We all love a good dupe for things that can be really pricey, but let me just tell you that you'd have to pry my beloved Benefit mascara from my cold dead hands if you wanted it. They're Real is one of the only high end make up items that I will happily fork out for and god forbid it should ever run out on me before I can get a replacement. So when I tried w7's *Absolute Lashes mascara, I wasn't expecting much from it. It may look like the real thing, but looks can be deceiving. So it was only after so serious testing out and trying all the tricks in the book can I report what I've found to you guys and gals.
So first of all, its obvious that both tubes look more or less the same. They are both the same size and length and when the plastic wands are put side by side, again you can't see a lot of difference. Benefits brush has less bristles and therefore looks prettier and more structured. W7's brush is the tiniest bit longer with more bristles, which made me think it would apply a lot more messily.
The formula of Benefit is thicker, when applied I tend to only use one coat as its thick and covers all my lashes. It makes my lashes hard once dry and stays put all day, with a little fall out if I'm honest. When I go to take it off at night I will spend a good 5 minutes scrubbing at my eyes to get it all removed. Anyone whose tried They'e Real seems to have this issue, it taking an unreal amount of time to get off.
W7's formula seems to not be as thick, so when I apply it I use about 3 coats. It surprised me as it doesn't flake during the day and there was never any fall out, unlike my much loved Benefit. As for taking it off, its a total breeze. I only need to take a few seconds to get it off, even if I have a lot of layers on.
Together I noticed that Benefit doesn't separate my lashes, leaves clumps on them and makes them feel crispy, unlike the W7 mascara that makes them like there still my lashes and not crispy or stiff. As you can see from the (horrible makeupless!) photos below, I think its clear to see what I'm on about. I used one coat for each eye and didn't brush or fix my lashes in any way after I applied the product. As you can see, I think that you need less product with Benefit, but way more time to separate, fix and then get it off later. With the W7 you need to apply more coats, but the lashes aren't clumped and you need less time to take it off. I accidentally rubbed my eyes with both mascaras on and noticed that I had a noticeable black mark on my Benefit hand. The same when I was taking a shower (I forgot I had mascara on, the dope that I am). When I got out of the shower, I had a panda eye on my Benefit side.
My overall thoughts? I don't say it lightly, but I'm genuinely surprised that such a cheap product could outdo Benefit. For something thats €26 in Boots or at Benefit stands, I'm delighted that W7 would only set me back €3.50 -€5, depending on where you pick it up. - Places like Cara Pharmacy in Ireland. I'm going to finish up my They're Real, but then I doubt I'll be buying it again, instead sticking to the cheap, cheerful and better w7 Absolute Lashes mascara!
*I did not pay for this item, it was a PR gift. Please see my disclaimer here.