When the original Phenomen'Eyes mascara was released last year, I was eager to try it. Givenchy was the first to implement this very strange brush, and I was curious to see what the impact of it was. The little sphere with spikes all over makes it look like some sort of medieval torture instrument, but it's really not that scary, and is actually quite ergonomic.
Because of the shape, you can really get to all of the inner and outer eyelashes easily. For me, the best way to apply was sweeping in from the outer corners of the top lashes in the inner, and then working from the inner corner of the lower lashes to the outer corner. This was quite efficient, and I was very pleased with Phenomen'Eyes' efficiency at coating all of the lashes and making them fanned out.
When the updated "extension" version came out in July, I just had to try it. Can you really take something so good and make it better? Here is how the two stack up:
Both Original and Extension have the same exact brush and come in the same container. The only differentiation is that the Extension has a silver band across the outside of the tube.
I tried the Black color in both of them, and both were a rich, deep black (very important to me!) The Original is a very "wet" formula, which took a long time to dry. For someone like me, though, who takes a long time to apply mascara and likes the chance to manipulate it on the lashes, this is good. I imagine for most people, though, this could be annoying. The Extension touts a fast-drying formula, which I think most people would like. Neither of them are water-proof, though I think the Original is harder to remove. Neither has a scent or fragrance, so those with sensitive eyes will not be bothered.
One of my favorite things about the Original is its great volumization abilities and the awesome ability for it to curl my lashes without a lash curler. I only needed one coat for pretty, fanned-out lashes. The curling ability, to me, was truly phenomenal, because I unfortunately have straight lashes. The only other mascara that curls without a lash curler is Estee Lauder Turbolash (which I reviewed earlier this year.)
Unfortunately, this quality did not carry over to the Extension. I had to push my lashes up with my finger to try to get a curl. As per its name, the Extension does lengthen the lashes a bit, but does not really volumize them at all. I had to use 2 coats to get the volumization that the Original gave. And -since there is a quick-drying formula, I had to do this quickly to avoid clumping.
Overall, I far prefer the Original (which I have pictured above.) I ended up returning the Extension one -- thank goodness for Sephora's good return policy. For $28, I'd rather have the Original, and think it's a better bang for your buck. If you have naturally thick lashes and just need some length, then try the Extension... but for me, I'll stick with the Original!