May 042013
 

GA Fluid Sheer Bottles01a

We’ve been playing with the re-formulated Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheers ($59 each) in three shades:

  • Number 8, a sheer pearly pink
  • Number 9, a vibrant complex raspberry red
  • Number 12, a deep bronze-tan

The packaging is a slight modification of the earlier version, with a clear container that feels a bit like a heavy plexiglas.

GA Fluid Sheer Bottles02a

There’s a spout to keep the product fresh, clean, and sanitary. These are far more controllable than the Make Up For Ever fluid blush, it’s possible to get a head-of-the-pin amount with very gentle pressure.

Giorgio Armani Spout

The light pink pearly Armani Fluid Sheer Number 8 (#8) is a cool shimmery highlight color that gives a bit of sparkle and opalescence. 

GA Fluid Sheer Bottles05

We’re still playing with these, but I find the texture and feel of this Number 8 as very similar to Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfecters. It’s pretty. This gives a more subtle than Nars Copacabana Illuminator, so if the Nars was “too much” for you, you’ll love the Armani.

GA Fluid Sheer Bottles06

This particular shade is a true highlight on us (Chanel Cameo/Ivoire, MAC NC15ish) who are pale and warm. You’d really have to layer this to get a blush color.

GA Fluid Sheer Bottle 31

In contrast, Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer No. 9 is a true liquid blush. Even when this is worn sheerly, it leaves a color of shimmery cool raspberry red.

GA Fluid Sheer Bottle 34

We found this was very pretty, and extremely long lasting throughout the day. Once this one sets, it doesn’t seem to want to go anywhere.

GA Fluid Sheer Bottles10

Finally, Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer Number 12 is a highly pigmented, deep brown-bronze. This bronze is deep, yet sheer. There seems to be a bit of red in this bronze, which makes it nice o use on either cool or warm skin tones.

GA Fluid Sheer Bottles03

 

Those with lighter skin tones looking for a barely-there bronze should keep looking. There’s a soft pretty glow to this color that I love, but I have to be careful applying this. For me, the best way to use these was using a blush brush. I’ve been using the Armani Blush Brush ($44) which is awesome. For some reason, this brush has the ability to be both acceptably soft, yet still be able to pick up pigment from those softly-pigmented, very subtle blushes.

GA Fluid Sheer Bottles12

It also works beautifully with the two liquid Armani Fluid Sheers that have the most color–Number 9 and Number 12. I place a bit of both (sometimes I mix them) on one side of the brush, and just barely touch the color on cheeks, then blend blend blend with the dry side.  This technique can be used with any blush brush, it is not necessary to get Armani’s (although I do love this one).

Here are some just-from-the-spount swatches of these. As you can see, these pack plenty of color:

GA Fluid Sheer Swatches1

Here they are sheered out. In the last two swatches, I’ve mixed the pink and the red into the bronze.

GA Fluid Sheer Swatches2a

You can vary the warmth of the bronze color significantly by adding any other color. Another set of swatches:

GA Fluid Sheer Swatches5

Here are the three (each worn separately) applied sheerly on Liz:

Armani Fluid Sheers Swatched Applied

Overall, I’m loving these. I like the customizability of the color, the longevity, and the ease. To me, these are a sophisticated take on liquid blushes/highlighters. If you want a subtle texture, these are well worth a look. Liz is less comfortable with the liquid format, she’s a powder blush fan all the way.

If you have any swatch requests, please leave them in the comments. I’ve been very busy over the past few weeks finishing a project, but I’ll have more time for the next several to post more frequently. You should also see The Beauty Look Book’s review of Numbers 5 and 8 (I want to pick up Number 5 next, based on Sabrina’s review).

Available at Nordstrom and other Armani sources. This post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup).

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Apr 142013
 

Armani Summer 2013 Palette08

Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Face & Eye Palette ($88), also called the Armani Bronze All-Over Palette, is built for luxury travel. This small, sturdy palette has a large bronzer and three beautiful shimmery peach-based shadows on the lower level.

Armani Summer 2013 Palette17

First up, the beautiful metallic overspray gives a lush, red-carpet glamor to the bronzer. Opening the palette for the first time is a breathtaking experience for those who love a luxury presentation.

Armani Summer 2013 Palette01

Close up of the Armani signature on the ridged top:

Armani Summer 2013 Palette04

Once the overspray is brushed away, a warm shimmery bronzer remains without the metallic drama:

Armani Summer 2013 Palette d1Here is Liz wearing the Giorgio Armani Summer Face & Eye palette’s bronzer on her cheeks, over Chanel Perfection Lumiere in 32 Rose Beige:

Armani Summer 2013 Palette c2

Here are some comparisons with other bronzers in the same shade range. I found that Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Face & Eye palettes bronzer was more shimmery than Tom Ford’s Gold Dust. It seems a bit lighter than Guerlain Terracotta Four Seasons in #2 Naturel Blondes and Chanel Terra Ambre:

Armani Summer 2013 Palette b2

The eyeshadow portion of the Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Face & Eye Palette includes three shimmery eyeshadow shades–a light pearly cream highlighter, a light shimmery peach, and a deep warm brown.

Armani Summer 2013 Palette05

To my eye, these colors are quite similar to the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer in Mirage. Two of the shades look identical, and the highlighter is certainly close enough to render Mirage duplicative if you already have the Armani Summer 2013 palette:

Armani Summer 2013 Palette b1

On Liz:

Armani Summer 2013 Palette a1

Eyes open:

Armani Summer 2013 Palette a2

Overall, the Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Face & Eye Palette has a gorgeous presentation–the overspray on this is a stunner. Underneath, you’ll find a pretty, finely milled warm-toned bronzer. As you lift the bronzer, underneath you’ll find smooth, shimmery eyeshadow that is beautiful and wearable.

