Beautiful, skin-like finish
Works well with other complexion products
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
We put Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
As a teenaged beauty fanatic, I was influenced most by the images taken of models backstage at New York and Paris fashion weeks; I would look at the pictures and imagine the mayhem backstage before the show began, with the makeup artists hurriedly executing the required look on model after model. My favorite looks were of the models that had flawless complexions, with their foundation melting right into their skin.
Those barely-there fashion week foundation looks I loved as a teenager completely impacted the type of makeup I wear today, and I’ve looked for products that will give me natural-looking skin with a subtle glow over the years. Having heard so much about the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, I wanted to check it out and form my own opinion. Would this foundation live up to the hype and give me that model-inspired look I admire most? Keep reading to find out.
Best for: Sheer to medium coverage foundation looks.
Byrdie Clean?: No; contains methylparaben.
About the brand: A legendary designer, Giorgio Armani has used his love of elegance to create skincare, fragrance, and cosmetics for over a decade, maintaining a strong presence in the beauty industry for over a decade.
About My Skin: Combination, sensitive, and acne-prone skin
My skin can be a little temperamental; I tend to react to fragrances in products that are left on my skin for too long and have dealt with acne for many years. As a teen, I never thought I’d be dealing with acne as a grown adult, but I’ve learned to roll with the punches. I keep my skincare routine simple and uncomplicated by using the CeraVe Foaming Cleanser and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Fluid Moisturizer. In terms of makeup, my everyday complexion routine consists of the CoverFx Power Play Concealer, the MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder, and a hydrating setting spray to give me that no makeup-makeup look I love. Interested in switching things up, I was curious to see how the Luminous Silk Foundation would look once I tried it on.
How to Apply: Brush, fingers, or beauty sponge
The texture of this foundation is so smooth and thin that it could easily be applied with your fingers, a beauty sponge, or a foundation brush. Putting a pump of foundation on my forehead and cheeks, I used a synthetic brush to buff the product into my skin. After a couple of minutes, I wanted to see what more coverage would look like and applied another pump of product on my forehead and cheeks again. Blending it in, I noticed some streaks on my cheeks and went over them with my damp Beautyblender. The streaks disappeared easily, and I was really happy with my results.
The Results: Completely and utterly in love
This foundation is nothing short of amazing. As soon as I started blending it in, its smooth texture and luminescent finish made my skin look flawless and airbrushed immediately. I truly had to ask myself if this was one of those foundations I have been missing out on because it has so much of what I love and am looking for in a product: it has the texture and finish I love, the buildable coverage I love, it’s lightweight, wears well on my skin for hours, and works amazingly with other products without any streaking or patchiness. After a couple of hours, I did notice my nose had a little shine, but that’s typically where I get oily in the first place. I dusted a little translucent powder on with a small brush; the powder melted into the foundation and didn’t look thick at all.
I wore the product around my house for the entire day and couldn’t help but get my camera out and take a few bomb selfies. My skin looked so smooth and flawless—you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t a model backstage at fashion week. I wasn’t expecting to love Luminous Silk as much as I did, and I think I’ve officially found a new foundation I will keep in my permanent rotation of complexion products.
The Ingredients: Some potential allergens
My only tiny critique would be that Armani’s Luminous Silk contains fragrance; some people can use fragrance in their skincare and makeup products without any issue, but, that’s not always the case for me. As a result, I usually steer clear of fragrant products as much as I can. Luminous Silk contains linalool, butylphenyl methylpropional, and hexyl cinnamal, ingredients that add scent to cosmetics. These ingredients can cause skin irritation, and I truly wish they weren’t part of this foundation’s ingredient list. Although I didn’t have any reaction to the fragrance in this product and I did feel comfortable using it several times after my initial patch test, I do think that abandoning the fragrance might make those of us who are leery about fragrances feel reassured to introduce a new complexion product into our beauty routines. If this foundation was fragrance-free, I would have given it 5/5.
Everyone should experience this foundation at least once in order to appreciate the beauty of it.
The Value: Expensive, but worth it
In my opinion, this product is pricey, but if you are in search of a particular type of aesthetic with your foundation like I am, Luminous Silk is worth the investment. For 30 ml, $64 is a hefty price tag; while I do think the price could be dropped in order to be more accessible and budget-friendly, this just may be a product that should be considered an item worth splurging on. After all, it is by Giorgio, the Armani—a brand known for luxury.
Similar Products: You've got options
The Ordinary Serum Foundation: A lightweight, affordable product, The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation ($7) is an amazing substitute for Luminious Silk at a fraction of the price. The texture and finish of the Serum Foundation are a little more natural and less airbrushed, but this foundation is so easy to use and so easy on the wallet that it’s worth trying.
Ilia Beauty True Skin Serum Foundation: A vegan alternative to Armani’s Luminous Silk, Ilia Beauty’s award-winning foundation has been making waves, and rightfully so. If you have skin sensitivities or are interested in using exclusively clean beauty products, the True Skin Serum Foundation ($54) will give you sheer to medium coverage like Luminous Silk, but with exclusively clean ingredients. Currently available in fewer than 20 shades, Ilia’s foundation’s shade range is limited; for this reason alone, Luminous Silk may be a better option for those looking for the truest foundation match.
MAC Cosmetics Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation: This foundation is a favorite of mine and has some similarities to Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation: it’s weightless, long-wearing, hydrating, and gives a skin-like, natural finish. Studio Waterweight ($36) is a strong alternative to Luminous Silk because of its price tag and SPF protection. It has a slightly dewier finish than the Armani foundation, though; if you prefer a matte finish, Luminous Silk is a better choice.
Everyone should experience this foundation at least once, in order to appreciate the beauty of it. It’s easy to use, buildable, has a satiny finish, and is silky smooth. While it is expensive, it’s a product worth saving up for or spoiling yourself with; I was so happy with how my skin looked and found myself reaching for it over my other foundations these past few weeks.
- Product Name Luminous Silk Foundation
- Product Brand Giorgio Armani
- Price $64
- Color 8.75
- Shade Range Available in 39 shades
- Full Ingredient List Aqua/Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Isododecane, Alcohol Denat., Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Acetylated Glycol Stearate, Magnesium Sulfate, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Trihydroxystearin, Cellulose Gum, Nylon-12, Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Isobutane, Diphenyl Dimethicone, Acrylonitrile/Methyl Methacrylate/Vinylidene Chloridecopolymer, Parfum/Fragrance, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Methylparaben, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Aluminum Hydroxide, Hexyl Cinnamal; May Contain: Ci 77891/Titanium Dioxide, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499/Iron Oxides.