Benefit Mascara Vs Barry M, Rimmel And Other Cheaper Alternatives

We put four mascaras to the test.

In Spenny vs Penny we compare the products we love, with those following in their (sometimes pricey) footsteps. Are they worth the cash? Here, we try to find the best lengthening mascara – trying each for a few days to see the results.

Spenny: Benefit Beyond Lengthening Mascara, 8.5ml, Benefit, £22


I’ve heard people bang on about Benefit makeup (most notably the mascara) since forever, so when I excitedly applied it for the first time, I expected big results. In reality, I wasn’t disappointed, but I wasn’t blown away either.

The best part about this mascara is the brush, which combs lashes evenly and clump-free. As someone used to having my lashes stick together this was something of a revelation.

It also stayed on all day, as if I’d only just applied it. With my cheap mascaras (I just buy whatever is on offer at the time), I need to reapply if I’m going out after work.

The mascara did make my lashes longer (and curlier) than normal, but a big negative for me (besides the hefty price tag) was getting it off. It took a lot of scrubbing before bed to get my lashes mascara-free – only for me to realise in the morning there was still some on there. So, how will the cheaper alternatives compare?


Penny: Barry M Feature Length Mascara, 7ml, Boots, £4.99


The Barry M mascara wand is very similar to Benefit’s, and gave the same effect. As someone who likes their mascara really dark (just me?) I did have to comb on quite a few layers for the desired colour, which could mean it might run out sooner.

When I asked my colleague what she thought of my lashes, excessively fluttering them at her, she said they looked very curled. She’s right, the mascara lifts and curls lashes, lasting until you take it off at night.

Again it was pretty difficult to take off a night, which is probably related to the fact that it stays on so well all day. At only a fiver, I don’t see masses of difference between Benefit and Barry M to be honest – apart from one is four times the cost.

Penny: ELF Lengthening Mascara, 7.5ml, Feel Unique, £4.50


The brush on this mascara threw me off a bit, it’s so small! I usually have a longer brush meaning that one swipe covers most of my lashes in one swoop, this one required me to move along the lash line to get full coverage.

Once I’d got the hang of it – starting on my inner lashes and moving the brush round a bit to the outer – I was impressed, although it got a bit clumpy in parts. Was that due to my technique? I’m not sure.

It’s vegan and cruelty-free, which is a big bonus, but I wouldn’t say it’s hugely lengthening, compared to the others I tried.

Penny: Rimmel extra super lash mascara, 8ml, Boots, £4.99


This is the winner for me, and I even preferred it to Benefit. It had a different brush to all the others – just a standard wand rather than a rubber tip – and I didn’t need to put layers upon layers of mascara to get the desired effect. It’s the first mascara I put on where I felt like my lashes looked longer with the first few brushes.

I would say it could’ve used a top-up at the end of the day if I was going out more than the others, but I didn’t feel like that was a huge issue for me. It was easily taken off at night, without feeling like the mascara was glued to my eyelashes.

I’ll be buying this one again and again.

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