Filed In: Giorgio Armani Beauty

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette

 

 

GA Orient Excess Palette opener

 

The limited edition Orient Excess Palette (CAN $98.00) from the Giorgio Armani Beauty Holiday 2014 Collection, draws its inspiration from the Far East snowy steppes, featuring a blue lacquered compact that holds an evanescent face powder in the upper pan, with a trio of lush eyeshadows on the lower level. Sweetening the deal, this palette also comes with a matching luxurious midnight blue velvet pouch, complete with silver hardware. Clever, Mr. Armani … making it so easy for us ladies to be party-ready.

 

GA Orient Excess Palette pouch

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette with Velvet Pouch

 

GA Orient Excess Palette pouch detail

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette with Velvet Pouch

 

GA Orient Excess Palette & pouch

 

GA Orient Excess Palette closed

 

GA Orient Excess Palette top

Orient Excess Palette face powder, limited edition | With a star constellation pattern embossed on its surface, this luminous face powder is so exquisitely and finely milled, that it almost disappears into the skin. Meant to impart a “Winter glow” (those words make me think of Imperial Russia, palaces, and moonlit carriage rides … so different from the “Winter Windburn” I’ve often experienced here), this porcelain shade actually applies quite translucently and can be easily buffed into the skin as a finishing touch. I detect the slightest hint of pale peach that lends this powder a bit of warmth, making it wearable for fair-medium complexions as well, although darker skinned types might find this shade a touch ashy. While there is no detectable shimmer, there does seem to be the most subtle gleam (but you really need to be angled properly and in the right lighting to actually catch it), which makes this powder ideal for those looking for an understated highlighter. Staying power is hard to judge (as is trying to capture this shade in photos – the swatches below were applied with a very heavy hand) due to its ultra-fine texture, but I experience no oxidation throughout the wearing.

 

GA Orient Excess Palette top side view

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette, face powder

 

GA Orient Excess Palette top macro

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette, face powder

 

GA Orient Excess Palette highlighter swatch

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette, face powder swatches

 

GA Orient Excess Palette

Orient Excess Palette eyeshadows, limited edition | With the face powder drawing inspiration from a snowy landscape, the colours and textures of this trio of eyeshadows are influenced by luxurious animal pelts, namely: mink, chinchilla, and sable. Developed with the “Fur Colour Pearls” technology (laughter at the name aside) – or pearls of various shapes and sizes (almost microscopic, of course), all three shades bear an incredibly soft texture, unbelievable pigmentation, complex shiny/matte/iridescent gleam, and absolutely sublime blendability. Applying these eyeshadows with a damp brush not only yields a deeper look to each shade, but significantly enhances their internal shimmer. I was actually unprepared for how saturated each colour applies, and so I caution you to start with a light hand and add more as needed. There’s such a depth and lush richness of tone to each shade that makes them multi-faceted and almost 3-dimensional, that I totally get the whole wild animal connection – these are fiercely beautiful eye shadows. Staying power on primed lids: perfection, lasting intact until removed.

GA Orient Excess Palette 2

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette, eyeshadow trio

 

GA Orient Excess Palette macro

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette, eyeshadow trio

 

GA Orient Excess Palette eyeshadow swatches dry

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette, eyeshadow trio swatched dry

 

GA Orient Excess Palette eyeshadow swatches damp

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Orient Excess Palette, eyeshadow trio swatched damp

 

My first thought upon laying eyes on the face powder portion of the Orient Excess Palette, was “how beautiful” followed by “but it’s so white”. That quickly changed to “how beautiful & how wearable” once I began playing around with it – although on my skin tone, I prefer applying this powder mainly to the high planes of my face (tops of cheekbones, forehead, cupid’s bow), as opposed to all over. The eyeshadows of this palette have got to be some of the absolute best powder eyeshadows I’ve ever come across and have colours that definitely transcend the seasons. Seriously, I can’t extoll their virtues enough – they need to be seen & experienced in person. The crowning touch is the stunning little blue velvet pouch with its old-world glamour, perfect for the party/holiday circuit and will guarantee to garner as much attention as the palette itself. In my opinion, this is one of the rare holiday/limited edition gift sets that you should not pass up on – fair warning.

Available now, but limited edition. Find more information by visiting www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com

 

GA Orient Excess Palette closer

Press sample provided for my unbiased consideration

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Eye & Brow Maestro N° 2 Wenge Wood

GA Eye & Brow Maestro opener

 

Giorgio Armani Beauty recently introduced their first ever eyeshadow cream product, Eye & Brow Maestro (CAN $39.00), available in 9 shades. With subtle hints of iridescence in all but one (N° 9 Gold, a light and slightly transparent golden hue), these are truly a multi-purpose product and can be worn on the eyes as either shadow or liner, used to fill in & colour the brows, and depending on the shade, the Eye & Brow Maestro can even be used as a sculpting product for the face. In a pinch, they can even be used along the hairline for those between-colouring occasions.

