Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner REVIEW

07 July 2014

This is a review I should probably have had up a while ago, but I'm just now getting some computer access so apologies! This is, obviously (lol) going to be a review on the new gel liner pen from Benefit. One thing to note; while they claim to be the first company to package a gel liner in this format, they're not. This Maybelline one has been out internationally for, as I understand it, before the Benefit one. Not that this really means jack, but I wish companies would do a tiny bit of research before making claims. (Yes, it has been out longer than the Benefit one, I just did a quick Googling and found this review dating from September 2013.)

Anyway, I LOVE liquid eyeliner pens. Love love love. I usually use the Physicians Formula one (review here because it works well enough for me (not the blackest black liner, but what I sacrifice in intensity, I gain in sheer ease of application, availability, and price). I actually took a break from gel liners when I started using liquid ones more, and now I use almost exclusively liquid liner. That being said, I jumped outta my skin when I heard about the Benefit one because HOW COOL? A GEL LINER PEN! Anyway, let's start this! This product retails for $24.

FTC Disclaimer: I received this product free, as a gratis sample from my job (I work at Ulta) for testing purposes. I am not affiliated with Benefit Cosmetics, I am receiving no compensation for this review, and this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are, as always, my own!

Review - Swatches - Extra Thoughts

According to Benefit:

Why we love it!

It’s the FIRST EVER lash-hugging gel liner in a pen! This matte black gel formula won’t smudge, budge or dry out, and the innovative soft AccuFlex™ Tip hugs your lashline from corner to corner. The closer the line, the bigger the eye!

91% said it was longwearing*
81% said it was waterproof*
88% said it hugged the lashline*
84% said eyes looked visibly larger*
*Results observed in a consumer panel survey on 32 women after 2 weeks

How to apply

Twist base once to “push up” gel liner to tip. Resting the AccuFlex™ tip on the base of your lashes, slowly guide along your lashline from the inner or outer corner. The angled AccuFlex™ tip works both ways.

*For first-time use, remove and discard tip protector. Activate they’re real! push-up liner by twisting base 8-10 times until gel is delivered to tip. Wipe any excess on tissue.

1.4 g Net wt. 0.04 oz."


Isododecane, Dextrin Palmitate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Silica. May Contain: CI 19140 (Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).

First off, the tip is super soft and flexible, so if you're worried that it will be painful to apply, you should have no problems. It's a click pen type format, which I don't tend to prefer, as it can be difficult to get the same amount of product to come out (I use one click per eye, and sometimes it only TAKES one click to get product out, but sometimes I have to turn it a couple times for it to dispense more product) BUT I can't think of a dispensing mechanism that would work better for this type of product, ya know?

Overall, I love the idea of this pen. I love the tip. I love how easy and intuitive it is to apply. The first couple of times will be awkward, even if you're used to applying gel liner with a brush daily. I was rocking some teenager-years level of thick ass eyeliner the first few tries. But you can get it closer to the lashline. Because of how the product NEEDS to be built, with the slit in the tip and also firm enough that you will be able to draw a smooth line, this won't get you a super thin line, just because the tip is a bit thicker than a super slim angle brush or really fine liner brush. If you're someone who likes an incredibly fine, barely there, but yet really defined line, you might want to steer clear of this. When you use it like a push brush, you can get a natural, defused smokey look, but a super thin, crisp line? The nature of this product's design says no. The tip is twice as thick as my MAC 263 brush.

I do think this is pretty nifty for beginners at gel liner. There are no bristles to splay out everywhere and the pen fits nicely in the hand and is easy to glide over the lashline.

HOWEVER...I just waxed lyrical about the applicator. The formula? Let's get to the point - it's so dry, not as waterproof as it claims, and fades a bit on me throughout the day. While the applicator itself makes it easy to use, the formula is what makes it difficult. If you accidentally click up a tiny bit too much, this formula dries super fast and bits can fleck off on your cheeks as you're drawing. Over the course of a day, this just begins to feel like the most uncomfortable long wearing lip product...except on your eyes.

I LOVE the concept. I LOVE the application. I just wish the formula was more...gel-like and not like a half-dried cream liner. Also, the price...$24 can get you a pot of the Bobbi Brown gel liner with double the product. Considering how much potential waste you can have with the format of this click pen, who knows if you will even be using your full money's worth? I like the cheap-o Essence black gel liner. If you bought that product at, what $3.99, and splurged on a MAC angle brush at $20, you would MORE THAN get your bang for your buck. I've had my MAC brush for TEN YEARS. And for five of those years, I was using "Blacktrack" exclusively and daily.

Because the formula is so dry, it doesn't glide as easily as you would like, hence why I was getting super thick liner at first. It sticks to itself a bit and flakes off during application. It IS pretty black, wears for a decent amount of time, and while the color faded, it was not significant. It doesn't flake or chip off excessively, but because the formula is pretty dry, I did notice a couple tiny specks.

Basically, I love the concept. The formula, for me personally, is a miss. I SO wanted to love this liner! I thought it would be great for travel and on the go, since it's a one-step and you don't need to bring a brush.

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Some swatches.

The same swatches rubbed gently, ten minutes after applying.

You can see this product starting to crack.

After running under water for a couple of seconds.

From L-R: Rimmel Scandal'Eyes liner pen, Urban Decay "Perversion" liquid liner, Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner, L'Oreal Infallible gel liner in "Blackest Black", and e.l.f. Studio Precision liquid liner. As you can tell, the UD and e.l.f. are WAY more intensely black. The L'Oreal one is similar, except a much better formula AND cheaper.

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Extra thoughts:

1.) What's interesting to note is that five of my coworkers and I all dislike this liner and find similar results...and we all have oily eyelids. Which, you would think that us oilier girls would be less bothered by the dryness! I always wore it over UDPP, never on bare lids, maybe that would have made it less dry, but I'm not going to sacrifice my eyeshadow longevity when I have cheaper liner alternatives that work fine over UDPP, ya know?

2.) Originally I thought I would save that orange tip, even though Benefit tells you to toss it, in the hopes that it would help the liner to not dry out faster, but it honestly wastes product. Even if the tip looks clean, when you push that orange tip back in, it usually forces out excess product, and then you have to clean it again, etc. For cleaning, I just wipe it with a makeup wipe or spray a bit of isopropyl alcohol on a tissue. Without the orange stopper, the product hasn't dried out any more (than it already is).

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