Elizabeth Arden | Golden Opulence Collection Fall 2015

EA Golden Opulence Collection opener

Here’s an interesting contradiction; I adore Summer (the season), but Fall’s beauty collections have my number: the lush colours, the depth & richness of tone, the moodiness of it all … you can’t get that any with any other season (Winter = holiday inspired, Spring = pastels & new growth, Summer = lighthearted, bold). Drawing inspiration from the trends seen on the fashion runways which showed an array of majestic, baroque, and intricate over-the-top detailing, Elizabeth Arden has released the Golden Opulence Collection for Fall 2015, four limited edition pieces (the lip gloss not shown), that’s absolutely brimming with gilded extravagance. Think of this collection as fashion statements reinterpreted perfectly in the form of wearable beauty.

And if the shades of this little capsule collection don’t get you, the detailing surely will. Let’s take a look, shall we?

EA Golden Opulence quad compact

 

Golden Opulence 01 Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Quad (CAN $48.00) | Housed in a square black compact, the raised scroll-work detail on the lid is nothing short of stunning – not to mention so totally display-worthy. The four inner shades are comprised of 3 shimmers and 1 matte:

  • Top Left: warm pale gold, shimmer
  • Top Right: soft mink brown, matte (with the barest satiny sheen for dimension & depth)
  • Bottom Right: blackened teal with slight blue reflects, shimmer
  • Bottom Left: seashell/oyster pink, shimmer

With a full-sized mirror on the inner lid for convenient on-the-go touchups, the quad also includes a dual-ended sponge tip applicator and a plastic film with application instruction, but to be honest, I find the last two items a little redundant as I never bother with such things – but I do understand how it can be helpful for some. Created to be worn a number of ways – from subtle all the way to evening glam – these shades all blend beautifully, with no fallout upon application and hardly any powdery kickback when swirling my brushes through them. Some of the key ingredients include:

  • Advanced Pigment Technology – coats each blend of pigment particle with a blend of silky silicone for a luxurious & smooth application with exceptional colour saturation
  • Retinyl Linoleate – a Vitamin A derivative that helps support the skin’s own natural collagen production, helping to reduce the look of lines and wrinkles
  • Vitamins C and E – environmental protectants, these vitamins help to reduce the destructive power of environmental stressors and protect the skin from visible signs of aging

These are four powder hues in a formula that feels so creamy to the touch, which helps them apply in a soft and totally velvety kind of way. The saturation of colour is excellent on all, although the pale gold shade is definitely not as intense – turning it into a perfect accent colour (inner eye corner, brow bone). As the swatches show, the impact of each shade is substantial when applied with a damp brush (which also serves to bring out the gleam of the shimmery hues), but you can easily build the intensity even when they’re applied dry. Blendability is superb and the four hues compliment each other so incredibly well, while lasting power is excellent, in particular with the 2 darker shades that stay put until removed, with almost zero fading or creasing (especially when applied over primed lids).

EA Golden Opulence quad 3

Elizabeth Arden | Golden Opulence 01 Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Quad

 

EA Golden Opulence quad macro

Elizabeth Arden | Golden Opulence 01 Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Quad (detail)

EA Golden Opulence quad 2

Elizabeth Arden | Golden Opulence 01 Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Quad

 

EA Golden Opulence quad 4

Elizabeth Arden | Golden Opulence 01 Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Quad

 

EA Golden Opulence quad swatches dry

Elizabeth Arden | Golden Opulence 01 Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Quad swatches (dry)

EA Golden Opulence quad swatches damp

Elizabeth Arden | Golden Opulence 01 Beautiful Color Eye Shadow Quad swatches (damp)

EA Gold Illumination Highlighter compact

Gold Illumination 01  Beautiful Color Highlighter (CAN $53.00) | Housed in a gold rectangular compact (bearing a full-sized mirror on the inner lid) that is silkscreened with the same scrollwork motif as the Golden Opulence Eye Shadow Quad, with the raised component coming in the form of the brand’s iconic Red Door emblem in the centre. There are three warm leaning shades to this highlighter, with the scrollwork pattern of this collection repeated on the surface of the powder (although it wears down with use). There’s a small demi-lune brush that comes with the highlighter (not shown here), and while it might be useful if you’re on the go or don’t already own an appropriate brush for application (WHAT?!), I would have preferred it was left out altogether. The three hues of the highlighter include:

  • Left: warm light gold
  • Centre: champagne
  • Right: coppery bronze

Some of the key ingredients:

  • Vitamins and Antioxidants: environmental protectant-rich conditioners help to protect and soothe the skin
  • Mica Mineral: a pearlized mineral that illuminates and brightens
  • Illuminating, microlight minerals: optical diffusers that work to scatter light and soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles

Of the three shades in this highlighter, the two deeper tones appear to have the smoothest texture, while the centre stripe is a touch more powdery, although they all still apply quite easily. What I love about this highlighter, is that the shimmer bits are so finely ground that it doesn’t translate as ‘blingy’ on the skin but more as a really beautiful luminosity (think JLo kind of glow), while the two shades on either end are wide enough that they can be easily picked up with a narrowish brush and used individually, if desired. When swirled all together, the three hues merge & blend beautifully and depending on how much of one colour or the other you pick up with your brush, it will affect the final overall tone.

