Friday, January 21st, 2011


Giorgio Armani Transluminence Face Palette

A Shy Blush for Pale Beauties

Giorgio Armani Transluminence Face Palette ($49.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a muted rose with peachiness. It has a satin-matte finish, and it applies very sheerly on the face. It is a called a sheer blush, however, so it was rather expected. It does provide some color on my medium skin tone, but it is certainly a subtle effect. I could see lighter skin tones really working well with this shade for a pop of color good for everyday looks. The sheen is soft and barely-there but delivers a glowiness when applied to cheeks.  Though the texture was silky smooth, it did feel a little powdery, but because the formula is sheer, it is very easy to blend.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The blush has a very smooth, soft texture though it’s almost chalky on my medium skin-tone, which is why I think this could easily be a much loved item in paler beauties’ stashes while not so favored if you have a darker skin tone.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Transluminence Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani Transluminence Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Transluminence Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Transluminence Eye Palette ($58.00 for 0.07 oz.) is new and limited edition from the brand’s Transluminence Collection. It includes four shades of eyeshadow, all of which can be used wet or dry.

It includes a blue-based violet purple with a satiny sheen; jewe-toned teal with a semi-frost finish; grayed white-beige with a soft satin sheen; and a soft black with satin sheen. The finishes of these eyeshadows were more satiny–a soft sheen, not too frosted, and less obvious shimmer. The violet shade was the only one that appeared a touch sheer, while the other three were silky smooth with nice color intensity. I thought the teal was particularly stunning–it’s exactly teal.

I found these eyeshadows to work similarly whether used wet or dry–I didn’t notice a major difference in pigmentation or saturation when used wet. I used the palette on its own over NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base, and it was blendable and none of the colors lost their vibrancy when layered and blended in a look. I’m bummed by the lack of product you get in the compact, though–it doesn’t seem tiny by any means, but once you look at the weight, it’s a different story.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m a sucker for jewel-tones, so I love the way this palette looks together. All four shades coordinate well and can be used together in an assortment of ways, which is nice. It is a cooler-toned palette, but jewel-tones always look lovely on warmer skin tones, despite their often cooler appearance.  The lack of product in it, however, does bring down the overall grade in a noteworthy way.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Monday, January 17th, 2011

Giorgio Armani #405 Rouge d'Armani Lipstick
Giorgio Armani #405 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Giorgio Armani #405 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Giorgio Armani #405 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rich, decadent shade of vibrant, deep orange with soft copper-gold micro-shimmer. It provides full color coverage with very little product, and it has a naturally glossy finish. It applies beautifully–even and opaque.

The formula itself is moisturizing, long-wearing (six to eight hours), and comfortable to wear. It’s not clingy nor heavy, and there’s enough slip to give it that creamy look where the color nearly melts against your lips. Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks are also scent- and taste-free (and no waxy scent, either!). It comes in a sleek, glossy black case with a magnetic enclosure to ensure your lipstick is closed at all times.

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  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is an excellent orange lipstick for warmer skin tones–especially medium to dark skin tones.  Pair it with a soft gold or peach eye, even just neutrals, and let the lips shine.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, December 11th, 2010


Giorgio Armani Spring 2011 Collection: Transluminence

Giorgio Armani introduces colours of nature, awakened by the morning light.

Light and nature are two major themes that have infused Giorgio Armani’s aesthetic and vision of makeup since its creation.

The Armani makeup collection for spring 2011 plays with transparency to ignite a woman’s face. Bright colours that allow infinite layering and blending create a new landscape of tones. There is a new smoky look for the eyes produced with radiant colours. From soft to dramatic, the look seen at the Armani spring/summer 2011 fashion show was a fresh interpretation of “La Femme Bleue”.

This season the must-have look utilises a perfect harmony of diaphanous forest green and purple iris on eyes, contrasted with frozen pink light on skin and lips. The inspiration: fresh morning dew on a wild bunch of flowers.

Makeup artist Linda Cantello, who worked on the Armani spring/summer 2011 fashion show, says: “Imagine the richest purple and the deepest green both enlivened by a frozen silver. A soft black completes the palette, to be worn alone as liner or to add depth to smoky eyes. Freshened by the softest baby lips, a beautiful frosty blush completes this new way of facing spring in the depths of winter.”

Transluminence Eye Palette ($58.00)

Blend and layer the four full, rich, colour-intense translucent tones. Apply rich purple iris with an eye brush to the eyelid and add dewy forest green. These will fuse together into a vibrant blue turquoise. Render the effect even more luminous with a layer of frozen silver. Open up the eye with a touch of silver on the inside corner. Outline the under eye or the eyelid with soft black eye colour, applied wet or dry.

