I have a soft spot for Armani makeup but when I really challenge my emotional inclination, I discover that I’ve only been blow away by their basics – foundations, mascara, pencil eyeliner and such. Armani colour products don’t often get me hot and bothered; the Eyes to Kill Eyeshadows are nice and all but get thrown to the back of the drawer, the lipsticks are a little slippy for my liking and my eyes tend to glaze over the cheek colours.
Recently I popped by the counter to snoop the new Eye & Brow Maestros, I followed my heart and not my mind and decided upon three shades: Wenge Wood, Ambre and Gold.
These cream pots are designed to be long wearing and multipurpose: brow shaper, eye liner, eye shadow, hair root touch up and contour. I think Armani might be grasping at straws to beef up that list because personally, I look for entirely different textures for said purposes.
02 Wenge Wood – A deep taupe/grey with a reddened micro shimmer that lends a slight purple lean. Low level shimmer.
04 Ambre – Medium warm brown base with green iridescence, together the shade leans khaki. Medium level shimmer.
09 Gold – Yellow gold shimmer suspended in a clear base, this shade is sheer and tends to apply patchy (visible in swatches above). High level shimmer.
Right off the bat, I had no intention of using these on my brows. Under harsh store lighting, it became evident that all shades are infused with a micro shimmer and some exhibit downright reflect. WHY. So unnecessary and limits versatility. If you’re puzzled by my strong aversion to shimmer in brow products, let me explain:
- It’s distracting, natural brows are not shimmery. If that isn’t adequate justification alone then…
- Shimmer in the brows can pose a risk for photography, especially when flash enters the equation. When certain portions of the brow reflect more light, it can result in the illusion of a patchy brow.
Can we omit shimmer in brow products now, pretty please?
Take a finger to the pot and you’ll immediately recognise the silicone slip – dense but velvety. It’s not a million miles away from the Shiseido Cream Eyeshadow formula, although the Shiseido is a wet silicone whereas the Armani is a distinctly dry silicone, reminiscent of Hourglass Veil Primer and the like.
The Maestros swatch well, one swipe is opaque and true to pan but finger swatches are not always indicative of how the product will perform on the eye/brow. Before we go any further, here is the product on ma face…
Despite the shimmer situation, I’ve applied Wenge Wood to the brows (with sighs and scoffs). On the eyes I applied Wenge Wood at the lash line, Ambre all over the lid + lower lash line and Gold as a central lid highlight.
My first application experience was sucky to say the least, I skipped eye primer because long wearing creams shouldn’t require one, right? I found that even when I packed the product on the eye, much of the intensity was buffed away as I attempted to diffuse the edges. I layered and layered with the same results. After a few hours, all shades had faded significantly – this is very unusual for me, my face is a magnet for makeup.
It would appear that the Eye & Brow Maestros alone don’t exhibit a strong setting power, pair that trait with a heavy silicone formula and the product tends to slip around.
Take two – I applied the shadows over one of my strongest eye primers (NARS Pro Prime) and thank goodness, a much better result; I was able to build to a stronger smokey eye whereas sans primer, all attempts stop short at ‘soft and hazy’. I had a quick dip in the pool (Australian summer is torture) and my eyeshadow remained mostly intact. Perhaps the only issue I encountered was blending – it’s a bit trickier to diffuse edges over a primer.
I had the same experience with Maestros on the brows – when used alone, I couldn’t build the desired opacity on very sparse areas and if I were to comb the brows with a spoolie, much of the intensity was brushed away. If I applied a bit of NARS Pro Prime to the brows prior to application, the product set to a bulletproof waterproof finish. Additionally, I couldn’t detect any shimmer in my brows, even when I inspected the brows in sunlight – though I still wouldn’t recommend them for flash photography.
Like most cream brow products in a similar vein (Make Up Forever Aqua Brow & Anastasia Dip Brow), the Maestros are a bit fiddly and require more time and precision than your regular brow powders/pencils. If you’re looking for a 2 minute brow solution, you can safely skip these.