My press info says that this product can also double as a bronzer, but to be fair I find that the shades are a bit too light to work effectively in that capacity — unless you’re very fair skinned, in which case, this would be ideal. As a highlighting product, this compact is sublime; something in the formulation makes this highlighter almost ‘evolve’ on the skin and once it fuses with your own natural oils and body heat, somehow provides a ‘skin-natural’ type of radiance, if you know what I mean.

EA Gold Illumination Highlighter 3

Elizabeth Arden | Gold Illumination 01  Beautiful Color Highlighter

 

EA Gold Illumination Highlighter macro

Elizabeth Arden | Gold Illumination 01  Beautiful Color Highlighter (detail)

 

EA Gold Illumination Highlighter 2

Elizabeth Arden | Gold Illumination 01  Beautiful Color Highlighter

EA Gold Illumination Highlighter 1

Elizabeth Arden | Gold Illumination 01  Beautiful Color Highlighter

 

EA Gold Illumination Highlighter swatches

Elizabeth Arden | Gold Illumination 01  Beautiful Color Highlighter swatches

EA High Intensity Liquid Eye Liner

Jet Black 01 Beautiful Color High Intensity Liquid Eye Liner (CAN $28.00) | An ultra black liquid eye liner in pen felt-tip form. Unlike pencil eyeliners that can sometimes be too rigid (which can hurt like hell along the eye’s delicate skin) or liquid liners whose brush can be so floppy making application hit or miss, the tip of this liner has just the perfect amount of ‘give’ to help with a precise application. The formula is long lasting (seriously, majorly long-lasting with zero crackling, peeling or flaking — until removed) and water-resistant, while the black shade is one of the most intense I’ve seen, as well as drying with a gorgeous shine to provide even more depth of tone. The beauty of an eyeliner in this format, is that it’s almost stupid-proof; if you can use a pen to write, you can use this eye liner to create an effortless flick on your lids. Use the tip to create a hair thin fine line or for more detailed work, or use the pen applied along its side to create a thicker, bolder line.

I pulled out a few other similar type eyeliners lurking in my beauty arsenal and here’s how they compared to the Elizabeth Arden:

  • MAKE UP FOR EVER Vinyl Pen Eyeliner: (reviewed here) a black shade that’s a few degrees lighter, excellent application but not as saturated
  • Charlotte Tilbury Fine Line Shödo Pen: similar shine but not as intensely pigmented (the tip size appears identical to the Arden)
  • Illamasqua Precision Ink in Abyss: dense black, not as glossy at the finish, longest wear

 

EA High Intensity Liquid Eye Liner macro

Elizabeth Arden | Jet Black 01 Beautiful Color High Intensity Liquid Eye Liner

 

EA High Intensity Liquid Eye Liner swatch

Elizabeth Arden | Jet Black 01 Beautiful Color High Intensity Liquid Eye Liner swatch

EA High Intensity Liquid Eye Liner comparison swatches

Elizabeth Arden | Jet Black 01 Beautiful Color High Intensity Liquid Eye Liner with comparison swatches

 

Created by Rebecca Restreppo, Global Makeup Artist for Elizabeth Arden and one of the most amazing women I’ve had the good fortune to meet in person (someone I’m so proud to call a friend), this collection is absolutely lovely. I’m a total sucker for details – in particular anything of the ornate variety – so the scrollwork found here is totally calling my name, but that aside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts: and this collection has that nailed. Personally, I’m also happy to see that this Golden Opulence Collection is such a well-curated group of only 4 pieces (some other Fall beauty releases can be a tad overwhelming in their sheer number of pieces, although the beauty addict in me isn’t complaining) that can be used so effectively to create a variety of looks, and you certainly can’t beat this price point. By the way, I’d get my hands on a backup of that eye liner, if I were you. My only gripe: that these pieces are all limited edition. Sigh.

I’ve always maintained that Elizabeth Arden cosmetics fly under most people’s radar, especially when you factor in that this brand comes up against some of the big boys in the industry – but what you should know, is that the quality of these products is something that will convince you to take a second look. And a third … and …

 

The limited edition Elizabeth Arden Golden Opulence Fall 2015 Collection is available now through The Bay and thebay.com, Shopper’s Drug Mart/Pharmaprix and London Drugs (Canada)

EA Golde Opulence Collection closer

Press samples kindly provided for my unbiased consideration

What are your thoughts, beautiful?

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