Maestro Eraser is exorbitantly priced, but if it really delivered on its claim of being “a hybrid concealer that treats and minimizes the appearance of dark under-eye circles” we’d gladly pay the price. There are a number of reasons that’s not worth doing, one being that there's nothing in this formula that can cure dark circles—not even the highly touted, trademark ingredient Haloxyl, which is a blend of synthetic peptides and moisturizing agents.
Although Haloxyl's benefit is exaggerated, it doesn't hurt to include it. What does hurt is the high amount of alcohol in this concealer. Alcohol can dry, irritate, and potentially damage skin (see More Info), and that's especially concerning in the highly sensitive eye area! If the fragrance-free formula had included sun protection it would be a step in the right direction (sun damage makes dark circles worse), but even that benefit is missing.
We do have to give Armani praise for the reflective finish, which has a subtle brightening effect on dark circles. We also appreciate how effortlessly and seamlessly Maestro Eraser blends on with its thin liquid formula. The lightweight, almost sheer coverage is slightly buildable, but even then this won't conceal most noticeable imperfections. Where it does excel is as an under-eye concealer that doesn't crease or look cakey. Instead, you get an attractive, natural-looking glow that works for all skin types.
The handful of shades covers light to medium-tan skin tones and each tends to have a pink or peachy undertone. That's OK for disguising under-eye circles, but it won't work for everyone. FYI: The swatches online are not a good representation of the actual shades, so check this out in-store if you're interested in purchasing … though we caution you not to do so because of the formulary flaws mentioned above!
Luckily, there are dozens of excellent (and less expensive) concealers to choose from, so you don't need to tolerate this one! Peruse our list of Best Concealers here.
- Reflective finish has a subtle brightening effect on dark circles.
- Thin liquid texture blends on seamlessly and isn't prone to creasing.
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Includes a potentially concerning amount of alcohol.
- Can't "treat" dark circles as claimed.
- The minimal coverage and peach/pink undertones won't suit everyone.
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products:
A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).
Research also shows that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
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 mascaraseven pencilsthe 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 overpricedafterthought 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.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.