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The Tempting 10 — October 2013 Edition

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick Sleek Sunset Eyeshadow Palette Inglot #434 Marc Jacobs Th(ink) Giorgio Armani #701 Giorgio Armani #701 NARS Taj Mahal Cult Nails You're My Dandy Lion Fyrinnae Parental Advisory OCC Jubilee Illamasqua Stranger

October is a time that reminds me to be brave; to not be afraid of bold, unusual colors. Halloween is an often excuse to play with color in ways we’ve never felt comfortable doing so the rest of the year, but it also serves as a great reminder to: experiment more. play more. go outside of our comfort zone. embrace the unknown. thirst for something different. These are a few of my favorite more unique and unusual shades that I’ve come across, and I hope you’ll share your own unusual finds with me!

  1. Illamasqua Apocalips is a vivid, medium-dark blue-teal with a matte finish. I love the unusual color, but what I love even more is that it still applies and wears fairly well. It’s definitely a show-stopping color!
  2. Sleek Sunset Palette is a budget-friendly palette that’s top-to-bottom fantastic. No duds in the bunch; not only is this a feat for an eyeshadow palette in general, but to do so at under $15? It’s quite unusual!
  3. Inglot #434 is a cool-toned, purplish taupe–a glorious mix of purple, gray, and brown for something infinitely complex, bold but neutral.
  4. Marc Jacobs Beauty Th(ink) is a bold, cool-toned violet purple with a pearly shimmer that really opens up the eye–and it is a shade that had many, many readers asking, “What are you wearing?” Purple eyeliners that can be applied with opaque, rich color are hard to come by, but Th(ink) makes a strong case for one that does.
  5. Giorgio Armani #701 is a cool-toned, sheer bluish-purple gloss filled with blue and violet shimmer. It’s very intriguing on its own, but it can be layered over lipstick for a different look.
  6. NARS Taj Mahal is bold, bright, but not totally over-the-top, and it’s more of a tangerine than a full-on orange with red tones, so it has more golden, yellowy undertones.
  7. Cult Nails You’re My Dandy Lion is a warm, buttery yellow with a cream finish–and lo and behold, it applies beautifully. It’s practically a unicorn among polish!
  8. Fyrinnae Parental Advisory is a bold, bright, royal purple like I haven’t seen before. It’s so vibrant and pigmented–if you are a fiend for purple eyeshadow, it is a must-have.
  9. OCC Jubilee is a pale, aqua-green with a blue-purple duochrome. It’s metallic, shimmering, and reflective. I love the way the color shifts as you move, as it is layered over other products, and will lean one way or another depending on what is paired with.
  10. Illamasqua Stranger is a green-ish gold gloss with a high-shine finish, lots of metallic shimmer, and it is a shade that changes as you move.

I hope you’ll consider sharing your must-haves for October in the comments! Here’s a quickie list to get you started…

Must-Have Eye Products:
Must-Have Cheek/Face Products:
Must-Have Lip Products:
Must-Have Hair/Skin Products:

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Giorgio Armani Terra Sienna (02) Eyes to Kill Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Terra Sienna (02) Eyes to Kill Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani Terra Sienna (02) Eyes to Kill Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Terra Sienna (02) Eyes to Kill Eye Palette ($59.00 for 0.21 oz.) contains four eyeshadows in neutral shades that range from light to dark, frost to matte.  The brand touts their newer eyeshadow formula has richly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-proof.  All four shades had good or better pigmentation, with the two matte shades falling a little short of full pigmentation–they did perform better with a soft, fluffy makeup brush when applied to the lid than merely swatched on the arm.  All four shades wore well, though, and lasted almost nine hours without any fading or creasing (no primer).  The texture of the last matte shade was a bit dry so it wasn’t as easy to blend as the other shades.

Terra Sienna #1 is a lightly silvered champagne beige with a frosted finish. The texture felt like butter and silk; incredibly dense and smooth with excellent color payoff. This shade worked well for brightening the eye as well as a highlighter (but I liked to mix it with a matte beige to tone down the finish). MAC Smoked Cocoa #1 is warmer. Urban Decay Missionary is a bit darker. MAC Snow Season is pinker. MAC Star Crystal is also slightly pinker. Urban Decay Verve is darker. See comparison swatches.

Terra Sienna #2 is a light-medium brown with a very subtle gray tinge to it. The finish is fairly frosted and shimmery, and there is a slight warmth to the undertone but it is almost neutral. It had great pigmentation, and the texture felt so soft and smooth when applied to the skin. LORAC Pewter is darker, less frosted. Bobbi Brown Sandy Rose is pinker. Urban Decay Wreckage is darker. Chanel Gri-Gri is similar but less frosted. MAC Vintage Selection is warmer, cream. See comparison swatches.

