I felt compelled to write a review on this product since purchasing it about a week ago. First of all, it is very expensive, but hey, it's Armani--and it comes in a nice glass bottle with a dropper applicator. Having never seen an applicator like this used for a foundation before, I was impressed by how it rations out the foundation for you, much like a pump bottle. Its consistency is very thin and watery (hence the dropper) but then it blends like an absolute dream. It has a slight scent--reminds me of Johnson's baby lotion (which I love) but it quickly dissipates. I was told by "Antonio", the makeup artist at Saks who flew in from South Beach just to showcase Armani products, not to ever apply this with a brush or sponge, to only use your fingers to apply. He said not even the Armani brush. Well. I never. So, I bought it, took it home, followed his advice and boom--beautiful coverage, despite it being so thin. Antonio was right. And the greatest thing? It looks even better an hour later! It somehow covered all my redness around my nose and chin and just looks like my skin, but much, much better. It doesn't look makeup-y at all. I mean, not.at.all. It also contains spf 15, an added bonus. Now, I do understand the negative reviews written about this product. I have a feeling that if you desire full coverage (this is medium at best), have either very dry or very oily skin (and you want good oil control) or just prefer a more traditional foundation, you probably won't like this. There are a few important points one must know before trying this makeup:
1) skin must be thoroughy exfoliated and moisturized before application. Any dry, flaky patches will be exacerbated.
2) do not--I repeat--do not use primer first. This makes it look terrible. It's supposed to "fuse" with your skin.
3) apply only with fingers, not a sponge or brush
Did I leave anything out? Shake this makeup really well first. And the finish is beautiful; very natural and skin-like, but neither dewy nor matte and coverage is light to medium. Like I said earlier, it doesn't really control oil. After I apply in the a.m., I dust some MUFE HD loose powder on top. But that's ok--at my age, I kinda like a slight dewy look after a few hours. Go to the Armani counter and ask for a sample if you're dying to try this, like I was. I ended up buying it and would buy it again!! For color reference, I am a MAC NC35, Chanel Aqualumiere in Beige 40, Laura Mercier Oil free TM in Sand, LM Mineral Powder in Rich Vanilla, and L'Oreal True Match in N4/N5 and
6.5 in this foundation is a perfect match.
I've tried quite a few foudations and tinted moisturisors trying to find one that works for my skin (which is normal/combination) while still looking natural e.g. Dior, Nars, Chanel, Laura Mercier, YSL... I've been using this foudation for about two months now and have very little complaints. I really like the fact that it blends into my skin effortlessly and that it looks very natural while brightening and evening out my skin. It doesn't provide much coverage so if i have any redness, dark circles or blemishes i need to use a concealer but that doesn't bother me. I also really like the shade selection, i often find it hard to find a good colour match, but shade#3 is perfect for me. The lasting power is good, not the best i've ever come across but it lasts around 7 hours(with primer and setting powder). One complaint i have however is it's oil control, this is not so much of an issue for me but i don't think this would last long on anyone with oily skin. My other complaint would have to be the price (£36) which is expensive, but depending on how long the bottle lasts me will determine if it is worth the money.
I am Asian with a more yellow-neutral skin tone rather than yellow-warm, and this foundation is quite wonderful. I have acne and need quite a good amount of coverage. But I'm always so happy with how natural and even my skin looks, that I don't mind some blemishes because my whole face still looks healthy. But if I do need extra coverage, what I do to build is dot and pat on a second layer over my problem areas. It concentrates the pigment even more. Not to where it makes my blemishes completely disappear, but they are very faint, and if you wanted, I'm sure a touch of concealer would do the job after that. Secondly, I have normal-oily skin with dry patches. The worst skin type ever. lol And any foundation emphasizes the dryness, but this works really well for me. The key is really efficient moisturizing, otherwise anything will look cakey no matter what.
I purchased this foundation due to the raved hype reviews because I'm always on the hunt of a good foundation. After trying this foundation for several days now, I'm unsure of this foundation, okay whatever it's called. Coverage tends to be sheer but buildable to medium. I have freckles in my cheekbones and being Asian I prefer a medium to full coverage. I can go from medium to full and yes with a good concealer. This lasts me around 10 hours max before it deteriorates on me looking all patched up around the areas of my nose, definitely not pleasant to look at. I tried to touch up and it looked worst than ever. Then I used Chanel Vitalumiere to touch up and my face looked perfect! Oh yes I have normal oily skin. I just found out that I have some tiny dry patches and it accentuates the dryness. After a good setting powder, dry patches are no longer visible. I also noticed after 3-4 hours of wear my face looked flawless! I might use up this bottle till its gone but probably won't repurchase. Again this bottle will last me for quite a while. For those of you who prefers a more sheer coverage and you don't have discoloration or freckles on your face, this is the foundation for you. This is especially good for those with normal perfect skin type I would say. If you have dry skin, you might want to exfoliate first or else this product will accentuate all the dry flakes on your skin. I mean seriously!
This is so wonderfully constructed as a foundation, I feel like I'm wearing nothing. It's very light so no heavy coverage or anything. Perfect for summer. The only thing I dislike is the price. I also have the concealer which is very nice as well.
