Monday, July 30, 2012

Giorgio Armani Fall 2012 Face & Eye Palette - Neo Brown

There are two new face and eye palettes offered with Giorgio Armani's fall 2012 collection, Easy Chic. Armani's description: 
Neo Black Ideal for creating a highly sophisticated look. The easy to wear, sheer, beige blush illuminates the complexion for a naturally highlighted, incandescent complexion any time of day. Includes three, coordinating eyeshadows.
Neo Brown For a glamorous look that plays on nature’s palette of autumnal tones. The sheer rose blush is ideal for shaping the complexion with a luminous veil of rosy pink. Includes three coordinating eyeshadows.
I purchased just one, Neo Brown (#2) as I thought the shades would better suit my skin tone. The shiny black compact has a magnetic closure, and a kind of interesting and unique geometric shape. Both palettes contain an upper tier with a full-size blush/face powder and a lower tier with three eyeshadows and sponge applicators. These palettes are quite a departure from those of last year's fall collection Jacquard Woven, which some of you may recall.

The sales associate who helped me was wearing the shadows in the Neo Black (#1) palette, which contains a soft beige, a matte black, and an olive shade. The upper tier in the Neo Black palette has also been described as a face powder rather than a blush. On lighter skin tones I think it could work as a contour shade. For a look at the Neo Black palette visit Makeup4AllGlitter Geek, and Beautezine.

Other products included in the collection, but not featured here, are:
  • Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00), 111 Vintage Pine, 408 Purpleheart, and 526 Rosewood
  • Giorgio Armani Acqua Collection: Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00) (Limited Edition) 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 29
  • Eyes to Kill Waterproof Liner ($28.00) (Limited Edition): Granite Black and Earthen Brown
  • Eyes to Kill Waterproof Mascara ($30.00) (Limited Edition): Steel Black

The palette is fairly sleek at about three-quarters of an inch in height and would be useful for taking along in your purse or for travel.  

The blush is a beautiful rosy peach with subtle shimmer throughout. To give you a better idea of the color, I've compared it below with some popular MAC blush shades.   

In the swatch above the color was applied heavily (also keep in mind, my skin is pretty darn light, so the contrast makes the color look more intense). Below you can see how it looks on the face when applied more moderately. For those of you who dislike shimmery blushes -- no worries, as the shimmer is not apparent on the face. The box describes this as a "sheer" blush. The color is soft at first but does build up with multiple layers. Overall, it's a very nice, brightening shade! 

The three eye shades included are, from left to right: a light, shimmery, cool beige; a medium-dark, matte taupe-brown (referred to by Armani as Red-Brown); and a very dark, matte, espresso-brown. I think these shades should flatter a wide range of skin tones, but the look produced is definitely more cool than warm. Both of the matte shades are well pigmented and intense. The darkest, espresso shade can be used wet or dry as a liner. It is also nice to smoke out pencil liner or to set liquid liner. I like the shimmery beige as a lid shade or an inner-corner shade, but find myself wishing a pale matte highlight shade had also been included. 

Since many of you are familiar with the neutral shades in Urban Decay's NAKED palette, I thought it might give you a good point of reference.

As usual, in sunlight, my camera has made the colors look warmer than they really are. I highly recommend trying these on in person before purchasing if you can, or checking other swatches on the web. The light shimmery beige is way less golden than it appears here and is actually more of a cooler toned grey-beige.

Went heavier on the blush than I normally would, but wanted to be sure the color showed up on camera! 

Neo Brown Palette: 
Left shade (shimmery beige): lid, inner corners, and above crease to diffuse darker shade 
Middle shade (dark matte taupe): crease
Right shade (matte espresso brown): used as liner, and on outer half of lid 
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill mascara #1

Blush from the Neo Brown Palette
Bobbi Brown Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation in Warm Sand 2.5

Trish McEvoy Bare lip liner 
MAC Sheen Supreme lipstick in Supreme Style

I hope this is helpful to any of you who are considering buying this palette. It is lovely, but I would say it is not a must-have unless you are an Armani aficionado or like the idea of having shadows and blush all in one convenient package, which is what drew me most to this one. Otherwise, I think the shades can be closely duplicated with less expensive products. 

