Giorgio Armani Mediterranean Eye Palette Summer 2011

April 28, 2011

Armani has established a long standing tradition of releasing a collection in their Bronze Mania/Mediterranean theme for summer each year. Armani has released their latest edition of the Mediterranean Palette in a four-pan eyeshadow quad for Summer 2011 ($59).

Going back as far as I can remember, Armani has released different variations of double-decker palettes for summer usually a bronzer and eyeshadow combination. I am excited this year they have released a full sized quad. Even more excited that this summer is one of the first seasons I’ve seen something appears to be something truly Armani. Something gorgeous, glowing and gloriously neutral. You might find these links interesting to see the history of Bronze Mania in the following awesome reviews:

The Summer 2011 Mediterranean Eye Palette has four shimmery summery shades. From top to bottom I would describe them as:
  • warm shimmery deep bronze
  • complex apricot champagne infused with a warm gold shimmer
  • warm coppery gold frost
  • warm champagne cream glow
The texture is soft. Pigment is rich. The colors are easily blendable. It’s stunning in the compact and on the back of the hand. The shades are amazing when you pick them up with your fingertips. There is a little instruction card that comes with the palette to give you ideas on how to create a day or night look. The verdict? I don’t think it’s a must-have. I’ll explain why below. First, here are the photos in direct sunlight and with a high flash:

Instructional card with helpful diagrams:

Swatched on a slightly moisturized arm, although no base was really needed to pick up the color:

Closer swatches so you can see the sheen:

So why am I not raving like crazy about this one? For some reason, warm shades like the ones in this palette simply blend together and melt into my skin so you can’t really see much. I need a good moist base and a slightly damp brush to apply wet for them to show up on my olive skin. Plus, I can only use 3 shades at most for these colors. Another thing – I noticed it looked very familiar and went through my quads in search of a dupe. I found it virtually identical to Chanel Spices. The Armani is more intense and more pigmented, but the effect is strikingly similar.

The differences are noticeable, but subtle:

I just know on my eyes, both quads will look identical. If you have pinkish undertones or fair skin, I think this will be *the perfect* combination of colors for you. I envision it will be stunning on blue-eyed and green-eyed girls. As much as I love neutrals, it doesn’t really show up on my eyes. Your mileage may vary. I worry when some really take to heart when I say I’m not in love with something. I don’t want you to write something off simply because I do. As other bloggers have noted in their reviews, this is a beautiful palette. Indeed it is. Due to the vastness of my stash, I knew there was a likely chance that I would have something similar.

If you liked the colors in Chanel Spices but don’t like Chanel quads, this Armani is the one for you. The texture is more blendable than the Chanel and more visible on the skin so it will stand out more on most of you (even if it just blends away into nothingness on me). Armani is more pigmented/intensified so it’s slightly better for the wear.

All in all the quality is still amazing. The pigment is surprisingly good. The texture is to die for. I’ll figure out a way to play with the colors and layer them to make them show up better. I already have ideas of layering these with a few of those powder/cream Eyes to Kill Hybrids that I think will be interesting.

At the time of this post, I don’t think it’s online yet. I found mine at Neiman Marcus instore. I did not check out the other items in the collection so I can’t comment on those. I’m still smitten with Chanel and Dior. More on the Dior quints soon. If you have an Armani counter near you GO and play with this to decide for yourself πŸ™‚

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  • I've been looking for this palette (in all the wrong department stores apparently..). The Chanel looks amazingly close in your swatch photo! But I think the winner is Armani by a slim margin. Maybe I'll take a look this weekend.

    Thank you for the review!

  • Can the packaging get any more chic? I love it!

  • What a beauty! I love the combination, would be perfect for my skintone!

  • I wouldn't have looked at this twice but then the SA offered me a makeup and I was hooked. The eyeshadows do have a wonderful soft and blendable texture with great pigment (I agree that they perform better than Chanel). I think it's going to be a summer staple for me.

    I was also very impressed by the Sheer Bronzer, but didn't get that because I discovered I could get a similar effect with an older shimmery Terracotta I own, applied with the MAC "skunk" brush πŸ™‚

  • Thank you so much for this review. These color look perfect for me. Especially after your comments. I've always been interested in adding Chanel Spices to my collection but had never seen swatches. Now I've seen swatches and something better! I'm thinking I should add this to my collection.

  • This palette is a MUST! It is gorgeous.

  • I LOVE this palette. It'll be one of those that I pack with me when I go traveling. I do agree with you though–the colors do blend in a bit on olive skin. I'm still so happy I purchased it. Did you buy any of the new sheer lipsticks?

  • Debra

    Gorgeous palette, but the bronze is the only one I'd "need." And I do not need another bronze eye shadow (big weakness). The comparison to Spices is so helpful — I've been swatching it and find that it's too "natural" a look, not enough impact, and I'm NW25. And then again, these palettes are ones that include only 1 shade that I'd use. I have a 2-3-shade-rule for any palette.

    But those shades for blue eyes are stunning!

  • Nemo

    Sabrina, I have the coloring you described in your review: fair skin with pink tones, blue-green eyes, and honey-blonde hair; I have never owned an Armani makeup item before, so I bought the CHANEL spices. Should I also get the Armani? I am thinking I made a boo-boo in not getting it.

  • This is so pretty and so tempting! I have Spices though. Wish I would have gotten this one instead! Thanks for the review πŸ™‚

  • Mackenzie

    This looks exactly like one of my YSL eyeshadow quint in tawny too, and it has the same deep or deeper pigmentation.

  • Thanks ladies for stopping by! I'll address the question:

    Nemo – I think the Armani will look stunning on you. I can't say how it will look on your skintone, but I have a feeling it will look much better on you than me. Check out Karlasugar's post today – she seems like she might be around your skintype. It just looks drop dead gorgeous on her:


  • OMG this is amazing – i have bought the GA quad and was a bit disappointed because the colours are a tad too warm. Now that you compare it to Chanel Spices – I have thos one too *lol* I put it away for swapping because it is also too reddish.

    I agree the quality is great and I hope the next LE will have better colours. Still in love with the autumn 2010 edition with the blue.