Sunday, July 12, 2015

Not As Described

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation has been on my wishlist for a while, so when COSME-DE.COM was having a sale, I jumped at the opportunity to buy it. The foundation retails for a whopping $92 here in Australia, but I paid just under $60. As always, the trickiest part was determining which shade to buy. I matched myself to Karima McKimmie as it seems we have a similar skin tone (NC 20-25), so I chose 4.5.





Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 4.5

l-r: NARS Sheer Glow in Fiji, YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat in B40, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in 4.5, Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation in 013

The attempted colour match was a fail. It's a tad too dark and very obviously the wrong undertone, in that it's tan/pink rather than predominately yellow or neutral. The discrepancy is especially visible when inspecting the difference between my face and neck in natural sunlight. I seem to have this problem with every face product I buy these days (also see Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation in 013, Clarins Instant Concealer in 02 and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light), so I'm developing something of a pattern here. So far, only Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 52 and NARS Sheer Glow in Fiji are yellow enough for me. Everything else is off to varying degrees.


Here we have the comparison shot (both entirely unedited images, only cropped) of my bare face and the same area with a small amount of Luminous Silk applied with the fingers. I probably should've moisturised my face before applying the foundation, but you can't really tell from the picture that it's picking up and emphasising dry patches as opposed to blurring them out.

To my surprise, coverage is on sheer side. It's actually one of the lightest coverage foundations I own. This stuff is less coverage than Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector Combination to Oily Skin or Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser. One pump over the face only provides a light layer of tint and won't go all that far in perfecting and evening out the skin. I find I need at least 1.5 pumps for bare minimum coverage, plus concealer if my skin's acting up or I want to camouflage scarring from breakouts. The downside to requiring more than a pump of foundation is that the colour mismatch only becomes more pronounced.


Apart from the scant coverage, another unexpected aspect of the foundation is it doesn't live up to its "Luminous Silk" name. Basically, this stuff ain't dewy. Quite the opposite. Call me crazy, but the finish is fairly flat and matte to my eyes. Sure, there's luminosity in the sense that the complexion is evened out and subtly highlighted from within, but there's no translucent, light-reflecting plumpness. There's no magic. It's not YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat, a foundation that instantly provides a smoothing, soft focus, luminous effect, perking up tired, dull skin. The texture and the way it applies reminds me a bit of CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation. It's not that forgiving in that a moisturised, smooth canvas is required for best results, otherwise it will pick up dry patches and highlight them. Or it could just be that it's targeted more towards oily/combination skin rather than dry. Of my two most recent foundation acquisitions, I infinitely prefer YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat to Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk.

On the plus side, and perhaps because it's drier/more matte on me than moisturising/dewy, I do find it to be longer lasting on the skin and not as oily as other foundations I favour (e.g. NARS Sheer Glow, YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat). It definitely holds up better over time, especially when I mix it with a higher coverage foundation like Sheer Glow. That's the way I've been preferring to wear Luminous Silk — not on its own, but mixed with another foundation to counteract some of its less desirable qualities. For example, mixing with Sheer Glow helps to make it more yellow-toned with higher coverage. Mixing it with YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat also amps up the coverage while making it more dewy and soft-focus in effect.

Luminous Silk, at least on my skin, benefits tremendously with the addition of a glowy finishing spray like my DIY Caudalie Divine Oil-infused water. A light misting takes away the matte finish, eliminates dry areas and generally applies a smoothing wand over the complexion, making it more alive and radiant.

25 comments:

  1. I find shade matching so difficult as well, most foundations don't offer many olive undertones in fair shades. I think this foundation has been crossed off my wishlist, I've been hearing a few reviews similar to yours, and it just doesn't sound like it's worth the money.

    RachelShuchatMakeup

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  2. I always thought this might be one of the more overhyped products! But its a matte finish? That's so weird, cause there's rarely anything luminous about matte!

    Lyon Notes

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  3. Erg damn about this foundation! It's so raved about by the likes of Anna and Karima! I was definitely surprised to read that it had less coverage than the Garnier BB! Well I heard that it's getting discontinued so I doubt I'll be trying it :( I feel a bit better about that after reading your review though haha :P

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

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  4. Sorry to hear this is a disappointment! I haven't tried many from GA but nothing really wowed me, so I've been looking into other brands whenever I want to splurge.
    I don't even have dry skin but lately I've felt all my foundations sit weirdly on me so I've started mixing some facial oil with foundation. I quite like the result! I think I'd have liked this foundation a lot more if the color match was better.

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    1. Yeah, colour match definitely plays a large role in whether a foundation is a hit or miss.
      I've heard about the tip of mixing an oil into foundation but I haven't tried it yet. I think I should though, it sounds like it would be a good idea!

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  5. I was so tempted to buy this as well but the price just isnt worth it for me!

    http://whattaylorbuys.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. That stinks this foundation didn't work for you! I consider this foundation the dewy foundation for oily skin girls. I have this and I can see where someone with drier skin wouldn't like it. But, if you have oily/ ideally combo skin, it's a dream. I LOVE this foundation. I can't do something like the YSL Touche Elcat because it transfers so easily.... I have combo skin and love this foundation for the summer. What if you tried a really emollient moisturizer under the foundation?

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    1. Hi Alex! I completely agree with you. I have oily skin and I loved this foundation. I thought it was causing breakouts but discovered it was something else after I had already returned it. I plan on getting it back soon. I even did a review on it on my blog. I wore it all day out in Florida SunShine State heat and not one melt crisis. I love that it's sheer to medium coverage as I didn't work my fingers to the bone for excellent skin, just to cover it up with heavy foundation.
      http://www.callmefafi.com

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    2. I can see how those with oily skin would prefer it. And similarly, I can see why I much prefer the YSL for my dry skin, haha. I don't experience any noticeable issues with it transferring for me, though I can imagine that being a problem for those with oily/combo skin. I haven't tried a super emollient moisturiser underneath but that could make it a bit smoother to apply and dewier. Thanks for the input and suggestion!

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    3. And Tamara, good to hear it holds up well in heat. And I can imagine why someone with really good skin would love this foundation. You're right though, ultimately all makeup starts with good skin :)

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  7. This was a major fail for me, too. I don't recall it being as matte but the colours were all off and oxidized to a horrible orange shade on me. I tried two different shades and was so disappointed. In hindsight, the formula wasn't at all right for me but I tend to stay away from Armani base products now. Their colour products are quite nice though!

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    1. I've heard about the oxidisation being an issue. That is a real bummer and sounds like a serious problem in formulation. I haven't experienced it just yet, but the colour match sucks for me regardless, and I could always try to salvage things (as I have been) by mixing it with another foundation. After my experience with Luminous Silk I'm not exactly dying to try more Armani. I definitely prefer what base products I've tried of Chanel (love their Vitalumiere Aqua and the cream bronzer - truly exceptional products).

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  8. I can't believe how expensive it is for you to buy! I have wanted to try this for a long time as I have heard so many people rave about it but I think I would have to ask for a sample at the counter first as it is quite expensive. It's a pity about the colour match! I like the idea of light coverage but the name seems to be misleading!

    Emma x

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    1. I probably should have attempted to match myself at a counter or something but I can never be bothered and I'm always afraid they'll try to sell hard to me which just puts me in an awkward position, haha. Yeah, the name really didn't set up accurate expectations of the product when it came down to how it actually worked on my skin.

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  9. Oh, I know the bummer of trying to find the right shade of foundation.
    For example, Clinique does not stock my winter shade here so, the bottle I own can only be used now because I got a bit of colour during my first day of beach and sun exposure. It might also fit when I start to loose my Summer colour. I also own a Benefit foundation that I won't be able to wear until I get another 3 weeks of time at the beach because it's too dark ( it was the sales assistant faul and sadly we cannot return makeup here...)
    I'm not sure if it is because skin is pretty decent this days or if it's because my preferences have changed, I prefer more natural looking foundations than full-mate ones. I like foundations that look like skin so...I wouldn't like this at all. But again, at such high price, we would expect this to do what it claims right? It's such a bummer whenever more expensive companies don't comply to what they advertise.

    I'm quite curious about the Nars Sheer Glow foundation but, I'll probably get myself another cushion for the winter time. I'm also quite curious abour MAC foundations, along side with UD's foundation and concealer. The possibilities are quite endless ( and probably, the last thing I need is another foundation)

    Take care*

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    1. Finding the right shade match seems to be the hardest (and most important!) part of foundation shopping. It can definitely be a frustrating process, especially since our skin can change colour throughout the year as well (along with how dry it is and the condition of it).

      I never gravitated to high coverage/matte foundations (I don't like matte finishes for the skin) and most of my foundations are on the "natural" side with medium coverage at most. It's hard when your skin is acting up though and not in the most amazing condition. I've been getting a few spots lately so I do need either higher coverage or concealer, especially since the longevity of my makeup is always an issue after a long day at work.

      I love Sheer Glow and will definitely repurchase when I run out. Never really wanted to try MAC foundations except Face & Body. I do want to try UD's concealer though, that one seems to be getting quite a bit of hype lately :)

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  10. How interesting, I totally do agree that the finish looks flat and matte instead of glowy or silk like. Also it's a bummer you didn't manage to get a shade that matched you better! I always end just trying my best to find swatches on another light yellow skinned girl or just get the second lightest shade that's not pink toned but it's difficult. Especially if you haven't swatched it in person! I was surprised by how light the coverage was of this foundation, I've always thought it would be a solid medium finish from reviews but I guess a concealer for spot work would be enough. This isn't on my wish list but thanks for the in depth review!

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  11. GA foundations' shades are indeed frustrating. I am NC 15-20 and was matched to #4 in Luminous Silk. Fortunately it is the right shade for me and the undertone is dominantly yellow, not pink or even neutral. Speaking of the finish, on my combination-oily skin it is slightly dewy but not 'luminous' by any means. I don't hate it but I don't love it either. After awhile, I found the foundation emphasizing my pores..
    It is long wearing on me though, and it doesn't have any SPF so I still go for it for special occasions. But I have to agree with you that the name is a bit misleading.

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  12. Aww it's so disappointing that it didn't work out on you but I have to agree that Luminous Silk definitely doesn't seem as it is described. It actually looks quite dry and just slightly uneven on your skin so that's quite unfortunate. I must agree how hard it is to find foundations for light yellow toned girls! It's always a struggle when I'm getting colour matched and nothing just seems to work! Whilst $60 is still a lot to fork out for a foundation, its fortunate that you got it on sale at least.

    sayyip.blogspot.com.au

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  13. I actually think the shade is pretty neutral and I'm sure once you have all your face makeup on and blended this in it could work... but I see what you mean about the finish. Maybe you need a darker shade in the Bourjois, I wear 52 and I would say I'm more fair than you! Anyway good luck finding an HG foundation :)

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

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    1. 52 is a bit light for me, I usually mix with 53. But I like the yellow tone of 52.

      The picture probably isn't the best for showing how bad a shade match 4.5 is for me. It's pretty blown out because the paleness in contrast to the surrounding dark hair/clothes is accentuated. I've been mixing it with my CoverGirl Outlast foundation in Buff Beige lately and it's been a pretty good combination.

      And thanks! Maybe one day I'll find it, haha.

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  14. I have to agree with you completely on this foundation!! While it doesn't cost as terrifying as $92, it was a $60 investment that I forked out, thinking it was going to be "the" foundation of my life. Nope. Nope, NOPE! Basically, little coverage and oxidization - urgh!!

    Stephanie | theFantasia.com

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    1. Haha I'm glad that you agree with me in a weird way (despite the fact you were disappointed in the foundation and ended up wasting your money). But it makes me feel justified knowing someone else feels similarly :p I guess with any makeup or skin care product, it ultimately always comes down to individual experience and this one just didn't live up to the hype!

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  15. It definitely does not look 'luminous' like how I would expect.
    I haven't reached the point of spending over $40 for a foundation but will definitely skip this!

    Sheri | Behind The Frames

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