Posts Tagged Giorgio Armani

Recent Purchases, Part III: The eye make-ups

In the ongoing chronicle of my intense 3 month makeup haul, next we have all the eye makeup that I bought over the past few months – again, this behaviour was nonsensical as I barely wear eye makeup these days save for mascara, but…sometimes we just lose our damn minds. I’m better now (but still want to atone for my ‘mistakes’).


Let’s begin with the most sensible purchases, given my comment above – mascara.


I went many years without buying much mascara at all – maybe one per year – as I’d often get free ones from Clinique, or just use the samples I’d get from Sephora etc. But this past year I’ve been trialing quite a few drugstore mascaras, as I’ve made an informal, semi-pact with myself that I won’t spend the big bucks on mascara any more; for only 3-4 months of use (and generally the same effectiveness across low- and high-end), my monies are better spent elsewhere.

The first mascara I picked up however, WAS from the higher-end of the spectrum – Benefit’s new Roller Lash mascara ($31CAD) – though I bought it during the Sephora sale in April.

Benefit Roller Lash MascaraBenefit Roller Lash Mascara

Benefit’s newest mascara offering claims to be a ‘super-curling and lifting’ mascara to give a ‘sexy, wide-eyed look.’ As my eyelashes are already pretty curly on their own, I wasn’t initially reeled in by the product, but after seeing a few tutorials and reviews online I decided I liked the way it separated and lengthened lashes. Since I tend to go very low-key on the eye makeup day-to-day, I do prefer my lashes to be ultra-defined while letting my lips do the heavy lifting. For me, Roller Lash does the job well – it gives decent length, doesn’t clump and really catches every lash so they stand out, which is important when you’re not wearing anything else on the eye.

Benefit Roller LashTwo coats of Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

Though I am quite enjoying the lengthening and separating effects of Roller Lash, I also wanted to have a more volumizing formula on hand for when I wanted more drama. Enter L’Oreal’s praised Voluminous Million Lashes Excess mascara:

IMG_1018L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara in Black

The Million Lashes Excess is supposed to give ‘bold volume with clean definition’, and I’d say this is partly true. The formula is thin and wet, so it gives you time to build it up on the lashes without clumping. Because of this, you do get fairly defined lashes – however, it takes effort and several coats to get that ‘bold volume’, at which point the likelihood of clumps increases (though not by too much). I personally find this tedious to apply, and the effect is not dramatic as I’d hoped. Not a bad option though for those who are looking for a reasonably priced mascara with a little bit of drama.

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara one coatOne coat of L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara two coatsTwo coats of L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara

After watching Tati’s first impressions video on the L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Rock mascara, I went ahead and picked it up when it went on sale at my local Lawtons drugstore. The yet another addition to the Voluminous franchise, Miss Manga Rock is touted to give ‘mega texturized volume’ via a 360° spiked brush and textured formula, creating ‘explosive volume’ at the roots and pointed lash tips.

IMG_1016L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Rock Mascara in Blackest Black

L'Oreal Miss Manga Rock mascara one coatOne coat of L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Rock Mascara

L'Oreal Miss Manga Rock mascara two coatsTwo coats of L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Rock Mascara

Despite the aforementioned tendency to wear little to no other eye makeup except mascara lately, I still get sucked in by a pretty shadow. I had been on the hunt for a striking gold eyeshadow with almost a greenish tint for month, when I finally stumbled upon Makeup Geek’s Liquid Gold pigment. The price was right (~$6) so I promptly ordered it because, why not?


Shortly thereafter, I went on a MAC craze, listing all the products I *needed* to buy from the core range. I planned to buy a few every couple months or so, and one of the first on my list was the subtle highlight eyeshadow in Ricepaper (frost), and a couple months later I followed my plan and picked up Cork satin eyeshadow, which I though would be perfect as both a transition shade or an all-over lid shade that would give me just a hint of smokiness (being so close to my skin color).


