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.