Eye & Brow Maestro is touted as a multitasking wonder to fill brows, while also being capable of functioning as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. They even go so far as to say that it can be used for contouring the face and to cover roots or gray hair. We'll address those claims in a minute, but for now let's focus on how most people will use this product's solid-cream texture, which is for the eyes and brows.
While we love a multitasking product just as much as the next person, this glass jar–packaged product doesn't end up being as handy as it sounds. Case in point: The shade you use on your brows isn't necessarily the color you'll want to use as eyeshadow, and vice versa.
There are a few shades that are passable as brow colors for blondes and brunettes, as well for black and gray hair. Each has at least a hint of shimmer, if not more. For the most part, the shimmer isn't all that noticeable in the brows, which is a good thing because sparkly brows aren't all that natural-looking. Using Eye & Brow Maestro to fill and shape the brows, it blends on smoothly between brow hairs and stays put decently well.
The other shades in no way resemble natural brow colors and are obviously more geared toward use as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. There aren't very many of these other shades so not everyone will find a color they love; the bigger issue, however, is that they don't blend on that gracefully for a smooth eye design and can end up looking a little rough around the edges as a shadow. Some of the shades also go on much more sheer than you'd expect and they don't build color very well. As for the claims about this being waterproof: It's true that it does hold up well against water, but not against oily eyelids. If you're prone to creasing, you'll still likely experience that. In the brows it holds up better because your brow hairs help it stay in place.
This doesn't come with an applicator/brush, but Armani of course sells one to accompany Eye & Brow Maestro, and although it works nicely (thin, slanted brush with a spoolie on the opposite end), you certainly can use a similar brush you already have at home or buy one for far less at the drugstore.
Last, but not least: The fragrance-free formula doesn't blend on smoothly enough to contour your face, nor would you likely be able to find a shade that would look right for that. As for covering roots, the texture isn't the best for that, so Armani essentially really overexaggerates what this product can do. It's not the multitasking wonder it's claimed to be.
Bottom line: We don't hate this product, but we certainly don't love it. For all it promises, it just doesn't deliver.
Giorgio Armani At-A-Glance
Strengths: Outstanding foundations; superb powder textures; a brilliant shimmer fluid; perfect bronzers; some excellent lip color options; a neutral palette makes this line a must-see.
Weaknesses: Expensive; the skincare is underwhelming, especially given the cost (though the claims sound good!); some of the SPF-rated products do not supply adequate broad spectrum protection; most of the mascaras aren't as impressive as they should be.
Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is credited with giving tailored elegance, power, and sex appeal to standbys like men's suits, and turning Hollywood's A-list stars into fashion icons as they parade through countless award ceremonies adorned in his simple yet elegant creations. According to Armani, "Elegance doesn't mean being noticed, it means being remembered." That statement has been parlayed into the designer's makeup collection, where the products are replete with the textures, colors, and flawless application that assure your natural beauty will be memorable rather than masked.
Because Armani has always been passionate about textures, it's no surprise that his makeup (which is the main reason to check out this line) presents an impressive collection that features some of the smoothest, lightest textures you're likely to find. From foundations to powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras—even pencils—the makeup selection includes some truly stellar products. According to the brochure for Armani's makeup, the supreme textures and silky application are the result of Micro-fil technology. This supposedly allows for a precise blending and layering of select ingredients, offering a heightened sense of color that fits like a second skin.
Regardless of how that technology is labeled, almost all of the makeup contains standard silicone polymers along with ordinary ingredients like nylon-12. Of course, many cosmetics companies have their equivalent version of Micro-fil, but Armani seems to have taken it one step further, though not always toward desired results. For example, the eyeshadows, while very smooth and easy to blend, aren't much for intensity, a point the counter personnel made clear.
There are a few other instances where the pricey products aren't all they're made out to be, but this is the world of cosmetics, and although the fantasy is for every product to be perfect, that's hardly ever the reality. Still, there are many compelling reasons to explore this collection. Although not fully distributed across the United States, it has a presence in most major cities and the products may be purchased on Armani's Web site. Makeup is where it's at for Giorgio Armani's cosmetics line. The skin care was a blatant, exceedingly overpriced afterthought and is not worth considering.
For more information about Giorgio Armani, owned by L'Oreal, call (877) ARMANI-3 or visit www.giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com.
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