Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation review: a beauty editor tests the famous formula

Our contributing beauty editor shares her Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation review and why it's a must-try base

Collage of freelance beauty editor Lucy wearing Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation review alongside her own picture of the bottle
(Image credit: Lucy Abbersteen)
Woman & Home Verdict

A gorgeous foundation that's like the best skin of your life, bottled. It's hard to find fault with Armani Luminous Silk. Suited to a range of skin types but ideal for oilier complexions, we can see why it's such a hit with celebs and would happily choose to wear it exclusively for the rest of our days.

Reasons to buy
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    Micro-fil technology to sit perfectly on the skin

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    Good shade range

Reasons to avoid
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    Quite expensive

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We’re guessing you’re here because a certain foundation has made its way onto your radar, and you’d like to read a full Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation review to better understand the hype before parting with any of your hard-earned cash.

Where to begin? Known for its lightweight formula and silky texture that looks like skin, this is a foundation so legendary that it counts Meghan Markle, Kim Kardashian, and ambassador Cate Blanchett as part of its loyal fan base. After 20+ years on the market, it's a true cult product and up there with the very best foundations, having found a permanent home in makeup artist kits and experts' beauty bags around the world. 

Simply singing the praises of Luminous Silk would mean saying things that have already been said, so how about an honest, in-depth beauty editor's take?  My full Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation review will help you decide if it’s the right formula for you. Spoiler: I am very much a fan. 

Our beauty editor's Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation review 

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk packaging

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

(Image credit: Giorgio Armani)

Luminous Silk’s packaging is classy and not at all in-your-face. Housed in a cardboard box when you first purchase, its frosted glass bottle shows off the foundation inside and has a slightly tapered shape, topped off with a glossy black lid and a small Armani logo, naturally.

Similar to most liquid foundations, the foundation formula is dispensed by a handy pump, which is nice and hygienic, keeps mess to a minimum, and helps you to avoid over-use. There's not a lot else to say about it here, because its magic really lies with the product inside the bottle. 

The foundation formula

Despite having “luminous” in the name and a hint of dewiness to the finish, this foundation is actually both oil-free and non-comedogenic (the technical term for ingredients that won’t clog pores), making it a contender as one of the best foundations for oily skin that isn’t super matte. The formula also contains glycerin, but very dry skin types might find that they need a base with more moisturizing ingredients. 

What makes Armani’s Luminous Silk formula so unique is its patented micro-fil technology, which enables the pigments to sit perfectly on the skin and help the foundation strike that all-important balance between healthy luminosity and the mattifying powers of setting powder. This aligns it with skincare-skewed bases such as the best serum foundations in terms of glow and also means it doesn’t feel at all heavy on the skin. 

The foundation comes in a broad range of 40 different shades, which are slightly flexible; at this time of year my pale skin is at its palest, and my best shade match was 1.5, though I’ve previously worn shades 2 and 2.5 during the summer.

How does it look and feel on skin?

Freelance beauty editor Lucy wearing Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk both on its own and with a full face of makeup

Lucy wearing Armani Luminous Silk alone (l) and with a full face of makeup (r)

(Image credit: Lucy Abbersteen)

The coverage is medium and buildable – Meghan Markle famously said that she liked that it allowed her freckles to peek through – and it has a skin-like finish, which is worth bearing in mind if you prefer something very heavy duty and matte (if so, our Estée Lauder Double Wear foundation review may be of interest) Its consistency also stretches quite far, so it’s possible to apply a very small amount for everyday wear and build up when you need more coverage, say, for a special occasion. I found that two pumps were more than enough to get good coverage. 

Once applied, the best way that I can describe Luminous Silk’s look on the skin is like a freshly opened, untouched pack of butter – completely smooth, slightly matte, slightly sheeny. Despite its medium coverage, for the most part, skin looks flawless, but in a healthy and radiant kind of way rather than ultra smooth and matte because of a heavier base. You’ll definitely want a separate concealer to hand if, like me at the time of writing, you happen to be contending with the mother of all spots.

How about after a day of wear?

By the end of a full day of wearing the foundation, I found that Luminous Silk still looks pretty great. The overall effect isn’t quite as perfect as when it was first applied, as is the case with lots of foundations, but for the most part, it stayed in place without the assistance of a setting spray. As it's not billed as a super long-wearing foundation, I thought this was pretty good going. 

What particularly impressed me as somebody with oily skin is that it didn't migrate all over the place or go patchy around areas like my nose and mouth, or cling to a couple of dry patches. I actually didn’t feel the need to really tidy or touch it up at all, which is unusual for me and says a lot. 

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation review: My verdict

This review was the first time I’d used Luminous Silk in at least a year, probably closer to two, and my genuine thoughts while re-testing it for this piece were something like: how on earth did I go without this for so long? It’s utterly lovely, so it’s easy to see why it is such a hit with celebrities. The only makeup wearers I don’t think would get on well with it are those who like their foundation to have the fullest coverage, or who are after an out-of-this-world glow – Luminous Silk's luminosity is about a natural and healthy look, not dazzlingly radiant or ultra-dewy. 

I do urge you to at least go and pick up a sample to try it for yourself, if not treat yourself to a bottle. If I had to condense my review into a neat little soundbite, I’d say this: if I could only choose one foundation to wear for the rest of my days, this would absolutely be on the shortlist. 

Lucy Abbersteen

Lucy is a UK-based beauty journalist who has written for the likes of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, OK!, Women's Health and more, as well as contributing to woman&home. Her work covers everything from expert skin and haircare tips to the latest product launches and the show-stopping beauty looks spotted backstage at London Fashion Week. During her career she's interviewed some seriously famous faces, from Little Mix to Drag Race royalty The Vivienne, as well as chatting to the industry's leading hairdressers, dermatologists and make-up artists.