Monday 9 February 2015

NEW LAUNCH REVIEW: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara - with Before + After Pics

I take my hat off to Benefit. They are brilliant at building  buzz around a product. Their social campaigns are always highly engaging, entertaining, and pitched perfectly at their target audience.

Now for their newest launch, Roller Lash mascara, Benefit has taken engagement a step further by giving samples away with the March issue of Elle UK (story here) – before the product has even hit counters. Inspired!

Such tactics are not without risk. They could backfire should the product fail to match the hype. Early PR-led reviews of the mascara have been favourable but it won’t be until the product is in more hands that opinion will be properly formed.

With hype comes heightened expectations, and my expectations for this product have been huge. I don’t just want to know how it lifts lashes compared to other mascaras. I want to know how it lifts compared to eyelash curlers  – I am curler tool obsessed!

That’s not actually a comparison Benefit is making, from what I can tell - its ‘Friends with Benefit’ blog just claims ‘unmatched curl power’ (compared to other mascaras, I’m guessing ). But it’s one that has come to my mind and probably yours too.

I’ve been using Roller Lash every day since I picked up my copy of Elle. I’ve tried it and formed an opinion. I’ve also taken before and after shots to show you how it looks.

So what do I think?

This feels unlike any other mascara I have used. That’s down to the ‘hook n roll’ brush, which grips lashes and holds them firm. You can certainly feel a gentle pull (not a tug) as you sweep upwards.

The brush design is based on traditional Velcro hair rollers (hence the old school salon imagery used in the product marketing), and it is what gives Roller Lash its curling action. The ink-black formula, meanwhile, works with the brush like hairspray  to set the curls.

Roller Lash really does curl lashes extremely well – and the curl holds. I’m impressed. As you can see in the before and after shots below, it lifts lashes significantly from their natural position. See here:
L: natural lash, R: with 1 coat of Roller Lash

But more impressively, the lift is comparable to the curl I’m getting with my Shu Uemura’s (widely considered to be among the best curlers on the market). See here:
L: with 1 coat Roller Lash, R: with curlers and 1 mascara coat

Roller Lash does a pretty good job of lengthening lashes too. But it doesn’t create volume. In fairness this is not a claim Benefit is making, but it does mean that I would want to apply a lash thickening mascara first. 

Other points to note: Benefit says the formula contains lash conditioning ingredients and is easy to remove. I’m currently using Benefit’s They’re Real Remover, a creamy gel that shifts pretty much anything, so I can’t really say how easy it would be to erase if using a water-based  remover.

In summary, Roller Lash really delivers the goods in terms of curl and lift. If you want a day off from using your curlers, without comprising performance, well now you can. But if you want volume too then you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Roller Lash will arrive on counter on 27th February, priced £19.50. More on Benefit here.

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