Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara Gives Chanel Exceptionnel a Run for Its Money

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Question: Can I get a what-what from all my girls who love dramatic eyelashes??


Until today, *no other* mascara came close to my beloved Chanel Exceptionnel ($30) for delivering the super thick and long, ultra-defined drag queen lashes that I crave.

Today, everything changed.

Make Up For Ever’s Smoky Lash mascara ($22) stole Exceptionnel’s spot to become my new number one. It similarly thickens, lengthens and separates lashes — and for eight dollars less, holla!

Hella nekkid, wimpy lashes… Damn you, Mother Nature!

Most thickening mascaras will clump into little mascara globules, but not Smoky Lash. It applies smoothly, even after multiple layers, almost like it’s seducing my lashes. It’s the James Bond of mascaras — smooth but deadly hot.

Not only does it make my lashes look exceptionally dark, thick and long, but I think they even look more defined with better separation.

After one coat of Smoky Lash, YES!

As far as durability, Smoky Lash stays put for a good 12 hours at least, barely smudging or flaking at all.

And she holds the curl all day long, too. A good curl looks lifted and strong and *really helps* me look alert when I’m tired (hello, insomnia!).


More Details on Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash…

  • Volume and length: Small nylon fibers act like long, thin threads that envelop and adhere to each lash, depositing the precise amount of product in all the right places to add great volume and length.
  • The brush: The bristles on the Smoky Lash brush are made from a new firm but flexible synthetic material called thermoplastic elastomer fiber.
  • Smoky: Make Up For Ever Creator and Artist Director Dany Sanz wanted to create the smokiest, blackest mascara formula imaginable using the darkest pigments she could find.

After two coats of Smoky Lash, YES, YES, YES!

Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash Mascara

Price: $22
Use: An exceptionally great mascara for lashes of Ru Paul-esque proportions
Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A+

I sure hope Make Up For Ever rolls it out in more colors (*fingers crossed*).

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 48 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Vanessa H says:

    ohhhh I <3 mascara, I don’t know what I would do without it! I’ve been using Covergirl Lashblast, but after seeing the results MUFE’s mascara gave you…I may have to give it a try too.
    Your lashes look awesome!

  2. Indian Girl says:

    Karen, thats awesome. I love the thickness and the separation ! Damn nature , you scary… LOL …I love Family Guy

    Indian Girl´s last blog post..Philip. B Peppermint & Avocado Shampoo & White Truffle Conditioner : Review

  3. YadiQ says:

    hmmmm so you say it competes with exceptionnel – this intrigues me. I have been wanting to try the makeup forever brand for a while but never knew where to start – this would be a nice gateway as my exceptionnel is running low (i have been alternating with inimitable to make it last)

    if its as good as you say it is ima have to try it!!

  4. katee says:

    Wow I definitely have to try this!! I have similarly small and wimpy lashes. I received a sample of the chanel mascara, loved it, but never got around to purchasing it. I have been using diorshow and I like it but I find that it gets very flaky and runny on me at times. I will definitely give this mascara a try! puts on list.

    katee´s last blog post..Essie Spring 2009 Collection Swatches

  5. Tali says:

    God I love mascara..cant live without my Hypnose! ((6 coats as naturally i suffer the bald eagle eye look))
    That stuff is fab… you dont even to do your eye make-up you could use it alone!

  6. Neen says:

    The Smoky Lash looks great but I have to say, when it comes to volumizing mascaras, I’m still in love with L’Oreal Voluminous. And for only $6 at Le Target, it leaves me more $$$ to spend on MAC eyeshadows!

  7. Karen B says:

    That looks fabulous indeed 🙂

    Karen B´s last blog post..a thought

  8. YJ says:

    I might just have to go out and pick one up! I don’t know how many mascaras I’ve purchased over the years… but I always end up back at Dior’s Blackout mascara! I have really sparse lashes too, one of my guy friends happened to see my without any mascara once and he was like, “do you normally wear false lashes? why are your eyelashes so thin?!” haha =(

    YJ´s last blog post..Insomnia

  9. I too am cursed not only with wimpy lashes, but fairly light ones since I am fair skinned. This looks pretty damn cool and I might have to try it and possibly abandon my DiorShow if it’s really that fab!

    Vampy Varnish´s last blog post..China Glaze Kaleidoscope Collection – Cool

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Vanessa H,

    I don’t know what I’d do without it either! 🙂

    I know a lot of ladies *love* the Lashblast. How do you feel about the brush? I’ve had trubs with it in the past.

