|Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation:|
the Last Kid on the Block
This is the thinnest, most luxurious-feeling, softest, smoothest, silkiest formulation you have ever ever experienced. It doesn't feel like a foundation. It feels like a really thin serum. It's an entirely new, completely different, never-done before formulation. Giorgio Armani labs have been working on this for eight years I believe.
And. It. Is. Stunning.
I was genuinely awed by this, although I wasn't expecting to be. I took a look and a feel of this and sighed. Said I to myself: "this is going to be A Total Waste Of Time, but sure I'll give it a go and it'll do me for the day and I'll write about it tomorrow". Use. Pause. Sigh. Wow.
This may well be the Foundation To End All Foundations. It may well be the Reason that makeup artists are made defunct. It may herald the end of airbrushing. It will be my go-to foundation for some time, and given that I have Rather A Lot of the stuff (brands, makes, formulas, types), this makes me Rather Annoyed that Giorgio Armani took eight years to figure this stuff out :-)
I realise that I have rabbited on quite a bit about this formulation, so I should forestall any questions to the effect that I was paid or asked to forward my opinion on this. I was not. I paid for this foundation myself and will pay for it again.
So. Gushing and sighing aside, why do I like it?
*sighs* This is going to be too thin to be useful. But sure here goes.
This is... wow... seriously... wow... but em... isn't it going to be too thin to be useful?
Holy hell... this stuff is amazing. It is like a thin film of Nothing At All. But for all the nothing-ness, it covered my rosacea. It covered my hyper pigmentation. It did all of this while feeling like... nothing. It was weightless, silky, soft. It looked and felt airbrushed. Concealer was needed for my blemishes, but this is normal of all but full coverage foundation (which I never wear and in fact, rarely ever use). I can see my skin through this, but the finish is like I dialled time back to my (foggy) mid-twenties, when I had skin that didn't need any foundation (it's been a while).
Sheer, buildable to medium. If you want to build it up, you can do it pretty much immediately, you don't need to wait for the previous layer to dry, which is handy. But you feel like you have nothing on (makeup-wise anyhow!) It goes on in seconds. It layers/builds in seconds. This is not alone amazing stuff, but it has turned my three-to-five-minute foundation routine into a twenty-to-thirty-second routine.
For all its hydration, it's not a dewy finish; this is a satin (ie semi-matte), luminous, airbrushed finish. It is definitely more matte when first applied, but this settles quickly enough to semi-matte after a short period of time.
It wears brilliantly and lasts and lasts and lasts, which really surprised me. The first day I wore it, I applied it at 9am, about two hours later than usual, and at 9pm it was still going strong, with only the tiniest amount of oiliness starting to appear on my t-zone. I have combination skin and usually every other single foundation I've used would have started oiling up a long time before that.
I have worn it over primer and it didn't last particularly longer (than over no primer) - so, it doesn't need primer (that's one less layer on my skin). It didn't need topping-up during the day. It may not even need powdering, depending on your skin type (I powdered it in my t-zone only, and extremely lightly, and that was all that was necessary).
It doesn't seem to settle into fine lines. It doesn't look dry. It doesn't look oily. It doesn't cake or bunch or flake or fade. Your skin feels soft all day, like it's had a nourishing treatment. I used this on more mature skin (thirty years more mature) to see how it wore and looked, and it was every bit as good on that skin (let's call her my "mother") as mine, lasted as long, wore as well, applied as well, felt every bit as good. And let's just say this particular guinea pig is a *cough* fuss-arse *mumble* about her base, and only likes good old Estée Lauder Doublewear, usually.
There are twelve shades available in the US, and nine available (I believe) in Ireland, as follows:
The shades that I swatched in-store all appeared to be either quite yellow-y or peach-y in undertone. I got #5.5 and it was a perfect match for me (I'm about an NC30 in MAC at the moment). The "smart pigment" technology that Armani have arrived at (after their eight years of research) features very fine pigments that automagically fuse into your own skin making it genuinely "smart" and in this way, they get away with needing only a few shades. Case in point: my other guinea pig (aforementioned "mother") has a very pink undertone to her skin, and is considerably darker than me at present. But I used the same shade on her and it looks perfect for her. Now, that's impressive.
Best Applied With...
Categorically, fingers. It needs the warmth of your hands. I've applied it with a sponge (the sponge drinks up too much of it). I've applied it with two different brushes and they tended to leave faint drag marks. Fingers, on the other hand, help it to melt into your skin. In a matter of seconds. If you do use a brush, then pat it in with your hands afterwards.
This is just composed of pigments (the aforementioned "smart", uber-fine pigments) and five different oils - that's all. It's not water-based. It's not silicone-based. It doesn't contain talc, minerals, titanium dioxide, mica, silica. It doesn't have any powders or fillers. It doesn't contain mother-of-pearl or light-reflective gels or any fancy trickery. There is seemingly no trickery to this foundation. Which is weird.
The oils are a mix of both volatile (ie evaporative) and non-volatile. The volatile oils evaporate at different rates and help the foundation to slip onto your skin. The non-volatile oils contribute to skin hydration.
It's non-comodogenic (as there are no fillers to clog any pores, it can genuinely make this claim). For all the oils in the base it doesn't feel oily; think of the dry oil type serums you'd put on your face… that kind of silky feeling. It actually feels like a treatment on your skin.
I've trialled and reviewed another beautiful foundation recently, the Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat. Undoubtedly, I'm sure people are wondering if this compares. This is quite possibly nicer, covers more despite being thinner, lasts longer, and doesn't need setting (or "as much setting"). See this post for the YSL review.
The Nitty-Gritties (Skincare? Flashback? Scent? Price?)
- SPF15. Pointless, but better than nothing.
- It contains lotus oil (one of the non-volatile oils) which helps with hydration).
- It has no obvious heavy scent. A major plus in my book.
- It has no flashback that I can discern. Can be used with flash photography.
- At €45, it's not cheap, but I can imagine this lasting forever... It comes with what looks like a strange eye dropper applicator, until you realise the genius behind it; the formulation is so thin, and you need so little, it makes sense to use this type of applicator to just squeeze out the few drops of this you'll need. You will be sceptical, but I guarantee you'll be shocked at how little of this you need.
This foundation apparently has a matching concealer which I haven't yet tried (I used my Armani High-Precision Retouch concealer and it was fine). I will be re-purchasing this. It's beyond amazing. Highly recommended. A-mazing. Go gettit. You won't regret it.