Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara
Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara (One coat!)

Multi-Tasking Mascara… That Actually Works!

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara ($30.00) is designed to be a more intense version of the multi-tasking Inimitable (which I have not tried), which lengthens, thickens, curls, and separates without clumping, spiking, or flaking.

This is one of those mascaras where you can really see the difference between the before and after photos; not all mascaras represent themselves well, but this is one that definitely does. My bare lashes look like a big ol’ tangled mess of short, sparse lashes. With a single coat of Inimitable Intense, my lashes look fuller, much, much longer, and a little thicker. This mascara does lengthening best, but it does thicken and add an illusion of more voluminous lashes, too. Often, I find multi-tasking mascaras rarely deliver on all the claims they make, but Chanel does a particularly noteworthy job of meeting their claims.

The mascara is not overly wet, though the black is so intense it can look wet when on, but it’s not dry either, so it doesn’t flake when you apply it nor does it take too long to dry. I’ve been wearing it on and off for the past two weeks or so, and I haven’t had any issues with smudging, flaking, or the like even with all day wear (twelve or more hours). I found it held a curl quite nicely, though I think my lashes are on the “lighter” side so they take to curling better than the average set of lashes (because holding a curl has never been a major issue for me with mascara).

It does a nice job of keeping lashes separated and clump-free with the first two coats, but if you start getting greedy and going for a third or fourth coat, you may get some clumping. I’ve also noticed that on occasion there is too much product on the wand, and then I will have a touch of clumping from the get-go. Inimitable Intense actually adds quite a bit with just one coat that I don’t find myself going for a full second coat.

What does “one coat” of mascara mean to you?

I actually sent out a tweet asking about it on Monday, because I’m curious if we’re on the same page.  So much of the terminology used in makeup can be ambiguous!  Based on the responses I received on Twitter, the majority (like 90%) consider one coat to be using whatever is on the wand on your lashes; if you go back and re-insert the wand into the tube to get more mascara, that’s the second coat.

I would also say that the second coat occurs when you give the first layer/coat of mascara time to dry.  My general mascara routine is to pull the wand out, apply to my right lashes using short strokes from inside to out (I can’t get all my lashes at once!), and then I apply to my left lashes–and I haven’t gone back for more–and I’d say one out of three times I’ll re-insert the wand for another helping of mascara to finish up both sets of lashes (more for touch-ups than a full coat!).

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If your lashes are like mine–aka need all the help they can get–a multi-tasking mascara that actually delivers is definitely worth a try.


See more photos & swatches!

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara
Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara (One coat!)

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara
Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara (One coat!)

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara
Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara
Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara

Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara
Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara

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90 thoughts on “Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Roxanne

    Now I am really, REALLY tempted to try this! But I’d like to try a sample first though… never gonna happen, this is Chanel!

    • Roxanne

      OMG. I just found out there’s a 30% discount on all Chanel at my counter. It’s a sign from the Gods! I must go forth and buy this mascara.

      • And about 100 other things! 30% is unreal!

      • daphne

        OMG WHERE DO YOU LIVE 30% off on Chanel? I want to go to there!

        • Roxanne

          Belgium! I already scored Paradoxal for €15 (a little less than $20), and I feel I should go back for Inimitable Intense!!

          • I feel you 😀 30% rocks! I bought Jade Rose x Paradoxal, so glad I waited, because now I don’t feel all that guilty about buying it, €15 a bottle is okidoki ^^

            I’m hooked on my Helena Rubinstein mascara, but 28euros everytime for a new tube… Maybe I should stock up now, with the 30% discount. Though I’m really tempted to try this one, it looks great! Such a shame they don’t give samples of mascaras, because if you buy it and only then notice you don’t really like it… With drugstore brands, okay, Chanel/other expensive ones, not so okay 😛

            • nicci

              Actually, my SA at Nordstrom that I go to anytime I want Chanel items, gave me two samples of this new mascara :) She had plenty hidden away and told me to take two.

    • Bon

      I got a free Inimitable mascara sample with a magazine when it first came out, loved it so much it’s all I’ve bought since!