I'm writing my review based on a one week sample I received. I will be going next week to buy a bottle. I don't normally use foundation, as I can't stand the look of it on my skin and my bf hates it when I am wearing "skin makeup" as he calls it. But I do have a bit of diffused redness over my cheeks and nose that really bug me and I'm always trying to cover up. So my normal routine has been to use dr haushka bronzing concentrate, dust some setting powder on that, and hope my face is "glowing" as opposed to "red" lol. I went out to get this once I read a review that it gives good coverage with a no-makeup feel, and that it blends seamlessly into skin. I have to say I really love how this makes my skin look. The first day I wore it I happened to be getting passport photos, so I could see that it also photographs beautifully!
- texture feels great on the skin, just melts in when applied and blends beautifully
- you apply with your fingers - one less brush to wash :)
- buildable light/med. coverage (enough for my redness anyways)
- semi-matte finish
- doesn't make me break out
- doesn't get oily throughout the day
- truly has a no-makeup look & feel, and you can't see it on your skin
- color doesn't oxidize, stays true
- gives a lovely no-pore, even toned look to skin that shows up in photos beautifully
- will accentuate any dry patches on your face
- seems to really sink into pores &make them more visible
- tends to be a bit "dull" for me, so I would add a drop of bronzing concentrate (or even a GA Fluid Sheer #3 or #10 would look AMAZING with this!)
Overall, I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a beautiful no-makeup look on their skin but still wants to wear something to even out their skin tone.
EDIT - 03/12/12 - I don't know if I'll buy a full size after all. After wearing it all day it settled into the pores beside my nose, looked pretty bad. continued >>
First tried a sample of this at a evening leisure makeup class I was taking. I applied with sponge and it made my skin look so incredibly dry and flaky that even the teacher was shocked and had to remove it and start over. I tried again the next day using my fingers, as was suggested by the SA, the results were much smoother. It easily glided over skin and blended very well. This is the first foundation I've tried that truly looks invisible on the skin. BUT and it's a big but...it covers nothing. Blemishes, acne scars and pores are still visible. Its the equivalant to only dusting face with powder to tone done shine and mattify. It more or less looks like your wearing nothing and for such an expensive product what is the point?? You'd be better of with a tinted moisturiser or BB cream, at least then your skin would have a healthy glow rather than the matt effect with you get with maestro. Its probably a foundation for those already gifted with great skin and only wanted to even out without looking like there wearing anything. I'll give Armani points for trying a new serum style foundation and I can only presume that other makeup companies will follow suit and hopefully a much better coverage product will be produced at some point.
I was excited to try this after all the reviews and blog posts out there, especially since I have been looking for a natural-looking foundation that leaves a luminous finish (my preference runs to the dewy end of the spectrum and I hate a matte finish on my face). I tried it at the Armani counter at Bloomies. As many others have noted, the consistency and feel of Maestro is really amazing. It spreads incredibly easily and feels like a very lightweight but nongreasy oil when applied. Immediately upon application, I felt like I really could see it sitting on my skin and it did not look natural to me. After 15 minutes or so, it adjusted and looked more natural and "at one" with my skin. It definitely has good coverage. But while the finish was not matte, it was almost powdery looking in an odd, flat way. It really took the life out of my skin. I was relieved to wash it off! Glad I took it for a test run first. I also tried a sample of the Luminous Finish later at home, and fell in love with that - much more natural and leaves my skin looking hydrated and lit up.
this is an interesting foundation. it feels more like a skincare, applies like a serum and it is velvety smooth and soaks into skin beautifully. i wear shade 4 and it is a good match. i am a shade 20 in chanel perfection lumiere and vital lumiere aqua. so far i have been reaching for this over my other foundations. the coverage is a true medium. it covers redness fairly well and evens skintone overall but does not cover brown sun spots too well. this wears flawlessly throughout the day, does not get oily even on my t-zone, i do not need to touch up at all. my skin is in the drier side since the weather is colder now...one thing that i have to watch out when wearing this is that i need to have a good exfoliated skin because it will accentuate the dry patches and skin must be well moisturized prior to applying this. i would have preferred to have this foundation come in a pump bottle...since the dropper can get a little messy at the neck/opening of the bottle. it is expensive but it is worth a try since it is very unique to other foundations in the market.
Saw this reviewed on Allure Mag's Best of Beauty and had to try it. I am quite fair and I went with shade 4. The shade is fine--melts right in and I can't see where I've put it. However, the foundation is a bit sheer for my taste. (A few old blemish scars I like to cover that don't disappear.) I have tried with primer and without, and it is fine either way. I haven't had any breakouts. I find that by noon, my nose is quite shiny, even with a mattifying product underneath. So overall, can't say I love this foundation but it isn't bad either. Quite nature finish yet better than plain skin. Probably won't repurchase.
**update 12/2/12: After a few weeks of wearing this, I have tried again without primer. That seems to be the key to reducing the shine. However, it is still more sheer than I like. I would like it to make my face look *better*, and I can't say it does that. Rather a disappointment overall.
**second update 12/30/12: I am now applying with fingers rather than a brush. That seems to work better too. Nonetheless, I can't say I love this foundation. I'm using it because it is just way too expensive to toss. Sigh.
**third update 3/29/13: I've stopped using it. Just hated the amount of shine. Back to my old Prescriptives Flawless in Peach.