Really, I am just going to cut right to the chase. Burberry is releasing something limited edition for a change (very unlike the brand as most everything they put out is introduced into their permanent range)…oh wow, look at me, rhyming and everything. *sigh*

Anyway, I wanted to share with you some quick pictures and swatches as it is hitting Burberry counters as we speak and (thanks to Xiao at Messy Wands for the heads up) it’s also available now on Nordstrom’s website.

It’s called Sheer Summer Glow and WOW is she gorgeous. Burberry usually packages their hefty metal cases into black velvet pouches all stitched with the signature Burberry print- but they threw in a surprise and made this one a sandy-beige. Very seasonally appropriate and a classy touch.

Feel free to pause here and stare. Really, I will wait. .  .  .  .  .   .    .      .      .

Ok (seriously, if you want to scroll up and stare again, I won’t judge) does this need any more explanation? If you have never tried Burberry it’s a good time to start. This powder is just as soft as the rest of the powders I have tried from their line. It’s weighty at 10g of product and it retails for $50- which I know is not cheap. But consider that the new Dior Nude Tan Healthy Glow Enhancing Powder is the same weight, but $5 more.

This powder also is shot through with a lovely sheen (not glitter or heavy shimmer), hence the whole “Glow” in the title. The four colors blend together nicely to create a beautiful and healthy summer glow.

The four shades (without flash)- I had a tough time picking up all the shades. In real life I can see that they are there but just now that the light two counteract the darker two in a highlight/contour kind of way. What I love is that Burberry made each shade big enough to be used on it’s own which rarely (if ever) happens. A+

L-R: Dior Aurora vs Burberry Summer Glow (Natural Light)

L-R: Dior Aurora vs Burberry Summer Glow (flash)

You can see the more pronounced glow coming from the Burberry product. You can also see that it’s more of a bronzer than Dior Aurora is. Aurora on me is really a blush. Summer Glow lives up to it’s name and gives the effect of a day in the sun without the skin cancer, wrinkles or regret.

I dusted this on my cheeks and temples just as soon as I was done swatching and I am enjoying the effect. I promise you will see this in a FOTD post very shortly, or, maybe even a video! ;)

 

I had quite a number of readers ask me to use the new Eyes to Kill Silk shadows from my previous post in a look. This one’s for you, baby! ;)

In this look I am using all 4 of the new shades, though I previously featured only three of them. The fourth one I received today. I didn’t purchase it but it was generously provided by Neiman Marcus as a good will gesture for the mix up with my order earlier this week; they totally rock (massive thank you to Kathy Shoreman)! Anyway, here is what the 4th and final shade looks like:

This is #21 Obsidian Grey. I initially thought it was going to be too similar to the #4 shade in Pulp Fiction that I already owned, but when I looked at them side by side I knew there would be some differences:

#4, #21- You can already see that #4 is warmer and less blue toned. That translates on the skin as well.

Swatches L-R: #21 Obsidian Grey, #4 Pulp Fiction (in sunlight)

They are both greys, but in tone they are different. This is particularly important if you don’t already own #4. If you prefer cooler, more slate greys you should choose #21. If you are like me and prefer your grey a bit warmer go with #4. Now, if you already have #4 I can’t say you really have a need for #21. Go for one of the colors I shared in my previous post because none of them have anything remotely similar in the permanent range.

I thought I would show you the effect Madre Perla has on it’s own on my eyes. The green really comes out this way. As a base it really has the ability to shift and add dimension to anything you put over it. I did use it as an base all over the lid in the look below.

Madre Perla all over lid and inner corner, Ecailles over outer 1/2 of lid, brought up to the crease, Obsidian Grey blended into outer corner and crease, Obsidian black in outer V and as liner on upper and lover lash lines.

Wondering what else I’m wearing?

Face: Laura Mercier Oil-free TM in Nude, Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid, Tarte Maracuja Concealer in light, Giorgio Armani Bronze Mania Sheer Bronzer #1, Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush #3, MAC Set Powder

Eyes: (described above) with MAC Moleskin and MAC Blanc Type to blend, Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara

Lips: A bit of a mixture- I was initially wearing Giorgio Armani Gloss d’Armani in Pink 512* which stained my lips a slightly berry color. Then I changed my mind and went for Dior Addict Extreme in Saint Tropez. So it isn’t an accurate representation of either color, oops!

I hope this helped! More Giorgio Armani summer 2012 to come in the next few days, so be on the look out!

*item marked with a ‘*’ was provided by PR for review purposes only*

Any time Giorgio Armani releases new shades of their now world-famous Eyes to Kill Silk Shadows I get all giggly. They are hands down my number one favorite cream eyeshadow. They are shimmery, creamy, ultra-blendable and last all day (without primer). The colors have dimension and catch the light in such a gorgeous way that no other cream shadows can possibly measure up. Also, they do look kind-of-freaking-amazing in the pots, don’t they?