When applied over bare skin the Armani Eye & Brow Maestros kinda sucked, too much silicone slip to adhere and set on the skin. It was only with the addition of an eye primer that the waterproof claims held true – knowing this, I would absolutely purchase more shades.
Ultimately I prefer Maestros as a cream eyeshadow but brow wise: if you can get over the shimmer (note that shimmer level varies per shade), find a decent shade match and don’t mind priming the brows, it’s worth a shot.
Have you tried these? I’d be very curious to hear your thoughts!
EDITED TO ADD: Wowwww, my lip colour in the picture above is causing quite the commotion in the comments lol. It is the It Cosmetics Your Lips But Better Lipliner in the shade Romantic Rose. It’s awesome, go buy it.
Leave your comment (39 comments)
Forever confused about people with crazy shimmer in their brows. Nagl.
I don’t think I’m sold on these. They seem a bit like the Maybelline Colour Tattoo, only a butt load more expensive.
I agree with you. The minute that I heard the description, I was also thinking of the Maybelline ColorTattoo’s.
Karima.. We beg you on hands and knees. Please tell us what you have on your gorgeous lips! You’re making all of us go into a tizzy. LOL.
You have a face that women envy and men adore. We should all be so lucky! 🙂
Minibux – The lip is It Cosmetics Your Lips But Better lipliner, all over the lips 🙂 x
What particular? Thank you for your time.
Hmm they definitely have a different texture to the Colour Tattoos (which are similar in texture to MAC Paint Pots, in my experience). The Eye & Brow Maestros are slippy, I can’t say I’ve come across something quite like it! x
Thanks for your honest review, Karima. I was curious about these, but you killed my lemming. Good thing 🙂
Glad to help 😉 x
I know you didn’t like the products, but you look great in that picture! 🙂 what lip color were you wearing btw?
Oh I do like the products! Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I like the performance over a primer, but they’re definitely not long wearing as claimed. The lip is It Cosmetics Your Lips But Better lipliner, all over the lips. xx
Oddly enough, I was at the GA counter at Myer Sydney, pondering whether I should buy these. Thankfully I walked away! (That being said, it looks gorgeous on you).
I wanted to ask, what lipstick are you wearing in the pic? I. HAVE. TO. HAVE. IT.
Haha the lips are causing quite the drama here, it’s It Cosmetics Your Lips But Better lipliner, all over the lips. xx
I must know what lipstick you’re wearing!!! *heart eyes emoji*
Anyway, the eyes look nice!! I read somewhere (when these just came out) that shimmer is added “to give brows some natural dimension” or something, and I was like whaaaat. I also agree about Armani beauty products… I tried the rouge ecstasy line and was not impressed, it was really slippery and looks patchy (it was a red). I did buy their cheek fabric, the colors are prettyyy but quality/texture/staying power etc aren’t mindblowing, I much prefer my Burberrys. But lasting silk!!!!! Is so amazing!!!!! Bought it thanks to you hahaha
Haha I’ve added the lip product to the post!
Lasting Silk is the total standout product from Armani, LOVE IT.
It sucks that they do not live up to expectations, but it is true that those are some bautiful colours. However, I love cream eyeshadows and already have many from different brands, so no point in my hunting down a product online when I can enjoy other 😉
On the other hand, I have heard wonderful things about their eyes to kill range!
The Eyes to Kill eyeshadows are lovely! They can’t be depotted though, which is perhaps why I forget that I own them. I prefer eyeshadow palettes to singles!
I haven’t tried these products. But I am a huge fun of Eyes To Kill mascara. After years and years I’ve been a devoted fan of YSL Faus Cils mascara Armani’s was like a fresh start. 🙂
I too found that Armani’s lipstick is sort of tricky. I like how it is melting on the lips and looks glossy, but then I felt that it looked like I wore a nail laquer and I am not a huge fun of this effect to be honest. It was not drying though. another thing that bothered me was that when I swatched it on my hand- it looked completely different, I have chosen a safe pink muted colour- when applied on my lips it went bright pink with violet undertone. I felt like I wanted to look natural and after wearing the lipstick I found myself looking like a disco girl. That was quite a shocker! :)))
I think I am still curious to try their eye shadows and foundation as I have heard a lot of good reviews on them.