During my shopping trip to buy Cork, it so happened that the Extra Dimension eyeshadows were launched permanently, and though I don’t love a ton of shimmer in my shadows, I couldn’t help but buy one – iridescent A Natural Flirt reminded me a lot of my favourite shade in my KATE BR-2 palette, and so it was that I brought it home as well.


Finally, I had been eyeing a handful of products from Charlotte Tilbury (who isn’t these days???) and Beautylish offers free shipping on your first order from the site, so along with a Chikuhodo brush (review to come) I picked up a Colour Chameleon eye pencil in Smoky Emerald, a gorgeous dark sparkling khaki, after seeing it in action in a post on Into the Gloss re: makeup for brown-eyed girls. Of all the new shadows I’ve bought, this is the only one I’ve worn (for shame!), and it is LOVELY. Glides on SO creamy and smooth and then lasts all day. And this shade really is PERFECT for brown eyes!

IMG_1062 IMG_1063Left to right: Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon in Smoky Emerald, Makeup Geek Pigment in Liquid Gold, MAC Extra Dimension Shadow in A Natural Flirt, MAC Shadow in Naked Lunch, and MAC Shadow in Cork

I also made another shadow purchase, during the Sephora sale: a Giorgio Armani Eye Tint, in the shade 10 Senso (reg. $39CAD). I was so excited to try this formula, and having to order sight-unseen as we don’t have Armani here in Halifax, I took the safe route and ordered the bronzy shade which I was sure would work well for me. When it arrived however, I was dismayed to find that not only was it not all that bronze on me (it looks much more like a taupe-brown with a purple lean), but that it looks very similar to two other shadows I already owned – Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst and Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Rehab.

IMG_0672 Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in Senso swatch comparisonLeft to right: Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in Senso, Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Rehab, Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst

Having already purchased more eyeshadows than I should have, and being less than impressed with the shade (and formula – this was nothing to write home about, in my opinion, especially for $39!), I returned Senso. There’s just no room for subpar products or duplicates in my stash!

And so ends my eye makeup purchases – for the time being. I’m sure I’ll buy more mascara at some point, but not until I’ve finished two of these – I’ve tried all the ones on my lemmings list now so I’m good for a while. However, I am going to try my very hardest to resist buying any more eyeshadow until our trip to Los Angeles over the Christmas holiday (can’t wait!!!!), when I’ll have access to a ton of brands we can’t get here (MOAR Charlotte Tilbury!). As you may have seen on my Instagram, I’m struggling with reducing the current collection of shades I own as it is, so until I either can eliminate a few shades or use a few up (!!!!!), I absolutely NEED to put a lid on it for a while.

Now, to leave you with a couple sweet pictures of my wee one, who was such a good girl during my swatchfest 🙂

IMG_0938 IMG_0944

GAH. My kid is so stupidly cute.

Have you been hauling lately? How do you stop yourself from buying products that you don’t need/don’t use?

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Give some luxurious lip with Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani #606

Finally wrapping up my NYC purchases…about damn time, eh? I had a really great day at home recently with actual sunshine, so I was able to get some final shots I needed. The last piece from my makeup-palooza is Giorgio Armani’s Rouge d’Armani in #606 ($32US), a soft rose shade.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606 Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606

The Rouge d’Armani lipsticks have been on my wish list for ages, but without trying them out in person I was unsure what shade I should go with.  Though I’m typically drawn to bold, in-your-face lipsticks, I wanted to try and find a colour that wasn’t represented in my collection.  After getting some help from a great SA at Saks, I ended up going with #606 because it seemed like the perfect MLBB shade with a little bit of ‘oomph.’ It’s more pink than my natural lip colour, and it contains subtle shimmer which enhances the way it looks on the lips. Note that the shimmer is not really noticeable when worn, and can only be felt very slightly so comfort is not compromised in this gorgeously creamy, semi-opaque lippie (which is san fragrance, hooray!).

