Showing posts with label Palettes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palettes. Show all posts

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No. 7 The Social Butterfly // Neiman Marcus Exclusive


Marc Jacobs Beauty just recently launched the beauty line at Neiman Marcus. It appears they have the full line of products online, I haven't spotted anything in store yet, but I suspect it will launch in a few select locations to start (if you've spotted it at your local Neimans please share in the comments!). As a huge fan of Marc Jacobs Beauty I was thrilled to find a new eyeshadow palette in the Style Eye-Con No. 7 called The Social Butterfly ($59 for 7 g/0.247 oz) which is exclusive to Neiman Marcus. I ordered it as soon I saw it and it made a quick sneak peek appearance on my Instagram here. Today I have swatches + thoughts to share. As a neutral eyeshadow lover this one does not disappoint and conservative eyeshadow wearers will be happy to know it's glitter-free. The pigment is super rich and soft with this one, similar in texture to many of the other Style Eye-Con No. 7 Palettes. There is a slightly powdery kick up with these shades when you dip your brush into the palette, but the colors apply easily on the lids, blend well and they stay put.


I will call this a neutral warm smokey eyeshadow palette, althought it has a few cool-toned colors. The overall effect gives a unique natural eye look but you can use the darker shades to intensify the color for a more soft smoldering dramatic effect. Urban Decay Naked Smoky pulled on the cool-side for me overall. The Social Butterfly by Marc Jacobs Beauty is a warmer smokey palette and has a more conservative feel. It comes in a small buttoned pouch just like the other palettes. I don't store them in these but they are nice to have if you travel, it will keep the outside from getting scratched if it's stored in a travel bag with other makeup items.

The colors from left to right in the palette are:
  • Matte cream, this is a shade lighter than my natural skintone, it works as a good evening base color, or you can use it as the last step to softly buff any harsh edges from other shades
  • Matte tan, this looks neutral, it pulls a bit warm on me, but it's not orangey or too warm, pigment is excellent
  • Shimmering golden sand, this one has slight olive tones (very very slight) in it, I suspect it pulls that way because of my olive skin, on the eyes it pulls more true to pan
  • Soft shimmering lavender, most readers know I am not a fan of light purples on my eyes, they often look odd on my skin and give me a pink-eye look but this one is so so beautiful, it's a soft shade that I think is my favorite, it adds a pop of color to the eyes in a pretty and unexpected way
  • Shimmering warm taupe, my favorite kind of eyeshadow color, this one is stunning
  • Matte brown, this one is best used with a detail brush, it blends well, but if you dip a large shadow brush and try to blend, it will look blotchy
  • Dark intense black with tiny flecks of gold shimmer, also best used with a detail brush
Close ups and then swatches:










Bottom line a classic that I will get regular use out of. It's a very pretty neutral palette that will give a natural smokey eye look. It's easy to use and layer the colors together. You don't need use all seven shades at once, I usually use 5 colors at the most, but layering them does allow you to add depth and more dimension. Although this is different from the Dior Eye Reviver palettes (reviewed here and here), I can't help but feel that Marc Jacob's The Social Butterfly is what I wanted those palettes to be. I highly recommend that you check it out. I like that the colors are all neutrals and that each color looks distinctly different on the eyes. With some neutral palettes all the colors can often look the same once swatched.

For quick reference if you're new to Marc Jacobs Beauty, here are a few other reviews I've done in the past linked below including all the Style Eye-Con No. 7 Palettes I own (or you can click the Marc Jacobs Beauty tag at the bottom of this post).

Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquers (all shades swatched)
Le Marc Lip Crèmes (all shades swatched)

You can find Marc Jacobs Beauty products now at Neiman Marcus, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Sephora. The Social Butterfly Palette is exclusive to Neiman Marcus.

Do you have any Marc Jacobs Beauty favorites? 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

NARS NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette and NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette


NARS is killing it this spring. There seems to be something to love in every launch so far this year from the Hot Sand Collection, Velvet Matte Skin Tints and freshly launched Spring Color Collection (a few items to be reviewed on the blog soon but in the meantime check out swatches on my friend Café Makeup's page). I'm particularly smitten with the Hot Sand/Laguna Cheek Duo and the Velvet Skin Tints are  There are two new palettes this spring, one for eyes and one for cheeks, both limited edition. For eyes we have the NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette ($59 for 12 eyeshadows) and for the cheeks there is the NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette ($65, Sephora Exclusive). Both of these come in some seriously sturdy packaging - they are cased in hefty mirrored compacts and I think the presentation is exquisite.

The NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette has twelve eyeshadows that seem to feature a new formula. Many of you have expressed dissatisfaction in the quality and texture of shadows in previous palettes (in particular the NARSissist Eyeshadow Palette from 2014ish). I haven't tried all of the palettes NARS has launched, but never had an issue with texture. Size of pans has been significantly smaller in previous releases which I found a bit challenging to dip larger brushes into, but it seems as though NARS took all the complaints of past palettes and made changes for the better with this one.


The texture of these is feels slightly creamy, but they are all powders - pigment is smooth and easy to layer. Some of the dark matte shades will go on a bit patchy if you use a medium to large brush - so I recommend trying a small detail dense brush to layer and blend the dark mattes. Overall performance is really good. With the exception of the one coppery shimmer shade, I would say the effect of this one is cool-toned. I do think you need a slightly creamy eyeshadow base to help bring out the pigment richness of the colors, but they perform really well alone too. My favorites are the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base, Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks in Rose Gold and NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks. Application is excellent - there will be a little bit of fall out from the powders when you apply on the eyes, but once you have them on the lids - they stay put without fading or smudging. I found they lasted all day long nicely.

Descriptions and swatches:

Row 1 features four larger pans each 0.11 oz/3.2 g, shades are named I, II, III, IV:
  • Matte creamy neutral with slight pink tones
  • Shimmering champagne with beige/ivory tones
  • Shimmering mauve taupe
  • Matte charcoal

Rows 2 and 3 have smaller pans, but are still large enough that you can easily fit an eyeshadow brush into without having to worry about mixing colors. These are 0.05 oz/1.5g each:
  • Frosted white gold
  • Shimmering warm copper orange
  • Matte mauve
  • Shimmering steel with slight olive undertone
  • Shimmering steel blue grey
  • Matte navy indigo
  • Shimmering cool grey-brown
  • Shimmering grey-black with blue tones and silver flecks




Here's a quick eye look with the neutrals using the four shades in the top row 1 and a little bit of the last color in row 2. I love that online at the NARS website, they did eye swatches of all 12 shades on three skintones. Check it out here.


If you're wondering how this compares to the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette (reviewed + swatched here), I would say both are excellent options. Picking one over the other is challenging because I think they are different in color options and texture. If you're looking for something cooler-toned and want a palette that can take your look from neutral to smokey, go with the NARS. If you want something with warmer more neutral options, go for the UD x Gwen Stefani Palette. The textures of course are very different in each palette. The NARS has a creamy smooth buttery texture. The Urban Decay palette has a wider mix of mattes, shimmers, and sparkles - also the pink and bright blue offer a more vibrant/less neutral option.

Onto the cheeks with the NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette ($65, Sephora exclusive). Many asked how this compares to the Steven Klein One Shocking Moment Palette from Holiday. I wasn't able to buy (it sold out quickly) so I can't compare the two in great detail. The top three shades are the same in each palette. Based on a google search, it appears the newest one for spring offers two shades that are lighter options on the bottom left half and then darker options for the bottom right half. I do believe that the one from holiday had two existing blush colors in Luster and Dolce Vita. The new one for spring offers four new shades on the bottom. This seems to be an all-in-one kind of palette for the cheeks. It has contouring powders, a bronzer, and four blushes (two of which I think could pass for highlighters, at least on me).


The colors in this palette include:
  • Paloma Contour Duo which is available separately. It offers richly pigmented matte powders in a soft pinkish cream color and a deeper contour shade that pulls mauve on my skintone.
  • Laguna Bronzer is a classic shade (also available separately) that warms up the complexion and adds depth without looking orangey or too dark. It's easily buildable for a natural glow or deeper bronze. In my college days there were many times where this was all I would apply on the cheeks.
The bottom row has colors that are listed as blushes:
  • I is a pale pink that glows. It's a matte base but if you look closely at the pan you will see tiny bits of finely milled gold shimmer. I was worried this would not show up on my skin, but it offers the prettiest baby pink glow. I hope this makes an appearance in full-size eventually.
  • II is is light pink in the pan, but applies darker on my skin like a soft natural rose pink glow, I adore this shade. It has tiny flecks of silver sparkle but it's not glittery on the skin.
  • III is a deeper warm reddish color but as you can see from the swatch below, it's not orangey (however it will pull darker, warmer and almost orangey on fairer skin tones like The Non-Blonde)
  • Goulue is a new shade, currently a VIB Rouge Exclusive at Sephora, it's a stunning medium-deep rose with golden shimmer


