Friday, August 21, 2015

#FrenchFriday : Lancome Grandiose, the black swan mascara


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Lancome Grandiose mascara review, photos, swatches

Happy Friday folks! I hope the weekend will be relaxing and fun for you. Today for our weekly French beauty fix, we'll talk about Lancôme's unusually shaped mascara, Grandiôse

French beauty brands apparently like to innovate with mascara packaging: long before Grandiôse, Lancôme invented the vibrating mascara, and Givenchy is famous for its virus-shaped mascara brush. The word "grandiose" means grand, magnificent, and the accent circonflexe, that little hat on the O, is a poetic addition by the brand, like a seal of its Lancômeness... 

Lancome Grandiose mascara: the tube

Grandiôse comes in a stunning tube: the shiny black bottom half, where the reservoir is, has an oblong shape that widens near the middle, while the top becomes transparent to reveal a black rose. This rose isn't just a print, it's a 3-D rose embedded in the transparent plastic of the cap. When you open the tube, the wand appears to be the continuation of the rose stem. Incredibly elegant details here, who knew mascara tubes could look so fancy! 


Lancome Grandiose mascara: the rose

The wand itself is what makes this mascara so unique. It's bent, and I don't mean simply angled. It's curved in different places, and it almost seems to be spiraling out of the top. According to Lancôme, this unconventional shape called "swan-neck" is supposed to "work with the natural contours of the face" and allow you to easily reach all lashes for a "wide-angle fan effect". 

Lancome Grandiose mascara: the bent, swan-neck wand and brush

It's really surprising at first, and there's a learning curve. The first few times I used it, I had no idea how I was supposed to handle it and I felt really clumsy. After a while I mastered the beast, and now I feel very comfortable using it: in fact, getting back to a regular straight-wand mascara is what feels awkward. And yes, it does help me reach all the little lashes in the outer corner. I've also never accidentally touched my cheek or my nose with the wand when trying to reach for the corner - something that happens to me relatively often with a classic mascara wand. I've never ended up with mascara on my lids either, however I did poke my eyes a couple times in the beginning... 

Lancome Grandiose mascara: application tips

Lancôme has very detailed tips included in the box to help you learn how to use this innovative wand shape. They suggest holding the wand with the curve facing down for the outer corner, and rotate it to have the curve facing up in the inner corner. They even have 2 different techniques explained for the eye opposite to your dominant hand, depending if you go over your nose or reach from the outer corner with your arm across your body. Their base technique works well and that's how I started. Now that I feel more confident with this wand, I use it in pretty much all directions while applying. I feel like I have a lot of control, and I can get at the lashes from different angles depending on how I decide to hold the wand

Lancome Grandiose mascara: application technique
Lancôme's basic application technique

The brush has short plastic bristles of different lengths that grab the lashes really well and coat them fairly evenly. Lancôme says that this brush shape is inspired by monoi flowers... but I really don't see it! The formula is the perfect consistency: fluid but not too runny, and not so thick that it clumps. I've had this mascara for a long time now, and it hasn't dried out or gotten gooey at all. 

I really like how it looks on my lashes: it defines, lengthens and keeps the curl really well, and the color is a deep black that enhances my eyes. By the way, this is the original shade, 01 Noir Mirifique, but Lancôme launched colorful versions of Grandiôse this summer! 

Lancome Grandiose mascara swatches: Brun, Bleu, Saphir and Violet Mirifique
Left to right, Lancome Grandiose in:
Brun Mirifique, Bleu Mirifique, Saphir Mirifique, Violet Mirifique

Curling is my number one priority with mascaras because my lashes are naturally straight. Grandiôse delivers in that department: I do need to use an eyelash curler before applying, but then it holds the curl all day. I don't want more volume, but if you do, just layer! With 2 coats, the volume starts to build nicelyIt dries down relatively fast (no black lines on my glasses) and leaves my lashes bendable rather than hard. 

Lancome Grandiose mascara: before/after pictures, with 1 and 2 layers

On me Grandiôse lasts all day looking perfectly fresh, without smudging or flaking. While not waterproof, it can be a little hard to take off and you need a good makeup remover - something oil-based will make removal much faster and easier. 

Overall: Grandiôse is one of my favorite mascaras. It delivers the promised "wide-angle fan effect" by providing good length and holding curl really well. In fact, it's one of the best high-end mascaras in terms of curl holding in my experience! As for the "swan-neck" wand, it's not just a cool gimmick, it really helps me with application. 

Where to buy? 

The product featured in this review was purchased by Lulle. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links. 


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