L'Oreal recently released their version of the Armani Maestro foundation and it is called the L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation. I picked mine up this weekend at Wal-Mart and I have to say, I am very impressed.
I picked up the color 310 Light Ivory, which I believe is the lightest shade that they make. The range comes in 12 shades total. Here is L'Oreal's official line on the product:
Get the ultimate un-makeup look with Magic Nude Liquid Powder Bare Skin Perfecting Makeup with SPF 18. Revolutionary liquid transforms on contact, leaving a soft powder like finish. This foundation is so amazingly lightweight it's like wearing no makeup at all! Just shake and apply – it’s magic!
Application: Shake Well. For best makeup result, pour just a few drops onto fingers and apply directly onto skin. Not recommended for use with a sponge or brush.
I am shocked in the best way that L'Oreal decided to release a version of the Armani Maestro foundation at a drugstore price point. After only two days of wearing this foundation, I will say that it is my favorite drugstore foundation, ever. It is phenomenal ... for the drugstore.
A caveat to my review:
- I have incredibly dry skin. L'Oreal doesn't seem to have an official recommendation on what skintypes this foundation is good for. I love it on my super dry skin. The only other foundation I'm aware of that is based on volatile oils, the Armani Maestro foundation, says that it is good for all skin types, but I cannot attest to how either formula wears on oily skin. If you have oily skin, buyer beware.
I really like the L'Oreal Magic Nude packaging. It is a really tall, thin, square, glass bottle. It doesn't take up a lot of space on the counter. It fits neatly into my makeup organizer, unlike the Armani Maestro foundation, which is a round bottle and doesn't really play nicely with any kind of storage.
The Armani Maestro foundation comes with a dropper, which I really like. I know that some people found it really gimmicky, but I find it incredibly convenient. It allows you to keep the makeup sanitary and it makes it easy to dispense. The L'Oreal Magic Nude, you have to just take the lid off and pour it out, which is not sanitary at all. Also .. messy.
The L'Oreal Magic Nude foundation contains .91oz. The Armani Maestro foundation contains 1 oz.
Look and Feel:
The Armani Maestro foundation is made of volatile oils. When you first apply it, it feels very cooling on the skin as those oils evaporate. The L'Oreal Magic Nude doesn't have the cooling feel. It also doesn't feel as oily to the touch. I think it has more silicones in it than the Armani.
On the Skin:
I think on the skin, the products look very similar. They both sit very nicely on my dry, mature skin. They are both virtually undetectable provided you get them applied evenly. They are both so lightweight that it really feels like you're wearing nothing at all.
I will say, that like the Armani foundation, the L'Oreal will cling to any flaky skin. My skin is super dry and I think the foundation sits well, but if I have any spots where the skin is flaking off, both foundations will cling to it and make it look worse.
The Armani does seem to have more pigmentation. The L'Oreal isn't bad, but it's not quite as pigmented as the Armani. The Armani foundation bills itself as having a luminous finish. I don't think it does at all. I think both foundations have a wonderful natural matte finish that looks like bare skin. At least in the marketing, I think L'Oreal did a much better job with this aspect in calling it "nude" than Armani did with the "luminous".
The L'Oreal Magic Nude has an SPF of 18. The Armani Maestro has an SPF of 15. The active ingredient in the L'Oreal Magic Nude is Octinoxate 3%.
I get really similar results from both foundations. I've worn them both up to 12 hours and they don't really seem to break down. I may get a tiny bit shiny in my t-zone, but nothing bad. Neither foundation seems to oxidize on me.
As previously mentioned, the L'Oreal Magic Nude foundation contains .91oz of product. It retails for $10 - $13 wherever L'Oreal is sold. I picked mine up at Wal-Mart for $10.97.