Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone Nail Lacquer (Limited Edition)

GA #214 Woodstone opener

 

The Fall 2014 Fade to Grey Collection from Giorgio Armani Beauty, is filled with softly elegant autumnal shades but what makes the products really stand out, is their textures. Of the four limited edition nail lacquer shades, I was sent #214 Woodstone (CAN $32.00) to try and I confess that it was instant love for me … plus I really love the name.

What seems at first to be a rather ordinary brown shimmery polish, is in fact so much more complex than that – it took even me by surprise. The bottle colour shows #214 Woodstone to be cross between bronze/taupe/brown filled with an ultra fine prismatic shimmer and that’s exactly how it appears on the nail (it actually looks like rich chocolate as well) – with the difference that the final finish is closer to a buttery suede, although the shimmer is still present and accounted for. The formula is highly pigmented (this can basically be a 1-coater, especially on shorter nails) and bears an excellent flow, applying in a self-levelling way which eliminates any visible brush strokes. Giorgio Armani Beauty lacquers are made to be worn without the need for either a base or top coat, although I wouldn’t recommend ever skipping your base coat. The brush is yet another unique aspect of this range: densely bristled but not excessively so, with the rounded tip helping nail polish spread smoothly and evenly along the nail bed. BONUS: non-staining upon removal. All swatches are with 2 coats, top coat only where indicated.

Unlike other matte/satin finish lacquers that seem to dry at the speed of light and make it a challenge to achieve a smooth, brush stroke-free finish, #214 Woodstone takes a couple of minutes to fully develop, which means you don’t need to rush your application. A steady hand is key in achieving the smoothest finish (again, to avoid the possibility of visible brush strokes, something many matte shades can be prone to) but the finally result is so totally worth the your patience.

I personally absolutely LOVE this type of finish as I find it edgy and unique, almost 3D-like due to its fine texture, but for those still not on board with matte/satin nails (but seriously, matte has been seen on all the runways for the past few seasons now and is still going strong — something to consider), you always have the option of adding top coat – 1 coat is enough to achieve a glossy finish (unlike some other textured polishes that literally eat up top coat, forcing you to add layer upon layer). Still, my opinion is that top coat takes something away from the overall effect, but it also manages to bring out all the shimmery bits.

My initial impression on seeing #214 Woodstone, was how much it resembled another favourite, CHANEL’s #247 Haute Chocolat (discontinued), and they are indeed very similar, with the CHANEL being just a few degrees deeper/browner but with both bearing the same unique shimmer. For those who collect CHANEL lacquers and missed out on that beauty, here’s your chance to scoop up something very close in tone & colour.

NOTE: in the last 2 comparison swatch photos, #214 Woodstone is shown with top coat, CHANEL’s #247 Haute Chocolat without top coat

 

STILL_LIFE_FALL_2014

Giorgio Armani Beauty | Fade to Grey Fall 2014

 

FALL 2014 - VAO 214 - Fd Noir

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone logo

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone macro

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone macro 2

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch 2

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone (in sunlight)

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch 3

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone (in sunlight, alternate view)

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch with top coat

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone (with top coat)

 

GA #214 Woodstone swatch 2 with top coat

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone (with top coat & in sunlight)

 

GA #214 Woodstone vs CHANEL Haute Chocolat

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone vs CHANEL #247 Haute Chocolat (discontinued) on ring finger only

 

GA #214 Woodstone vs CHANEL Haute Chocolat 2

Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone vs CHANEL #247 Haute Chocolat (discontinued) on ring finger only

 

I absolutely love this colour, and even without swatching the other three lacquers of this collection, this would still have been the only shade I would have wanted. Everything about #214 Woodstone — from the name, the colour, to the finish — says ‘Autumn’ to me and almost makes the coming colder weather bearable. My only issue is with the cost; I don’t get how this brand’s lacquers can be $20.00 in the US and yet jump to $32.00 here in Canada, which basically prices them far out of reach of the average consumer. That’s something I hope the company addresses soon (other items from the range are actually significantly less expensive here – go figure), because the quality of these polishes is truly outstanding and well worth collecting.

Available now, be aware that the lacquers are limited edition. Find more information via:

 

GA #214 Woodstone closer

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

12 Responses to Giorgio Armani Beauty | #214 Woodstone Nail Lacquer (Limited Edition)

  1. Snail Polish says:

    £20 GBP for us!!! Still, Chanel is £18.50, as is YSL. I know you only get 8ml, but that’s not an issue – I’ll never use one up!

    Love this colour. Am seriously considering it, as it’s a nice way to embrace matte(-er) textures!

    Thank you for the review.

  2. I recently discovered Armani polishes are amazing and wept when I was told the price. I hope they do lower it eventually. For now I’m having friends in the US grab them for me.

    • Eugenia says:

      When I first understood how much we’re paying for them here compared to our Southern neighbours, I think I invented new swear words. And yeah, what makes it all worse is just.how.amazing they are….grumble, grumble

  3. Jess says:

    I had a similar conversation with my local Armani SA just the other day. How can there be such a huge markup on the polishes, when other items (like the Fade to Grey palette, which I recently purchased) are actually significantly cheaper here than in the US? Makes no sense whatsoever. Regardless, this is a lovely polish. Perfect for fall!

    • Eugenia says:

      It’s frustrating, is what it is … especially considering how polish is the one item everyone can usually afford, especially from the luxury brands. I’ve spoken to my rep plenty of times about that and hopefully some of that will filter through to the powers that be!

      • Jess says:

        It’s SUPER frustrating. I mean, $32 for 8 ml takes the price point well beyond most luxury brands!

      • Eugenia says:

        Super Duper Frustrating….and like I said, what makes it worse is that this is one of the most stellar formulas out there, but almost priced out of reach. Drives me nuts when I think that it’s $20 in the US. I just don’t get it.

  4. Ellabeaute says:

    Great comparison to Haute Chocolat! I adore this whole collection and this nail polish is no exception. I got the lacquer in #624 but haven’t worn it yet. I am extremely hard on manicures and I typically have a problem with wear on these polishes that are meant to be worn without a top coat. And I haven’t found a matte/satin top coat that doesn’t dull the gorgeous natural finish. How did you find the wear? Do you know of a matte top coat that doesn’t leave the finish flat? Wonderful swatch as usual. This color is stunning!

    • Eugenia says:

      Thank you! As to wear time, most nail polishes wear like iron on me and I very rarely experience chipping. For matte/satin finish lacquers, I never finish them with top coat because as you mentioned, it does change the finish. I prefer to reapply an extra coat, but because I swatch so many polishes in any given week, I can’t vouch for wear time in general. One thing I do advise, is to limit applying hand lotion/cream to your nails while wearing this type of polish, as it will directly affect the finish and make it shinier.

  5. claire says:

    nothing from armani has caught my eye lately but this nail polish and that darker lipstick would be right up my alley. looks very pretty xxx

    • Eugenia says:

      Giorgio Armani Beauty is all about subtlety and a quiet kind of elegance – Mr. Armani does not like anything outrageous or that screams “look at me”, and Linda Cantello (Creative Director of Makeup for the brand) prefers a makeup look that never looks overdone or obvious. It usually helps to know what the brand stands for, as we can sometimes get caught up with so many trends — I love how timeless the shades and products of this brand are, which is a good thing when you consider how pricey they can get!

What are your thoughts, beautiful?