Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner: Nifty Eyeliner Pen Took 5 Years to Develop

by Janine on 3 May 2014 · 34 comments

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner_beauty look_swoop up & awayBenefit is launching Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner, their biggest innovation ever, and had a whole tease-marketing campaign planned for the next couple of weeks. The media was under a strict global embargo — we weren’t allowed to publish even a photograph until May 13th. And some big publication broke the embargo and torpedoed the campaign. Oops. But that means I can tell you about this nifty new liner right. this. minute. Whether or not you have trouble giving yourself that sexy cat-eye or kitten flick, you want to try this.

benefit they’re real push-up liner

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Gel Liner lash-hugging gel liner penBenefit’s known for their totally cute packaging and saucy names, but with this launch, they mean business. Don’t be fooled by the word “pen” up there in the headline. The Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner is unlike any eye liner pen most of us have ever tried. That’s not a marker-type felt tip. I’ll let Benefit explain it here:

benefit they’re real push-up liner flexible nib

The Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner is designed to make a flawless winged-liner application super-easy. Well, easier than liquid liner, and easier than using a brush and pot of gel. Its firm yet flexible angled nib has a tiny opening through which matte-finish gel liner emerges. Twist the end of the pen once to propel through exactly enough gel liner for one eye (if you’re doing a simple look, not bold and dramatic).

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner_lash-hugging gel liner pen tipHere’s a closer look at the Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner nib. According to BritishBeautyBlogger, we’ll be seeing flexible eye-liner tips like this soon from a number of brands, including Smashbox.

Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner_lash-hugging gel liner penThe Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner ($29) hits Benefit counters, Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques, Murale and Sephora on June 27th.

I need a bit more play time with the liner before a review. Haven’t yet used it in the back of a cab….

Whaddya think so far?

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Rae // theNotice 3 May 2014 at 6:41 pm

Oh, wow — this looks so cool!! Shame on whoever broke the embargo (not cool, dude), but I’m excited to lay eyes on this all the same ;)


Janine 3 May 2014 at 6:51 pm

It was a VERY BIG publication, Rae. Embargos are tricky! And actually, given the size of the publication, it’s entirely probable they had an exclusive and were supposed to go live before anyone else. But once it’s out on the web, it’s fair game. No way anyone else was going to wait two weeks before posting.

The pen itself is pretty cool, although a little tricky at first. The reviews will be interesting!


Tracy@BeautyReflections 3 May 2014 at 7:46 pm

The image of people working tirelessly in a lab to develop the perfect eyeliner for five years makes me giggle A LOT. And it makes me think of that Mitchell and Webb sketch of working in the Garnier Laboratoire and they find a cure for Alzheimer’s:
Also, she says you only need one hand to apply your eyeliner many did you use before hahaha?
All the giggles aside, this looks interesting. I’d give it a go. It might be great for hooded eyes like mine!


Janine 3 May 2014 at 8:01 pm

I know, right?? Staff thinks it just took them five years to find that flexible nib. I quirked a brow at the one-hand comment as well. Maybe she uses her other hand to stretch out her lid?

Thanks so much for that Mitchell and Webb link — I just posted it on the BG FB page. xoxo


Janine 4 May 2014 at 4:57 pm

Just realized something, Tracy — maybe by “one hand” she means you don’t have to fuss with a pot of gel + brush. It’s just click and apply. The gel doesn’t come out in a blobby rush, and goes on pretty smoothly and easily.


Sheila 4 May 2014 at 1:07 am

Apparently Maybelline already makes one with the flexible tip. I did some Googling and found this:

Doesn’t look too promising, sadly, with the giant glob of liner that comes out at first but hopefully with the Benefit version, they’ve improved the formula.


Janine 4 May 2014 at 8:25 am

Thanks so much for that, Sheila! I saw mention of it in the comments on British Beauty Blogger. It hasn’t launched in Canada — hasn’t even been mentioned by the brand here. The tip looks less sculpted than this one; the comparisons will be interesting.