  2. Maria

    That’s so interesting you like it because I bought it last week and returned it because it was so clumpy on my eyes! I have been trying to find a good mascara that lasts and this was just so clumpy. After I returned it I got the Dior one and that has been really good, no issues! My only smalll small complaint with Dior is that it stays on sooo well that after I take my make up off at night, I wake up and have a little bit of racoon eyes because it doesn’t come off all the way, but this is minor!

  3. Diana B

    Wow what a difference

  4. I love this mascara! It’s one of the best I ever used!
    I’m very curious to try it also in the shade “rouge noir” 😉

    • Yvonne

      THANK YOU for saying that! I couldnt rememebr which brand was coming out with a deep reddish mascara shade. too bad i don’t really like this mascara.. I may have to get it anyways haha

  5. I think this is a really good mascara. Have one myself and I like it alot!

  6. min

    I have the original, and I have to say that I love it to bits. I was one of those people for whom diorshow/blackout (which I really wanted to love) flaked and smudged like craaazyy after a few hours, sadly unlimited did too )=. I picked the chanel one up on impulse I was SO happy when I saw how it worked haha..not quite as thick but i’ll take it over clumpy flaked lashes.

    If this one is better I might have to give it a try too.. and it does look like it lengthens even better than the inimitable.

  7. Mayra

    you CAN actually see a big difference!!

  8. Natalia

    I had this mascara in Rouge Noir and was terribly disappointed to discover my over-sensitive eyes had some kind of allergy reaction towards it. My eyes hurt when I was wearing it :( It’s a great pity since I liked the effect and the colour.

    • LB

      I also had an allergic reaction, which is a shame. I bought the indigo shade since the navy shade I used to buy fro
      Lancome has been discontinued. I LOVE the way this mascara works, but the allergic reaction I’m having means I’ll need to return it. Very sad. :(

  9. Mary

    How do you like this compared to MAC plushlash?

  10. Manderlay

    Hello, do you think this works better than Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension by Givenchy? I got used to the ball applicator, and now I don’t know if I’m still able to make a “classic” wand work properly, haha! 😛

  11. Caroline

    Christine, I discovered Clarin’s Wonder perfect mascara in July and to this day I do both eyes upper & lower lashes (both left & right eyes) with the wand coming out of the tube only ONCE.
    I noticed that you don’t seem to try/comment Clarins products much. I think you should give some of ’em a try.
    Did I mention that I swim, wipe my eyes that come out of the water slightly and the mascara doesn’t even smudge? No! it’s not the waterproof kind, but it certainly is waterproof…and as a matter of fact, it is the best mascara I have ever tried and is definitely my HG. Il’ll never waste my time buying anything else ever again.
    Have a good day!

  12. Diane

    Is the wand plastic (eg cover girl lash blast) or pipe cleaner (traditional)?

  13. Miss Silver

    Ooh, love how they make your lashes look longer and fuller!

  14. Interesting! I’d like to give this a shot, because I definitely have the same eyelash woes that you have! It’s on the expensive side, though … maybe for my birthday. ; )

    Incidentally, I know people say that drugstore mascara is just as good as high-end stuff, but I haven’t found that to be true. I have no problem with drugstore mascara, but my favorites tend to be a bit pricier (DiorShow, Clinique).

  15. Luisa

    Looks really promising from the photos!
    How does this act when it comes to taking it off?

  16. Hm, I might actually try this one out. Have you used Guerlain Le 2 Mascaras? How does this compare to them? I really love my Le 2 and not sure I want to cheat on it. 😉

  17. That’s gorgeous! Love it!

  18. Shontay

    That mascara looks awesome! I still have my regular inimitable, but when I need to replace it I will be getting this. Chanel mascara is worth every dollar!

  19. nunuiviet

    looks great! i love natural look for the eyelashes + you have beautiful eyes!

  20. Eta

    Oh, wow wow wow. Any chance you could compare this to the regular Hypnôse? I didn’t think I was going to switch, but GA’s Eyes To Kill looked like a valid choice… and now this… I mean, 95% of my beauty products are Chanel already.

