Oct 012012

Giorgio Armani’s Maestro Fusion Makeup ($62) is an exciting new step in foundation technology. This formula (the details are explained in several links at the bottom of this post), suspends color pigment in a combination of light dry oils. I literally gasped when I saw it on my forehead. It looked like…perfect skin. It adheres beautifully. Hands down, this the most long-lasting foundation I’ve ever tried. At night, it looks almost exactly as it does in the morning. It is an extraordinarily stable product on my combination skin.

The color self-adjusts to your skin tone, so combined with its sheerness there is a lot of forgiveness in the color range (swatches of all shades are here at The Makeup Blogette) (I’m using 5.0, ordered online based on those swatches).

I should emphasize that the coverage is sheer. Right now, my skin is mostly very smooth (thank you, Dr. Perricone!) I’ve been working very hard on my skin since February. There are a few small, faded discolorations that are nearly gone. Unlike Burberry’s Sheer Glow Foundation (reviewed here), I did not have much luck building up the coverage of Armani Maestro Fusion.  I found that the color built up well on my good skin areas, but even 3-4 swipes left the tiny discolorations still there.  To its credit, the foundation did not cake up, but it didn’t get rid of the imperfect color either. I found that adding a touch of concealer (such as Edward Bess Platinum or even a bit of MAC’s Perfectly Defined Sculpting Creme) to those areas gave me the perfect look. I would imagine that Laura Mercier’s Concealer would be genius for this, but mine is across the country at the moment so I went with what I had.

The foundation has an ever-so-slight glow to it all day. I’ve worn this primarily with my Guerlain Meteorites Illuminating and Mattifying Powder (I’m on my second compact of this one) as a sheer powder to mattify the look.

I’ve been wearing Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion for about 2 1/2 weeks. Once I found the concealer trick I couldn’t stop. I found my other foundations tended to look a little heavier. I’ve really loved the natural look that this provides. Plus, the stable, all-day coverage has been a blessing. I found myself reaching for it, not just out of habit but because I really preferred it. Having said that, one day I did have some peeling in one area and–oh my goodness–this foundation did emphasize that. If you have dry skin, you’ll want to sample this first before investing.

A few pointers:

  • Like many self-adjusting foundations, Armani Maestro Fusion looks terrible for the first five minutes before it sets, then the loveliness starts;
  • Only use the tiniest bit. I’d be surprised if you needed more that 3 small touches on your face. This is a thin fluid packed with pigment;
  • Try it with and without powder, to see which texture you prefer. The powder doesn’t seem to affect the longevity–the foundation lasts very well on its own;
  • The texture doesn’t change much over the day. Despite the use of oils, the soft luminosity doesn’t seem to become much oilier throughout the day;
  • Because of the differences of opinion, sample before you buy;
  • In this order:  Serum/ moisturizer, sunscreen, concealer, then foundation

This foundation has SPF 15  (click to enlarge to see the ingredients):

Additional information from the box (click to enlarge):

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion is a polarizing product–reviewers seem to have a bit of a love/hate reaction, depending on their individual experiences. If I were forced to choose, I’d put myself much closer to the “love” category. Here are some other reviews that I found helpful:

Positive reviews:

  • The Best Things in Beauty’s is here (interviews, explaining the technology, “astounding”)
  • The Raeviewer’s is here (video)(covers well, looks natural)
  • Beaut.ie’s is here (explaining the technology, “after” picture)

Less than enthusiastic:

  • Fleur de Force’s is here (good on some days, doesn’t sit right on other days)
  • Drivel about Frivol’s is here (drying, emphasized imperfections, before/after pictures)
  • Sasquatchswatch’s is here (too sheer, emphasized imperfections)

The foundation is available (with free ship) at Nordstrom.com.

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  24 Responses to “Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation: My Thoughts/ Review”

  1. Hi Amy! I’ve been hoping you would review this! I agree with everything you said about this amazing foundation, except I have been able to build up the coverage a bit – maybe it just depends on one’s skin texture? It is truly like nothing else out there and really gives you perfect looking skin – like you are not wearing makeup at all. My only “problem” with the Maestro is that I cannot settle on a color. I cannot decide between 4 and 5, as the samples I have both look fine to me. I am a bit more fair than you and usually wear whatever the next shade lighter is of whatever you are wearing (hope that makes sense) so now I’m concerned that maybe 5 is too dark?

    • I think the foundation adjusts over the range. So many reviews mention this feature I don’t think it is imagination. Why not get 4 at a store where you can exchange it? Then you are safe.

      • Thank you for the logical advice! Although I do love this foundation, it is so different from everything out there that I think getting a substantial sample and not just testing in the store is the way to go.

        • I also am usually a shade lighter than Amy and would suggest trying number 2. It looks white in the bottle and the SA initially said no way would it work for me but it ended up being perfect!

  2. Hi Amy, I’m glad you reviewed this! I’ve been contemplating Maestro Fusion as it seems to be getting a good deal of attention. I do have combination skin as well, so this was helpful. However, due to the mixed reviews, I think I’ll have to sample first.

  3. You made this foundation move to the top spot of my foundation wishlist 🙂

  4. Why alcohol is the third ingredient? Too bad for the skin 🙁

  5. @Amalia, yes, I too am so tired of all the alcohol-based foundations!

  6. Thanks for your review of this, Amy.

    I picked up a bottle (shade 2) with my Barneys beauty event purchases and I have to say that I’m pretty planted in the ‘love’ camp. The coverage is sheerer than what I usually gravitate toward, but the ease of application is unlike anything I’ve ever tried. It really does disappear into the skin the moment I apply a drop. The tendency to accentuate dry patches has made me ever-more vigilant about my exfoliation, but overall, I’m so happy I picked this one up. Maybe I’ll even get around to doing a review, eventually!

