I'm horrible at keeping secrets. Like, as soon as I hear one I race home to tell my best friend about it and then make her swear to keep it, too. But by some miracle, I've managed to keep one very big secret for an entire year — and it's about Benefit Cosmetics' latest launch. On February 18, the brand will introduce the newest addition to its beloved lineup of mascaras, They're Real! Magnet Mascara. I've been using it since last March, and you know what? I'm just going to say it: It's hands-down the best mascara I've ever used.
This mascara works so damn well for a few different reasons. It's not so much an average mascara so much as it's a piece of beauty technology (I have to write it in italics because truly, this shit is the future). In short, this mascara harnesses the power of magnetic force to coat, curl, and lengthen lashes in a way that's never been done before.
Based on the outer appearance of its brush, this might look like a good albeit average mascara — but it's what's inside that makes it so effective. "We've inserted a magnetic core in the middle of [the brush]," says Jamie Bell, the former Benefit executive vice president of global marketing, who oversaw the creation of the mascara before parting with the brand. "We simultaneously developed a special magnetic, mineral-enriched formula, specifically formulated to interact with the brush's magnetic core."
In other words, the mascara brush and the formula itself are physically attracted to each other like magnets and refrigerator doors. From the moment that formula comes into contact with your eyelashes, they sort of become magnetic, too, and lightly cling to the brush as you apply. Or, as Bell explains, "the magnetic core in the brush attracts the formula, pulling lashes up and out to extreme lengths during application."
This all works due to a couple of key ingredients, says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. "Iron oxides are the key ingredients responsible for the magnetic property," she explains. "Additionally, ferric ferrocyanide and ferric ammonium ferrocyanide are positively charged iron oxide, which can also enhance the magnetic property."
The force of the magnet is subtle, so you can't feel it working — but you can see the results immediately. I usually spend loads of time trying to get my brush into every little nook and cranny of my eye, but the magnetic pull of this formula against the brush does all of that for me. So not only do my lashes look longer and fuller than normal, I can get them that way in a fraction of the time.
And I haven't even mentioned the other innovative thing about this mascara: the "wiper." Do you ever pull a mascara brush from its tube and think, "Holy shit, that's way too much," so you've got to wipe half of it off? For They're Real! Magnet Mascara, Benefit made the opening of its tube slightly smaller than necessary so that it scrapes away all the excess product from the brush as it's being pulled out.
So every time you use it, the brush is evenly coated in just the right amount of mascara. I should also mention that Benefit has patented its wiper and magnetic brush technology, so it's very unlikely that you'll be seeing similar mascaras hit the market any time soon.
Writing this caption is ultimately pointless because I don’t even need to tell you which eye is bare and which one has They’re Real! Magnet Mascara on it. Anyway, sorry for the Resting Bitch Face.
So, uh, why have I been harboring this mascara secret for so long? Because the path to this product release has been long and tumultuous, to say the least. Benefit took roughly four years of development and 75 different iterations to nail the perfect brush and formula, which it originally planned to release last July. The brand sent me the mascara to try and granted me an interview with the product development team all the way back in March 2020 — and we all know what happened around then.
Throughout the rest of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic continued, so Benefit pushed the launch back to August before postponing its release indefinitely. All that time, the product was under what we press folks call an embargo, meaning we agreed not to reveal it until the brand gave us the OK.
So, as the mascara's debut got pushed further and further back, I wore it basically every time I did my makeup — and wasn't allowed to tell a soul about it. I wore it for almost all of my social media content, Zoom meetings, and socially distant hangouts (yeah, I love it that much). And every time someone asked what I was wearing, I'd just lie and name any other mascara I could think of off the top of my head. So you can imagine just how excited I am to finally recommend it to… well, everyone I know. And, obviously, to you.
The Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Magnet Mascara is available now for $27 at ulta.com, sephora.com, and benefitcosmetics.com.
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