Friday, April 20th, 2012

Tom Ford Sugar Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss
Tom Ford Sugar Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss

Tom Ford Sugar Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss ($45.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and a creamy finish. It’s mostly opaque in color coverage, but there is some translucency. The closest dupe I could come up with is Bobbi Brown Pink Sorbet, which is also a yellow-toned pink, though it reads a little beige-like compared to Sugar Pink, and it has shimmer. MAC Curvaceous is plummier.  What makes it harder to dupe is the amount of color coverage it has–a lot of glosses are sheer to semi-sheer.

This formula is supposed to have a high-shine finish with good color payoff. The texture is very smooth and slick; it slides onto lips easily with a slight tackiness (but not what I would describe as a full-on sticky gloss). There is some settling into lip lines, which is less noticeable from a normal viewing distance but visible upclose. It has a sweet vanilla scent but no discernible taste. It’s neither drying nor overly hydrating, though I would err on the side of slightly moisturizing. It’s comfortable wear while it lasts, which in Sugar Pink’s case was three and a half hours. The glossy finish does stick around for most of the time, which is longer than some other glosses.

The Glossover

P
product

Sugar Pink

B+

It's a good gloss, but it's not the best gloss on the market. It's nice to see that it lives up to most of its claims--it has a nice texture and the color payoff is pretty good. There is some unevenness in application and settling into lip lines.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Tom Ford Flush Cheek Color
Tom Ford Flush Cheek Color

Tom Ford Flush Cheek Color ($55.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a vibrant coral-orange with a subtle satin-like sheen and a faint shimmer. It’s very similar to Illamasqua Dixie, which is a little pinker and has a cream formula. Tarte Blissful is also incredibly close, and it even has a similar texture. theBalm Frat Boy is similar but a touch pinker.

Flush can be applied sheerly with ease or built up to a medium color coverage–it has enough pigmentation to work on deeper skin tones without being too intense on lighter skin tones. The finish has a natural sheen that isn’t heavy, shimmery, or frosted, so it doesn’t emphasize pores or the texture of the skin. It’s a very flattering shade on warmer skin tones, and though it is more coral-orange than coral-pink, the vibrancy gives it more wearability on cooler skin tones.

The texture of Tom Ford’s blushes is impressive, and truth be told, of all the items from his makeup range, the blushes have been the most impressive. Everything else has left me lukewarm or just a little excited, but the blushes have been fantastic. The texture of Flush is slightly less dense than Lovelust and Wicked, but the texture is very finely-milled, so it feels like silk and melts against the skin. It wore for ten hours and looked just barely faded along the very top of my cheekbones.

The Glossover

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product

Flush

A+

It's a very flattering shade on warmer skin tones, and though it is more coral-orange than coral-pink, the vibrancy gives it more wearability on cooler skin tones.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Tom Ford Cobalt Rush Eye Color Quad
Tom Ford Cobalt Rush Eye Color Quad

Tom Ford Cobalt Rush Eye Color Quad ($75.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a cool-toned, blue-themed palette. Tom Ford released eight different quad variations, and within the range, there are four finishes. There is sheer sparkle, satin, shimmer, and matte. He describes the formula as having “incredible shade fidelity” and “outstanding adhesion.”

Tom Ford has done many things right, and if you go through past reviews, it’s obvious that I’m a fan of the brand. I don’t like the eyeshadow quads. I’ve only tried two, and this is the better one of the two, but it’s just so-so. It leaves me feeling lukewarm. In an ideal world, you’d get what you paid for, but this is an industry where price rarely correlates to quality–there’s just the hope that, if you’re going to shell out $75 for an eyeshadow palette, that you’re going to get really, really good results. Right? There are so many winning eyeshadow formulas for under $25.

Cobalt Rush contains four hues, and this palette seems to have both satin and shimmer finishes, but it does not contain any sheer sparkle or matte finishes. I wish the shades would be labeled with the finish, but they’re not, so I’m merely guessing. The first shade is a pale, icy white with a shimmery finish. It appears to have fall out without a base, but it still has some minor fall out with a primer after several hours. It’s similar to MAC Pearl is similar in both color and texture, while Buxom Sheepdog is similar in color but not in texture. MAC Forgery is not quite as icy.

The next shade is a darkened purple with blue undertones and a shimmery sheen. It has just so-so pigmentation–you can see it looks a little dry and faded. MAC Starless Night is much more intense, but it has a similar vibe. MAC Indigo Noir is matte and much, much deeper. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is less silvered, more purple.

The third shade in the quad is a medium-dark blue with a satiny sheen. It had good pigmentation and applied smoothly, but the color itself is likely one of the most common shades of blue on the market. MAC Love Cycle is a richer, more intense blue. Bare Escentuals Climax is just slightly purpler but barely. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit is a bit darker. Le Metier de Beaute Lapis is brighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here is slightly purple-tinted. MAC Deep Truth is slightly bluer. Inglot #428 is brighter. Make Up For Ever #81 is a touch darker.