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Indian Girl,

    OMG! That’s El Hub’s favorite show. I allegedly “hate” it but I dunno… I end up watching it more than I care to admit when he has it on.

  12. Karen says:

    Hi YadiQ,

    I really like it. The brush is a tad bit easier to use, too.

    When is Chanel gonna make a waterproof Exceptionnel? I’m waiting for the day.

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Katee,

    Girls of the wimpy lash club unite! 🙂

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Tali,

    Have you ever used a lash primer? I think it can make a difference if your lashes are extra wimpy (like mine, LOL).

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Neen,

    Yeah, Voluminous Carbon Black is one of my drugstore faves.

    House of Tar-ghay, baby!

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Karen B.,

    Girl! Did you have your English test yet?

  17. Karen says:

    Hi YJ,

    On the bright side, we should give your guy friend an award — most dudes don’t even notice fine details like that.

    But yah, I am so with you on the wimpy lash train. 🙁

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Vampy Varnish,

    Ah! Have you ever thought of getting your lashes tinted? I always see women at the Benefit store in my town getting it done. I have always been curious but don’t really have a need to do it because my lashes are already dark, but it looks kinda fun.

  19. Elle says:

    Ooh, I love it! I’ve been using Tarte’s mascara for a while now (I love it–probably the least flaky formula I have used) but I want to give this one a try too. This post also reminded me that I totally forgot to put mascara on this morning, and curl my lashes. Oops 🙂

  20. I have thought about that and have a friend who did it once. It scares me though I am afraid of going blind, haha!

    Vampy Varnish´s last blog post..China Glaze Kaleidoscope Collection – Cool

  21. Vivian says:

    Oooh, one coat, it’s glam and full. But two coats, it’s ultimate seductress… Who says you have to buy the most expensive mascara to make your lashes look their best? I’m so tempted to try..

  22. Liz says:

    Have you tried Dior Iconic? I got a make-over done to test out the spring collection and the SA used Iconic and I was just blown away. I thought she had put false lashes on me. I bought a tube and although I cannot recreate the false lash look, it does still give me the volume and length. Maybe I should apply more than two coats….hmmm…

  23. Christina says:

    Can you show us a comparison between this and the Chanel?

    Christina´s last blog post..A Church Wedding In The Works

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Elle,

    Tarte makes a really good mascara. I like that one too.

    You are too cute — when I used to work at my old office job, I used to keep a curler at my desk for the days when I forgot to curl my lashes, LOL.

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Vampy Varnish,

    I hear ya… I get freaked out about anything I put near my eyes. I’ll wax anything except my brows because I have a fear of hot wax falling into my eyeball!

  26. Karen says:

    Hi Vivian,

    It’s a really good one! You should totally try it…

  27. Karen says:

    Hi Liz,

    Yup, I’ve tried and reviewed Iconic. I like it for those days when I want more of a casual lash. LOL, I guess I like my eyelashes to be waaaay too draggy.

    Diorshow Iconic Mascara Review

  28. Vanessa H says:

    Hi Karen!
    It took some getting used to, but I LOVE it now. the trick is to put the brush at the base of the lashes and wiggle it back and fourth so the lashes are really surrounded by the bristles…then sweep up and wiggle it as you go to the tip of the lash.
    I have long eyelashes, but they’re tipped with blonde (I have dark hair…odd..) and Lashblast makes me look like I have individual false lashes on.
    I didn’t have very much luck with Colossal mascara…it just made my eyelashes look tangled up, but so many other people loved it.
    Have you tried MUFE’s HD foundation?

  29. Indian Girl says:

    LOL ! I do love the show…Stewie is of my most fav TV characters ever ! Have you seen that show where Stewie and Brian start remodelling a house. Brian keeps forgetting to say “over” over the walkie talkie…HILARIOUS !

    Indian Girl´s last blog post..Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation SPF 30 & Skin Prep FX Matte Foundation Primer & Acne Treatment : Review and My Foundation Routine

  30. Indian Girl says:

    LOL ! I do love the show…Stewie is of my most fav TV characters ever ! Have you seen that show where Stewie and Brian start remodeling a house. Brian keeps forgetting to say “over” over the walkie talkie…HILARIOUS !

    Indian Girl´s last blog post..Cover FX Total Coverage Cream Foundation SPF 30 & Skin Prep FX Matte Foundation Primer & Acne Treatment : Review and My Foundation Routine

  31. Louise Gray says:

    Hi Lovely Long Lashed Girl,
    I have not used the MUFE smoky eye mascara. At Sephora, they had a little end-cap with all of their best selling mascaras on it. I do favor Chanel products and was liking their mascara. But at Sehpora, I ran into Lancome Definicils which I really liked because it separated,curled and lengthened without clumping. But my biggest discovery which gave me the most impressive effect was the Dior Show Iconic. That works really well for me because I am eyelash challenged. Now that the new eyelash growth drug has been approved, I’ll have to check it out. I needs my lashes!!!

