Several high-end prestige brands have launched new foundations, and of course, I wanted to try them all. After wandering the beauty aisles at Neiman Marcus, I collected samples from three newly launched products from Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior. The three products I tried each had distinct qualities, but I thought it would be fun to combine the discussion into a trifecta of foundation reviews.
For anyone who is new to reading Beautypendence, please know that I have dry, sensitive skin with mild rosacea. You should keep that and your own skin type in mind as you read my opinions on these three different products.
Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup
If you’ve been following my blog posts, you know that I’m a big fan of Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, as are many makeup artists. Maestro is the newest invention from Armani, and it’s getting a lot of buzz, including an Allure 2012 Best of Beauty Breakthrough nod. The Armani scientists were definitely at work on this one, because I’ve never encountered a foundation-type product like this.
So what exactly is Maestro? Well, it’s not your average foundation. You’ll notice that the glass bottle doesn’t even say “foundation”. It comes with an eye dropper, not a pump, and you are meant to apply Maestro to your face with your fingertips like you would a serum. It’s a very thin formula (you can see how the drop of Maestro in the photo above is dripping down my forearm) that uses white lotus extract but no water, and somehow provides adaptive, light coverage. I received a prepackaged sample, so I wasn’t color-matched for this product. The sample I used probably wouldn’t be the shade I’d purchase, but the formula is so sheer that it blended fine with my skin tone. Maestro comes in 12 shades and has the active ingredient octinoxate 3% for SPF 15 protection. The pricing is in line with the rest of the Armani foundation line at $62.
The Verdict: I like Maestro, and I think there are lots of women who will like it, too. Many women say they don’t wear foundation because they don’t like the feel of makeup, and Maestro does not feel like makeup. The promotional materials liken Maestro to the fabric silk organza, which is an accurate analogy for it’s weightless quality. However, I personally wouldn’t use this as my daily foundation. For my taste and rosacea, the coverage is too light. If I had lots of money, then I would add this product as a “weekend driver” option to my foundation fleet.
YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat
My fellow makeup junkies will know YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch as the cult favorite in concealers/highlighters. Well ladies, hold on to your eyelash curlers, because now they’ve made a foundation. And you know what, it’s pretty darn good. And FYI, you should also know that YSL cosmetics and Armani cosmetics are both owned by L’Oreal.
The color-matched sample I was given was BR50, for light to medium complexions with golden toffee beige undertones. As you can see from my photos above, Touche Éclat has the consistency of a typical liquid foundation. And yes, the formula feels very similar to Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. The big difference here is that Touche Éclat has the active ingredient octinoxate 7% for SPF 19 protection. Also, I have noticed that this foundation does have some kind of fragrance. It’s pleasant smelling, but it does make me wonder what that superfluous ingredient is and how it could affect my skin. Touche Éclat foundation comes in 17 shades and sells for $55.
The Verdict: Being so similar to my current foundation, I do like YSL Touche Éclat foundation very much. It applies smoothly and evenly (with a foundation brush), and it wears well throughout the day. I’m sorry Armani Luminous Silk, but with an added bonus of SPF, I may have found a new lover.
Dior Diorskin Nude Fluid Foundation
Of the three foundations in this review, Dior Diorskin Nude has the thickest consistency, as you can see from my photos above. Dior markets this product as their “skin-glowing” foundation with a natural flawless, matte finish. The claim is it will make your skin luminous.
I will start off by saying that I don’t think I was color-matched properly at the Dior counter. The 033 Apricot Beige sample she gave me is pretty darn close, but it’s a little more pink than my natural undertones. Next time, I’d like to try 030 Medium Beige. Regardless, I was impressed with how smoothly and easily this foundation applies with a brush, betraying that thick texture. The active ingredients are titanium dioxide 3.16% and octinoxate 3%, so both a physical and a chemical sunblock, for SPF 15 protection. Diorskin Nude comes in 16 shades and sells for $48.
The Verdict: Due to the thicker consistency, I didn’t think I would like this foundation. However, I love the finish and coverage of Diorskin Nude. Somehow, like magic, it actually does go on with a natural, flawless finish, and it does feel weightless. I loved the shine-free look of my complexion so much that I found myself using this as my foundation of choice when I was prepping for gala events a few weeks ago. However, I don’t find that it wears well for a long period of time. At the end of wearing it all day, the finish wasn’t as smooth, and the foundation looked like it was beginning to sit more on the surface of my skin. Still, a definite winner in my book.
A quick word about sun protection: You’ll notice that all three of these foundations have octinoxate, a chemical sunscreen, as the active ingredient. I suspect this is because octinoxate is a clear liquid that won’t be visible in your makeup. However, you should be aware that octinoxate only offers protection from UVB rays. UVA rays penetrates the skin more deeply, and you should be sure to protect your skin from these skin-damaging rays. Educate yourself all about UVA and UVB rays with this informative article from the Skin Cancer Foundation.
With the exception of Diorskin Nude, which includes titanium dioxide – a physical sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB, I would recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen underneath both Armani Maestro and YSL Touche Éclat.
Closing remarks: If I had the money, I would wear Armani Maestro on the days that I wanted to do a low-maintenance, dressed-down look with some groomed eyebrows, mascara and lip balm. For my fancy nights, I’d use the Diorskin Nude for a fuller-coverage, but still luminous finish, with a full-on smoky eye or intense lips. And then for my usual work day, I’d go with the the YSL Touche Éclat. Each of these is worth a sample try. I recommend visiting Neiman Marcus for a test spin of whichever one sparks your fancy.