I had been gunning for the Armani Beauty Maestro Mediterranea Collection 2014 since seeing it demonstrated in this Nordstrom video...ok, perhaps I wanted to try the foundation brush too!
Those dropper bottles of bronze and blush prettiness, had my heart pounding and checking/stalking the Nordstrom site for what seemed like ages. I was really excited to see that a new powdered blush and bronzer formula were going to be introduced as well! I finally placed my order for the following items, along with a Cheek Fabric (in a later post) and 2 brushes.
***All items purchased by me. Affiliate links are included.***
Armani Maestro Fusion Blush in 500 & Armani Sun Fabric Bronzer in 400
I took these pictures when I was visiting my family in Dallas...and in my haste and excitement to finally get some nice pictures in the warm sunshine I forgot to take packaging pictures. Whoops! Sorry! But both are beautifully packaged in the classic Armani containers...heavy glass, sleek black plastic with signature Armani logo accents. The Sun Fabric Bronzer also comes with a slim brush - housed below the bronzer.
The Maestro Fusion Blush comes in a dropper bottle. Other reviews say it's a smaller amount in the bottle than the Fluid Sheers, but two points... 1. When was the last time you finished a blush? 2. You need so very little of this product that it'll still take forever to finish it - you'd probably be onto something newer and more shiny by then! SQUIRREL!!
LOL so back to it!!!
Here is one drop. You can see how very fluid it is because it is already bleeding into the texture of my skin.
This is a very pigmented product and you don't need much at all. The first time I tried it I put 1 drop onto my hand exactly like the picture above. I then applied about 1/2 to one cheek and it was awful. Spread like a dream - seriously feels like nothing - but it was waaaaaaaaay WAY too much and I had to get the oil cleanser out to remove it. Why oil cleanser?? Because it is so pigmented it stains!
Subsequent times testing the Fusion Blush have been much better...I don't take the dropper portion fully out of the bottle. Instead I pull it out just a bit, then dab my finger to the stem and apply directly to my cheek...repeat process for other cheek. Other reviewers have said they do use a full drop, but less is more with this product so I highly recommend you start out with a lot less than you think you do. This is a classic example of it's much easier to add than take away. You might need more than I like to use, but don't be alarmed if it takes a few times to figure it out.
And on that note...application itself takes practice. I tried with a couple of brushes and I didn't like - felt I was wasting product and then had a really tough time getting my brushes clean. Plus I couldn't get it to look as blended and even looking as I'd like. Of course, with practice I probably could've but I found using fingers was much quicker and easier to work with. Even then, the Fusion Blush is still a lot more time consuming, harder to apply and plain messier than I'd like. This is absolutely, positively not a lazy girl, slap-it-on-and-go type of blush.
How's the finish?? The finish is so so gorgeous...probably the most natural looking blush I've ever tried. You know how you might say a foundation looks like your skin? Well this looks like your skin - but as a blush! And the staying power is amazing...all darn day with no fading in sight.
So this isn't the best swatch, most even swatch in the world, but I think it really illustrates how difficult this product is to work with. I BARELY dipped my finger into the little puddle of product to the right, and this is how it looks.
Unfortunately the color selection right now is very limited. When I chose this color I actually thought it would be more of a pink than what it turned out to be.
And this is how stained my finger is after application, and that's after trying to wipe it off ha ha!
Sooooo...gorgeous as this blush is I'm returning. It's simply too labor intensive and I don't want to deal with all that. It already takes long enough to do just basic makeup...do I really want to add to it? If Armani adds more colors to the lineup I might reconsider though :-)
Armani Sun Fabric Bronzer in 400
Look at the gorgeousness in a pan!!! I was pretty smitten with this from the first time I opened it! This has faint shimmer in it, but nothing that's overwhelming and certainly doesn't translate to anything remotely resembling sparklies once applied. It's that type of subtle shimmer that adds a bit of luminosity to the skin and helps this look really natural.
This has a softer texture than my Rouge Bunny Rouge at Goldcombe Bay (review HERE), but I don't find it so soft that it's powdery at all. It's also pretty silky feeling for a powder bronzer, and it feels so smooth. Overall, I like the the texture and overall formula a bit better than RBR's and I think that's saying a lot!
The Sun Fabric Bronzer applies beautifully, and blends just as well as any of my best blushes. I love the color I chose...it's not too dark, but still has a hint of a deeper suntan color than my RBR. And I can layer more without it looking patchy or too fake.
Here's a side view to show the light and blended color a bit better.