  7. I’m wearing this right now and it’s true, it really does look and feel like I have no foundation on my face. It just makes me look more polished, rested and even-toned. I would recommend not using a brush, as the warmth of your fingers will make application smoother. I may be speaking too soon, but this is the first foundation I could imagine using year-round. The color adjustment really is remarkable.

  8. Count me among the less-than-favorable reviewers. I did not care for this at all.

  9. Got it and love it!

  10. I have dry, mature, sensitive skin and absolutely love this foundation. I keep my skin in good condition, so my preference is for light to medium coverage. Although the initial application of this foundation is sheer, the light defusing properties and dense pigmentation are enough to blur my imperfections and create a soft velvety glow that lasts all day without settling into lines. Like Nina, I have not had any difficulty with building a bit more coverage when my cheeks are looking a tad too red or I’m a bit darker under the eyes than usual. I apply the foundation with my fingers (the Armani recommended method of application) starting in the center of my face and blending it outward, I let it set, then I go back and lightly pat a tiny bit more foundation on the problem spots. That’s all it takes for any discoloration to fade into oblivion. Don’t get me wrong, though. Maestro Fusion is definitely not going to erase pimples/blemishes, dark spots, and dark undereye circles. That’s why we have the big guns like Clé de Peau, Laura Mercier, etc. Using a heavier concealer–and I think most women who need a product like that already have and use one with their foundation–is not a problem with Maestro Fusion. It plays nicely with a variety of different products. I start with my serum and follow that with my moisturizer and SPF. I’ve used the foundation on its own, but prefer it with a finishing powder like Météorites or La Mer Transparent. I’ve worn it with a variety of blushers, bronzers, and highlighters–liquid, cream, and powder–and everything has worked well with this innovative foundation. Will Maestro Fusion be everyone’s cup of tea? Of course not! In the 53 years I’ve been wearing makeup (I’m 68), I have yet to hear of a foundation that is perfect for everyone. But, if you like a weightless foundation that blurs rather than erases imperfections, get a sample of this totally new formulation. You’ll be in for quite a surprise!

    For color reference, I’m NC15 most of the year and lean towards NC20 during the summer. Right now I’m wearing #4 and it perfect.

  11. Hi Amy, how does the maestro foundation compare to the Koh gen do moisture foundation?

    • Jamie-that’s a great question. I thought about that because, of any foundation out there right now, the Maestro most closely resembles the Koh Gen Do AQUA Foundation (in the glass bottle). The two are quite similar in their lightweight feel. The texture feels different–Koh Gen Do has a very neutral water-based feel (I realize there is oil in the Koh Gen Do, but it’s doesn’t feel like it). The Maestro has a dry oil/silicone feel –but it’s quite subtle and once it is on, it is very difficult to feel either foundation on the skin. I did not do a side-by-side, but they are both on the sheer end. The most significant difference is the wear time–Maestro just does not quit. In fact, Raeview points out that she gets longer wear from Maestro than she does from the Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk. I’ve had some very long days lately (going on 20 hours argh!), and the Maestro is still there at the end of the day.

      The Koh Gen Do MOISTURE Foundation (in your original question) has far more coverage and is much creamier.

      I hope this helps!

  12. Bottle looks so luxury! I’d love to try it on. I still didn’t try Lasting Silk.

  13. I”m concerned about the many ingredients that are silicone derivatives and the denatured alcohol. While this feels slippery at first touch, it’s a fake-out because the silicones evaporate at different rates and then my dry skin is drier than prior to application. I will stick to my Armani Shaping Cream foundation, which is much more moisturizing. Have you tried the Maestro concealer? That looks amazing but they were out of samples at my local counter. Thanks for your review.

  14. After all the blog raves, I tried this at the counter and am smitten. I’ve worn it every day since I bought it weeks ago, and I can’t remember the last time that happened. It’s so completely different from anything else I’ve tried. It absolutely requires powder on my face.

  15. […] размышлениями по поводу новой тональной основы Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation. А у Fashion Polish смотрим на свотчи осенней коллекции Color Club […]

  16. Hello Amy, how did you get rid of the discolouration in your skin? I am currently using Maestro foundation but the coverage is sheer. I want to get rid of the acne scars I have, since the foundation doesn’t provide enough coverage. Also what concealed do you use. I am looking for the perfect concealer. I am using MUFE hd concealer but it cakes up so much and it’s not so smooth.

    Thank you

    • A combination of a bullet proof physical sunscreen by Institut Esthederm called “No Sun,” Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester 15, frequent excoliation and Chanel Le Blanc. I am going to do a post on color correcting soon for the bit thats faintly hanging in there.

      A combination of Hydroquinone and Tretinoin works for many, many women (Obagi makes a great system), but they are only available in a derm’s office. Hydroquinone is a controversial ingredient–it’s banned in the EU I believe, and I’ve also heard that it is not available in some U.S. States. So I wanted to try a hydroquinone-free method instead–and I’ve been working on it since about February of this year.

      For face concealers, MUFE Full Cover (not the HD, the old school one), Vichy Dermablend Fluid Foundation, and Armani’s new Maestro are good bets. The Armani is said to have ingredients to fade discoloration, so even though it is sheer you get that upside.

      If you find the foundation too sheer after all, I would not hesitate to return it. As I said, it is love/hate. Just wear one that makes you feel beatiful. There are so many great foundations out there that are long lasting with light-to-medium coverage. Even adding a primer to a more fragile foundation can give me 14 or 15 hours of wear.

      Sorry for the long answer! Maybe I should turn this into a blog post! 🙂

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