Filed In: Givenchy

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit, Gloss Interdit & Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat


Givenchy lips & eyes openerThere’s a reason why American icon Audrey Hepburn adored French couturier Hubert de Givenchy, and it has everything to do with his sublime and elegantly understated designs. Carrying that attention to detail forward into colour cosmetics, this is a brand that continues to impress me with their innovation and formulations, not to mention their beautiful array of products. When their revolutionary mascara, Phenomen’Eyes with its rather medieval-looking round spiky ball was launched, I became obsessed with it and purchased that product countless times & in every iteration (note to self: must get back to this little lovely). Now, several other new releases have also caught my eye, and today’s post is about three in particular: Gelée d’Interdit Smoothing Gloss Balm Crystal Shine, Gloss Interdit Ultra-Shiny Color Plumping Effect, and Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat.

Givenchy lips & eyes boxed

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit, Gloss Interdit & Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat

Givenchy lips & eyes

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit, Gloss Interdit & Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat

Givenchy Gelée & Gloss Interdit

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit, Gloss Interdit & Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat

Givenchy Gelée d'Interdit & Gloss Interdit swatches

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit, Gloss Interdit & Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat swatches

Givenchy Gelée d'Interdit trio

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit Smoothing Gloss Balm

Givenchy Gelée d'Interdit trio 2

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit Smoothing Gloss Balm

Givenchy Gloss d'Interdit brushes

As the name implies, these non-sticky glosses fall on the sheer side but which provide an utterly brilliant shine. According to the brand:

Gelée d’Interdit balm gloss offers a glossy, sheer finish and long-term smoothing and plumping effect. This wax-free product features a new cocktail of active ingredients including dehydrated hyaluronic microspheres which slip into the lips’ fine lines and hold the water naturally present within the skin’s surface. Like small sponges, they soak in the water and increase their volume by up to 50 times for an immediately smoother effect. Their corrective and restructured actions erase the appearance of fine lines and any other lip surface imperfections. Vegetal extract (apiace extract) has strong long-term revitalizing and smoothing properties while cameline oil provides comfort and hydration. It is known to support the natural cell renewal process, preventing the accumulation of dead cells on the lips, which can create irregular lines

The applicator is a long narrow brush with bristles packed densely enough that there’s no fear of it flopping around the lips, but instead offers a more precise type of application. These glosses have a yummy warm floral/vanilla-y fragrance which is quite evident upon first opening the tube, although I personally love it and find it dissipates quickly once applied (still worth noting for those with sensitivities). The feel upon the lips is unbelievable; plush, ultra-smooth and so soothing – I’d go so far as to say buttery even, which I did not expect given its sheer nature. Within a few minutes after application, it’s almost as though the product seems to fill in fine lines and there’s a slight tingling effect that goes in hand with its plumping properties. Worn alone, your lips are enhanced with a very subtle tint of colour; applied over lipstick, it serves to add brilliance and hydration. Long after the majority of product has faded, my lips continue to feel incredibly soft and nourished. As to longevity, it will depend on the shade but in general it’s about par for a sheer gloss – approximately 2.5 hours, less with eating & drinking (but I have no issue with reapplying).

Givenchy Blazing Coral

Gelée d’Interdit 24 Blazing Coral (CAN $37.00) | The most pigmented of the three glosses in this group, calling this ‘blazing’ is a bit of a stretch, but the colour is beautiful just the same, and fits right into my comfort zone of neutrals. The only one of the three with shimmer, it’s of the finely ground variety that feels smooth upon the lips, serving to add an extra dimension of shine.

Givenchy Gelée d'Interdit Blazing Coral swatch

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit 24 Blazing Coral swatch

Givenchy Sorbet Pink

Gelée d’Interdit 25 Sorbet Pink (CAN $37.00) | The sheerest and most transparent of the three, this shade offers the barest hint of colour when worn solo, providing a clean and juicy look to lips (but which will probably be the easiest to wear over lipstick, as it won’t transform the shade). As my lips are naturally quite lined (like really, seriously lined), I was stunned to see how within minutes after application, there was a noticeable and visible elimination of said lines, as can even be seen in the swatch below.

Givenchy Gelée d'Interdit Sorbet Pink swatch

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit 25 Sorbet Pink swatch

Givenchy Forbidden Berry

Gelée d’Interdit 26 Forbidden Berry (CAN $37.00) | Offering slightly more pigmentation but with a similar effect to Sorbet Pink, this shade also appears to impart a slight tint to lips after most of the shine has worn off. Makes a great topper for ruby/berry hued lipsticks.

