Jul 092014
 

ddCan you tell that it’s Haute Couture week in Paris? Dior seems to be entirely renewed with the work of its lead fashion designer Raf Simons, who showed his work against a wall of orchids at Paris’ Rodin Museum. This year’s haute couture used graphic shape as the canvas for the complex handwork embroidery and modern details that is setting new standards for the historic haute couture craft. The show featured embroidered silk coats,elegant ball skirts and soft, sophisticated color.

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Jun 192014
 

armani

Use code FAMILY14 for 20% off at Giorgio Armani Beauty until the end of June.  Some things to consider include the Giorgio Armani Luminessence CC Cream (wearing this today, reviewed here).

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Also loving the Giorgio Armani Liquid Summer Bronzer (reviewed here). This is genius for a neutral, blendable, layerable look. It makes my skin looks so much better than it really is, by some Armani magic.

Armani Liquid Summer2

The Armani Fluid Sheers are amazing for a perfect glow (swatches here):

GA Fluid Sheer Swatches2a

I haven’t reviewed them yet, but I’ve been loving the Armani Light Master Primer–it gives me a porcelain-textured finish and a perfect sheen when wearing the product with my Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.  It’s like a secret weapon for youthful, perfected skin.

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Another stock-up-worthy staple is the Armani Maestro Eraser Concealer. I like to use this under my eyes over a corrector. The very very very thin layer of product adds only a minimal amount of product there, so the area doesn’t look heavy or cakey. It can be used on the rest of the face as well.

Armani Concealer23

Happy Armani shopping!! P.S. Yves Saint Laurent Beauty also has 20% off right now with the same code FAMILY14.

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Jun 042014
 

Armani Liquid Summer1I’ve been enjoying Giorgio Armani’s Liquid Summer Bronzer ($64) since I purchased it several weeks ago. To digress a bit, I was shopping in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I saw this as a new item on a Nordstrom counter. Because my time was short, I didn’t want to do a full-on discussion with a makeup artist. Which is too bad, because typically Armani artists are really well informed, and I tend to get the most use out of the products when I get that type of advice. So, I dashed a bit onto my cheeks and chin, and lightly across my forehead hairline. After about 60 seconds, I had my debit card out and ready, waiting impatiently for the sales associate that I had been so assiduously trying to avoid. I had to have it–it made my skin look beautifully, natural and far better than it really has a right to.

Armani Liquid Summer2

I’m sure you are familiar with the Armani Maestro formula (if not, see this post). It’s remarkably lightweight–it seems that Armani formulators have developed a way to suspend pigment in a highly-controllable, almost-nothing-there base that allows for intelligent and beautiful application. If you’ve never tried a liquid bronzer, you should know how absolutely natural then can look. Unlike powders, they work beautifully with liquid foundations too. They can be mixed with liquid foundations, worn under them for more subtlety, or layered over in a way that sort of melds the two together. Now, take that and add the fact that this is an extremely fine serum formulation of a liquid bronzer and whew–it’s really amazing. It blows the older bronzers out of the water (no, I’m not giving up my Guerlain 4 Seasons, but hopefully you get the idea).

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Armani Liquid Summer can be layered, mixed, and despite the appearance of fine sparkle in the formula, provides a very skin-like natural look. I did my best with my swatches, here, but I’m still on the road and my bronzer stash and photography conditions are sub-optimal at present.

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Overall, I love this product (which is, sadly, limited edition).  There are some products that make me think that I could live with only Armani in my life. Now that the line is reformulating its eyeshadows, and combined with products like this one, I could be right about that.

Armani Liquid Summer Bronzer is available at Nordstrom.com, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue.

 

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Mar 082014
 

Armani CC Cream07

For the past several days, I’ve been using the new Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminessence CC Cream (available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Barneys and Saks)($50/ 1 oz.). This series, just released in eight (8) shades, provides glowing and moisturizing medium-to-light coverage.

Armani CC Cream01

According to Armani, there are skin care benefits in the formula:

A good night sleep in a cream. Luminessence CC Cream is a color control bright moisturizer with SPF 35. It features a triple technology on skincare for its energizing and antioxidant complex, color for its pinky “rose glow” pigments and light for its liquid mirror technology. Apply once and the skin looks as rested as a good night’s sleep.

According to the product insert, the point of this product is to use 1) the product’s color to correct and even skin tone, 2) the formula to deliver moisture, antioxidants and sunscreen protection, and 3) luminzers to impart a soft glow. Essentially, the coverage is medium toward light with one pass (and buildable on problem areas). You can trust that Armani knows how to create a buildable foundation. In my opinion, the line is one of the best at developing formulas that can be layered and this Armani Luminessence CC Cream is no exception. The product comes in an easily packable squeeze tube.

