Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jumping on pearly bandwagons

There is really nothing original about this post, since clearly everyone else had the same idea with these Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows from the limited edition Bronze 2012 collection. Almost every other beauty blog that I saw that wrote about these shadows bought the exact same two -- but I don't think we can blame anyone for that. There's a reason why these two colors were singing their siren song the loudest.

I bought 20 Obsidian Black and 23 Madre Perla back in May, but I didn't bother trying them out until last week. To be honest, there is nothing terribly unique about 20 Obsidian Black that you couldn't duplicate with existing shades from a nicely-stocked makeup collection. It's black with a teal shimmer, so while it is a little more complex than a straight-on black, the teal doesn't really come through unless you wear a blue base.

(If you think the background pattern is ugly -- you're right. Imagine having a whole couch in this pattern.) 23 Madre Perla is at least a little bit more unique. I can't quite capture the shifting colors here. It's not an icy white that you might see here, but quite a bit more opalescent with a strong pale blue shift. Honestly, if you're here looking for accurate swatches of these two colors on an arm, I would suggest you look elsewhere on the internet.

Since I assume you're usually putting these shadows on your eyes and not your arm, I think a face look shows a more accurate depiction of how these shadows are supposed to look. In addition to the two Armani colors (23 on the inner eye and 20 on the outer eye), I used Urban Decay Primer Potion and Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Shadow Pencil in Clash as bases. I also used the dark blue color from the MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow in She Who Dares on my lid and Urban Decay Glide-On Eye Pencil in Binge to line. Finally, I used L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Endless Pearl to highlight. For blush and contour, I used MAC Beauty Powder in Alpha Girl and Lancome Star Bronzer Natural Glow. (I also cut up some cheap fake lashes for my outer eye.) On my lips is Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color Lip Color in Crush.

I asked myself why I got these if the colors weren't terribly unique (particularly 20 Obsidian Black), and the reason is because I can't resist the formula. I compared the L'Oreal Infallible shadows to the ETK Intense in an earlier post, but the truth is is that the the ETK Intense formula is even more buttery and smooth than the L'Oreals. There's only two issues that I have with the ETK Intense: 1) There is a little bit of fallout from these shadows, so I would recommend damping your brush (you can dip a dry brush into the shadow and then spray the brush with a light setting mist as I do) to prevent the fallout, and 2) These things are $32 a pop.

I own 7 of these ETK Intense shadows now (don't do the math don't do the math), and I'm sure I'll pick up more of them in the future. I pulled out a previously purchased color for a comparison against 20 Obsidian Black -- 13 Black, which is the top swatch on this picture. You can see that 13 is much darker with hints of navy while 20 is more of a murky seaweed.

With a price like these, I would recommend that you visit a local Giorgio Armani counter and test these out to decide whether they're right for you. (You should also hit them up for some foundation samples, too.) Although I think the formula of these shadows makes up for whatever the high price might be, you do get a lot of product for what you're paying for. And if after swatching at a counter you find that these are not right for you, I would still recommend the L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadows as a decent alternative.