A lot of the best ideas in the beauty world aren’t necessarily born in the labs. They’re responses to needs. In the past, before the makeup industry and cosmetic science got so advanced, makeup artists used to simply mix products to get their desired look.
That’s almost exactly the story of how Armani Beauty’s best-selling Lip Maestro liquid lipsticks came to be. For Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2011 Prive haute couture show, the designer wanted a very specific finish for the model’s lips. Armani’s brief to Linda Cantello, the brand’s International Makeup Artist, was to create “a spectacular luminous lip with a velvet finish”.
The beauty look at the Armani Prive Spring 2011 show featured a purple lip with a radiant matte finish, embellished with a single blue Swarovski crystal.
Luminous and velvet suggesting opposite finishes – shine and matte, respectively – you might imagine the challenge. According to Cantello: “A finish like this had never been achieved before, so it was a challenging brief.”
Backstage, though, one has to improvise on the spot. Cantello ended up mixing pure purple pigments – a complement to the high-tech glossy fabrics of the couture collection – with a transparent gel foundation base to create a lipstick with that specific finish.
The 2021 Lip Maestro campaign features Barbara Palvin, Madisin Rian and Adria Arjona. Here, Palvin is wearing the Lip Maestro line’s signature #400 shade.
The result on the runway was a matte lip that managed to look radiant and dimensional, instead of flat and dry. The models’ lips were also adorned with a single blue Swarovski crystal.
Cantello then took the basis of that impromptu formulation back to the Armani Beauty labs to refine. A year later, in 2012, the Lip Maestro was properly launched – a product that made the most of backstage creativity.
This year, Armani is celebrating a decade of Lip Maestro. The smooth and long-lasting liquid lipstick is getting five new shades in the red, coral and nude colour families. Two of the product’s most popular shades, #400 and #405, are also getting a new limited edition packaging. The tubes are adorned with a blue Swarovski crystal, a knowing nod to the runway look of the Armani Prive Spring 2011 collection.
Below, a look at the new and limited edition shades.