Inspired by backstage makeup and developed using ground-breaking as well as cutting-edge technology, here’s what Linda Cantello (International Make-Up Artist Giorgio Armani Beauty) has to say about the Eye & Brow Maestro:

“I wanted to offer women an innovative product inspired by my needs backstage at Giorgio Armani fashion shows, a product that does it all, that would be fast and faultless when applied, long lasting, and fault proof”

I was sent N° 2 Wenge Wood to try out (I did not receive the accompanying brush), a rather deep mousy brown hue, that surprisingly turned out to be a very good match for my brows (even though my hair colour is a pale icy blonde, I prefer to keep a deeper tone on my brows – this way, my face doesn’t appear washed out).

 

GAB_E&B_MAESTRO_BEAUTY_VISUAL

French actress Marion Cotillard, spokesperson for Giorgio Armani Beauty with a look created using Eye & Brow Maestro

CORRECTION: The above model (who happens to look eerily like Marion Cotillard) is in fact Diane Moldivan, as pointed out to me by a couple of my keen-eyed readers!

 

GA Eye & Brow Maestro closed

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Eye & Brow Maestro

 

GA Eye & Brow Maestro label

Working closely with experts from hair care laboratories, the Eye & Brow Maestro was created to look more like natural hair (the reason behind the subtle iridescence in the formula), as opposed to other brow products – whether pencil or creams – that look matte and therefore flat when applied.

A waterless and clay-based cream, the Eye & Brow Maestro contains waxes selected for their ‘different melting points, creating a texture similar to a mousse’, a silky resin with a patented new generation ‘elastic flex polymer’ that boasts a 20-hour hold claim (not sure if I’ll ever want to wear makeup THAT long to test that particular claim out), a blend of three volatile oils selected for their varying drying times and levels of pigment, as well as ‘glass and mica pearls’ which reproduce and mimic the natural shine of hair, as well as synthetic mica that are colourless, translucent pearlisers meant to boost the shine of the 9 shades.

GAB_E&B_MAESTRO_APPLICATOR

Giorgio Armani Beauty Eye & Brow Maestro makeup brush

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Giorgio Armani Beauty | Eye & Brow Maestro

GAB_E&B_MAESTRO_HALF_FACES

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Eye & Brow Maestro: one product, 2 distinct looks

 

GA Eye & Brow Maestro selection

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Eye & Brow Maestro shade selection

 

GA Eye & Brow Maestro 02 Wenge Wood

N° 2 Wenge Wood (CAN $36.00) | A rich grey brown hue with mauve undertones in the base. The texture is dense but super creamy and the level of pigmentation is definitely high – a little goes a very long way, especially if using this shade along the brows. I can’t detect any discernible scent, which is a plus, especially for anyone with sensitivities (unfortunately, I’m unable to show ingredients, as my press sample came without packaging). This waterproof product bears a ‘dual-transformation’ texture: solid to liquid to solid; the solid cream apparently becomes liquid on application, then sets to a solid finish once the oils have evaporated. The cream part I can definitely attest to, although I can’t say I picked up on any liquid tendencies (perhaps the brand’s definition varies from mine), and with regards to it setting, you have a few minutes of play before it does dry down. I am able to blend it out easily before it does set without the need for excessive tugging or pulling along the skin, and this formula is also buildable, giving you layering options. Once dry, it literally stays put until removed (I prefer a dual-phase makeup remover such as the one by Neutrogena, to do the job).

As eyeshadow: for a more intense tone, I prefer using a flat synthetic haired brush for application, as the product stays at the surface level of the brush; there is a tendency for cream shadows to clump up when applied with natural haired brushes. For a smokey look, I follow up with a natural bristled blending brush to smooth out any harsh edges. Alternately, using your finger to dab and spread along the lids, yields a lighter wash of colour.

As liner: can be used in the same manner as any other cream or gel liner

As a brow shade: I prefer to use a stiff angled brow brush to lightly fill in any sparser areas, as well as provide shape and definition to my overall brow shape, then follow up with a spoolie brush to blend everything in and give a more natural-looking shape to my brows.

Face sculpting/contouring: I haven’t tried using the Eye & Brow Maestro in this capacity yet, so I can’t really comment, although my experience with this brand makes me feel confident that it should work amazing this way as well.

 

GA Eye & Brow Maestro 02 Wenge Wood macro

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Eye & Brow Maestro N° 2 Wenge Wood

 

GA Eye & Brow Maestro 02 Wenge Wood swatches

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Eye & Brow Maestro N° 2 Wenge Wood swatches

 GAB_BACKSTAGE_VISUAL

backstage application of the Eye & Brow Maestro

 

GAB_E&B_MAESTRO_EYES_VISUALS

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Eye & Brow Maestro

 

When I was younger, I had had lush, fuller brows that bordered on unibrow status. Then the 80’s and their pencil thin eyebrow shape hit – a trend that I embraced and now have come to deeply regret (RIP, full brows). Since your brows act as the ‘frame’ for the rest of your face, the sparse skinny brow look may work for an editorial shoot, but not in real life. To that end, I combat the issue with a variety of products – from pencils, eyeshadow, and even those specialized brow-mascaras, as rarely does one method give me that fully defined yet still natural look I aim for. The Brow & Eye Maestro is truly genius and one I’ve been turning to over and over again to shape and enhance my brows, with a minimum investment in time and labour. As a shadow, N° 2 Wenge Wood is superb and definitely a must for beauty lovers (yet another use: as a layering base for eyeshadow). As a brow shade, I suggest looking over the selection in person and the general rule of thumb is to go with a colour that’s a couple of degrees deeper than your hair tone.

