1st December 2011

Benefit They’re Real Vs Dior Diorshow Iconic

By Get Lippie

Perfume aside, I don’t think there is a beauty product that is as dependent upon personal preference as mascara.  We all have our particular requirements, and personal favourites, and we tend to stick with them, no matter how many new mascaras are released in a particular year.  Last year I was addicted to Trish McEvoy’s mascara, but discovered that the formula had changed – making it wetter, and less volumising – when I bought a replacement, so I spent quite some time this year looking for a new one that would replace it in my affections.

I like long, fat “dolly” lashes – verging on the drag queen effect – from my mascaras, none of this natural look thing, thank you.  I’m a fan of Armani Eyes to Kill, but it is pricey, and I can’t always be bothered heading to either Selfridges and Harrods to pick one up.  Ditto Makeup Forever’s Smokey Lash, but the only place I’ve found that is Paris, really, so even less easy to pick up.  So, I thought I’d try a couple of mascaras that were easier to get hold of in department stores, Benefit They’re Real, and DiorShow Iconic.  Both have had a lot of love from my fellow beauty bloggers lately, so which one would win for me?

The Tubes:

I have to say that the hands down winner of the battle of the tubes is Benefit, I love the shiny pewter finish, and the fat tube.  In all honesty, the embossed finish of the Dior tube makes it look a bit sticky.  It’s not, but I don’t like it, all the same.

The Brushes:

These are both plastic brushes, as opposed to bristles, and they’re both slightly unusual twists on a normal brush in their own right:


This always reminds me of a mace, for some reason.  We have short spiky bristles, and these bristles continue onto the tip of the brush.  I’ll be honest, I do find the bristles a little too spiky at times, and if you accidentally blink when applying, well, it’s not nice.


A little wider than the Benefit, the bristles on Iconic are arrayed in a spiral pattern, and they’re a little longer and rounder than the Benefit bristles.  Personally, I find that the brush on the Diorshow Iconic suits my lashes better, leaving my lashes looking more “groomed” after using.

The Formulas:

I find that the Benefit They’re Real formula is very wet in comparison to the DiorShow Iconic, and that it requires more coats to give a “finished” look than the Dior.  The Dior is dryer, and gives a fuller effect with a lot less effort. Both are very black, and I’ve not noticed any flaking with either formulation. Dior wins. Anything that can help a lazybones like me look good quicker has to be good.

The Lashes:

They’re not upside down, I’m just looking up.  A bit too much.

It is, in fact, almost a dead heat.  Both lengthen, and both volumise, but the Dior just has the edge on volumising, and, I noticed, it curls the lashes more.  Pic shows two coats of each on uncurled lashes.  I suspect though, that if I were to apply more than two coats, that the Dior would clump a bit more than the Benefit.  I only ever apply two coats though – life is too short for three coats of mascara, if you ask me.


For me, it’s the Dior, but they’re both excellent.  Once the Benefit had a chance to dry out a bit (when I first used it, I hated it, but letting it dry out for a month or two has worked wonders for it, for me), I liked it a lot more, whereas the Dior was a winning formula straight out of the box.

The Fine Print: Benefit was a PR sample.  The Dior … wasn’t.

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