Benefit went big with this launch. A space-themed teaser campaign. Pink astronauts roaming city streets and silver spaceships in shopping malls. Then there were the press trips, most notably the influencer jolly to a £10,000 a night resort in the Maldives.
These influencers, primarily YouTube beauty gurus, did their thing. Instagram was a sea of pics that were #outofthisworld. Every detail was blogged and vlogged. Room tours, private pools, boat trips. What they had for breakfast. Then the launch party, complete with countdown, the grand unveiling of the biggest Benefit launch of all time, the innovative, revolutionary, highly anticipated, out of this world…mascara.
It was a bit of an anti climax. Was that it? Not a cosmic collection. No intergalactic eyeshadow palette. No highlighters for a beam that can be seen from the Moon. (I know! Benefit marketing team, call me.) Just a single mascara.
Then came the backlash. Too wasteful, too extravagant. And bad reviews, whispers that it was underwhelming, others that is was clumpy. I wasn’t interested either. Not for the same reasons – PR trips are nothing new and this one looked immense (again, Benefit press team, call me) – but because of the silence that followed it. Sure they loved the Maldives, but what of the mascara? Where were their reviews and tutorials? Why was no one using the damn thing?
Decided it must be a dud. What else could explain the tumbleweed. Or the OTT launch. Surely Benefit didn’t need to go that hard, they’ve got mascara nailed. Benefit is the market leader when it comes to mascara in the UK. If the product was great it would sell, right?
But then I was given a mini, a travel size. And whaddya know, I blimmin’ well love this mascara. I even bought the full size when the mini ran out. It’s just such a great all rounder: length, separation, volume. Does it all. And it gets those lashes black. Black and glossy.
It’s quite a wet formula, but I seem to be able to apply it without making a great big mess. Doesn’t transfer to the brow bone, though it does need a second to dry. It’s a bit tricky on bottom lashes, a bit much, you have to take care to avoid smudges. But using a light hand, those bottom lashes are longer and more defined than ever before. Categorically unclumpy.
Looks great all day, no flaking or smudging, and is pretty easy to remove. Plus I love the packaging. Not so much the black and hot pink colour combo, but the NARS-esque soft touch matte feel. And the studded lid is more than decorative – it stops it rolling off your dresser. The wand too, medium sized, tapered, sensible. No horrid spiky end ball for which Benefit are famed.
A great mascara. Stellar, you might say.
Benefit BADgal Bang! Mascara, £21.50, here.
Til next time,