Lash Alert: Benefit ‘They’re Real!’ Mascara


Personally, I hated the whole concept of the "humblebrag" before it got its own hashtag and was lost forever as a Twitter-thing. I tend to feel that if you don't own your own praise, nobody's going to do it for you. Which brings me to the point: I have been asked several times in my life if my eyelashes are real. At drugstore makeup counters, by close friends, acquaintances, by oddly curious strangers. I don't have My Little Pony length or anything—yet they ask. And they are real. I have my parents to thank (genetics!), but you know what's helping right now? Benefit They're Real! Mascara. (Cute and apt, right?)

Even long, dark, and thick eyelashes need a little somethin'-somethin', and Benefit's staggered-bristle brush—which extends over the top of the wand to get the little guys in the corners, much like the mace-like tip of Givenchy Phenomen'eyes—catches lashes at the base for maximized lift and volume, while the silky, strong formula makes mine stand up at attention (if slightly curved—remember, a Shu Uemura curler also does wonders). It doesn't bleed, smudge, clump, or dry out and keeps my fringe looking pert until the moment I take it off.

They're Real!'s reigning top-10 status at Sephora implies that it works even for those less-satisfied with what nature gave them. In fact, one Sephora sales associate who saw me lingering around the mascaras told me that they can barely keep it on the shelves. "Everybody wants to look fake-real," she said, pausing to pass a customer a pot of MAC pigment in Magenta Madness before adding, "or real-fake." And then I lost her forever when she went to help another customer who was in hot pursuit of a Clarisonic. (I'll never forget you, Kim!)

As for how I get down with They're Real!: I swipe on a coat or two in the morning, and if I'm going out later or need a boost, I'll curl them again, but no more product is necessary (in fact, more product will only make them look over-done). It's just that easy to look just that maybe-fake. So, two very enthusiastic thumbs way up—yes, they're real, and thank you so much for asking (it actually does kind of make my day).

—Alessandra Codinha

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  • Nomadic D.

    Thanks for this! I'm down to my last tube of my absolute all-time favorite mascara (maybelline's full 'n soft, which had sadly been discontinued) and am looking for a replacement. Will definitely give this one a shot!

  • Sophie Lewis

    Running out to buy this!! beautiful shot xx

  • Jill S

    I was introduced to this at Sephora a couple of months ago and am totally devoted to it. I have long, but thin, lashes and this product is perfect for them.

  • Charmaine Cheong

    your lashes look fabulous. but also, what eyeliner are you using? it looks so neat and defined. any smudging?

    • ITGAlessandra

      Lancôme Artliner (I'm a little obsessed with it): though stay tuned, we have a liquid eyeliner story in the works...! x

  • Lera

    Bought it a year ago. Love the lashes when I use it, do not enjoy washing it off. I personally like to wash off my face with water and see no traces of mascara. "They're real" requires extra "work". Yes, I am lazy.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  • 4jsc

    Love the photo. I've been meaning to try this, now I will. What do you use to remove?

    Looking forward to your eyeliner story.

  • Rachel Phipps

    I've been using this since its London pre-launch launch, and it is the first mascara I have tried that I am 100% happy with and I recommend it to everyone. Best. Mascara. Ever.

  • Marissa Daniels

    this doesn't work so well for me...nor do any of the high-end ones to the same extent as the classic maybelline volum. gives amazing volume and length and works better for me than all of the favs including this, diorshow, lancome hypnose star, lancome doll lashes, clinique high impact, etc...i guess i'm glad that something cheaper works best for me!

  • Adeola Naomi Aderemi

    Will order right away!
    I am using a Clinique one and I am so satisfied but something new never hurt anyone!

  • Caroline Montmayeur

    Mascara is a big subject for me as i have very specific requests :
    - it has to be brown and not black : i have a very white (if not transparent) skin so black is way too heavy for me, it hardens my face too much.
    - it has to be waterproof as i have very wet eyes (yes yes) : i'd look like marylin manson in two seconds. and even with waterproof mascaras it still smudges (crazy yes).
    - i have very short, thin and not-curled-at-all eyelashes, so my mascara has to be volumizing AND lengthening.

    Litte say that i don't have many choices on the market :
    - DIORSHOW waterproof mascara in brown : absolutely amazing on the volume, length and color but has a very big flaw as it decomposes in very little points all around your eyes. i got fed up.
    - YSL Fake lashes effect waterproof : less spectacular than the dior one but it stands perfectly well.
    And...that's it!

    You're so lucky Alessandra! Big kisses from a Paris

  • Mouthful of Style

    Like you I also get the "Are your eyelashes real?" Attached a pic and yes :) I've been using YSL Faux Cils mascara for years but excited to try Benefit's mascara now!

    Style insights and luxury fashion business learnings:

  • Jazzmine Wang

    Your skin looks gorgeous! What do you have on?

  • Laura Gienger

    I got curious and bought the mini version of this a few months ago and it is without a doubt the best mascara I've ever used. Glad to see it's working for everyone else!

  • Rose_Luv

    Tried this mascara out this weekend on my naturally long and dark lashes and wasn't that impressed. Definitely did not look "real-fake" as you could see some clumps of the mascara. I prefer a little coconut oil on the lashes to give them some shine and make them seem longer