Tablet Life & Arts

Fab or flub: Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner

When you follow beauty trends closely, like I do, you see a lot of new products that claim to be the best at what they do.

Words like “revolutionary” and “game-changing” are thrown around in the marketing materials. While this is obviously a tactic to drum up interest, it usually makes me more skeptical of the product’s abilities. Case in point: Benefit’s They’re Real! Push-Up Liner.

Rumblings of the gel liner pen’s magnificence began weeks before its June release thanks to numerous beauty outlets that had gotten a sneak peek at the product. Designed for both the experienced and inexperienced, They’re Real! Push-Up Liner has been touted as a fail-proof way to apply gel liner without the hassle of using a brush (think clean lines and perfectly winged cat eyes). The formula is waterproof and claims to go the distance without worries of smudging or flaking.

Having had my own issues with gel liner, I was definitely intrigued. I’m already a fan of Benefit Cosmetics, and I’ve previously sung the praises of its They’re Real! Mascara.

But the way everyone went on and on about the liner’s supernatural abilities made me think that maybe all these makeup gurus had been drinking too much of the Kool-Aid. Eager to see what all the hype was about, I purchased the liner from my local Ulta ( for $24.

First impression

They’re Real! Push-Up Liner looks like any other eyeliner pen. Upon unscrewing the cap, I realized its design was actually much different. Unlike liquid eyeliners, which usually have felt tips, Benefit’s eyeliner features an angled AccuFlex tip made from rubber. The flexible tip, which is the liner’s main selling point, was designed to give users a smooth, lash-hugging application. All it takes is a simple twist of the pen and — voila! — product is dispensed through a slit in the tip.

That is, if you can get the product to come out.

The eyeliner’s instructions state that when first using the product, you might have to twist it once or twice to get the product to dispense. I twisted once. Nothing. I twisted again. No eyeliner. At what was probably the 15th twist, I started to become severely annoyed. Had I really just paid $24 for a bum eyeliner?

After several more twists, a clump of product came out. Just great, I thought. This experience was going bad in the first five minutes. Fortunately, after I cleaned off the tip, it began dispensing the product in small, even amounts. It was then time for the real test: applying it to my eyes.

Fab or flub?

Flab! Another week, another product that is close to perfect but fails to earn the fab rating because of a couple of minor flaws in its design.

First things first: The product did work fabulously. They’re Real! Push-Up Liner gave me much more control during application than I have ever gotten using an eyeliner brush. Drawing perfect strokes along my lash line was easy, and the formula went on smoothly. Probably my favorite thing about the eyeliner has been that it makes creating the wing of a cat eye as easy as a flick of the wrist.

As far as wear, it has stayed put rather remarkably through the scorching (and sometimes sweaty) heat of the Texas summer. No smudging, no streaking.

With so many positive remarks, you’re probably wondering what could be so bad. Well, here it goes. After about three days of use, I started noticing a wasteful pattern.

Without fail, every morning when I unscrewed the cap, there would be a clump of product on the tip of the eyeliner. At first I thought it was an oversight on my part, that I had left some product behind after I used it.

But after making sure to clean the tip off after every use, it kept happening. I’m not sure why this happens, but after looking at other reviews online, I find I’m not the only one that experienced it.

Also, product doesn’t always dispense evenly, sometimes coming out in clumps. The only conclusion I can draw is that there must be a fault in the twisting function of the pen, which causes it to unevenly dispense the product (thus causing me to waste more of the $24 eyeliner than I’d like to).

Overall, I’d say the product worked fantastic, but its design is definitely not without fault.