domenica 12 febbraio 2012

Dolce & Gabbana The Khol Collection Peacock Khol and Peacock Nail Lacquer (+ new Intense Khol Eye Crayon swatches)

It has now become customary for me to get something from the Dolce&Gabbana counter every time I venture into the centre of Milan, which is exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately whenever I go I'm so rushed that I never really get the chance to play with eyeshadows and blushes and such, I just run there, grab a couple of things that don't need too much consideration and thought and then I'm out of the department store in a matter of minutes! I think I mentioned this before, but I really wish they had friendlier SAs there, usually they just look at you suspiciously if you start swatching more than one product on your hand and follow your every move.
Anyway, rant aside, I picked up two items, the Intense Khol Eye Crayon in Peacock from The Khol Collectionand the Intense Nail Lacquer also in Peacock, one of 5 new nail lacquers. Of course, being me, they just had to be blue!
I'll start by saying I have mixed feelings about both products. I would love to love them unconditionally but sadly they're not perfect!
The first thing I picked up, without hesitation, was the Khol Pencil #3 Peacock (21 euros), a gorgeous shiny teal. Being a khol, it is soft and glides on really smoothly. When applied, the pigmentation is great, the colour is vivid and full.
Unfortunately, as time passes it tends to fade and smudge quite easily, especially under the eyes. Of course, it's a khol, you can't really expect it to last intact forever, but still...However, if your aim is to create  a lovely smokey smudged rock'n'roll look, then this khol will definitely provide a nice vibrant contrast to black/dark grey/dark brown .
And you know what's funny? It took me hours before figuring out that one of the reasons I was drawn to this colour was...that I was already wearing it on my face!! In January I decided to add to my glasses collection with this pair of new D&Gs (they look huge on the photo, must have been the angle!)...


Khol Pencil Ingredients: Hydrogenated Polyisobutane, Mica, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate / Hexastearate / Hexarosinate, Synthetic Wax, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Cera Alba / Beeswax, Copernicia Cerifera Cera (Carnauba Wax), Ozokerite, Propylparaben, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid, Tin Oxide.


Risking the wrath of the SA, I managed to swatch all five khols from The Khol Collection (unfortunately the black and the white ones got smudged almost immediately against my sleeve, the other three were pretty indelible!). From left to right: True Black, True White, Chocolate, Dahlia, Peacock.
in natural light
 in direct sunlight

Excluding the black and the white, I thought both Chocolate and Dahlia were great colours, although I was hoping Dahlia would be more cranberry than purple. In the end, I decided I already had similar shades so I only bought Peacock.


As part of the Spring The Khol Collection, Dolce&Gabbana also included five shades of nail lacquers, some "old" some new: Chocolate, Dahlia, Wild Green, True White and Peacock.
Although it shares its name with the Intense Khol Eye Crayon, the Intense Nail Lacquer #172 Peacock is not teal (unfortunately, as I'd like to have a similar colour for my nails!) but a truly dark inky blue, with no shimmer whatsoever. I really like this colour. I also really love the packaging of the Dolce&Gabbana nail lacquers: I think it's sleek and elegant, and so it should be for 23 euros!
When applied to the nails, the colour is so dark that in photos it appears almost black, although in reality, you can still tell it's dark blue. The finish is really glossy, as you can see from the photo below, where I'm just wearing one or two coats of Peacock and no top coat.
You're probably wondering why I said "one or two coats". My problem with this nail lacquer is that the formula is a bit thick and at times gloopy, while other times it tend to be a bit runny (while testing it, I accidentally splashed it all over the D&G counter at La Rinascente and trust, the SA wasn't impressed!!). This is the first time this has happened to me with Dolce&Gabbana lacquers (I own three), so I'm hoping the formula improves with age, you know as it often happens with mascaras! Or perhaps I just need to get the hang of it. In any case, it mercifully applies with no streaks and like all of the brand's lacquers that I've tried it lasts for a long long time (a week or more) without chipping or losing its distinct glossiness, something that totally redeems this nail varnish in my eyes, as I have a lot of trouble finding polishes that last more than a couple of days on my nails. 


I pulled out all my blue nail varnishes (I have around 10/12...), but none of them are exactly the same. The closest is Chanel's Blue Satin, though it is a bit lighter and does have fine shimmer, not really discernible on nails. I applied the varnishes really badly, however I intentionally left a lot of space near the nail bed so that you would be able to see the shades in their lighter, more diluted form as well.


