Monday, November 21st, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: Must-Have Beauty Products for Eyes

I’m going to do my best to crank out the last few gift guides in the next day, because I know a lot of sales are coming up for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and I don’t want you to miss out! These are all products I personally recommend that are part of the permanent range. Products are listed in order of ascending price!

Eyeliners

  • Milani Liquif’Eye Eyeliners ($5.49) is a standout formula with a wallet-friendly price tag–if they had a bigger range, they’d be even better. I love their Black and Aqua shades.
  • MAC Fluidlines ($15) is a long-time favorite, because it’s creamy enough for smooth, crisp application but sets and wears well. My favorite is Blacktrack.
  • Tarina Tarantino Dream Hyperliners ($15) are a newly-discovered favorite with a fantastic color range, rich color, and long-wear. My favorite shades have been Sparkling Ammunition and Puppeteer.
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Liners ($18) also has an amazing range of shades as well as finishes, and this is an eyeliner that stays on well throughout the day. I regularly reach for shades like #4L, 5L, 12L, and 20L.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencils ($18) are a total go-to for me! They have a full color range available, and they’re soft and glide on easily. Some of my favorites are Bourbon Covet, Graffiti, Mildew, Rockstar, Stash, and Underground.
  • Stila Smudgestick Waterproof Eyeliners ($20) are super soft and pigmented, but they do run out of quick–but their color range is so rich, it’s hard to say no. I love Moray, Peacock, and Stingray.
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners ($21) is a rich, long-wearing gel eyeliner that’s smooth and creamy but still wears all day. Check out shades like Black Mauve Shimmer Ink and Cobalt Ink!
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners ($23) is my absolute favorite for liquid liner, because the color range is wide and the formula itself stays on all day. I recommend shades like #3, 4, 9, 10, and 14. If you like lots and lots of sparkle, consider Stila Sparkle Liquid Eyeliners ($22) which have a very similar formula but their shades have more shimmer.

Eyeshadows

  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow ($1.99 to $4.99) are a real steal with a lot of variations and options available, and a lot of the shades are of excellent quality.
  • Inglot Eyeshadows ($5) won’t break the bank but will deliver intense color payoff–they’re most well-known for their mattes and Double Sparkles.
  • Sugarpill Chromalusts ($12) are finely milled with lots of dimension. My favorites are Stella, Absinthe, and Goldilux! I’d also recommend checking out their eyeshadows if you’re shopping for someone who loves bright colors (they’re also $12 and top notch).
  • theBalm Eyeshadows ($16) are richly pigmented, silky smooth, and wear really well. Their individual singles are great, but they also have several palettes that work well, too. My favorite singles are All About Alex, Jealous Jordana, and Risque Renee.
  • Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ($19) are some of my favorite cream eyeshadows for quick all-over washes or as an eyeshadow base; the range is generally more neutral/subdued so it would be great for busy folks who don’t have a lot of time to spend on their makeup every morning. I love shades like Birthday Suit and Skinny Jeans.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils ($20) is a chubby pencil that can be used as an eyeliner or more like a cream eyeshadow (or even an eyeshadow base). They wear really well and deliver pretty good color. I like shades Clinic, Lit, and Midnight Cowboy.
  • Bare Escentuals Ready Eyeshadows ($20 for duo, $30 for quad) caught me off guard, because I really didn’t think they’d be out of this world, but they’re really, really good. Some of my favorite duos are The Scenic Route and The Escape, and some of my favorite quads are The Elements and The Truth.
  • MAC Pigments ($20) are still one of my favorite products for really revving up a look. Some of the permanent shades I love are Pink Opal, Melon, and Teal.
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22) come in neutrals as well as bright pops of color, and they’re a cream product that really locks down once it sets. I love the Aqua Creams best for eyes. I totally dig shades like #2, #5, #13, #15.
  • Illamasqua Pure Pigment ($24) may be pricey and they don’t come with a whole lot of product, for most consumers, it’ll take years to get through. The reason I like these is I feel like the range has a lot of complex, unique shades.
  • Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eyeshadow ($30) is a pricey but absolutely luxurious eyeshadow formula that’s built for layering. I love shades like Chameleon and Jade.
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense ($32) are so intense and have this interesting formula that wears well all day long and comes in some fun shades. I love #1, 2, 3, and 6 a lot!
  • Tarina Tarantino Jewel Eyeshadow Palettes ($32) are good bang for your buck with top notch quality–love Dreamy the most.
  • Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow ($38) is my favorite eyeshadow formula, and I really wish they’d come out with more shades, but my favorites are Gypsy, Prism, and Lagoon.
  • Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette ($48) is still one of my favorite palettes that Urban Decay has launched, and it is something I reach for when I travel.

Mascaras

  • Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Mascara ($6.59) is my go-to for soft, natural-looking lashes with lots of volume.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara ($15) is a great all-over mascara; it thickens, lengthens, and volumizes.
  • Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara ($19) is fantastic for lengthening.
  • Hourglass Film Noir Mascara ($28) is inky black while lengthening and thickening well.

What are your must-have eye products that are permanent?

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Beauty (Loreal USA)

Giorgio Armani Friends & Family – 20% off + free 2nd-day Shipping

20% off and free 2nd day shipping on $75+ orders with code GAHOLIDAY1, expires 11/24 at GiorgioArmaniBeauty-usa.com.

My recommendations:

Friday, November 18th, 2011


Giorgio Armani Holiday 2011 Collection: Madre Perla

An inspiring era… The elegance of the 30s is setting the tone for the season. Pure lines, sophisticated colours, luxurious details… Art Deco in all its glory with one of its iconic materials: Madre Perla. Madre Perla inlaid in a precious case, heralding a must-have product. Madre Perla, too, in Linda Cantello’s colour inspiration, with subtle reflections and iridescent effects.

