Does Benefit's They're Real Push-Up Liner Live Up to the Hype?

Everything you need to know about the most-hyped eyeliner ever.

I can't remember a beauty product generating as much pre-sale buzz and anticipation as the new They're Real! Push-Up Liner from Benefit—which comes out today!

Granted, its sister product, They're Real Mascara, IS one of the most awesome mascaras on the market. And the concept of this eyeliner does sound pretty frickin' cool. Gel liner in a pen format? Waterproof matte black? Yes, yes and yes.

But... does it live up to the hype? I'm here to give you the lowdown.

First, this is what you get in terms of outer packaging. Lots and lots of promises...

Inside, the pen looks like this:

When you unscrew the cap, you'll see the tip has a little orange thing that you have to remove for the product to come out. (They don't really talk about it anywhere, as far as I can tell, so I'm not sure if you're supposed to put it back after use or throw it away. Mine is already long gone, so I hope not!)

This is where the innovation is. The angled tip is soft, spongey and flexible, with the gel formula coming out after you twist the base. (They say in the instructions "Twist base once to 'push up' gel liner to tip." But this, in my experience, is totally false. You need to twist about 20 or 30 times before anything comes out.)

I really liked the design of this bendy tip, which was specifically engineered to hug the lash line and make it easier to draw a great line.

The product doesn't come out with the wet consistency (or thin lines) of a liquid liner. It's much drier and you tend to get a thicker line. You can twist the base to get more out if you feel like the pen is dragging, but be careful not to twist too much, or you'll get chunks of it (not pretty).

Okay, so what's it actually like when you put it on? Here's how I fared. (Caveat: I'm graphic liner-challenged in general, because of the shape of my eyes. It just disappears on me, and I can't really do proper flicks. So these pics are pretty much as good as it gets!)

Okay, on the plus side, I found the pen glided across really easily and I had no trouble getting a sweeping line—fast. So I do think it is a game-changer in that it's much easier/quicker to draw your line compared to a fiddly liquid liner, or even working with a traditional gel liner in a pot and an angled brush. (Although I'm not a gel liner person really.) The formula dries super-quickly—faster than anything I've used—so you don't have to worry about it transferring to your upper lids.

What I wasn't crazy about was the fact that you can't really go back and fix anything. It's a one-shot deal with this thing. I'm the kind of person who likes to spend time getting my liner perfect, and have been known to use a combo of liquid liner and waterproof pencil liner to fill in the lines, and a Q-tip dipped in Bioderma for removing any mistakes. Unfortunately, the Q-tip trick didn't work here; it just spreads the product around in a grey mess. And if you go over your They're Real! lines twice, they start to flake badly.

Here I am with closed eyes, flakes and all. Notice how the line doesn't stay solid if you go back to fill it in more:

You can also see how it was tough fixing up any unevenness in the flicks.

That said—doing flicks at all might be an unreasonable expectation of this product. Once again, it is NOT a liquid liner. It's a gel liner in a pen form, and like I said, is designed to hug the lash line. It's not necessarily for cat eyes (although you could certainly try your luck at them). Even the picture on the outer packaging has an eye with the liner stopping at the outer corner instead of extending out.

It's just really hard to resist doing a cat eye with this thing. Just for fun, here are my crazy eyes:

I don't think I'll be leaving the house this way, but it was pretty satisfying to draw those! Hopefully you can pull them off better than I can—and as long as you're not concerned about getting things TOO perfect, this liner is a great tool.

As for removal, there's also a new They're Real Remover, which is a milky rinse-off cleanser to get the liner off. It works okay, although I'm still loyal to my Bioderma and didn't notice it being any better. Whatever you use, go easy! This stuff doesn't want to budge.

The Bottom Line

You'll love it if...

  • You want something easy and quick, to swipe on and go
  • You find it hard to work with traditional liquid and gel liners
  • You're worried about transfer to your upper eyelids

Give it a pass if...

  • You like to fine-tune and build up your lines to perfect them (the flaking will drive you crazy!)
  • You like a narrow line and pointy flicks
  • You're not up for taking the time at the end of the day to get this stuff off (it does require a lot of work)

Let me know what you think?

Where to Buy

Find Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner TODAY at the following online retailers:

Have Your Say

What do you think of this concept?

Will you be checking out They're Real!?

Are you a gel, liquid or pencil liner person?

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