I've only used one lash primer from Dior before and had mixed thoughts about it, but was more intrigued by the tinted version Benefit came out with. I've also been wanting to try a brown mascara in the past summer and thought that this product could easily double as a primer and mascara for me.
Benefit They're Real Tinted Lash Primer comes in a silver plastic tube and contains 0.30 oz / 8.5 g of product. The brush is very similar to their well known They're Real Mascara, but the bristles are shorter, which I prefer because I remember that I would often end up poking myself in the eye when I wasn't too careful with the mascara, when I was trying it out about two years ago. The shade looks brown on the brush, but with my fair coloring and naturally very light lashes it looks almost black when it's applied, but lacks some more impact if I decide to just wear the primer.
I've tested it with a couple mascaras and found it works the best with the one I'm currently using (Maybelline's Lash Sensational). The primer adds color, volume, definition and length to my lashes and I'm really happy with the final effect it gives. I usually curl my lashes and depending on the effect I'm looking for either apply one or two coats of primer, which finished with another coat of mascara definitely gives the effect of voluminous false lashes.
If I have an extra minute or two when I'm getting ready I'll apply one coat of primer and follow up with mascara - the impact isn't as noticeable but it still helps with holding the curl and definition. With two coats of primer and added mascara on top, the lashes never look clumpy, but stay nicely defined and voluminous which is certainly thanks to the primer. On it's own the primer gives more of a natural and fluttery look, but the lashes still look enhanced. When worn on it's own I've never experienced any flaking or smudging and it helps keep the lashes stay curled for much longer, even when I apply mascara on top. I wore it when I went swimming a couple of times and it stayed in place perfectly. Lately I've been wearing my makeup for around 12 hours everyday and although it sometimes looks like most of my foundation has faded, at least I know my lashes are still looking almost as perfect as when I first applied product onto them in the morning - certainly thanks to this primer.
Applied (in real life it looks much better than on these rushed photos I took, when I was in a hurry one morning):
Here I'm wearing both Benefit's They're Real Tinted Lash Primer with Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara and eyeshadows from ABH Master Palette by Mario. Note that the mascara is getting pretty dry and harder to work with so the difference on the photos doesn't appear to be massive:
Certainly not a must step, but if you're struggling with finding products to enhance the lashes without reaching for extensions or falsies, it is well worth giving it a try. Available here.