On the occasion of the launch of the new “They’re real” mascara - a product that Benefit claims to have “the ability to make lashes look so long as to not be one’s own” - the brand founded in California in 1976 by Jean and Jane Ford, commissioned a survey of U.S. and French women on the subject of lying and make-up habits.

Benefit Cosmetics, which has made a name for itself by creating quality products with a sense of humour, wanted to obtain some basic information about the extent of lying among both U.S. and French women, subjects lied about, reasons it might be acceptable to lie, etc. The survey was also conceived as an excellent buzz maker, in line with Benefit’s image as the “friskiest luxury brand.” It was also an opportunity to learn more about make-up habits in the U.S.A. and France.

From June 15 to June 19, 2011, consumers and markets research agency ICR conducted online interviews on nationally representative samples of 300 women in the US and 300 women in France, between 18 and 54 years of age.

Frequency of lying

According to the survey, 62% of women in United States and 59% in France, lie at least once a week, and this is higher for 18-24 women: 74% in US, 70% in France. Younger women are also more likely to lie than older ones about makeup, spending and time getting ready, and French women are more likely than US women to lie about makeup and beauty issues.

Tolerance about lying

Is it a surprise? French women appear more tolerant than U.S. ones about the acceptability of lying.

Make-up use

The survey also provides interesting information about the difference in mascara and make-up use on both sides of the Atlantic. Over half of both groups own two or more mascaras, but French women appear to own more items than their U.S. counterparts. Actually, 13% of French women do not know how many they own, maybe because they own too many of them to count!

Eventually, when asked to mention “the one essential makeup which a woman will not leave the house without applying”, French and U.S. women have quite divergent opinions on the matter.

In the US, concealer/foundation and lipstick are top essentials while, in France, mascara wins, especially among the 18-24 years old. Almost 3 times as many young French women as young US women won’t leave the house without it. Unless it is just another lie!