The Foundation Files: Armani Luminous Silk

Armani Luminous Silk foundationThis was my first favourite foundation. I worked with this so much in the beginning of my career, and after a break of a few years, I’m coming back to it again.

It’s a lightweight, oil-free fluid foundation that gives good coverage without heaviness, and gives a beautiful sheen to the skin. It’s perfect for evening, or the red carpet, or if your life is more supermarket than red carpet, it works for that too!

Developed by Pat McGrath when she was the Creative Director of Armani Beauty when it first started, it very much espouses her philosophy of luminous, glowing skin. At the same time she also developed the Armani Fluid Sheers, which are luminizing liquids that were designed to be mixed in with the foundations, and they are absolutely gorgeous either on their own as a strategic highlight, or mixed in with the Luminous Silk foundation. I have a few of the Fluid Sheers but my favourite is no 2.

I like the colours that Luminous Silk comes in, as the colour range starts very pale and goes into really quite deep tones, although my one grumble with the shade range is that the shades for very dark skintones are just too red. In the States it goes up to Shade 13, and I find that anything up from 10 is very red-brown, so I hardly ever use them. (Becca is amazing for black skin, as are some of the Illamasqua deeper shades). The shade of 5 or 5.5 is so universally perfect that I go through far more bottles of that than any of the others.

I would say that it’s a slightly lighter weight foundation than Chanel Vitalumiere, and applies beautifully with a brush or sponge. The shade range is also more extensive than the other prestige beauty houses (Dior, Chanel, YSL), as it comes in 17 shades in the US.

It is an oil-free foundation, but as always if you are an oily gal do try before you buy as it can look a bit greasy if you live in a hot climate or have very oily skin.

And a big PS – the Armani Foundation brush is also awesome.

Armani Beauty has a new Creative Director, Linda Cantello, one of the most awesome of awesome makeup artists – let me tell you this lady was wielding a brush when you were in nappies, so she knows what she’s doing! The new face of the brand is the super-vixen, Megan Fox, and after a bit of a break Armani is back on my beauty radar in a big way.

See Linda’s work on the impeccably beautiful Megan Fox here:

Armani Aqua di Gioia – Perfume and Project


I have exciting news everyone – the return of my nose! Well not literally, but figuratively speaking. What’s she talking about now? I hear you ask – well you might wonder why I never cover fragrance on my blog, and that’s because my sense of smell got all messed up when I was pregnant with my son (this is quite some time ago now.) It was like my body re-set itself so I could only handle wearing the perfume I was wearing when I fell pregnant, which was Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey. Every other fragrance made me want to be sick, so L’eau d’Issey has been my only possible perfume for the last eight years. This from a woman who used to have a dressing table covered in perfume (in my defense, it was the 80’s, and if you couldn’t clear a room with your vapour trail of Giorgio Beverly Hills or Christian Dior Poison, you weren’t trying hard enough, quite frankly.)

But I think my body might be letting me wear other perfumes again! I tried the new Armani Aqua di Gioia fragrance and loved it – and even managed to keep it on for a full day, with no ill effects. This is big, people – it seems I might finally be out of the woods, olfactorily speaking.

Not only is it potentially responsible for my re-entry into the world of smelling fabulous again, but it is part of a project that Mr Armani (I met him at work when I was in London and he really is Mr Armani, what a gracious man) has put together to provide clean drinking water for children in Africa. He has set an “Aqua for Life” challenge to provide 40 million litres worldwide of drinking water to populations without any access to it, primarily children. 900 million people globally are still deprived of safe, clean water for their daily essential needs. Living in the West we can’t even imagine that, but over 4,000 children die EVERY day from water-borne diseases. Working alongside the non-governmental organization, Green Cross International, Mr Armani has offered to make two of his most famous fragrances, Acqua di Gio and Acqua di Gioia the vehicles to be involved. As of March 1st, 2011, every bottle sold will generate a donation of 100 litres of drinking water per year to children and their communities. The operation will begin in Ghana, in West Africa, where some 40% of the rural population does not have access to drinking water, and over time the operation will be extended to other countries.

If you wish to find out more about the Aqua for Life campaign, visit, or find them on Facebook at

Not only is the fragrance delicious, it’s an amazing project to be involved with. Go Mr Armani!


A Whiter Shade of Pale

Gothic Drama at Zac PosenIt started as a murmur at the last Fashion Week – not a bronzer in sight, instead either natural skin tomes or slightly paler, bones highlighted with judicious use of contour and luminiser. Then came Twilight, the vampire film seemingly beloved by all, and the murmur became a whisper, and now with the release of New Moon (the sequel to Twilight), and the fact that I haven’t opened my bronzer bag in six months, I think the whisper is officially a roar – pale skin is back in.

It will be interesting to see what the next round of Fashion Weeks brings up in September, but I don’t see paler skin going anywhere. When the only people wedded to their toxic tans seem to be Lindsey Lohan, Victoria Beckham and Jordan, I do think it’s time to move on and embrace the skin you’re in, one free of nasty melanomas and prematurely aged by the sun.

Being on the lighter side myself I can attest too many long Australian summers in the sun, cooking myself to my deepest color – a disappointing watery tea shade that invariably burned, and took about 150 hours of hard core sun exposure to get what I could have done in half an hour in the bathroom with a coat of Clarins fake tan. So even on holidays now I protect myself with SPF 50, and try not to worry too much about those toxic (but oh so enjoyable!) rays. Thus it’s great to see that there is a new movement afoot to embrace our natural, un-suntanned selves. Just in time for winter!Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan in Twilight

Chantecaille have introduced a new pale shade of their fabulous Future Skin foundation, which was sorely lacking from their line before, and both MAC and Illamasqua do pure white foundations for the fairest amongst you.  Kay Montano uses Becca Sherbert when she is looking after the creamy complexion of regular client, Nicole Kidman, and for highlighting the alabaster-skinned I like either Becca Pearl, or Pat McGrath’s favourite, Armani Fluid Sheer in 0.

And of course for our friends whose skin is NEVER going to be a whiter shade of pale, rock the gorgeous skin tone of caramel, honey or ebony that you are, and don’t feel left out – because black is ALWAYS beautiful.