Armani Makeup Artist Linda Cantello on Refillable Makeup and a More Sustainable Future
“It’s not enough to add a new ingredient to a product and call it ‘clean.' We have to think radically about the future of the planet.”
“I’ve always been very vocal about how much I hate powder makeup,” says Linda Cantello, international makeup artist for Armani Beauty. “I’ve always felt that the skin always looks really good until you put powder on,” she laughs. “And then you look 20 years older and you have that mask-y effect.” Known for her ability to create looks that feature glowing, lit-from-within skin, she was skeptical when she was first introduced to Armani Beauty’s Luminous Silk Glow Fusion Powder. But thanks to a presentation from Armani’s lab team highlighting the product’s groundbreaking technology, Cantello was sold.
“They demonstrated how a traditional powder mixed with water got really clumpy, like mud,” she says. “But when Glow Fusion Powder was mixed with water, it became this beautiful smooth liquid.” The powder, which is essentially a dehydrated version of the brand’s bestselling Luminous Silk foundation, uses water memory technology, allowing it to blend with moisture from the skin’s surface upon application and transform into a creamy, fluid texture.
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The new Luminous Silk Glow Fusion Powder is packaged in a refillable compact ($82), which Cantello says is a move in the right direction: “We have to find new ways of thinking about makeup packaging and move toward cleaner, greener products.” She says she comes from a family who has always been “ecologically conscious,” but this past year has heightened her concerns and provided her with an opportunity to envision a more sustainable future. “It’s not enough to add a new ingredient to a product and call it ‘clean,’” says Cantello.
“It’s more difficult when a big company [goes green] because there’s such rigorous testing,” she says. “There are a lot of small brands that say they’re green or organic when in fact they haven’t gone through the stringent tests that a large company like [Armani] has. We’ve always been about what we can take out, rather than what we can put in. We [prefer to include] the bare minimum, with the best quality ingredients, transparent bases, etc. You take one ingredient out and the whole balance is shifted, so there’s a lot of testing involved, a lot of looking for the right ingredient and just trying to make it [perform] better too. It has to be new and improved, not just new and clean.”
If this all sounds like a lot of work, Cantello says, well, it is. “We’re actually working on a few reformulations right now. For instance, we’re developing a replacement of another foundation and we’re up to 102 tries [to get it just right].” Still, she insists that the work must be done. “We have to think radically about the future of the planet.”