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606 Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606 swatch Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606

As per my usual M.O., I took a look through my stash to see if I had any comparable shades. I was dismayed at first to find that in the bullet, #606 looked close to MAC’s Hug Me, a lipstick I had purchased only a month or so prior, and for the same reason – as a MLBB shade (oops…this is what happens when you buy to much makeup, kiddies!).


While in swatches, the two shades ARE similar, when worn they couldn’t be more different. The superior formula on the Rouge d’Armani is extremely evident, as not only is it more moisturizing and comfortable on the lip, but the wear time is better (3-4 hours vs less than 1 for the MAC).  I’m tempted to give Hug Me away, but as I just bought it I want to get at least a little use out of it before completely writing it off.  It is less pink, especially on the lip, so I’m sure it will have it’s uses.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606 swatch comparisonLeft to right: Armani Rouge d’Armani #606, MAC Hug Me

Though #606 isn’t an exciting shade, its a great colour to have in one’s arsenal that works in a variety of makeup looks. When spending the big bucks on a makeup item, I try to stick to classics that I know will get a ton of use, rather than go for a fad shade. Though I feel like I have far too many red lipsticks which I don’t wear nearly as much as I’d like, I wouldn’t mind picking up another of these in a red – the creaminess factor combined with the bold quality of the shade had ABSOLUTE PERFECTION written all over it!

Oh yea.  And that satisfying magnetic ‘click’ that you get when you put the top of the lipstick back on???  SEXIEST THING EVER.

Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani 606

Have you tried the Rouge d’Armani formula? Are you a sucker for glorious packaging like I am???

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Upcoming: New Pretties From NYC

So many things to blog about, so little time….my schedule is absolutely hectic as it always is during the holidays.  Since I returned from New York last week, I’ve been non-stop, with events every evening and working like a crazy person, both at my ‘day’ job and at Clinique. I love being busy, but in my few moments of downtime I’m definitely not inclined to stay up late to whip up a blog post!  A shame really, because I have SO many things I want to tell you about!  For now, a few pictures will have to suffice…





You can see that as per my wish lists, I actually did pretty well in picking up just what I wanted.  There was very little deviation!  So while I definitely did some damage to my bank account, I didn’t traumatize it (considering I always imagined I’d need like $5000 to ever travel to NY!) and I feel so. effing. good. about the purchases I made.  So hooray to a guilt-free shopping spree!  The VERY best kind 😉

I’ve got some swatches ready for the polishes, and just need a day where I have some natural light to get the rest (and some time!).  Hopefully in the next couple of days I’ll be able to satisfy you with a few gratuitous makeup shots!  Until then my friends…I hope you’re having a fantastic holiday season!!! 😀


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Fall 2013 Wish List – Pretties Abound!

Ah, autumn.  The season that always releases my favorite makeup collections 🙂  This year, I’m determined to give myself permission to pick up a few choice pieces to give my daily routine a little boost!  Check out the wish list to see what has me drooling:

Fall 2013 Wish List

1. Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 384 Bonne Etoile $62CAD– the most gorgeous-looking palette I’ve seen in ages.  However, not all is as it seems…see note below.

2. MAC Pressed Pigment in Damson $25CAD – I actually couldn’t wait to buy this gorgeous plummy-brown sparker and it came home with me before I could even get this post out.  As a non-glitter-loving person, I have essentially ignored the Pressed Pigments entirely over the past few releases, but decided earlier this summer to give the formula a shot the next time I had a chance.  Damson has been the perfect introduction to add a little sparkle to my life!  Review to come.

3. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense in #30 Rose Popillia $42CAD – I haven’t bought any Armani makeup in a while now, mainly due to the ridiculous price hike we have here in Canada.  However, the ETK shadows always manage to lure me in, and Rose Popillia is a beautiful muted rose-taupe shade with a hint of duochrome.  From the swatches I’ve seen, it needs to be in my life and I’ll probably shell out the big bucks for it, even though it’ll pain me a bit!

