Review: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Posted on March 16, 2015 under Reviews

I believe I am one of about ten people in the known universe who absolutely fucking hates Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara. When I worked in cosmetics, I’d get customers coming in every day raving about it, and my fellow SAs were similarly enthusiastic. On the other hand, I consider it to be my mascara nemesis.

Something you must understand about me is that I am not very picky about mascara. I don’t have sensitive eyes, and my eyelashes are fairly okay on their own, so I am not asking for any miracles. My main criteria for mascara are that it does not 1) clump together intensely, leaving me with approximately 3-5 mega eyelashes, or 2) require industrial-strength power to remove. Interestingly enough, I found that They’re Real! violated both of these requests; it is the clumpiest mascara I have ever tried, by an exponential factor, and one time I didn’t shower for five days after applying it (gross, I know) AND IT DIDN’T COME OFF.

Combined with the fact that I positively hated the They’re Real! eyeliner for similar reasons, you might say I had low expectations for Benefit’s new mascara, Roller Lash.

roller-lash-comparison-open

Top: No mascara. Bottom: Roller Lash applied to the top lashes.

roller-lash-comparison-closed

Top: No mascara. Bottom: Roller Lash applied to the top lashes.

roller-lash-gif

OMG, a gif! Give this a minute to load; the file’s pretty big. Clearly I am not yet a gif-master. Also, sorry for the shakiness; I didn’t have a tripod on hand.

I found Roller Lash to be, essentially, They’re Real! light. By that, I mean it is prone to clumping but not terribly so, and it is quite difficult to get off but can be removed with a bit of elbow grease, unlike They’re Real! which I’m convinced would survive nuclear war.

That sounds quite negative, but I don’t hate this mascara and I will continue to use up my sample-sized tube. It’s just nothing special, in my opinion. I prefer my mascara to be a bit more lengthening than this is, and I don’t go for the slightly-clumpy look, though I know many do.

I think there are a lot of drugstore mascaras on the market that perform similarly; Maybelline’s much-touted The Falsies comes to mind.

roller-lash-brush

The brush of Roller Lash is very different from They’re Real! – it has that curved shape that was in vogue roundabout 2012/2013. I feel like we as a society have slowly been moving away from these mascaras, although these brushes were quite popular a few years ago, with high-profile offerings such as The Falsies and Covergirl’s Clump Crusher having similar shapes. The Roller Lash brush has more of a shallow curve than either of those. The brush is also significantly shorter than They’re Real!, so if that massive brush put you off that mascara, this one might be a better option. All in all, the brush is quite standard, nothing particularly innovative, but the size does make it much more reasonable to use.

roller-lash-comparison-up

Left: Roller Lash on the top lashes. Right: No mascara. I decided to showcase the “better” eye, as when I applied it to my first eye it was quite a bit clumpier. Learning curve and all. However, although I managed to diligently avoid clumping with this eye, you can see that the effect is not super dramatic, at least not compared to my preferences. For some people this might be a good thing; for me, it’s a bit of a bummer, since I like my mascara to wow me.

I’m not a huge mascara fanatic anyway (it serves an important purpose but it doesn’t get me excited), and I think the drugstore has so many good options that I’m rather averse to buying pricier ones. Thus, I wouldn’t purchase a full-sized tube of Roller Lash even if I liked it – so a more apt question is whether or not I’d spend Sephora points on another deluxe sample of it. The answer to that is no; it just doesn’t impress me, although I don’t hate it.

If you are one of They’re Real!’s many, many proponents but you’d like an option that’s a bit less dramatic and perhaps better suited to everyday wear, you’ll probably like Roller Lash. If you are one of the other nine people on planet Earth who hated They’re Real!, skip this one.

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