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If you are disturbed by macro close-ups of pores, close this post. Right now.

As some of you may know, Armani Lasting Silk foundation is my Holy Grail of foundations. I was keen to try Maestro because… well actually, I don’t know why. There is nothing about Lasting Silk that I would change. Maybe it was curiosity, maybe it was my obsession with Armani. This post compiles my fickle train of thought opinions.

Stuffs that I have heard bloggers say about Maestro:
– It’s invisible on the skin
– Has incredible lasting power
– The oily feel is unlike anything I’ve ever put on my face
– It adjusts to the shade of your skin

As a bona fide nerd, the science behind this formulation fascinates me. I won’t go into it but if you’d like to read more, I direct you to BestThingsInBeauty. This is the most in depth analysis of the Maestro formulation that I have come across. Hats off to her!

Another valuable resource for those interested in Maestro; swatches of every shade can be found on BeautyProfessor.

I purchased Maestro in the shade 4.5. Here is my own comparison swatches of all the Armani Foundations I own (I eye my arm to be about an NC15)
Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation
Next, pictures. Before shot (complete with morning puffiness):

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation

In the interests of being ultra critical, I decided to apply my Holy Grail (Lasting Silk) on one half of my face and Maestro on the other half.
Your left: Armani Lasting Silk 5.5
Your right: Maestro 4.5

Figure 1.1- I present to you, every crevice of my skin in high def.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation

To weird you out even further, some close ups.
Figure 1.2- Close up of Armani Lasting Silk

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation

Figure 1.3- Close up of Armani Maestro

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Foundation

My thoughts:

Colour
Shade #4.5 is quite perfect for an NC20ish skin. Ever so slightly lighter than Lasting Silk #5.5. One should note that half shades run a little more yellow than full shades, I prefer yellow shades.

Finish
Definitely Satin. Less luminous/dewy than Lasting Silk and Luminous Silk. As many others have noted, this emphasises flaky patches like WHOA. I had a mild flaky patch on my forehead (and around my nose) that immediately became visible once I applied Maestro (refer to figure 1.1 and 1.3). If you have issues with uneven skin texture or flakiness, run (don’t walk) in the opposite direction.

Coverage
Sheer side of medium, less than the Armani Lasting Silk (which is true medium). If we refer to figure 1.3, you can see that Maestro didn’t entirely conceal the redness around my nose. Tried to build coverage, failed miserably.

Application
I used my fingers for both Maestro and Lasting Silk. I wouldn’t recommend any other method of application for Maestro: a brush or sponge will absorb all the product (due to the low viscosity). The dry-oil feeling is friggin awesome, blended like a dream and I didn’t have to try. Totally foolproof.

Best for
Normal to oily skins with no flakiness or dry patches at all. I don’t even have flaky skin and behold: flakes. Any uneven skin texture? No, just no. If you are sensitive to alcohols and silicones (thankfully, I am not), this is full of them. Those looking for light coverage may like this. Also for people who love a quick application or have troubles blending- 30 seconds flat and I had a perfectly blended base.

In conclusion:

Lasting Silk stomped all over Maestro. By no means is Maestro ‘bad’ on my skin, but it’s not Armani’s best formulation for me. That being said, I’m sure that many will love this foundation. I do think it is unique; all the hype about the texture and the application is spot on. If you sample this and it doesn’t do funny things to the visible texture of your skin, LUCKY YOU! It’s a great product, otherwise.

Definitely get a sample of this before you purchase. For those who have tried this, what were your thoughts?

xxkarima

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    1. I have to agree 🙁 I don’t even have dry skin and Maestro managed to make it look dry. I really DO think this will be awesome for some, though!
      xxkarima

  1. Awesome post! Probably the most helpful one I’ve seen to date, wish i had seen it before i took the plunge to purchase. I can relate to the comparison with LS as I have a sample from a generous swap & it’s delightful. Maestro highlighted flakes I didn’t know that I had!

