Sunday, 15 November 2015

GIORGIO ARMANI LUMINOUS SILK FOUNDATION || FIRST IMPRESSION REVIEW

Over the last few months I seem to have turned into a bit of a foundation junkie. I have been stepping out of my comfort zone and experimenting with all different foundations from a variety of different brands, including a mixture of a drugstore and high-end.

Testing out new foundations is always something which I never used to enjoy. I have fairly sensitive skin and I constantly had this fear that as soon as I tried something new, my skin would freak and I would have a major break out. For roughly the first three years when I initially started getting into make-up, I would only ever wear MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation, and not once did I stray away from that product in all that time, I know..how boring of me! However, now I have started beauty blogging I figured that I really need to start being more adventurous and I need to step up and try out a wider variety of foundations. So what if I get a little pimple - it is only natural, we all get them from time to time and hey, it is nothing a little bit of concealer cannot cover up, right?! 
Whilst this new-found confidence was upon me, I went and picked up a foundation that I have heard so much about in the beauty blogging community..yes, it is none other than the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. 
Before making my purchase I took it upon myself to read some reviews online from fellow bloggers, because I always trust their opinions and I wanted to be sure I was not wasting my money, as this foundation is not cheap. At first I was slightly hesitant on whether to get it or not as there was such a mixed bag of reviews, some people absolutely loved it, but then there were a few people who did not get on with it so well. After much deliberation I did decide to buy one, because the positive reviews definitely seemed to outweigh the negatives, and I thought I would give myself the chance to make my own mind up. At the end of the day, we all have different skin, and what works for some people just does not work for others, so truth be told..you cannot always 100 percent rely on other peoples opinions and reviews, but it is always good to have them there as a guide when your in desperate need of some help! 
Before I get on to my own personal review of the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, I am going to tell you about the general product facts. With Giorgio Armani being a high-end brand it is expected that this foundation is going to be more on the expensive side. The retail price is £36.50, so it is definitely more of a luxurious treat to invest in. For that price you will receive 1 fluid ounce of product, which is equal to 30ml and this is the standard amount for a foundation usually. To find your perfect colour match, you can choose from a total of 21 different shades, which range from fair to deep, with a variety of different undertones to suit every skin tone. Supposedly this foundation is suitable for all different skin types, so whether you are oily, dry or have combination skin, Giorgio Armani suggests that this should work for you regardless. And lastly, this particular foundation contains no SPF in its ingredients. This is great if you are looking for a new foundation for occasions and events where there are going to be lots of picture opportunities, because it means you will get no flashback and you will avoid that white, overcast look, that makes you look ghostly. However, I would always advise using a moisturiser first which does contain a bit of SPF in it, just to ensure that your skin is protected..it's the only skin you get, so make sure you look after it! 
Giorgio Armani claim that you can "capture the glow of perfect looking skin with Luminous Silk Foundation, an oil-free hydrating fluid with exclusive micro-fil technology. It's lightweight and silky texture glides on seamlessly for an all-day, buildable coverage". So, now we know that is what Giorgio Armani suggests, lets find out a little bit more about this foundation, by finding out my thoughts in this review..
Lets start this off in true Alicia fashion, by talking about the packaging, because we all know how much I appreciate good packaging of any product! All I can say is this really does not disappoint..I absolutely love it! It is so sleek and so sophisticated, which is what really draws me to a foundation, because I can just imagine it looking so picturesque sitting on my desk (I know, I need to get a life), but things need to be instagramable, right?! One of the main parts of the packaging which I love is in-fact the frosted glass, this is my new favourite feature on a foundation product because it makes it look and feel so much more deluxe. As you can see, simplicity has been key in the designing of this foundation. There is nothing too fancy and it is not over the top at all, it is a fairly plain design overall and it just looks very clean cut, which in my opinion looks so much nicer than something that is a little too 'try hard' with too much going on. On the bottle itself it has matte black lettering, which is again in a very simple, sleek font to match the theme of the packaging. In the centre of the bottle is has the name of the product 'Luminous Silk Foundation' and I believe the wording directly underneath that is the name of the product again but in French. And then on the bottom edge of the bottle it has the brands name 'Giorgio Armani' printed in bolder capital letters to really stand out. Other than this bit of writing, the only extra bit of decoration added, is the chrome Giorgio Armani symbol which is attached on to the lid. I love this to finish off the whole design, it really ties everything in together and looks extremely elegant. 