  32. jane says:

    im sharing your love for drag queen-esque lashes!!

    damn mother nature for sparse asian lashes. thank you real life mother with salon for being able to do eyelash extensions!!

    jane´s last blog post..She was a ho For sho

  33. Anastasia says:

    My lashes are not only sparce, but poker straight (double damn you Mother Nature for giving me my DAD’s eyelashes!)… even lash curlers don’t seem to help this much. Mascara will make the lashes show up more, but they are still so straight.

    You think this will work for me?


    Eyelash Impaired in Atlanta (a.k.a. Anastasia)

  34. B.J. says:

    Hey Karen,

    Looks good! Not sure if you have tried the Shiseido The Makeup Lasting Lift Mascara. I got a trial size and absolutely love it. Way better than the YSL Everlong Mascara. xx

  35. Andy says:

    My Lashes are not very thin and straight and normal mascara can do the job but this is the best for the normal and curved lashes.

  36. Elle says:

    Haha, thanks Karen! I might have to steal that tip from you…I just feel weird without curling my lashes! 🙂

  37. Erin says:

    LOL the James Bond of mascaras, girl you crack me up.
    That said, I am definitely getting this mascara now!

  38. Arianne says:

    Woohoo killer lashes Karen! I’m on a no-makeup-buying period right now (I know, sad… but I am a starving student), but this is definitely a must try when I need a new mascara. 🙂

    Great review!

    Arianne´s last blog post..What’s The Most Beautiful Part Of Winter For You?

  39. MusicFer says:

    Hi Karen, wow I loved this mascara, have you ever used the Givenchy one?? Phenomen’eyes?? It’s awsome…

    MusicFer´s last blog post..Make-Up

  40. Tiera says:

    I’ve never tried any of MUFE’s mascaras, and this is the first one I’ve heard anybody really rave about… I’ve been in a Lancome Virtuose Black Carat phase lately!

    Tiera´s last blog post..Good Deals: Free Gift with Purchase at Clinique

  41. Tiffany says:

    Oh I am so happy to hear you like this! I bought it during sephora’s friends and family sale, but I haven’t opened it yet because I want to use up my current mascara first. now I can’t wait to use it! I think I love every MUFE product I have tried…

  42. cady says:

    SO funny that you wrote this post!!
    this is the ONE mascara that i have and i think i’d buy again..being the makeup addict i am, i tend to never buy the same mascara twice…i think i’ve tried almost every kind sold at sephora as well as tons of drugstore brands, but something about this MUFE mascara is so great! i’m glad someone else agrees w me! haha

  43. lexi says:

    i bought dazzle lash and i’m pretty meh about it – love my plush lash buuuut it looks like i’ll have to give this a go- i hope it’s really worth the money cuz i never pay more than $20 for mascara. i tried dior’s and even i wasn’t too impressed with that!

  44. Windie says:

    You have to check out this website about a cosmetic settlement. it starts on jan 20

  45. Jacki says:

    You know I’m going to have to try it now right? I LOVE mascara and I thought I was close to having tried most that were out there but not this one. It will be my next Sephora purchase…

  46. Michelle says:

    I have tiny short blonde lashes. This mascara made me look like I had falsies on!!! BUT every tube I bought dried up in less than two weeks, if i did use it after that it would flake all over my face. It would be great to buy for a wedding or other special occasion, but for daily use your looking at like $45 monthly!

  47. Keena says:

    Hi girls!! I stumbled upon this looking for how long mascara should last before being replaced and I wanted to chime in!! I work in the operating room, so all day all anyone sees is my eyes (mask, bonnet, scrubs…) so I’m all about the EYES!!! Plus I’m a scorpio, and we love to communicate with our eyes! So I love my mascara, and I’ve been through quite a few. My last favorite was Bad Gal Lash, but I have to preach a new love for a new product… Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash. From day 1!! I buy most of my things in Sephora, and if it doesn’t work out you can return it!! They have great customer service! Very knowledgable and helpful! What every you all find that you like, wear it with a smile and it always looks best!! If we took a vote i think we would all say… The eyes have it!!

  48. Keena says:

    Karen! I have pics in stages of application like you took I would love to share. I’ve only shared this secret with one other lovely lashed lady! Now you! We girls gotta stick together!!

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