Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dual Review: Benefit Watt's Up! Luminizer & They're Real! Mascara

I have my (second) birthday gift of the year!* It's from Sephora, being that I'm a Beauty Insider and very much enjoy it. Gifts are fun,especially little freebies from different brands.
This year, the gift is from Benefit, called "Real Birthday Turn-Ons." Oh Benefit...

I've gotten two birthday gifts from Sephora previously. The first was from philosophy and it was their ridiculously tasty-smelling Birthday Cake body wash/shampoo. Yes, it can be used as shampoo and it's actually quite nice! I really need to buy myself a bottle of that again.
Blurbs about the products. Those smudges of color are from when I was in Sephora, swatching OCC Lip Tar in Strumpet
The second gift, from last year, was from fresh. It was a mini Sugar Lip duo, featuring Sugar Original and Sugar Rosé. I love the packaging, a nice metal tube with a cap that has to be twisted on to close (feels so secure) and I loved the formula, quite moisturizing, light. I often use Original still, Rosé is sheer red but makes me lips look pretty red on! Definitely something to wear with foundation to even my skin out.
This year's gift, as I said, comes from Benefit. I've never used a Benefit product before, due to price and a slight lack of interest. I do like their packaging, the names of products and they have great colors also. I remember when Watt's Up! came out and thought it was weird but neat. I know some people rave over it but I don't really know much about luminizers or highlighters. Going in this totally blind.

I'm also not the type to try different mascaras frequently, since I already have two I love to death and one may be discontinued. I also don't know what I really want, length, volume or curling and I don't curl my lashes so why trouble myself? The mascara that has stolen my heart, which isn't loved by everyone, is FAIRYDROPS Scandal Queen and it isn't carried by Sephora anymore (JUST MY LUCK!). I know this mascara's packaging differs from the Japanese packaging and the mascara isn't really marked (such as Japan has "film types," waterproof, etc), but I'm not sure if the formula does or doesn't differ any. I haven't tried the other FAIRYDROPS mascaras from Japan! They do have really pretty packaging** though. Anywho, I know lots of ladies love They're Real! and use it. This includes Ze Boyfriend's sister but I've never asked her about it. Mascara just isn't something I fool around with.
Since these are both minis, the packaging differs only slightly from the full-sized version. Watt's Up! has a little sponge blender on one end in the full-sized version (rather just use my fingers) and this mini doesn't. It's actually rather slimmer than the full-size. Same deal with the mascara; basic tube, but keeps their "custom-domed" brush. They came together in one little box. Pretty nice; has Sephora's signature "Happy Birthday, Beautiful!" on it. That always makes me feel special. The mascara is 0.1 oz (3.0 g), while the Mini is 0.14 oz and the full-sized version is 0.3 oz. Watt's Up! is 0.08 oz (2.5 g) whereas the full-sized version is 0.33 oz.
Watt's Up! is a nice little creamy, twist-up luminizer in a metallic blue tube with drawings of light bulbs. Cute. It glides on skin, easily blends with fingers and leaves a pleasant glow though I don't really notice it on my skin (maybe because it just blends in because I'm pale?). Like I said, I've never once used a luminizer. Nope. It's pretty much like how I generally don't wear blush but I try to force myself to grab my Too Faced blush! It's supposed to be cream-to-powder but I didn't notice it become "powder." Its described as "luminous champagne" and it certainly is luminous champagne! It's so pretty. I do understand what other bloggers mean by the "lit from within glow" though I don't know what it would look like. I have noticed the authors glowing but I think that's more recognized by another person? I don't know. I could just be a little blind.
Giant GLOB of mascara on the tip. See the alternating bristles?
Glob wiped off. Notice the spikes on the end?
Benefit makes several claims about what They're Real! can do. It's packaging is simple: gunmetal top and a charcoal-gray-khaki(?) tube. According to Sephora's page for the mascara, it "lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for a spectacular "out-to-here" look." Big claims for a mascara. Why does mascara always have so many claims attached? Included on the page is a how to use, seeing as this mascara supposedly does all these things and you would get the most use from this special brush. It's a very weird brush, honestly. Initially, it's a straight brush with thin bristles of graduating lengths, two rows of different lengths and the top is ball-like with spiky bristles on top. It's also a super flexible brush, no joke. It won't flex while you're doing your makeup and mess you up but it will bend when pressed against the tube to wipe it off. Neat! I'm admittedly not the best at applying mascara so I'll attempt to use it how they suggest. It seems easy enough! But I'm also the girl who has trouble attempting to curl her lashes (I think it's the curler I attempt to use, a cheap plastic thing that was a bit scary!).
Watt's Up! (unblended) next to They're Real! swatch
Now with flash
This also only comes in one color: black. And that is just fine with me! You see, I have black lashes naturally. I can't wear brown or black-brown or any other "natural" color; it just looks weird. You have two buying options from Sephora and Ulta, for the full-sized or a mini. It would appear that Benefit doesn't sell the mini. Very odd!
Watt's Up! (blended)
Watt's Up! with flash. It nearly blends into my skin but it's pretty nonetheless!
As for the mascara itself... I F-ING HATE IT. WHY IS THE BEAUTY WORLD SO IN LOVE?! HAVE THEY NEVER TRIED A GOOD FIBER MASCARA?! (LOVE ME SOME FIBER MASCARA! Particularly Japanese branded ones.) I absolutely don't understand. I wiped the top off in the tube as best I could, which wasn't that great, and swiped it on horizontally first. Bad. Very bad. I somehow ended up with clumps near the ends of my lashes. Tried to clean it a bit with another swipe but no. I saw a little length but mostly messy clumps and spidery lashes. I then did the vertical sweep carefully.
Bare lashes; yes, I need to fix up my brows!
The camera cut off the tips of my lashes but you get the idea ~
One blurry picture of my lashes before the mascara
One "horizontal coat"
Still one coat. My lashes are a bit stuck together.
Very, very bad idea.
Two coats, this time a "vertical coat"
No volume. No length. Clumpy lashes that just looked like my normal lashes, but with black goop on them! My lashes are fairly long, noticeably longer than when I had started using makeup (maybe it's thanks to Physician's Formula Lash Boosting eyeliner?) and like I said, naturally black. This mascara just made them look spidery, clumped like they were wet from tears or lens solution and no real added length to speak of! Why do people love this?? Why?! Is it just me who despises it?!

