(Update 5.12.17) So after I went off primer for a while and tried this foundation again, I did come to the conclusion that yes, it is an excellent dupe for GA Maestro. So if you love Maestro, but not Maestro money, have at it.
So you may have heard a bit of an uproar on social media over the new Nyx Total Control Drop Foundation. Everybody and their mama just had to get their hands on this thing, yours truly included. At first I, like everyone else, thought that this was something like the CoverFX Custom Cover Drops. But you know, reading is fundamental, and after reading I realised that it’s not. It’s just foundation people, Nyx is being real tricky and sneaky like with the way they named it.
The idea is that with more drops, you get more coverage, except that duh, pretty much every foundation works that way. For $14 you get roughly a half an ounce. It comes in a little frosted glass bottle with a dropper and it’s available in 24 shades that are divided into warm, cool and neutral tones. Those are in turn divided into Fair (Light Ivory, Porcelain, Pale & Alabaster), Light (Vanilla, true Beige, Natural), Light Medium (Light, Buff, Medium Olive), Medium (Classic Tan, Beige, Golden), Medium-Deep (Mahogany, Caramel, Golden Honey, Mocha, Deep Sable, Cappuccino, Cocoa) and Deep (Deep Rich, Deep Espresso, Deep Cool, Chestnut). Most categories have 3-4 shades, but the Medium-Deep category by far has the most shades and are all WOC friendly colours.
I actually wound up getting two shades. I placed an order from Nyx that took 17 days to get to me, not counting the holidays, and when it came some of my product was broken, not the foundation though. I ordered the shade Mocha based on the website description and colour. Then I was placing another order from Ulta for other things and found out that Elarie wears the shade Cappuccino. She’s around the same shade as me so I decided to go ahead and get it from Ulta. Turns out both those colours were wrong for me as Mocha is about four shades too dark, and Cappuccino is about a shade too dark, but the warmth of the shade somehow makes it look darker.
The initial finish of this is a lot like the Maestro, a natural satin matte, with excellent blendability. Consistency wise it is very liquid as well and it does give really good medium coverage, beyond that to get full coverage you’ll have to augment with concealer and powder. Where this departs from the Maestro is in how very warm this particular shade is, the Maestro is a bit more on the yellow golden spectrum. In fact, as far as I can tell from testing them at Ulta, all of the medium to dark shades are very very warm, with pronounced deep peach and deep yellow undertones. I have pictures below in comparison with the Maestro in 9 which is on the left, the lighter shade and which right now is an almost perfect match being only a hair too dark, but not anything anyone except me would notice.
When I first applied the foundation, although it was hella warm, I was able to tone it down slightly with powder, and even thought I like what it looked like initially I was still really self conscious because I felt like I was walking around looking oompa loompa. The good things? It’s a light as air foundation, the wear is quite comfortable and no matter how much you apply, it never becomes cakey or odd looking nor can you feel it on the skin.
To give you an Idea, I apply around 7:40 am before I go to work. I didn’t use any concealer with this, although the whole increasing drops for greater coverage is a farce, I found that it built nicely and covered well enough while still looking very natural. However, it does nothing for texture and in fact somewhat exacerbates it. I’ve been testing a lot of foundations and blushes lately so my skin has been protesting a bit and you can see it in these pictures.
My biggest issue? Well, about four and a half hours after application, it had oxidised darker dammit, even more warm and was kinda mostly gone on my chin, with my cheeks and nose becoming very oily. It also transfers everywhere, you should see the paperwork on my desk. But you know, that might just be me cause lately all of my foundations seem to transfer no matter powder, setting spray or what the hell ever. I wore it on two different days to the same result, oily as hell and my skin isn’t very oily these days, in fact it’s a bit on the dry side with my nose peeling a bit, because it had gotten quite cold the week I wore it.
Despite all of that, I actually do quite like this foundation if only for the weightless feel, the blendability and satiny finish. I feel like it’s enough of a dupe of the Giorgio Armani to make it worth picking it up if you’re looking for a cheaper option, and if you have more relatively dry skin. I may just pick up a lighter colour and see how that works out for me.