Filed In: Givenchy

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