Transluminence Face Palette ($49.00)

Sculpt the face with frost bitten Sheer Translucent Blush presented in the spring signature face palette.

Rouge d’Armani ($30.00)

  • Dawn Pink (518)
  • Early Morning Rose (508)
  • Petal Pink (503)

Availability: giorgioarmanibeauty.com and at Armani Fifth Avenue and select fine department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Barneys in Spring 2011

Friday, November 19th, 2010


Giorgio Armani Holiday 2010: Gold Rush Collection

Giorgio Armani Cosmetics celebrates the holiday season with the exclusive Gold Rush Collection. This season’s ‘must have’, the Gold Rush Palette is an all over gold platinum topcoat that sublimates the eyes, lips and skin with a touch of elegant Armani glamour.

Gold Rush Palette ($55.00) (Limited Edition)

A soft, universal beige, sheer, shimmer powder that lights up the face and décolleté with an irresistible gold cut glow. The sleek, pale gold and black lacquered signature compact adds a sparkling note to this seductive collection.

Rouge d’Armani Gold Rush ($30.00) (Limited Edition)

  • 404 Bright, coral red
  • 517 Fuchsia
  • 405 Tibetan orange

Availability: Now

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Monday, October 11th, 2010


Lipstick Comparisons: $26 to $34 (Part 2)

Though often lumped into high-end, this is a tier made up of designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL. Most higher-end/designer lipsticks are scented, usually with floral or fruit. Rose seems to be the most prevalent scent found in brands across the board; sometimes it’s subtle (Chanel), while other times it’s heavy (Dolce & Gabbana). I find designer range lipsticks to be non-drying to moisturizing with more opaque formulas overall. Packaging is often nicer, but it’s not always the case and is, inevitably, very personal.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, semi-opaque to opaque, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours)
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free, somewhat moisturizing
  • CONS: May feather/bleed on slightly dry to dry lips
  • MY REC: I don’t find them super moisturizing, though they don’t dry lips out. Typically, I don’t find lipsticks bleed on me easily, but I did have some issues with this one feathering on me when I tested them originally (my lips were a bit drier than they normally are during those tests). Like Burberry lipsticks, there is a magnetic clasp that keeps the lid on.

Guerlain KissKiss Lipstick ($31.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, glossy finish, moisturizing, smooth, opaque, wears for an average of 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., fruit-scented
  • CONS: Basic shade range of pinks/reds
  • MY REC: After being spoiled by Guerlain’s Rouge G lipstick line, despite being $16 more, I feel like if I’m going to go Guerlain, I better go Rouge G. KissKiss is actually a nice formula on its own; it’s creamy, usually pigmented, and moisturizing enough for normal to dry lips.

Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick ($29.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, moisturizing, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours), minimizes lip lines
  • NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz, rose-scented
  • CONS: Mostly cream/satin finishes
  • MY REC: I love how creamy it is without being slippery; it won’t slide all over the place, so it actually wears well and on the longer side. It is also a bit pricier than other Lancome lipsticks, which makes it it their top tier lipstick, but at least they give you 0.14 oz., while the average lipstick is 0.12 oz.

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick ($34.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, opaque, good shade range, moisturizing, wears an average of 4 hours
  • NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., mango-scented
  • CONS: Slippery, shades can be stark, heavy
  • MY REC: YSL has expanded their Rouge Volupte line quite a bit since I originally reviewed the range, and more importantly, I’ve expanded the range of lipsticks I’ve tested as well. I actually find these don’t wear as well as other lipsticks–they’re just too slippery. It’s moisturizing but not overly so, but it is also one of the heavier lipsticks I’ve worn. If your lips are prone to bleeding, you might experience that with the darker shades, since it has a lot of slip.

YSL Gloss Volupte Lipstick ($30.00)

  • PROS: Creamy, sheer (supposed to be), glossy finish
  • NEUTRAL: 0.07 oz., mango-scented
  • CONS: Not very moisturizing, requires frequent reapplication
  • MY REC: Apparently, I’ve never done an official review for this, but I distinctly remember being unimpressed by it. It’s a very sheer formula, which is fine, but I didn’t even see any color on my lips, which goes beyond sheer to me. My lips felt drier after wearing this, and I found myself having to reapply every hour or two. Also, did you note how little you get for $30?

The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.

This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.) I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences. I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.