    • Eta

      Hey, it’s alright if you don’t have time to respond or this has been covered before, but I would have appreciated any kind of feedback. It’s been ten days and I keep checking back. It left a little of a bad aftertaste seeing how so many other comments had been approved and answered. I did get the mascara in the meantime and don’t regret the purchase, so, thanks.

      • Hi Eta,

        I have about 500 comments pending (some from August) – I, unfortunately, am perpetually behind on comments and try to answer questions as quickly as possible – sometimes if your question requires more thought, it will take me longer to get back to you. I’m really sorry – it is not a personal slight or anything. I went back and checked your comment, and it was because I have not tried Hypnose yet, but I own it, so I was going to try and try it and get back to you. I have ten other comments pending on this post, so it’s not just you at all! Again, I’m really sorry – I answer 300-400 comments per day but often get 500-600. I’ve spent the past four hours trying to play catch up (which I try to do on the weekends). It’s totally my fault – I’m just trying to explain why it takes me longer to get back to certain questions.

        • Eta

          I know you have to be awfully busy with the blog. Your commitment to beauty is incredible, and I’m blown away by the quality you keep up. I keep recommending your reviews on a local forum I go to. I didn’t mean to sound sour – my apologies, too – I should have kept in mind how much feedback and how many questions you must be getting. Thank you for taking the time to respond. As said, I did get this, and might have very well found my new HG. Thank your for the excellent post and swatches!

          • No, no worries! I just wanted to explain and make sure you did not take it personally. I need to change the comment message, because I think it still says 24-72 hours, which happens for some but not all comments.

            I am glad the mascara is working out for you Eta! :)

    • I haven’t tried Hypnose :( (Or Eyes to Kill). Really sorry I wasn’t able to get back to you in a better time frame. :(

  21. Jennifer

    How would you compare this mascara to Diorshow Iconic mascara? I love Iconic…

    My lashes are long, and have a natural curl…Average amount of lashes, so I say volume is what I need most.

  22. Caitlin

    nice effects but i think i’ll stick to my covergirl lashblast length…. you can do like 3 or 4 coats and it doesn’t clump! :)
    i feel like $30 is too much for a mascara (even dior) when i like drugstore just as much.

  23. Wow Christine, your lashes look gorgeous! They’re shiny and healthy looking, I’m surprised at how natural it looks. I might go pick this one up =D.

  24. Shi

    The separation this mascara gives is UNREAL! Your lashes look tons fuller!

    The only mascara that does that for my puny Asian lashes is Maybelline’s Volum’Express Colossal but I know you gave that a D+. Any chance you can go back and give it another go? What I noticed with Colossal was that when I first opened the tube and applied it, it wasn’t spectacular but on a whim (after having not used it for two weeks or so) I decided to apply it again and it gave me very full lashes but also separated very well! Maybe my lashes just respond better to mascaras on the dryer side.

    Also, I agree with you on what constitutes one coat of mascara. A lot of volumizing mascaras on the market these days have HUGE brushes, and it takes me several tries to coat all my lashes!

  25. I received a sample of this with the Dutch Glamour.
    It’s a very good mascara, but im worried that its a bit too similair to Lashblast Length or Max Factor Masterpiece MAX…

    Another great mascara recommendation: The Body Shop’s Big & Curvy!


  26. Yvonne

    wow! this mascara does zip zero for me. but it really works well for you!

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me you’ll stop using MAC Mascaras. ::Crosses fingers:: : )


    • I love Plushlash… so no, I won’t be… sorry :(

      • Yvonne

        its okkkkk. I promise when I find a mascara that is super thickening and lengthening I will report back to you immediately!

        I do know your love for MAC mascaras but I swear there is a better one out there. : )


  27. Kelly C.

    These are exactly the results that I want from a mascara! Enhancement but without the hugely volumized falsies look. Do you think this would be worth the price for everyday use? I was also considering trying out Clinique Naturally Glossy for a natural day look.

    • It takes me forever to get through a tube, so for me, I don’t mind. Of all the products I spend money on, any product I’d use everyday is probably well worth it, lol! Like $30 for a mascara you won’t use… nah. But if you finish it? I think so.

  28. Jay

    ehhh not really impressed, lash blast is soooo much better!

  29. nina

    hey christine which one do you thing is better:chanel exceptionnel or chanel inimitable?

