Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Smoothing Firming Foundation Review

October 26, 2011

Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Smoothing Firming Foundation with SPF20 is my latest foundation acquisition. I tried to refrain myself from buying new foundations because I have way too many, however this foundation is just too good to be passed upon testing at the counter so I promised myself that this will be my last foundation for this year! (although the new Sisley foundation SKINLEYA is calling my name every time I walk pass..)


I love GA foundations in general, and if you have read my review here, you will know the Luminous Silk foundation has been my HG for years.  It is due for a replenishment but I was more than curious to try the new one out.

I was matched with shade 03 and 04 and it appears 03 is a perfect match for me. The SA also told me the shade 03 is equivalent to GA LSF 04 .

It has the signature GA foundation scent that lingers on my skin for quite a while. I find that the scent is quite pleasant and smells expensive. The texture of this foundation feels very unique – silky, dense and creamy in an emollient milky formula – GA describes it as a gossamer-like texture and I cannot find a better word than that! Compared to LSF it is  more creamy. Since it has a denser and more opaque consistency than most liquid foundations, a tiny amount of it goes a long way. It glides over the skin and spreads effortlessly, but for a weightless finish I like to use a foundation brush to apply a sheer layer of it, followed by patting my skin using the beauty blender just to make it more sunk into the skin. The result is extraordinary – flawless yet natural looking, translucent, dewy and feels weightless. It stays put for 10 hours of wear and still looks amazing by the end of the day.giorgio-armani-designer-lift-smoothing-firming-foundation-shade-03

On to the most impressive part:

A NEW Beauty Breakthrough has been introduced into this foundations – A NEW BLUE

Young, vibrant skin has a higher blue light retrodiffusion. Yet as we age, the blue light component decreases and a yellow tinge takes over, causing the skin to loose its natural radiance. Designer lift pioneers a bold movement towards including a precise dose of the magical Prussian blue pigment to diminish dullness, maintain flawless coverage, and “backscatter” radiance on the face.

I am normally quite skeptical with the so-called beauty breakthroughs, however with this one I can really see the difference. Most foundation shades are either yellow or pink based. As an Asian with not so yellow skintone, whenever I go for the yellow based shades they always appear quite yellow or even orange on me, and they wear into half a shade darker once it settles in with my skin’s own natural oil. As what they said, once the yellow tinge appears more prominent, I tend to look dull and tired.

I can really see the difference with the blue pigment used in this foundation. It counteracts the yellowness and brightens up my skin without looking too pinkish or white. Visually my complexion looks more lifted. At the end of the day it stills look radiant and fresh on me, almost like  I have a softbox cast over all my face all day! Truly amazing…

I pulled out some foundations from my stash that are similar to shade 03, and from the swatches I hope you can see the difference in the undertone.

From Left to Right:

Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Shade 03 – compared to the other pink and beige based shades, this one strikes a perfect balance.

DiorSkin Nude Shade 02- pink based

Chanel Mat Lumiere Shade 20 Clair

BECCA Luminous Skin Color Shade Cashmere

MAKE UP Forever HD Shade 125

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Shade B20



Bottom Line: Perfection! I love this foundation more than any others now. If you have normal to dry skin and looking for a new foundation to try, this is the one to go for! But ladies with very oily skin might have to stay away from it. The GA Designer Lift Foundation is available here or here.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

ChristinaTB October 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Thanks a lot for such informative swatches! I will try this foundation soon)


Reika October 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Thank you darl! You really should 🙂 It’s truly amazing!


Daisy October 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm


You are my new best friend, I am soooooooo glad I found your blog. I think we like similar things and you always seem to read my mind and one step faster. I was asking my GA rep last week if they get the new foundation, and no luck. I am so happy you got to try it. I love LSF (I am a 5), and at times I need just a tad more coverage for evening, this should be the answer. I was looking for a new foundation earlier this year and I always end up with LSF — GA’s foundations work best for me in terms of texture, color and the finish. Thank you so much for sharing.

Cheers from San Francisco,


Reika October 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Hehe that’s so cool, so glad to find a new bestie!! And thank you so much for your sweet comment as always 🙂
Glad to know we like similar things, I am very flattered!


Jamilla October 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I love Armani Luminous Silk Foundation – I have 5.5 which is a bit dark for me at the moment! I must try this new one!!


Reika October 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

This new foundation will look amazing on your already-beautiful complexion!


Celia October 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I just started following your blog and I find it a pleasure to read 🙂
I also have a very hard time matching foundation colors (I’m Mediterranean but very pale and the yellows are always too yellow and the pinks always too pink..). In fact I don’t use foundation because I can’t find the right color. This one seems very promising. Does this foundation photograph well, since it has spf 20? Have you tried the GA Face Fabric Foundation, and if so, how does it compare?

Thanks for the swatches!


Reika October 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Hi Celia, thank you for the comment 🙂
I haven’t photographed myself with this foundation yet, but I will definitely wear this foundation in my later FOTDs, so hopefully it will turn out good!
I have tried the GA face fabric, unfortunately I don’t like it that much. It feels too matte and looks flat on me. Might work for you if you have oily skin. IMO this new foundation is much better!