4. Dior Fusion Mono Eyeshadow in Millenium $31CAD – In the promo photos this looks a bit more khaki than I was interested in.  But since seeing swatches around and testing it out in store (though – they don’t have the product to sell, just the testers…what’s the deal, Dior!?!? That happened in TWO stores I visited), I’ve come to realize this is GORGEOUS and is more like a darkened pewter shade.  The sparkliness of these shadows is super pretty and again, I feel like I need a bit more shimmer in my life than usual.  BRING IT.

5. Zoya Louise $9CAD – I’ve been kind of itching for a dark chocolate creme polish for a while now, and I think this one is it.  It’s dark enough to look contrast nicely with my skintone (re: not mannequin hands) and Zoya is generally a winning formula in my books.  So yummy.

6. YSL City Drive Palette in Classy $74CAD – I normally have little interest in the YSL brand as a whole except for their lip products, but I do strive to be well-rounded in all areas of my life, and when I saw swatches of this palette crop up here and there, I was pleasantly surprized to find that I quite liked how it all came together.  I haven’t seen this in person yet so a bit more investigation is needed, but if I’m feeling crazy this just might happen 😉

7. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Eyeshadow Pencil in Bittersweet $33CAD – I’ve been interested in trying one of these newish pencils out but hadn’t taken the plunge.  I desperately need a nice dark brown eyeshadow, as I have plenty of medium shades but nothing deep dark.  I’m hoping this might do the trick and kill two birds with one stone!

8. Chanel Le Blush Creme in Affinite $43CAD – I’m not going to buy both this AND Fantastic, but I’m torn between the two.  I don’t own too many cream blushes but I would like to change that, and what better place to start than Chanel?  A cool pink (which now I know is my JAM) would be perfect for fall/winter…though I must admit, I saw swatches/photos of Destiny on Karen at MBB and the shade looked so gorgeous and natural!

9. Chanel Le Blush Creme in Fantastic $42 CAD see above.

10. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red $30CAD – Another product I’ve been dying to try but just haven’t make the purchase yet.  You can’t really go wrong with a lush, bold red that looks like the perfect tone for fall.  This will be a definite pick-up when it arrives in stores (strangely, they have most of the collection but not this shade, yet).

Ok, so here’s the story with the Dior palette.  Last week I drew up this wish list and all was good.  But over the weekend, I had an opportunity to check out the Dior fall collection, and was sadly disappointed – that gorgeous Bonne Etoile quint?  On my skintone, it looked totally muddy 😥  I really thought that it was going to be THE piece that I grabbed out of all the new fall offerings, so I was really bummed out.  On a positive note, I have similar shades to several colors in the palette, so it’s probably for the best (though it doesn’t necessarily make me feel tons better!).  Additionally, I was also considering getting the lipgloss in Ensorcelante, but when I swatched it I was again, disappointed – I felt more ‘meh’ than anything!!  Sadness…I even have enough optimum points to get a wee bit of free stuff so I was really banking on this being a nice low-cost treat for the season.

Ah well, can’t win ’em all.  And anyway, the rest of these items?  Still TOTALLY crushing on.  The MAC shadow is 100% love, and I’m certain my new glittering love affair will extend to the Dior mono shadow as well.  Truth be told, I think I’m genuinely going to buy every single item on this wish list (with the exception of perhaps the YSL quad…I’ll have to really love it in person to justify that cost) – I think I’m due for a good splurge.  I’m feeling a lot less financial pressure right now and while I’m still trying to keep my collection more modest of late and not add to it excessively, I’m less bothered by adding new products that have different textures than I usually opt for – feels like I’m not adding to the repetition but branching out a bit.  And like I said, fall is my favorite season!!  So I think I’m due to celebrate, just a little bit 😉

What’s on your wish list for the upcoming season!?

