A Sleek Black Tube & a Sexy Red Wand: Armani Black Ecstasy Mascara

Black Ecstasy MascaraWhat would you do if a package showed up unannounced at your house with Giorgio Armani ‘Black Ecstasy’ Mascara inside?

Would your eyes widen with pleasure as you dug through tissue paper to grab a shiny, rectangular box that read, “total effect intensity mascara, obsidian black”?

Would your hands start to shake as you popped open the top and out slid a ridiculously elegant jet-black tube with red and silver GA detailing?

Photo Credit Nordstrom

Would you jump up and down repeating “OH YES!” while at the same time, sort-of wonder, “Is this mascara prettier than I AM?”

Would you lovingly twist open the cap to reveal a fluffy brush covered in greyish formula and attached to a crimson-red wand?

And then, finally, would you sprint to the nearest mirror and begin applying the sweet stuff to your lashes ASAP?


If you’re like me, you’d do all of the above. And I did.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lauren, and I’m your Gritstyle Beauty Contributor! I want to make it clear that I am not a makeup artist or a trained beauty professional. Rather, I’m the woman standing next to you in line at Sephora. I’m the commuter complimenting your nail polish on the Subway. I’m the sink-mate asking about your lipstick color in a restaurant bathroom. And I’m the username @laurenfriezo, commenting under you on @gritstyle’s Instagram.

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For the next few months, you and I will be exploring the newest beauty treats. Well, I’ll test the products over a period of four to eight weeks, keep a daily beauty journal and then write candidly about my experiences. You’ll read the reviews and tell me what you think. We’ll cover the entire spectrum: from surprisingly affordable steals to investment items worth (or not worth) the splurge.

Shop Giorgio Armani Lashes At Nordstrom

First off is one of those you-should-splurge items: Giorgio Armani ‘Black Ecstasy’ Mascara.

The packaging for Black Ecstasy is dramatic yet simple: black with gold text. Perhaps the most notable feature on the box is the color: obsidian black. The tube itself has the same sleek design. I love the contrast between the red GA on the outside and the red wand on the inside. One of my first thoughts is, “this definitely looks luxurious.” And it is – the mascara is $32 exclusively at Nordstrom, and will hit Armani beauty counters in September.


Based on its appearance, I expect greatness – or rather, darkness, which is why I’m a bit surprised when I open the tube and discover that the formula looks grey. Hmmm. I do my inaugural swoop straight on – holding the brush parallel to my top eyelashes – which results in some clumps. Before dipping into the tube again, I wiggle the brush back and forth ever so slightly through my lashes to evenly distribute the mascara. Now, things are looking up. And longer. And darker. I am actually shocked by the intensity of the color in relation to its greyish appearance – my light brown lashes are black as night. I do two more dip-and-wiggles, three coats total. Three is the magic number for Black Ecstasy, which is why I can foresee this tube lasting quite awhile. A little goes a long way.

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30 seconds later I lift my fingers to touch my lashes and they feel exceptionally light. The mascara dries quickly, without heaviness or crust. Each lash is coated neatly. A+ for vivid color. A for length and curl.

The brush is definitely on the fuller side, with bristles distributed evenly around a cylindrical base. Pros: it holds lots of mascara. Cons: with great power comes great responsibility. Don’t be too heavy-handed! For girls with sparse lashes (lots of space in between each hair…like moi) it’s harder to apply without smudging above and under eyelids. A quick Q-tip dipped in makeup remover solves all. And after two uses, I got the hang of the brush.

Over the next two weeks, I wore Black Ecstasy everywhere, including on multiple 12-hour, 90-degree days in New York City. The lasting power of this mascara is incredible. I did not have to worry about daytime melting, flakes or stray lashes. Just a long, dark lash line that wasn’t too dramatic, but still earned compliments from friends and co-workers. Who doesn’t want that?

Now, on to our next product…
This is going to be so fun!

And there’s more. Shop Armani foundation, concealer, & more, more, more at Nordstrom.

Lauren Friezo
Lauren Friezo is a recent alumna of Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where she served as Editor-in-chief for Her Campus Wake Forest. She joins Gritstyle as the newest (and first!) Beauty Editor. Lauren is not a makeup artist or trained beauty professional. Rather, she is the overexcited shopper standing next to you in line at Sephora, the commuter complimenting your nail polish on the Subway and the sink-mate inquiring about your lipstick in a restaurant bathroom. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram @laurenfriezo. She also blogs about beauty, food and travel on her website, Fresh Faced Femme.
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