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making faces :: purple please!

after i'd written my initial review of armani's new eyes to kill pressed powder eye shadows, i found out that some, but not all, of the shades supposed to be unavailable in north america have actually been made available in north america. most importantly, one of the futuristic purple shades that i so coveted, "moon jelly" [#21] was on the list. my initial experience with the formula was mixed, i really couldn't resist the idea of a proud purple made by armani, so needless to say, i succumbed to the urge to give this one a new home.

i'm happy that i did give the formula another chance, because "moon jelly" was a somewhat more positive experience for me than "├ęcailles". of course, it swatches beautifully, but it also applies really nicely and true to the colour you'd expect both from the pan and the swatches. it's less sparkly and more shimmery than "├ęcailles" and while there is some sheerness to the base, that seems to make it easier to blend with other colours. i've tried it with a few brushes and was always able to build the colour up to be opaque with very little effort.

the one area where the formula still slumps a little for me is with longevity. i found that the colour lost its distinctive sheen fairly quickly and faded a lot within the first three to four hours. after that, it "stabilized" and hung on for the rest of the day with no further change, which is pretty much what i experienced with "├ęcailles". what you're left with at the end of the day is a very stripped down version of what you started with. it's a definite drawback, especially with a shade like "moon jelly" that you're buying because it's vibrant and crazy and fun.



it's a bold, red-toned purple base with a blue-violet sheen, a combination which makes the colour both warm and cool at the same time. i think that it would work on just about any skin tone because of those elements [chances are that it will look a little different on everyone]. it's punchy and saturated, at least for a few hours and becomes more conservative [but still visibly purple] after that. it has a shifting, diaphanous quality to it, much like the cnidarian for which it is named.

moon jelly
it looks cooler in the pan, but comparing it to other neutral-cool purples reveals its red heart. mac "noir plum" [l.e. from the "peacocky" collection in 2011] is darker, dustier and cooler. mac "parfait amour" is cooler, more muted and a lot less pigmented.

l to r :: mac noir plum [l.e.], moon jelly, mac parfait amour
as you might expect from such a shade, it's undertones tend to make it look a little different depending on what is next to it. here are a couple of looks to illustrate what i mean.




in this case, i've used it with a lighter cool silver-purple, mac "crystal" and a cooler-toned liner, yves st. laurent "sea black". here, the bluer tones really predominate. i used mac "crystal avalanche" as a highlight, although i applied it lightly and buffed it into my skin a little to prevent everything from having that "frostilicus" shimmer up the yin-yang kind of look.

since the eye was both colourful and a bit heavy looking, i went with a softer cheek and lip; i used illamasqua "peaked", applied lightly and the lipstick is armani sheer #600 "bitten", one of my very favourite natural shades. [most "my lips but better" colours assume a warm beige/ pink lip, but since my natural colour is a cooler mauve, this kind of plum is a perfect match.]




this look was more about pops of colour against a more neutral background. i used "moon jelly" on the interior angles of my eyes and, interestingly, i found that the colour lasted better there, which leads me to believe that those who don't have oily eyelid problems [like i do] may find the wear time better on these shadows in general. i used neutrals everywhere else- inglot #351 along the brow bone, chantecaille basalt on the centre of the lid and burberry pale barley on the outer lid. the liner is my favourite, illamasqua precision gel.

on the cheeks, i used hourglass "ethereal glow", because i wanted something cool and pink but not intensely bright and the lipstick is yves st. laurent rouge pur couture #57 "pink rhapsody", a stunning, slightly shimmery, satin-finish shade that straddles pink and red, warm and cool with aplomb. it makes me feel giddy and tingly.

i also tried "moon jelly" as a crease colour yesterday, but the light was so lame that i couldn't get good shots of it. freshly applied, it looked amazing [with armani madre perla and scarab violetta], but as you might guess, that placement made the fading issues even more apparent.

most of the reviews that i've read of these shadows have been overwhelmingly positive, so i'm a little puzzled that i don't seem to have been as blown away. given the price [$39cad], i don't see myself rushing to get more, especially since the four-shadow palettes, at $68 and the eyes to kill loose shadows, at $42, seem to work so much better for me. and as far as prismatic, soft shadows go, rouge bunny rouge, $20-$25 each, beat them hands down [although they don't have the bold colour choices.] the shadows definitely have their great attributes, but they fail to live up to the quality either of the rest of the armani line or that one would expect for the price tag.

Comments

Sara BeauTime said…
Thanks for another lovely review. I didn't like Ecailles either since it was very sheer and glittery, but Moon Jelly is one of my all time favorite purples. I apply it over Nars Pro-prime and on me it lasted all day long. I have to mention though, I am rather on the dry side. I have had longevity issues with the teal color (I believe it is called Scarab) from this line. I applied it on the crease and it was like half of the intensity within 3-4 hours.
Kate MacDonald said…
Your informed opinion makes me feel better about my impressions of Ecailles. Moon Jelly is far superior, to be sure, and a much more original colour. I've just been using Mac Painterly as a base, but I'll have to try Nars, since that's made to be a primer to begin with. Might solve my fading issues.
I'm bummed we didn't get Star Sapphire over here (#20, I think), which was the other one that I had my eye on.

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