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The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox

By Bewilderedbug @bewilderedbug

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I’m a mascara girl – just in case you did not know.  If I had perfect skin, I would actually not wear any makeup other than a good mascara, and perhaps a touch of blush once in a while.  Shamefully, my skin is crap and the hard London water is killing it even more – so I end up piling on foundation and powder and then finally doing my mascara, blush and sometimes eyeliner and brow powder.  That’s a lot of makeup.

It’s not so bad though when you know what makeup you can use and when you have good quality makeup.  Now, as mentioned in this blog on my favorite beauty products a few weeks ago, I still use some tried and true products that I’ve used for years.  This includes the Benefit mascaras.  From the day I discovered “They’re Real” mascara by Benefit, I was hooked.  And now that they’ve brought out “Roller Lash” with the mini-hooks at the top of the wand to help grip, lift and curl your lashes, I’m a bit confused as to what my favorite is.

The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox and Bewildered Bug

At least, I was – until I attended the beauty tutorials by Birchbox at the Bar Noir by Benefit in Soho last week.  That’s when I got some makeup epiphanies and many, many, many “why didn’t I think of that?!” experiences.  Why use only one mascara when you can use TWO?! (or more I guess).  So after seeing the brilliant Benefit makeup artist, Alyson, put first two coats of Roller Lash on me and then finish me off with one more coat of They’re Real, I’ve metamorphosed (bringing out the big words) into a mascara addict.  I now use both on a morning and have not used a drop of my go-to liquid liner since.

I won’t lie.  I have naturally long lashes.  I’ve never in my life used that medieval-looking-contraption called a lash curler in my life and I never plan to.  Many people who have seen me without mascara (including my short lashed Mother and sister) constantly wonder why I bother to even use it.  But you are never happy with what God gave you – that’s the human curse.  So I do use mascara.  And I love it.  And I do share my discoveries – both my sister and Mother have been gifted with They’re Real mascara – and very well may be gifted with the Roller Lash as well.

Why?  Because, as you know if you’ve been following my blog, I’m half Chinese.  My Mom’s ancestry is Hakka Chinese – and, as beautiful as she is,  she has short, straight lashes that are hidden in the single fold of her very asian eye type.  My sister inherited these.  Now, from what I understood, they both liked the They’re Real, but after learning that one of the reasons that “Roller Lash” was developed was because the Asian consumers of Benefit They’re Real mascara complained of it being a bit too heavy for Asian eyes – I immediately thought of my Mom and my sister.  And I guarantee that they will soon find some mascara with a little pink cap and mini-hooked curved wand in their hands.  Very soon.  I promise.   AND they will (as usual) get a personal tutorial on how to use it properly – with the curve facing up like a smiley face – because the mini hooks that grip your lashes are on the top and they definitely curl it amazingly.  To the point where I have to be careful when I put it on because I end up with little mascara dots on my eyelid otherwise.

Oh, and the other tip I got that was really useful was that when applying mascara, apply mascara to your lower lashes before you work on your upper lashes.  And always do your eyes before your base (which….I still haven’t done – do as I say and not as I do) to minimize and avoid errant makeup on your cheeks.  Come on, we’ve all applied powder eyeshadow and had it drop onto our cheeks!

The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox and Bewildered Bug

The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox and Bewildered Bug

At the tutorial, Birchbox introduced us to three different “looks” that they’ve come up with for us to try to perfect – and they were all so easy to achieve.  I’m not going to bother to describe the processes, but I will tell you that they put up video tutorials of the three looks:

– the Pantone Pick Me Up (using the Pantone color of 2015, Marsala), which uses a lipstick as an eye shadow and gives you an amazingly modern, colourful and gorgeous look.  This look uses the They’re Real mascara.

– The Peach Perfect Look for a fresh, girly natural glow.  This one uses the Roller Lash mascara.

– The Undershadow – using a stiff angled brush and a coloured eye shadow to make smokey undershadows on your eyes and t hen pumping up your lashes with BADGal – Benefit’s “traditional” mascara which I have yet to try.  It definitely gives you really vampy, heavy lashes though and is absolutely beautiful for those days when you want just a little more *oomph*.  Unfortunately I could not find this tutorial online but I will keep looking for you.

I have tried the undershadow with normal gray or black shadow – because this look came out quite a few years ago in this manner – in fact, they even used red when I first discovered it.  My problem was that I was using the wrong brush, blending down too far and using drab colours.  I was advised, for my skintone and eye and hair colour, to use a bright green or purple.

By the end of the evening, I felt like a complete queen, thanks to Birchbox – I had personalised make up advice by professional makeup artistes, a personal makeup makeover by the lovely Alyson and a gorgeous hairdo by the amazing Benefit team.  I was completely pampered after one of those long, dreary days that you just want to be over, and I am so very grateful.

The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox and Bewildered Bug
From delicious complimentary drinks …
The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox and Bewildered Bug
To yummy and healthy snackies….
The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox and Bewildered Bug
To amazing looking cupcakes (they were not GF but I hear they tasted really good too!)
The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox and Bewildered Bug
…to amazing complimentary beauty treatments…
The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox and Bewildered Bug
and a complete building of an amazingly kitted out pop up beauty parlour….
The Battle of the Benefit Mascaras by Birchbox and Bewildered Bug
Birchbox and benefit made me a very happy and pampered bug (check out the eyelashes!!)

I was even more grateful when, last night, I went to open the “notebook” that they gave me in a goodie bag that they were giving out at the tutorial and found a makeup mirror instead!  See why you empty your shopping bags the day you get home?  There just might be an extra special surprise in there.

Birchbox mascara tutorial by Bewildered Bug

Birchbox mascara tutorial by Bewildered Bug

So thanks to Birchbox for a lovely evening, so many amazing makeup and beauty tips and the opportunity to learn a bit more about the Benefit brand.  And thanks to Birchbox for getting together with Habitat and Benefit this month to create a spectacular box for March 2015!

Do you Birchbox?  Have you tried any of their mascaras?  Which is your favourite?  Perhaps you can help me decide


- ...just trying to navigate through this obstacle course called life...

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