By far I think this is one of the best smelling mascaras I've ever smelled. Usually mascaras (and many other makeup products) smell incredibly disgusting - plastic, manufacture, and intoxicating. I'm not a fan of scented mascara products because they end up smelling just as bad (if not worst) but this one is an exception. I think it has to do with the fact that I've had too many 'accidental' sniffs of nasty mascaras during my makeup routine which made this a pleasant surprise. So what does it smell like? I suck at describing scents but I'd go with....a rose scent? Maybe next time if you stop by a YSL counter and you're not afraid that the makeup artist looks at you funny, you can take a whiff while pretending to be testing the product.
Let's start by being shallow. The luxurious gold packaging is classy, gorgeous and a beautiful thing to have. It is definitely a pretty product that would look great on display for your vanity. Its size is relatively big for an average mascara and probably not the best to carry around in your makeup bag (that is if you do bring mascara out with you).
The brush has traditional synthetic bristles in a helical shape. YSL Shocking mascara has intense black pigmentation while giving your lashes volume and a lot of length. I never have to dip my brush back in for a second coat, one is more than enough. However, because the formula is quite thick, sometimes I find it a bit too thick and clumpy for my liking. Hence, I say one coat is enough.
As with the usual problem between my pathetic, short, stick straight asian lashes and high end mascaras; the formulation weighs down my lashes by the root. BUT, the 'shocking' thing about this mascara (no pun intended) is that my lashes don't fall all the way down after application! I can still see a minimal curl to my lashes! Amazing (although not really in reality) haha.
In terms of longevity, this mascara lasts throughout the day for me. Sometimes there would be a slight smudging along my lower lash line after ~6 hours but nothing too serious.
In the picture above, I have one coat of YSL Shocking mascara on top a minimal amounts of Maybelline The Falsies just so my lashes can hold its curl and that they show up on camera. I tried taking pictures of my lashes with only the YSL mascara, but it didn't work too well because my lashes appeared leveled.
Final Verdict: It's a pretty decent mascara but I'm not sure if it's worth $30 (thankfully this was gifted to me). It does give nice volume and length so go for it if you have the money to spare, and if you have genetically nice lashes that can hold a curl to thick mascaras. But do beware of potential clumping.