This is a good basic work look, with some neutral colors. I am wearing:
Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk Foundation in #5I haven't purchased this foundation yet, but got a sample from the GA counter on Saturday. I have had good experiences with the Luminous Silk, but was attracted to the Lasting Silk because of its purported lasting power as well as the SPF20 content.
The color spectrum of this is quite nice, and I think it has many options for pale ladies. Though there aren't too many colors in the range (only 8) -- they are all quite wearable and skin tone colored. I normally wear a 4.5 in Luminous, but the Lasting runs darker, so I think the 5 is a decent match. The packaging is similar to the Luminous, except instead of a matte glass bottle, it is in a plastic bottle. However, it does have a pump, which is very sanitary and useful.
The finish is sort of a satin-matte -- not dead or flat matte like Revlon Colorstay -- so it looks pretty natural. I did have some oily breakthrough on my nose after a few hours (as you can kind of see in the pic), but it wasn't too terrible. It did last for the whole day, too. I applied with the GA foundation brush (which I find works quite well with the GA foundations), and didn't have to use much to give a medium coverage. I did still have to use concealer on my undereye circles, but this did cover the redness on my nose while still allowing my freckles to show through.
Overall, for the price of $58, I do think it's worth it, but I will probably wait until I use up my YSL Perfect Touch before I purchase another high-end liquid foundation.
Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen in #002 Candle Light
This is sort of my holy grail concealer/highlighter product, and I have purchased this many times and was also fortunate enough to receive one gratis from my last Dior Diva VIP gift. This is available in 3 colors, and I have the 2nd color. It's a bit lighter than my skin tone, but works very well on the undereye because it is blendable and sort of lightens that area. I also like to use it around my nose and on my chin. It offers a decent amount of coverage (don't use on blemishes, though, as it will just highlight them!) -- and the texture is creamy and blendable, but long-lasting. I sometimes use this as a shadow-base, too. There is no glitter/shimmer, so you don't end up with a reverse raccoon effect. The only disadvantage to this product is the pricepoint ($34USD for 0.05oz.) and the fact that the container, though sleek and silvery, is completely opaque, and therefore you are completely unable to see when you will run out. Aside from that, I do love this and hope Dior never discontinues.
Chanel Joues Contraste in Narcisse
Narcisse looks like a scary, bright Barbie pink in the pan, but it actually goes on quite beautifully and is very flattering. The Joues Contraste retail for about $40USD, so they are very pricey for a blush, but as an owner of 3 different ones, these are totally worth it. Like the other Joues Contrastes, this applies very smoothly and evenly, and the powder is very finely milled. There is a slight floral fragrance to it, but nothing too overpowering, and the scent does fade away after an hour or so.
It does come in a black plastic compact with mirror that is the same size as the eyeshadow quads, so it can be slightly confusing unless you look at the bottom of the container to see the color, or open up the compact. It also comes with a small brush, which, while I don't like to use regularly, it does work quite well on the apples in a pinch.
Narcisse has some very slight pearl to it, but the overall effect is just very glowy. It works well with cool-toned eye makeup, and I think it is pigmented enough to work on everyone from Nicole Kidman-esque fair to a Halle Berry-ish light caramel skintone. For reference, this was also the blush used by Natalie Portman at the 2009 Oscars earlier this year.
MAC Satin Eyeshadow in Omega (on Brows)
This is a very basic, light cool-toned taupe brown. It is a Satin finish, so not too matte, and fairly easy to blend. I actually like using this shadow as a shadow... for a quick, polished look, I used MAC Shroom all over the lid and up to the browbone, and then blend Omega into the crease. The effect is very professional, while still offering some definition. As a brow filler, the color works is not too dark, and it does last the entire day.
Giorgio Armani Maestro Eyeshadow Quad in #4
I've always stayed away from the GA shadow quads, mainly because of prohibitive price ($58USD), and also in part because the colors are not as bright and pigmented as Dior.
The Quad#4 is aptly named "Stone" and contains (as per the GA website) four shades in "limestone, graphite, granite, and marble." The colors are all individually very pretty, have some slight shimmer, and are versatile enough to be used for a work day or smoked out for a night out.
Here, I am wearing the limestone shade from lashline to brow, the graphite on the lid, the granite in the crease, and marble on the browbones. As you can see, the colors are not super-intense, and are instead a sheer-ish wash. I think this goes along with GA's minimalist sensibility, but for the price, I do expect a little more.
I admit the shadows are very blendable and go on smoothly (thanks to its patented "micro-fil" technology that GA powder products have) -- but the intensity is not there. I think I may have to try them wet for a more wild look. I will also try these with shadow primer to see if that brings out the intensity of the shades.
YSL Dessin du Regard Haute Tenue (longlasting eye pencil) in #1 - Intense Black
I got a mini version of this last year as part of a GWP, and as far as pencil eyeliners go, this is one of my favorites. The black color is fairly dark... not carbon black, but not gray-ish, either. It is also available in an array of other colors if black isn't your thing. The pencil itself is firm, and you can really draw a defined lined with this, and it is also blendable at the same time, which is a super plus in my book. And -- the best thing about it? No raccoon eyes in the afternoon! This definitely stays on without flaking or smudging. It doesn't stay on all day if you line the inner rim/waterline, though (have yet to find a pencil that does that.) It also removes easily at the end of the day.
The only caveat? The price... it is $28USD for an eyeliner, which is pricey!
YSL Effet Faux Cils Mascara in #1 - High Density Black
Faux Cils is one of my gold standards, and not just because it comes in a pretty gold tube. It offers beautiful volumization, good lengthening, and really just fans the lashes out. Using one coat is enough to give a pretty, fluttery lash effect. It also leaves the lashes soft to the touch while it's on, and even when you remove it, the lashes still feel very soft and conditioned.
My only complaints with this mascara are that you have to follow the instructions to clean the brush once a week (by wiping it down on a paper towel)... because the bristles are so soft, they have a tendency to get gunked up with product. With that in mind, note that the shelf life of this mascara is only like a month for me... maybe two months max. It seems to get dried out faster than other mascaras, which I used for the full 3 months. In that respect, it may not be worth the money ($28.50USD) for those that are already blessed with beautiful lashes. But for me, I will continue to buy, because I love the effect, the pretty floral scent, and the perfect packaging.
MAC Lipliner in Subculture
This is a decent, basic neutral lipliner. I don't like to use brown-toned liners because my lips are so pink, and brown-y colors have a tendency to look orange or dirty on me. Subculture is a good alternative for when I use nude lipsticks or when I want some definition to my lips. My only gripe with it is that it's a bit hard, and you also have to sharpen all of the time. Other than that, it's a must-have for me.
Chanel Glossimer in Pink Ribbon
I think was a limited edition color. In the tube, it is a light, warm-toned pink with lots of silver and light pink glitter. On the lips, it applies very sheer, almost clear, so it works best over a pink lip liner or lipstick to add dimension to the lips. For a non-limited alternative, you could also try the glossimer in Pailletes, which is more cool-toned and has more silver glitter.
My favorite thing about the glossimers is the texture - gel-like, but super moisturizing and quite long-lasting. They are also odorless/scentless, and most are sheer enough that you can apply over top of lipstick or on their own for some color. The finishes are glossy without being over the top or sticky. The price is high, however (approx. $26USD), so be sure to try before you buy!