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I used this product as my foundation, although it could be used as a color-correcting, moisturizing base. Those who want more coverage might consider using a powder foundation over this formula to increase both the coverage and overall wear time. On application, you will immediately notice a dewy glow. I powder down my forehead right away with a finishing powder. The overall effect is youthful. Here’s a quick swatch on a portion of my arm that shows you the dewiness in very bright sun. I think you can see that it creates a pretty satin sheen without any sparkle:

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Armani Luminessence CC Cream is genius at delivering all-day moisture. I’m not sure of the magic that Armani puts in the formula, but my skin looked young, moisturized, and perfected. With a touch of layering, the product evens out my dark patches and small acne scars to invisibility. The enclosed literature suggests that it’s nice to put a little more around any areas that you want to photoshop–the labial folds, for example. The effect makes me look rested, younger, and my skin looks moisturized and softer.

Armani CC Cream14

As with many moisturizing formulas, Armani Luminessence CC Cream is not a true long-wear formula. After about the eighth or ninth hour, I started to notice some imperfections peeking through. Fortunately, this can be easily refreshed with a concealer (Armani’s Maestro Concealer is wonderful, but any will do).

Armani CC Cream11

What was surprising is how good my skin felt after removal. There are a few CC Creams that deliver is in the skincare department, and Armani is one of the top of the list. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised–bathing my skin all day in Armani sounds luxurious and it is.  It’s lovely to see a company deliver on the technology that has been promised. Armani is not kidding around.  If this product is meant to get customer’s interested in Armani’s skin care range, it is working (at least for me).

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The Nordstrom sales associate that I worked with matched me to Shade #4 which is a bit darker than my usual. As we are heading toward spring and summer (really, I promise!), and my arms typically pick up some color during that season, I didn’t fight back very hard. For the record, during the makeover we used a highlighter on my upper cheek and it was not too much. That’s the thing about lines like Armani–they are never too much. Packaging (click to enlarge:

Armani CC Cream05

And more of the ingredient list (click to enlarge):

Armani CC Cream06

Overall, Giorgio Armani Luminessence CC Control Bright Moisturizer successfully delivers on its mission to deliver skin that looks awake and alive. I love that it has a decent SPF level, and the moisturizer seems extraordinarily effective. The color corrective properties provide both medium-to- light coverage and mask color variations well. No breakouts or clogging pores. This is designed to works best on skin that benefits from a moisturizing formula, although my combination skin loved it.  I needed a powder-down and concealer refresh after about the eight-hour mark, although your own mileage may vary.  So far, one of the best–I’m loving this one.

Available at Neiman Marcus, NordstromBarneys and Saks

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Nov 222013
 

armani eccentrico31

Holiday 2013 brings us the limited edition Giorgio Armani Eccentrico Face Palette ($88), a confection of light colors that blend to make a beautiful highlighting blush. As you can see, the palette comes housed in a red variation of Armani’s classic travel-friendly classic shape. Inside, the presentation could not be more lovely. Although the overspray wipes away with a few brushstrokes, its ephemeral and multi-dimensional beauty makes this a joy to use and a pleasure to gift. Here’s a close up with the  stunning overspray, which changes tonality and coloration depending on how the light strikes it:

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Another showing a more wintry and delicate frost from a different angle of light:

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Without the overspray, the palette is a melange of color pink, lavender, peach and white highlight:

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Underneath the color pan is compartment with a flat brush:

armani eccentrico81With my light warm, NC15/ Chanel Cameo-Ivoire/ Armani #5 coloring, this product is a light pretty, candy-coral very light blush color with shimmer and micro-sparkle. Here is an arm swatch of all colors, in the middle is a mix of all of the shades of the Armani Eccentrico Face Palette:

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You’ll get more of a highlighter or a color effect depending on where you place your brush on the palette. Liz used the Armani Eccentrico Face Palette on her cheek, brow bone and above her brow on this picture, focusing mostly on the highlightsr portion. I’ve been wearing Armani Eccentrico as a light shimmery blush (light bit of micro-glitter are visible in direct sun, so if you dislike that effect you will want to reserve this strictly for evening wear). Alternatively, I’ve used a very soft, light brush as an all-over complexion brightener.

Liz Guerlain Crazy Terracotta

She’s also wearing the Guerlain Crazy Paris Terracotta to give her a sunny glow, and Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait Lip Color in Paresse on her lips (reviewed here).

Guerlain Extrait Paresse08

Overall, we enjoy the Armani Eccentrico Palette–the presentation could not be more lovely. The colors can be used as a sublet, buildable blush or a (applied very lightly) a soft wash of all-over color.  The color is so pretty, and it should carry us all the way through Spring and Summer quite easily.

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