Even before I was a med student, I had neither the time nor the money to try and buy a ton of beauty products. One of my biggest struggles was finding the right foundation for my skin type. It seemed like every foundation I tried had something off about it: looked cakey, couldn’t get the right shade, rubbed off too quickly, didn’t provide enough coverage, showed dry patches, etc. I loathed having to go on the makeup counter curcuit, trying out brand after brand before getting fed up and shelling out for something I wasn’t completely happy with.
Sometime last year Mindy Kaling posted an Instagram with her makeup looking #flawless. She credited the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation, which had been a late favorite of her and her makeup artist. I was curious: if it was good enough for not only a celebrity and a celebrity makeup artist, but to be used for a TV show, was it good enough to solve the foundation-shaped hole in my life?
I expect anything that a celebrity uses to be insanely expensive, so when I saw the $64 price tag, I balked a little, but was more surprised at how affordable it was compared to other brands I’d heard of makeup artists using (Cle de Peau, anyone?). When I thought about it, it really wasn’t that much more than what I had paid for other brands.
Still, the cost was high enough that I dragged my feet for about 8 months (while I was finishing up my current bottle) before I finally bit the bullet. By then, I’d read tons of reviews and comparisons and even zeroed in on the correct shade for my skin, all without ever having seen it in person. Oh, and I also determined that the Maestro Foundation Mindy favored was actually not as suitable for my normal-dry skin type as another foundation from the Giorgio Armani line, Luminous Silk. This one has just as many people raving over it, if not more.
The girl at the GA makeup counter guessed my shade and product correctly just by looking at me, so I had a good feeling about it from the start.
Luminous Silk is a medium-coverage foundation that comes in 24 shades for easy shade matching (I am a 5 in winter, 6 in summer). It has an oil-free formula, but does have a very slight fragrance to it, which may turn away those with sensitive skin. I use the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to stipple onto the skin, although I’ve heard beautyblenders also do a great job. It has an incredibly natural-looking finish with just a touch of dewy luminosity–I hardly ever feel the need to use highlighter anymore. Used in conjunction with primer (Smashbox Hydrating Primer) and setting spray (Urban Decay All Nighter), it lasts for a solid 10 hours for me, and still looks pretty good at 12-16 hours.
I’ve been using the Luminous Silk for about 5 months now, and have loved it since the beginning. It is by far the best foundation I’ve used, in aesthetics, coverage, longevity, and ease of use. Plus it looks really good on camera 😉
Is it worth the money? Depends.
One of the biggest reasons that this foundation is worth the money for me is that I don’t have to use very much of it to get the look I want. I average 2/3-3/4 of a pump per day, which by my estimate will make one bottle last for 7-8 months. Ladies that want more coverage may use double or triple the amount that I do, which means going through the bottle that much more quickly. At $62 a bottle, they are probably better off getting something that is full coverage.
This makeup works well for people who use it well. The foundation looks pretty great on its own, but proper prep and application takes it to the next level. In general, if you aren’t willing to spend a little money to invest in better tools, this foundation may not give you the results needed to justify the price.
In short, if you treat it right, this foundation will do you right, and it will do you #flawless.
I will be trying the beautyblender as an applicator for luminous silk as soon as it arrives in the mail, and will let you guys know what I think!