The lid is just one that pulls straight off, it is not a screw top, which means - PRAISE THE LORD, THERE IS A PUMP INCLUDED! Obviously it is always a bonus when you see that the company has chose to put a pump on the foundation, because it saves you having to buy one separately, and we all love saving a bit of money, don't we? I understand that not everybody is bothered by using a pump, but I honestly think it stops you from wasting so much product, which means your foundation will last much longer. And when you are spending nearly £40 on a foundation, you want it to last as long as possible, ideally! 
When buying a new foundation which I have never tried before, the one task which I find to be the toughest, is figuring out what shade I am going to be. I always used to get the lightest shade available in any foundation I bought because I literally resemble casper the ghost, especially in winter and it just seemed the easiest thing to do. However, this technique did not work every time, and I definitely recommend getting colour matched properly. 
To find my colour match in this particular foundation I used the online website 'Findation', because much to my dismay no stores in my local area stock the Giorgio Armani make-up range, so I had no choice but to buy it online and I needed a rough idea of which shade I would be. I have used this website a couple of times in the past and I have never had any issues with it previously, however with this foundation, I feel like I could have done with a shade or two lighter. I manage to make it work because I just bronze up my neck a little and disguise the slight colour difference, so I match it as closely as I can, meaning it is not really a big issue for me personally. For reference, I use the shade 'NC15' in MAC Studio Fix Fluid and I was matched to shade '4' in the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk. The colour is not a huge miss, but it comes off slightly too yellow, so bare that in mind if you have a similar skin tone to me. Remember there is a massive 21 shades to pick from, so you should be able to find one suitable for you.
Before applying the foundation onto your face, you should always prep the skin first. Recently to do this I have been using two products which seem to be working really well for me..The first one is just Boots own brand moisturiser. I take a pea sized amount of this and apply it all over my face and neck. This acts as great base and it also works as a barrier between the skin and the foundation. Once that is all rubbed in and soaked into my skin, I will take my Smashbox Primer Water and spritz a fair amount of this all over my face. Using this primer really helps in prolonging the the length of time that the foundation will wear throughout the day and it also makes your skin look much more radiant and feel much more hydrated. 
Like always, to start off with I pump out a few pumps of product on the back of my hand first just to warm it up slightly. I prefer doing this rather than applying foundation straight to my skin, because it helps everything to blend out easier and look more seamless. Right away I could tell I was going to like this foundation from its consistency - It is not too runny that it moves about everywhere, but it is also not so thick that it does not move at all, it is the perfect in-between. 
Depending on the coverage you are wanting to achieve, will determine how many pumps of the product you will need to use. I would say this foundation offers a medium coverage, but I do think you could alter that by applying a small amount if you are only after a light coverage and vice versa, if you are after a full coverage look, this product is definitely buildable. Personally, I always like to have a good medium to full coverage when I am wearing foundation, so initially I thought I would use three pumps of product and see how I get on. 
To begin applying the foundation onto my skin, I took small amounts of product onto my finger and dotted it around my face, covering every area - I placed the most product where I wanted the most coverage. I then took my beauty blender and patted all of the foundation into my skin, blending it all out using bouncing motions. I started using a beauty blender a couple of months ago to apply my foundations, and honestly I will NEVER look back. I always used to use the MAC 190 flat foundation brush, but I would find that I ended up with the effect of brush strokes in my foundation, and it never looked exactly how I had hoped. However, using a beauty blender really has stepped up my foundation game, it leaves your make-up looking completely airbrushed. I do not know how it does it, but it is like some magic unicorn in the form of a sponge! I am a strong believer in the fact that the tools which you use in your make-up routine for application, have a lot to do with how your make-up turns out and how it wears throughout the day, so bare that in mind if you are after great looking results! If you have not tried a beauty blender before, I could not recommend them enough, trust me they are incredible! Right, I need to stop getting off topic now..
