Average Rating 3.8/5
Review by jeri55
I haven't written a review for a few years (probably because I haven't found any product outstanding enough to merit one), but GA Maestro has perked me up and made me want to sing its praises. I'm also hoping this will be particularly helpful to those of us who have been mourning the demise of what was a HG foundation to many on MUA: Estee Lauder Enlighten. (Just to clarify, I had never used an EL foundation before Enlighten and have never used one since, but Enlighten was a truly unique formula). I have spent both years and a small fortune since it was discontinued trying to find a replacement. Since Estee Lauder bought out so many other brands, I figured it was only a matter of time before they brought back the formulation (or even a close facsimile) in one of their other lines or under a different name. So I have relentlessly tried out every single foundation, TM and BB Cream that has been released, always keeping my fingers crossed that SOMETHING would at least strike a chord of similarity. I kept my box with Enlighten's ingredients and have compared them to every new product, to no avail.
Let me be clear: Maestro is in no way a dupe or substitute for Enlighten. But to those who adored one very special quality about that particular formula, I do think it's worth a test drive. From the minute I applied the first drop of Maestro, its liquidity felt similar to the one outstanding thing I loved about my old foundation - and what I have been trying to duplicate - a light, weightless feeling that still offered superb coverage. To me, this is the thing most worth mentioning about Maestro. It goes on watery, yet still magically seems to cover more imperfections than does every one of my heavier foundations. I find it works on both the dry and oily parts of my combination skin, doesn't catch on dry patches and wears perfectly throughout the day. Doesn't oxidize and seems to maybe look even better by the end of the day than it did when it first went on. The liquid texture is what keeps it from sliding into fine lines, so it looks much less aging than a heavier, creamy formula. And it has a perfect finish: dewy, not greasy. It feels clean and almost like nothing on the skin. Works to cover up pores to some degree as well.
I do have two small issues: I find the dropper messy to deal with and think it would have been better packaged in a pump (even with the liquid texture, this could have worked fine) or in a squeeze tube with a pointed tip. And the color selection is a bit vexing: the intensity of 5.5 would be my perfect match, but I need a more yellow undertone. There is no 6.0, so I had to go to 6.5, which is actually a perfect yellow undertone, but is just a little too dark. Wonder what happened to 6.0? And finally: only one thing almost stopped me from even testing Maestro: I am acne-prone and generally do not do well with the ingredient cyclohexasiloxane, especially when it is almost first in the list. But I have not broken out from this and have been wearing it for months now. My theory is that its thin texture is what makes it easier for my skin to tolerate. It is not nearly as occlusive as the other formulas I had difficulties with in the past, so perhaps the liquid formula is light enough to not clog pores.
In any event, this is (in my opinion) one of the actual innovative foundations that has been released in quite some time. So for that reason alone, it is probably worth a try. And to my fellow MUA'ers who have been on a futile search for an Enlighten replacement, I hope this helps fill the void just a little bit:)