  30. Angel H

    Wow…this is really impressive! If only the price isn’t as steep :/

  31. Ashley

    I love how it looks natural yet still makes the lashes more noticeable. I also agree that it seems expensive, and would be more pricey here in Canada :( I really want to try it though, I find that my drug store mascaras tend to give me crunchy lashes!

    I’d love to see how this compares to the Korres Provitamin B5 & Rice Brand mascara, which I’m also wanting to try out as it’s supposed to be another multitasker mascara, but at a cheaper price!

  32. Proenza

    This is a lovely lengthening mascara, but I went back to her sister.. Exceptionnel de Chanel. So far the Exceptionnel has been the most amazing mascara I have ever used. From thickening, lengthening, no smudging or flaking, very very happy with it. Dior Diorshow were always great, but the last year, Chanel has really overtaken them. Great pics Christine, love that you are showcasing Chanel more.


  33. Ashley D.

    Oh wow! It looks quite natural, and your lashes look amazing! I must have this.

  34. Tiffany C.

    Hey Christine,
    this looks great and i think i’ll have to drop the $30 for this!!! Have you ever tried Bare Escentuals Buxom Mascara? I love that stuff!!! I have long, very thin and straight lashes that i have to curl a few times through my makeup routine for them to have a good curve and this stuff keeps the curl, separates, and thickens my lashes. It’s one that i usually go back to. I’m a mascara whore, LOL!!! i’ve tried so many and even when i find the one that works (Buxom)i have to try more!!!!

  35. Kat

    Oh I love it! But I have 3 mascaras lined up right now, (2 full sized, 1 sample), so I won’t be getting this one for a while. Though if there’s a 30% off sale on Chanel…

  36. Janet

    WANT! But soooo expensive….. :(

  37. Kelly

    I really really love this mascara. I got a tester with a magazine and bought a second magazine just for the tester. WOW this is amazing! Unfortunately it costs about 28 euros here, which is like little over 35 dollars or even more. So much money :(

  38. Marie

    I’ve been using this mascara for 3 years. By far my favorite!

  39. Wow. I’m seriously impressed. Huge difference. Awesome.

  40. Oke, this might be a bit of a weird request? But could you maybe make a short video about how you apply your mascara? :) Because this looks flawless! And I’m really curious about seeing your technique in practice :) Totally get it if this is too weird though 😉 ^^ I just bought this mascara and somehow I can’t make it look as good as it does on you!

  41. Skybluesky

    Thinking about getting this! Does it smudge or flake? Most mascaras I’ve tried do that (high end brands like Shu Uemura, Lancome, etc…).

  42. Eva

    Starting on Saturday, November 6th, Nordstrom is having a sale and if you buy 2 Chanel mascaras, you get one free!

  43. ashley

    I really want to try this mascara but I have semi-thick, long Asian lashes that don’t hold a curl well. I’ve used the original in waterproof and it’s amazing. I’m interested in her sister (the intense lol) but it’s not available waterproof so I’m a little worried…

  44. Dorothy

    Dear Christine,

    I have been falling in love with Nars’ lengthening and voluminous mascara for quite a while, and still be a super fan of the lengthening one because it gives beautiful separation and length!!:)

    Now after reading your reviews of the Chanel Inimitable mascara, Chanel Exceptionnel one and the Dior Diorshow Extase,
    I’m soooo Eager to get one of these 3!!!

    I have typical east asian lashes,
    so I want Beautiful separation, Good length, Nice hold, and volume! but i dont really care layer to get volume:)
    So could you please recommend one of these 3 mascaras to me?
    Which one may work best for me~?

    Thanks a lot!!

    Lol honestly i really want to try All of these 3, but i can’t open them all at the same time, for i only have 2 eyes and dont need more than 2 mascaras at the same time, or it’ll be a big waste!”p

    Thanks again!!:)

  45. Ash

    This is one of my favorite mascaras!!

  46. Definitely my ALL TIME FAVORITE mascara. My mom had been using it for a while and I always commented on how good her lashes looked and she picked me up a tube last time she was at Macys and I have fallen in love. I’ll definitely use this for a long time to come.