Welcome to Deep Reviews—your one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. The Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations.
The majority of our Deep Reviews will feature our editors' honest, ultra-hot takes on entire product categories or multiple products from a particular beauty brand, but every so often, we'll sprinkle in a special single-product format called Honestly, I Love It. As the name suggests, these reviews will hone in on one standout beauty formula our editors quite literally can't shut up about. This time around, I'm highlighting my latest lash obsession, Chanel's Noir Allure Mascara ($59).
As the first true makeup product I ever wore regularly (I'm not counting my collection of Lip Smackers or the tubes of body glitter I'd buy from Claire's), mascara will always be the most-loved item in my beauty routine. I naturally have long, albeit very straight, lashes, and they've become my absolute favorite feature to play up. The one issue? I'm fussy with a capital F when it comes to my chosen mascaras. I like my lashes and overall eye vibe to look just so, and any formula that's giving clumpy, limp, flaky, or smudgy gets the instantaneous boot. Thus, there have really only been about six mascaras I've ever loved and used religiously in my entire existence as a mascara-wearing human. I'm almost 30 and started dabbling with makeup in middle school—you can do the math.
Everyone has different preferences when it comes to mascara, but I'm the type of person who craves borderline-cartoonish length (think Bambi or Rapunzel from Tangled), lots of lift and curl, immaculate separation and definition, and just a hint of volume. (If you're someone who likes ultra-thick lashes, this probably won't be the article for you.) Essentially, I want the same impact that extensions or falsies deliver via a tube and not an in-office visit. Right now, that product is Chanel's lesser-known and newest mascara Noir Allure.
I've always adored Chanel's wardrobe of beauty products, particularly the brand's collection of mascaras. Noir Allure, however, is the under-the-radar gem that now has me in a chokehold and gives me the light and fluttery lashes I dream of—high impact on length and low impact in volume and clumpy thickness. As Chanel makeup artist Tasha Reiko Brown told me, it's the mascara for the summer.
Even though I've gone through different phases with my mascara aesthetic (there was definitely an über-chunky phase in high school), I like to keep my eye makeup pretty minimal. I want my blue eyes to pop, but since I have such light hair and very fair skin, too much heaviness—be it with mascara or other products like shadow and liner—can get a little intense and can overwhelm my features, especially since I have dark brows, which already contrast with my bleach-blonde strands. When I recently told Brown about my obsession with Noir Allure, she wasn't surprised even though it doesn't receive as much attention as other cult-loved mascaras from Chanel like Le Volume ($38) or Inimitable ($35).
Brown validated my opinion that this is really an amazing mascara for anyone who wants a "light touch" with their mascara or is looking for the same easy-breezy, feathery effect as extensions. "If you don't want the lashes or your eyes to completely dominate your look, this is the mascara to use," she told me.
I've always been a sucker for packaging, and while a spiffy exterior is neither here nor there when it comes to a product's actual efficacy, Chanel's signature "click" mechanism that unlocks the wand from the tube is pretty genius. With twist-off designs, an inevitable buildup of product starts to accumulate around the opening of the tube. It becomes more difficult to screw the cap all the way on, and the mascara will dry out more quickly. Chanel's sleek click-in, click-out design makes all the above a moot issue. Not to mention, you've never looked chicer whipping out a mascara before—trust me.
Because I want a lot of definition when it comes to my lashes, I always, always, always gravitate toward a rubber brush versus a brush that is really fat or bushy. I just can't get the lift and separation I need with that! A rubber brush acts more like a comb, and you're really able to control where you're applying the product while catching and grabbing every last lash. This mascara is no different. The brush is thin and flexible, and the formula itself is strategically spiked with an undetectable hint of red which, adds even more depth and dimension to your eyes. Provitamin B5 and a blend of three naturally derived waxes keep your natural lashes nourished, conditioned, and perfectly curled.
Some mascaras—even the ones marketed to lift and curl—start to fall flat after a few hours, but this is one of the few exceptions I've tried. In my eyes, it's quite literally the perfect mascara, and whenever I wear it out IRL or snap a picture to post on my IG story, there's a roar of commotion. People absolutely always want to know what my secret is and whether I have extensions or use a lash serum. (For the record, I've used and loved lash serums in the past, but I've been weaning myself off of them over the last few months.)
Not a lot of mystery here! With this mascara, I usually find that just one or two coats are totally sufficient. I start on the outer corners of my eyes and wiggle the brush through my lashes, starting at the base and working through to the top. After my first coat dries, I'll lightly tap the ends to ensure the tips are coated and as brow scraping as possible. I usually don't apply mascara to my lower lashes, but you totally can with this one. I've never experienced any smudging, flaking, or transfer.
Shop the Rest of My Chanel Beauty Lineup
If I had the budget, I would own every single chic AF shade of nail polish that Chanel makes. The application is so buttery and smooth, and the shine is incredibly satisfying and salon manicure–esque. This new hue called Rouge Cuir is officially one of my all-time favorites and will be on my hands and toes all summer.
This perfume recently landed on my doorstep, and I haven't been able to stop spritzing it ever since. I love an eau de toilette for spring and summer. It's floral, woody, and slightly fizzing thanks to the unique blend of fresh lemon and tangerine that's balanced out by rose, pink pepper, and patchouli. It's classic and elegant without reading stuffy or outdated.
I love a retro red lip, and while I'll only whip one out once in a while for special occasions (most recently, a press dinner at Mother Wolf in L.A. felt appropriate), no other products give me quite the same high when it comes to makeup. This one from Chanel has my heart. Fair warning: It's not a transfer-proof formula, and it will smudge and leave your lips if you're not a little careful. The plush formulation and hydrating shine are just unparalleled, IMO.
Ask any makeup artist to list their favorite creamy stick highlighter, and I'll wager $10,000 they'll say Baume Essentiel every dang time. It gives you a glow that still looks natural and believably skin-like. I'm most recently obsessed with this new shade that injects my often-dull complexion with a hit of sun-kissed color. The effect is so, so pretty, and I like tapping a little onto my lips and eyes too.
Fellow supremely lazy bodycare people out there, this serum-mist hybrid is for you. A couple of quick sprays and a gentle massage into the skin will leave you radiant and hydrated sans any grease or stickiness. The hero ingredient is the red camellia extract, and it has the added bonus of smelling absolutely wonderful—light but wonderful.
I've worn and loved this classic since high school, and my adoration hasn't dimmed in the slightest. It's fruity, and floral and has the perfect dose of complexity that reads "expensive" thanks to key notes like grapefruit, quince, rose accord, jasmine absolute, and white musk.
I know Chanel has come out with newer and more "famous" foundation formulas since this one, but I've loved and sworn by this featherlight option since high school and college, and it's still one of the most iconic Chanel products in my eyes. It has a watery, almost serum-like texture, which, combined with the extra plus of sunscreen, makes it the ultimate base product for the incoming spring and summer months. Plus, it gives your skin the most ethereal ratio of coverage and glow. I'll use this as long as you make it, Chanel!