30 August 2014

Review: Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner

When I saw that Benefit Cosmetics released the "first ever lash-hugging gel liner in a pen" called They're Real Push-up Liner, I thought it looked so similar to my HG eyeliner - Maybelline Lasting Drama Pen Gel Liner (see review here). I wasn't too pleased at Benefit's claims that the They're Real Liner is the FIRST ever gel liner in a pen because Maybelline has obviously released a similar product. Despite their already false claim, I really wanted to try it out and compare it to Maybelline's pen gel liner. I finally bit the bullet and purchased one in my latest Sephora haul (read here).

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner retails for USD$24.00 in the states, and AUD$35.00 here in Australia, which at the current exchange rate of USD$1 = AUD$1.06865, is almost AUD$10 more expensive to purchase this in Australia. 

Similar to Maybelline's gel pen liner, Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner comes with a tip protector (the orange thing in the picture above), which you have to remove before using it for the first time. Also, you have to twist the base a crap load of times (they say 8-10 times, but I'm pretty sure it took a lot more twisting than that) to before the gel liner is released from the tip.

The tips of both Maybelline and Benefit gel lines are really similar in that they're both soft and flexible. Although the shape of the tips differ, I didn't feel as though they made any difference application-wise. The main (and deal breaker) difference is the formula. I'll explain this further below. I did three tests to compare the formula of both gel pen liners - two smudgeproof tests and one waterproof one.

In Smudgeproof Test #1, I applied Maybelline Lasting Drama Pen Gel Liner on the left and Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner on the right (this is the same for all tests). I then waited about 3 minutes before applying pressure and dragging my index finger across both swatches. Although both swatches have smudged, there is a difference in the degree of smudging. In this test, Maybelline is the clear winner as smudging is significantly less than Benefit. Therefore, I'm going to conclude that Maybelline dries faster than Benefit.

In Smudgeproof  Test #2, I waited 15-20 minutes before applying pressure and dragging my index finger across both swatches. It seems that Benefit smudges very slightly. I reckon a few more minutes and Benefit should set completely. 

In the Waterproof Test, I allowed both swatches to dry for 10 minutes before I stuck my arm under running water for 10 seconds. I then dab dry both swatches with a tissue (gently), when I saw that neither have budged, I did a smudge test, and the results are as you see in the picture above. Amazing! I think it's so weird that there are no smudges whatsoever, despite only leaving each swatch on for 10 minutes to dry before doing the test considering there was a very slight smudge in Smudgeproof Test #2 when the swatches were left to dry for 15-20 minutes. It's almost as if the water helped set both gel liners.

The formula of both liners are slightly different. Using the Benefit one took me a bit longer to create a "wing" line on my upper lash line compared to the Maybelline one because the formula of Maybelline seems to be a lot smoother than Benefit. For some annoying reason, I keep getting clumps of Benefit gel liners, and they also like getting caught between my lashes. So I end up having to brush through my lashes with a lash comb to remove the clumps. Another thing I got annoyed at is having to twist the base 2-3 times for both liners and not having any product released. I have to squeeze the tip to push some product out. If I don't and continue twisting until product is released, more product continually gets released overnight. So when you use it the next morning, you end up having to wipe off the excess as it's practically impossible to use the liner with about 2-3mm of product on the tip without making a massive mess. It's also a lot easier to squeeze product out from the tip of the Maybelline liner than Benefit. I just feel like the formula of the Benefit liner is slightly too thick.

As such, if I would have to choose between the two pen gel liners, I'd go for Maybelline Lasting Drama Pen Gel Liner. Unfortunately, Maybelline Pen Gel Liner is not readily available in Australia compared to Benefit. However, you can purchase it from eBay (see here) for less than AUD$15 delivered! That's half the price of Benefit, and in my honest opinion, works better!

If you've tried the Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner, I'd love to know if you had problems with application - whether or not you had problems with clumping or getting enough product out without it spewing everywhere overnight? If you have a favourite eyeliner, I'd love to know what it is!


  1. Great comparison post, I haven't heard a lot of great things about the Benefit product. I do love their mascara, but I won't be forking out the money for this x

    1. Thanks Loz! I love their mascaras too, it's just a shame the push-up liner isn't as good.

  2. Thankyou for the comparative review! I've been hearing very mixed things about the Benefit liner. From what I swatched in the store, it seems very tricky to apply. The concept is good though so I may have to give the Maybelline one a go!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

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  4. I agree with you babe! I have both as well from Maybelline and Benefit and even though I feel like Maybelline's tip is a tad too hard for my liking as compared to Benefit's, it is waaaayy easier to use Maybelline's and get a perfect wing than using Benefit's.

    Mieza || Mieza Everdeen's

  5. What a wonderful review :)
    I have to say though that I have not tried any of these cause we do not have Benefit here in Finland and the Maybelline has not yet been launched here. Im a HUGE fan of Maybellines Lasting Drama Gel Liner so I am most certainly going to buy the pen when it pops up in stores here :)
    You have such a lovely blog.. Im a new subbie :)