Beauty Test Drive: Benefit’s They’re Real! Push-Up Liner

Somehow I managed to enter my third decade on Earth without ever having tried a cat’s eye with gel eyeliner before. Of course I’d worn eyeliners — browns, golds, even blues — but something about that thick, black cat’s eye intimidated me. I thought you needed to have that “cool girl” look, like the author Caitlin Moran or Alex Vause on “Orange Is The New Black.” But a quick Google Image shows a wide variety of celebs in winged eyeliner, from Angelina Jolie and Kate Hudson, to Dita Von Teese and Rihanna. Cat’s eyes, it turns out, are surprisingly versatile.

So I bucked up and tried black gel eyeliner for the first time, coached by my coworkers Sophie and Katie (who couldn’t believe I was a black eyeliner virgin). The product was a sample of Benefit’s They’re Real! Push-Up Liner, which turned out to be perfectly easy for a newbie like me.

Availability: $24,

Application: Benefit’s Push-Up Liner comes in a clickable pen. By twisting the base, you make more product come out of the rubber top piece (which they call the AccuFlex). As with all Benefit products, the packaging is solid and hasn’t broken in my many weeks of banging it around my makeup bag.

To put the eyeliner on, I guided the tip along my lashline — going over it usually twice, sometimes three times, because it’s actually quite thin. Holding the skin near my eyes taut helped it to go on smoother and just one good swipe of the tip off to the sides was enough to create my wings.

As advertised, the liner is waterproof and needs eye makeup remover to take off (or a vigorous scrub from a makeup wipe — which I don’t recommend, because the skin around your eyes is hella sensitive). You can read a bunch of Amelia’s suggestions on how to up your eyeliner game here!

Overall: I do have some issues. The gel eyeliner has melted quite frequently in the 80 percent humidity days we’ve been having in New York City. There have been a couple of times that I’ve gone to put eyeliner on and it’s come out in a globby chunk, wasting some of the product. After application, the liner definitely dries on my face and stays put;  it’s just the application part that’s been messy. It’s possible that popping the liner in the fridge might harden it up — although I haven’t tried that myself, so I can’t vouch for it.

I’ve also found the small size of the product that comes out of the tip versus the larger size of the AccuFlex top piece really confusing. The first couple of times that I wore this gel liner, I though the product was all coming out of the WHOLE rubber top piece. It would be less confusing if the AccuFlex piece and the eyeliner weren’t both jet black.

All things considered, though, this is a good product even for a newbie like me. What I love most about Push-Up Liner is that it’s truly long-wearing and on days that I use it, my eye makeup is set from morning until night. Plus, my winged eyes look hot — I’ve been getting compliments every day.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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