Skip to main content

making faces :: the window dressing to the soul [chanel inimitable intense mascara]

this is the tale of a woman obsessed. a woman whose mother told her that the very first thing she noticed about her daughter when she was presented with her in the hospital was that said daughter had rather dramatically long, curly eyelashes. a woman who swore that she would honour that birthright every living day, no matter what the obstacles or the cost, that she would make sure the world would see her as her mother had first seen her- as a strange bundle with long, curly eyelashes.

that woman is me. and, yes, it is absolutely true that my mother told me that the first thing she noticed about me was that i had long, curly eyelashes when i was born. i also apparently had a surprising amount of red hair on my head, which fell out shortly after.

and it is true that i have a real preoccupation with my eyelashes. a friend of mine once pointed out that it was the one feature i could be counted on to accentuate, even when i couldn't be bothered with any other makeup. that's true. i can leave the house with no makeup, no problem, but i feel kind of naked without mascara.

to that end, i'm always searching for the ultimate mascara, something that will allow others to view me as my mother first did, all big blue eyes and dramatic lashes, but skipping the part where i barfed on her shoulder. and what a search it has been.

essentially, i like something that adds some volume and definition and that shows off length. i don't really need something that curls my lashes, because to this day, they curl pretty well on their own. while most curling mascaras are utter failures, those that do live up to the claim tend to make me look a little ridiculous, like i applied miniature rollers to my eyes.

after hearing so many wonderful things about it and being so enamoured of chanel in general, i decided to give their "inimitable intense" mascara a try. it promises the world: length, definition and curl. a tall order for anyone, let alone a demanding mascara-phile like myself.

the results? surprisingly good.

i don't think it delivers maximum impact in "a single stroke", as promised, but it does give great volume, emphasises length from root to tip and, yes, does give my lashes just a little bit more of an upward curve.

i did not find that it clumped my lashes together or deposited so much product that it smudged or smeared around the base of my lashes. this is a big thing for me, because i'm already a little clumsy and have to be careful not to get mascara on my actual eyelids. i don't need to fiddle around with a mascara wand that's prone to mischief.

i do have a tendency to go with a fairly deep, dramatic application, which may not suit all tastes. the photo on the right shows two coats fresh from a new tube. i'd be likely to wear it this way, but you'd get a more natural look with a single pass. also, if you want something softer, the mascara does come in brown as well.

below is a comparison of inimitable intense with benefit's "they're real", which i reviewed here. both are good for length and volume, but you can definitely see that chanel has the edge. in addition, chanel offers that little bit of curl, which is a nice finishing touch [and which can counteract the tendency of mascara to weigh your lashes down].

l :: chanel inimitable intense; r :: benefit they're real

at $30usd/ $36cad, "inimitable intense" is definitely a higher-end product. i don't mind splurging for something that has really excellent results, but i was disappointed that there seemed to be far less product- or that it dried out much quicker- than other mascaras in the same price range. most mascaras last me between three and four months. this one lasted less than two before requiring multiple coats to get anywhere near the original effect. if it had cost a lot less than other luxury brands, that wouldn't bother me, but i expect items in the same price range to be comparable and this one fell well short, either because it dried out quickly or because there simply wasn't as much product included.

it is a very nice formula, in that it delivers on its claims, doesn't become crusty on the lashes and lasts well during use. but among prestige brands, i can't say it would earn the highest marks, simply because the value isn't as good. [nothing has yet displaced yves st. laurent "faux cils" as my favourite.]

worth the coin? yes, probably. the best you can get? close, but no. 

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …

making faces :: i could maybe not buy this one thing

i've been into makeup on some level for a long time- much longer than i've been writing about it, for certain. even as a young woman, i loved the feeling of i got from applying a deep-hued lipstick and some mascara. it took years for me to figure out eyeshadow, and even longer for me to appreciate blush. but at this point, i think we can agree that i'm pretty much into the whole gamut. [except liquid and super-matte lipsticks, and most very sparkly eyeshadows. but that's because they're painful for me to wear.]

the thing about spending a long time collecting and holding onto just about everything is that you accumulate quite a stash. lately, i'm trying to force myself to think about what i already have before laying down money for something new. most recently, i found myself drawn to the modern renaissance palette from anastasia. me and a lot of people. by the time i started thinking about it, it was already sold out in my local sephora and online. i signed up…

...and my cup size is none of your damn business

this story, about a man who got a female coworker to trade email accounts with him for two weeks to see if he could see a difference in customer reactions, has been making the rounds on social media and beyond in the last week or so. earlier today, i posted it on my personal facebook page about it, and realised that i had a lot more that i wanted to share than made sense for a facebook post. so i've come here to rant.

a couple of things to start:

1. i've had some really good job experiences in my life. i'm both lucky and unlucky that the best of them came early on, but even in more recent years, i worked at a couple of places that treated workers, all workers, with respect. that respect can be expressed in different ways, but believe me, you know it when it's there. so i want to make it clear that #notallworkplaces fit the pattern i'm about to describe.

2. i am really, really, really grateful to martin r. schneider, who thought up and did this experiment, not just …