A Dashing Duo: Benefit They’re Real Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’, and the Awkward Double Date With the Vanilla Ice Mullet Brothers

Published in: Benefit, Makeup, Product Reviews

benefit theyre real easy smokin

I’m wearing Benefit’s They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’ ($24) and They’re Real Double the Lip in Criminally Coral ($20)

So, what do I know about double dates? Well, I know that they’re awkward…(but more on this in a sec), and I know that I thought about them a lot today because of the new $24 Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’ (one of six new duos available now), which has — not one — but TWO eyeshadows geared to give you bigger, sexier eyes.

benefit theyre real easy smokin

Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’ ($24) and They’re Real Double the Lip in Criminally Coral ($20)

I feel like Easy Smokin’ is more elegant than Sexy Smokin’, the duo I wore yesterday. It has a warm, dark bronzed brown coupled with a light and warm shimmery peach, and the powders seem more finely milled. Thank goodness, too, because the shimmery light shade in Sexy Smokin’ was giving me a complex (frost is not kind to my fine lines).


By the way, when you mix the two shades in Easy Smokin’ together, it creates a beautiful bronzed peach, which is how I’m wearing it in these pics. I blended them together, and then I also lined my lash lines with warm bronze MAC Teddy liner (I bet MAC Costa Riche would totally work, too).

benefit theyre real easy smokin swatch

Swatches of Benefit They’re Real Duo Shadow Blender in Easy Smokin’ and They’re Real Double the Lip in Criminally Coral

This reminds me of the time my best friend Jen and I went on a double date together with these two boys who were brothers (we met them in marching band). Basically, it was not the most awesome time in the whole world.

I dated the older brother, who had a Vanilla Ice mullet, and Jen dated the younger one…who also had a Vanilla Ice mullet, and the four of us went to a community theater musical presentation of Camelot.

I can’t remember who’s idea it was… What I can remember is that it was four hours long, and I was starving! I can also remember that because it was a musical, we couldn’t really talk to each other, and I got very antsy about halfway through. I wondered why we didn’t just go to Great America or grab a pizza instead, because at least then we would have been able to talk, but I digress… (Plus, I wouldn’t have been starving to death for four hours!)

benefit theyre real easy smokin

I’m also wearing MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy on my eyes


Even though the date was pretty lame (the boy was nice, but he didn’t get my sense of humor at all, which is a no-go for me), I remember getting home that night and talking on the phone to Jen. I said, “If you marry the younger brother, and I marry the older one, we could both live on the same street, and our kids could grow up together. And they’d be real cousins!” (Side note: In Filipino families, every family friend under 18 is your cousin, whether they’re related to you or not.)

The things you talk about when you’re 17…

benefit theyre real easy smokin

On my cheeks I’m wearing Hourglass Blush in Diffused Heat

Have you ever been on a double date? Was it fun? I need to know. I need to have believe that somewhere out there it worked out for two best who friends who married two brothers and now have kids who are “real cousins.” 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Amy says:

    Well, when I was a sophomore in HS, my sister and I went on a double date to Pizza Hut with our then-boyfriends. They were all in jazz band together. It was super fun but super short-lived! No cousins involved, by a long shot.

    Back then my only makeup was a Prescriptives lipstick in a berry-brick color I’d still wear today, if it were around. 🙂

    I agree, this eye color is more sophisticated than the first. Very pretty! I’m not sure I’m sold on the optical illusion concept with the two-tone lipstick. Nice color, though!

    • Karen says:

      Oh, those band romances! They never worked out for me, but I know two couples that met in high school band, got married and had kids. And weirdly enough, the guys in the couples were brothers (not the ones Jen and I dated though). I can’t remember if you were in band, too… Band geeks 4 eva! LOL

      I wish Prescriptives was still around. They made really great powder, and I loved stopping by the counter to spray myself with Calyx. Ahh, the scent of the ’90s.

