At long last, Maestro Fusion Makeup ($62) has launched, and along with it came a concealer (more on that this weekend). I was privileged to test and wear Maestro Fusion Makeup for the last 10 days (courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty), and I have already developed unqualified love for this new wonder-foundation. It's really a new makeup category as light as water, but waterless, imparting no makeup feel, but a moist sensation.
Ten years ago, Giorgio Armani created the new face of makeup when he created Luminous Silk Foundation, a lightweight, silky fluid that imparts a natural glow. Since then, weightless textures you can blend and layer to enhance your radiance have become the signature Armani glowing look and feel.
The expectations of women have always been at the heart of Giorgio Armani Beauty research. The quest for simultaneous transparency and coverage in a foundation seemed, until now, practically unsolvable. However, here we are in 2012, after eight years of research, with a new, revolutionary face makeup, Maestro Fusion Makeup with SPF 15.
Maestro is dubbed the Revolutionary Complexion Perfector for good reason. Its unforgettable and unique texture was created using Armani's patented Fusion Technology. Its ultra-fine oil-pigment suspension perfects the complexion with a fluid so light, the only way to know you're wearing it is to look at the remarkable appearance of your face. There's no "makeup feel" at all. Guaranteed!
The high-slip fluid spreads evenly over the skin for a blendable, faultless complexion. It will make your skin look like a professional makeup artist had perfected it - perhaps air-brushed it. Maestro instantly ignites the skin's natural luminosity.
Linda Cantello, Armani's International Makeup Artist said, "It's not a foundation. It's a complextion perfector. A whole new generation of makeup that feels incredible, looks invisible, and makes the skin appear luminous every time. Anyone can wear it!"
Traditional foundations are usually emulsions with water in oil-containing fillers. Those fillers can produce a visible masking effect. Maestro was created with five state-of-the-art principles, delivering a result never seen before.
- A water-fee and powder-free base
- Totally non-comodogenic
- Five time-released oils that evaporate gradually
- Smart pigment technology
- An easy, fast, fresh, and flawless application with an unforgettable sensory feel
Let's focus on the five oils. Oils are necessary for pigments to spread on the skin's surface. Giorgio Armani Beauty evaluated the different oils using the criteria of density, volatility, nutrition, and blending. Five volatile, semi-volatile, and non-volatile oils were selected one by one to create a precious, clear mixture that is totally miscible with a time-release characteristic.
- The oils evaporate at different rates, providing an optimal combination of application slip and non-greasy feel, but with a feeling of hydration and comfort all day.
- The volatile dry oil awakens the skin with an immediate feeling of freshness.
- A cushiony oil provides a featherlight, glide-on, textural sensation and a perfectly even distribution of the complexion-perfecting pigmented film.
- The non-volatile complex, including extracts of lotus oil, which has free-radical properties and hydrating agents, remains on the skin's surface.
Traditional foundations often have an emulsion of 20% water and 80% oil, permitting a unified spreading of the fluid in order to avoid spots of color. However, they are highly pigmented, with 15% pigments contained in a powdery phase that can create a mask-like effect. The pigments produce a high surface tension, making the formulas hard to spread evenly. BB creams, all the rage, usually contain 20% oil and 80% water, allowing a rapid penetration of the formula and a fresh feeling. However, they have very low pigment percentages (about 4%) that barely correct skin tone. BB skin perfectors are almost like primers; they smooth the skin's surface.
Maestro is not like a traditional foundation and more like a skin perfector in the sense that:
- It contains water-free oils: 60% time-release translucent, non-greasy oils for a fresh feel, a non-greasy finish, and pure color;
- It offers an 11% pigment level for perfection of the skin's appearance and tone, with no powder or makeup effect;
- It has low surface tension for fast and easy application.
Here are the results of tests by 60 women aged 20-50 with all skin types. After testing it, I'm in the 100% perfect group.
- Blends into the skin on application: 100%
- Easy to wear, you forget you are wearing makeup: 100%
- Easy to apply, gives rapid and perfect makeup result every time: 98%
- A pleasure to use: 95%
- Natural makeup result without a makeup feel: 95%
The "smart pigments" infuse the skin with natural color. They are so fine and pure that rays of light will not be absorbed on the skin. They provide a surface that reflects light, a perfect 360-degree radiance. It might seem paradoxical that only a few shades can cover the full range of skin tones - from the palest of pale to chocolate - but it's possible because of the transparency of the formula. There are 12 shades available in the U.S., one for everyone. I have no idea why the rest of the world got only nine.
