In 2012, Armani reinvented foundation with Maestro, a liquid-to-powder base that was, essentially, pigment suspended in oil. Makeup artists loved it, as did editors, because it offered good coverage, stayed on for a full day's wear, and was easy to apply with your fingers.
It took a full two years for everyone else to catch up. In fact, L'Oréal, Armani's parent company, only just released foundations in a similar formulation for Maybelline, Yves Saint Laurent, and Lancôme. Perricone MD and Kevyn Aucoin also recently came to market with similar formulas, each one slightly different than the last.
You see, the liquid turns into powder on the skin, which means (ideally) you're getting fuller coverage without the caking. Also, the viscosity of the formula allows for better active ingredients and dry oils to be included, which means it's better for your skin's appearance — unlike most long-wear, full-coverage bases, which tend to be immensely drying and clingy to dry patches.
At first touch, you may be scared of this new breed of base, considering it can feel oily on the skin. Oddly enough, Armani notes that its product has a lower oil content and a lower pigment content than traditional foundations, which explains why it's so easy to apply. Overall, it's a less-is-more approach to your complexion, just with technology that makes it last longer than we're used to.
There’s a burgeoning trend right now of long-wear, matte foundations — the pinnacle of which is, of course, NARS' most recent launch, the All Day Luminous. (Stay tuned: Many more are coming this year, just you wait.) We can faithfully say that if you want a budge-proof face that doesn't feel or look heavy, this liquid-to-powder phenomenon is your way to go. And, hopefully, we’ll take a little of the trial-and-error out of it for you with these tips and tricks. Let us know your thoughts (and any other questions) in the comments.