Armani has released two palettes this holiday season for their Madre Perla Collection. The theme for the eyes and cheeks are shimmery golds, nudes, pearls and silvers. I found the collection has arrived in-store at Neiman Marcus. One is a Face & Eye Palette #1 (the golden one) and the other is designed as an Eye Palette #2. Both are $59 each and are limited edition. The two palettes contain three shades each, very reminiscent of Nude Contrasts from Spring 2010. I approached these with a bit of hesitation. As beautiful as the colors were from Spring, I have to admit both palettes have barely been used. All the colors (except the black) from the spring eye palettes show up similar on the skin which results in just one overly-sparkly eye when the colors are layered. Still, the palettes this season took my breath away as soon as I saw them. The palettes were a bit difficult to photograph to capture the dimensional aspect of the shimmer. I've tried several angles to try and help give you an idea.
Madre Perla Face and Eye Palette 1 is a trio of golds. The texture is soft, slightly powdery and fairly shimmery. Applying with an eyeshadow brush (or a denser brush) results in a very shimmery pigmented application. I wore this on the eyes last night to a play and it was beautiful but definitely on the sparkly side. The three colors you have are pale ivory, warm pale gold, neutral tan gold. I feel the colors are uniquely distinct from each other when swatched on the hand but if you want to layer three shades I think you can only create a subtle gradient. Since the payoff with a small brush was so pigmented I was worried it would be too frosty for the face, but applying with a regular brush brush (I used Bobbi Brown's when testing this one) resulted in a sheer but visible wash of shimmer. Love!
Madre Perla Eye Palette 1 is also beautiful with a cool sharp white with gold frost, neutral tan beige shimmer and cool lavender. I'm not a fan of lavender shades but I learned from Le Metier that this color can be a great highlight to layer over beiges/tans and golds. I really love the middle shade, it's like a soft beige with a slight hint of grey shimmer. I applied the middle shade first over most of the lid, then added the lavender to center on top and blended. I then added the ivory-gold as a very soft highlight near the top. Today I used Bobbi Brown Bronze gel liner to finish the look. Overall it's a stunner but very pale. Next time I will need to add a darker contour like Chanel Sand.
Here's another close up plus swatches:
Comparisons of last year's highlighter (less yellow and lighter) to this year's:
Palette comparisons from Spring 2010 to Holiday:
Overall all out gorgeous, not overly frosty, beautiful for holiday. I will definitely get more use out of these than the spring 2010 palettes. They are more versatile and wearable in my opinion.