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Benefit mascara – how to find a cheaper version

Ellen inquires…What is the best mascara? I use Benefit’s “They’re Real!” and for me, it does what it says – no flaking, smudging, comes off with a little oil. But it is about 22 dollars. Is there a less expensive brand with similar characteristics? They all make the same claim! I have had to try so many, and sometimes I think they change the formula, because I have to keep changing mascara’s. As a girl, I used Great Lash, but I am 60 now and haven’t tried it for….ages.

The Beauty Brains respond:

To find a cheaper version of your favorite product you can use a variation of our ingredient “Rule of 5.”

1. Find the ingredient list for the product in question which in this case is Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara. (If you don’t have the package handy you can usually find it on Amazon, Drugstore.com, or the websites for national drug store chains.

2. Copy and paste the first five ingredients into the search field of your web browser. Note that the ingredient names are separated by commas. This can be confusing because some of the longer chemical names contain dashes and slashes.

3. Review the search engine results disregarding the references to the original product until you find alternate products with the same first 5 ingredients. In this case we found two brands in the first few results pages: Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Mascara and UOUO Curl Lash Mascara.

4. Click through those links until you find the entire ingredient list for the alternate products and compare the rest of the ingredients with your target product. In this case we found that the ingredients for both the Givenchy and UOUO products were almost identical to the benefit product.

5. Locate the price and net contents for each alternate product so you can calculate a price per ounce. In our example we found that the Givenchy product was MORE expensive than Benefit but the UOUO product is considerably less (about $6 a tube for UOUO versus $22 for Benefit.)

If you’re lucky, like in this example, you’ll find products that are nearly identical in composition. If only some of the ingredients match up then you’ll need a little more chemical knowledge to be able to identify the best option. (Or you can just ask us!)

The Beauty Brains bottom line

For a cheaper version of Benefit’s “They’re Real” mascara try UOUO Curl Lash Lengthening Mascara. The ingredients are almost identical but about 1/3 of the price. (Note: this doesn’t mean that other product characteristics, like the application brush, will be similar.)

Benefit “They’re Real!” mascara ingredients

Water, paraffin, polybutene, styrene/acrylates/ammonium methacrylate copolymer, beeswax, Bis-di glycerylpolyacyladipate-2, C18–36 acid triglyceride, palmitic acid, stearic acid, triethanolamine, VP/Eicosine copolymer, acacia gum, hydroxyethylcellulose, phenoxyethanol, tetrasodium EDTA, butylene glycol. Caprylyl glycol, tocopherol acetate, sodium lauryl-12 sulfate, glycerin, potassium sorbate, glycerine, calcium chloride, sodium hyaluronic, extract, citric acid, BHT, sorbic acid, iron oxide also Marines chromium oxide greens sodium hydroxide green titanium dioxide.

UOUO Curl Lash Lengthening Mascara ingredients

WATER (AQUA), PARAFFIN, POLYBUTENE, STYRENE/ACRYLATES/AMMONIUM METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER, BEESWAX (CERA ALBA), BIS-DIGLYCERYL POLYACYLADIPATE-2, C18-36 ACID TRIGLYCERIDE, PALMITIC ACID, STEARIC ACID, TRIETHANOLAMINE, VP/EICOSENE COPOLYMER, ACACIA SENEGAL GUM, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, PHENOXYETHANOL, TETRASODIUM EDTA, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, SODIUM LAURETH-12 SULFATE, GLYCERIN, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SERICIN, CALCIUM CHLORIDE, SODIUM HYALURONATE, TILIA TOMENTOSA BUD EXTRACT, CITRIC ACID, BHT, SORBIC ACID. [+/-: IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), ULTRAMARINES (CI 77007), CHROMIUM OXIDE GREENS (CI 77288), CHROMIUM HYDROXIDE GREEN (CI 77289), TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891)]. N° 05827/N

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Phyllis September 28, 2015, 1:30 pm

    Great information! However, your link for UOUO has “recently been listed in the marketplace” and a search brings up garbage… I found Urban Decay for $24, so maybe there is no cheaper version?

    • Pilgrim September 29, 2015, 8:37 am

      i was looking for a similar to a mascara called

      Boots Seventeen Falsifeye HD

      could not find ingredients posted on their site because it is a UK product.
      the box package it comes in however has the ingredients listed on the side.

      reviews of it compared it to Benefit They’re Real. the reviews have been wonderful and the price is excellent. it seems to only be sold on International Boot’s website for those out of the UK. it is a great product itself.

      caveat – it is the HD one. not the regular Seventeen Falsifeye.

      Boots Seventeen Falsifeye HD

  • Pilgrim September 28, 2015, 1:34 pm

    OK! that was so much fun! really really cool! really neat!
    ok, putting the rest in chrono order because been doing versions of this before but you guys do it with the most style.

    been looking for a waterproof stretchy mascara so was looking for isododecane, acrylates copolymer and maybe pullulan. saw U.S. patents on ingredients and i don’t have to say which monopoly has the most patents.

    so, for looking for similars, original blinc is a good one. went to drugstore.com. their descriptions have the most clarity. original blinc ingredients are straightforward. i copy/pasted all ten ingredient because, why not. small number of ingredients for a mascara. left out the “may contain” ingredients because those seem to be the color options.

    going back to the search now because it’s cool and fun.

  • Pilgrim October 11, 2015, 10:48 pm

    i have noticed the better mascaras also dry out faster.

  • terri October 24, 2015, 10:47 am

    I have been told that a high amount in lead can lead to the drying of makeup products.

  • Jenn December 31, 2015, 3:57 pm

    If you are looking for a cheaper way for Benefit’s mascara, look no further than the to go samples they sell for $10. Since mascara has to be replaced every few months anyway, I buy the travel size version instead and get all of the “benefits” without spending the extra cash.

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