“Like a 1930s’ boudoir… A touch of lacquer and patinated metals add a sophisticated feel to satiny, pearlescent tones. Delicate shades reminiscent of the silk lingerie of the time.” — Linda Cantello

Madreperla Palette ($59.00) (Limited Edition)

Irresistible… Inspired by Art Deco style, Giorgio Armani’s famous black case is decorated in real Madre Perla. Precision work done entirely by hand in the purest tradition of luxury craftsmanship. Utter refinement: a silver logo adorns this exclusive limited edition case, which just 3,000 women in the world will have the privilege of owning. Decidedly unique… Inside are found three luminous, satiny powders in sand, champagne and aqua. Silky shadows that skilfully combine a featherlight texture with radiant colour. Blended over the eye area, the three shades sculpt and illuminate the eyes. Lightly dabbed onto the facial contours, the sand and champagne tones catch the light to increase the radiance of the complexion. The Face & Eye Palette is also available in Giorgio Armani’s iconic black lacquer case.

  • Harmony 1 (Face and Eyes)
  • Harmony 2 (Eye)

Eyes to Kill Intense Silk Eyeshadow ($32.00) (Limited Edition)

Giorgio Armani’s most spectacular shadow is revealed in a limited edition of three metallic shades subtly patinated: a gold, as an echo to antique gilt, a toned down silver plutonium, and an intermediate shade blending gold and silver. Thanks to Colorfil color matrix, these creamy, powder-free shadows adhere to the eyelid like a second skin, without ever fading or flaking. At the heart of their formula is a very high concentration of pigments captured in a supple polymer complex resistant to humidity and heat. The result: a vibrant film of colour, as if cast in metal, which stays true for 24 hours.

  • #17 Silver
  • #18 Gold
  • #19 Blended gold and silver

Gloss d’Armani ($32.00) (Limited Edition)

A play of light and shade for the eyes… while the lips are adorned in vibrant lacquered shades. A real weave of colour, Gloss d’Armani offers comfortable, long-lasting hold, expressed in four limited edition shades: barely iridescent rosewood enhances the natural colour of the lips, while a velvety “amaranth” red and sienna intensely emphasise their shape. And an unexpected choice: a bold amethyst, which is vivid yet so translucent on application that it matches any skin tone.

  • Pink Iridescent rosewood
  • Red Velvety amaranth red
  • Brown Sienna
  • Purple Amethyst

availability: Now @ Nordstrom (you may have to poke around, but I saw them all available!)

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Monday, October 24th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Fall 2011: Green Jacquard Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard Eye Palette ($59.00 for 0.24 oz.) is designed with the primary shades to be the two larger colors in the center, while the top shade is a highlighter and the bottom shade is for emphasis. The eyeshadow formula is supposed to deliver vibrant color with a smooth texture. According to the brand, it can be used wet or dry.

The highlighter shade is a soft, lightened khaki beige with cool undertones and a frosted finish. I wasn’t able to think of a similar shade, just because there is a dirty quality to the color that isn’t present in most beiges. It’s a bit sheer, but as a highlighter, it works well because the frosted finish looks pearly rather than over-the-top. The emphasis shade is a medium-dark grape purple with subtle red undertones. It is sheer and almost chalky with a satin finish. It’s a less pigmented version of Urban Decay Rockstar (which is also redder in tone) and theBalm Kissy Kissy.

In the middle, the lighter green is a medium-dark minted green with a silver micro-shimmer, but this shade is sheer and not as smooth as the other three shades. It’s cooler toned compared to NARS Delphes. Beside it, the darker green is a medium-dark forest green wih a brownish gray peeking through. It’s on the sheerer side with a satiny finish. It’s a less frosted variation of MAC Greensmoke but greener than Make Up For Ever #84.

For a subtle, cool-toned, green-hued look, this is might work. If you want more amped up color, you’ll want to look elsewhere. The textures are soft and smooth, but they’re on the sheerer side and end up looking washed out or chalky.  Oddly enough, the shades wear well when applied as far as not creasing or fading goes (though they start out looking faded as compared against the pan color).

The Glossover

palette

Green Jacquard

C
For a subtle, cool-toned, green-hued look, this is might work. If you want more amped up color, you'll want to look elsewhere. The textures are soft and smooth, but they're on the sheerer side and end up looking washed out or chalky.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Beauty (Loreal USA)

Giorgio Armani Beauty – 15% off!

Enjoy 15% off and free shipping with any $50 purchase at GiorgioArmaniBeauty-usa.com with code EXCLUSIVE, valid 10/18-10/20.

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011


Giorgio Armani #3 Smooth Silk Eyeliner

Giorgio Armani #3 Smooth Silk Eyeliner

Giorgio Armani #3 Smooth Silk Eyeliner ($27.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described simply as “navy.” The Smooth Silk formula is supposed to be soft with rich color. The pencil also includes a tapered sponge for smudging on the opposite end of the pencil tip.  The smudger is flexible and soft without being rough.

It’s a gorgeous blackened navy blue with a hint of indigo in it. It could be more pigmented, because it takes a couple of passes to get solid, intense color; a single pass yields color but nothing opaque. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this, even after looking at all these navy blue eyeliners–it is much darker with less blue in it than many potential dupes.

The wear is good, though, despite shortcomings in payoff (at least it’s buildable), lasting nine hours on the lower lash line before it begins to look a little faded. It’s soft, creamy, and glides on well. I find the texture rather comparable to Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliners; creamy enough to move along the lash line with ease and without tugging or pulling on the lid but not so creamy it migrates everywhere.

The Glossover

P
product

#3

B
I wish it sported more pigmentation in one pass, because then it would be a real contender for regular rotation!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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