I think this palette will be a versatile one that will go with a wide range of looks for lips and eyes, but the overall color scheme seems to be on the medium to dark side which may be too much for fair skins if you find blushes tend to darken/oxidize on you. For me - I love a strong blush to add a bit of color and life to my face when I wear neutral lips. The texture of the blushes is smooth and easy to blend. I think it contains classics one can wear every day. The colors with the exception of the Paloma duo are all shimmery, but they don't emphasize my pores or look frosted.

There are a few new launches for face palettes to choose from this spring including the Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Blush Palette (new shades) and MAC Contour and Sculpt Palette (value set with cult classics). You may want to browse stores or research swatches online before committing to a palette. I feel like this season we are on highlighter, foundation and blush overload. I just got both of the other two, I'll try to review and compare them as soon as I can.


I deem both of these palettes winners in terms of color selection, quality and packaging. They are travel-friendly and I love that they come with in a sturdy compact with a decent sized mirror which makes it easy to apply them on-the-go. They are both limited-edition. I think given the size and packaging the prices are very reasonable for a luxury beauty palette.

You can find the NARSissist L'Amour, Toujours L'Amour Eyeshadow Palette for $59 online at NARS, Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue (for some reason right now it's listed at a higher price at Saks). The NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette retails for $65 and is exclusive to Sephora online and in stores.

Have you checked out these NARS palettes yet? What did you think?

Both palettes were sent courtesy of the NARS team for review consideration.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Best of Urban Decay Cosmetics

Urban Decay Nordstrom The Beauty Look Book

If I were stuck on a desert island and could only have one makeup palette with me, it would be any of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. I've been such a huge fan of Urban Decay for years and out of all the makeup I've bought, tried and tested, the Naked2 and Naked3 Eyeshadow Palettes are hands down my favorites - ever. I've done quite a few reviews on each palette in the past but I don't think I've ever rounded them all up in one post. Today I've teamed up with Nordstrom to share my favorites from the line along with swatches and thoughts on their latest launch the UD x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette.

The Naked, Naked2, Naked3 and Naked Smoky Palettes all have a mix of beautiful neutrals. Each palette offers a diverse range of colors and textures ranging from matte, shimmer, frost, glitter and satin. The texture of the shadows are amazingly smooth, rich and super easy to blend. They last all day on my lids - although some of the glitter shades will have some fallout. I would say Naked has the most diverse range of neutrals from light, medium to dark. It has a split mix of warm and cool shades. Naked2 is the most neutral option with colors that will make any taupe lover go crazy. It has 2 of my favorite colors in YDK and Suspect (also available individually). Naked3 is the rosy pink neutral option, as one who rarely wears pink eye shadow, it was a huge surprise to me at how wearable the colors in this one are. The colors are absolutely perfect. The latest Naked palette is the Naked Smoky which I adore but is hit or miss for many. It's the darkest and most dramatic mix of neutrals - the texture of the shadows is slightly harder than the other palettes, but I find pigment to still be excellent and easy to blend.

Urban Decay Naked Palettes

Urban Decay Naked Palettes

Urban Decay Naked Palettes swatched

The best matte eyeshadow palettes on the market are the Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics. I passed on the Naked Basics one for the longest time because I thought the colors would be too light for my skintone. Thanks to the extra push from my readers, I bought it and have been really happy. I don't usually like matte shadows because I find they are either too sheer or too intense. Sheer ones just don't show up on my skin, intense ones are too powdery or creamy and make my lids look wrinkled. The ones from Urban Decay are the perfect texture to just melt into the skin but at the same time the pigment shows up really well. The colors are easy to blend with each other. I like using these alone or mixed with shimmer colors. If I had to pick one, I would say Naked2 Basics is my favorite for my medium olive-toned skin, but both are really good.
Urban Decay Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics


The 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner Pencils come in a wide range of colors. I of course prefer the neutrals (there are tons of options in this range), but there are lots of bold brights and shimmers that are really fun. I always have Bourbon on hand, I have a few actually. One is a mini from a holiday set, and I also have the full size. It's a shimmering dark chocolate brown. Rockstar is a classic deep plum. I like that it's deep but not so dark that it looks black. The Naked Double-Ended Pencils are nice to have for travel because you get 2 shades in one stick.


