Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Claudio Riaz Complexion Highlighters in #2 and #4

I'm into Claudio Riaz makeup for the duration. It's going to be a long affair, but I'm totally committed to exploring the line. Claudio Riaz makes extraordinary makeup. My trip to New York in May opened my eyes to a new world, and while it may cost me a lot to explore, I'm enjoying it immensely. I'm planning to take you along with me as sidekicks.

Shortly after my trip and visit to Barneys New York, I showed you Complexion Highlighter #5, which came home with me. I was with my friend Gaia at The Non-Blonde, who purchased an eye shadow I should never have passed by. I'll go back to purchase it. She showed that green eye shadow on her blog recently, and I kicked myself for not purchasing one that day.

The cream Complexion Highlighters ($38) were all gorgeous when I saw them at Barneys. Seriously, I could have purchased most of them. Made with lanolin and beeswax for moisturizing and skin protection, they are sheer and stunning. Riaz recommends you use them prior to foundation application to conceal to correct uneven skin tone or apply to the high points of your face - cheekbones, brow bone, and nose – to brighten the complexion. They are ideal for radiance and a glamorous glow all over the face. Because they are sheer, they add radiance without adding any kind of Las Vegas look.

I purchased #5 in New York, a hybrid between bronze and rose gold. The shade is beyond gorgeous, particularly for summer. The seven shades available range from white to bronze, something for everyone (or in my case, about six for me). I wanted more shades at the time, but they were out of stock. I asked that someone from the counter at Barneys call me when they returned to stock, but no one ever contacted me (or Gaia). They had to have restocked; I heard Claudio was at the store for an event.

Fortunately, Claudio Riaz has a Web site, so I went there to shop. The photos aren't great, and it's hard to select colors there. At Barneys in person, I wanted all the Complexion Highlighter shades, but online I had trouble determining what would be good for me and what might not. I started with two "safe" shades, #2 (gold) and #4 (rose pink). Now that I'm reminded of their sheerness and wearability, I'll order some of the Complexion Highlighters that don't appear to be safe choices.

My swatch photos show #2 at the top of my arm and #4 below. As you can see, #2 is pure gold, not unusual in the world of highlighters, but its sheerness makes it appear magical and natural on the skin. Want a shot of radiance that looks natural? This is your shade!

The rose pink #4, more colorful, is still sheer. I have been using it over my blusher at the top of my cheekbones. It lights up my entire face.

I am smitten with these products, except for their packaging. Most of the Claudio Riaz products come in a cardboard box. The box fits tightly into its "shell" and hard to get into. The open box slides out of the box shell, but not easily. Riaz intended that you purchase multiple products and put them into one of his Refillable Makeup Palettes ($28). I may purchase one now that I have enough of his products to warrant a $28 purchase. Still, I like "little things," and palettes have a way of taking over my bathroom. I'd be happier if he had charged a tiny bit more and given me a compact. For that same reason, I don't get carried away by Trish McEvoy makeup. I don't want (or have anywhere to keep) bulky planners.

It's time to tell you about Claudio Riaz since I'll be featuring his makeup here often. He is an international make-up artist with a career spanning two decades, working with some of the best-known houses in the industry: Estee Lauder, Shiseido, NARS, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, Clé de Peau, and Darphin. The driving force in his career has been to understand makeup application and the business behind color to fulfill his dream of enhancing every woman’s individual beauty. His ambition has been to see his name included with the greats with whom he worked.

Claudio Riaz first became enamored with beauty as an adolescent when he would observe his mother and seven sisters getting ready for the evening. He recalls watching them transform themselves when applying rich colors to their faces in varying shades and styles. It was during these times when he became attuned to how beauty needs and dreams differ from woman to woman. Through years of observing these eight women, who are all so similar, but each have their own distinct approach to beauty, he recognized the need for more diverse and instantaneous results. Even at this young age, an idea began to form - that idea became his amazing product line.

With years of experience as a makeup artist and teacher, a vast understanding of the business, and a multitude of ideas and talent, Claudio has created products as distinctive as each of the women who will use them and, subsequently, he launched Claudio Riaz the brand. Claudio released his 24-brush collection for which he is best known. All are said to be hand-crafted from the finest materials and strategically designed for instant and precise application. Multiple brushes have been patented for their exceptional innovation. Less than two years after their launch, Claudio’s successful brush offerings propelled the development of his makeup collection, finely edited products designed for instant application - eye and face concealers, complexion highlighters, and an array of signature lip and cheek colors. His objective is to provide women with products for "instant and attainable beauty." If I'm a judge, I'd say he succeeded.

Distribution of his products is limited. You can find Claudio Riaz at Barneys New York and the Claudio Riaz Web site. While you may not get carried away shopping online, you will standing at the counter as soon as you can - trust me. I've got blushes to show you next. They are stunning - and I want so much more.

Photos courtesy of Claudio Riaz or by Best Things in Beauty


Style de Nude said...

The gold is gorgeous!!! I am going to try this next after I finish my Edward Bess!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Product Doc!

I think it's an everywoman kind of shade. :)

Anonymous said...

I look forward to see the other Claudio Riaz products you can show.

Unknown said...

Hi CG, I bought the Claudio Riaz complexion highlighter 2 and the eye and face conceal 9 at Barneys in San Francisco last week. Though outrageously priced for the quantity, the concealor is the best I've used. I'm particulary impressed that it doesn't seep into the creases under my eye over the course of the day. The SA instructed me to use the sparkly gold highlighter under my eye and over the concealer, which sounds odd, but look fabulous. Its more subtle than it looks in its little cardboard box. The SA also used the instant brow brush to fill in my brows - I was so impressed that I almost bought it too, but couldn't allow myself to spend $95 for an eyebrow brush. I'll be looking for a sub though I have the feeling there isn't one...

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anonymous, blushers coming up soon!

Charlestongirl said...

Thank you for the info, Ava! We had very little time with the SAs when Gaia and I visited Barneys together. I would never have tried the under-eye trick, but I will now!

As for a $95 brow brush, argh!

Sophia1105 said...

I picked up his eyeliner in the navy shade, I really love it. It reminds me of a richer version of NARS Thunderball, deeper and more heavily pigmented. A pleasure to use, simply for the great formulation. He has a black and a brown, too, and I'm thinking of getting the brown as it was one of those rare, rich browns (not a faded, ashy, or very red-based brown). Hope to see more from him, his line is very impressive.