Chanel Exceptionnel IS Exceptionally Dramatic Reviews 9/23/08September 23, 2008 Chanel Exceptionnel Mascara ($28.00) recently debuted as part of their winter launch (Smoky Eyes).Let me first say that it is important to master the correct application technique. Chanel has set-up a special website devoted to their newest mascara, which I did find helpful. But to summarize, you apply by twirling the wand and then pulling upwards to the tips of your lashes. It’s not the wiggle method! So Chanel has done a pretty good job of creating buzz and hype and anticipation over this mascara because samples were made via Allure’s beauty program (I’m not part of it, so I don’t know anything about it, other than a ton of Allure readers got samples of this mascara!). Overall response has been raves–the point of contention being the price.Let me tell you about the pros, the cons… What is it advertised to do? Exceptionnel is advertised as a thickening and volumizing mascara. It is supposed to give you clump-free lashes with good separation. The brush is innovative as a six-sided application brush that combines plastic and comb bristles that alternate to form the six “sides” with regular bristles in-between.What does it actually do well? It does add a good amount of length, thickens, and it is a very intense black. As I’ve said before, I want lashes that look fake but aren’t actually fake. This is only because I have two left feet (yes, feet) when it comes to applying false lashes, so I must go the route of mascara for the lashes of my dreams. I am all about the blackest of black lashes (which is why Plushlash has been my favorite for so long). My lashes aren’t stubby or short, and they have a slight natural curl (at least, they aren’t “stick-straight”), but they aren’t particular long or thick, which is why I require both in a mascara. I also don’t experience flaking or smudging throughout the day (12 hours of wear). Also, this mascara is particularly good at holding a curl for hours, which I know is important to some! I removed it using Lancome’s Bi-Facil with no issues.Where does it fall flat? It does clump a bit! I know, I know, all these mascaras talk about how clump-free they are… but maybe it’s my desire for such false lashes that gets me in trouble. Maybe it’s one too many coats. Either way, there is a bit of clumping towards the end. If you take a lash comb or clean mascara wand, you should be just fine. I tend to do this anyway, because it helps separate and let them fan out fully. This is the only real downside I experienced, which I think could be remedied by blotting the wand (to remove excess mascara) from time to time, and again, using a lash comb.Price points! DiorShow is, quite possibly, one of the most coveted mascaras, and it, too, comes along with a higher price point ($24.00). Unfortunately for me, DiorShow flaked within hours after application, which was truly shocking and incredibly disappointing. I couldn’t tell you why or how or what, just that I was sad to see it not work out for me. Anyway, the point of the story is to mention high end mascaras and their costs. If you can’t get yourself to buy a mascara for over $20, this just isn’t for you. Ask for it as a gift for one of the many occasions throughout the year, or see if you can try a sample, but be prepared to fall in love and not be able to give in because of the price. It’s very much like falling in love with a $300 face cream.My whole bit on price is simply this: if you have the money and wish to spend it on high end mascara, definitely consider Chanel Exceptionnel. If you are happy with your current mascara and/or cannot see yourself paying $28 for a tube of mascara every 2-3 months, skip it.