What do you think, will you be picking anything from Dolce&Gabbana's The Khol Collection? I suspect the main attractions will be the three shiny coloured khol crayons. I'm not a green nail varnish wearer at all, but if I were, I would definitely grab the lovely emerald Wild Green Nail Lacquer!


Baci,
Anna x

domenica 15 gennaio 2012

Armani Luce Eye Palette #2 for Spring 2012 (plus swatches of entire Armani Luce makeup collection)

The new Armani 2012 Spring Collection has just arrived in stores here in Italy. Inspired by Giorgio Armani's love of light (which I guess is undeniable if you look at all his most recent makeup releases), the collection is in fact aptly called Luce - or light in Italian.
Focusing on pastels and light metals, the collection includes 2 Eye Palettes, 1 Sheer Blush, 2 Eye Pencils and 4 new shades of Gloss d'Armani, all swatched at the end of the post for you pleasure!
I was really curious to try one of the new palettes so after pondering for a while, I settled for the Eye Palette #2, the most neutral of the options (I think the makeup look with this palette is actually called Oro Nudo, or naked gold).

The colours included in the four-pan compact are described as, from top to bottom:
1. grey; 2. metal fiber; 3. copper pigment; 4. crystal brown.
The texture of the eyeshadows is soft and buttery. All colours are high-shine. Pigmentation varies: as with some other Armani palettes, when you pick up the colours with your fingertips in order to swatch them, they all show up very well even without a base. When applied to the eyes, however, the two lighter colours tend to be quite sheer and quite similar (at least, on my NC25/35 skintone!), so you have to be careful with the blending if you want to keep the two shades distinct.
The top segment, which is described as grey, is actually more of a chamois gold, or greyish yellow. It is slightly more powdery than the other three colours, and it sheds a bit and moves around the eyes, at least when worn without a base, as it seems to contain really tiny particles of shimmer all packed together.
Metal fiber is a cool light silver, copper pigment is a bright golden copper, and crystal brown is a light golden brown.
The palette comes with an instructional card with the names of the shades and two helpful diagrams to create a day and an evening look.
I've tried both looks, paired with lots of black Armani Eyes to Kill mascara (still one of my favourites) and a bit of MAC Powersurge Eye Khol (golden bronze, one of my HG pencils, and what I wore on my wedding day!). I have to say both looks are very luminous and pretty, half-way between innocent and sexy, although the top lid looks a bit too sheer and pale for my liking.


Overall, I think it's a nice palette, but not essential. I'm happy I bought it as I can see myself wearing it often: having blue eyes with a golden ring around the pupils, I love to use bronzes, golds and coppers on the eyes. The quality is great and despite the sheerness of the two lighter colours, the eyeshadows are still visible after a whole day, even without a base.


While I was at it, I decided to swatch the whole Armani Luce Collection. It's something I might actually do for all seasonal collections by Italian makeup brands from now on, if I manage to and if any of you are interested!
The 4 new shades of Gloss d'Armani are: Beige 105, Red 405, Pink 508 and Brown 201.
The Tourmaline Sheer Blush is a pretty peachy pink, a bit too cool and pale for me but lovely otherwise.
The Eye Pencils are great, both colours - #4 Or Antique and #5 Copper - are very pigmented, glide easily and last for a long time. I might get Copper in the near future!
The Eye Palette #1 is a Spring dream! The four colours are described as: Pearl Violet, Jade Green, Sheer Gold and Greige. As with Palette #2, the shades are very luminous and go on smoothly. Of course, the colours won't work for everyone, but I advise you to check it out in person before dismissing it altogether.


Is there anything you like or have already bought from this collection? I'd like to see how the brown gloss works over a lipstick or mixed with the red gloss (I think Megan Fox is wearing something like that in the promo picture, which is lovely, by the way!), but then I have far too many glosses already!


Anna xx

giovedì 12 gennaio 2012

Look who's back!

