March 30, 2016

My Final Four: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea vs Guerlain Lingerie de Peau vs Armani Luminous Silk vs Maestro

If over 11 million people will be tuned in to the NCAA Final Four this weekend here in Houston, I figured I’d host my own battle… of foundations – Tarte Rainforest of the Sea vs Guerlain Lingerie de Peau vs Armani Luminous Silk vs Maestro on my combo/oily skin.

A comparison of the new Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation against Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation vs Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk and Maestro foundations on brighterdarling.com

You see, I had a dilemma recently. You all know how much I LOVE my Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation. I rave about it! I love the way it sits on my skin and I love the buildable, natural coverage. But there’s a big problem. The bottle/pump is total sh%#. I’ve gone through approximately five bottles of Naked (shades 6 or 7, depending on my self tan) over the last few years and three of them had explosion issues. The first time, I took the bottle when I traveled via plane and landed to find a beige-colored murder scene in my makeup bag. I thought it was a fluke, so like a jackass, I tried again on another trip… dual-homicide. The latest explosion happened literally last week when I was taking an Instagram picture for my MOTD. Laid the bottle down on my little backdrop for about 10 seconds, snapped the shot and put the bottle back on my dresser. The next day, the bottle was dripping with foundation from all sides of the pump top. I immediately searched reddit to find that this issue has been commonplace with Naked – HOW DID I NOT KNOW!? It makes me sad I can never travel with my Naked. I had two options:

  1. Buy an airless pump on Amazon for approx $5-10 and decant my foundation into another bottle… with no guarantees of spillage, thus making my foundation cost another $5-10, total.
  2. Find another foundation.

I’m sure you can see where this went.

I went on a tour de foundation… stopping at my local Nordstrom and two different Sephoras because God forbid Sephora carries all of the same brands in one location. I came home with and will be comparing:

Let’s just get the bracket out of the way and then I can tell you what happened with my trial runs of these fine four foundations. To preface this tournament, I have combination/oily skin. I used the exact same skin care every day of the tests and used each formula for three consecutive days. First day, I used fingers; second buffing brush and third beauty blender. I prefer medium, yet buildable coverage with a natural/demi matte finish and I have medium/tan/olive skin (NC35 in MAC or Urban Decay Naked Skin 6 or 7, for reference).

Foundation Comparison of Tarte Rainforest of the Sea, Armani Luminous Silk, Armani Maestro and Guerlain Lingerie de Peau on brighterdarling.com
yea… I seriously made a bracket for my foundation test

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation SPF 15

I picked this one up first and was most excited to try the liquid formula since it’s by far the most affordable at $39. Sephora.com claims this foundation is a lightweight, full-coverage hydrating foundation. It comes in 12 shades, which initially sounds fair but it leans extremely light. So for my fair-skinned readers, you’ll probably have an easy time finding a match. However, I personally was using third darkest shade (Medium Tan Sand). Anyone much darker than me is SOL. The shades also seem to be more yellow-toned than pink, which works well for me but if you have more pink undertones, you may have troubles.

Upon initial application, the formula was medium coverage but buildable (good!). I had a sample, but the full size bottle is completely watery/liquid that dispenses by a dropper. It layered well and covered most discolorations/blemishes easily.

I didn’t find it to be any better or worse with fingers, brush or beauty blender, but my preference was brush.

It photographed mediocre. It seems to highlight any dryness I didn’t even know I had and somehow you could see any blemishes that were covered in real life. Basically, it looked patchy. Worse off, it had slight white cast when photographed with flash photography.

By an hour into wearing this formula, it looked really worn. It could be that this formula was advertised as hydrating and I certainly didn’t need a hydrating formula, but I’ve worn plenty of hydrating/luminous formulas before with no issues like this as long as I powdered (which I did).

Lastly, I saw this YouTube video (go to 1:53) that showed the pump also leaked! UGH! My pet peeve.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau SPF 20

I learned of this pricey foundation ($63) a few years ago from one of my favorite makeup resource bloggers, Temptalia. It’s her favorite foundation and I find – unless she’s reviewing a different foundation on her posts – she’s always wearing this formula. She’s a bit lighter than me in skin tone but we have similar skin needs and also the same undertone, so I decided to stop by my local Nordstrom to check out this indulgence.