The final shade is a blackened blue-teal with hints of green and blue shimmer in a satiny finish. It has good color payoff, but it’s a bit dry. Make Up For Ever #60 is deeper, more intense, and has no shimmer. MAC Prussian is bluer. MAC Blue Spruce is grayer. Guerlain Les Aquas is very similar but slightly less blue, but Guerlain Les Gris has a shade that’s just a little bluer.

Color payoff is just average to good–the only shade I would expect to have sheerness is the “sheer sparkle” finish, which there are none of here, so these four shades have no excuse but to have “incredible shade fidelity,” which I can only imagine is marketing-speak for color trueness or true-to-pan color. These do not adhere to the lid well without a base, and even with a base, some of them are more prone to fading than others. When applied without a primer, I see a paltry four hours of wear before there’s noticeable fading, and after six hours, there’s minor creasing. Without a primer, I don’t see creasing, but there is noticeable fading after six hours.

The white and purple shades were the least pigmented, while the blue was the most, followed by the blackened blue/teal.  I was surprised that the textures didn’t feel as buttery, creamy, or as finely-milled as some other luxury brands’ eyeshadows are (like Le Metier de Beaute).  It’s soft, and it applies fairly smooth, but it has a drier consistency that seems to make it less blendable than I’d like.   I’ve sat on this review for awhile, because I keep alternating between testing this quad and another one, having been unimpressed by both, while I kept reading rave reviews. I can’t say I’ve had the same experience no matter what technique, base, or combination of shades I used–so maybe I’m just the odd one out.  In fact, had this been the only Tom Ford product I had ever tried, I think I’d be put-off enough to stay away.  I tried and tried, but I couldn’t find any enthusiasm for this. It’s not terrible quality, but it’s not excellent quality (more like average), and it has to be at this price tag for me to be excited about it, let alone impressed. There’s just no excuse not to.

I suppose the highlight of the palette is that it comes with 0.35 oz. of product, which is 0.0875 oz. per shade, compared to the average brand at 0.05 oz.  But realistically, you’ll have to weigh whether investment or per-use cost is more important to you.  The idea that “you’ll never run out” is great in theory, but how close do you even get on 0.05 oz. of product?  If you do finish products, sure, but if you have a larger stash, it may be a less compelling argument.  It’s always good to see more rather less, though!

It’s packaged in the shimmery bronzed plastic compact that the rest of the line is in. The palette itself is actually very lightweight, which is great for traveling, but those looking for the heft of a luxury compact will find it missing here. It has a full-sized mirror underneath the lid and comes with two dual-ended brushes (that are about as useless as they often are; just slightly softer and the sponge stays in place better).

The Glossover

palette

Cobalt Rush

C

I tried and tried, but I couldn't find any enthusiasm for this. It's not terrible quality, but it's not excellent quality, and it has to be at this price tag for me to be excited about it, let alone impressed. There's just no excuse not to.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

5 Beautiful Coral-Orange Blushes

This post is a follow-up to last week’s on coral-pink blushes.  These are all warmer, with more orange/peach than pink.

  1. Tarte Blissful — vibrant coral-orange
  2. Tom Ford Lovelust — shimmering peachy coral
  3. Le Metier de Beaute Echo – rich coral-orange with a golden shimmer-sheen and a hint of underlying pink
  4. Chanel Tweed Brun Rose — medium-dark coral-orange
  5. Make Up For Ever #153 — coral-orange with golden shimmer/sheen

What’s your favorite coral-orange blush?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra Shine Lipgloss
Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra Shine Lipgloss

Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra Shine Lipgloss

Tom Ford Wet Violet Ultra shine Lipgloss ($45.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is a rich wine-berry with violet and pink shimmer. I couldn’t think of a perfect dupe for this exact hue, though I found some shades that are similar enough that they’re worth mentioning. MAC Color Saturation (because it recently debuted) is much, much lighter and appears more as a raspberry-pink. MAC Indigo Pink is pinker, redder, not as cool-toned or as berry. NARS Bougainville gives me a similar vibe, but the colors themselves are noticeably different–NARS’ shade is raspberry pink, not berry or purpled like Wet Violet. The closest shade I could think of was NARS Nana, which is redder and less purpled, but it has a similar vampy quality as well as similar application issues.

Tom Ford describes his gloss formula as being “high-shine” and “color-saturated.” He doesn’t mention any moisturizing benefits, just that the texture is “smooth and creamy.” It’s also noted that the gloss has a “high adherence,” which I assume is code for clings to lips better than your average gloss and, presumably, allows it to wear better/longer. The gloss is vanilla-scented but has no distinctive taste. It’s a sweet vanilla, less potent and not as sweet as MAC’s signature vanilla. Pleasing without being a confection of overblown sweetness.  It comes in a square tube with a brush-type applicator that doesn’t have any problems with random bristles being splayed out.

Wet Violet appears to be one of the deepest shades within the range of ten (I haven’t seen the range in person, so I can only make assumptions from the disappointing computer-generated swatches online), which means it is going to really push and test the limits of the overall quality and feel and look of the formula. Darker lipglosses are very difficult to master; they are naturally problematic, because you’re taking a very obvious, deep color and unless the gloss is opaque, there tends to be issues with color settling into lip lines (and being noticeable), evenness (which stands out, rather than disappears like it can with a lighter shade), and bleeding/feathering.