If you've used Urban Decay for a long time, you are probably aware of the lipstick changes over the years. The formulas have changed numerous times (they used to have their glosses in a squeeze tube, anyone remember Midnight Cowboy?). Right now three current lip formulas I like include the Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss, Revolution Hi-Color Lipgloss and Revolution Lipstick.

The Ultra Nourishing Lipglosses are cushiony shiny glosses. They are on the sheer side, so many of them end up looking very similar once on the lips with slight variations. My favorite is Naked because it has the prettiest sheen and shimmer that makes the lips look full but not too full.

The Revolution High-Color Lipgloss is a rich pigment gloss that is almost like a liquid lipstick. The two neutrals in the line are Kinky and Liar, I almost bought both but they are really similar. Liar is deeper and more pink, while Kinky is more beige and peachy.

For the lipsticks, I've only bought one formula. There are three formulas of lipstick. The Revolution Lipstick is the classic version which offers creamy pigmented coverage with a bit of a sheen. Lasting power is really good. There is also the Revolution Sheer Lipstick and Revolution Matte Lipstick as well which I haven't tested on my lips, but when swatching them in store, the sheers are just that - sheer. The mattes are full coverage velvets.


For the face, the Naked Skin products have often received high ratings and raves. I have tried two items and really like them. The Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation is a smooth powder that gives natural medium to full coverage. I use the shade Medium Light Warm. I like to use it to set liquid foundation or for mid-day touch ups on the T-zone. As a foundation it lasts pretty long and looks very natural. I like that it doesn't cake even if you use the sponge. The Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer is a great concealer for both under eye and spot coverage. It's full coverage without looking cakey. My match is Medium Neutral and I like how it really covers but blends well into the skin so it looks like your skin.

Swatches of all the concealer shades:


Last but not least, the latest from Urban Decay is a celebrity collaboration. They just launched the UD x Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette (limited-edition). Being a fan of both, I knew had to buy it even though at first glance there were 2 shades I thought might be questionable. Here's a quick snapshot below to show you the size/scale of the packaging compared to the other palettes. It has 15 eyeshadows in a large mirrored compact (Naked palettes have 6 to 12 shades). I love the little detailing on the mirror.
 

UD x Gwen Stefani Palette

The 15 shades are mostly neutral with 3 colors that offer a bit of pop. There is a good mix of matte, shimmer and satin with one glittery shade and two colors that are on the sparkly side. I've been playing with this for only a few days but initial thoughts are thumbs up.

UD x Gwen Stefani Palette

Descriptions of the colors in the UD x Gwen Stefani Palette:
  • Blondie is a shimmering pale cool-toned cream
  • Bathwater is a frosted yellow champagne
  • Skimp is a satiny soft pale cream with pink tones
  • Steady is a shimmering beige pink
  • Punk is a matte warm brown
  • Baby is a shimmering neutral mauve pink taupe
  • Anaheim is a matte fawn beige
  • Stark is a matte warm beige
  • Zone is a matte tan
  • Serious is a satiny grey brown with shimmer, goes on more matte
  • Pop is a glitter champagne sparkle
  • Harajuku is a cool-toned blue based pink shimmer
  • Danger is a sparkling bright navy
  • 1987 is a sparkling gold
  • Blackout is a matte black
Pigment on all the colors is really good. There is some fallout with a few of the shimmering sparkles like Harajuku, 1987 and Baby, but once on the lids they stay put. The only color I wasn't thrilled with is Pop mainly because it has crazy fall out with the glittery chunks unless you pat on the lids with a finger (over cream shadow to help it stick). I thought Danger would be a mess but it actually stayed put and didn't fall all over the face when I applied with a detail brush. I thought Harajuku would give me a pink-eye look but it's actually a very wearable pink.