Janine 5 May 2014 at 9:04 am

Hi again, Sheila! I have an update re: the Maybelline Lasting Drama Pen Gel Liner. There are apparently no plans at the moment to launch it in North America.

As to the blobby bit, I can tell you the Benefit pen releases the liner in a very controlled manner. One click delivers enough for a simple one-eye application, no blobbing.


Shannon 11 June 2014 at 3:03 pm

The couple of gurus who have gotten their hands on this to review have all said the formula is quite dry so it can be difficult to apply in one stroke. Some people are saying the Maybelline formula is better because it’s less dry on application and it’s half the price.


Michelle | MyWonders❤MesMerveilles 4 May 2014 at 3:49 am

Gel liner in a pen ! That’s what i’m waiting for a while !
Cant wait to see it in real !


Michelle | MyWonders❤MesMerveilles


Stacy 4 May 2014 at 6:55 pm

So say this in the May issue of Marie Clarie mag and went hunting. can not find this anywhere not even on Benefits site so I guess the question is when is this being launched?


Janine 4 May 2014 at 6:59 pm

Slated for release at the end of June, Stacy. The 27th :-)


Stacy 4 May 2014 at 7:06 pm

Thanks. I was so excited when I saw it in the mag then so disappointed after hitting 4 stores and having all the sales reps giving me strange looks so much so I bought another mag to take with me so that I did not look crazy. The 27th is now marked in my calendar. Pre order options would be lovely.


Janine 4 May 2014 at 7:17 pm

It’s the May issue of Marie Claire, Stacy, or the June? Magazines are so odd. They release each issue a month ahead of what it says on the calendar. MC likely wouldn’t put a June release in a May issue. They’d put it in the June issue. And the June issue comes out in May! Sheesh.

A pre-order option is a great idea! I’ll ask if they’re considering it! Benefit is justifiably excited — it really does make the whole gel-liner process easier. Oily lids will still need a primer (oil beats waterproof EVERY time), but for most people, the staying power will be impressive. It’s going to do well, I think.


Stacy 4 May 2014 at 9:43 pm

Definitely May. Their global beauty issue with Lupita Nyong’o on the cover.


Janine 5 May 2014 at 12:36 am

Whoa. That’s awkward. Seriously, there was a global embargo until May 13th — shouldn’t have appeared in print in April at all. Plus it should have included info on when the pen hits stores… :-)


Shivani 4 May 2014 at 8:31 pm

Since I wear winged liner everyday, I’ll be buying five of these. I’m such a sucker for products like these. Take my money! Just take it!


Janine 4 May 2014 at 8:44 pm

I wish I had five unopened pens I could sell you RIGHT NOW, Shivani! (You’ll love it.)


Lisa 5 May 2014 at 12:20 pm

This looks pretty neat!


Jessica 5 May 2014 at 2:17 pm

I don’t know if I can wait that long to get my hands on this!


helen 7 May 2014 at 7:50 am

I love a nice cat-eye, it’s my fave go-to trick. I’m so eager to try this! Thanks for the fun in-depth post.


Mascara Mom 9 May 2014 at 9:42 am

Much too gimmicky! I mean, come on! But then again, I am not a cat-eye person at all. I prefer brown or purple eyeliners. Black is too dramatic, too harsh on my face. Aah, mommy life.


Emma 4 June 2014 at 3:40 pm

This was the kick in the pants I needed to finally add beautygeeks to my feedly! Thanks for the opportunity.


louise 27 June 2014 at 6:44 pm

I’m a model and this is the absolute worst eyeliner that I have ever used, and I wear a lot of eyeliner. It’s dry and flakey and makes only a thick line, which looks silly and overdone during the day. Additionally, it’s difficult to remove. I’m going back to wearing my NARS eyeliner, which is the best I’ve found so far.


Calicool 4 July 2014 at 6:09 am

absolutely awful isn’t it! This pen won’t be staying in my kit, that’s for sure.


