Armani Chinese New Year Highlighting Palette: Review & Swatches

Armani just made a Chinese New Year of the Monkey Highlighting Palette. It looked really interesting in an Instagram photo so I grabbed it. Per Armani’s website: “Celebrate the Chinese New Year with a Highlighting Powder of light gold shimmer, bronze and champagne pearls, stamped with a graphic monkey pattern as an ode to the year of the Monkey. This pressed powder leaves a matte, natural, and transparent veil over the skin, highlighting feminine beauty. This universal shade flatters every skin tone, highlighting the skin’s complexion and reflecting light with its weightless texture.” The retail is $88 for a 8.5g palette. This is the same size as the face palettes they put out, it has a red lid and I have no idea what it says. Perhaps Year of the Monkey?

Inside is a champagne colored highlighter with a cute monkey shape in it. The top lifts and has a brush included underneath. It’s the typical Armani cut hair brush that’s nothing to write home about.

This was actually a really hard palette to photograph accurately. Inside natural light(window light) makes it look very reflective, and while the color was accurate, it doesn’t show the gold micro shimmer that’s very prevalent in the powder. It just looks like a champagne pearl style highlighter.

Shown here closer to artificial indoor light(my bathroom vanity lights) the gold micro shimmer pops out more but still not as much as it is to the naked eye.

Sunlight even doesn’t capture the micro shimmer very well.

The highlighter base shade is a pearled deeper champagne, it’s very close to my light to medium NC 25 skintone. The base disappears once blended in. There’s a residual slightly shimmery champagne effect leftover from the base. The disappointing part of this palette is the very prominent gold micro shimmer. It’s not a pearl effect, it’s not a glitter bomb so to speak. But, it’s a micro glitter bomb effect. I personally don’t like it, it’s too glittery for me. It’s not the subtle highlighter I have come to expect from Armani and Chanel. It’s best visible in the sunlight swatches, but really only shows up to the naked eye.

The texture is amazing, finely milled and it does disappear into the skin, no powdery feel at all. Even the base pearl champagne shade is subtle and lovely. It’s the gold micro shimmer that ruins this compact for me and for $88 it’s not worth the glitter bomb. Now, if I was a Monkey(I’m a Horse) then I would probably be into it, but strictly as a highlighter it’s a pass for me. Shame, it’s fabulous otherwise and Armani nailed it with the texture and pearl base. I would absolutely love this as a champagne highlighter, without the glitter.

Swatches: Inside and the shade was so close to my skintone it was hard to get it to show up(Top heavy, Bottom sheered out):


Compared to L to R: Chanel Dentelle Precieuse, Armani Monkey, Natasha Denona Light:

Top to Bottom: Natasha Denona Light, Armani Monkey, Chanel Dentelle Precieuse:


Sunlight Sheered Out:

Sheered Out(Slightly out of focus to show shimmer particles better):

Here it’s swatched on my finger to show the gold micro shimmer somewhat better. It still doesn’t photograph the micro shimmer as visible as it looks to the naked eye.

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