by Efua Oyofo

One of mine would be mascara, without a doubt. It’s such a powerful tool, the way that it can transform one’s eyes – and by extension, the face itself.

Needless to say, I’ve been dealing with mascara for years, and have a fairly good handle on which ones provide the best lengthening properties for my long (but fairly light-tipped) eyelashes.

I recently had the chance to try out the Lancôme Grandiose Mascara, which I’ve been taking for a lovely test run.

When this mascara first came, I loved the packaging. The black rose floating in the wand handle made me so excited – it looked so lush! The bottle shape was very intriguing, with its bulbous bottom reminding me of a vase meant to hold the floating flower.

Opening the mascara, however, I saw that the mascara was a deep dark brown – and I was very surprised to see that it was a real true brown color. Having tried working with brown mascara before, I was concerned that it would not show up very well against my brown skin.

Luckily, I was wrong – the mascara bravely went where no brown has gone before and made my eyelashes stand out, making them look longer and thicker – just not as intensely so as the black mascara would have done. The color has a slight shimmer to it, which makes it quite fun to wear – it subtly seems to light up my eyes. The overall effect is very dramatic.

Special Effects

There were a number of features that I really loved about this mascara. I’ve expanded on these below.

The Magic Wand:

Looking at this mascara wand, I was curious as to the point of designing the mascara wand in a swan-neck shape. Only time would tell if this mascara would actually make a difference. The swan neck is supposed to make it easier for the wand (and the wonderful bristles) to transfer the product to your lashes. I think this is down to technique more than anything else, as regardless of the wand neck design I will work with the mascara to get the best possible lengthening effect that I can. Typically I don’t get mascara smudges when I am doing my makeup, but I can imagine that if I did, I would most certainly have a few less than I would have otherwise.

The Formulation:

The mascara’s formula goes on very smoothly, and makes my eyelashes feel as though there is a slight conditioning effect with the mascara. As I previously mentioned, the mascara dries quickly so it does feel somewhat hard once it has dried; however this is in no way a bad aspect. It has a subtle fragrance to it.

The first coat of this mascara went on like a dream. Due to the fantastic formula, it coated my lashes whilst not making them feel heavy. The second coat went on quite nicely, as well; however as with all mascaras that aim to lift and volumize, it is important to note that this bad boy will clump on you if you are not careful.

Quick word to the wise: if you tend to apply your mascara slowly, please note that this is not the mascara for that. Its fast-drying formula means that you have to work through the coats you want to apply quickly, before the mascara dries.

Overall Verdict:

The overall effect of the mascara is quite natural, and I use it when I specifically want to have a natural, sun-kissed look.

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