Givenchy Gelée d'Interdit Forbiden Berry swatch

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit 26 Forbidden Berry swatch

Givenchy Gloss Interdit trio

Givenchy | Gloss Interdit Ultra-Shiny Color

Givenchy Gloss Interdit trio 2

Givenchy | Gloss Interdit Ultra-Shiny Color

Givenchy Gloss Interdit brushes

These glosses are quite unique in that they seem to not only provide a high-shine factor along with skincare properties, but can be worn sheered out or built up for a more opaque look. According to the brand:

“A vibrant gloss with a high-performance formula, a sophisticated silhouette, and a professional brush applicator. With its infinitely light texture, Gloss Interdit provides spectacular shine and leaves lips smoothed and plumped. The formula is enriched with high-performance skincare ingredients developed by Givenchy Laboratories. The scent of Gloss Interdit is an elegant, sensual, and sophisticated new facet of the “Espièglerie” concentrate found in Rouge Interdit and Rouge Interdit Shine. The fragrance is composed of top notes of bergamot, litchi, and red fruit; middle notes of rose, jasmine, and lily of the valley; and base notes of sandalwood, vanilla, amber, and musk”

The short dense brush is convenient in getting to the edges of the lips for a precise application, but that’s double-edged; when applying these glosses over lipstick (as opposed to bare lips), the brush’s rigidity might cause the underlying lipstick to move around. One way around that, is to deposit the product along the centre of the lips and then press them together to distribute the gloss. Upon bare lips, the former becomes a non-issue but here again, there’s an interesting twist; applying too much will definitely increase opacity, but may also emphasize lip lines (as seen in the following two swatches). Waiting a few minutes for the product to ‘settle’ helps it to meld smoothly along the lips. My favourite way of wearing these glosses, is by applying 1 generous swipe, spreading that out and then smooshing my lips together; this method not only provides colour & shine, but makes the gloss look and feel even more natural on the lips (see the last swatch).

Regarding the feel, once again the term “buttery” comes to mind. Silky soft would also be accurate … and never, ever sticky. Longevity is definitely longer with these, and excluding eating/drinking, I can easily get 4-5 hours of wear, albeit some shine will naturally be gone. Lips are left feeling hydrated and nourished during wear and after the product has faded, while the scent, if anything, is even more delicious than the Gelée d’Interdit.

Givenchy Secret Nude

Gloss Interdit 37 Secret Nude (CAN $35.00) | A peachy nude shade without any shimmer that should suit all complexions equally, despite being warm-leaning. Even though my lips have quite a bit of natural pigmentation, I still get decent colour payoff with this shade. So much love for this neutral!

Givenchy Gloss Interdit Secret Nude swatch

Givenchy | Gloss Interdit 37 Secret Nude swatch

Givenchy Pink Evocation

Gloss Interdit 38 Pink Evocation (CAN $35.00) | A candy-pink hue that initially appeared to lean cool (especially when worn opaquely, as in the swatch below) but which worked well with my light/medium skin tone after blotting it out somewhat. As someone who doesn’t usually wear pale pinks, I actually love 60’s vibe I get with this shade, and which also happens to work beautifully when paired with a simple black winged liner.

Givenchy Gloss Interdit pink Evocation swatch

Givenchy | Gloss Interdit 38 Pink Evocation swatch

Givenchy Fancy Pink

Gloss Interdit 39 Fancy Pink (CAN $35.00) | A rose pink hue that leans rather cool, which I was surprised to find that it didn’t clash against my skin tone (I have a light yellow undertone and pinks can be rather tricky for me to pull off). In the swatch below, I took the photo before the gloss had a chance to fully settle; once it does, many of the lip lines you see here appear to be downplayed, while the shine manages to stay quite impressive.

Givenchy Gloss Interdit Fancy Pink swatch

Givenchy | Gloss Interdit 39 Fancy Pink swatch

Givenchy Mister Intense Black 1

Givenchy | Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat

Givenchy Mister Intense Black brush

Givenchy | Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat

Givenchy Mister Intense Black 2

Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat,limited edition (CAN $35.00)| A vinyl-like glossy deep black hue that can be worn over bare lashes for touches of brilliance, or applied over mascara to amplify the colour and boost shine. Not sure what to expect, it certainly wasn’t the flat spongy paddle it comes with and while obviously very different to conventional applicators, it turns out to be actually quite easy to use. It should be noted that the product bears a slight anise-like fragrance that I pick up only if I bring the paddle right up to my nose, but it’s not unpleasant and becomes virtually undetectable once applied.