Dear friends, 

first of all...Happy 2012! I've been wondering what I should write in this post, in fact I've been away from the blogging world for such a long time that I hardly remember how to use blogger!! Yes, I've been away for almost 9 months and I apologize. I don't necessarily think that me being away made a difference to you, but I have missed YOU, I have missed my blog. I should probably explain why I was away for so long. The truth is, I was already struggling with the blog long before I brusquely interrupted my posting, my father-in-law was terminally ill and my son was getting high fevers practically every other week, as some of you know. My father-in-law sadly passed away just a couple of weeks after my last post, a lot of other things (good and bad) happened and, at that point, life just kind of took over. I kept postponing writing a new post, days turned into weeks and weeks into months...
Things have settled a bit now, not everything is as it should be, as I would like it to be, but I feel happier, recharged and slightly more in control. 
With the start of a new year I thought it was finally the right moment to get back to blogging, which is something I've always enjoyed and found therapeutic and soothing as well as exciting!
So here I am again, hopefully some of you still remember me and look forward to reading my blog.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart for all your support, love, patience and faith in me in the past year. Hope to "see" you all soon!
Anna xx



mercoledì 30 marzo 2011

Giveaway winner!

My giveaway closed last night, so it's high time I announced the winner!
I used random.org and got number 6 as a result, which means the winner of my diego dalla palma giveaway is the lovely Blair...and her squid ink spaghetti!

Congratulations Blair, I hope your prizes won't take too long to reach you in Malaysia! Please email me your address at italianbeautyblog@gmail.com so that I can send you your goodies as soon as possible.

Thanks to everyone for participating and making me really hungry with all your delicious comments!

Anna xx

venerdì 18 marzo 2011

All Italian Giveaway with diego dalla palma! - GIVEAWAY CLOSED! -

In honour of my birthday, which was almost a month ago (you know I'm always late!), of Italy's anniversary (we just celebrated 150 years of national unity!) as well as of reaching and surpassing 200 followers (thank you!!) I am having my second giveaway! 

The lovely people at diego dalla palma, a 100% Italian brand I love and which I've often spoken about on this bloghave kindly offered to sponsor my giveaway, so here's what you can win:


diego dalla palma eye shadow #19 frost sand
diego dalla palma powder blush #04 peach satin
diego dalla palma eye pencil #01 black
diego dalla palma gloss you lips #19 glitzy powder pink

To enter:

* you must be a follower of my blog
* you must comment on this post telling me...what your favourite pizza/pasta dish is! (hopefully, you like at least one of them!)
Be careful though: Entries will be invalid if you don't answer this silly question!


The giveaway is open internationally. It will close on Monday 28th March at 10 pm GMT+1 (Italian time). The winner will be randomly selected using random.org and announced on the blog shortly after the closing time so that you can email me with your contact details.

Best of luck / "in bocca al lupo"!


Anna xx

sabato 12 marzo 2011

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine #60 Antigone

After dabbling with Boy (reviewed here), I decided I had definitely taken a shine (excuse the lame word-play!) to the formula of the new Chanel Rouge Coco Shines so when I saw they'd already released the entire line here in Italy I was naturally quite excited!

My choice wasn't well thought-out, I just had a quick browse and almost automatically grabbed #60 Antigone for a couple of reasons: one, I like raspberry lips; two, I'm a classicist at heart, so anything with an Ancient Greek/Latin-related name instantly jumps out at me! (By the way, the mosaic photograph under the lipstick does not depict Antigone!)


While I'm at it, some background info for your pleasure: Antigone, daughter of King Oedipus of Freudian complex fame, is one of the greatest tragic heroines of Ancient Greece. Her story, first told by Sophocles, was also brought to the stage in Paris in 1922 by Jean Cocteau who enlisted the help of his friends Mademoiselle Coco Chanel, who designed the costumes, and Pablo Picasso, who took care of the stage design as well as the masks and the shields.


Now on to the lipstick! Incidentally, Antigone belongs to the pink-toned family, as does Boy, and is described as "an intense, fresh and amber-tinged pink lipshine". The first part of the description is spot-on, the look is vibrant but still very fresh, but I must say I'm a little surprised by the "amber-tinged" bit, as I can't detect any yellow or gold in the colour, just a lot of raspberry juiciness.
On the lips, somewhat imperfectly applied! (My lips were not collaborating while I was taking pictures for this post...)
As I have already said about Boy, the formula feels really comfortable on the lips, nicely hydrating although this shade was not terribly long-lasting. Compared to Boy, Antigone feels more "watery", when I applied it the first time I thought it went on a bit unevenly, but with later applications I didn't really notice this again. 

