Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Beautiful Beginnings with Giorgio Armani

What was the first Giorgio Armani product you ever tried?  Did it pave way for a real romance or did it put you off the brand entirely?  What was the first Giorgio Armani product you purchased?  Did you love it? Hate it? Still own it?

my answer:  I think the first Giorgio Armani product I really fell in love with was the Rouge d’Armani lipsticks. They are fantastic, and I still love them today. There are definitely products that I loved when I initially reviewed them, but as the years have gone by, I’ve discovered the “error” of my ways – because I’ve tried more and more products. I’m also a huge fan of the Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows!

Share your first time experiences with Giorgio Armani in the comments! :)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012


Giorgio Armani Skin Lacquers Collection

For sheer coverage. The Skin Lacquers collection captures a nude chromatic palette to enhance lips and cheeks. An innovative approach to soft color that fuses a shine varnish with lip tone pigments bringing natural color to perfection. Inspired by the lacquered perfection of a flawless porcelain doll.

Gloss d’Armani ($28.00)

  • 514 Petal
  • 513 Roseperla
  • 515 Vintage
  • 516 Coral
  • 517 Hot
  • 518 Rosewood

Rouge d’Armani Sheers ($30.00)

  • 200 Terra
  • 201 Boudoir
  • 202 Dolce
  • 503 Blush
  • 504 Cult
  • 505 Dewy

Availability: Now @ Giorgio Armani Beauty

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 Eye Palette ($59.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a pastel-hued palette that contains four shades described as, “pearl violet,” “jade green,” “sheer gold,” and “greige.” The palette is designed to add luminosity to the eye.

The first shade is a light-medium lilac purple with a white frosted finish. It has good color payoff, and the texture is fairly soft, though a wee bit powdery. OCC Datura is lighter and more iridescent. theBalm Curtain Call is very similar. MAC Light Violet is also similar, but it has a very different finish.

Below, there is a very, very pale mint green with subtle golden shimmer-sheen–this shade looks more white than it does green on me. This shade was a little sheer and powdery. Lancome Fashion Forward is very, very similar, but it is a little more green and has a smoother, finer texture.

The third shade is a medium-dark gold with strong orange undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. It had good pigmentation and applied fairly smoothly. MAC Barefoot is less metallic and a smidgen darker. MAC Sweet & Sour is lighter, yellower. Dior Couture Gold is less orange. Inglot #404 is darker, more molten gold. Milani Drenched in Gold is a touch lighter.

The very last shade is a soft, taupe brown with a subtle golden sheen. It’s almost pewter-like, but I think it lacks some of the gold/warmth of pewter. MAC Modern Pewter is darker and more golden. Dior Garden Roses is darker. MAC Palladium is similar but more metallic. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is darker, more golden.

On lighter complexions, I think this is a solid palette, but on my medium coloring, the colors seem to get lost.  I think nearly all the shades could stand to be a little softer, finer–Giorgio Armani typically has some incredibly soft eyeshadows, but these were a bit dry and powdery.  I’m always taken aback by how little each palette contains (only 0.06 oz.–and most full-sized single eyeshadows are 0.05 oz.!), even though the wells seem large. One of these days, I’m going to have to go digging so I can see how deep each pan goes.

The Glossover

palette

#1 Spring 2012

B
On lighter complexions, I think this is a solid palette, but on my medium coloring, the colors seem to get lost. If you like soft, subtle colors and have a lighter skin tone, you might enjoy the overall softness, but I think the texture is still somewhat problematic.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

5 Amazing Antique Gold Eyeshadows

Any other beauty buffs as enthusiastic as I am when it comes to antique golds? It’s absolutely one of my favorite shades to wear. My two top favorites are both difficult to get, as one is only available overseas (Giorgio Armani #14 Eyes to Kill Intense) and the other was a limited edition shade from eons ago (MAC Rye). An honorable mention goes to Urban Decay Maui Wowie, which has frustrating fall out from the micro-glitter, but the color itself is amazing–it’s one of the few fallout-prone eyeshadows I’ll bother to work with.