I'm going to share with you a Q&As with Patricia Pineau, Communications Director of L'Oréal Research, and Linda Cantello, but I'll do it at the end of this feature. I am a #2 in Luminous Silk, Designer Lift, Designer Shaping Cream, and my old favorite Hydra Glow. I'm also a #2 in the new Maestro. I find it hard to believe that one fairly small drop of Maestro covers my entire face. It literally disappears into my skin, but leaves my skin tone even and luminous - not shiny luminous, simply "with life." It does not cover a few dark sun spots on my face. Nothing does except heavy, gloppy concealers. I've learned to live with my spots.
This is the most revolutionary "foundation" I've ever worn. Even women who prefer heavy foundations are likely to be stunned by the natural effects of the Maestro formula. It provide a perfect base for blush, bronzer, and other products in powder or cream form. Simply put, it's astounding.
Here are those Q&As, abridged slightly. The first is with Patricia Pineau.
What was the inspiration for the Giorgio Armani Laboratories' researchers when they created Maestro?
The expectations of women are contradictory when it comes to face makeup. They want a light, velvety, silky film, but also coverage that hides imperfections: transparency and coverage. Researchers developed a formula that is easy to apply, extremely thin with a perfectly unified distribution when applied, and that covers imperfections.
How were the researchers able to satisfy expectations that seem impossible?
With an exceptional formula that replaces water, usually contained in foundation formulas, by a specific harmony of oils. Five oils were selected out of thousands according to different degrees of volatility to compose the Maestro formula. With the volatility of these oils, we have lost the mass effect, so it feels like nothing has been applied on the skin.
How can this formula be so thin, but covering?
Maestro is relatively fluid. Just a few drops on the skin, delivered by the dropper, allow a very thin film that's truly pleasant to apply. The oils deliver a perfect finish and a homogeneous distribution of all the pigments.
What type of skin is Maestro for?
This new face makeup category is perfectly adapted to all skin types. The oils contained in the formula don't leave any greasy film on the skin. Therefore, this product is even adaptive for oily skins.
Linda Cantello brings her makeup artistry skills to the fore in her Q&A.
How is Maestro different from other foundations?
It's not a foundation! Lots of people have asked me what makes it so special and different. It's actually a completely revolutionary, new face makeup category: a complexion perfector, in the most amazing sense of the word.
You're a professional makeup artist, why will Maestro be a key product in your makeup case?
It is so easy to apply - just a few drops and you have a matte and luminous finish. Maestro matches every look and every need. From the most nude or classical makeup to the most sophisticated and daring looks. Every woman can now have a professional makeup artist finish all day long with just a few drops. No makeup can look good without a good canvass.
How does it feel?
It is very sensual; it just feels incredible and fresh, but at the same time, it's featherlight, just as pleasant as a moisturizer. [Note from me: I can't feel it at all. I do feel my skin care.] I think women will love to apply it. When I used it on the model in the backstage of the Maestro campaign, she said it was magical, and I thought she was right.
How does Maestro complete the Giorgio Armani face makeup range?
Giorgio Armani foundations, and more than ever with Maestro, are like his clothing. You notice the woman and her great skin. Giorgio Armani has envisioned his foundations like his fabrics, the best quality, cutting-edge technology, true color - they all come together to flatter and enhance, rather than disguise.
What is your advice to select the right shade?
The formula is so thin and the distribution of pigments so homogeneous, that it is actually very easy to match any skin tone. Only a few shades will fit all the skin tones in the world. The Giorgio Armani teams in the points of sale will help find the right shade for you.
There you have it: one of the most exciting beauty introductions of 2012. It will be available this month at Giorgio Armani Beauty's Web site and at counters in fine department stores. I'd recommend you check it out.
I can tell you first-hand that Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie has it for sale. Call the Armani counter at (202) 966-9700, extension 2241. There's a gift with purchase too.
Photos courtesy of Giorgio Armani Beauty