Benefit Badgal Bang! review: is the cult mascara worth the hype?

Our beauty team's honest Benefit Badgal Bang! mascara review – is this another game-changing mascara from the brand?

A collage of the Benefit Badgal Bang! mascara tube and the mascara in our beauty editor's hand
(Image credit: Fiona McKim/Benefit Cosmetics)

Let's talk about Benefit Badgal Bang! mascara. If there’s one brand we can rely on to deliver consistently excellent mascaras, it’s Benefit. You’ve probably tried mega-seller They’re Real! or at least heard one friend rave about its ridiculous lengthening and volumizing powers (all true) And since its much-feted launch in 2018, it was clear Badgal Bang! was out to take its crown.


Price: $26/£22.50
Waterproof version available: Yes
Mini version available: Yes
Colors available: Black and blue 
Extra features: Aero particles, ProVitamin B5

Badgal Bang! arrived on a wave of hype – no surprises there, this brand is known for creating some of the best mascara options on the market. 

Boasting a jet-black formula that harnesses (of all things) space technology, the mascara promises to preserve everything we loved about Benefit's top dog product in our Benefit They’re Real! mascara review, while adding a weightless sensation and unique wand technology into the mix.

Our beauty editor's Benefit Badgal Bang! mascara Review

Badgal Bang! Packaging

Benefit Badgal Bang! Mascara packaging

(Image credit: Fiona McKim)

Badgal by name, badgal by nature – the rubber-effect studded packaging of this mascara has a naughty, cheeky appeal. Benefit as a brand is masterful at creating eye-catching designs, and much like the best Maybelline mascaras, this combines a bold color scheme with fun shapes that'll definitely get your attention.

The fairly sleek, tapered tube gives an idea of the shape of the brush inside, which is very narrow and flexible. Plus, that tactile material and faux-studded lid are actually quite practical, making it easier to grip onto the wand when applying. The intense, matte black color reflects the hue of the formula (unless you go for the zingy cobalt shade of course - our pick of the best blue mascara on the market) Overall, this is a looker that doesn't take itself too seriously. 

What’s the formula like?

Benefit Badgal Bang! comes with some pretty impressive claims - namely that it taps into space technology to give lashes an unearthly lift using aero particles (one of the world's lightest materials). An infusion of ProVitamin B5, which is generally used to promote hydration in the skin by reinforcing the skin barrier, does the same for lashes in this formula, delivering a dose of nourishment.

I'd describe this as a fairly 'wet' mascara formula. This has its benefits, in that you can swipe it on easily and layer up without worrying about it setting too quickly. However, I did find that application was a little messy and I needed to clean up my eyelid with a cotton bud afterwards. It's worth saying that I have hooded eyelids so this happens a lot. In fact, it's the case with most mascaras I try. But if you frequently suffer from the same issue and would rather not, you may want to pick a different product. 

Ease of application

Benefit Badgal Bang!

With bare lashes (l) and two coats of Benefit Badgal Bang!  mascara (r)

(Image credit: Fiona McKim)

Let’s just get this out of the way – Badgal Bang! uses a comb wand, which I know can be a dealbreaker for some people. But I promise the brush is actually one of the best things about this mascara. It’s incredibly flexible, which makes it easy to get right to the root of your lashes, and the neat conical shape with a thin tapered tip allows you to reach those tiny inner and outer corner lashes. 

It's also silky and easy to layer up, so I was able to achieve a lot of length, while the short, even bristles created a nice, groomed effect. The wand's length does mean it collects quite a lot of product, so lashes can stick together a bit during application. However, this can be easily combed out and does make a nice change from some other comb wands, which often require a hokey-cokey-style 'in-out in-out' action just to get a bit of product on the brush.

Badgal Bang! Results

The true test of any mascara is in the wearing, and I'd say this delivered on some fronts, not on others. Unlike many lengthening mascaras that see lashes droop under the weight of a heavy formula as the day goes on, the lift and curl on Benefit Badgal Bang! continues to give lashes an even, defined, and fanned-out look all day. The colour stayed true-to-tone well, too, without going grey or chalky, and I didn't experience any crumbling. 

It's worth pointing out that as a lengthening and lifting formula, this doesn’t give a hugely bulked-out effect, even after piling on a few coats. If you want the best volumizing mascara this probably won't suit, unless you are into layering in which case you could apply this underneath something thicker like L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise. Or, just save it for days when you want a natural makeup look and sultry flutter.

The main downside I experienced with this Benefit Badgal Bang! mascara review was smudging, Once again, I should reiterate that I have hooded eyelids as well as oily skin, so that really does put any mascara through its paces (most fail the smudge test) This one probably lasted about four or five hours, but when I popped to the loo on my lunchbreak there was a bit of transfer onto my upper lid, and by the end of the working day I had some smudginess under my eyes too. If you don't usually have this problem, it's unlikely you will with Badgal Bang. But if mascara smears are a recurring theme for you then this may not be the most reliable option. 

Benefit BadGal Bang! w&h verdict

Benefit Badgal Bang! mascara held in oour beauty editors hand

(Image credit: Fiona McKim)

With claims of a stubborn smudge-proof formula that also lifts and lengthens lashes, this mascara set my expectations sky-high – and it managed to meet most of them. Sure, it won’t give you the biggest hit of volume, and if you are particularly smudge-prone then it may not go the distance. But if that's not usually an issue then the uniquely long-lasting lift and fluttery results are incredibly impressive. Ths is definitely one of the best lengthening mascara options on the market.

For me, the comb really stood out from so many others I've tried. As well as doing its job flawlessly, gently separating and lifting lashes, it was super soft and flexible so would never scratch or irritate eyelids or lash lines.  

As a final point, I would also say this mascara definitely requires elbow grease to remove. If you know how to remove waterproof mascara apply those same skills here. These are small little niggles, really. If you love super-fanned-out lashes, curl, and length, then this is definitely the top dog in Benefit’s highly competitive mascara hierarchy (for now, at least).

Fiona McKim
Beauty Editor,

 As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.

With contributions from