Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Some say a good red lip color is hard to find, but I feel like I fall in love with a new red lip color at least once a month! In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are ten of my favorite (permanently available!) red lipsticks and lipglosses… What’s your favorite?

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Giorgio Armani Belladonna Highlighting Palette
Giorgio Armani Belladonna Highlighting Palette

Giorgio Armani Belladonna Highlighting Palette ($88.00 for 0.177 oz.) is described as a “universal illuminating powder.” It’s a pale, champagne beige with a soft, frosted sheen. The finish can get more or less metallic depending on your application method–a denser brush or a dampened one will give you a more pronounced metallic finish, while a fluffier brush will give you a softer sheen. It adds very subtle warmth, but it primarily highlights and adds sheen to the skin. Bobbi Brown Nude Glow (LE, $42.00) is more metallic, slightly darker. MAC Sparkling Rose (LE) is pinker. Urban Decay Naked (P, $29.00) has sparkles. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is less golden but appears similar on the skin. Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is very similar applied. NARS Albatross (P, $29.00) is lighter, whiter. Illamasqua Aurora (P, $24.00) is a cream product. See comparison swatches.

Per Giorgio Armani’s description, it sounds like a variation on the slightly baked, powder formula that’s been used by brands like Estee Lauder (the Gelees), Laura Mercier (Spellbound), MAC (Extra Dimension), Guerlain (Cruel Gardenia), and so on. The biggest difference I noticed was the powder’s texture felt even softer and more finely-milled in Belladonna than others–it had less of that baked consistency (almost dry). Belladonna has a soft, finely-milled texture that feels almost buttery but very lightweight. It blends easily across the skin, and it definitely yielded a noticeable sheen on the skin. On my skin, it just very slightly emphasized pores, and the powder wore well for eight and a half hours before starting to fade slightly.

Worth noting, Giorgio Armani’s is one of the most expensive highlighters at $88, but it is worsened by the fact it only contains 0.177 oz. of product–Laura Mercier, MAC, and Guerlain all contained 0.31 oz. or more (Estee Lauder’s contained 0.17 oz. as well).

The Glossover

LE
product

Belladonna

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

2013 was good year for lipsticks, particularly if you loved yours bold, bright, and/or matte. There were new formulas to fall in love with, and plenty of new and limited shades released from my favorite formulas. This was a tough list to compile! Because I really do believe variety is the spice of life, I tried to pick across a variety of formulas!

What lipsticks did you fall in love with this past year?

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

When it comes to lipgloss, I personally fall in love with two types:  insanely pigmented, nearly opaque colors or glimmering, dazzling, sparkling, and shimmering ones–but they have to be loaded with sparkle (and yet, they can’t feel gritty!).  Over the years, while stickiness isn’t a deal-breaker, I don’t like heavy, thick, goopy kind of glosses.  Reflecting on glosses I’ve tested out this past year, here were the ones I picked for my top ten!

What were your must-have lipglosses from 2013?

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Giorgio Armani Effetto Nudo Collection for Spring 2014
Giorgio Armani Effetto Nudo Collection for Spring 2014

The Giorgio Armani Privé Fall Winter 2013/2014 Paris show marked the return of a central theme in the Maestro’s work: Nude. More than just a shade, the make-up look interpreted by Linda Cantello for “Nudo” is an evanescent color philosophy that goes back to 30s elegance with a touch of Hollywood glamour. After introducing it in fashion and cosmetics, Giorgio Armani now innovates with a “peau d’ange” nude, translucent, luminous, feminine and glamorous, reinvented in modern romanticism.

EFFETTO NUDO unveils this neo-nude by Armani… shimmering with elusive shades. The Maestro alone holds their secret. A subtle balance of undefinable tones between shade and light, cold and warm.

Belladonna Highlighter Palette ($88.00) (Limited Edition)

The emblematic EFFETTO NUDO palette is an unprecedented, universal illuminating powder. Its shade and texture deliver pure, nude, virtually bare light, for an evanescent “peau d’ange” effect of infinite finesse. The powder features micropearl technology, printed in an ultra fine flower pattern. The new gel-based formula is prepared using a cold-cast technique and melds immediately with its case, for a feel between powder and cream. A texture that is both dense and incredibly light. The pattern designed in the powder is inspired by a flower with light, subtle petals, like romantic, feminine, enigmatic tulle fabric. The powder is applied to the face and décolleté or as an eyeshadow. Linda Cantello used it in the “Nudo” show to halo the eyes with soft, velvety light.

Fluid Sheer in Sculpting Light ($62.00) (Limited Edition)

The Giorgio Armani Beauty innovation Fluid Sheer Radiant Pigment, enriched with kaleidoscopic pearls, is used to enhance the complexion on the cheekbones, or to blend with foundation for a warmed and radiant complexion or as an eyeshadow primer. The color effect travels from pink to gold depending on the angle of the light, for a sculpting, luminous effect. The new shade #13 is translucent and universal, bringing to the complexion a soft, delicately pink radiance and a healthy glow.

Smooth Silk Eye Pencil ($29.00)

Like the black feather necklace seen at the Armani Privé show, Smooth Silk Eye Pencils contrasts to magnify the Effetto Nudo. The navy blue (#1), chestnut (#10) and brown (#11) accentuate the NUDO effect by playing on contrasts. Their lines structure this evanescent make-up look.

  • #1 Navy blue (Limited Edition)
  • #10 Chestnut (Limited Edition)
  • #11 Brown (Limited Edition)

Flash Lacquer ($29.00)

  • #314 Coral (Limited Edition)
  • #514 Pink (Limited Edition)
  • #614 Plum (Limited Edition)

Rouge d’Armani Sheer ($32.00)

  • #314 Coral (Limited Edition)
  • #514 Pink (Limited Edition)
  • #614 Plum (Limited Edition)

Availability: January 2014 at giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com and Giorgio Armani counters

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Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Reader Rashmi requested a top five of burgundy lipsticks, and I have to say, finding a really lovely burgundy lip color that’s permanent is difficult. It seems to be a favorite hue to go-to for limited edition collections, though.

  1. OCC Black Dahlia — is a deep, dark burgundy with a hint of brown that lasts and lasts
  2. MAC Endless Drama — a deepened, semi-opaque burgundy red with a soft, frosted finish
  3. Giorgio Armani #408 — is a muted, reddish burgundy with a pearly shimmer
  4. Buxom Menace — a brightened, berry-ish burgundy with a shimmery finish
  5. Laura Mercier Merlot — a lightened, muted berry-burgundy with a natural finish

What’s your favorite burgundy lipstick?