A few weeks ago, Giorgio Armani held an event downtown at the Bay. Coincidentally, I would be heading out to another industry event later that evening, so it was the perfect opportunity to try out a few new products and get my makeup done.

They had several of Armani’s national trainers on hand for the makeovers while Reza Zaimeche, Armani’s official makeup artist, stopped by a few times throughout the applications to offer suggestions and tweak the looks.

My wonderful makeup artist and I chatted about my makeup style, and decided upon a natural look with a pop of colour on the lips. While she was applying their Luminessence CC creme, Reza flew in and sheepishly grinned, “I looooove your freckles!”. I embarassingly giggled. He agreed that a pop of colour on my lips would be perfect. When my MUA mentionned going with shade #400, a blue-red, Reza offered “No, go with #403 Downtown. It’s a brown-red. It’s much chic-er than blue-reds”. Noted.

click photo to enlarge

Having never tried a brown-red (usually I stay in the comfortable, teeth-whitening zone of blue-reds), I was a bit nervous that it would make me look old. However, I could see his point: you never see bright reds on Parisian girls, more of a subdued, “I was born wearing red lipstick” reds. I was basically preparing myself to look as cool as Jeanne Damas in my mind (now I just need bangs…).

The look ended up being perfect! I loved the lip colour, and my MUA was super skilled at eyeliner application.

The Rouge Ecstasy range are considered “CC” lipsticks (colour and care): they are meant to offer the comfort, softness and care of a lip balm while containing saturated, luminous colour with great long-lasting wear.

In addition to the red, I also had another shade from this range, #508 Daybreak, which had been sent to me previously to review.

The colour is also long-lasting, which is great for me since I tend to forget I am wearing lipstick. As mentioned, #403 is a dark brown-red, which can be applied with or without liner. I really like it as a lighter application for more of a stained look, or with two coats which really gives a rich colour. No shimmer or glitter in this shade whatsoever, just uber-creamy lips with a slight, healthy shine.

#508 is a medium beige-pink (typical me, I know), that gives a warm look. It has a slight golden glimmer to it, and the colour is pink enough that it looks fresh and less nude. The colour is quite sheer and hydrating as #403, but still has coverage (I have somewhat dark colour lips, so I can’t really wear light colours over top).

And for the last shade, #510 Dolci, is a cool toned berry pink sans any shimmer, which I actually won from Dave Lackie‘s Twitter giveaways (if you don’t already follow him, get on that, he gives away amazing prizes every single day). I think it’s a great transitional colour from winter to spring. The colour is dark but vivid and subtle enough that it’s not shouting. Again, perfectly creamy, nourishing colour that just won’t quit.

The formula of these lipsticks is incredibly creamy and highly pigmented, which makes for a flawless and easy application every time (and perfect for on-the-go situations). You can definitely skip the lip balm and liner before hand.

Plus: Not only is the packaging minimalist-chic, but it also has an amazing magnetic closure that makes for a sleek slide and click when you replace the cap.

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