Maestro Fusion Makeup Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 29

Price:
$64 
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Category:
Last Updated:
11/15/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

Armani has a reputation for great foundations; this one makes a few missteps, but we like that it's fragrance-free.

First, there seems to be some confusion within the company about the SPF rating for this product: Some retail sites list it at SPF 25, the display at the store we visited rated it at SPF 15, and Armani's site and packaging have it rated at SPF 29. We assume it's SPF 29 because that's how Armani rates this product.

Unfortunately, none of the SPF confusion above really matters, as the only active sunscreen ingredient in this foundation is octinoxate, which doesn't provide sufficient UVA protection to be truly "broad spectrum," especially in comparison with foundations that include active ingredients that can block the entire UVA spectrum and thus provide you with better anti-aging benefits (see More Info for details).

That aside, this foundation isn't bad by any means, but it certainly doesn't match up to the best foundation options out there. The creamy formula applies easily (we suggest applying with a sponge instead of the brush provided with the compact) and blends into the skin quickly for light to medium coverage. The finish is semi-matte and this lasts several hours without fading.

The drawback is that Maestro Fusion Compact Makeup emphasizes expression lines and tends to migrate into wrinkles, which is definitely not a good look! For the price, you should be getting much better performance AND true broad-spectrum sun protection. L'Oreal, Giorgio Armani's parent company, definitely knows better when it comes to reliable UVA protection.

This comes in eight shades for fair to medium skin tones, but avoid Shade 9 because it's too orange to look natural on its intended skin tone.

Pros:
  • Foundation is easy to blend.
  • Semi-matte finish lasts several hours without fading.
  • Fragrance-free.
Cons:
  • Foundation does not provide broad-spectrum sun protection as claimed.
  • Emphasizes expression lines and migrates into wrinkles during its wear time.
  • Expensive given its average performance.
More Info:

This foundation with sunscreen does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun's entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. The sun's UVB rays are what cause sunburn, and the SPF number reflects that protection, but there is no rating for the sun's silent, though more penetrating (and in many ways more damaging), UVA rays. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active" to ensure you are getting UVA protection: avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).

Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 5%. Inactive Ingredients: Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Boron Nitride, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Polyethylene, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil; May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Iron Oxides.

Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is credited with giving tailored elegance, power, and sex appeal to standbys like men's suits, and turning Hollywood's A-list stars into fashion icons as they parade through countless award ceremonies adorned in his simple yet elegant creations. According to Armani, "Elegance doesn't mean being noticed, it means being remembered." That statement has been parlayed into the designer's makeup collection, where the products are replete with the textures, colors, and flawless application that assure your natural beauty will be memorable rather than masked.

Because Armani has always been passionate about textures, it's no surprise that his makeup (which is the main reason to check out this line) presents an impressive collection that features some of the smoothest, lightest textures you're likely to find. From foundations to powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras—even pencils—the makeup selection includes some truly stellar products. According to the brochure for Armani's makeup, the supreme textures and silky application are the result of Micro-fil technology. This supposedly allows for a precise blending and layering of select ingredients, offering a heightened sense of color that fits like a second skin.

Regardless of how that technology is labeled, almost all of the makeup contains standard silicone polymers along with ordinary ingredients like nylon-12. Of course, many cosmetics companies have their equivalent version of Micro-fil, but Armani seems to have taken it one step further, though not always toward desired results. For example, the eyeshadows, while very smooth and easy to blend, aren't much for intensity, a point the counter personnel made clear.

There are a few other instances where the pricey products aren't all they're made out to be, but this is the world of cosmetics, and although the fantasy is for every product to be perfect, that's hardly ever the reality. Still, there are many compelling reasons to explore this collection. Although not fully distributed across the United States, it has a presence in most major cities and the products may be purchased on Armani's Web site. Makeup is where it's at for Giorgio Armani's cosmetics line. The skin care was a blatant, exceedingly overpriced afterthought and is not worth considering.

For more information about Giorgio Armani, owned by L'Oreal, call (877) ARMANI-3 or visit www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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