire the last one, I will still lack the first two.
Here is an on-eye swatch. Product applied on the upper eyelid alone (the thing on the lower line is Lancome Crayon Kohl). It does not look as bad as you expected from the swatches and what I said before, does it? This is from my first try. Nothing to complain about. Super-pigmented black. It needed Nuxe Micellar Water to come off. I was prepared to keep using this eyeliner and to swear it was not as bad as people were saying. But read on....
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
Now for the ABSOLUTE HEARTBREAK:
Benefit They're Real Push-Up Eyeliner review, swatches, photos
I ended up picking little black specks like these from my face EACH BLOODY TIME. From the restroom. During the football. In the car. A.R.G.H.!
This flaking/pilling has persisted with each use and occurs in the latter half of the day, and not immediately after application, even though the line on the eyelid does not disappear entirely. Imagine going out to watch the football after a long day and then your friends are telling you there are little black flecks on your face....
No, do not blame my mascara for the flaking. I have reviewed Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes here and am on my second tube and have enough experience and sense to know that it never flakes. Ever.
Summary
Even if we conclude that I simply do not know how to use this thing and accept that I am only a product junkie and not a makeup expert, how do we explain the flakes, which keep recurring? Or the clumps, blobs or goop, or similar onomatopoeic words I have been amusing my niece with? No, I did not receive an old, dried-up product - I got mine from Sephora Dubai, within weeks of its launch, sealed, and have always closed it with the orange stopper thingy.
I really like how jet black this is. I must also say that despite the flecks that fall down, the line remains on my eyelids. But that is about all. I will use up this sample on shorter outings, but will definitely not repurchase, that too, for $24.
There are so many better, easier eyeliners out there - such as the Too Faced Three-Way Lash Lining Tool reviewed here, where I do not have to worry about formula or application, and I can get it right even with my non-existent skills.
Why would I waste (hard-to-find) time practising using this when other eyeliners, such as the Too Faced one, work brilliantly from the word go? I find that the most hassle-free way of applying this eyeliner is with a thin, angled brush. Why not sell it in a pot and call it kajal? After improving on the pilling, of course, or thinning out the formula for the eyelids. I would buy one for me and one for Gran!
The bottom line: If it works for you, brilliant. I would tolerate most black eyeliners, but draw the line at flaking.
Disclaimer: Customer gift from Sephora ME. Not a PR sample. My blogging activities are unknown to Sephoras anywhere.

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