It’s summer time and the livin’ is easy…

And it’s about to get even easier! I have a special giveaway for you all today- direct from the Giorgio Armani summer collection. It’s the Écailles eyeshadow palette!

Want to add a touch of luxury to your daily routine? Just enter below to win!

Here are the rules:

Thanks, and Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I will start off by saying I am not really a blue eyeshadow kind of gal. I feel like it has to be the *exact* right shade in order for me to like it and wear it. I think it’s because certain shades of blue remind me of Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. Every once in awhile, though, a blue enters my life that can receive plenty of love. Case in point: the Giorgio Armani écailles luxury eye palette just released from their summer 2012 collection:

A thing of beauty, no? The palette is called a luxury edition for a reason. The compact itself is adorned with genuine Mother of Pearl and is absolutely stunning. The price tag is hefty- $95 and it’s limited edition. My, oh my does Giorgio Armani know how to tug at my heart strings.

The word écailles means scales, and appropriately so for a palette that looks reminiscent of the scales on the tail of a mermaid. The four shades all work well together and all but one have a lovely texture. The white shade is a bit more fussy- it’s almost glittery- but not quite.

Swatches in direct sunlight

If you prefer your shadows with BAM-POW pigment these probably aren’t for you. There was a time when I shunned shadows that didn’t have massive/epic pigmentation. Late last year I changed my tune, though. Buildable shades are much easier to work with for me, particularly when I’m in a rush. I think of it this way now- it’s easier to add to the color then it is to take away from it. My two favorite shades are the teal leaning ones (of course). It terms of pigment and texture they are the best two of the palette.

I am loving how the shades worked together! I haven’t yet tried them with the Eyes to Kill Silk Shadows that were released in the collection (see here and here), but I plan to soon. These  last all day on my eyes without creasing and I only experience a bit of fall out from the white shade

Whether you want eyes that have the feel of seven seas or butterfly wings, this palette has you covered. It’s stunning in every way (including the price tag), but if you are looking to add a beautiful luxury item to your arsenal this summer, this is a great way to do it. Available now from Giorgio Armani.

*the item(s) in this post were provided by PR for review consideration only*

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?!?!