I’m a little hesitant to take a step back into 2014, but this lovely Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Clutch & Palette from their last Holiday collection only arrived the weekend before Christmas, and I didn’t have time to review it. Sometimes life takes over, and you just need to let go and go with the flow. Now that I am back, I wanted to offer a slightly different perspective for those who are still undecided about the latest offering from Giorgio Armani Beauty.
Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette is inspired by the snowy steppes of the far north, with vast immaculate landscapes interspersed with dramatic dashes of of color. The palette is the same size and thickness as the standard Giorgio Armani palettes, but in a beautiful midnight blue color. It is packaged in a matching blue suede clutch with a metallic clasp bearing the Giorgio Armani logo. The clutch itself is fairly small, able to carry the palette itself and maybe a lipstick and some keys. I wished it were bigger and able to hold my iPhone as it is really quite pretty and of a sufficiently high quality for dinners. Regardless, it sure is a nice change from all the cheap throwaway pouches that usually accompany such holiday offerings.
The top-tier face powder bears a beautiful embossing of icicles, or a trail of shooting stars to my imagination. This powder makes use of a new innovative pearl technology that gives a subtle matte glow that is different from the traditional pearl and shimmery finishes. It is very similar to last Spring’s Chanel Jardin de Camelias Illuminating Face Powder, which I couldn’t understand initially but eventually fell in love with. This is a sheer finishing powder that mattifies and brightens. For those with oilier skin and prefer greater powder cover, this may used on top of a setting powder and brings light to the face without turning too cakey, the way you would with Guerlain meteorites. For those with dry skin, this is a nice alternative to setting powders as it still mattifies but is sheer enough to let your own skin show. There seems to be some confusion over how white this powder is, but it is no different from any other translucent loose powder. Simply swirl a loose powder brush over the pan and dust it all over lightly.
The lower tier of the palette houses a trio of eyeshadows inspired by the most luxurious textures – softest mink, chinchilla and sable furs. All 3 are dense, smooth, highly pigmented and easy to blend.
The shades from left to right are:
What I loved about these shades are how incredibly elegant they are when presented together. I know we are now looking at pinks and all manners of spring, but a lady always needs a good smokey eye palette on hand. Blacks are the usual choice for a smokey eye, but it may be too austere for some, in which case, Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette is a good alternative.
And here is a look that I wore recently, featuring Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette Illuminating Face Powder and the eyeshadow trio.
I noticed from trying to photograph the swatches and the look above that even though the shades do not have a high sheen to them, they do reflect light quite a bit. Due to the way the light was hitting my face in the LOTD above, my eyeshadow seems to be uneven across both eyes, but they really are not in real life! From that perspective, it gives greater dimension to the eyes (especially for those of us with less prominent eye sockets), and it is far more elegant than completely matte shades. This is something that really has to be experienced on the lids and does not translate well simply just by swatching.
Giorgio Armani Orient Excess Palette & Clutch is priced at USD100, and I was able to pick it up at 20% off at their last Black Friday sale event. At its usual price, it is one of the more expensive palettes that Giorgio Armani has ever produced. However, if you consider that it includes a generous 10gm of face powder, and 3 eyeshadows weighing 1.2gm and 2×1.5gm (i’m curious which shade weighs lesser!) making a total of 4.2gm which is the twice that of a Chanel Les 4 Ombres palette; then it is one of the best value for money propositions that Giorgio Armani has offered in recent memory.