Source: Nordstrom (not an affiliated link)
Quite a buzz it was when Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation ($62 for 1 oz) came out a few weeks ago. The most frequent rave I've heard are its long-wearing and natural finish. The latter intrigues my curiosity and at the same time concerns me a bit about the coverage.
Let's first talk about the shade range. It ain't large compared to its widely popular sister Luminous Silk but it seems to capture the color depth well. From the company's website, we know
Fair Shades: #2, #3, #4
Medium Shades: #4.5, #5, #5.5, #6.5, #7, #8
Dark Shades: #10, #11.5, #12
Shade 4.5 and 6.5 are yellow based but the first is too pale while the latter is too tan on my skin. My local Giorgio Armani counter didn't have shade #5. In fact, the girl told me there wasn't #5! Disbelieved but too tired to argue, I grabbed the samples of shade 5.5 and 4.5. So far, I've been enjoying the wear but this foundation has some drawbacks that I can't overcome (yet?).
Comparison of shade 4.5 (yellow-based) and 5.5 (pink-based)
A different lighting
Put aside the hefty price tag, here are what I like
- Doesn't turn orange on my skin throughout the day
- Dries instantly in natural finish, no need for powder
- Although sheer, it stays put for 8 hours without a primer or setting powder
- Feel comfortable, weightless like naked skin
- Smooth out my skin, which is a nice surprise since it's sheer
- Easy to apply (fingers are the best)
And what I don't like?
- Doesn't offer enough coverage for minor blemishes and uneven skin tone, even with 3 layers. Your skin peeks through the foundation. It definitely covers better than Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid but doesn't come as close to Burberry Luminous Sheer. I do prefer Burberry's (for many other reasons too).
- I don't find a shade match (yet). Shade 4.5 captures the yellow of my skin while neutralize the redness. It's too pale though. Shade 5.5 has the right depth but too pink on me.
Swatches in layers to show you how Maestro builds
The sale associate told me that the company might issue more shades depending on the popularity of the foundation. I'm keeping my finger crossed! If I find the right shade, I will consider to put more effort in concealing minor blemishes with concealers instead of foundations like my current routine.
Bottom line. For now, I'll wait for better shade range. Although it wears longer than Burberry Sheer Luminous foundation, it doesn't cover minor blemishes as well. If you have good skin, definitely check it out.
*****A side note on my skin and foundations*****
I have medium yellow undertone (MAC NC 25-30) with some redness on the cheek and dull skin on the chin. My face skin is nearly one shade deeper than the neck. I look for a foundation that match my neck skin to create a seamless transition from face to neck. I don't classify my skin as good but I don't have break out or major skin problems. Loads of foundations turn orangy or muddy on me within one to three hours of wearing. This is the frustration of finding a good foundation for my makeup.
Four must-have traits of a good foundation for me
- doesn't turn orange or muddy throughout the day
- dries in natural finish
- evens out the color and smoothes the skin (finely milled texture)
- covers veins, discoloration, redness and minor dark spots