Friday, January 31, 2014

Giorgio Armani Beauty Belladonna Highlighting Palette in Champagne from the Spring 2014 Collection

The Giorgio Armani Privé Fall Winter 2013/2014 Paris show marked the return of a central theme in the Maestro's work: Nude. More than just a shade, the make-up look interpreted by Linda Cantello for "Nudo" is an evanescent color philosophy that goes back to 30's elegance with a touch of Hollywood glamour. After introducing it in fashion and cosmetics, Giorgio Armani has not innovated with a "peau d’ange" nude - translucent, luminous, feminine, and glamorous, reinvented in modern romanticism.

The Belladonna Highlighter Palette in Champagne ($88) caught my eye immediately. The emblematic palette is an unprecedented, universal illuminating powder. Its shade and texture deliver pure, nude, virtually bare light, for an evanescent "peau d’ange" effect of infinite finesse. The powder features micropearl technology, printed in an ultra-fine flower pattern. The new gel-based formula is prepared using a cold-cast technique and melds immediately with its case, for a feel between powder and cream. It offers a texture that is both dense and incredibly light. The pattern designed in the powder is inspired by a flower with light, subtle petals, with a romantic, feminine, enigmatic tulle fabric. The powder is meant to be applied to the face and décolleté or used as an eyeshadow. Linda Cantello used it in the "Nudo" show to halo the eyes with soft, velvety light. Most of my favorite highlighters are Armani, so I was really anxious to try this one.

As you know, I received it weeks ago. I had no opportunity until today to photograph it. I learned with the first application that it is very, very sheer and sparkly. As you can see, the compact is gorgeous. Open it to a floral design and swoon at its beauty. A brush (rather useless), is tucked into a bottom level.

I took all of my photos in full, mid-day sun. I swatched at the top of my arm with a sponge-tipped applicator, and I used the brush shown above to add a larger swatch below. See how sheer the powder is?

The swatch at the top of my arm was applied very heavily. I did my best to show some color. No one would apply this highlighter with such effort. The larger swatch below is barely visible. I might have had more luck with a better brush - perhaps a kabuki brush?

Acknowledging that this palette might offer more color to darker skin tones, I'm reluctant to offer any sweeping conclusions. On my skin, it adds little more than sparkle. I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts if your skin tone is medium to dark.

I can't wait to try it on my eyelids. I think it's going to be gorgeous if applied heavily.

Last weekend, the collection was not available at my local Neiman Marcus. By now, you should be able to find it at Armani Beauty counters. I ordered my pieces from the collection on the Armani Beauty Web site.

Photo at top courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty; other photos by Best Things in Beauty


Lena said...

Hope all is well with you! Thank you for a great review!

Anonymous said...

I hope all is going well with you, CG. I don't think I am too impressed by this highlighter, especially for $88 and with the sparkles. I think I will be more interested in the new fluid sheer.

Anonymous said...

I actually LOVE this shade on my light-medium skin - it gives enough sheen that it's neither overdone or too understated. And this new formula doesn't emphasize pores either - a plus, as too many highlighters have a tendency to accentuate pores and/or fine lines. I wore it as an eyeshadow last weekend, and the effect was absolutely beautiful - I think you'll probably really enjoy it that way!

Unknown said...

Thank you for showing the swatches CG. For me this is most certainly a pass. I want gleam not sparkles. I am surprised because I love all of the Armani Fluid Sheers. I liked the highlighter in the red case that came out not that long ago,

Unknown said...

That looks lovely. Like a light nude that has an edge of rose gold.

Dovey said...

Hi Charlestongirl,
The pan on Belladonna is gorgeous! I'm surprised to see how understated the color is --- I'd love to have an opportunity to swatch this in person to see how it fares on my skintone :)

Lynda O said...

Nice highlighter. Would love for you to review a darker shade though. Just for reference?

Anonymous said...

Yeah I'm pretty sure this would be way too light and sparkly on me. But I like the idea of trying it as an eyeshadow! Let us know how that turns out :-)

Emilie at foodglossetc said...

I have a medium skin tone and I absolutely love this highlighter. The brush is perfect for its use. Using the included brush, I scratch a nice amount of powder and brush it on top of the cheekbones. Gives me just the perfect healthy glowing sheen. I've tried a lot and this is the only one that did not emphasize whatever pores I have on the skin around my nose. The only downside for me is the price. xo, Emilie