Using this application technique, the foundation blended out so easily. It just glided onto my skin using minimal effort and only a light pressure. 
Once I had finished blending all of that product out, I decided I wanted to see if the foundation was buildable to more of a full coverage. So, I went in with just one more pump which I spread out over my forehead, my chin and my cheeks, to see what sort of difference it offered. 
Just using that one extra pump really did seem to work for me, and it built the foundation up to my idea of 'perfect' coverage for what I personally like. It did not make the overall look go cakey in any areas, it all stayed looking very seamless.
The foundation dried into my skin extremely quickly and I was SO happy with the end result. In my opinion, the finish of the foundation is demi-matte, meaning it neither looks oily nor matte, but it just offers a slight bit of glow on the skin. With a name like 'Luminous Silk', I will admit I was expecting something with more of a dewy finish that oozed luminosity, but unfortunately for me it did not have that. However, I feel this could actually be down to my skin. I have fairly dehydrated skin which looks quite matte and quite dull the majority of the time. No matter what primers or what foundations I use, I always have a struggle getting them to look dewy. So, I think the overall finish may vary slightly and look a bit different depending on the type of skin you have. 
What impressed me most about this foundation, was in fact the overall look and feel it offers. Even though I had four pumps worth of product on my skin, it felt as light as a feather. Genuinely it felt like there was nothing on my face, my pores did not feel clogged up at all and my skin did not feel claustrophobic, it just felt like the skin could still breath. As many of you may know already, my holy grail foundation for the past 8 months roughly, has been Estee Lauder Double Wear. However, now I am really starting to dislike the heavy feeling it has on the skin because it just feels uncomfortable throughout the day, whereas this Giorgio Armani one is completely different. It feels much more gentle on the skin, whilst still offering the benefits of great coverage and a lovely finish. Could this be a new holy grail? I am definitely not going to write it off!
Once it has completely set into the skin, it does not leave a sticky or tacky feeling like a lot of liquid foundations do, it feels like natural skin and it is almost silky to touch. I cannot stress enough how much I love this foundation already. I love that I can have a full coverage, glowing complexion without feeling or looking caked in make-up. It seems pretty perfect so far, right? 
If it is even possible, once I had gone ahead and completed the rest of my make-up, I fell in love with the foundation even more. All of my imperfections were completely covered up, you could not see any freckles, any moles, any spots or any discolouration - it just looked flawlessly airbrushed.
The application for the rest of my make-up I found to be really effortless. Every product blended in so nice and smoothly to the foundation and it remained looking impeccable. To set all of the liquids I had used in place, I just took a small amount of the Rimmel Stay Matte translucent powder and dusted this all over my face using a large fluffy brush, so no extra coverage was added on top of the foundation to drastically change the overall look. Even after adding a mattifying powder like this one, the glow still very slightly shone through. I was actually really happy about this because it did not alter the foundation to appear totally matte and flat looking. 
The only negative I have so far which I am going to mention is that I do feel like the product oxidised on my skin ever so slightly. After I had left it a little while to settle in, it seemed as if it turned a bit darker in colour, nothing too dramatic but I noticed a small difference. 
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Giorgio Armani claim that this foundation is suitable for all skin types. I consider myself to have fairly normal skin. Even though my skin is dehydrated, I do not suffer from dryness and my skin does not seem to secrete much natural oil at all, so I would say 'normal' is the best way to describe my skin type. 
Personally, I would say this foundation seems quite perfect for my skin. It has worked really well up until now, I have not encountered any major issues with it what so ever and it looks immaculate on. 
In all honesty, I do believe this foundation would work with all skin types, there are no factors of it that stand out which would give me a reason to believe otherwise, so I have to agree with Giorgio Armani on this one.
