FYI, You Need This: Benefit's New Eyeliner Survived My Allergies and a Heat Wave

We all have that beauty product that constantly piques our interest, that if we see a new one, we always have to try it despite having 30 of them at home, and liquid eyeliner is mine. It’s a crucial part of my personal beauty signature, so much, in fact, that when I don’t have it on, for whatever reason, I don’t feel complete. I’ve been drawing on a cat eye for almost 20 (!) years, yet I remain on a never-ending quest for the perfect liquid eyeliner. While I do have a pretty serious stash of go-to products, it’s important to keep an open mind. Makeup technology is always improving, after all! The latest eyeliner fave to make my illustrious list? Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Xtreme Precision Eye Liner ($24).

Being a longtime liquid-eyeliner aficionado, I have certain requirements that liners must meet. They have to be highly pigmented (the blacker, the better); create sharp, precise lines; last all day; and be waterproof. Especially because I need an eyeliner that holds up well against my allergies, which is a new thing for me. My eyes will randomly water and burn. I didn’t have to deal with this a couple of years ago (yay for our bodies doing weird, random things as we get older!), and it’s still something I’m still sorting out with my doctor. But what I do know is that some of the eyeliners that I used to swear by don’t hold up as well against my random allergy attacks. Rude!

So now that’s something that’s always top of mind when I’m drawing my wing. I was really excited to try Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Xtreme Precision Liner ($24)—I’m still mourning the brand’s old, now-discontinued Magic Ink Liner, TBH—and already loved that it was in a red, rectangular tube. Not only does it stand out against my sea of black eyeliners, but the squared edges of the tube container make it easier to grip. The brush, which is a 0.1 millimeter tapered brush with flexible bristles, helps the product go onto my lid super precisely. I was able to draw a thin line and easily build it into thicker, razor-sharp lines. The formula passed my pigment requirements, as it was super black at first application, without me having to go over it again and again.


(Image credit: @marielodiandreakos)

And now for the allergy test. I had the liner on one night when I got struck with the whole itchy, watery eyes thing (either from incense or spring blooming outside—boo!) and ran to the mirror. I was pleased to see that the eyeliner didn’t budge! The next day, I had it on when L.A. was having a hellish heat wave, and it stayed on pretty well. There was only minor lifting. One thing I have noticed that generally helps is that I have to make sure my lids are completely dry before applying eyeliner. I then use a primer and set it with a little bit of powder or nude eye shadow.

This helps ensure that my cat eye lasts as long as possible.

Overall, I’m super impressed by They’re Real! Xtreme Precision Liner ($24) and have been using it every day since. Now I’m crossing my fingers that it comes in fun, bright colors for summer.

Shop other eyeliners in my arsenal:

Up next, I'm Locally Famous for My Eyeliner Skills—Here's Everything I Do to Get It Right

Marie Lodi
Freelance Beauty and Fashion Writer/Editor

Marie has covered beauty, fashion, and lifestyle for almost 15 years. She contributes to the beauty section here at Who What Wear. Previously, she was the Looks Editor for Bust Magazine, built the beauty vertical at HelloGiggles as its beauty editor, and was a founding staff writer at Rookie mag, giving fashion advice to teens. Her bylines have appeared in The Cut, Allure, Glamour, The Hollywood Reporter, and more. She was born and raised in Southern California and is based in L.A. Marie is a self-proclaimed costume design nerd and a co-host of Makeover Montage, a podcast about fashion in film and costume design. You'll see her writing about her beauty obsessions: red lipstick, winged eyeliner, pink hair, nail art, and skincare for people over 40. When she's not working, she's playing with her dog, Gnocchi, and writing her style newsletter, Overdressed.