Thank you for visiting and I hope you all have a great week! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

SpaRitual Gilded Age - nails of the weekend

This weekend I'm wearing Spa Ritual's Gilded Age, one of the polishes from the recent Gold Collection, which offers six high-shimmer shades infused with real gold particles. These limited-edition polishes are a bit pricier than those in the standard range, at $12 versus the usual $10. I'm happy to see that the Spa Ritual brand is now easier to get hold of than in the past. It can be found on popular web retailers like Zappos, Dermstore, Skinstore, as well as Sephora, which has a very limited selection of shades both online and in-store.  

Gilded Age is a reflective light warm pink. I find that with shimmery pink polishes there is always that very fine line between romantic and pretty, or simply frosty and dated looking. It may be difficult to tell from these photos, but I think Gilded Age belongs in the former category. The touch of gold keeps it looking modern enough and, although it's not a color I would reach for all the time, I've definitely enjoyed wearing it for the last couple of days. One drawback is that, like most foil or metallic polishes, it tends to emphasize any flaws or unevenness. I used two coats here and had no issues with the formula.

What makes this pink unique are the beautiful, tiny sparks of shimmer that show up in the light. These are due to the fine particles of gold that are scattered generously throughout (as seen in the macro photo below). So pretty! It reminds me a bit of the NARS Super Orgasm Illuminator. If you're fond of metallics and a fan of the color pink, Gilded Age may be right up your alley!   


~ Thanks for stopping by! ~

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

Here are some of the fireworks I saw earlier tonight. Wishing everyone a happy Independence Day! 


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bobbi Brown Twilight Night Shimmer Ink & Twilight Nail Polish

Twilight Night Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner ($22) and Twilight Shimmer Nail Polish ($18) are two of the items that caught my eye from Bobbi Brown's Fall 2012 collection, Desert Twilight, while I was in the mall this weekend. I love coordinating colors and these two are a perfect pair! 

Twilight Night gel liner is an interesting shade. In the container it appears to be a very dark, smoky amethyst with fine gold shimmer, but in certain lighting it looks more like gunmetal. Most surprising of all was when I wore it on my eyes it shifted into a smoky indigo shade, kind of like blackened denim. 

In the macro photo above you can see the multiple shades of shimmer. When I look closely I can definitely see gold and blue, and what looks like it might be fuchsia. What actually shows up on the eye is just a subtle overall neutral sparkle. 

Twilight nail polish in the bottle is a smoky raisin shade with shimmer. On the nails, in some lighting it looks like gunmetal and at other times a softly shimmery plum. Off hand it calls to mind Dior's Aztec Chocolate, although it's not really the same. Shades like this are great to transition into fall and are a nice departure from the corals and pinks I've been wearing for months. If anyone is interested in seeing color comparisons, please let me know in the comments and I'd be happy to do so! 

The formula is thick and provides opaque coverage in just one coat, but I used two for evenness. I also used one coat of Poshe topcoat to make it glossier. I haven't worn this long enough to speak about wear-time, but will try to post an update once I've had it on for a few days. 

In the photo above that was taken in the shade you can see that the shimmer is much less apparent. Twilight is the type of shade that really only comes to life in sunlight or under direct lighting indoors. The photo below was taken in cooler lighting indoors.        

This I like to call my, "Ugh, I've got a toothache!" shot.

I have to say I had a difficult time capturing a photo with my nails near my eyes in anything that resembles a natural-looking position, so apologies for the contrived-looking poses, but I hope they will demonstrate how nicely Twilight Night liner and Twilight nail polish work together. I used Sephora's Flutter partial lashes to supplement my own short and straight ones, and the darker half of MAC's Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo, This & That.

Miss Kitty update

It's been a while since I've shared any photos of my fur-baby, Miss Kitty. She has been contentedly living a life of leisure but she despises the summer heat, what with all that fur! Thank goodness for air conditioning. We would all be miserable without it. My thoughts and sympathies are with the folks in the Eastern U.S. who are dealing with record heat and power outages, and with those who have been affected by the wildfires in the West.

I sleep all day while you are out working to earn money to feed my enormous appetite with the finest kibble, endless Fancy Feast, and deli meat treats. Keep it comin' lady!

And why, pray tell, are you disturbing my slumber? This had better be important. 

Stop with your shenanigans woman, and get that suspicious-looking bottle away from me.

Perhaps if I look away for long enough she will get the message and leave. 

~ Thanks for visiting! ~