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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Monday, January 17th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Desert Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Desert Classic Cream Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a burnt caramel sugar bronze with golden bronze sheen and shimmer. It’s semi-opaque, and it doesn’t apply as evenly as I’d like.  I’m also surprised that this is a Classic Cream finish, because it has the shinier finish found in their Shine Lipsticks.

I get an average of four hours of wear with Dolce & Gabbana’s Classic Cream Lipsticks, and I find them comfortable to wear, but I would not describe them as moisturizing (but not drying either). All Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks are heavily rose-scented, and I do consider them some of the heaviest scented products I’ve come across. If you aren’t keen on roses, you may find these too strong.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I wish it applied more evenly, because then it could be a really nice shade.  This is a shade actually works well on both cooler and warmer skin tones; cooler skin tones will appreciate the more neutral tone of it (the traditional warmth accompany bronze and copper is lessened in this shade), while warmer skin tones will find their warmer under tones pull out the copper in the lipstick itself.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Make Up For Ever #12 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #12 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

Make Up For Ever #12 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

Make Up For Ever #12 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a darkened magenta pink with a frosted finish.  Because of the drier formula, the frost finish is particularly harsh and noticeable, so this is a shade that I like mixed with either balm, clear gloss, or some other lip gloss to give it a smoother look overall.  It’s almost a matte-frost, actually.  This shade really clings to lips, and it was a touch drying for me after five hours of wear.

About the Formula:  The Rouge Artist Intense formula is typically opaque, and while it’s not a moisturizing lipstick, it’s not a drying one either (but #12 was a bit drying after a few hours for me), though it does not feel creamy against the lips (it may take a little more pressure to apply than your average lipstick). With lighter shades, I see four hours of wear, but with this brighter shade, I get around five to six hours of wear.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a pink that will suit cooler skin tones particularly well, but warmer skin tones should be able to wear it.  Try pairing it with a cool pink cheek and purple eyeshadow.  I do not recommend this particular shade to anyone with dry or cracked lips.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: Lilac Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana Lilac Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • Lilac is a vibrant blue-violet with a fuchsia-violet undertone. Unfortunately, it is a pain to work with–there is no creaminess, so the color drags and skips when applied. I really wanted to wear it, but I could barely get it to show up, even after working the tip down a bit.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.   Lilac just did not work for me at all; what I managed to apply wore okay for about four or five hours, but it was so faint and sheer.

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  • Product: 16/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s such a shame that it doesn’t apply evenly nor have enough creaminess to glide on and deposit pigment intensely.   It’s a beautiful color but not worth picking up based on a rougher texture, below average wear, and sheer color.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: White Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana White Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • White is exactly as it sounds–it’s a bright, creamy white and is one of the creamiest liners I’ve tested from Dolce & Gabbana’s range.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.

Note, however, that White didn’t have the poor texture that plagues many other Dolce & Gabbana eyeliners–it was very creamy and pigmented; it was easy to work with. This is why I don’t like to combine reviews, because unless a product line is very consistent, there can be enough variance that each product will earn a different grade–and this is exactly why I split this post into two separate ones, even though their content is very similar.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: White looks rather stark on my medium skin tone, so I’m not sure what skin tone this would be ideal for–it is a very bright white, and could offer a lot of contrast for the right look. While it is creamy, I wouldn’t necessarily use it as an eyeshadow base. It wore for only six hours though, before fading away.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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