    1. Hi there!
      I can relate 🙁 Where did all these flakes come from?!
      Lasting Silk still takes the throne, for me! What shade are you in Lasting?
      xxkarima

  2. I wanted to love this too but i really dont.. Its not the worst foundation ever but i just dont reach out for it.. Will have to give it to my sis or friend.. I just find it to be a lot of work coz i just dont like the sheer finish of it.. And it does settle in my pores so i gotta blend blend blend.. I dunno it was just such a disappointment coz i was soooo excited abt it

    1. Hey DS!
      I agree, it is sheer-ish. I didn’t have the pore settling issue but it just didn’t make my skin look great 🙁
      I might blogsale mine out, we’ll see.
      xxkarima

  3. In your post you said you don’t have dry flaky skin yet the foundation emphasized dry flaky spots of skin on your face. “Where all these flakes come from?” Are you saying the foundation gave you dry flaky skin? I have extremely dry skin but not flaky. You know why? I wash my face with a natural bristle face brush twice a day. Everyone should add some kind of mechanical or chemical exfoliation into their skin regimen. Any foundation will emphasize dead dull skin, and skin with uneven texture. Even my Armani Silk would emphasize flaky patches around my nose and mouth if I failed to exfoliate for one day. People should also realize that with dry skin you need to find the right moisturizer. Foundation is not meant to be a replacement for proper a moisturizer. If that’s what you’re looking for, than maybe a BB cream might work for you.

    1. Let me clarify: the foundation did not give me dry or flaky skin. It just made it appear that way, after removal my skin was back to it’s normal, combo self.
      If you read my skincare routine post, you’ll see that I’m a chemical exfoliation fiend!
      I LOVE Armani Lasting and Luminous Silk, unfortunately Armani Maestro did not work wonders on me. I don’t believe the issue here is the condition of my skin, Maestro just didn’t work with my skin chemistry.
      Hope this cleared up any confusion!
      xxkarima

  4. The armani lasting silk is my favorite too. it’s the only foundation that i’ve found a perfect color match in, i wear shade 2. I love the coverage, buildability, the naturally luminous finish, and the light feel of lasting silk. i did try the Maestro but it didn’t work for me, it seems like you have to have very good skin to make it work.

  5. Hi Karina… I was wondering I use lasting silk and am extremely oily through out the day. Sometimes even getting what feels like puddles of oil on the side of my nose. I love how the foundation feels but even when I set it with a powder in the morning my oil makes my face start melting and I end up with eyeliner on my eye brows lol. Can you help?

  6. Hi Karima!
    To begin with I would like to thank you both for your always in depth and honest, insightful reviews of products both on your blog as well as your YouTube channel! They are always worth the read!
    At the end of this review you asked for thoughts on the Maestro… So here are mine. 🙂
    Being an old geezer compared to you, I’m in my late forties…, the preferences or needs, if you will I demand in a foundation have changed quite a bit compared to the days of yore, when my concerns too were about mild redness and some (with a magnifying glass) visible poores around the nose…
    These days skin concerns is about incredible surface dryness combined with underlining oiliness, incredibly uneven texture all over the face with visible poores also all over the place, sometimes breakouts, albeit small, but placed on the cheeks and redness and uneven pigmentation, sagging skin and the list goes on… Mid-life skin demands a h-ll of a lot from a foundation, and sometimes solutions come in very unexpected ways… This is the case of the Armani Maestro, which at this point actually is among my top three foundations! And here is why:
    Foundations like lasting silk or luminous, because of their amazing luminosity that gives skin like yours it’s angelic vibe, will for more mature textured skin sadly emphasise everything you don’t want emphasised, even if it does not contain any sparkle or other nasties. Also, when skin is mature and dry on the surface, you need to bring much more moisture into the skin to keep it supple throughout the day, which will sometimes exaggerate the effects of a luminous foundation even more. The Maestro on the other hand plays right into the mature surface dry skins hand by being such an unusual thing as an oil and silicone based, thin textured foundation with a more matte finish that plays very well together with plenty of moisturiser… That is its secret… The oil and pigment in the foundation helps in locking in the skins artificially added moisture, which helps in optically smoothing the look of the skins texture without emphasising the visible poores the way any added luminosity will. And still the Maestro manages to not look completely flat-matte, which easily translates dry and poore emphasising too on dry mature skin…
    Sorry for the wordiness, not my native language…;) But the bottom line to me is that the Maestro can give me more of the luminous effect you get from the luminous, and the lasting silk since it plays more nicely or kindly if you will with my mature, dry, textured skin and my visible poores. Longevity in foundation when it comes to maturer skin types is always shorter by definition… Since the surface is less even, any foundation will eventually settle into lines, (won’t even bother calling them fine lines anymore…;)). But while it lasts, the Maestro will do a very fine job on maturer ladies and older geezers… I think the key is the matte pigment in oil and silicone and the thin texture that does it. It is the best complement to an often more extensive skin care regimen, that is needed when skin starts to mature for real…

    Again Thank You for your thoughts on the very lovely lasting silk and luminous from Armani, I love using them on younger women, however on me nothing has of yet beat the Maestro when it comes to making mature skin look it’s best, when texture and visible poores combined with surface dryness is the situation in need of being addressed… 🙂

    Take Care
    Scout