Quick eye look with six colors layered and blended. The camera flash washed out the colors but I included a snapshot of the colors lined up together I used to help show the mix:


That rounds up my favorites from Urban Decay. There are a lot of single shadows that fall in the shimmer neutral category that are staples in my weekly makeup routine but the palettes are so much more convenient to use. Many times I find palettes have a few shades that I don't like but with the Naked ones, I like every color in every palette.

If you're looking for a versatile palette, you can't go wrong the Naked Palettes. My top 3 favorites are Naked2, Naked3 and Naked2 Basics - they are good for everyday, great for travel and have enough color to create a look for evening or special occasions. The colors are timeless and you can wear them any time of year.



Do you have any Urban Decay favorites? I'm curious about the Naked Skin Foundation, Loose Powder and Afterglow Blush - if you have any thoughts please let me know, I'd be interested to hear what you think.

Thanks to Nordstrom for teaming up to sponsor this post. As always, all opinions my own.

Friday, November 20, 2015

By Terry Gold Jewel Lip Kiss Palette - Holiday 2015


Above: Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb (mini) and Truffle Privacy Clutch in Rose Gold

The most stunning lip palette I've ever seen arrived from Beautylish earlier this week and of course in the blink of an eye it sold out on their website. The By Terry Gold Jewel Lip Kiss Palette ($118) is quite the splurge but has all the right colors of red, coral and pink to give the perfect glam look this holiday season. It is a limited-edition piece, so once it's sold out, it's gone for good. At the time of this post, it's sold out on Beautylish, but you can still find it Barneys New York, Net-A-Porter and Space NK. If this is something you've been eyeing I suggest you act fast. Because it's too good to not share, I have swatches and photos of the palette. It is a pricey investment but incredibly stunning with high quality long-wearing lipstick colors and the glosses are ultra smooth and hydrating on the lips.

Before I get into the review, a quick note on other By Terry launches this season. She has released several gorgeous luxury pieces for holiday including the Gold Elixir Glacé ($225) an illuminating skin-enhancing and smoothing face product, Gold Baume de Rose Trio ($339) 3 shimmering light special-edition Baume de Rose pots of white, yellow, and rose gold shimmer and a Baume de Rose Parure ($31) shimmering Baume de Dose ornament. Do note they are all limited-edition. I have been really intrigued by the Gold Elixir Glacé but haven't been to a counter to test in person yet. I hope to check it out this weekend, fingers crossed that it is still in stock somewhere by then.


The Gold Jewel Lip Kiss Palette comes in a plum-brown pouch and a large rectangular mirrored compact. There is a double-sided lip brush in the compact which is actually usable and decent quality. Most lip palettes I've tried have brushes that are pretty much useless, so it was nice to see a good on in this kit. There are five high-pigment lipsticks and five lip lacquers that have a balmy feel. The lipsticks are creams while the lacquers have some shimmer.


The top row has lipsticks which are semi-matte in finish. They are super rich in pigment and have a bit of shine when you apply them, but they dry to a velvety finish. Still once dry they don't look like they are dry, they give the lips a nice healthy glow of color. Being super pigmented they do require precise application. I'm not the best at applying bright or dark lipsticks evenly, if you're like me you probably want to line and blend lipliner around the edge of your lips first. The colors do have a soft vanilla scent about the same strength as MAC and Tom Ford Lipsticks. It's noticeable but not strong and after a little bit the scent did fade.

The colors in the top row are lipsticks, shade descriptions from left to right:

Red with a blue-pink undertone
Bright blue-based pink
Bright red with a blue-base
Orange red that pulls very bright
Deep red with neutral-cool undertones

The glosses in the second row are sheer to medium in coverage. They feel ultra plush on the lips. The shimmery ones are smooth in finish. Colors from left to right:

Sheer light beige (goes on my lips clear)
Sheer jelly fushcia (goes on pretty much clear on my lips)
Bright coral red shimmer
Cool-toned pink with silver shimmer
Shimmering neutral beige-tan

Swatches on my Chanel Beige 30/40 skin, you may want to check out the swatches on Beauty Professor as well, she and I are almost identical in skintone, right now she's a bit more tan than I am, but we usually are around the same shades in foundations:


Two more views of the palette to try and show the difference in undertone for each of the reds, here is the palette without flash and in indoor light:


Palette in outdoor direct sun with flash:


Top row of lipsticks swatched on me:

Bottom row of glosses swatched:


One more shot below:


My overall assessment is that this is indeed a stunning palette, especially for the holiday season. I'm not usually a red-lip wearer but I have been incorporating more color into my daily makeup wear. The best thing about this palette is that it has a diverse range of reds with different undertones. Each lipstick color is distinct enough that you can see the difference between each shade. Having a palette allows you to mix the colors and layer them together to get different depths or shine with the gloss. Lasting power of the lipsticks is quite impressive. They do leave a stain on the lips so when I was swatching these, I was particularity happy to have some of the Bite Beauty Lip Wipes from the Discovery Set on hand.

Another pro is the reds go on exactly the same color you see in the compact. So many reds turn color on me which makes it so hard for me to find good reds (a lot turn fuchsia and look completely different on my lips compared to what I see in the tubes). The lipsticks in the By Terry Gold Jewel Lip Kit are true-to-pan.

I will say that my holy grail perfect red is still the Rouge Louboutin Silky Satin lipstick. There is something magical in that color that makes it perfect and I haven't found anything close in any other lipstick I've tried. A close second is the Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme in Miss Scarlet for a bold but true red.

All that being said, I will be getting a lot of use out of this palette with the events of the upcoming holiday season. The colors can be toned down if you blot lightly rather than apply with a brush or fingers. The gloss helps sheer out color as well. If you're a nude-neutral lip lover, check out my post on Rosy and Red Tinted Lip Balms that are more forgiving and have a more natural finish. One of my favorite red balms is from By Terry which is her Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur in Bloom Berry.

Bottom line stunning. 

The By Terry Gold Jewel Lip Kiss Palette retails for $118. Currently available at Barneys New York, Net-A-Porter and Space NK. You may want to keep checking in at Beautylish too in case they restock it. Since it's limited-edition, I do suggest you track one down sooner than later so you don't miss out.





The By Terry lip palette was provided as a press sample for review consideration. 
All opinions my own.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Armani Luxe is More Holiday Collection - Luxe is More Palette, Eye Tints and Lip Maestro


Armani's holiday collection this year is called Luxe is More and the items launched are definitely luxury beauty pieces. I've been a fan of Armani for a long time but found that my favorites were previously released items such as the Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows and older blush formula. Many of the items have gone through reformulations and revamps and I haven't kept up with new launches as much. The holiday collection did catch my eye and I splurged on four items:
  • Luxe is More Palette ($140) has ten eyeshadows, one finishing powder and two shades of cream foundation
  • Eye Tints ($38 each) come in shades 16, 17 and 18, I picked up 17 and 18
  • Lip Maestro ($36 each) launched in six new shades, each color has a velvety matte finish, I picked up one Pearly Nude 508
Up first are the individual items for lips and eyes, Lip Maestro 508, Eye Tint 18, Eye Tint 17:


Swatches of the three colors below, Lip Maestro 508, Eye Tint 17, Eye Tint 18:


I'm an Armani Eye Tint lover. These are shimmery cream eyeshadows that come with a sponge-tip applicator. They look super shimmery and frosty but blend out to a smooth finish with a glow. Swatches and review of some other shades in this post here. There are three new shades with the holiday collection, I picked 17 and 18 even though I suspected there might be duplicates in my current stash. I'm a sucker for a good neutral shimmer and these looked so pretty at the counter. Eye Tint 18 is a silvery cool shimmer. Eye Tint 17 is a champagne pink shimmer.

Some swatch comparisons below:

Burberry Wet and Dry Glow in Optic White (review)
Armani Eyes to Kill Intense #9 (review)
NARS Velvet Eyeshadow Stick in Goddess (review)
Armani Eye Tint #12 (review)
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Angel (swatched)
Burberry Wet and Dry Glow in Shell (review)
Armani Eye Tint #8 (review)
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Twilight (swatched)
NARS Velvet Eyeshadow Stick in Oaxaca (review)
Armani Eyes to Kill Intense #4 (review)

I think the Eye Tint 17 has a similar effect to Eyes to Kill Intense 9, the Eye Tint has less frost/shimmer and a tad bit more pink, but the overall finish is almost identical. Eye Tint #18 pulls more silver/cool on my skin but that's because I have a lot of olive. If you're more pink it will probably look more neutral.


Next up is the Lip Maestro in Pearly Nude #508. The Lip Maestros this round have a matte finish and are more like a velvety matte liquid lipstick. Finish is sheer to medium but you can build the color. Lasting power is pretty good, much better than the regular Armani Glosses and the thick texture adheres well to the lips. Pearly Nude is more like a pearly pink with a very slight cool undertone. There is a slight sheen to it because of the pearl shimmers, but the finish is definitely matte.


Swatch comparisons below to:

Armani Gloss D'Armani 503 (discontinued)
Surratt Beauty Lip Lustre in Soigne (review)
Marc Jacobs Hi-Shine Enamored Lip Lacquer Rebel Rebel (review)
NARS Lip Gloss in Baby Doll (swatches)
NARS Lip Gloss in Ophelia (swatches)
NARS Lip Gloss in Risky Business (swatches)


Last but not least is the Luxe is More Palette. I swatched this in store and fell head over heels in love with the colors - I think any neutral makeup lover would gasp with awe at how pretty this palette is. The pigment of the shadows is medium but buildable. The shimmer is very fine - visilble on the skin but not frosted. All the colors have shimmer with the exception of two (top row has a matte cream, middle has a soft matte black). I've been playing with this for over a week and have mixed feelings. It's no doubt beautiful, stunning and gorgeous for an understated glowy eye look. The price is over the top and even though you do get 10 eyeshadows, a powder and two cream foundations in a large sturdy double-tiered mirrored compact, it's over priced and you can dupe the shadows with other brands. Also the bottom tier has a powder and foundation that seems like it will only suit light to medium skintones. I'm lucky in the sense they are a perfect match for me, but if you're super fair or tan to dark, the bottom deck won't match your skintone.

The palette does come in a black pouch with two eyeshadow sponge-tip applicators. The bottom deck has two black sponges for the face products. For me they are all too small to be super useful, although they are good for touch ups.

After playing with this, I think based on my past reviews of other natural palettes like the Chanel Fall Les 5 Ombres and Dior Eye Reviver Palettes, most of you will either love or hate this. I find the overall feel to be similar to the Dior Eye Reviver Palettes in the sense that it's natural with a subtle shimmer (versus high shimmer frost). The Armani Palette does have more shimmer and the pigment is slightly richer than the Dior. Compared to the Chanel, the Armani has better pigment, but it's still a very natural-looking palette. If you want high impact color and pigment, I would not recommend this for you. Still if you can get to an Armani counter, definitely test this.

I am really happy with this palette, but I do think it's extremely expensive and very splurgy. By comparison, you can get the MAC x15 in Warm Neutrals or Cool Neutrals for $85 each. Or if you want to build your own MAC palette, you can do so at the MAC stores or online for $160 (palette + insert cost $10, each pro-palette shadow is priced at $10).



Swatches of the shadows in the top deck include: matte cream, shimmering shell, shimmering gold, shimmering pale gold, silver, white frost, shimmery cool mauve, shimmery taupe, satiny plum, matte black


Bottom deck has two shades of cream foundation, I like these under the eyes as brighteners for me, and one finishing powder that disappears completely on my skin, it's a nice setting/touch up powder


Palette ingredients:



Bottom line, I love the Eye Tints, but I knew that I would. I do think they are very similar to other shades so if you already own a good champagne shimmer or silvery shimmer, no need to get these as they will be dupes. The Lip Maestro in Pearly Nude is a gorgeous neutral pink with a very slight hint of cool undertone. The formula is strange to me as it's a matte, but has a sheen to it. I'm usually not a fan of matte lip colors but this one is nice. I did find that I had to layer the color to get it to show up on my pigmented lips, but I didn't have to pack it on. If your lip pigment is light to medium, you probably won't have to layer like I did. The Luxe is More Palette is the ultimate splurge. So many of my readers are almost anti-shimmer with eyeshadows, if you are ultra conservative with shimmer and like a soft glow, you will really like the colors in this palette. They are natural and understated but give the eyes a brightened look effect. If you're one who likes more pigment and color payoff, I recommend you try it in person before splurging.

You can find the Luxe is More Collection at all Armani counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Selfridges and Giorgio Armani Beauty.




 

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