I think the most innovative product Armani Beauty has introduced, among many superb products, has been its Fluid Sheer ($58). Although there are other liquid luminizers on the market, those that came before and those that came after Fluid Sheer, I believe that none are comparable. And I've tried a bunch. I'm not alone in my adoration of Fluid Sheer; it was named Best Highlighter/Luminizer in InStyle magazine's "Best of Beauty" April 2009 issue.
Loyd Cassler, as you may know by now if you have been reading Best Things in Beauty, is the Armani Beauty Manager and beauty artist extraordinaire at Saks in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Loyd has given me the tutorial on the many uses for Fluid Sheer. He also showed me not to "judge a bottle by its color." I can wear most of them, and they all produce a different effect on my skin. Armed with a palette of Fluid Sheers, Loyd can do anything - and even better, he can teach you some of his magic!
Designed to add radiance, they can be used alone, mixed with moisturizer, mixed with foundation, or placed under or over foundation (even used as a makeup primer to correct color or simply prepare the skin for foundation, for example, use pink to "correct" olive skin tones). How's that for versatile? They are, as the name suggests, translucent, adding a wash of subtle color when applied. They are also suitable for all skin types.
Fluid Sheer is available in 10 shades on the Armani Web site, although I hear that Porcelain, the white shade, may be on its way to the history books (so get it now if you like it - I do). The colors that intuitively "worked for me" from the get-go were #1, Golden Sand; #2, Shimmering Beige; and #7, Pale Shimmering Rose. These were, as they say, "no brainers." I have mixed them with foundation, used them as highlighters or to contour, used them as a base color - they do it all. The huge surprise for me came early after the line was introduced at Saks when Loyd suggested I try #4, Rouge. Here was this fairly dark red color, and he was suggesting I could wear it. Always trusting of Loyd, I thought, why not? Sure enough, it was the most gorgeous blusher I had worn in years. Applied with Armani's wonderful fluffy face brush, it beat out even the best cream blushers I had used (except Armani's, of course). I was smitten - and convinced that day that Loyd was a genius.
There are a couple of shades that serve well as bronzers: for me #3, Golden Bronze; #10, Golden Beige; and #11, Amber. For those with darker skin, the latter two. Depending on the shade you want, just mix a dab in with your foundation, or use Fluid Sheer more traditionally on the high spots where sun would highlight your face (if you were careless, of course, and got "real" sun exposure) or use it in areas where you would use body bronzer.
What's most amazing to me is how well Fluid Sheers mix with moisturizer to create, essentially, an illuminating or tinted moisturizer. Pretty cool that you can take two products you already own and make a third. Loyd actually demonstrated this on himself for me, and it looked great. He told me he sells these to men who want just a dab of color on their faces, but not a makeup look.
Armani Beauty took one of the Fluid Sheers, reworked it a tad, and introduced Light Master Primer ($55) in the Spring Pink Light Collection. The primer contains a micro-fil pearl that changes colors when reflecting light, highlighting cheekbones and toning down any uneven patches, while adding an undeniable radiance to the skin. Brilliant!
There are few products I recommend to everyone, regardless of skin tone, skin type, or even gender. Fluid Sheer has no peers. It's that good.
You can purchase Fluid Sheer at the Giorgio Armani Web site, Saks, and other places where Armani Beauty products are sold. One really nice benefit of ordering online from Armani is that you will be given a choice of samples, and the choices often include Fluid Sheer. If you live anywhere near DC, though, you have to go meet Loyd. Make an appointment for a consultation - you'll love him!