Available on Armani’s online site, and soon to appear everywhere Giorgio Armani Beauty is sold. This post contains an affiliate link (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

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Apr 052013
 

Armani ETK Taupe Shimmera1a

I succumbed to buying another Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer Palette in Mystery ($59/ #11). Having had such success with the Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer in the peachy shimmery Mirage, I wanted to try the taupe-themed version.

Armani ETK Taupe Shimmera3

Giorgio Armani Mystery palette gives an overall light and cool impression. Three of the shades are shimmery and high on the tonal scale. As you can see from these swatches, most of the Armani Mystery are far lighter than the standards Chanel Safari, Shu Uemura ME Silver 945 (discontinued) and Burberry Rosewood.

Armani ETK Taupe Shimmer1 swatches 3c

Here is a comparison with Armani Eyes to Killy Mystery, Chanel Raffinement and Chanel Prelude. Tonally, Chanel Prelude is very, very close to Armani Mystery. However, some of the shades in Armani Mystery are more shimmery. Chanel Raffinement is warmer, with mauve tones compared to the more neutral/cool Armani Mystery.

Chanel Prelude Raffinement Armani Mystery 1a

Like the Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer in Mirage, Armani Mystery is nicely pigmented, soft, and very easy to work with. Only the deepest liner shade is matte, the other three have a pretty complexity. This is Armani Mystery on Liz, who used primarily the two center shades with a touch of the top shade, with no eyeshadow base.

Armani ETK Taupe Shimmerb1

Liz wearing Armani Mystery with eyes open:

Armani ETK Taupe Shimmerb5

Here’s Liz applying a Nars lip pencil, where you can see Armani Mystery’s texture on the lids:

Nars Hyde Park application1aa

I’ve been using Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Shimmer in Mystery for a subtle daytime look for the past several days, over my typical Laura Mercier Eye Basic. It gives a pretty, neutral daytime look. Between Mirage and Mystery, I find that the peachy warm Mirage is a touch more flattering. There texture on the Mirage palette is more pearly, it truly is quite unique. Nonetheless, I love a good taupe palette. Certainly, Armani’s Mystery is a beautiful one and would be my preference for those with cooler skin tones for a defined and pretty eye.

Mystery is sold at Nordstrom.com with free ship and free returns.

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Mar 162013
 

Armani Maestro Lip11a

There are times when you want glamour. Just “take over the red carpet” show-stopping amazing. Few deliver full-on gorgeous like Giorgio Armani’s Lip Maestro in Dark Velvet ($32 #201). We didn’t love the red cap, but as we know it’s what is inside that counts.

Armani Maestro Lip2

Like the other products in the Armani Maestro line, the Lip Maestro’s are a complete reformulation that one doesn’t find in other makeup lines. This is a deep, velvet texture with very intense color. It dries down to a matte texture with a very soft sheen (“velvet” describes it well). I’m not certain how Giorgio Armani packed so much pigment into such a slight bit of product, but one has to really work a bit to apply this color lightly. Here’s a full application on Liz:

Armani Maestro Lip1

This is one of those incredible, once-in-a-lifetime swoony colors that packs a gorgeous punch. Here is Liz wearing the color with Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Shimmer in Mirage:

Armani Maestro Lip4a

Unsurprisingly, we found that Giorgio Armani Dark Velvet was out of stock at several locations. I can see this becoming a cult color.  Here are swatches of Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro Dark Velvet, Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Rouge Noir, Chanel Rouge Coco Rivoli and Guerlain Vega:

GA Maestro Dark Velvet

Armani Maestro Dark Velvet is even deeper than Chanel Rouge Noir, which of course is a very dark, dramatic vampy color. One doesn’t need many colors like Armani Dark Velvet, however there simply aren’t many colors like it, so that works out perfectly.

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Mar 072013
 

Armani 10j

Perhaps my most favorite eyeshadow  palette of Spring 2013 is Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer in Mirage ($59/ #10). This mix of four (4) shimmery peaches and soft browns is right in the sweet spot of shadows that can carry a warm-toned makeup lover all the way through summer.

Armani 10k

As a range, this new Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer is well pigmented, and with a softer texture than Armani palettes that have been released in the past. The texture of Mirage is similar to the high quality of the better Chanel and Guerlain shadows. Applied with a standard brush, such as the Edward Bess Luxury Eye brush, or even a MAC 217, does the job beautifully.

Armani 10l

The palette includes a pleasant mix–use two, three or all four shades. The top shimmery peach-pink makes a beautiful lid wash. The  second shade is a highly pigmented, shimmery highlighter. The third shade is a rich warm shimmery gold. The bottom brown color is a dreamy satin crease color. There is a harmony and ease to these shades. As someone who has hit pan twice on Chanel Abricot, I know I’m going to use Giorgio Armani Mirage to the last drop.

Armani 10m

The palette is a slightly different, softer and more organic shape compared to Armani’s former disk shape, It’s a friendly, yet still packable, shape that includes two little brushes under the color pan. Armani 10nSwatches of all four shades, in the same order as the pan (the top shade is on the left, the bottom on the right):

Armani 10g

Another:

Armani 10h

Here is Armani Mirage on Liz:

Armani 10dd

Here, Liz is also wearing Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine in #2 Pourpre in Touchable lightly dabbed on. She’s also wearing a mix of Burberry Coral Pink and Rose blush, over Chanel Vitalumiere liquid foundationThe Armani Eyes to Kill Shimmer texture is pearly and subtle.

Armani 10cc

Full face:

Armani 10ff

Bottom line:  One of my favorites so far this year. Perfect.

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