Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

After reading some reviews of the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation touting it as a "game-changer" and some saying it's the "best foundation they've ever tried," I found myself DESPERATELY wanting to try this foundation. I ran the next day to my nearest Armani counter on my lunch break and begged for samples of shades #2 and 3, since from what I'd read online I thought both could be close to my skin tone and I don't trust sales associates to accurately match my very fair skin (approximately N-NW10 in MAC coloring). I figured I'd probably end up deciding at home which shade I preferred and then returning to buy. However, I don't think I'll be purchasing this foundation, and may not even finish off the samples I received. I think it'll be easiest to break this down into pros and cons.

- Super smooth, blendable application with fingers. Melts into the skin beautifully. As others have written, it has the feel of a dry oil.
- Adjusts to your skin tone. I have NO IDEA how this works but I swear it's true. For an excellent visual example of this, see my love Kate's review on Drivel About Frivol here. For this reason, I found myself able to wear both shades #2 and 3 and in fact could not tell them apart on my skin once both dried and completed their color-changing magic.
- Very long-wearing. I found I preferred it when NOT set with a powder (because it looked too dry on me after setting with powder, even though my skin can get quite oily), and even when not set with a powder I still saw foundation on my makeup removing wipe 12 hours after applying it.
- Looks incredibly natural on the skin. (See below - this is also something of a con!)
- The packaging. I love how clean and sanitary the idea of a dropper bottle is, and it works well with a foundation as liquidy as this one is.

- SUPER SHEER COVERAGE. Yes, it does look like real skin to me (about 10 minutes after application, once it's dry) but it also looks pretty much like I'm not wearing foundation. I was astonished tonight when I saw foundation coming off on my wipe because I was sure it must be all gone, since I couldn't see it on my face at all. Now, I am not someone who generally wants full-coverage foundation; I have pretty good skin and sometimes even get complimented on it. I often go to work with no foundation on at all because I don't think I need it on "good skin" days. But... even with that in mind, I was unsatisfied with the level of coverage on this. It covered my very faded, pale pink scars left over from my teenage acne-ridden years, but the two small current pimples I had going today looked like I hadn't covered them with a thing.
- Dry patches stand out dramatically with this foundation. They go from whispering "look at me" to yelling at you with a megaphone when you put this on.
- I am not 100% sure of this, but I think it causes mild breakouts on my skin. No big volcanic cysts (which is exactly what I got from both Armani's Lasting and Luminous foundations), but just tiny little white bumps here and there that I'm pretty sure wouldn't have appeared if I hadn't been wearing this foundation for the past several days. I don't know what ingredient(s) in the foundation might be causing this.

Naturally, there are more pros than cons here but the cons still outweigh the pros in my opinion. I prize my clear skin too much to want to put it through the ringer any further, and the coverage is just... why bother? It does make my skin look a bit nicer and does keep me from getting unreasonably oily, so if it weren't for the breakouts I might consider purchasing to wear on my "good skin days," but given that I believe it's been causing a mild breakout for me, it's just not worth it.

I'd swatch the shades I sampled for you, but honestly, you wouldn't be able to see them!

So what do you think? Are you running out to buy this foundation anyway? Relieved to hear that I didn't love it because that saves you money? Still wanting to try it yourself? Let me know!

Disclaimer: the product(s) featured in this post were free samples procured from an Armani counter.


  1. This stuff sucks and is such a gimmic. Pure crapola.

  2. I am so glad you said this, because I am having a similar experience. I am very fair and have combination skin (cystic tendencies on my chin) with mild rosacea around my nose that was under control. My skin was very clear and smooth when I started testing this foundation, and the first time I tried it I thought it looked amazing - I thought I had found my Holy Grail. Now I am noticing that my rosacea is flaring up, and I have small bumps around my chin ... not a true breakout, but definitely unhappy skin. On top of that, the foundation doesn't cover the redness/pigmentation, makes any dryness look worse, and accentuates the now-blocked pores on my chin. I thought it was just me, but I'm glad to see that someone else isn't satisfied. I'm still looking for my HG foundation :P

  3. Thanks for your fantastic review...I was really curious about this new foundation!

  4. I know what you mean ! I am 55 years old and never had break -outs. But after using Armani's face fabric I noticed after a few days that I had little bumps on my chin.(my skin looked really flawless, but I stopped using it)
    I think it is the high amount of silicones.
    So thanks for this review.

  5. Kristina I have a question for you- I also have very fair skin. My skin has pinkish undertones- would I be better off with 02 or 03? I want to avoid the yellow undertones that some foundations have so I'm wondering which one is "pinker"

    1. Erin, #2 is a bit yellower and #3 is a bit pinker. They are quite close though.

  6. Kristina: you write beautifully. thank you for writing this review and leaving nothing out. I believe I will stay with the foundation I use. I highly recommend it to everyone looking for a good cover but yet natural look. It is called China Doll by Napolean Pardis. It gives you porcelain skin. Really. Try it!


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