Calicool 4 July 2014 at 6:06 am

I am really annoyed with this ‘revolutionary’ new pen. I’m wearing it for the 3rd day today and all hope of either improving my application method or the gel getting easier to use is gone. When its on, my eyes resemble a desert floor, the liner cracks and flakes (stings when those flakes go into your eyes) so you better hope you get a perfect line on the first attempt. There has been a image floating around of failed ‘normal’ eyeliner attempts and how this liner will solve all those problems, I can say that this is the only liner I’ve those outcomes with. I cant get the lines even, my eyes look different to each other, if I go wrong i’m pretty much stuck with the mistake unless I want to take all of my makeup off and start again (which I don’t). The gel is way too thick, like waaaay too thick and hard to manipulate, I wouldn’t want to apply this in the winter. Don’t even think about using falsies with this, the glue sticks to the liner and eventually pings off, taking the crusty liner with it.

This pen is such a disappointment and has left me wondering whether they already knew it would be a flop but were relying on a hyped up initial sales boom rather than a steady flow of repeat purchases.

This is not good for new customers and most pre-release reviews were clearly paid for as not one person I’ve spoken to thinks this pen is any good – a great way to destroy a usually trusted brand is to pay people to lie to your customers.


Janine 4 July 2014 at 7:04 am

Sounds like you’re really having a tough time with the pen, Calicool. It really can be a challenge for some — gel is tricky to begin with. And for others, it really is the best thing that’s ever happened to their makeup kit. Our beautygeek reviews have backed that up very clearly — they range from frustration to glee.

The best thing coming out of our reviews are the tips that make application easier and more precise:

1) One twist is usually enough for a natural-looking result per eye; for dramatic, thicker liner, you’ll likely need two clicks.

2) Make a couple of light starter strokes on the back of your hand before you line — it’ll prevent a globby start.

3) Wipe the tip between uses, again to ensure a smooth delivery with the next use.

4) Work in small strokes and work quickly (that part comes with practice).

The idea behind this pen was to eliminate the brush + pot-you-have-to-close-quickly fuss, and to facilitate lining more closely along the lash line. It started with making gel liner easier for gel-liner enthusiasts.

Were you a gel user before this? (I was not: could not be bothered with the process. I’m a pencil girl.)

As to the speculation that Benefit is paying people to lie to customers, unlikely. Otherwise all the reviews HERE would be glowing.


Calicool 4 July 2014 at 8:27 am

Urghc, it’s an effort, put it that way! I love gel liners and have used them for a couple of years now inbetween ‘dot liner’ phases. My favs are illamasqua and Estée Lauder gel pots (I do shape my own brushes to fit my eyeline though). I do cheat a little with my pots by using press and seal bacofoil with a small slit in so I can access the gel with the brush and not have to fuss with fitting the lid back on between dips – it also does a great job of wiping off excess product.

I think it would be much better if it had a thinner consistency, being so thick it can’t be all that gentle on the delicate skin when trying to spread it out.

Maybe I need to look at using liner guides so I don’t get so much of the broken line look going on, but then I might as well go back to freehand pots.

I guess I’m just sick of cosmetic companies advertising products that don’t live up to their intended purpose and wasting large amounts of money based on a clever marketing campaigns – I should know better than to be sucked in!


Janine 4 July 2014 at 8:33 am

How are you at taking photos, Calicool? I’m now totally focussed on how you work with your pots of liner; am emailing you right now.


Emily 4 July 2014 at 7:29 am

I have just reviewed the Maybelline Gel Eyeliner Pen over on my blog and they are so similar!


Janine 4 July 2014 at 8:07 am

They DO seem similar, Emily — I think the Maybelline came out first, and their nib is less structured.

I asked whether Maybelline would be launching their pen here in Canada; apparently there are no immediate plans to so so. Perhaps they’ll rework that nib before expanding the launch? (It seems to have launched in Asia as well as Europe, but not North America.)


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