What’s your favorite antique gold eyeshadow?

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl Eye Palette ($95.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette that contains four distinct shades of eyeshadow. It’s described as “a harmonious blend of deep sea blue, algae, lagoon turquoise, and shimmering, crest-of-a-wave white.” The reason why it’s a whopping $95 is because the lid of the compact is decorated with mother-of-pearl. To put the price in context, Giorgio Armani’s comparable palettes retail for $59, so the packaging upgrade is really coming in at a $36 price tag. I know in the past, Giorgio Armani has made a regularly-packaged version available, but I haven’t seen it online and don’t have confirmation that it is even available.

The first shade is a muted, dark blue with a hint of teal. It has a frosted sheen and so-so color payoff–the pigmentation improves a bit when it’s applied to the lid but not significantly. It was soft to the touch and felt really smooth. MAC Pre-packaged is more intense, bluer. Guerlain Les Gris is darker. Bare Escentuals Water is very similar with less sheen. MAC Bold Babe is a little lighter.

The second shade is a blue-based violet purple with blue shimmer. The pigmentation is decent but not fully opaque. It had a fairly smooth texture with a finely-milled feel. Urban Decay Ransom is less blue-toned. MAC Deserty Cloud is similar but a little less blue-toned. Urban Decay Blue Bus looks very similar. MAC Parfait Amour isn’t quite as blue-based.

The third shade is an aqua-blue with a green-gold iridescence. This shade had good color payoff. The texture was soft and finely-milled, so it applied smoothly. Milani Caribbean Sea is lighter. Urban Decay Aquarius is darker. Guerlain Les Aquas is bluer. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is greener and darker.

The fourth and final shade is a warm white with both shimmer and glitter–it had a chunkier texture with more obvious sparkle. It had some fall out both during application and during wear. When I applied it to the lid, it skipped a bit, too–it did not want to apply so opaquely there. It’s similar to a slew of shades, including MAC Pearl, Buxom Sheepdog, theBalm Sassy, and MAC Forgery.

Ecailles Black Pearl is a decent-to-good palette, but it’s not exceptional in quality. The pigmentation leaves something to be desired as the bold, intense pans don’t quite translate when applied to the lid.  Interestingly enough, I did not like it over NARS Smudgeproof–it did not want to blend and seemed to skip and just apply unevenly.  It was better over bare lids, where it did blend better and apply more evenly.  I also had no problems applying or blending these shades over Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Shadow.

I’m always disappointed in how little Giorgio Armani’s eyeshadow palettes contain–just 0.06 oz., when the average full-sized eyeshadow (yes, just one!) is 0.05 oz. (like MAC, Urban Decay, etc.). Seriously, I do a double-take every time I read the pack of the palette! I’m like, “No, it’s a typo!” But in the interest of playing devil’s advocate, it’s unlikely that you’ll make it through the wells here unless you’re using these shades on a daily basis. Just consider how long it takes you to get through the few eyeshadows you’ve hit pan (or even finished) on!

The Glossover

palette

Ecailles Black Pearl

B
Ecailles Black Pearl is a decent-to-good palette, but it's not exceptional in quality. I'd like to have seen better pigmentation with softer and more blendable textures. I think the color combination is gorgeous, though.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, April 30th, 2012

Giorgio Armani #20 Obsidian Black Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #20 Obsidian Black Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #20 Obsidian Black Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) has just launched four new and limited edition shades for summer.  I bought these shortly after they became available, and I’ve been testing them out over the past week.  I’m a big fan of this formula, so I’m always eager to see how new shades perform and compare to existing shades.  I will admit that I haven’t been overly wowed by some of the newer shades, though they’re not by any means awful! Just… less impressive, but on the whole, still good.

