Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro Review, Photos, Swatches

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro
Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro

Red Velvet That Won’t Go to Your Hips

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro ($32.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a bright, pinky-red with fuchsia shimmer. It’s more red than anything else, but there’s a definite pink edge and shimmer, which means it is also cool-toned. Guerlain Calligraphy is pinker. Dior Marilyn is also pinker, lighter. MAC Charmed, I’m Sure is cooler-toned and darker. Guerlain Luxure is less cool-toned. MAC Red Racer is very similar but has no shimmer. Guerlain Samsara is darker. Guerlain Vega is similar but has no shimmer.

The Lip Maestro formula is supposed to be “the first lip stain with a comfortable velvet texture and radiant finish” with “intense … color.” It is touted as having a non-sticky texture with “hours of hydration and comfort.” It seems like every brand has rolled out a variation on the matte-lip-in-liquid-form this season, but Giorgio Armani’s is noticeably different from the usual long-wearing, liquid lipstick in its dry down. It doesn’t cling or dry down fully; it’s movable and feels a lot like a really lightweight, thin lipstick. Because it is movable, it will transfer, but it is so pigmented that despite drinking and eating, much of the color lingers on and on. Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait is the most comparable formula that I can think of, but Guerlain’s formula still has more cling to it than this one.

When I tested this shade in particular for wear, it lasted for eight hours and left behind a very slight stain. It’s not at all drying, and it’s incredibly comfortable to wear and easily reapplied, as it doesn’t flake or peel off (fades like a normal lipstick). The texture is smooth and velvety; it’s really as if you put your favorite silicone-based face primer on your lips. That velvety consistency helps to fill in and minimize lip lines, too. It takes awhile for the natural sheen to fade away (an hour or so), so while it does end up with a matte finish, it’s more satin-like initially.

P.S. — Some retailers, like Nordstrom, are listing names for the Lip Maestro range, but neither my box nor the sticker on the tube indicates the name of the color. Giorgio Armani’s site lists this as “503 – red fuchsia.”  I believe this one is called “Code” based on matching up the images on Giorgio Armani’s site and Nordstrom.

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro
Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro
Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro
Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro
Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro
Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro

Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro
Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro


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kate Avatar

I don’t know whether I want to try this one first or the Guerlain one… I kind of want to try both just to see what the formula is like, but I also want to get shades that are different from what I already have…

Jennie Avatar

Wow, that’s super pretty. I hesitate on lip products that have glitter in them, though. It always seems to be left behind and it migrates all over my face. I have a hard enough time keeping eyeshadow glitters from running around my face, I just can’t handle it near my mouth, lol. It’s even worse when it’s very small bits of shimmer. At least larger glitter is easier to brush away.

Dusty Avatar

Aren’t these AWESOME?! They are actually worth dropping a few four-letter words over. Something about the packaging looks all 70’s/80’s vintage to me too (which, of course, I LURVE!)

Dusty Avatar

Strange huh? I was like, “OOhh! Look at those caps!” Who would have thought I’d be so impressed by it! There’s just something about the look of these that reminds me of looking through fashion mags as a kid and seeing old makeup ads. Just the way ads LOOKED in the 80’s… Not that I’d KNOW what they looked like or anything 😉

Ryou Avatar

Oh my, this looks really good! I haven’t picked up any of the liquid lipsticks that’s been coming out lately, but so far, Guerlain’s is my favorite. I like the satiny sheen on the Armani one, it almost makes the finish look somewhere between Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait and Chanel Rouge Allure Laque.

On another note, I love what you’ve done with the lighting. It looks like natural lighting somewhat (more than the beauty dish anyway), but still shows off colors relatively even. Perfect! <3

blueraccoon Avatar

The color’s not for me but now I’ll have to pick one up due to the awesome formula 🙂 Messy Wands has swatches listed by number, but the Nordstrom site doesn’t have that, so I’ll have to go in person.

An Avatar

I don’t wear red lips much and I have enough red lippies already so while I don’t want this particular color, but I want to try the formula! Sounds really neat… *-*

AmyD Avatar

WOW that’s pretty. exactly the texture that i prefer in these new liquid lipsticks as well (i hate the ones that dry down to practically matte paint, e.g. stila and mufe). gotta check these out!

Stacey Avatar

I only have one lipstick from the entire Armani collection…dont care for the packaging…but I am liking this…the vinyl look..and the packaging- the cap….the vinyl look reminds me of Cindy Lauper and Blondie…yes, the ’80s make me feel so old.

Justine Avatar

After reading this review, I wonder if Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain, Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro, and Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait use the same or similar technology in their products. I wouldn’t be surprised if all three companies are using technology developed by a third party. I’ll need to track down their ingredients lists to compare. However, it does sound as if YSL’s finish is shiny whereas the other two are semi-matte or matte. (I’m trying decide on which brand to splurge because I only want one tube of this product type.) Since Allure magazine hasn’t posted the contents of its October 2012 issue online (as far as I can find), here’s an excerpt from its article on The Big Breakthroughs (the year’s most innovative products):

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain

Shiny, intensely pigmented lip color that lasts is one of the great trifectas of the beauty world. Plenty of R&D dollars have been gambled away trying to come up with a contender, but inevitably formulas are either drying, dull, or require reapplication. A few years ago, some chemists at the Yves Saint Laurent labs decided to go for broke: They began tinkering with a formula that would deliver the color of a lipstick, the endurance of a stain, and the high shine of a gloss. And by golly, we have a winner.

HOW IT WORKS: When you swipe on this unassuming lipstick, a series of remarkable things happen. A blend of water, pigments, and the polymer ethylcellulose (commonly used to give candy and pills their shiny coating) forms a base on the lips. The water quickly evaporates, leaving behind a polymer film containing vibrant pigments plus colorants that sink into lips and stain them. Tiny drops of silicone then rise to the surface of the film and create a reflective (yet not sticky) finish. Finally, droplets of oil emerge in the film and form a honeycomb-like protective layer so the color and shine won’t budge for a full six hours.

WHAT AN EXPERT SAYS: “A few years ago, long-lasting glosses were big new, but most were cumbersome two-step systems, while others weren’t glossy enough, ” says [cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita] Wilson. “This is a total formulation breakthrough for lips. By adding water for the first time, the lipstick is able to form a strong, shiny film on the skin without leaving the mouth dry. These claims have been made before — long-lasting shine and color — but this formula lives up to them.”

Madeleine Avatar

How come the colour names you have seems to be different from the Nordstorm website and GA’s website? Is this the same as Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro Matte Lacquer? Is 503 Code the same colour as this?

Christine Avatar

Because for some reason, they’re different and confusing 🙁 As far as I know the *numbers* are all accurate and the same, even if the names are not. Normally, GA doesn’t even name products do I don’t know why they did it here only to have multiple versions!

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