Sephora claims Lingerie de Peau is a skin-fusion, buildable fluid foundation that perfects the skin for natural looking finish. Skin appears tightened and imperfection erased. Cool… sounds magical. It comes in 10 shades, which I think it a bit limiting. I wear shade 03 Beige Natural. When I swatch it on my hand, it actually is lighter than shade 6 in Urban Decay Naked, but it seems to melt into the skin and oxidize a bit (darken) to match my skin pretty perfectly (whether I’m my natural color or self tanned). The formula has some shade options in the neutral, yellow and pink undertones, but again, because there’s only 10 options, the shades jump quite a bit. This is a formula you definitely need to get color matched in person and test it out for a few days to see if you have a true match.

When I used this foundation the first day, I found it to be tightening pretty quickly… I was shocked because that claim seemed a little gimmicky to me, but it’s true. It is a creamy consistency, sort of like shampoo, with medium/full coverage and good layering capabilities. I’ve read some people say this is light/medium coverage, but as someone with not the greatest skin, I did not think that at all. Definitely medium+. It does dry down pretty quick, so you have to work fast but the result is super natural and skin-like. It’s as-advertised, people!

My preference for application is brush or beauty blender. If you want a lighter coverage, beauty blender is the way to go. The full size bottle comes with a pump.

It photographed well both with and without flash. I was actually wearing it in my recent braces post here, so you can see… pretty natural.

Lingerie de Peau wore the best/longest out of all four formulas. It’s akin to my go-to long wear formula, Estee Lauder Double Wear, but with a more soft/less mattifying finish. I brought this sample with me on my recent weekend flight/trip to Philadelphia and even after flying, my skin still looked soft and natural.

MORE: REVIEWS

Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

This foundation has a huge cult following and is one of the top sellers at Sephora for its amazing shade range and finish. It’s another pricey one, at $62, but users claim it’s totally worth it. Sephora’s site says Luminous Silk is a lightweight liquid foundation that achieves a radiant, silky finish. It’s very liquidy (not as watery as Tarte, but not at all like Guerlain) with high pigment (read: good coverage) and is supposed to feel weightless/silky on the skin (which is ironic since Lingerie de Peau literally translates to ‘lingerie for the skin’). The formula has 23+ shades and even has 18 of them available in travel sizes on Sephora.com (a great way to test out the formula without spending the full price). I am shade 6.

The first day I tried Luminous Silk, I thought it felt sort of silicony and liquidy. It covered well but wasn’t heavy. I could apply a second layer for more medium/full coverage without looking cakey. It definitely reminds me the most of the Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation and I can see why this foundation is a top choice for many brides.

I liked applying this best with my fingers or a brush. The full size does come with a pump, which is great since it’s so liquidy, you don’t want to be pouring a $62 foundation out on your hand and make a mess.

Luminous Silk photographed THE.BEST. HANDS.DOWN. Of course it would. It’s $62. Let’s be real. It better look like sparkly fairies applied your foundation with clouds from heaven. It’s also the only formula without SPF, so this is definitely why it photographs so well. My selfies when wearing this looked like my skin was glowing. I wish I didn’t look like a Teletubby in the pics, because I definitely would show them here, but trust me – it’s best we save Teletubby Steffanie for indoors.

This foundation didn’t wear as long as Lingerie de Peau and did start getting shiny after about 6 hours, but nothing a little powder didn’t fix (which is pretty standard for any foundation I wear since I am more oily).

Armani Maestro Fusion SPF 15

The sister to Luminous Silk for oily skin, I had to also try Maestro foundation because it claims to provide revolutionary, skin-perfecting lightweight coverage. Another splurge at a whopping $64, I couldn’t wait to see how this performed. Could it be the one!?

Sephora.com has 17 shades of this formula available. I think that’s a very respectable variety and you should be able to get a decent match. I can wear either shade 5.25 or 6 in this formula. Maestro is straight up water just like Tarte’s, so you do get a dropper applicator with this one, as well.

When I applied this foundation, it covered very well… almost a little better than Luminous Silk and dried down to a perfect demi-matte finish. It was looking great! Layered amazingly and felt like I didn’t have any foundation on at all.

This applies well with fingers or buffing brush. Melts into the skin with little effort.

Where we had major problems was with photography – thanks SPF. Maestro had some major flashback. Too much for me to consider acceptable. Le sigh.

It wore a little longer than Luminous Silk, but not as long as Lingerie de Peau.


Comparing Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation vs Guerlain Lingerie de Peau vs Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk and Maestro Foundations on brighterdarling.com.

So it came down to two… Guerlain Lingerie de Peau for its long-wear, great coverage and tightening effect, and Armani Luminous Silk for its amazing shade range (so I can definitely find more than one match if I get super tan) and flawless photographing ability.

Luckily for me, the Sephora sale is coming up super soon (did you catch my wish list post?) so maybe I’ll just get both. Which would you pick?

Good luck to all,

-Steffanie

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