This summer Giorgio Armani has released a few mini collections focusing on lips and eyes. The new Gloss d'Armani shades from the Skin Lacquers Collection was featured last month here. The latest release is their Eyes to Kill Aqua collection featuring six new Eyes to Kill Intense shades, waterproof mascara and eyeliners. I ordered all six of the Eyes to Kill Intense shades from Saks sight unseen ($32 each for 4g/0.14 oz, all listed as limited edition, made in France). The colors looked amazing online and I am happy to report these indeed are stunners. The newest shades are #24, #25, #26, #27, #28 and #29. Some sources have actual names for these. For Armani, I always reference the numbers since the names are rarely printed on the box or packaging for shadows or lipsticks or glosses. Here is the lineup from Saks online and then one of my photos below. I have to give the thumbs up to Armani and Saks for improving their online swatches for these.
I've reviewed the Eyes to Kill Intense formula before, but to recap for those new to these shadows, Armani's Eyes to Kill Intense are a potted hybrid cream/powder eyeshadow. The texture is spongy and almost-cream like but not quite. They are indeed intense in pigment and sparkle. Most contain a complex blend of colors almost like a kaleidoscope making them multidimensional. I like to think of them as a pumped up version of MAC's MSFs but for the eyes and in a cream formula. Armani boasts that these are long-wearing shadows with 24 hour lasting power. I have never worn any type of makeup for 24 hours straight, but I do find the lasting power to be stronger than the typical shadow. If I don't touch my eyes at all during the course of a regular day, I find that they last without fading.
The formulas are easy to blend and layer under and over shadows. I do find layering a powder over these will sometimes make the Armani cream shadow fade a bit. If you want to layer over these but still want to maintain the sparkle intensity, I recommend you pat. These aren't emollient enough for me to be a base though.
Compared to Chanel's Illusion d'Ombres, Armani's Eye to Kill Intense last longer and have a less bouncy feel in texture. Although some are more sparkly, I find Armani's easier to wear and pull off for everyday or for evening. Now onto the colors:
#24 is a blackened gold sparkle. It's beautiful for a smokey liner or smokey eye. What I love about these is that they the pigment is easy to control by layering.
#25 is another black-gold sparkle but with more of a lighter khaki base. On me it pulls slightly olive because of the gold tones.
#26 is a beautiful warm gold. Some of you may wonder how close this is to #5, #6 and #15. It's close but slightly less khaki and more golden/warm. I'll show a few comparisons below.
#27 is a complex silver-taupe-red sparkle. I expected a silvery-taupe but mixed together it pulls more purple on my skin due to the red metallic streaks.
#28 is a gorgeous gold with burgandy/purple blend. It's what I wanted NARS Kuala Lumpur to look like on me (which was way too warm/red). This has just the right amount of copper and burgandy blend to work for me.
#29 is a pale frosted pink-white pearl. I would say if you have either #8 or #9, this might be too similar to justify owning for you. I do find it's brighter and whiter (even with the pink veins) so it's a bit more contrasted on my skin (especially with a tan). This one and #28 arrived a bit cracked/separated from the container. If you search other reviews you will see the packaging comes with a black insert which you can use to press down the product. I used those to try and press down the shadows and fix the cracks a bit.
Now swatching these will definitely vary depending on what kind of brush or how much pressure you use. I've swatched these a few different ways and under different lighting to show the complexity. Messy Wands has swatched these on her skin (which I believe is lighter than mine), definitely check out her blog to see how they look on her.
Swatch set #1 on the arm:
Swatch set #2 at an angle so you can see the sparkles shine in the sun:
Swatch set #3, bigger swatches blended:
These were all swatched without a base and with a variety of cream shadow brushes (from MAC, Bobbi Brown and Becca). Note that while these look uber-frosty and metallic, they are wearable on the eyes without being too frosty. At least on me. I only had time to swatch a few comparisons to other Armani shades, sorry my schedule can't accommodate more comparisons right now. I do find these relatively unique compared to the existing Armani lineup. Two views below.
Overall a huge thumbs up. I do think #24 and #25 are very similar and you definitely don't need both. I prefer #24 because it's darker and more intense. Have you checked out the new Armani Eyes to Kill Intense shades yet? Thoughts? Did you pick anything up?