The biggest paradox about makeup is perhaps that sometimes we want to look like we’re not wearing any. Type in the words “no-makeup makeup” on Youtube, and the search engine will retrieve pages of results. I am a big fan of putting some colors and sparkle on my lids, but there is one thing I don’t want to seem like I’m wearing… foundation. Foundation is supposed to fake flawless skin, not to declare its presence to the world. If you’re with me, then ladies we’re in luck! Giorgio Armani is putting a new offering on the table that will take no-makeup makeup to another level!
I am not going to dwell on the “science” part here, because chances are you have all read the sales pitch somewhere on the Internet already. In short, after 8 years of research, Giorgio Armani is proposing a whole new category of face makeup (it is not termed as a foundation, but it does what a foundation does in your wildest imagination). Instead of water or powder, it contains 5 oils which evaporate at different speed throughout the day. The “smart pigment” technology also allows the 9 shades (12 for the US) in the line-up to have everyone covered. I’ve been using this for almost 4 weeks now, and I am going to tell you what you can expect from it!
Maestro Fusion Makeup comes in an oval bottle with a dropper. True to the brand’s image, the glass bottle is hefty and luxurious. You are supposed to shake the bottle before use, but please allow this non tech-savvy Sunny to remind you that you might want to shake the bottle with your fingers on the rubber part. The first couple of times I used it, I shook the bottle vigorously but ignored the fact that the product in the dropper was not being mixed properly. Needless to say, the result was lackluster until the reason finally hit me.
You are going to be surprised by the consistency of this foundation, because it really resembles dry oil a lot more than a “foundation.” It is very very runny. If you drip it out on the back of your hand first like I do, remember not to tilt it too much! It smells like baby powder, but the scent is not strong and disperses relatively quickly. I have tried to use both my fingers and my Shiseido Perfect Foundation Brush, but actually I find it easier to work with my fingers. With a foundation brush, the amount I need almost doubles, and the layer becomes too thin. I’ll have to do two layers to get light-medium coverage that way, whereas with my fingers I can get it perfectly even and smooth with less product (I count 4-5 drops each use, so a lot less than an average foundation) faster.
This foundation doesn’t really “dry” or “set.” It basically goes on finer than silk and stays that way. No, that wouldn’t be fair. It actually looks better and better throughout the day (I suppose that’s what the time-released oils do)! I use this after my serum/moisturizer, and sometimes I get a drier patch around where I put Effaclar K on the night before and the foundation would look a bit powdery there. Don’t worry. Even if you do nothing about it, it is going to go away. In other words, the longer the foundation stays on you, the more natural it looks. It does not oxidize, slide off, or accentuate dry patches. I wouldn’t say it’s a moisturizing foundation, but it is not drying on me either. I would advise you to use whatever skincare products you normally use to prep your skin. I personally do not need to moisturize or mattify more than usual.
The finish is neither dewy nor matte, and it doesn’t leave your face looking “flattened” (you know how some foundations take all the dimension out of your face? Doesn’t happen here). I have combination skin with normal cheeks and oilier T-zone. With other I’ve tried, even with a oil-absorbing setting powder (I use Tarte Smooth Operator), my T-zone would need to be blotted at least once a day. With Maestro Fusion Makeup however, if I don’t use setting powder at all I might want to blot once. With just the tiniest bit of it on my T-zone, my skin stays perfect all day. If I use it on my cheeks however, they would lose a bit of the luminosity the foundation offers so I prefer not to do that!
I use this in shade 5,5, which is my shade in Armani Luminous Silk Foundation as well. In the swatch picture you can see Maestro Fusion Makeup seems a lot lighter, but it is true that the pigment adjusts to your skin. When I first put it on I might look a little lighter, but the color becomes closer and closer to my skin tone as the day wears on. If your days are long, I would definitely recommend this foundation. Besides being low-maintenance, it actually keeps getting better!
Left: Maestro Fusion Makeup. Right: Luminous Silk Foundation, both in shade 5,5.
This is it blended out, but you really don’t see anything!
The foundation has an SPF 15 which is a great touch. However, in this season I would not recommend it as the sole source of your sun protection, especially considering how little you need for each use.
With all the praises I have sung about this foundation, there is one thing I feel obliged to mention. Maestro Fusion Makeup is touted as non-comedogenic, and I have never broken out from it, but it is very high on silicone. If you are not allergic to it, I would still encourage you to try. If you are, or if you have concerns about silicone, then this is something you might want to skip.
Bottom line: As long as silicone is not a concern, I would advise everyone to check it out. Maestro Fusion Makeup has gone where regular foundations cannot go, and I am seriously impressed by the easy application and quantity needed, the low-maintenance perfection that can be achieved with it is definitely going to sweep many off their feet!
What do you think? Are you excited yet, or are you scared of the big bad cone? What else is on your foundation wish list? Let’s hear from you!
Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx
Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup retails for 61 euros in Belgium. It will be available from the first of September in 2, 3, 4, 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6.5, 7, and 8.
Disclosure: The product mentioned in this review is provided by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.