And I would definitely buy their mascara again, I love it! 🙂
YSL Faux Cils, sorry for the typo.
Oh I love that mascara, too! I would buy it again but damn, I have 15 mascaras going :-/
Ditto on the lippie! Stunning, as always!!!
BTW, love this layout for the review. Very eye-catching, easy to follow along at home! 😉
Lippie added to the post 😀 You like the headings? Or the site layout? Just clarifying 🙂
Shimmer on eye brows. *scratches eye brow* It is very puzzling to me. I did think it was very ambitious to have such a multi multi multi purpose product and I can see what you mean on the iffy formula. And seeing this on a large monitor (vs. my dinky phone screen), I can see a lot of patchiness on you the three swatches.
Very puzzling, indeed. Perhaps the mass market wants a bit of shimmer in their brows, I just don’t know. I didn’t find the two deeper shades particularly patchy (since I would apply in a buffing motion).
Have to agree, these definitely wouldn’t be suitable for the brows. Ambre looks gorgeous!
It is a pretty shade, I used it in my last tutorial if you’re interested:
Why would anyone put shimmer into eyebrow products, ever, is totally beyond me, so I’ll skip these. Thanks for the honest review, you just reassured me on this. I’m also in love with that lip colour, and now I have to go and buy it. You are killing my wallet, woman!!!!!! 😀
LOL that lip… nobody cares about Maestro’s – what is that damn lip!? haha
The shimmer in the Maestros is there for a reason (so a SA at a Armani counter) – our hair, even the brow one has shimmer and light reflects, so with the shimmer in the Maestros the brows get more voluminosity. I really love the product (I didn’t try the ABH brow pomade, but I guess this one will be like a gel eyeliner. So, naah, I’ll skip).
My struggle is the color. First I got 06 Copal, but this was way tooo orangy, and now I got 07 Almond, this one is more ashy, but onfortunately this one has a yellowish touch :/ But you know what? I don’t care about it, I love the formula and the lasting power!
Regards from Germany 🙂
To each their own, I guess. I strongly prefer matte formulas on my brows. I can’t help you on the shade issue, the colours are quite confusing to me!
I was really skeptical about the shimmer in these for a brow product, but I absolutely love this! I have Ambre and it is a great match for my hair color, while looking way more natural in the brows than the ABH Brow Pomades. I have no issued with longevity whatsoever, even without primer. I have fallen asleep with my makeup on and my brows were still perfect in the morning with no primer under or brow gel over. I have also used these on my eyes, but I always prime my eyes so I don’t know how they would do without primer there.
Thanks for offering your experience, goes to show that makeup can perform differently depending on the face!
Good God, I would never have the patience to fiddle around with these things. There are better cream shadows at less terrifying price points. And every single shade has shimmer? WTF?!
To be fair, some have micro shimmer and then some have SHIMMER. They are very fiddly indeed :-/
I love the lip color! I went to It Cosmetics and found that “Your Lips But Better” comes in seven shades… which one are you wearing? Thanks!
She said it was the lip liner. Maybe the seven shades are for lipsticks?
They are seven shades of “Your Lips But Better” Waterproof Lip Liner Stain. Please let me know if you find out. Too much interest for these lips!!!, very successful choice, and it suits her! Thank you!
Sorry for the confusion, my mistake. The shade is Romantic Rose, I’ve added the info to the post 🙂
Which cream shadows are good for fair skin, blue eyes? I’m looking for something that is natural for work, etc.
You can find swatches of all the Armani Maestros on google but if you’re not specific about brand, check out my Cream Eyeshadow Smackdown:
I post swatches so you should be able to find something you like there.
It would appear that the Eye & Brow Maestros alone don’t exhibit a strong setting power, pair that trait with a heavy silicone formula and the product tends to slip around”
I do not agree