Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk foundation is golden hour bottled up in a sophisticated little package. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to coverage and finish, no matter what your skin type is.
Leaves a natural-looking glow
Satiny, non-shiny finish
Lightweight but substantial texture
Coverage is customizable
Will be on the pricey side for some
There are many reasons why Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation is so highly rated—it's one of the best foundations for giving the skin a healthy glow without leaving a shiny complexion in its wake. Plus, the impressive formula has worked wonders for those of us who suffer from regular breakouts.
Whether you opt for the best non-comedogenic foundations or not, anyone plagued with oily or acne-prone skin is generally of the belief that they need either a matte, drying formula or a thick, high-coverage base. Anything even uttering the words glow, medium-coverage, or lightweight tends to go straight on the no-go list. But Luminous Silk foundation turns all preconceptions on their head with its one-size-fits-all formula, which has been adding an unblemished radiance to the makeup looks of all skin types since 2000.
Coverage: Buildable, medium
Shades range: 40, suitable for all skin types
Key features: Micro-fil™ technology, glycerin, non-comedogenic
Echoing another industry great, François Nars once said: “makeup shouldn't cover your skin, it should enhance your natural beauty, not mask it." And Giorgio Armani deconstructed foundation technology in a time when heavy foundations were all the rage to make natural, luminous skin accessible to everybody. With its non-comedogenic formula that simultaneously moisturizes all skin types and provides seamless coverage without blocking pores, our Armani Luminous Silk review breaks down why it still deserves its icon status more than two decades later.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation ingredients
This formula truly is one of a kind, thanks to its unique patented "micro-fill" technology that can't be replicated. It's a result of how the brand processes the raw materials, leaving out fillers commonly found in foundations. It also employs light-reflecting particles to sculpt and brighten the skin, while the infusion of a transparent powder that looks white but goes on the skin clear gives the formula its glowy finish.
A quick skim of the ingredients list also shows a cocktail of fatty acids that work to improve moisture and elasticity in the skin barrier—in other words, prevent dehydration and wrinkling—protect against environmental damage, and regulate oil production.
Silicones do have a bit of a Marmite reputation, but we're glad to see them included (alongside a bunch of other emollient additions) as their function here is to smooth the skin and ensure even application of products, hence the foundation’s silky finish.
And in case we haven't yet won over oily-skinned readers, there's also the inclusion of Isododecane in the formula, a texture-enhancing ingredient that helps yield a lightweight, matte finish. It means this is also one of the best foundations for acne-prone skin—who said luminous had to mean shiny?
What's the coverage and staying power of Armani Luminous Silk like?
This foundation means business when it comes to coverage, in this case winning the BB cream vs foundation debate. With just one layer, any uneven texture and pores are smoothed over comfortably without catching on any spots or dry patches. One thing we really loved was that, even though it fully concealed discoloration and blemishes, you could still glimpse freckles and beauty spots through its medium coverage, and that didn’t change even with a second layer of product.
The staying power is truly impressive, too. In a move that we didn’t see coming for a lightweight foundation, Luminous Silk stayed put from our first sip of flat white all the way to that satisfying cab sav. We’re not sure which we enjoyed more, that first sip of red or the moment our smug faces noticed the glowy reflection in the bathroom mirror.
As for its USP, the luminosity left behind is more a natural radiance that mimics a healthy complexion sporting a subtle tan, than a greasy, overly-shiny, or Edward Cullen-esque finish. It’s basically golden hour in a bottle.
What is Armani Luminous Silk packaging like?
The Luminous Silk even looks the part, with its subtly twisted silhouette that boasts a satiny matte finish to reflect the formula inside and a simple but sophisticated black lid emblazoned with the brand's designer logo.
And unlike some cheaper mid-range offerings that often come without a pump, leaving you to pour the formula onto your hands—inevitably drip it all over the carpet—this bottle comes with a sturdy pump that operates smoothly to give you complete control over how much formula you use.
Who does Armani Luminous Silk Foundation Suit?
Luminous Silk will do wonders for a whole spectrum of skin types, from oily and combination to extremely dry or dehydrated. While oilier skin types may cringe at the thought of the luminosity referred to in the foundation’s luxe-sounding name, the almost sheer formula gives a satiny finish to all skin types. This comes with a natural-looking glow that doesn't leave a shiny residue behind—something previously unheard of for anyone whose skin produces excess sebum. Truly one of the best non-comedogenic foundations.
Mature and sensitive skin types will also benefit from this weightless formula, thanks to the humectant glycerin which infuses the skin with moisture, leaving it radiant and dewy. And again, while that might sound like a no-no to oilier skin types, all skin needs moisture no matter what your concern is. If anything, packing on the hydration can actually help oily skin balance its sebum production, yielding a surprisingly grease-free finish.
How to apply Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is buildable, so you can tailor the coverage to your preference, and the brand recommends using a foundation brush to sweep the formula across different parts of the face.
“The innovative fine translucent effect was achieved because Giorgio Armani Cosmetics was the first make-up brand to apply fluids with specific blender brushes that build up layers of foundation from soft to strong with high precision,” the brand says, adding on its website: "Use a Blender Brush to apply for a radiant finish. Add and blend more product to achieve desired coverage."
Aleesha was Deputy Editor and Beauty & Fashion Editor for My Imperfect Life, where she headed up the beauty, fashion and eCommerce pages. Previously she was Shopping Writer at woman&home and gained an AOP awards nomination after working on their news team. She earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London in 2017 and has since worked with a number of brands including, Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto. When she’s not testing all the new beauty & lifestyle products on the market, Aleesha spends her time soaking up the newest bestsellers and Netflix releases, watching everything Marvel, learning about different wines, attempting new languages and traveling as much as she can.
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