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).

Armani Liquid Summer3

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.

Armani Liquid Summer4a

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.

Armani CC Cream09

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:

Friday late13

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).

Friday late06a

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:

armani eccentrico35 copy

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

armani eccentrico32

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

armani eccentrico42

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:

armani eccentrico1a

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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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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