If the first half of 2012 is all about a cross of lip balm, lipstick, and lip gloss, the second half appears to be all about liquid lipsticks. We have seen brands such as Guerlain and Hourglass launching their versions, and now Giorgio Armani has joined the race with Lip Maestro. Since I have been seriously into red, I picked up Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro 400, alternatively known as “The Red.”
If you are familiar with Gloss d’Armani, you pretty much already know the packaging of Lip Maestro. I am a big fan of Giorgio Armani packaging in general, and the only difference here is that the cap is red instead of black. To be honest I am still on the fence with this. With #400 it makes sense, but I’m not so sure it works as well for all the other shades in the line-up. However, that’s a very minor point and my personal opinion. I know some love it for the retro vibe!
I love the applicator of Gloss d’Armani 100%, and I’m glad to see the same bent and flexible doe-foot one in the case of Lip Maestro. It feels much nicer on the lips than other doe-foot applicators I have tried. The formula is unscented, though if I sniff very closely I can detect a whiff of something chemical just like Gloss d’Armani. Once on however, you definitely can’t smell it anymore!
#400 is evidently a very popular shade, as it exists as Rouge d’Armani, Gloss d’Armani, and now Lip Maestro. I can definitely see why: this blue-based deeper red is for sure universally-flattering and brightening! The finish is matte without being dull. It has incredibly generous pigmentation, goes on easy and smooth, doesn’t sink into lines, cling onto dry bits, or dry my lips out (though it is not moisturizing either).
Here is a comparison swatch of Lip Maestro 400 with the other reds that I own. From bottom to top: Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro 400, Too Faced Perfect Red Perfect Lips, Hourglass Icon Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick, Dior Diorling Diorific Lipstick, Tom Ford Diabolique Lip Color:
Now, how does the formula work for me? I have to admit it’s a little tricky. It is possible to apply this straight from the tube with the applicator, but the problem is that this formula doesn’t “set.” The other liquid lipstick I have tried, Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait, dries down and “sets” so that there is minimal transfer and absolutely no color migrating. Lip Maestro, at least in the case of #400, never seems to dry down and set. It stays soft, moussy, and bouncy. This is probably why when applied straight from the tube with the applicator, there will be quite a bit of transfer even if I try my best to keep the layer thin. Transfer isn’t a big problem, since the pigmentation level is so high that it doesn’t just disappear anyways. However, that way it does migrate. With a lip liner things are slightly better, but I’ve had the most success doing a very thin layer with a lip brush and following up with a bit of lip liner around the contour. This way, migrating and transfer are minimal, but it also wears out faster. I also have to give Lip Maestro #400 credit for leaving behind a beautiful, even, and long-lasting stain.
This is also why I find it hard to take about “wear” with Lip Maestro #400. With the pigmentation level, it’s supposed to be something that lasts all day. However, between the transfer/possible migration and a very thin layer that wears out faster, it’s hard to tell. The stain can basically last you all day, though you might need to carry the liquid lipstick, lip brush, and your lip liner with you for a bit of touch-up if you want the color to stay fresh without the edges looking frayed all day.
With all that said, the formula of Lip Maestro is just a little tricky to work with for me personally. I know that the grand majority of people who have tried this seem to love it, as the pigmentation, glide, and stain are beautiful. I seem to be the only one having this odd case of color migration!
Nevertheless, you have to admit the color is pretty dashing:
Bottom line: I’m really really sorry to say the formula doesn’t seem to work too well for me personally. Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro #400 is a beautiful and universally-flattering shade that will please many, and I could be the only one who has a bit of problem with the formula. However, like everything else I talk about here, I encourage you to find the opportunity to see for yourself whether something works for you simply because too many factors are involved!
Have you tried Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro? Are you on board with liquid lipsticks/matte lipsticks? Is there a trick I should try to make the color stay put better?
Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx