The Review | Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

Long time, no foundation review, eh? Rest assured, I have not become any less obsessed with foundations in my quest to find one to cover imperfections whilst imparting the perfect glow to the skin – although I must pat myself on the back for my restraint on the buying front as of late. I’m coming at you with a review of a foundation that (spoiler alert) might just be one of the very few that approach holy grail status and demand repurchase but here are the details. At the moment, I’m dealing with a cold and that hormonal time of the month, so my skin is not at its finest – a little angry and congested, and a lot dehydrated – and I figured it would be an excellent time to show you how it performs over less-than-smooth skin.

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The Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation ($68/ ounce) is a cult favourite of makeup artists and and I’d say that this is likely because it is a foundation that does what it says. The claims that the brand boasts of aren’t complex – they claim that it’s a lightweight foundation that achieves a seamless radiant finish that’s reminiscent of silk – but it’s a refreshing change to review a product that’s not marketed as a skin miracle in a bottle. I knew that I wanted to try the foundation as soon as Armani launched on Sephora last year and I don’t regret it in the slightest. It provides medium buildable coverage that feels lightweight, looks luminous but lasts. It is almost undetectable on the skin but it has a perfecting or airbrushed quality to it. The foundation does not have the dewiest finish ever, but instead sits somewhere in between a luminous and a satin finish – read: the luminosity of this foundation comes off as emanating from within the skin rather than from visible particles or shine.

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Ingredients: WATER, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, GLYCERIN, ISODECANE, ALCOHOL DENAT, POLYGLYCERYL-40ISOSTERATE, CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE, HEXYL LAUREATE, ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE, DISTERDIMONIUM HECTORITE, PHENOXYETHANOL, ACETYLATED GLYCOL STERATE, MAGNESIUM SULFATE, PEG-10 DIMETHICONE, TRIHYDROXYSTEARIN, CELLULOSE GUM, NYLON-12, LIMONENE, BENZYL SALICYLATE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, LINALOOL, DIPHENYL DIMETHICONE, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, PARFUM, DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, METHYLPARABEN, BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPINOL, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, HEXYL CINNAMAL.

Ingredient-wise, it’s not my ideal foundation because it does include drying alcohol – which is what gives it its weightless feel and texture – and irritating fragrance actives, but it performs so well, providing both lasting coverage and a luminous look to the skin that I’m not bothered by it. It does not contain SPF but that doesn’t bother me because my skin is so finicky to SPF actives that I like to choose a separate product and because it makes it a great flash photography foundation. Unlike some truly dewy foundations, Luminous Silk does set on the skin so it would not be ideal for severe dry patches and flaking, however, it is ideal for those who want some glow while giving their skin a blurring effect and coverage of imperfections. I don’t find that it clings to texture or small dry patches and I find that it wears beyond the 12 hour mark on me without issues.

I will mention that while the shade range is quite good, is confused the living hell out of me. I wear shade 2 – the lightest in the range I believe – which has a nice beige undertone but is a wee bit to pale for me. It matches my pale beyond belief neck that somehow is always 1-2 shades fairer than the rest of my body. It works well for me in the winter months, especially because I like contouring and adding some warmth on the daily but it could match someone about a shade fairer than me. As far as I understand, the range is numbered in terms of undertone – integers denoting neutral undertones, 0.25/0.75s denoting pink undertones and 0.5s indicating golden shades. Next time, I think I would try shade 4.

Because I had applied my skincare products hours before and my skin had drunk them up. I went in with the Make Up For Every Hydrating Primer to give the foundation a layer to stick to, although my moisturizer would have sufficed, if it hadn’t been applied so long ago. I applied one pump of the foundation with a buffing brush and did not set with powder, conceal my face or use any sort of setting spray.

Have you tried GA Luminous Silk?
Maggie, x

The Daily Face #21: Actual “No Makeup” Makeup

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I’m neither someone who has an authentic affinity for minimal product makeup or the kind of makeup that hardly looks like its there but after countless attempts at both, I have to say that I’ve been far more successful with the latter and I figured I would share the countless steps I took to give the illusion of not wearing makeup unless one was to examine my face ultra-close with meticulous detail.

Because my skin is about as combination as it gets at the moment – my t-zone might actually appear to produce oil like any normal t-zone but I’m suffering from dry patches on the cheeks – and of course I’m suffering from my usual dehydration, the skin required the most thought in order to appear bare but much nicer. With this in mind, I began with a little bit richer of a moisturizer, the impressively lightweight Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer to make sure that whatever I put on top would not be sticking to the skin in an unflattering way. Keeping up with this theme, I also went for my primer of choice, the Annabelle CC Colour Control Luminous Finish Instant Perfecting Base, making sure to massage it into the skin. Foundation-wise, I went for a scant pump of the trusted Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in 100 Ivory and really went to town, buffing it into my skin to perfection with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush. 

Afterwards, I really went to town on creating a natural-looking luminous and rested complexion and this was not easy especially considering the quality of my sleep as of late. As per usual, the Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light-Medium Bisque was patted underneath the eyes to camouflage darkness and afterwards the L’Oreal Magic Lumi Concealer in Fair was lightly applied and blended below the concealer to brighten that area and on the cheekbones, center of the forehead, chin and above the jawline to highlight in an undetectable way. Furthering the rested and luminous look, I put the subtle but instantly-dewy Benefit Girl Meets Pearl liquid highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones; unlike outwardly shimmery powder highlighters, this one looks invisible on the skin but fakes that luminosity to perfection. I then set my t-zone lightly with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light, mixing in some of the Incandescent Light shade when applying to the forehead to avoid the weird effect that the shade can give off. And because I wanted to be as subtly highlighted as possible, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Incandescent Light was dusted over the cheekbones for even more glow. I then went in with my L’Oreal Glam Bronze Mono in Universal Sun to add some (subtle) shape (and warmth) to the backs of my cheekbones before applying the peach-leaning tan MAC Tenderling Powder Blush with the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.

I’m pleased to inform you that the skin was the most work overall and that I didn’t spend ages and ages to look like I didn’t put any effort in at all. I began by priming my lids and correcting any discoloration with the L’Oreal Colour Riche Eye Primer before moving onto shadow. Before I begin with the explanation here, I thought I would note that I have deep set eyes so I feel that I can pull off more added depth to my eyes without looking made up in the slightest – I know for many, this would look obvious, blah, blah, blah. First off, MAC Soft Brown Eyeshadow was blended through my crease, to be followed with a generous portion of MAC Dazzlelight Eyeshadow, a cream hue with subtle golden shimmer running throughout, all over the lid and packed into the inner corner of the eyes. The last shade used was MAC Swiss Chocolate Eyeshadow, a warm reddish brown and it was then used to add depth to the crease and the outer corner. At this point I blended smudged some of the soft-black Lancome Le Crayon Khol along the outer half of the upper and lower lashlines but diffused the upper lashline further by adding more Swiss Chocolate in the outer corner and along the lashline. For mascara I chose the L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess, as it brings definition and natural-looking volume to the lashes and obviously there had to be something done with the brows so I ran the MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Quiet Brunette through them, concentrating on the outer arch portion.

The lips weren’t anything new — I simply filled them in with the Annabelle Lipliner in Demure and applied the darker warm-browny-pink based nude, the sheer MAC Patisserie Lipstick. The final touch was a few spritzes of the NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray, eliminating any hint of powderiness to the face.

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What do you reach for when achieving the “no makeup” makeup look? Thoughts?
Maggie, x.

Luminous Skin Lineup

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It’s not a rare occasion when I ramble on and on about luminous skin, as my skin is rather dry and dull and I’m constantly looking to remedy that but I know not everyone is looking for that all-out dewiness, however, from talking to my friends in real life I know that everyone wants a little bit of luminosity in their life regardless of their skin condition and I thought I’d share an edited selection of my favourites for different concerns. Annnnnnnd, it appears to be completely on trend for this spring.
Benefit Girl Meets Pearl ($36 CDN)

If you, like many, suffer from an oily t-zone, the idea of radiance in any capacity probably makes you want to vomit because you know that it will only make your skin concerns worse. Regardless of the condition of our skin, we all seem to suffer from some winter dullness this time of year and this is a good option for hesitant gals who live in constant fear of any sort of shine on the face in any capacity that want to ease into the slightly glowier territory. Because the subtle golden-pink liquid highlighter can be strategically placed on top of makeup, you don’t have to worry about the luminosity highlighting areas that you don’t want to be highlighted and to control what areas have that luminosity. This is a nice natural-looking highlighter for all though. I love it and if you can stomach the price tag you will too. Also it can be mixed with a heavier-coverage foundation for a little bit of added luminosity without sacrificing on the longevity front.

Diorskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup ($48 CDN)

Radiant foundations have seemed to be having their moment as of late but some of them are intimidatingly glowy and sheer and can contain shimmer but this is my foundation of choice with a radiant but not overtly dewy foundation with a weightless consistency offering medium coverage that is just a touch glowier than a natural finish. Although this hasn’t made its way into a favourites post, I have been really enjoying this lately and I think it would be especially great for someone with combination skin who is looking to add life to their face without sacrificing longevity and getting the dreaded oily t-zone quickly. If only it didn’t have such high alcohol content. For reference, I wear the shade 11 Cream which matches my winter fair-but-not-overly-so skin with somewhat yellow undertones. And this is like the only foundation with sunscreen that does not irritate my skin (I tend to be sensitive to chemical sunscreens) while still not flashing-back.

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation ($11-12 CDN)

I know I’m late on the bandwagon with this one but I hadn’t picked it up in the past because I thought it was a sheerer foundation that offered a demi-matte or natural finish and I tend to prefer dewier foundations of that variety but after I had my Lilly Pebbles watching marathon and saw that she found it to be moisturizing and illuminating and then I saw it on sale – I was sold. It goes on quite sheer with a small amount but with a moderate amount and a buffing brush, it offers medium coverage that glides over the usual dry patches and looks invisible on the skin even close up. It’s a really new addition for me but I’ve been obsessed lately. This offers slightly less coverage than the Dior and is more luminous but it does not have any sheen or reflective particles like say Rimmel Wake Me Up but rather looks like hydrated skin. For reference, I wear 130 Shell which is an impressive match for my skin but it is not quite as fair as the Dior. It seems to have great shade offerings for fair skin which I can definitely appreciate – and it caters to both warm and cool undertones. And it neither contains fragrance or alcohol…

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powder ($30 CDN)

I used to think that powders were the equivalent of the devil’s reincarnate, making the skin look dry and dull, powdery and making their makeup look obvious and clinging to any hint of dryness on the skin but this powder has changed my mind on that. It’s a sheerer powder that does all that powders should do – taking down excess shine, smoothing out texture and reducing the appearance of pores – without removing luminosity from the skin. This powder has more of a natural finish rather than a matte one which is impressive. It’s dare I say invisible on the skin.

Laura Mercier Radiance Primer ($24/40 CDN)

I will admit that I picked this up as a Sephora 100 Point Perk as it contained an impressive amount of product (0.5 oz) but I’m contemplating purchasing it when I run out. Although I wouldn’t say it actually helps with the longevity of makeup or pores or anything, it’s a really gentle formula that weightlessly hydrates the skin while bringing a refined glow to the skin and helping foundation to glide on more smoothly.

Benefit Rockateur Boxed Powder ($36 CDN)

For some reason when thinking about glow-inducing products, I tend to forget about blushes but blushes like these sometimes are the easiest  way to get that luminosity. Although it’s not cheap, this finely-milled warm rusty rose blush reads as glowy skin as it’s not overtly shimmery. I swear this brings instant life to the face without reading as makeup.

Maybelline Master Highlight in Deep Bronze ($12-16 CDN)

A few weeks back, I was going on and on about my newfound love for this and this has not changed. At a more affordable cost, this “bronzer” – I use it as a blush – has that smooth and subtly luminous texture, imparting a warm-toned rosy copper glow to the cheeks.

Going for the believable glow: wearing the Laura Mercier Primer, Dior Foundation, Benefit highlighter and a light dusting of the powder in the t-zone
Going for the believable glow: wearing the Laura Mercier Primer, Dior Foundation, Benefit highlighter and a light dusting of the powder in the t-zone

Do you love the luminous look? What products do you go for when you want to look glowy?

Maggie, x.