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Review: Giorgio Armani’s Eyes to Kill Intense Shadow in #6

The last time I was at Holt Renfew, probably a few years ago now, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics was a newer line, and I was somewhat of a newcomer to luxury and designer beauty brands.  I passed by the counter without so much as a look, and it wasn’t until recently that I started to sit up and take notice of the line.  If you’re at all into beauty blogs, you know that the newest product to the line, the Eyes to Kill Intense eye shadows, are the talk of the blogosphere.  The intense pigmentation, the ultra-soft textures, and exceptional wear time are hard to ignore.  And so, I had to have it, ASAP.  However, I also ran into the challenge of finding a shade that I didn’t yet own – I’m not interested in obtaining numerous dupes for one color – and I dedicated myself to probing swatch after swatch online before making a decision as to which shade I would purchase.

My initial choice was the shimmery blackened red shade, #2 Lust Red.  I own a decade+ old crimson red loose shadow from L’Oreal that I used to wear all the time, and I was hoping to find a grown-up, more wearable replacement.  However, when I had my face-to-face chance at the counter this past weekend, I found the shade lacking.  It didn’t swatch on my skin as richly as it looked in photos, and it just failed to ‘wow’ me.  The SA at the counter suggested I try the #6 (Khaki Pulse), which is vastly different and which I wasn’t really interested in based on the swatches I had seen – it looked similar to other shades I own.  However, as soon as I touched it to my hand, I knew I was sold.  The smoothness of this eyeshadow (I didn’t try them all so I can only speak for this one) is simply amazing.  Like butter, truly.  I have always been impressed by the softness of Urban Decay’s shadows, and then even more so by the Hourglass shades, but I think this trumps them both.  Just pure awesomeness.
The shade is a mix of khaki and bronze pigments that give it a serious richness, and while I have bronze shades and a few khaki shades, I don’t have anything like this.  Update: Depending on which pigment is prominent at the time (as it changes through usage, I came to discover), it can be more bronzy or more of a strong khaki shade.  I swatched it next to UD’s ‘Smog’ which is a rich bronze shade, and Clinique’s ‘Autumn Moss’ a soft khaki (which is no longer sold in stores).

From top: Smog, #6 Khaki Pulse, Autumn Moss

It was a challenge to get an accurate shot of this shade and show the difference in particular to Smog.  Autumn Moss doesn’t even compare, as you can see the pigmentation is lacking and it’s really just khaki with shimmer.  Smog looks close to Khaki Pulse, but it’s got absolutely no greenish hue at all and is just a warm brown-bronze, the end.  Still lovely, just not a dupe candidate whatsoever.

Aside from the fantastic pigmentation, feel, and easy application, Khaki Pulse is probably one of the most flattering shades on my skintone that I’ve ever owned.  Its so similar to my skintone, like Smog, but has just that khaki leaning that makes it more apparent that I’m wearing shadow, but still very beautiful and simple on.  I can wear this alone for an every day look, or with liner and a smoky shade in the crease for some nighttime impact.  Because it’s very shimmery (not glittery though), it dresses up easily.  And the wear time is seriously insane.  I swatched this on my arm about four hours ago, and while the other two shades have worn off, this still lingers at almost the exact same intensity.  I wore it through a humid day in Toronto (no primer), and an evening out on the town (with primer), and it still looked almost as fab as when first applied.

While this product was not cheap at $42CDN (which initially almost stopped my heart, but I was already at the cash register and by then it was too late), after wearing it several times and loving it, I honestly don’t mind one bit about the price.  It is entirely worthy of purchase in my books!!

Have you tried any of the other ‘Intense’ eyeshadows?  Have the pics online swayed you as much as they did me?  Will you pick any up if you haven’t already??

Thanks for reading!  Be sure to check out Part II of my lil G.Armani haul – next up, Eyes to Kill mascara!

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Long Weekend and Adventures in T.O.!!

