Saturday, June 21, 2014

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Macro-Color 09 Tadzio

If there is one shade I just can't get enough of in my stash of eyeshadows, it would be the color taupe, defined as a "gray with a tinge of brown." Personally, I think it's a chameleon of a shade, especially given the different undertones. Either way, I feel the need to own every single taupe shadow ever released, whether it be cool-toned, warm-toned, neutral-toned, what have you.

*cues entrance music to my latest addition*... Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Macro-Color in #9 Tadzio!

I don't know what Armani did with this new and permanent ETK formula, but it takes the word 'buttery' to a whole new level. It is noticeably creamy, smooth, and pigmented upon first application but without the fallout that goes along with such textured eyeshadows from other lines.

What I love so much about this eyeshadow (apart from the reasons I listed previously) is how fool-proof Tadzio is for those mornings when I need to be out of the house in less than five minutes. With the shimmery, metallic taupe padded onto my lids and blended into my crease, it looked like I had actually put some effort into my eye look by at least incorporating three shadows.

At first glance, it did look like a shadow I had multiple dupes of in my collection. However, I am pleased to say that it is unique in its own ways. While some seemingly neutral-toned taupes actually pull warmer or cooler on the lids/skin, Tadzio stays true to its neutral-toned nature. I have also pulled out some taupes for comparison purposes. As you can see, Cargo Yukon and Chanel Gri Gri both lean cooler, whereas the slightly purplish undertones show through with Inglot 402 and MAC Satin Taupe.

If you are just as big of a taupe fan as I am, Tadzio is a definite must! From the shade to the packaging, I do think that Armani really outdid itself with its new release of eyeshadow singles. The eyeshadows are practically packaged as mini versions of the limited edition highlighters and the cheek fabric blushers. Beyond adorable, if you ask me!

Each eyeshadow runs $32/pop wherever Armani makeup is sold, which is quite the investment -- especially for a single containing 0.14 oz of product. However, if you are a firm believer of quality taking precedence over quantity, I cannot stress giving Tadzio (or any other shades from this range, actually) a go. I promise you won't be disappointed with whichever shade(s) you decide on!
Saturday, June 14, 2014

Guerlain Aquarella Meteorites
(Summer 2014)

Guerlain Meteorites... people either love them or hate them. I personally can't get enough of them. Never mind the fact that most Meteorites probably give the same effect and finish, I still need each and every single one that Guerlain has ever released starting with the Perles du Paradis for Spring 2013. Of course, I also blame my beauty addicts of friends for my Meteorites obsession.

What exactly are these Meteorites? To put it immaturely, they are balls of illumination and color correction. [insert your choice of balls joke here] A more mature way of describing them would be  finishing -- not setting! -- powder that contains illuminating and color correcting properties. Depending on your skintone, some work better as highlighters than others, however. I find that the newly reformulated, permanent Meteorites offer better options for darker skintones, whereas the limited edition Meteorites, including the Aquarella, work best as a finishing powder for those with light to light-medium skintones. (Of course, those who are darker can get away with a slight dusting all over.)

Onto Aquarella, which is Asia exclusive and limited edition at the moment, but word on the street is that it might make its way stateside eventually. My dear friend from Singapore was kind enough to track one down for me the first day it launched, and I couldn't be more thankful! What sets this particular Meteorites apart from the permanent line of Meteorites is the pink tin. To be honest, I think that was the selling factor for many people (yours truly included.) The lid also reflects the overall pink theme of Aquarella.

There are six different colored pearls housed inside this tin -- each with its own color correcting and light-reflecting properties. Three of the shades that are pretty universal to the world of Meteorites are white gold, ivory, and the pink. Unique to the Aquarella, however, are the gold, pastel mint green, and silver. Like the permanent Meteorites, these pearls are extremely delicate, proven by the excess powder leftover collecting in the bottom of the tin.

(Swatched and blended out: under natural lighting)

I had read about how sparkly and glittery this could get, which initially worried me a bit, as I wasn't sure how much shine my oily skin can handle. Upon first swatch with the included puff, it was indeed noticeably more sparkly and more glowy than the newly reformulated permanent Meteorites. However, rest assured, that it does not transfer in such a manner when applied on the face (and especially when applied with the right brushes!) People should not be able to notice the micro-fine glitter particles on your face, and if they can, they are standing way too close for comfort.

(L-R: Koyudo Fu-Pa 14, Trish McEvoy #37 Bronzer Brush, Shu Uemura 18R, Tarte Buffy Bamboo)

As previously mentioned, having the right tools for the Aquarella really makes a world of difference. On days when my complexion is looking more dull, I reach for the Koyudo Fu-Pa 14 (goat hair), Trish McEvoy #37 bronzer brush (grey squirrel hair), or the Shu Uemura 18r (goat hair.) I find that their natural haired bristles pick up more products while evenly distributing it. On days when I want a more subtle brightening effect, I opt for the Tarte synthetic hair buffy bamboo face powder brush. The bristles for all four brushes fit in the Meteorites tin perfectly and allow for quick swirls over the pearls themselves. It's a matter of preference, really.

Do I think that Aquarella is worth tracking down? Yes, absolutely, and not because it is a limited edition collector's piece! I have practically neglected my other Meteorites upon receiving this, because I like the more noticeable glow and the soft-focus effect it gives -- even on my oily skin, even in the hot weather. The effect is one that I can only try to describe, so I cannot recommend trying the Meteorites for yourself enough where these are currently being sold if you are having seconds thoughts on Aquarella. It is one product from all of the Summer collections that you surely do not want to miss!

If you're not yet convinced, check out Lorraine's (aka Crazycoquelicot) review on the Aquarella here!