Benefit Battle Royale: Roller Lash vs. They’re Real

Hello lovelies!

So, it seems like every beauty lover has tried Benefit’s new Roller Lash mascara, which came free with Elle magazine this month and has caused a nationwide sensation! I have seen countless reviews of the product, most of them positive (and why wouldn’t they be? It’s Benefit!) but none comparing Roller Lash to Benefit’s cult mascara They’re Real. I have pitted the two against each other, let’s see how they got on…

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Firstly, there’s something you should know about me (if you hadn’t already gathered)- I am a HUGE Benefit fan/addict. I’ve never tried one of their products and not liked it, and I’ve tried quite a few. I have been using They’re Real mascara since it launched back in 2011, because one of the girls at my local Benefit counter used it on me just before it came out when I had my make up done there for my 18th birthday (feeling old now!) I bought my first tube on a trip to London and was instantly hooked. As much as I tried to start using a cheaper mascara to be kinder to my bank balance, I just couldn’t find one that came close once I tried this beauty, and have been trying to convince my friends, mum and grandma of this ever since (I converted my mum too- yay!)

I was as excited as most people when I heard Benefit were launching a new mascara, but also worried it wouldn’t measure up to my love for They’re Real. I pre-ordered Elle magazine and it STILL hasn’t arrived (argh!) so I caved and bought a copy from the shops last week (so much for it being quicker to pre-order!). I have been using Roller Lash for a week now to give it a fair trial, and this is my verdict.

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When I first wore Roller Lash, I was quite underwhelmed with the effect it had on my lashes. I expected instant volume comparable to that of They’re Real, because of the hair roller-reminiscent ‘hooks’ that promise to lift and curl even the shortest, straightest lashes. I am glad I gave it a fair trial, because after using it for a few days I got the hang of applying it (the brush is so dainty compared to They’re Real, so it felt like it wouldn’t work as well) and am pleased to say that it does make my lashes look luscious and long!

Roller Lash product image


They're Real product photo  


You can see the difference between the two brushes above (I stupidly forgot to take any pictures of the brushes myself, but as my memory card is currently broken I had to use my iPhone for all these images anyway!) The Roller Lash one is more reminiscent of Maybelline’s Define-A-Lash (which they don’t seem to sell anymore- sob!- it was my first mascara love) if you ever used it, with clearly separated, fine silicone bristles that neatly curl lashes to perfection without clumping.

They’re Real’s brush does feel incredibly big and clumsy compared to Roller Lash, and when applying one after the other for the pictures below, you really could feel the difference! I don’t think it helps that my They’re Real is 2 months old now and it always performs better for the first few weeks in my opinion, but I’ve never noticed it being clumpy until I tried it against Roller Lash. You can see below that my eye on the right (They’re Real) has some lashes stuck together, whereas on the left using Roller Lash, the lashes are separated but still appear thick and the same length as the right.



You can probably see here that my lashes on the right using They’re Real are a bit more dramatic than using Roller Lash on the left. That’s definitely the purpose of They’re Real- to give lashes some oomph- and it definitely delivers. I think that’s why a lot of people I’ve seen aren’t big fans for daytime wear, because it makes lashes stand out too much, but as someone who only wears mascara on my eyes this is exactly what I need!

What I have decided is my favourite feature of They’re Real’s brush is the bristles on the end, which allow you to individually poke lashes into submission and give them extra lift. This is what I use to separate clumps of lashes too, and to apply to the finer lashes on the lower lid. However, I actually like the fact that Roller Lash doesn’t have this, because loads of mascara gets trapped at the end and it probably wastes a lot of product, whereas the Roller Lash wand has a clean, rounded tip that allows you to easily wipe off excess product. I’ve got the hang of using the end bristles of this brush to poke my lashes anyway, without the need for the extra bit.


This is my eyes with Roller Lash on the left and no mascara on the right. My eyelashes are brown/blonde, so in this picture it doesn’t really look like I have any! The difference using Roller Lash against no mascara really is incredible. I haven’t worn eyeliner as part of my daily make up routine in years, as I prefer to wear mascara on my bottom lashes to open up my eyes, and you can see below that Roller Lash (left) gives a much more even coverage over my bottom lashes. The mascara seems to coat the brush more evenly than They’re Real, because the bristles are shorter I think.


The Verdict: Overall, I would have to say that both mascaras do perform incredibly well and to their intended purpose. This morning after taking these pictures, I added They’re Real to the eye using Roller Lash to add extra lift (and so I didn’t look wonky!) and this would definitely make for a good day-to-night look using a combination of the two. Ideally, I would like to have both products in my make up bag at all times, but for now I think I will be purchasing the full-size Roller Lash when my They’re Real and sample size Roller Lash run out. This is simply because I trust Benefit enough that this product won’t let me down over long-term use, and I quite fancy a new look for my lashes!

Have you tried Benefit’s Roller Lash? What did you think? Are you a They’re Real fan? Would you switch like me?

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  • Caz

    Haven’t tried it just yet, but I bought Elle magazine (worst £4 I’ve ever spent, it’s full of advertising) and it is on top of my beauty list. Thanks for your review x

    • Yes I’m not really a fan of Elle magazine to read (I always use them for collage!) but Roller Lash is definitely worth the £4 :) Try Company magazine if you’re wanting a great magazine to read! x