A new and rather exciting launch from Lancome; a mascara that promises to solve all of our mascara-applying woes! My particular mascara grievances are: wands that are too long and uncontrollable and bristles that are just ridiculously chunky. With too-long wands I inevitably poke the wrong part of my lid and trigger some kind of crazy eye-muscle reflex and then get mascara all over my face; with too-chunky bristles I end up coating the very edge of my eyelid and have to either remove the excess after my lashes have dried or go over with a big eyeliner pen to try and hide it. It’s probably why I’m a sucker for those little mini mascaras that you always get with free gifts – I find them so easy to use and I always end up with properly painted lashes, root to tip. I even get those fine, weedy little peskers that flounder about near to the inner corner of the eye; invisible to all but those with the most superhuman of vision, I hardly even know they’re there until I use one of my freebie miniatures!
Enter Lancome with their new Grandiose mascara. It has a relatively small and compact brush head with bristles that pick up the most evasive of fine lashes; but it’s the wand that’s really something different. It’s shaped like a swan’s neck. “Pah!” I hear you say. ‘What new gimmick has the beauty industry come up with now?” And I was totally in agreement with you, until I had a try and painted my lashes perfectly in about a third of the time it usually takes me. Aided, no doubt, by the fact that the Grandiose was brand new (therefore nice and liquidy and easy to glide on), but I am adamant that it is the weird bent wand that really made the difference.
The bend has the effect of making the wand feel a lot sturdier and more controllable; it seems to bring the bristles closer to your eyes without the handle of the wand getting in the way. Does that make sense? I will absolutely show you this on video when I next do a filming session – I think that it needs to be demonstrated to see what I’m on about. The wand has been designed with the swan-neck because it makes it easier to apply mascara to each “type” of lash – with a little turn of the stem, you can reach the inner lashes more easily, or you can change the angle slightly and reach the lower lashes. The wand is also supposed to make it simpler to do your “other eye” (the one that’s not on the same side as the hand you’re using) and to cross the wand over your nose, if you use this very precarious application technique, without getting massive splotches of tar all over your visage.
And may I just have a little beauty coo over the packaging? It reminds me of Sleeping Beauty; the rose embalmed in the transparent lid like some kind of evil fairy’s trophy. I love it! Very different. Of all the more…novel…mascara inventions I’ve tried, this one is by far the best. Apart from perhaps the cannon-ball mascara from Givenchy, though that one is really an acquired taste. I can imagine pretty much everyone liking the Grandiose. I wonder if the swan-neck will catch on?
I asked Alex Babsky to give a few tips on how best to use the Grandiose mascara – he did my makeup last year in Paris and is the UK’s ambassador for Lancome. (You can see him doing my makeup here in a funky little video I made.) Alex said,
“The swan neck wand of Grandiose enables full control over application, as it gives you the perfect angle for all lashes, top and bottom.
Start from the outer corner and work your way in, wriggling the brush all the way to the tips for length and separation.
Work the mascara right into the base of the lashes too, as it’s a blacker than black formula it will give extra definition, mimicking fuller lashes.”
Lancome’s Grandiose launches at Selfridges on the 15th July – I’ll give you a little nudge when it goes live! To read more mascara reviews, have a click over here.