Monday, May 17, 2010

Armani Everything - Maestro Eye Shadows

The foundations, the latest palettes, and new products from Giorgio Armani Beauty get all the attention. The quiet workhorses of the brand often please enormously and without fanfare. I hope to change that today with my latest installment of Armani Everything!

With fanfare...The formula of Maestro Eye Shadow contains pure silk-like powders to create a soft, lightweight, and sheer texture that glides onto eyelids in a silken veil of color. Three different finishes replicate the breathtaking effects Giorgio Armani achieves with silk: matte gives smooth color; satin creates a lustrous sheen; and sparkling illuminates with iridescent shimmer (but no glitter). We are talking totally fashionable and wearable colors here.

Maestro shadows can be worn individually or blended together to create an infinite variety of perfect, personalized effects. Loyd Cassler at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland is a blend master, blending on the brush to create colors that are complex and gorgeous. I have watched him so many times. He'll take a dab of pink, add a dab of gold, and end up with a color that "doesn't exist" in any shadow I've ever seen! In the pink and gold case, the result was a glowing taupe. Maybe artists can figure it out. I can't. I always think it's a miracle when I watch him work.

I'm going to show you the photos of the available shades from the Armani Beauty Web site, but I have to warn you that these little swatches aren't all "true." For example, #26 is a much deeper brown "in the pan" than shown here. Perhaps these swatches are intended to show you how the shadows will look on your eyelids, rather than how they look in the pan.

Last week on my lunch hour, Loyd Cassler and I swatched a lot of the Maestro shadows. There were some that were so neutral (skin-toned) that we couldn't make them show up in a photo. Those went un-photographed. Maestro #1 was like that - a skin-toned pink that just disappeared on my skin. It is a great base color, but it wouldn't show up in the camera's lens - even wet. There were also a few shadows that we couldn't swatch because Saks had run out of testers and was waiting for this week's shipment. All photos here were taken in intense indoor light at the Armani counter.

We had to wet most of the shadows we did swatch. Armani's shadows offer such sheer, buildable color that we decided in a hurry to wet the brush to paint them on my arm. As a result, the shades you see here are more concentrated than they are when applied dry. At least you can get a sense of the infinite number of shades. If you are an artist, like Loyd, you can also figure out how to blend them to create your own customized colors.

Immediately below is what I'll call set 1. The shades, left to right are 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2. Don't miss the beautiful light gold at right, #2. Shades #2, #3, and #4 are "staples" for me - totally gorgeous.

Immediately below is set 2. The shades, left to right are 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, and 10. Shade #10, 11, and 12 all have a lavender appearance in the pan, but you can see how different they are in intensity on my arm. The greens are very sheer when not wet down. I love them.

Immediately below is set 3. The shades left to right are 28, 27, 20, 18, 17, and 16. Shade #28 is another one of my staples, and #27, while appearing dark in the pan, is a beautiful bronze. I used shade #16 the other day as an accent color to touch up my eye shadow. It's a bluish gray that is very sheer when applied dry. Loyd liked it, which I consider a stamp of approval!

Immediately below is set 4. The shades left to right are 33, 34, 35, 37, and 38. Shade 36 wouldn't show up on my skin, so we didn't photograph it. It's yellow-toned, a perfect base color, but not a great color for pictures. Notice #35! It's an exquisite green-toned brown - and sheer, of course. A beautiful accent color on my fair skin!

I can wear every one of the shades except #5. It has too much orange for my coloring. I think it would look great on someone with olive or chocolate skin.

I cannot explain the variation between these colors and those on the Armani Web site. Some look totally different. I was so amazed by that, I made a second trip over to Saks to make sure I didn't mess up my notes! I'll see if I can find out why this week and let you know later. I can assure you that these are the shades (by number) that are available at Saks. Remember, there were a few we couldn't photograph.

Armani Beauty's Maestro Eye Shadows can be used to create any look you want to achieve - from everyday pretty to intense and dramatic. You can get a lesson later this week if you live near DC. It's a big week for Armani Beauty fans in our area. Tim Quinn, Armani's Celebrity Face Designer, will be making an appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase, Maryland. You can still book an appointment. I hear there are a few time slots left. Just call (240) 497-5206. You owe it to yourself. Giorgio Armani's cosmetics are luxurious, and Tim is a master makeup artist - rated of the best in the world! Will I see you there? I'm going Friday afternoon. Looking forward to meeting some of you!

If you don't have an Armani counter near you, check out the Armani Beauty Web site!


luv2smilexo said...

wow thanks so much for the swatches! its so hard to find swatches of armani on the web.

Charlestongirl said...

You're welcome! Loyd and I had fun doing it.

ProjectBeauty said...

I LOVE your blog!! I am a Face Designer for Armani Beauty in Las Vegas (Giorgio Armani boutique in Bellagio Resort) and follow TQ through Twitter! (that's how I found you!) I just want to tell you that you are AMAZING and I truly appreciate all the love you give to Armani / TQ. This particular post on Maestro eyeshadow is perfect!! We were just re-merching our counter and playing with the Maestro shadows. We too, wet the more matte/sheer shades and loved how "electric" their pigment became. It really intensified the matte ones.

Thank you for who you are and what you are doing in beauty!! Please say Hello to Tim (from Tina at the Bellagio) when you see him next.

I look forward to reading more and please feel free to contact me via email or phone (e) or (p) 702-893-8327

Stay Beautiful!! & Thank you,
Tina Horwitz, Face Designer
Giorgio Armani Cosmetics
Bellagio Resort - Las Vegas

Charlestongirl said...

Tina, you are so sweet - thank you! I will make sure to tell Tim you said hi. I know he will be pleased. He's such a sweetheart!

I will give you a call - would love to chat! It will probably be next week. Again, thank you so much.