Like any beauty junkie knows, as soon as a new cosmetic is released offering you a quick solution to your nonexistent problem, all logic goes out the window. This scenario is all too familiar for many, including myself. You hear words and phrases such as “game changing,” “ground breaking,” and “innovative” and without a fight (and fifty dollars), you leave Sephora with a new eyeshadow palette that most likely won’t give you Kim Kardashian’s infamous smokey eye.
One of these marketing campaigns really caught my eye recently, and yes my eye was not pleased, nor was I when the Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner failed to meet some incredibly high-set expectations. In the early spring, fashion magazines put out advertisements for this “one of a kind” eyeliner that no one could get their hands on until mid summer. During the wait, Benefit was able to create a lot of hype by emphasizing the liner’s features. I noticed that Benefit introduced a new blush in early September without notice. Yet for months people were talking about this eyeliner’s release which appears to have made all the difference. Makeup junkies are always on the hunt for the next best product and Benefit used this to their advantage. You can see how Benefit emphasizes this as the next best eyeliner in the video below.
The marketing department at Benefit created a buzz by boasting this eyeliner’s unique features. The unique gel formula could be used like a pen for easy application, substituting an eyeliner brush. However, what really made this eyeliner stand out is that it is supposed to effortlessly achieve the cat eye, or winged liner style with its special tip. Any girl who has ever struggled in creating this look (every girl) knows the weight of that promise. Benefit even trademarked the tip naming it “Accuflex” which is how a lot of consumers of cosmetics get fooled into paying a higher price for a mediocre product. No one wants to be using the same eyeliner their grandmother used! They want the latest and greatest innovation in beauty. The Benefit Cosmetics website devoted a page to this eyeliner with all sorts of tutorials and liner techniques. There were even flash pre-sales offering Macy’s customers first dibs on trying it out. Another cosmetic site, Birchbox.com ran a sweepstakes to be able to try the liner first.
So what happened when the Benefit They’re Real Push-Up Liner got released? Let’s see what Sephora customers had to say:
“I would give this zero stars if I could. All it did was flake, everywhere.” (Sephora.com)
“Not impressed at all. Super clumpy. Great idea but the execution failed… As a makeup professional I would not recommend to anyone.” (Sephora.com)
The majority of reviews had similar complaints. Ultimately, it was a failed product that was marketed very effectively at consumers of cosmetics. If word did not spread so fast about the poor quality, it could have been very successful in the short. I blame the chemists for that one.