This past weekend was finally the big bachelorette bash in Toronto that I’ve been anticipating for months!  It was exactly as I’d hoped – filled with good convo, absolutely beautiful weather, and a TON of fun with some of the best ladies I know!  So much happened that I wouldn’t even know where to start, but let’s just say that we certainly lived it up and came back with some amazing memories (as well as some pretty rough ‘after-effects’ from a wee too much drink and not enough sleep 😉

A few other notable things happened while I was away – first, I only bought a small fraction of the beauty products I was planning to buy.  I almost feel ashamed, like I’ve let you down (lol)…the big list I was working on for weeks hardly came into play in the end.  More on that in a moment though.

The second thing that happened was I met the terrific blogger Liz from Beauty Reductionista, and it was such a treat!  We met for brunch, and though we talked ‘shop’ (natch!) and our fondness/weakness for all things beauty, we also got a chance to get to know each other outside of the world of cosmetics, and it was really great.  One of the things I like so much about blogs vs. other publications like magazines and the like, is that you naturally learn a bit about the person doing the writing – their personalities can help but shine through to some degree, and it’s that connection that makes reading someone’s views on a product so much more relevant.  Of course, you can only get so much knowledge about a person from online, so meeting Liz in person really took my respect for her to a whole new level.  She is extremely well-spoken, poised, kind but truthful (an exceptional and rare trait), and I so thoroughly enjoyed chatting openly with another about the cosmetic world in all it’s glory.  Growing up I often felt that my passion for beauty was perceived as superficial, and I sometimes hid how much I loved it, or downplayed it because I worried people would think I was flaky or vain.  Knowing that there are other people out there that are as obsessed with cosmetics as I am, yet are still intelligent, grounded, and wonderful people, makes me feel proud to be counted among them.  It reinforced my sincere love for my fellow beauty bloggers and blogging in general.   So here I am once again saying THANK YOU to Liz and all the other fantastic bloggers out there, you totally rock!  And don’t you forget it 🙂

Moving on…

Since I just had one serious ramble there and some of you may be tuning out, I will recap my shopping woes as briefly as I can and save you the eye strain.  Here is the main issue with my failed shopping spree: by the time I arrived at Holts around 10am, realized it was closed until 12pm due to the holiday, wandered around Bloor St. for two hours (where I did make a pit-stop at Sephora), and then FINALLY got my chance to do some major credit card damage, I was totally not in the shopping mood.  That time had long passed, and it translated to me only picking up two things at Holts: G.Armani’s ‘Eyes to Kill’ mascara (the original) and one of the ‘Eyes to Kill Intense’ eyeshadows in #6 (Khaki Pulse) (Review to come – but I can say with assurance that they’re both AWESOME).  I milled about the store for a while, consulted my list and checked out the noted items, but it was just not in the cards for me.  Cle de Peau’s concealer, which I imagined would be the ultimate cure for my dark circles, was a HUGE flop.  It matched my skin tone fine, but did not cover even as well as my current concealer, and in fact creased worse than any other concealer I’ve tried.  And the SA set it with powder!  So, yea, not impressed, and for $85CDN it would need to blow my socks off anyway. I did pick up the Korres Yoghurt Mask at Sephora, which I’m liking so far (also will review that soon), as well as the Sephora Brand Bamboo blotting papers, and another Jack Black lip balm.  I was hoping to grab the newest Fresh Sugar tinted balm but it wasn’t yet stocked, which is just as well since JB balms are less than half the price of Fresh.
So to wrap it up, while I had an amazing time away, it seems I came back with mostly memories and not a whole lot else 😛  Which in the end is probably a good thing with the move happening this week (we get the keys tonight!!).

Since I came back sans a new concealer, which I’m desperately searching for, I beg you – send me some other suggestions on a great concealer that won’t crease and will cover up these bad-boy circles that continue to plague my very existence! (how dramatic)

I truly hope everyone else had a fabulous long-weekend!  Although maybe not so good that you feel as thoroughly wiped out as I am!

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