Celia October 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Hi Reika,

Thanks for your reply. I have dry skin so I will skip the GA face fabric. I wait for your FOTD and further reviews on this foundation!


popblush October 27, 2011 at 12:18 am

‘A new blue’ sounds interesting. You’re review is making me want to try GA foundations. I also have quite a lot of foundations to get through, some are still unopened. Lol.


Reika October 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Me too, I haven’t opened the ysl radiant foundation yet!


Celina October 27, 2011 at 12:23 am

Thanks for the in depth review, despite myself owning way too many foundations, I constantly feel the need to “hunt” for the perfect foundation. I’ll be sure to check this out at the counters soon 🙂


Reika October 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Haha me too…I am very obsessed with finding THE perfect foundation!


Megan October 27, 2011 at 5:05 am

I have heard so many things about Armani foundations, I must try them out!


Loi October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Seems like an interesting product with its “new blue” thing. Thanks for sharing the review. I think I’ll try this one.


Jess October 28, 2011 at 12:15 am

I’ve started to venture into liquid foundations, and this GA Designer Lift foundations sounds really promising!

I really hate when foundation oxidizes and goes darker. Thank you for your great review (as always)! I will definitely have this on my to-buy list! 🙂


Ali October 28, 2011 at 1:08 am

I can’t wait to try this, thank you for the swatches! Do you know when this will be available in the UK? I usually wear Lasting Silk 2, do you think Designer Lift 3 will be a match for me? DL 2 looks very pink.


Reika October 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Hi Ali, lasting silk 2 is the lightest shade in the range whereas designer lift 03 is the second lightest… if you are very fair maybe you should go for a shade lighter, all of the light shades contain blue pearlizer so they won’t look pink.
I am not sure when this foundation will be available in the was due to be released in the US in Oct but it hasn’t happened yet..


Renee October 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I have been actively stalking your blog recently 😀 *in a good way*
Wondering how did you manage to get your paws on GA products. xx

Looking forward to reading more post from you.


Reika October 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Hi Renee, thank you for “stalking” my blog haha, highly appreciate it 🙂
I am in Sydney, I bought my GA products in David Jones. Are you in Australia..I think at the moment GA cosmetics is only sold in Sydney and Melbourne.


Renee October 29, 2011 at 5:10 am

awww.. Lucky you! I am your neighbour from Kiwi-land, will be moving to Melbourne soon and I can’t wait!!! Heart your new Ferragamo pumps! <3 <3


blurberry October 29, 2011 at 7:15 am

I am glad that I am not the only one crazy for new beauty product. I too have more than 2 foundation, and still to look to try any new product on the market. 🙂 I love your blog. 🙂


Ms Chan October 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm


I always have problems in picking the right shade. I want to ask for your advice. Should I pick the one that matches my face color my neck color? In the past, my neck is darker than my face. Now my face is darker than my neck (probably because of aging)!




Reika October 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Hi Pinky, I always match the foundation shade with my face color, as my face color is the same as my Décolletage. My neck is slightly darker than my face, so I always apply the remainder foundation on my neck.


Frank November 4, 2011 at 2:05 am

The new Armani foundation is AMAZING! The finish, the application, the coverage…just beautiful! And the added bonus that it is a treatment for the skin by improving firmness is just icing to the cake!
I do like the new Sisley but I found it a little too matte and the fragrance overwhelming.


Reika November 4, 2011 at 3:19 am

Totally agree with you Frank, the GA lift foundation really is one of THE most Amazing foundations I have ever tried!!
Thanks for letting me know your thoughts on the Sisley foundation 🙂 When I tested it at the counter the finish appeared dewy to me..I need to ask for a sample first…


Kate November 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Hi! Thanks for the great review!
I’m trying to decide btw LSF and this new foundation.
I have combination skin (oily T-zone and normal cheek with few dry patches).
Which foundation do you recommend for my skin type?
Do you think this new foundation is more oily than the LSF?
Thank you very much! 🙂


Tara March 3, 2012 at 10:38 pm

I really want to buy the Designer Lift but I’m not sure which shade from the website. You have 03 and that seems close to mine but a little fair. Is the 04 a touch darker than 03 or does it have a different base color (i.e pink or yellow)? If it is a different base color would you reccomend trying the 05? The city I live in doesn’t have a retailer that carries GA make-up products 🙁 But this blog has been the most helpful in my search- thank you!


Reika March 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Hi Tara, 03 and 04 are very close, and they have the same base color (quite neutral based in my opinion). So if you are only a tad darker than 03, I would recommend 04.


Shirley October 13, 2012 at 11:49 am

I was debating between By Terry’s Light expert foundation and the designer lift foundation, and I’m stuck between the two, which would you recommend, considering that I have Asian skin that leans a little to the tanned side


Reika October 14, 2012 at 2:07 am

Hi Shirely, I have both foundations and I love them all – so it’s hard to pick! It depends on your skintype, as By Terry’s light expert foundation feels lighter and is more suitable for normal-oily skin, whereas the GA designer lift foundation has more coverage and applies beautifully on dry skin.


Shirley October 14, 2012 at 5:04 am

I have normal skin, but the designer lift foundation also looks promising with the coverage. So I’m still stuckbarren the two, as I need a foundation that has good coverage and photographs well


Reika October 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Designer lift has better coverage than By Terry, so I would go for Designer lift if I were you 🙂


Shirley October 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Thanks for your help~ I’ll give Designer Lift a shot then. Love your reviews, they are very informative 🙂


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