I must confess to being rather skeptical about Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip (£16.50) when I first saw it. After all, it seemed to be the lip version of the They’re Real Duo Eyeshadow Blender which I wasn’t terribly impressed by. Both are products which simultaneously apply two colours exactly where you need them – at least that’s the theory. With the Duo Eyeshadow Blender, the idea is that one shade of eyeshadow covers the lid while the contrasting shade goes into the crease, and with Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip, the darker shade of lipstick lines the lips while the lighter one fills them in.
The concept works much, much better with Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip than with the Duo Eyeshadow Blender: the twin shades produce more of an ombre effect than of the traditional lined lip look, and the colours are beautiful (and beautifully twinned). The design of the lipstick itself is very clever: whether you’re doing your upper lip or your lower one, the pointed tip of the darker shade can get right to where it needs to go. Just remember to turn the Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip upside down when you’re applying it to the lower lip, to ensure that the darker shade goes around the outer edge.
Not only does Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip provide long-lasting colour, but I found that it made my lips look much fuller thanks to both the visual trickery of the ombre look and to the fact that since you apply the lipstick in a way which makes me think of the hands of a clock – from the centre, rather than drawing a line that follows your lip line – you end up with more symmetrical lips and a more natural-looking painted-on lip line than would be achieved with a brush or lip liner.
My only, tiny, issue with Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip is that I found it slightly dry unless I used lip balm first. But that is not making me any less determined to work my way through trying out all five of the colourways in the range!