Terra Sienna #3 is a medium-dark, lightly warm-toned brown with a matte finish. It had good color payoff, and it was definitely a shade that is best applied with a soft, fluffy brush, as it catches and applies the most pigment. The texture was quite soft, and it was easy to blend out on the lid. bareMinerals Get Ahead is lighter. Kat Von D Wolf is a bit darker. Inglot #360 is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Terra Sienna #4 is a dark, neutral-warm brown with a matte finish. It had good color payoff overall, but the texture was slightly dry so it wasn’t as blendable as the other shades in the palette. Tom Ford She Wolf #1 is a touch lighter. bareMinerals Boardroom is similar. theBalm Matt Ramirez is warmer. MAC Dance in the Dark is cooler-toned. MAC Showstopper is slightly lighter. See comparison swatches.

Also In This Review

Giorgio Armani #701 Flash Lip Lacquer

Giorgio Armani #701 Flash Lip Lacquer
Giorgio Armani #701 Flash Lip Lacquer

Giorgio Armani #701 Flash Lip Lacquer ($29.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark bluish-gray base with multi-colored shimmer and pearl (predominantly aqua, blue, and violet). On lips, this translates into a smoky, plummy purple tint to the lip color, plus an array of violet and blue shimmer. MAC Karin is less gray, less multi-color in shimmer. MAC Boys Go Crazy is purpler. Giorgio Armani #604 has a similar tint to lips but no shimmer. See comparison swatches.

If you tend to get intrigued by unusual colors, this is a very cool gloss. And as a result of it being semi-opaque, it can really add a versatile tool to your arsenal for layering. It will instantly add drama to any lip color, plus dazzling shimmer that looks like water when the sun hits it. The consistency is lightweight, comfortable to wear with a cushy, gel-like texture that is very lightly tacky but not full-on sticky. The shine lasts longer than the average gloss–three to four hours–and the shimmer and color linger for another hour or so. I had a total wear time of five hours with this shade, and it was lightly hydrating during that time. The biggest downside is that the sheer, darker color does settle into lip lines, though I think the amount of shimmer helped to camouflage some of it, and it was not too noticeable from afar (but you’ll definitely see it in the close-ups). I didn’t detect any scent or taste with the formula.


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Top 5 Shimmering Bronze Eyeshadows

Reader Maha requested my top five picks for bronze eyeshadows, and here we go! 🙂 This was a tough one–there are SO many fantastic bronze eyeshadows on the market. You can see a few more shades that didn’t quite make the cut here.

  1. Maybelline Downtown Brown — golden bronze
  2. MAC Bronze — red-toned bronze brown
  3. Giorgio Armani #6 — deep, golden bronze
  4. Inglot #409 — medium-dark bronze
  5. bareminerals Cognac — metallic bronze

What’s your favorite bronze eyeshadow?

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation
Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation ($62.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a lightweight foundation with buildable coverage and a natural finish. Giorgio Armani Beauty really pushes that it is about getting the least amount of product with the most amount of bang; it’s supposed to “[look] invisible and [make] skin appear luminous.” It’s available in twelve shades. The brand says #2, 3, and 4 are best for fair skin tones; #4.5, 5, 5.5, 6.5, 7, and 8 for medium complexions; and #10, 11.5, and 12 for darker skin tones.

I’ve used up an entire bottle of #5.5, having first used it around late November/early December, and recently finished it about a week ago. It usually takes me quite awhile to really determine if I love or just like a foundation. #5.5 is slightly light on me (but forgiving enough to be worn), while #7 is definitely too dark.  There are some I fall in love with right away; others I never want to wear again, but usually I fall in the middle and waffle. Maestro had a unique texture (to me), because it almost felt like a silicone primer and foundation in one; it has that velvety-smooth, mostly matte finish and feel once applied to the skin. The actual texture is thin and very liquid, so it is easy to apply a very sheer layer of coverage or build up without getting too much coverage (if undesired). It feels a bit like a dry oil, so synthetic brushes, sponges, and fingertips tended to be best for application in my experience. It is lightly scented with something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it; I did not notice the scent when applied or as I wore it, but it’s not scent-free in the bottle.