I will probably never switch from my FAIRYDROPS SQ merely because this was disappointing. I went into this with open arms, no expectations (just wanting to see if it really lived up to its claims) and was horribly disappointed. I didn't compare this to FAIRYDROPS in the least, which gives me excellent length and a little plumping even though I'm pretty sure it's merely for length.

If you like this mascara, well... Maybe you just have better luck than I do! I'm sorry if this review upsets you but it just does not work for me. If you want to try it, go for it. I suggest buying from a store that has a really nice return policy that allows you to return once-used product. As for the luminizer, I like it. I probably won't buy the full-size because I don't need it nor do I really want it. It looks nice on the browbone (but if you've seen my eyebrows, you know I don't have an arch to highlight right now!) and this small size will probably last me a while. They're Real! mascara is $23 for its full-sized and the mini is $10. I would suggest buy the mini to try it out if you do try it. The Watt's Up! luminizer is $30. Ouch! Pricey. You can find these at Ulta, Sephora and Benefit's own website.

*My first birthday gift was Super Mario 64, for the Nintendo 64. Yes, I love retro games and grew up with the N64 as well as with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).
**The website is in Japanese! I got fairly accurate results through Google Translate, enough to manage to navigate the website.

I'll update this with eye pictures and comparison between bare lashes VS They're Real! though I still completely hate it.

PS: I just realize I didn't tell you how much is in each! I am an idiot. Sorry ladies (and gents) ~



  1. I'm not a fan of the mascara either. I don't get the hype surrounding it!

    1. Oh thank god, I'm not alone!! It almost looks like it stunts my lashes with just one layer! Why do women love it so much?


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