  2. Juvy says:

    It looks beautifully natural!
    Juvy recently posted … Aveda Overnight Skincare for Wedding Day Perfect Skin

  3. I have been on one double date, but no, didnt work out. I am still friends with my friend from back then, but she has no kids and isn’t married. She borrows mine every once in a while for cuddles and entertains me with stories about the horror of online dating.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … We get the glow – Looking back at week four

  4. Holly says:

    Does going on a double date with his mom and stepdad count? Them I liked a lot and were the only reason I even went out with the guy in the first place. Bad reason to date someone: out of pity.

    I swatched a couple of the eyeshadows duos at Ulta today (can’t recall the names…the one with a pink shade and the one with a khaki shade). I really like that you blended them together into a new shade. It’s unlikely I’ll try them because I prefer a more controlled approach in applying eyeshadow than a sponge and now I’m inspired to mix up some shades from my existing palettes.

    • Karen says:

      I think it does. That’s an unusual one… Did you stay friends with the mom and stepdad?

      I love mixing eyeshadows, by the way. It’s fun to experiment, plus you can create some cool custom finishes. 😀

      Hope you’re having a great week so far, Holly! Is it Friday yet?

      • Holly says:

        I did remain friends for awhile with them, yes. The stepdad passed away from cancer about 18 months after that date & I kept in touch with the guy’s mom for several years & then she & I lost touch.

        And Friday’s coming, just hang on! 😀

  5. That lip is just peeeeeerfect! Pairs beautifully with the eye look. And as for the double date thing, yup, we do it a lot. Next weekend we’re having one again 🙂
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Inexpensive Alternatives For Traditional(ly Pricey) Valentine’s Day Gifts

  6. Chris25 says:

    The colors look great on you, Karen.

    Yes, I did go on a double date once. We went to an Indian restaurant with Daniel’s friend Cody and his GF Lina.
    Chris25 recently posted … MAC Selena Lipstick in Dreaming of You

    • Karen says:

      I bet that was fun! Hey, at least you got to eat and talk, right? I love Indian food, by the way. There’s a place in the town next to ours that serves killer dosas. It’s been a while since I’ve gone; I need to go back!

      Happy Wednesday!

  7. Jessica says:

    You look so pretty! 🙂
    Jessica recently posted … The Long Dark Party

  8. Chelsea says:

    We used to do double dates with my ex bff and her boyfriend (a guy I actually knew before my friend, his dad dated one of my aunts), usually to go see Harry Potter movies, LOL. My friend and I were completely obsessed with Harry Potter (I still am tbh)

    We so used to do coupley things with some other friends of ours, but they got divorced.

  9. Cory says:

    I had an optical illusion with the shadow! When I first studied the photo, I thought it was built up in a triangle with light on one side & shadow on the other! This probably makes zero sense to anyone but once I actually saw that it was flat & realized it was two shades, I was able to unsee it once, but now it just looks flat & duo shaded like it actually is. Very trippy pic! Like those picture in pictures from the 90’s.

  10. Fran says:

    These warmer shades look great on you, Karen, but I think you wear both warm- and cool-toned eyeshadows and lipsticks really well 🙂

    I don’t think I’ve been on an official “double date”, but certainly, when I was a member of a couple, we’d go out and do stuff with another couple we knew.

    My parents met on a double date (each was dating the other person). Years later, they met again, and began dating each other!

    And my grandmother’s younger sister married my grandfather’s younger brother. They lived in the two sides of a twin, and the two brothers owned a hardware store next door to it. My mother had three double-first-cousins. The third sister later lived with the second sister and her husband, and worked as the bookkeeper in the store. All in the family!

  11. Lisa says:

    I have been on one double date in my life. Freshman year in H.S. the 2 guys lasted not long with either of us, but I was introduced to a gal who would be my BFF for life. And at her wedding, I met her cousin, who asked me out on a date that night, and I married 4 years later.

    <3 <3

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