I am constantly reminded by various signage at work that Lancôme was ranked the number one luxury mascara brand by some magazine or another. Possibly multiple magazines. (I’m a great SA, huh?) By this point, I’ve tried the Definicils, Hypnôse, Hypnôse Doll Lashes, and the Grandiôse. I have a tube of Hypnôse Star which I will try soon, leaving only the Hypnôse Drama and Hypnôse Volume-à-Porter. This is all to say that I know my way around some Lancôme mascara, and I adore the original Hypnôse (honestly HG status for me), Hypnôse Doll Lashes, and Definicils.
When the Grandiôse originally launched in summer 2014, I became obsessed with it. It wasn’t the promise that it would do away with the need for an eyelash curler or even the unusual swan neck of the product that drew me in: it was the packaging. I mean, tell me this shit isn’t beautiful, fingerprints excluded:
(If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile you’ll know that packaging frequently gets me. I’m a sucker for feeling more sophisticated than I will ever be, I guess.)
When I finally got my hands on it a year and a half later thanks to my generous coworker and friend, I had hyped it up in my head to the extreme. I’d just finished a tube of Hypnôse and was expecting Grandiôse to be Hypnôse but better, and with more amazing packaging.
I’ll cut to the chase: I was disappointed. My initial application was clumpy, whereas other Lancôme mascaras, in my experience, are eerily clump-free no matter how much of the stuff you pile on. I often get on better with a mascara after it’s been dried out by about 3 weeks’ worth of use, and that’s certainly the case with this one. It’s less prone to clumping now, less wet. But being less shitty doesn’t mean it’s not still shitty.
Maybe “shitty” is a harsh word. I don’t know. It’s not the worst mascara in the world. But I could pay, like, $3.99 for an Essence mascara that would do at least as well as this one. And if you’re going to charge $35, that shit had better be on another level.
My other major issue with the Grandiôse is that it’s damn hard to get off. And, no, I do not have the waterproof version. I’m not talking Benefit They’re Real! level of difficulty removing it, but getting perilously close. Actually, in general this reminds me quite a bit of They’re Real!, which for me is a damning comparison. I don’t know, though, maybe if you love They’re Real! and inexplicably want to spend even more on a mascara you’ll like this one.
Much is made of the twisted swan neck of the wand. I treat gimmicks with a healthy dose of skepticism, this one included. And, personally, I don’t think it does anything. This mascara gets into the inner corners marginally better than some others, but that’s because the brush is smaller than average, not because the wand curves. In fact, I speculate that the way the brush must go into and out of the tube due to the curved neck makes it difficult for excess product to come off, leading to clumpiness. I don’t know if that’s accurate, but something makes that brush come out loaded with product.
As for the claim that this mascara negates the need for an eyelash curler? Not even close. My lashes are pretty stick-straight naturally, so I consider eyelash curlers to be an essential tool in my makeup arsenal. To put this to the test, one day I used Grandiôse on uncurled lashes, and then tested it another day on curled lashes. Here it is on uncurled lashes:
And on curled lashes:
And, if you needed a comparison:
And then another comparison (this time between bare lashes and curled, mascara-ed lashes), because I think this angle really shows just how much length a mascara is adding:
Now, I have a well-documented aversion to paying more than $10 for mascara. I also haven’t paid any money for mascara in almost three years, between gifts, samples, and gratis from work. So you’ll know that since I would never pay for this product, I hold it to my usual mascara standard of “Would I spend Optimum points on this?” rather than “Would I purchase this full price?” And, as you have probably guessed, the answer is no, I would not spend Optimum points on it. I’ll save my two bucks and buy the Hypnôse instead, as I recommend you do.
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