The brand recommends applying three drops in the palm of your hand, though I’m not certain what constitutes a drop, because you can fill the entire stem with product and really get all of it out, or you can do small squeezes and get small drops out. Three drops arhalf of what I need, and a whole stem-full is more than enough–so don’t be afraid if you’re bewildered and find yourself needing more than three drops! I’m not keen on the droplet applicator. I’d rather a pump or an open bottle, as the cap with the stem attached to it wobbles around if you just want to get some directly out of the bottle, so you can get bits of foundation on the surface it’s lying on. Dropping it directly on the face was also a 50/50 proposition where it would dribble down my face and land on my shirt. So, most of the time, I filled the stem and then squeezed it on the back of my hand. I would have much preferred a pump, though. I haven’t traveled with mine at all, but I have heard some people have had issues with the packaging surviving travel.

The coverage is light to light-medium, with almost medium coverage possible with layering, but overall, light to light-medium coverage, and it had a semi-matte finish. It wasn’t a totally flat, dull matte finish, but it was still quite matte. Between the finish and texture, I felt this was most appropriate for normal to oily skin. On drier skin, especially if you have any visible signs dryness, it can accentuate dry patches or flakiness. I only experienced this when my normal-to-dry skin was at its driest and did not find it a problem for most of the time I wore it. The other thing to note is that when I did have some visible dry patches, while initially accentuated, after twenty to thirty minutes, they were less noticeable than they were initially, so there appeared to be some hydration coming from the formula itself. It has alcohol denat. as the fourth ingredient, which is drying in high concentrations (it is often used as an antiseptic and a solvent), but in my experience, appeared to be offset by the other ingredients as my skin did not get drier, so your mileage may vary and consider your skin and what it is/isn’t affected by (note: I am not a chemist, esthetician, or scientist!).

It’s a comfortable, long-wearing foundation, too, and you don’t always get supreme comfort with a longer-wearing product (which are often tight-feeling). With Maestro, it typically lasts me between eight and ten hours, without a primer or setting powder. With setting or finishing powder, the wear is usually more consistent and closer to ten hours with no patchiness or visible fading. Maestro photographs very well for me, and it performed well at evening out the complexion, hiding mild to moderate post-acne marks or scars, and refraining from settling into fine lines.  I would not recommend using this as your sole source of SPF; you’re not going to get the protection needed based on amount applied.


Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 3%

Cyclohexasiloxane, dimethicone, isododecane, alcohol denat, vinyl dimethicone/methicone silsesquioxane crosspolymer, phenyl trimethicone, acrylates/polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate copolymer, peg-10 dimethicone, disteardimonium hectorite, fragrance, nelumbium speciosum flower extract, limonene, benzyl salicylate, synthetic fluorphlogopite, linalool, benzyl alcohol, propylene carbonate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, disodium stearoyl glutamate, water, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower oil, butylphenyl methylpropional, aluminium hydroxide, hexyl cinnamal; may contain: iron oxides, titanium dioxide


New! Giorgio Armani Beauty Launches Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick

With Rouge Ecstasy, the Giorgio Armani laboratories push the boundaries of the exceptional even further with the first “CC” lipstick, an incomparable skincare lipstick that combines high-impact color with the ultimate comfort of a moisturizing balm.

Rouge Ecstasy is a unique, multi-purpose lipstick. It offers the comfort and softness of a balm combined with exceptional color intensity. This velvety soft, everyday lipstick coats the lips in saturated, ultra-luminous shades with impeccable hold.

The lips are repaired and beautifully enhanced day after day, hydrated and adorned in fresh vibrant colors with a perfectly defined outline.

Ultimately it is the quintessence of a lipstick, balm and lip pencil all in one.

Beiges & Browns

  • 100 Androgino
  • 102 Essenza
  • 203 Code
  • 204 Caffé
  • 200 Mineral
  • 201 Cashmere
  • 103 Incognito
  • 202 Milano
  • 104 Skin
  • 105 Ambiguous
  • 306 Amber
  • 508 Daybreak

Reds & Purples

  • 400 Four Hundred
  • 401 Hot
  • 402 Teatro
  • 403 Downtown
  • 600 Mania
  • 601 Attitude
  • 602 Night Viper
  • 510 Dolci

Corals & Pinks

  • 300 Pop
  • 301 Gio
  • 502 Scarlatto
  • 503 Diva
  • 302 Tokyo
  • 303 Dragée
  • 504 Flesh
  • 505 Orchid
  • 304 Heat
  • 305 Brick
  • 506 Blush
  • 507 Lotus
  • 500 Eccentrico
  • 307 Tangerine
  • 509 Boudoir
  • 501 Peony

Availability: $34.00 each; now at Giorgio Armani Beauty (officially September 2013 at all other Giorgio Armani Beauty counters/retailers)

See more photos!