There’s a couple of ways to work the paddle; over bare lashes you can swipe the broad portion from the underside of the top lashes right to the tip (alternately, you apply it to the top side of bottom lashes), then turn the paddle along its side to get between any lashes and/or separate any clumping. You can use the same method on lashes already coated with mascara, along with adding a layer to the inner part of the top lashes as well. Another bonus is that you can build up the product along the tips in a much more effective way than using a traditional mascara wand, thus achieving even more volume and impact. Wear time is excellent, with no flaking or smudging, until removed (I use a dual-phase remover for all mascaras), and upon removal you’ll notice that the product comes off in tiny little rubbery-like pieces (as though tiny ‘sleeves’ had been covering lashes).

The swatches below were applied over 2 coats of Givenchy Noir Couture Volume Extreme Volume Mascara (not reviewed).

Givenchy Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat swatch

Givenchy | Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat swatch

Givenchy Mister Intense Black Mascara swatch

Givenchy | Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat swatch (at right only)


Givenchy lips & eyes 2

Givenchy | Gelée d’Interdit, Gloss Interdit & Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat


For some strange reason (here in North America at least), this is a brand that appears to fly under most people’s radar, despite having such a storied history behind it, as well as the fact that the products are readily available through Sephora; but that’s something that I believe is on the cusp on major change, especially if I have anything to say about it! I have fallen hard for these glosses – both the Gelée d’Interdit with their incredibly nourishing feel & plumping/fine-line filling effect, and the Gloss Interdit with their range of colours and silky wear. The Mister Intense Black Mascara Top Coat (so formal!) is certainly unique and makes an excellent addition to my mascara wardrobe (I regularly wear several different mascaras at a time), although it is limited edition and available only online. Next time you’re at a Sephora store, make it a point to stop at the Givenchy display and give the products a look; you will not be disappointed (and probably leave with a slightly lighter wallet too).

Givenchy beauty products are available through Sephora and locations across Canada. Find more information by visiting

Givenchy lips & eyes closer



Press samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration

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Givenchy Noir Couture 4 In One Mascara (swatches & review)


If asked what 1 beauty product most women would not want to be without if stranded on a deserted island, the answer would be a resounding: MASCARA. Finding that one perfect mascara, on the other hand, can sometimes feel like a lifelong quest — especially as there’s now an overwhelming abundance out there to choose from, all making differing claims: lengthening, volumizing, curling, plumping, waterproof, and separating, with just as many combination of all of the afore-mentioned qualities, to add even more confusion to the mix. Then, there’s the “head” and the myriad options that can come in: thick, thin, triangular, curved, bristles, comb, and ball — with several brands also creating combo versions of all these options. Confusing, I know. But we women are nothing, if not determined to find our “holy grail” mascara, and something tells me that I just may have with this latest by Givenchy …

Givenchy Noir Couture Mascara (source)

Givenchy Noir Couture – gorgeous packaging

Givenchy Noir Couture

full ingredients list

Givenchy Noir Couture – tube

Givenchy Noir Couture – embossed cap


Givenchy Noir Couture 4 In One Mascara Created by Givenchy’s Makeup Artistic Director, Nicolas Degennes, this new ‘Noir Couture’ mascara is a “lash wardrobe must-have”. I couldn’t agree more. Formulated with their new Lash Booster Expert Complex as well as being fortified with lash-strengthening vitamins, this product claims to visibly improve the health and length of your lashes over time. According to the company:


“Noir Couture instantly thickens, lengthens and curls your lashes as it strengthens and nourishes them with ingredients like artemia salina, cotton nectar and oxazolidone, a lipid that protects and restructures the lashes. Imagine lashes that look as beautiful undressed as they do dressed – in couture!


TIP: When removing mascara saturate lashes with makeup remover and wait for 15 seconds. Then, gently slide the mascara off lashes from root to tip, being careful not to pull, twist or rub”

Research results:
-Based on a self-evaluation on 32 women after 4 weeks of daily application, 91 % had visibly volumized, curled, and lengthened lashes.
-Based on clinical scoring on 32 women after 8 weeks of daily applications, 102 % recorded lash beauty and strength, surface shine, evenness, and suppleness. 

My findings:

It’s true, I love this mascara. To begin with, there’s the elegant and well-balanced heft of the sleek black and silver outer tube. Then there’s the densely packed bristles on the unique triple ball-shaped head and the easy-to-use & hold length of the wand. The product itself is of the deepest shade of black and stays somewhat glossy and true to colour for its duration. As this is not one of the “wetter” types of mascara, you do need to work quickly, as it seems to dry and set faster than some other brands I’ve tried, but you can still build it up without too much effort. The rounded top of the brush makes reaching smaller and/or thinner lashes a breeze, without fear of jabbing yourself in the eye. Wear time was totally amazing, lasting easily 12-hours plus (I gave it the most vigorous test this past weekend at my nephew’s wedding), without any flaking, running (even through crying, it stayed put), or smudging. Removal is quite painless as well, coming thoroughly off with well saturated pads of makeup removal. As the following photos show, the before shot is with absolutely no product, while the after version is with 2 coats of Noir Couture – no combing through.