However, as I have also said in my previous review, I have to mention these lipshines have a definite fragrance/flavour, much like Penhaligon's Elisabethan Rose, so if you dislike strong scents stay away from these.

And finally, a comparison for you, with a couple of lipsticks which I really like and which have a similar formula to the Rouge Coco Shines (reviews of these coming soon...though knowing me it will probably be 2012 by the time I get round to doing it!):
Left to Right: Rouge Bunny Rouge Sheer Lipstick in Murmurings; Helena Rubinstein Wanted Stellars by Baccarat in Insomnight and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Antigone.

Have a great weekend and see you all soon (this time for real!) with a surprise ;)

Anna xx


lunedì 14 febbraio 2011

NARS Tainted Love Set

Happy Valentine's Day! Personally, although a nice little tropical island would definitely be top of my list, I can think of very few other ways of spending Valentine's Day than with François Nars :)

The Tainted Love Lip, Cheek and Nail set is NARS's special offering for Valentine's Day. It includes an Angelika Multiple (Limited Edition and exclusive to this set), an Angelika Lip Gloss and a Schiap Nail Polish. The set has a value of 84 euros but retails for 62 euros on the officail NARS website. I usually order when they have free shipping but as I was getting other stuff as well I decided to cave and pay the almost 10 euros of shipping costs. On the positive side, they ship via UPS so I got my package less than 48 hours after placing my order!
All the products are of course variations of pink, more specifically cool-toned pink.


The Angelika gloss, which is also available separately from this set, is a lovely blue-toned, almost lavender candy pink with a little golden shimmer which doesn't really show on the lips. 
When applied, it appears as a light cool pink which would definitely look great with a smoky eye. Non-sticky, unlike other Nars glosses I've tried, as well as virtually unscented, it does however apply a bit streakily.

One reason I wanted to get this set is that it includes Schiap nail polish. I don't usually wear bright creme colours on my fingernails but this blue-toned fuchsia has always been on my wish list for bright summer toes. Named after the innovative Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who brought shocking pink to the world of fashion. The colour, which Yves Saint Laurent described as having  "the nerve of red...an aggressive, brawling, warrior pink", is really gorgeous, reminiscent of hot pink oleander or bouganville flowers. It looks best with two coats applied. I don't usually wear a top coat, too much hassle, and this lasted quite well with no chipping and kept it's creamy shine. I'm definitely going to wear this A LOT on my toes this summer, it's such a cheerful vibrant colour!

And finally here's the Angelika multiple. Described as a cotton candy pink with silver and gold flecks it is exactly that!
On the left, Angelika swiped twice and on the right, blended a bit with my fingers. When applied to the face, the shimmer doesn't actually disappear as it did here on my arm, but stays quite visible, so I'd suggest you use this Multiple only in the evening or when you feel it's more appropriate! Like all multiples you can use Angelika also on the lips, but I find the formula a bit drying, to be honest. I can see this working well on the eyes too, if pinks on eyes are a good look for you (it isn't for me). On the cheeks, the cool-toned pink looks really pretty, very romantic. However, I have to say the formula balls up a little when you first apply to the skin, I don't know if it's because of the glitter or what, but no other Nars multiple has ever done that to me. It's not really a big problem though, as you do have to blend the multiple in with your fingers (or however you prefer) anyway!
I don't own the powder blusher version of Angelika, so I can't compare the two. Here is, however, a comparison with other pink blushes I have in stick form: Nars Cadaqués Multiple Tint (LE - sheer cool raspberry pink); Nars Angelika Multiple; Bobbi Brown Sheer Coral Cheek Tint (shimmery peachy warm pink); Tarte Dollface Natural Cheek Stain (sheer and shimmery candy pink).
All in all, NARS Tainted Love is a nice little set to have, especially because it contains the limited edition Angelika Multiple (which will probably pop up again in the future in other collections, but you never know!). It is also great value and I can see myself wearing the products all year round.

Hope your Valentine's Day was good, mine was certainly...unforgettable, as I hit the side of my face with a gate and I now have a pretty red vertical bump down the side of my forehead! It's just as well I don't post full-face pics of me on the blog!!

Anna xx


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