Hi again, gals. I recently bought two Eyes to Kill Intense shadows by Giorgio Armani ($32 each retail, but they were 15% off with a promo code). I had been lusting after them for months, poring over internet swatches and comparing their reviews on temptalia.com to help me choose colors... and I wound up choosing Lust Red and Khaki Pulse (not to be worn together, mind you!).
They're both creamy to the touch and swatch pigmented and gorgeous whether wet or dry, but I just can't settle my ambivalent feelings about them when I try them on my eyes:
Pro: the little red sparkles do come through, and this is clearly a black shadow, although,
Con: it is definitely a smokey black and not a true, deep black. I'd like to try it over NYX Black Bean Jumbo Pencil in the future to see if I can get it to go deeper.
Pro: they last without primer and don't crease (some have called these cream shadows but I swear they're powder!)
Con: I experienced fallout whether I patted it on with a brush or my finger.
Pro: can be used wet or dry with a liner brush to make a smokey line
Con: even with a wet brush I couldn't get rid of the smokey, blurred-out effect and make a precise line like a glitter pencil, gel or liquid liner. It's just not as versatile as I'd hoped.
Pro: I think I like this vampy EOTD, but
Con: I tried to use this in my crease only with another look and it didn't blend as well as I had hoped. It performed "Just Okay" and nobody wants to pay that much for a color that performs so-so.
While this color is beautiful when swatched and the quality is not disputable, I have to confess I don't see why the hype is so big with these $32 eyeshadows.
I own all the 88 palettes made by Coastal Scents and my next order of business is to find a dupe. While the texture won't be creamy, I know, I think I could find a smokey black with red micro-glitters that isn't as flawed as MAC Beauty Marked and isn't so pricey (come to think of it, these pictures are reminding me of layering the gray and purple in the MAC Mineralize duo in Earthly Riches, too, but the look is only similar and not a dupe).
Update: There is also a new NARS Arabian Nights Palette with a similar shade (plus two others) for $45. Even though Chistine at Temptalia says the black with silver sparkles sucks, it's still NARS and it's still a better deal than the ETK shadows...
Don't get me wrong, I do like them. I just don't think they're something to rave about if considering the full retail price (maybe $20 would be more appropriate?). I really don't think they're must-haves or that you're missing out if you don't buy them.