Givenchy Noir Couture – wand

Givenchy Noir Couture – brush head macro


Final thoughts: I have tried many mascaras over the years, with varying degrees of success. I’ve loved Dior’s ‘Diorshow’ (both the regular & waterproof versions) for the thickening drama, Armani’s ‘Eyes to Kill Excess’ for the lengthening (and thickening), and when Givenchy first introduced their revolutionary ball-shaped ‘Phenomen’Eyes’, I was all over that – in every colour it came in, especially as it seemed to have the uncanny ability of singling out & coating lashes I wasn’t even aware of. What the ‘Phenomen’Eyes’ version lacked, however, was drama to add to that precision – ‘Noir Couture’ gives my lashes that … and more. I couldn’t be more impressed, and if you’re looking for a product that will do it ALL, then you need to give this mascara a try.

Available exclusively through Sephora (I’m guessing for now), Givenchy’s ‘Noir Couture’ Mascara retails for US $32.00/CDN $35.00 and worth every.single.penny.

Givenchy – Phenomen’Eyes Mascara Effet Extension Black

Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Effet Extension Black

I don’t have enough adjectives to properly describe this little marvel! After using this mascara almost exclusively for the past 2 years, all I can say is ‘amazing’! When Givenchy first launched this product back in 2008 (Phenomen’Black), everyone wondered at the fairly menacing looking wand head….seemed an awful lot like a medieval instrument of torture and not something you would necessarily be wanting to use near your delicate eye tissue! After having bought into all the promotional hype, I purchased it and decided to give it a try. The formula is quite flexible which means simply that you have time to coat your lashes properly without worrying it will start stiffening up and clumping before you’re done, and it leaves your lashes looking believably darkened.  I was told that the wand took some getting used to but in all honesty,  I had no problem whatsoever adapting to this unique shape and have found it to be one of the more user-friendly mascaras I have tried in many years now.

The head itself is round, spiky-looking and rather small; it is approximately the width of other brands, but significantly shorter.  This small size makes it so easy to coat those tiny lashes at both the outer and inner corners of your eye, and it also enables you to get closer to the base of your lashes than any other wand, thereby being able to deposit quite a bit of colour there and increasing the intensity of the look.  The formula I am featuring here is their ‘Extension’ version and with one swipe, you not only see your lashes lengthen, but the bristles on the head do an amazing job of separating lashes as well.  With a second swipe, you have significantly more dramatic length and if you curl your lashes beforehand (which you should always do people!!), the formula holds onto that curl and really emphasizes it.  I found that the original formula, while definitely delivering on innovation, ease of use and colour saturation, had a tendency to leave some deposits on the skin below the lower lash line, causing minor smudging; maybe it was just me that this happened to, so if anyone out there has a different experience to report using the original version, please feel free to let me know.  This new and improved version not only gives the appearance of length, volume and incredible curl, but also happens to be completely smudge-free and after having tested it through many different lengths of time and scenarios, I am impressed with the way it delivers.  It also comes in a waterproof formula and in the past 3 seasonal collections that Givenchy launched, they included a coloured version of this mascara:

  • Poetique Grey Lavender – a faded looking black with the barest hint of dusty lavender
  • Purple Impression – a vibrant purple
  • Water Turquoise – a muted turquoise leaning more towards the blue, waterproof

Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes - the wand

All in all, one of my favourite products in my makeup arsenal and the first mascara I reach for whether it is a delicate daytime look I want to do, or for a more exotic evening look.  It can also be layered over other brands, as a tool for those hard to reach lashes and/or to help add definition.  I wish to stress that when you remove the wand from the tube, make sure to properly wipe it in a circular, almost swirling motion down the inner opening of the tube, or else you will end up with too much product on the bristles resulting in a very clumpy and uneven application.  I have not tested their Phenomen’Eyes Water Black (waterproof) formula yet, (I do own Water Turquoise but do not use it often so I can’t offer a proper review at the moment…but I’ll get to it!) as I have found their regular version to be quite water resistant on its own so far.  It also removes quite easily not requiring a specific makeup remover, leaving no flaky residue or nasty smudges. Available at Sephora, it retails for US $29.00/CAD $32.00 for 0.24ox/7g