Friday, August 29, 2008

Exceptionnel de Chanel: Beyond The Hype

I wasn't impressed with the email campaign Chanel launched for the Exceptionnel mascara. I thought it was annoying and lacking in actual information. But I was in the market for another mascara since while I appreciate what I'm getting from the dramatic Givenchy brush, but sometimes I prefer my lashes not to be the center of attention or require their own table at a restaurant.

Exceptionnel de Chanel is a nice mascara. It adds volume and gives a little curl (though I would still use my Shu for perfect results). The formula is only moderately dark or thick, and it's not very lenghtening, which is fine with me. I'm well-endowed in the lash department, so at times the Givenchy makes me feel a little like Dolly Parton in a padded bra.

The best feature of Exceptionnel is the wand. The alternating rows of regular brush and comb bristles do a very good job in spreading the mascara and separating the lushes. In two weeks of constant use I have yet to see a clump. There was no smearage even after getting caught in the rain and it withstood NYC humidity.

Removal is easy: all the usual suspects work well and require minimal effort.

But is Exceptionnel de Chanel a revolutionary product? Is it the greatest thing ever?

It's a good mascara, but except for the really cool and effective brush I'm not convinced it's any better than any other very good mascara I've ever used. I like it and I might buy again, but I also might move on to the next new thing, or back to some of my reliable favorites from the holy trinity of Lancome-Clinique-Lauder.

Exceptionnel de Chanel mascara ($28) is available from your local counter at the better department stores or online. I ordered mine from, where they also offer it in three more colors.


  1. I got a sample of this and hated it, so I was very interested in reading your review. I found the brush annoying and hard to work with. Also, my usual Almay eye makeup remover pads did not get this off very well -- it seemed to remove the mascara, but I would wake up with black marks under my lower lashes. I'm sticking to DiorShow -- easier for me to work with and no residue left behind.

  2. I'll admit I can't get my way around these new-fangled flexi-brushes, they always clump, and the black is simply not rich enough for my black hair, but otherwise I think you're review is spot on. It's not a-m-a-z-i-n-g, but its performance is exactly what a $28 that you throw away in three months out to be.


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