Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation

I haven't had the best of luck with Giorgio Armani foundations. I have tried Luminous Silk, the old Face Fabric, Lasting Silk and Maestro over the years and while some of them were better than others, none of them blew me away. Each had its faults and the faults were significant enough not to warrant a repurchase.

When they released their latest offering - Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation - and the rave reviews from bloggers and vloggers started pouring in, my curiosity grew and I ended up forking over CAD$70 for it on the Sephora website (US sale price is $64). My shade match is 4.5, which is a light-medium shade with yellow undertones. The packaging is almost identical to their famed Luminous Silk formula - a gorgeous frosted glass bottle with a pump.

I like that the Armani foundation pump gives you a lot of control. You can easily dispense only half a pump or a quarter of a pump in a smooth movement. One of my pet peeves is when the foundation pump is too choppy and you can't customize the amount being pumped out.

The claims (courtesy of the Giorgio Armani website):
POWER FABRIC is a new liquid foundation that teams full coverage with a matte, lightweight second skin finish
POWER FABRIC is a concentration of oils with no greasy effect, which delivers a velvet matte finish. To achieve perfect full coverage foundation, powerful pigments were selected and then shaped to obtain extremely fine pigment particles with a quality of color beyond reproach.
POWER FABRIC combines full coverage with an ultra-light formula. Upon application, the texture melts into the skin, effectively blurring imperfections with an incredibly lightweight matte veil that feels like you're not wearing make-up at all. With a SPF 25 filter, power fabric offers effective daily UVA and UVB protection up to the promise of broad-spectrum SPF protection. Because every woman is unique, POWER FABRIC foundation comes in 20 shades to suit all skin tones. The formula is adapted for each shade to deliver optimal coverage without cracking or dulling.

I put the claims that I want to discuss in bold. Let us start with the good things!

The coverage, while not full, is a good "medium plus" coverage. Mind you, I have problematic skin with hyperpigmentation from acne. If you only have minor discolorations to cover, this will indeed provide you with full coverage. I find that the coverage is similar to Too Faced Born This Way foundation, but less than Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able foundation.

 left - skin before foundation // right - after, with foundation and rest of face makeup, no setting powder

left - skin before foundation // right - after, with foundation and rest of face makeup, no setting powder

I spread the product on my face with my fingers initially, then follow up with a damp BeautyBlender sponge. The formula has a light fragrance to it but it's very very faint and pleasant. It's like a slightly sweet soapy smell and I do not find that it lingers on the skin for too long. 

The formula is super thin and lightweight on the skin. It doesn't make my face uncomfortable and I cannot feel it sitting on my skin. The finish is satin/matte and it gets glowier on my oily skin areas as the day goes on. It really does meet its claims of being ultra-light on the skin. It's also easy to blend. It doesn't dry too fast so it gives you ample time to blend into the skin before it sets. I do not like applying this product with fingers or with a foundation  brush. Even with the ARTIS foundation brush I got streakiness. I find that a damp sponge gives the most refined application.

The oil control and lasting power of the coverage (on most of my face) is good. The colour does not oxidize on me. This is what it looks like after a 12 hour day with no touch ups and no other oil control products on my face:

 Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation shade 4.5 after a 12 hr wear on combination skin

Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation shade 4.5 after a 12 hr wear on combination skin

Doesn't look too shabby, eh? I must admit, it looks really darn great on about 90% of my face. Here comes the downside - it accentuates dry patches around my nose and it just does not wear well on the center of my face, in general. No matter what I do, no matter how I apply, no matter how I prep, my nose is a cakey mess within the first hour of wear. It's like my skin soaks up the product. You can see in the photo above that the coverage on & around my nose has completely disappeared, and in the macro shot below you can see what it starts looking like a mere hour after application. It starts to separate and does weird cakey things:

 starts settling into pores in nose area within the first hour of wear

starts settling into pores in nose area within the first hour of wear

Not a good look. After two weeks straight of wearing this foundation I started thinking that maybe it was just me and my strange nose Bermuda Triangle that likes to make foundation disappear. But I when put on similar foundations from my stash like By Terry Cover Expert, Dior Forever, L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte foundation and Smashbox Studio Skin - none of them did that. 

It's an issue that I am sure I can solve in the future with a makeup primer (currently none of the makeup primers I own were able to fix it) or by just avoiding applying foundation in that area altogether & using concealer instead. It's not that noticeable from a decent talking distance but when I drop over $70 on foundation I like to judge it by its solo capabilities.

Verdict? I like it, but I don't love it. I give it a 3.5/5. The colour match, good oil control and lasting power on 90% of my face is enough to make me get over the 10% of cakeface but I can't call it my favourite foundation. 

Who I'd recommend it to: If you have skin that doesn't have a lot of texture issues (i.e. you don't have a ton of scars or dry patches) but you like medium to fuller coverage and a satin finish, you will love this.

If you have oily, combo/oily skin but no real pore issues or flakiness, you will probably love this.

If you have more mature dry skin, dry patches from acne or an overall tricky skin texture to work with (welcome to my world), I would recommend either buying it from a place with a good return policy or getting a sample beforehand to see what you're getting yourself into. Marnie did a great thorough review of this foundation and how it wears on her more mature, dry skin. Check it out here

See it in action & how I'm able to make it work here:

Have you tried this yet? What was your experience?