Tried & True Beauty: They’re Real, I Swear

How does the saying go? Good things come in threes? Well, I never thought that could apply to mascara, but apparently Benefit Cosmetics knows something I don’t. They generously gifted me with a set of they’re real! lengthening mascaras in three killer colors, and I couldn’t wait to try them. I was already sold on their jet black shade, after trying it a couple years ago when it first came out. So I was excited to try the Beyond Brown and Beyond Blue shades to see just how daring I could be. As if I wasn’t hooked enough, they totally got me with the quirky Sharknado 3 promos “Oh Hellllll No!”

Because for so many years I’ve only worn boring old black mascara, I was immediately curious and questioning how long I’d been missing out. So the minute that blue wand touched my lashes, and after pushing back visions of 80s pop rock, I had a major aha! moment. All makeup is art, and when done right and mixed with the right palette – something beautiful is born.

I’m not one for heavy makeup, but I do have a few simple rules I like to follow when it comes to creating a solid beauty look to match my OOTD. Here are my three go-to looks that I tested out with each of the three killer colors – from everyday to once in a blue moon (hehe, get it)…

Look 1: Play up the Lip

Anytime I decide to go for a bold lip, I always think of the golden rule – never go heavy on the eye makeup, or else you run the risk of looking like a clown. The only problem is I rarely wear eye makeup, so for me to go lighter would mean not wearing mascara at all – which is kind of a scary thought. But then I had an epiphany: the Beyond Brown shade is perfect for creating a more muted and natural eye. So I tried it and I have to say, it might be my new everyday shade. Trust me, I thought I had left the brown mascara back in my 90s makeup bag, but now they’ve made me a believer again. Here I paired it with my favorite Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Lipstick in Amalfi (check out full post here), and a feminine French blue blouse. I just love the way the bright pink plays off the blue.

Quick Tip: If you don’t want to commit to brown all around, try applying the black on the top lashes and the brown just to the bottom. I usually stray away from putting any mascara on my bottom lashes to stay away from looking too drastic, but the brown is perfect for keeping the look classy, not spidery. Thanks to my girl (and fellow Benefit enthusiast) @greek_fashionista for the tip!

Look 2: Singing the Blues

This one was probably the biggest leap of faith for me. You don’t realize how hard it is to break a two decade-old routine, until you challenge yourself to just do it. So I did, and I feel liberated. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve only tried it once, but once was enough. I actually wore it to work that day with a blue and white-striped top and blue floral skirt (Instagram proof). I knew it was the perfect day to try it out, because the magazine was celebrating its 2015 Best of LA winners at the SIXTY Beverly Hills Hotel that night. The hubs and I were making a date night of it, so I did a quick costume change into my favorite Uniqlo white button down and black leather skirt I had just scored at the Zara sale (and you can too online for only 20 bucks!). From the minute I showed up at the party, the blue mascara was a hit – I knew rooftop parties in LA are the best for sunset-gazing but apparently they’re also good for mascara-gazing. I’ve never gotten so many compliments on my makeup before. I did the reverse from above, and kept my lip shade simple with my favorite nude lipstick by Smashbox Cosmetics in pout.

Quick Tip: If you aren’t ready to fully commit to the blue, I recently tried just applying it on the outer top lashes overtop of the black mascara and it turned out pretty cool – just a hint of color. The photo doesn’t do it justice, so you’re just gonna have to trust me on this one and go for it! Heck, I may even go for the blue gel push-up eyeliner next – cuz I’m crazy like that.

Look 3: Back to Black

I say it about my clothes and I’ll say it about my makeup – basics don’t have to be boring. Besides, there’s something to be said about having a signature makeup look and mine just happens to be a swipe of black mascara and my favorite Fresh sugar tinted lip treatments (I collect them like an old lady collects cats, but with even less shame). I had sort of been on a hiatus from Benefit’s they’re real mascara since I had tried it. Not because I didn’t love it, but because I told myself I could get the same thing out of my drugstore old faithful. Yah sure, it’s not like this mascara is moving mountains or anything, but I so rarely have the opportunity to treat myself now that I’m a new mom. So sue me if spending a little more on my mascara gives me a cheap thrill. One thing’s for sure, I appreciate the time I save now that I’ve perfected the application, and trust me – with a toddler, anything that helps leave enough time for me to actually put on pants before running out the door is a godsend. Need I say more?

Quick Tip: Black is still by far my favorite, but overall I love Benefit’s for three reasons – it doesn’t smudge or rub off during the day, I rarely have to waste time de-clumping it, and the rubber wand gives enough control to create that perfect fanned out look.

Would love to hear from you!