The Vengeful Polyglot

Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Posted on: October 11, 2011

I recently set out on a lipstick expedition to Nordstroms looking to fill out my rather-lacking collection. I came prepared with a list of products I had earmarked based on online reviews and asked the sales person to help me try on one after another. I knew, vaguely, what I wanted: a nude, a pink, and a plum. Within those categories, though, I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. I didn’t really understand what “temperature” my skin was (apparently, pink means “cool” — who knew?) or what colors would look good on me, aside from thinking they looked nice on other people. I had written down a lot of MAC, a lot of Bobbi Brown, some NARS.

Somehow, I wound up with two by Giorgio Armani.

After spending about two hours smearing something on my lips, having no idea if it looked good or even significantly different from the last whatever I had smeared on, and looking helplessly and ineffectually at the lady showing me around, she steered me away from the stations I’d been ping-ponging between and recommended I try one of the nudes over at the Armani counter.

She handed me a Rouge d’Armani Lipstick in Beige 103, a baby-pink nude, and I thought, why not? Why not, indeed! I think I actually said, “wow” halfway through the first swipe. The formula is amazing. It’s silky smooth and builds up really nicely. After confirming two or three times that something that was clearly pink-ish still qualified as “nude” (I really don’t get this whole nude thing too well), I was sold. While none of the Armani pinks were too compelling to me (I wound up with MAC’s Lovelorn, a really fun bubblegum-y color, instead), I did fall in love with Plum 601, despite it being far more dramatic than anything I’d typically wear outside.

Each was $30, rather steep for a lipstick. I do consider these excellent staples, though, particularly for Fall. Given the excellent formula, I can’t say I’ll be hurting for reasons to slap these on!

 

Packaging

The first thing you notice about these lipsticks is the very high quality packaging. While slightly over-sized, the shiny, black, ergonomic-looking casing is certainly striking, particularly considering it closes magnetically. I think it feels good in the hand, though it does take up more room than I’d like as far as storage is considered. It should be definitely noted that in comparison to other lipsticks, even other Armani lipsticks, the casing is noticeably larger.

 

Color and Formula

The two colors I got are Beige 103 (left) and Plum 601 (right). Both have excellent color payoff, though they can offer somewhat sheer coverage on the first go-round. 103 leans very pink (100 and 101 are “truer” nudes, and it’s more pink than staple nudes like MAC’s Angel) and looks nice with my cooler coloring. 601 also reads pretty pink, though it’s undeniably a plum. It’s more intense than MAC’s Plumful, but less dramatic and slightly brighter than Rebel. Both have slip and shine when freshly applied, though they took on a more matte finish for me after eating and drinking.

Here are swatches on my hand:

Here they are on my lips:

One of the cons is more easily seen in the bottom sample: while the formula feels nicely moist, it can highlight imperfections in chapped lips because it is so soft. They both look excellent with glosses layered over, and are (I think) very versatile. I enjoy some sheerness in my lipsticks, so having to build up color doesn’t bother me; if it bothers you, your mileage may vary as I’ve had to swipe them more than once to get full color payoff. I have really pigmented lips, so applying a base (i.e. foundation/concealer) to my lips prior to using 103 helps me to get a paler result without having to layer it to excess; doing this or using a lip liner may help get the desired result if coverage is too sheer.

While the coverage isn’t entirely opaque without layering, the formula feels luxuriously silky, as previously mentioned. I think it’s the nicest I’ve ever found in a lipstick, though my experience is somewhat limited. In comparison to my sole other Armani lipstick, a Sheer Lipstick in Red 6, I think the formula is much creamier and feels slightly nicer. This is, I think, expected, given these are full-coverage lipsticks and 6 is intended to be sheer.

 

Verdict

I love these lipsticks, truly. I would definitely recommend them despite any cons mentioned above. I think the range of available colors is exhaustive and attractive for a variety of complexions and, while pricier than some other lines, I really think the excellent formula justifies the cost. While my Armani red has always been a bit too intense for me to wear alone, I think these shades are very wearable and comfortable. I’ve gotten good wear time with these, maybe 6 hours or so. This has definitely led me to see Armani’s lipsticks in an even more positive light.

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Blog by a programmer cum linguist cum writer cum total geek. One who pretentiously uses "cum" in place of any other logical connectives. Direct questions to the Ask Lauren page!

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