Let me just start by admitting I have always struggled with eyeliner. I can get a nice defined eye when using a black eyeliner pencil on the waterline, however it never lasted that long and seemed to transfer a little under the eye – so I became disillusioned with the whole idea. Eventually I visited a Mac counter on holiday and tried their Eye Kohl in black in the hope that this would solve my issue. It gave a clear, smudge-free, defined eye – enhancing the shape of my eye – BUT it never lasted the whole day, partly due to my eyes watering. So I began exploring liquid liner. That relationship ended fairly quickly. I looked like a child had tried to apply it and stabbed myself in the eye more times than I can count. So I moved onto gel liners, starting with Bobbie Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. Although when the lady at the counter applied it the line was lovely, at home I could never get a straight defined line – it always looked slightly smokey.
So I decided, I needed a new eyeliner that:
- Wouldn’t budge all day
- Gave me a straight line easily
Enter my new contender: Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner (£18.50). I’ve always loved their cute packaging and tongue in cheek names, so was particularly excited to see if their new eyeliner could be the solution.
I received a mini version of this eyeliner in a magazine, which gave me the perfect opportunity to try it out before buying it – I already have far too many hopeful purchases in the make-up graveyard.The sample I received looks identical to the full size version and is the perfect size for my bag for travelling or quick touch ups.
Benefit claims the gel formula won’t “smudge, budge or dry out”, hopefully this waterproof liner would actually last the day. Unlike most gel liners which require a brush to apply it, the Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner is an all in one ‘pen’, where you simply twist the bottom to “push up” the eyeliner. The AccuFlex™ tip allowed just the right amount of product, solving the issue of accidentally under- or overloading a brush.
When first opening it the AccuFlex™ tip has a small orange plug to prevent drying out before use. Once I removed this I had to twist the bottom of the pen around 8 times to get some gel to the tip. Before applying I’d advise wiping excess onto the back of your hand to enable a smooth line. The tip is firm but flexible, allowing a more precise application.
I struggled at first to understand where to start. With previous eyeliners I would start from the inner eye and work my way out, gradually increasing the line thickness. Benefit states that the tip works both ways, however starting from the inner corner clearly wasn’t going to work with the Benefit liner to get a thinner line, as the first application is rather thick. So I started from the middle of the eye to the outer corner to create a thick line before gentle pressing the AccuFlex™ tip along the inner eye, resulting in a gentler line. I found the tip didn’t always deposit the gel equally, so I would often have to apply a second layer to ensure the skin beneath didn’t show through.
I found the Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner definitely provided the quickest defined eye, no messing around with brushes and pots of gel. However the straightness of the line produced varies each time (due to my own concentration!), so it does not give a foolproof eye if that’s what you’re looking for – it’s still a learning curve. The formula certainly doesn’t smudge once dried, I can testify to that having a habit of rubbing my eyes repeatedly. Additionally it appears to be waterproof as even trying to remove it at the end of the day with my cleansing oil is a challenge. Benefit also produce a They’re Real! Remover specifically for the liner and mascara of the same name, so if you’re struggling to remove it try this.
Overall I loved the feel of the pen in my hand and I’m sure the full size version makes it even easier to hold while applying. It definitely made getting a straight defined line easier with the AccuFlex™ tip compared to using a brush and it lasted all day. I did find towards the end of the day it had begun to dry a little and created several small flakes on my cheek, so the line was not as clean. However this was at 6pm after applying it 12 hours before. I’m sure topping it up during the day and using an eye primer would enable it to last for longer. The other problem I have found is it always produces a thick line, I struggle to get a simple thin line for work out of the pen which makes it only really usable at the weekends.
I currently have another mini size from a christmas Benefit set and plenty left in my current one so won’t be rushing out to buy it just yet. I still use my Bobbie Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner for work to create a more subtle eye. Although I love using this outside of work, so I’m sure it will be on my shopping list soon!