19 June 2012

making faces :: armani's summer sirens

there's a reason she didn't show up in a humvee
ah, once you have heard the call of the siren, you are forever drawn to her otherworldly beauty. it's an appropriate metaphor for all of us who feel our hearts race when we see something beautiful, something that catches our eye sparkling in the sun, or that catches our breath with a luminous reflect. when i was young, i spent a lot of time on beaches in the maritimes and one of my favourite activities was collecting shells. i was fascinated by their pearly interiors with sheens of pink and green and by their rough exteriors in grey and inky blue-black. and, yes, those are exactly what i thought of when i laid eyes on the armani summer collection, those fascinating little fragments strewn along the beach.

madre perla
unfortunately, by the time i got my wallet down to the armani counter, i was too late to lay hands on one of the summer's limited treats: a new blue-green-black shade of their eyes to kill eye shadows called "obsidian black seaweed". i'm thinking i'll have to find a way to get that up here, because it does seem like it would be such a lovely match with the products i did pick up.

first off, we have "madre perla" another limited etk shadow. i've spoken before about my love for these little pots. they are truly remarkable, in that they apply like smooth creams, but are definitely powders and they last without fading until you take them off. whenever that may be. i've tested light, dark and medium shades and they all have outstanding wear time.

"madre perla" or "mother of pearl" is aptly named. it has a pearly base strewn with pink and green that glow in the light and morph the shades around them. i think that exactly how much of each colour you see will shift from one person to another. on some people, the shade looks more pink. on me, despite the fact that my skin runs a little pink, i found the green really shone through. the sheen is more evident in certain light, but i can pretty much guarantee that this isn't ever going to look like a plain eggshell-type shade.

consistency-wise, it's incredibly smooth, like its brothers and sisters. i found that it was a little less full-on sparkly than the shades released for the holiday collection. it applies exceptionally easily and blends well, but once it's on, it's on. it wore for over seven hours on me without fading, even though it was a very hot day.



there are other shades of off-white with a sheen, but i don't know that i've seen one this complex. etk #19 ["silver/ gold"] is warmer. it's interesting, because that one looks incredibly bright on my eyes, but it has an almost antique quality next to "madre perla". mac's "pink opal" is similar in concept, but the pink is way more pronounced. again, seeing it next to "madre perla", there's something almost a little golden in the base that i had never seen before.

t to b :: mac pink opal, armani madre perla [l.e.], armani silver/ gold [l.e.]

raspberry zincite
to go along with their shadows [including two limited edition shadow palettes and four eyes to kill shades- two of which will become permanent], armani has introduced four new glosses. they're all variations on a theme, that theme being perfectly luscious, brightened, kissable lips in tones of pink, red and mauve that complement lips' natural flush. two of the shades are being added to the permanent collection but two, including #511 "raspberry zincite", are limited edition.

i chose #511 but, to be honest, i could have happily come home with any of the three deeper shades. [i liked light pink #509, but i feel like there are so many of these shades, even in armani's regular line.] "raspberry zincite" is a cool mauve-rose that is much bluer than anything i'd normally refer to as "raspberry". my lips are a fairly light, cool, mauve-pink colour and while i wouldn't describe this as "my lips but better", it is like a darker variant of my natural shade.

t to b :: mac lap of luxury [l.e.], armani raspberry zincite [l.e.], armani #605

with flash
it actually bears some resemblance to rouge d'armani #605, a plummy pink that ranks as one of the most wearable shades i've ever met. since it's a gloss, of course, it looks quite different. it's a little more purple as well. the closest gloss colour i could find was a limited edition shade from mac "lap of luxury" [fabulous felines, 2010], which is darker and has a bit of pink-red shimmer.

narural light
armani's glosses are all fairly sheer, but the colour they impart stays where you put it. while it's not transfer-resistant, it does hang tight longer than any other gloss i've tried, without feeling overly sticky. shockingly, this one survived food without disappearing completely. [although it did require reapplication.] i noticed a faint lavender scent to this gloss, which i haven't found in any previous armani glosses i've purchased. it disappears within a second or two of application and it's actually very pleasant. don't know if this is a permanent thing or not.

if i wasn't aware that i have the luxury of time with some of these products, i probably would have gathered them all to my bosom and let them drag me down to my financial grave. the shades are just stunning and, while they certainly seem like my memories of summer, they're different enough that they'll stand out in an ocean of bronzers and shiny glosses. it's a small collection, but absolutely exquisite, exactly what summer calls for.

here are my two new warriors in action. it's worth noting that the mac pigment, applied wet which usually equates to solid wear time, couldn't come close to matching the durability of the armani shadow. i think that mac's loose pigments are some of their best products, so it really is astonishing to see something that can so easily outpace them.

the base ::
marcelle beauty balm "light/ medium"
lush colour supplement "jackie oates"
smashbox high definition liquid concealer "fair/ light"
benefit stay, don't stray primer

the eyes ::
armani eyes to kill e/s "madre perla"* [pearl with green/ pink reflect]
mac pigment "moonlight night"* [black with teal shimmer]
mac e/s "vanilla" [peachy white]
mac powerpoint eye pencil "black swan" [black with silver microglitter]
armani eyes to kill excess mascara

the cheeks ::
estee lauder bronzing blush "sea star"* [warm pink-brown]

the lips ::
armani gloss d'armani "511- raspberry zincite"* [cool deep mauve]

*suggested alternates :: moonlight night = honestly, i was trying [in vain] to recreate the effect of armani eyes to kill "obsidian black seaweed"; sea star = i don't have a good dupe for this one. mac "blushbaby" and nars "douceur" are sort of in the same vein, but what i really like about the lauder powder is that you have two colours that can be applied more or less separately. you might be better off combining a bronzer with a warm strawberry-pink blush of your choice

although my counter might be sold out, the entire armani summer collection is still available on line.

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