Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Original Torture Ball: Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Mascara Review

Do you guys remember the golden days when the 'torture ball' mascara wands were all the rage? I even recall some drugstore brands jumping on the bandwagon, and then companies moved on to incorporating that little spiky ball into a classic mascara brush design, like the Benefit They're Real or IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes. Anyway, back to the present - I have a review of the cult classic torture ball for you today, the Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Mascara in Deep Black ($32 for the full size, I have a deluxe sample).
Judging from my experience with Benefit They're Real, I was a little apprehensive of the Givenchy's Phenomen'Eyes. The 'iconic spherical brush' (lol) is slightly larger than I expected, and comes out of the tube coated in a generous amount of mascara; however, like with nearly every other mascara on the market, most of the product is concentrated on the very tip of the brush, and there's not that much on the sides.

I think Phenomen'Eyes is definitely one of those mascara wands that you need to get a good feel for before you start enjoying it. At first, I found the ball design quite frustrating and difficult to use, but after two weeks of use, it's gotten easier. However, I still have some qualms about this shape - for one, it takes me more time to evenly coat my lashes in mascara than with a traditional brush, because I need to work in sections as opposed to the whole lash line all at once. Secondly, I have yet to avoid smearing some mascara onto my lid in the process - which again, takes additional time to remove.
Now for the good aspects of the ball shape: it does allow me to control the amount of mascara more easily, and it helps to direct and fan out lashes exactly how I want. It also works really well on the lower lashes, defining every single one without clumps (provided that you don't overload your brush). Overall, I find this formula quite volumizing and defining, but not very lenghtening - and I could use some length at the moment as my lashes are currently in their shorter, growing phase. The shade is indeed a deep, rich black, and the mascara doesn't flake throughout the day; although on my almond eye shape, it does transfer quite a bit under the brow bone in a relatively short amount of time (which is always a struggle for me).
Top: bare uncurled lashes, bottom: two layers of Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes
I can definitely understand why this mascara reached a cult status back in the day and I'm glad to have tried it, but to be honest, I wouldn't shell out for a full size tube. It's a perfectly decent mascara, but for me personally, traditional wands are much easier and quicker to use. I also don't find the Phenomen'Eyes to be any better at reaching those longer outer corner lashes; I still have trouble getting every single one without smearing mascara all over my eye, just like with any other mascara brush. Have you ever tried any of those torture ball mascaras? What were your thoughts?


  1. Lol, this looks like my first and last L'Oreal Mascara. I don't like this shape of mascaras.

  2. Would looooove to try it! I've made it my mission to try all the funky mascara wand shapes out there ;-)

  3. This I got to try out. I love how it gives length and volume on lashes.