Available now through Holt Renfrew and select The Bay stores (Canada). For more information, visit the website.

 

GA Eye & Brow Maestro closer

Press sample provided by Giorgio Armani Beauty for my consideration

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all Limited Edition)

GA Rouge Ecstasy Spice, Sultan & Orient opener

 

Following the huge success of the Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy range that launched in Fall 2013 (reviewed here and here), a product that marries lip colour with skincare and comfort – think of it as the lipstick version of a CC cream – three new and limited edition red shades have just been released. Inspired by richly hued precious spices from around the world, each lipstick bears a unique and lush tone – a veritable voyage of red.

Each Rouge Ecstasy lipstick comes in a cylindrical convex-shaped tube with the brand’s initials on the bottom portion, and which snaps firmly shut with a magnetic closure (I love this feature; caps stay in place with no fear of them coming off & disappearing into the bottoms of purses/makeup bags). Another instantly recognizable feature is the signature red hue of the outer casing – very Armani. There is a soft and pleasant floral scent to these lipsticks (rose, perhaps?) and the texture is what makes them unique: a slightly thick (but still quite easy to apply) ultra creamy formula that bears excellent pigmentation, and which literally glides across the lips, leaving a soft shine at the finish. The 3 hues featured today, are intensely colour saturated, which seems in contradition to the balm-like properties they offer, but nevertheless that’s exactly what they provide – super rich colour with an incredibly comfortable feel, that is quite long lasting and which leave lips feeling totally hydrated and nourished. Staying power on all: averaging 9-10 hours, less with eating & drinking.

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy LE boxed

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all limited edition)

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy LE ingredients

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all limited edition), ingredients list

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy LE labels

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all limited edition)

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy LE tubes

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all limited edition)

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy tubes 2

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all limited edition)

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy Spice, Sultan & Orient

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all limited edition)

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy Spice, Sultan & Orient 3

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all limited edition)

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy Spice, Sultan & Orient 2

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all limited edition)

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy Spice, Sultan & Orient 4

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, 405 Sultan & 406 Orient (all limited edition)

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #404 Spice

Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice, Limited Edition (CAN $38.00) | A vivid crimson/carmine red hue and even though the base holds blueish undertones, this is a shade that will suit a wide range of skin complexions. One swipe gives amazing colour saturation, but 404 Spice can also be easily built up for even stronger impact. Leaves a deep rose light stain on the lips long after the majority of product has worn off.

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #404 Spice macro

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #404 Spice label

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #404 Spice swatch

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 404 Spice

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #405 Sultan

Rouge Ecstasy 405 Sultan, Limited Edition (CAN $38.00) | A rich brick red hue that leans more warm than cool, and a wonderful compromise for those who don’t want an ‘in-your-face’ red, but still desire impact. By applying 1 swipe of 405 Sultan along the lips then pressing them together, you get a nice wash of colour – although this shade is super easy to build up for more intensity and depth of tone. Leaves a light coral/orange stain upon the lips long after majority of product has worn off.

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #405 Sultan macro

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 405 Sultan

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #405 Sultan label

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 405 Sultan

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #405 Sultan swatch

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 405 Sultan

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #406 Orient

Rouge Ecstasy 406 Orient, Limited Edition (CAN $38.00) | A deep burgundy hue with blue undertones in the base. Obviously the darkest of the three shown, 406 Orient also displays hints of berry which lighten up the colour somewhat and give it a flirty side. The beauty of the Rouge Ecstasy formula, is that you can take a colour as highly concentrated as this, and sheer it out by simply applying one swipe then pressing lips together to spread it out – or alternately apply with your finger for more control. Leaves a light cerise stain behind long after the majority of product has worn off.

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #406 Orient macro

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 406 Orient

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #406 Orient label

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 406 Orient

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy #406 Orient swatch

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Rouge Ecstasy 406 Orient

 

I’ve said it in previous posts, but it bears repeating: red lips are so totally IN this year. The intensity of this particular shade, however, can be daunting for many although you cannot deny how powerful, fierce, feminine, confident and sexy a red lip can make you feel. Giorgio Armani Beauty has been redefining red hues since the brand began, and what makes the Rouge Ecstasy range such a standout, in my opinion, is the formula. Price-wise, these lipsticks lean towards the steeper end of the scale, although getting such rich colour along with super hydration, makes them definitely worth a look.

Available now through Holt Renfrew and select Hudson’s Bay stores (Canada). Find more information via the website

 

GA Rouge Ecstasy LE closer

*Disclosure: Press samples provided by the company/PR for my unbiased consideration