Foundation Review: Giorgio Armani Maestro Octinoxate Sunscreen Fusion Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 (Shade 11.5)

I just want to start off by saying I went into this looking for something wrong with this foundation because I didn’t like the price tag ($64). I searched high, I searched low, and at the end of the day I could not find one thing wrong with it! Oh well the name of it is super long, but other than that, I couldn’t find anything.

I was in the market for foundation because I ran out of my Mat Velvet+ from Make Up For Ever. I strolled into Sephora and surprise, surprise, they didn’t have it in store (they never do). I had been curious about the Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup (Octinoxate Sunscreen SPF 15) for a while, but that $64 was just a huge turn off. I saw a few reviews on the regular Maestro, but none really with the Octinoxate Sunscreen. Somehow, I found myself in Nordstrom buying it, like Armani had cast a spell on me or something. I mean, I knew it had good reviews, but I don’t know what possessed me to just up and buy it. No sample, no nothing. Just BAM! Take my money. Anyway, on to the review.

I don’t use sunscreen regularly for obvious reasons. That’s not really an excuse, but I don’t. However, I am getting much better at it. The primer I use regularly, Hourglass Veil Mineral (review coming shortly) has SPF 15 in it, and combined with this, hey; the more the merrier (I guess). Because of all that, my first question was wth is octinoxate??? So I looked it up! According to, octinoxate is:

  • An active ingredient in sunscreen
  • An ester formed from Methoxycinnamic Acid and 2-Ethylhexanol that is used in sunscreens and other cosmetics to absorb and filter UV-B rays (but not UVA) and protect skin from sun damage. It is also used to reduce to appearance of scars (Wikipedia). Octinoxate is the most widely used UVB blocking agent in the skin care industry.
  • Studies have also shown that Octinoxate can protect the skin against not only sunburn but also UV light-induced DNA alterations.
  • However, when Octinoxate is exposed to sunlight, “it is converted into a less UV absorbent form (from E-octyl-p-methoxycinnamate into a Z-octyl-p-methoxycinnamate). This conversion can be partly prevented by certain other UV blockers, particularly bemotrizinol (Tinosorb M).

All that said, I think my dark skin (melanin) protects me from that last bullet point (I think that’s a sensible assumption!).

Other stuff:

Safety Measures/Side Effects of Octinoxate: According to the EWG, Octinoxate is a moderate hazard, primarily because it can lead to developmental and reproductive toxicity through enhanced skin absorption. It’s a penetration enhancer and is easily absorbed into the skin. It can produce estrogen-like effects and should not be used by pregnant women and children. However, all developmental reactions were in rats and mice, and were the result of high concentrations not seen in any formulas in skin care products.

So enough about that… just had to make sure I wasn’t putting something terrible on my skin haha. 

So apparently, you must shake this before use every time. When I was in the store trying to find my color, which turns out is 11.5, it came out kind of oily. Angela came over and asked if that was the one you’re supposed to shake up before you use it. I pretended I knew that and said yes (Hey Angela!)

What a weird way to put on makeup. I have never seen anything like it, really. An eyedropper? I’m still not sure how I feel about that but it’s not a hindrance. It doesn’t bother me. I do forget to shake it most of the time, but whenever I pull it out and see that dropper I remember!

The texture of this stuff is amazing. I wasn’t so sure about it when I was swatching it because it seemed very oily and I thought I would be putting oil on top of oil. That isn’t the case at all. It seems like it almost turns into this powdery formula. Like magic!

Here is a description of it:

This ultra-lightweight formula applies easily with an unforgettable sensation, leaving skin moisturized and conditioned for a flawless complexion with just one drop. Pure color pigments fuse to the skin for coverage with a no-makeup feel. Buildable coverage with a natural finish.

 I would say that this is a totally perfect description of this foundation.

I wanted to show these swatches because you’ll never really get to see the consistency of it any other way; you know because of the sorcery it does by blending seamlessly into your skin πŸ˜‰

It’s not a full coverage foundation, which is my default. But somehow that’s ok because it’s buildable. I never build it past medium coverage and it feels like I have on no makeup at all. And I think that’s why I love it so much. Yeah, I used the L word. It will not be replacing my Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ because it’s not full coverage, but it’s such a great alternative. I get lighter during the winter so this will carry me over until the summer months when I get darker. Then I will have to replace my Mat Velvet+, but until then I will be using this.

I have used this with and without primer. I think it looks better when I use the primer. I also noticed that I am a lot less oily in general when I use this. I have trained myself to not touch my face when I am wearing foundation. I generally want to when I feel oily. Today, I didn’t wear foundation and I felt like a grease box. I actually just wiped my face.

I have already managed to fall asleep in this makeup. It was mostly from laziness but also a subconscious test to see how it would affect my skin. When I woke up in the morning, I did notice one pimple on my chin. Also, a powdery film was on my face… I don’t know what that was about. So don’t fall asleep in this stuff; or just makeup in general! Now that I’m done yapping, have a look at some pictures!

Medium coverage, you can still see some of my hyper-pigmentation and acne scars
With flash. I think flash typically shows what products really look like.
Sometimes the camera even gets my pores!

I know it’s going to hurt my feelings every time I need to repurchase this but a little bit goes a long way. As far as application, I have come to the conclusion that the best way to apply this is with your fingers. I’ve tried a foundation brush, a stippling brush, and an airbrush brush, and none really compare to when I use my fingers.

To apply, I drop a little bit on my middle finger and dab it on my cheeks, chin, forehead, and nose. I then blend it in with my fingers and smooth it out with my airbrush brush from Sephora. I am still experimenting with this part, but for now I am perfectly content using my fingers. It’s not as messy as I thought it would be — again because of the sorcery πŸ˜‰




  1. black demon
    April 22, 2024 / 11:50 am

    the best blog ever

  2. Anonymous
    March 8, 2015 / 4:13 am

    Thanks for the shoutout πŸ™‚ Your foundation (skin, really) and eyeliner look flawless. I can't even tell you have foundation on. –Angela

    • Bella Noir Beauty
      March 8, 2015 / 7:24 pm

      Thanks! πŸ™‚

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