I chose three of the four shades that were released: #20 Obsidian Black, #22 Écailles and #23 Madre Perla. There is a 4th shade called #21 Obsidian Grey which may or may not be making it’s way to me right now. ;)

These shadows come with a substantial price tag, but to me they are 100% worth it. They retail for $32/each for 4g of product- a generous amount and still less expensive than Chanel’s Illusion d’ombre shadows ($36/each for 4g). I prefer these to the Chanel ones. If you can only afford one, pick one of the limited edition shades (Madre Perla or Obsidian Black) as they won’t be around forever. The other two have been introduced to the permanent range.

Now, on to the fun stuff!

#23- Madre Perla (I have seen press releases call this #24- it’s not, the bottom is marked as #23)

I was undecided about getting this shade until I read this in the press release for the collection:

“This season’s must-have, “Madre Perla” is a blend of precious white pearls that instantly radiates ever-changing pink, purple, blue and green light for hours. It can be swept over eyes and temples, like a radiance veil as seen in the Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2012 show “Nacré”. Neither a cream nor a powder, this incredible hybrid formula acts like a color suspension that delivers a dreamy, ethereal beauty to the eyes with a 24 hour hold.”

Umm, can anyone say no to that description? I certainly couldn’t.

Madre Perla: Dry/Wet

It’s hard to capture the radiance of Madre Perla, but you can see the pink and green coming through is this photo. It changes with the light and is probably the most ethereal looking shadow/highlighter I own.

#22 Écailles

I knew from promo pictures I wanted this shade- it seemed to lean seafoam and blue.

Écailles- Dry/Wet

It’s stunning, really. The seafoam hues are brought out in a shade-shifting way, sometimes looking grey or light blue and other times leaning more green.

#20 Obsidian Black

This was the true stunner in the promotional images- it looked like the dark ocean- and it translates that way in real life too.

Obsidian Black- Dry/Wet

Another multi-dimensional winner. Armani just knows how to produce a stellar eyeshadow, plain and simple. The texture of Obsidian Black is slightly different than the other Eyes to Kill shades I have tried (Madre Perla too). They both feel extra silky to me, even smoother and more refined.

I can’t say enough about these shades. I own several and have never been disappointed. I haven’t tested these for wear time yet, but of all the ones I have had in the past I have never had an issue with creasing or smudging. You can find them at Nordstrom’s and Neiman Marcus now. If you want a personal touch with excellent service I recommend contacting Kathy Shoreman at Neiman Marcus Tyson’s Galleria (571-533-4972).

This is part 1 of my Giorgio Armani Summer 2012 collection love affair. Expect more parts soon!

PS- Want to check out the other shades I have reviewed or swatched? Click here, here, here, here and here. ;) Can you tell I’m obsessed?!?!

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the Darphin Paris skincare line. I was overjoyed at the opportunity to try such a luxurious brand whose philosophy is “More than skincare, an Art.” A little bit of Paris on my skin in the morning and at night? Yes, please!

Darphin Paris was started in 1958 by Pierre Darphin. Pierre’s belief was that a woman’s skin was a mirror, reflecting her life. I tend to agree. Our faces definitely tell a story of our life experiences: too much sun, too many late nights, etc. It’s not always the one we want shown to the world to be certain, even after those habits are long gone. That’s where good skin care comes in and Pierre Darphin understood that so many years ago.

I am in my mid-20s and my biggest skin concern is the prevention and treatment of the first signs of aging. I want my skin to maintain its current elasticity and smoothness, so it’s important that I use skincare that addresses these issues.

It starts with mint green outer packaging (anyone else find mint green irresistible?) and it just keeps getting better from there.

L-R: Darphin Arovita C Line Response Firming Serum, Ideal Resource Smoothing Retexturizing Radiance Cream, Anti-Fatigue Smoothing Eye Gel

The serum and cream are both housed in weighty glass jars and all three look every bit as lush as the products they house.

Anti-Fatigue Smoothing Eye Gel

What Darphin says:

With its ultra-light texture, this eye gel softens and hydrates the delicate area around the eye while providing a targeted youth defense for the entire eye contour. The complete vital strength of the walnut tree and the energizing effects of caffeine are the perfect recipe for smooth, revitalized eyes.

Key Ingredients: Walnut extract (Botanical Growth Factors,Free Amino Acids, Polyphenols), Caffeine, Vitamin C Acid Spheres

Retails for $38 for 15mL of product

This gel has worked wonders on and under my eyes. It’s lightweight and blends in to skin easily. I have noticed added softness to the area under my eyes, and a brightened quality as well. This product has become an everyday MUST for me.

Arovita C Line Response Firming Serum

What Darphin says:

Exquisitely scented, vitamin-enriched AROVITA C Line Response Serum invigorates skin’s defenses to address first signs of aging. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, firms and re-energizes skin’s youthful glow.

Key Ingredients: Artemia Salina Extract, Caffeine, Carrot Protein, KombuchkaTM, Ligopeptide, Noni Extract, Vitamin C and E

Retails for $100 for 30mL of product

I think their description of “exquisitely scented” is dead on. Light, fresh and slightly floral, it awakens my senses when I apply it. It’s not the scent alone that made me fall in love with this serum, however. The texture and formula is divine. Most serums I have tried in the past have been too oily or greasy feeling; too heavy for my oily/combination skin. This serum is weightless, quickly sinks into my skin and leaves behind a healthy glow. Most importantly- this serum doesn’t break me out!

Ideal Resource Smoothing Retexturizing Radiance Cream

What Darphin says:

A true skin-restoration cream delicately scented with white flowers, Ideal Resource Cream progressively reveals ideal skin while providing a unique sensory experience. At the heart of this deliciously rich cream resides a trio of flowers acting in synergy to help rebuild the vital resources of younger-looking skin. Their combined properties have the power to help restore the skin’s natural collagen, revive complexion luminosity and reactivate natural cell renewal.

Key Ingredients: LINE POLISH COMPLEX: White Hibiscus – promotes natural cellular renewal and refines skin for an even texture; Centella Asiatica – Helps to replenish skin’s oxygen supply, revealing a radiant complexion; Knotweed – Stimulates natural collagen production to smooth surface wrinkles

Retails for $90 for 50mL of product

This is by far the most luxurious cream to have ever touched my skin. The texture is extremely thick, but not greasy. When I first applied it to my skin I felt myself saying, “Ahhhhhh.” It was like silk! You only need a tiny, tiny amount of this to treat your neck and face. I am using this on my neck and around my mouth and eyes. I refrain from using heavy creams all over my face because of my skin type, but if you have normal or dry skin, I could easily see you using this all over. I have noticed improved texture to the skin on my neck. It’s more supple and soft to the touch. One other notable thing, it is formulated without parabens!

The different textures L-R: cream, serum and gel

My first experience with Darphin Paris was an excellent one. It’s definitely a luxury skin care brand and the prices of the products reflect that. The scent and texture of all the products I’ve tried didn’t disappoint and neither have their results. I am so impressed that I am already eying the products in their Matifying line!

You can find the full range of Darphin Paris skincare products on the Darphin website here.

Much to my delight Darphin is also hosting a giveaway for all you lovely readers! Did you visit their website? If not, do so now and tell me which Darphin skincare product you would like to try and why to be entered to win $100 worth of Darphin products!

Plus, Darphin has a special offer (one of their best!) just for readers of this post: Get a free Age Defying Dermabrasion Deluxe Sample, Dark Circles and De-puffing Eye Serum Deluxe Sample and Spa Headband with any order at Darphin.com through 5/31/12. Use code BLOGGER at checkout.

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 4/23 – 5/24

Be sure to visit the Darphin brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

*this is a sponsored post by BlogHer and Darphin Skincare*

Believe it or not there are times when I feel like the makeup collections being released are just so boring and underwhelming. Things we see over and over again. This spring was a good example of that. Most of the spring collections that were released earlier this year seemed so… blah, at least to me. But then the summer collection pictures starting releasing and I was put under a spell once again… this time by Clarins.

The Enchanted palette comes beautifully adorned and in a red velvet pouch. Gorgeous!

But, of course the inside is the truly stunning part…

It was so pretty I couldn’t bring myself to touch it…at least for a day. This palette was designed for Clarins by Véronique Kechichian, a very talented Parisian free-lance designer and you can visit her website here. This palette is truly a work of art.

I have never tried Clarins eyeshadows before so this was a new experience for me. I have to say the texture impressed me. The bottom light shade is kind of crumbly- it’s sort of a creamy powder shade and it’s very sparkly. I don’t take issue with this because I love me some shimmer and sparkle, but it’s worth noting for those of you who don’t. The thin strip is a cream liner- a beautiful bronze-brown with loads of dimension.

I also picked up the Kohl Kajal in Violet. I have never tried a Kajal liner like this before so I was so pumped when this arrived.

The texture is creamy and perfect for smudging. Do be careful when removing and replacing the cap though- it came with a special warning sticker because being too clumsy can cause the kajal part to break off (it’s that creamy).

Swatched: Clarins Enchanted Palette and Violet Kajal

And because I couldn’t resist applying these beauties to my eyes:

The copper/gold color is my favorite! It’s the most wearable copper color I have come across and it is SO silky. Most turn too orange on me but this has enough gold in it to keep it just right.

Do you have your eye on anything from the Clarins Summer collection? Do you have any makeup that you feel is too beautiful to use? Do tell!