On an average working day I will have my make-up on for roughly 11 hours, so for my first impression review I thought I would keep you all updated for that length of time to see how it wears, as that is how long I would need it to hold up for on a day-to-day basis. 
After I finished applying my make-up, I went on with my normal day. I ran a few errands, saw some family, walked the dog, etc. So I kept myself busy for a fair few hours and before I had time to stop and check how it all was looking, seven hours had already flown by..I am telling you, days go by too quickly as an adult! After those seven hours, I was blown away that the foundation pretty much looked exactly the same as when I first applied it. The overall appearance had hardly altered one bit, everything still looked fresh and seamless. It had not gone shiny or greasy looking in any areas, so I would not have felt the need to do any touch ups at this point. However, if you have oily skin that secretes excess natural oils throughout the day, this may be different for you after that period of time.
The only slight flaw which I did notice was that on my chin the foundation did seem to separate ever so slightly and go a bit patchy. I only saw this when I looked right up close at my skin, for someone else to notice it they would literally need to be looking at me with a magnifying glass, so this did not bother me too much. I will point out that this may have had something to do with me though, because when I sit down I have a habit of resting my chin in my hand, I have done this since school and I think that has something to do with my foundation rubbing off in this area..So bare in mind that this may be my own fault and not a negative of the foundation itself. 
I decided to check in again after 9 hours to see if there was much of a difference, and to be honest with you all, it was still looking pretty spectacular. It had gone a tiny bit shiny in my T-zone by this point, but I kind of expected that after being on for that length of time. It was nothing too drastic though, just touching up with a small amount of powder would of done the trick just to mattify it down again. I never leave my house without a pressed powder in my bag, I always have one with me for times like this when I might need to quickly dust some over my face to control any oils seeping through, just to regain that more natural finish again. 
After having the foundation on for a whole eleven hours, I could not wait get all of my make-up off and climb into bed, so I thought I would do my final check in before removing the products. 
I really was so mesmerised at how well this foundation had held up, I could not stop staring at it in the mirror. There had not been a huge change since I had checked in two hours previous, it was still looking shiny but it did not look so bad that it was at the point of looking greasy - it just looked very dewy. 
A major factor that gives this foundation a billion bonus points from me, is that it did not sink into any of my pores or fine lines and accentuate them at all, how amazing is that?! Admittedly, I am extremely lucky that I do not suffer from having large pores, so this is never normally a problem area for me anyway. However, I have never had a foundation before that after 11 hours wear it has not sunk into my laugh lines, so this is a pretty big deal for me. I am just so overwhelmed by every aspect of this foundation, it is amazing. 
Even though I am choosing to remove the foundation now, it is still looking great and I am pretty sure it could hold up a lot longer if it was touched up with some powder along the way. 
I was so hesitant about taking my make-up off, I wanted to leave it on because it still looked so pretty, but I wanted to get into bed feeling fresh faced, so it was time to cleanse, tone and moisturise!
My overall final thoughts..Do I have to spell it out for you? I L-O-V-E the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation, it is incredible and I am so glad I finally picked it up. I am now starting to wonder why I did not start trying out different foundations earlier, I must have been insane to not give myself a chance to discover new amazing products like this one! 
Is it going to knock Double Wear out of my top spot and take number one place in my foundation collection? You know what, I think it actually could do! This one seems to possess many more characteristics which I prefer over that one, I really cannot fault it. 
If you have had your eye on this foundation and the £36.50 price tag is within your budget, definitely make the splurge and invest in it, I am sure you will love it just as much as I do! It looks airbrushed, it feels light on the skin, it gives great coverage, the finish is beautiful, what more could you possibly ask for? 
I hope that you have all enjoyed this first impression review post of the Luminous Silk foundation and hopefully it has given some of you an insight to what the product is like and whether or not it sounds like something you would like to try out for yourselves. Let me know some of your favourite foundations in the comments below because I would love to find some other ones to test out soon as well! 
Thank you all so much for reading. Do not forget to follow me on Bloglovin' to make sure you do not miss out on any future posts, and in that case, I will speak to you soon.

Lots of Love,
ALICIA
XO
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