#20 Obsidian Black is a blackened navy blue with teal-green and navy blue shimmer. It’s not nearly as black or as intense as Giorgio Armani #13. Giorgio Armani #1 is also lighter, grayer, and generally doesn’t look much like this. I do think you could mix the two and come fairly close, though. #20 works best wet; when it’s used dry, the color payoff wasn’t there (and it usually is with this formula). More of the shimmer comes through, as the base color looks mostly like a faded black, when it is applied dry–and it does apply with a little more oomph to the lid with a brush. Some of the complexity gets lost when it’s applied to the lid–it’s very subtle and more noticeable in-person than it is in a still photo (which isn’t completely unexpected given the nature of shimmer and how it plays with the light). Oddly enough, it actually reminded me of Revlon Neptune Star in color and shimmer. It also reminded me of Urban Decay Loaded, which is a little bluer. (9, 8.5, 9.5, 10, 4.5, 4; A-)

#21 Obsidian Grey is a medium-dark gray with a silver shimmer and sheen. It has decent color payoff dry but still works best applied damp.  This shade read more dupeable to me; it doesn’t have as much dimension to it compared to some of the other shades in the range.  That’s not something that affects the overall rating, but it’s a point worth considering if you can’t (or don’t want to) grab all four.  MAC Warm Thunder is similar, perhaps a little less gray. Tarina Tarantino Lovely is slightly darker. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk has a purple tint to it.  This shade applied the smoothest out of the four on the lid. (9.5, 9.5, 10, 10, 5, 4; A)

#22 Ecailles is a pale bluish silver with a metallic finish. It applied about the same both dry and wet, which is decent but not great. I did find it applied better to the lid when I used a brush to do so–more like good pigmentation there. Bare Escentuals Mingle is bluer and a bit darker. MAC Water & Ice is cooler-toned. Lancome Style Section is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm is a bit darker. It is a bit similar to Giorgio Armani #12, which is brighter, lighter. (9, 8, 9, 10, 4.5, 4; B+)

#23 Madre Perla is a pale, iridescent warm white with a frosted metallic finish. It has flashes of blue, green, pink, and purple. It applies better wet than dry with more color payoff and a smoother texture. This one was a little chunky in texture; it wasn’t as smooth as the other shades. It felt like this was more designed to layer over other shades. Illamasqua Beguile is very similar. MAC If It Sparkles… is almost the same as well.  This is the most wearable shade on its own (Ecailles would the the runner-up).  (9, 9, 9, 10, 4.5, 4; A-)

I’ve only tested one shade within the range for a full twenty-four hours, but I have tested several others for twelve to sixteen hours. I did a look using all four of the limited edition shades and wore it for sixteen hours. These wear and wear and wear. No creasing, fading, or fallout during wear, not even after sixteen hours. Because these have an interesting texture and consistency–they are much like a loose powder product that has been compacted by the accompanying plastic insert–it can be easy to use more than you really need and end up with some minor fall out.  The fall out I’m concerned and dock points for is major fall out or fall out that occurs while you wear it (aka during the day); and there isn’t any of that with these.

I think Eyes to Kill Intense is an excellent formula, but it’s not necessary to own every single one of them either. There are some unique and transformative shades, but there are a few that are more basic or end up looking similar to another shade.  These four create a beautiful gradient effect when used together, though Madre Perla is the most versatile of the bunch.  I think it can work as a wash, inner corner highlighter, or as a layering shade that will change-up whatever is underneath it.  The one that is most visually stunning at first is Obsidian Black, but like a lot of ultra dark shades, some of that loveliness gets swallowed up once applied.

The Glossover

product

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #20, 21, 22, 23 Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I think Eyes to Kill Intense is an excellent formula, but it's not necessary to own every single one of them either. There are some unique and transformative shades, but there are a few that are more basic or end up looking similar to another shade. These four create a beautiful gradient effect when used together, though Madre Perla is the most versatile of the bunch.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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