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this is where you’ll find my favorite recipes, what we’re up to behind the scenes, and adventures in starting a new business. click on “mdj marketing” for more info on the latter.


Cosmetics have a way of becoming a part of us. They cover us, enhance us, and make us feel untouchable. As we grow up, moving from prepubescence to adolescence to adulthood, we need new armor to protect us. What worked when we were 15 probably won’t cut it at 26. Sometimes I feel myself entering a makeup slump after using the same reliable workhorses for months or even years. I get that familiar feeling telling me it’s time for change. After an adolescence of using drugstore brands like Maybelline and Covergirl, I’ve been growing up a bit and trying out luxury mascaras that more suit my age, like Benefit They’re Real! Mascara. I’d heard about the brand through friends who said They’re Real! is like Maybelline’s The Falsies (a past drugstore favorite), but 1000 times better. benefit_theyre_real

The big difference between drugstore and prestige mascaras: the brush. Benefit’s definitely doesn’t disappoint. With two ways to use it, horizontally for length and volume, and vertically for curl and lift, all of my lashes—even ones that had previously been hiding—were defined and dark. With two thick coats and a little eyeliner, I was ready for a night out. I was asked time and time again if they were my real lashes. The next day, I used a lighter coat and had long, defined lashes that were noticeable but not too much for daytime wear. I didn’t have any problems with clumping or smudging, even after multiple coats and touchups.

While the price ($23 at Sephora) did shock me at first—I was used to the $9 price tag of mascaras at Target or Ulta—it was still comparable and even inexpensive alongside Dior, Guerlain, and MAC mascaras. I found my new everything in Benefit They’re Real!—and yes, they are real.