Armani’s Velvet Underground
If there’s one thing Giorgio Armani Beauty is known for around the world, it’s foundation. The luxury brand’s Luminous Silk foundation is the stuff of legend—and its latest skin-perfecting innovation, Maestro Fusion Makeup, will make a convert out of even the most makeup-adverse woman, mostly because it doesn’t look or feel like makeup. That’s thanks to the company’s expertise in formulation—and fashion. Giorgio Armani Cosmetics international makeup artist, Linda Cantello, creates new products for the brand based on what she sees in the backstage trenches, which is where she got the idea for her latest coup. In order to get the gorgeous, saturated plum lip Cantello painted onto models’ mouths at Mr. Armani’s Spring 2011 “Éclat de Pierres” Privé show, she blended a translucent gel with a high concentration of pigments to get a piercingly pure color. It served as the prototype for the new Lip Maestro, which is billed as a “matte lacquer,” although the red-capped, slim tube is so much more than that. Its velvety consistency has more of a sheen to it than a traditional flat-finish pout enhancer—but don’t call it a gloss. There’s zero stickiness to all 12, easy-on shades, which cover a range of pinks, roses, and crimsons, like the universally flattering #400, which is called “the red,” for good reason. “A little tip,” offers Cantello, “is to start with the bottom lip, then press your lips together for an even application.” Then smile.