Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer 608 Review and Swatches

Hi, guys! I apologize for my unintentional absence from here and online in general; the term was truly miserable, crowned by finals last week which finished eating my life, and then after those got done I had to recuperate and start finalizing plans for my trip! And now I am at the beach with my mother, inhaling salty air and battling beach hair. I have lots of things to show you, though, so let me just dive right in.

I've not been a gloss person since early college. They're generally too sticky, too migratory, too sheer, too fleeting, too smelly, too juvenile. But then I tried Lipstick Queen Big Bang gloss, which was a revelation: translucent but not particularly sheer, not sticky, pleasant gel texture, long-wearing, and pretty. Then came Burberry Mallow Pink, the most gloriously perfect pink-coral. Slightly tackier than LQ in texture, but beautifully pigmented, understated shimmer, moisturizing and beautiful wear: it has been my most-worn lippie pretty much since I got it. It's my daily choice at least twice a week, and given that I have 30+ lippies, that's high praise.

Recently, Chanel released new shades in their Aqualumiere line which, from swatches online, looked very promising, and the new Armani Flash Lacquers, described as being lightweight and comfortable, called my name. When Nordstrom had 14% cash back on Ebates for their birthday, I picked up glosses from both lines, opting for the fuchsia Savage Grace from Chanel, and the MLBB rose 608 from Armani. The latter is the focus of the post today.

Armani does classy packaging really, really well. I love the oblong tube and offset cap, and the lack of brand name marring the view of the sparkly contents is admirable.
sparkly contents!
The wand is a longer, thinner doefoot that does a nice job of contouring to the lips and offering a precise line. The gloss itself is a semi-sheer browned plum-rose with pink and silver shimmer. It's supposed to be super high-shine, and it is quite reflective, but it's not goopy or grossly so, and rubbing my lips together (as is my wont) mutes the shine somewhat.

left to right: Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm Sunny Berry, Revlon Sugar Plum, Shiseido Lacquer Rouge Nymph, Armani Flash Lacquer 608

It's scent- and taste-free, and the texture is thinner than Burberry's but still minimally sticky, and unlike Savage Grace (spoiler alert!), 608 has minimal creep into my lip lines. It's very pretty, polished without being overdone, a nice lightweight MLBB, but I don't love it.

on lips

I'm not crazy about how the shimmer remains after the gloss wears off––it doesn't migrate, but it's very obviously there, and even though it's quite fine, I can feel some grit on my lips––and it also tends to transfer something crazy, leaving the boy with a slightly-disco-ball face. That's the price of shimmer, though, and helps explain why I usually opt for shimmer-free lippies (my LMdB lip crèmes are obvious exceptions). I don't find it to be particularly long-wearing; I get about an hour from it before I have to reapply (half as long as LQ Big Bang and Burberry), in part because there's no stain left behind. It's also not moisturizing, and I suspect there may be an ingredient that my lips don't agree with, as they tend to feel a bit tight and, I don't know, scrinchy? Like, kind of squeaky and wrinkly. It's not particularly bad, but it's also not the best. I always slather on lip balm at night, though, and the effects are not lingering.
why is the sun so bright?

So, good things: pretty color, gorgeous packaging, love the lack of scent and taste. Bad things: scrinchy lips, residual shimmer, mild grittiness. Neutral things: not moisturizing, not long wearing. In the end, I think I'm going to return it, as it doesn't make me really happy. And that's why I buy luxury makeup: for the happy. "Pretty nice" just ain't good enough for $29. Now I just have to venture up to Nordie's to return it...

See swatches of the range at Kai's Obsessions. For other reviews of the Flash Lacquers, see Makeup and Beauty Blog, Vanity Rouge, Musings of a Muse, Beautezine, Kai's Obsessions, Best Things in BeautyThe Beauty Look Book, and Temptalia. Others have had more success with them being long-wearing, so take my experience with a grain of salt, as always.

$29 for 0.22 oz, available from Nordstrom, Giorgio Armani, Saks, Neiman Marcus

Quality: 8
Effectiveness: 4.25 (I don't find it to be the shiniest lip gloss that ever lip glossed, "even after blotting")
Ease of Use: 4.75
Senses: 3.5 (scrinchy, a bit gritty)
Pigmentation: 5
Duration: 3.5
Consistency: 3.5
Price: 1.5
Value: 2*
Packaging: +0.5
Grade: C

*It takes 0.022 g per application and even saying you have to apply only once every 1.5 hours (which is being generous, in my experience), a tube only lasts 40 days and costs a whopping $0.70/day. Compare to other lippies here.

So, yeah. While it's pretty, and I like the snap of the lid when I close it, it just doesn't cut it for me. Maybe I'm not a lip gloss person, after all...still need to try Dior's and Guerlain's to be sure, though!

Have you tried any of the Flash Lacquers? What did you think?
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