While the texture is undeniably lovely–soft, smooth, lightly tacky without being full-on sticky and thick (think MAC Lipglass), with a thicker feel that doesn’t end up feeling like goop–the color settles into lip lines and the color itself is tricky to apply evenly. The color coverage is semi-opaque; it adds plenty of color, but there’s enough translucency there that it enables a lot of your natural lip color to come through. This kind of gloss actually looks best on those with more pigmented lips!

Despite some of these drawbacks, Wet Violet wore for around five hours with most of the color intact, though the high-shine glossy finish had dwindled after three and a half hours. Tom Ford wasn’t able to overcome some tricky issues when working with really dark colors as glosses, and at this price tag, I had my fingers crossed. If you’re the type who only wears glosses over lipsticks, then it may still be worth checking out, as it will look much better over an opaque lipstick.

Overall, I can’t see myself shelling out the full $45 on this, but it makes me think of my favorite gloss of all-time (Cle de Peau #2), which is a whopping $55, but I adore it so much that it is still worth it to this day.  So perhaps not this shade but another shade, and if not for my wallet, for someone else’s wallet when the right color comes calling.  The formula seems good, as far as texture, feel, slip, and wear go, but it’s the color here that seems to take it down a peg with the color settling into lip lines.  I have a lighter shade I’ve yet to finish testing, so hopefully that one wears a bit better.

The Glossover

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product

Wet Violet

B

Overall, I can't see myself shelling out the full $45 on this, but it makes me think of my favorite gloss of all-time (Cle de Peau #2), which is a whopping $55, but I adore it so much that it is still worth it to this day. So perhaps not this shade but another shade, and if not for my wallet, for someone else's wallet when the right color comes calling.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, April 6th, 2012

Tom Ford Platinum Cream Color
Tom Ford Platinum Cream Color

Tom Ford Platinum Cream Color

Tom Ford Platinum Cream Color ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a medium-dark brown with subtle, warm red undertones. There is an ever-so-slight hint of gray that makes it almost taupe when it’s not sheered out, but it kept looking brown, brown, brown on me. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, because it’s called Platinum and the online “swatch” shows it as more of a pewter-like hue. Even in the pot, it looks more taupe-brown.  But here’s the thing: it does seem to go on less brown on the lids–it does look a little closer to platinum, but it is one finicky shade to photograph. So to that end, all of the possible dupes are browner.  It appears that the silver sheen comes out when there’s a lot of light; as I sat in my office with just a floor lamp on, it looked decidedly brown-taupe.  This is the sign of a complex shade, I suppose.

To me, it seemed like this color was more dupe-able than not. I had so many shades pulled up to compare this to. Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo is very similar, perhaps less red-toned. Bobbi Brown Champagne Truffle is more metallic but similar in color to the sheered out swatch. MAC Aloha is a little grayer. Buxom Mutt is similar to the sheered out swatch, though less warm. Urban Decay YDK is similar but a hint redder. MAC Buckwheat is darker, less shimmered. Urban Decay Wreckage is grayer. MAC Sable is richer, deeper. Urban Decay Toasted is similar to the heavier swatch, no gray tint.

Tom Ford describes the formula as “highly reflective,” “ultra-pigmented”, “non-creasing”, and “long-wearing.” Boy, I had some mixed emotions when I tested these. First, PR had already informed that these were nearly sold out in-stores, which lit some fuel under my butt to test it ASAP. The spring collection just launched on both Saks and Neiman Marcus, though, and everything appears to be in-stock, so not to fear if you’ve been looking for a way to blow $40. Second, as soon as I opened the pot and saw the consistency that awaited me, I was like, “This is going to be a big ol’ mess!” Looks are, thankfully, extremely deceiving!

Platinum delivers good results overall, though it does crease faintly after eight hours of wear without a base. It’s not smudge- or budge-proof–if you press your fingertip against your eyelid, you’ll see a fair amount of product transfer. I didn’t experience any fading, fall out, or migration while wearing this shade yesterday (ten hours in total). The consistency is a lightweight cream, almost more like a mousse because of its airy quality, that spreads and smooths out easily and evenly. From recent memory, the texture reminded me of a lighter, more airy version of MAC’s Big Bounce eyeshadows (you can see why I was wary!).

I used MAC’s 242 brush, which is a firm, flat bristled brush, to apply it to my eyelids, and I had no problem getting an opaque layer of color in one go. If you want a sheerer look, I’d recommend dabbing on very little and then blending. I figured I’d go crazy and opt to apply a good layer of it, as it was described as “ultra-pigmented.” I really thought it was going to crease right then and there, but it dries down quickly but remains smudgeable around the edges, since it is not smudge-proof.

What’s hard to see in photos is the soft, luminous side of the shade. It plays with the light in a subtle way that’s both dazzling and sophisticated. This is not glitter, and it’s not even a frost. I’d like to coin the phrase “satin metallic,” because I feel like that’s the most apt description of the finish here. Platinum was really lovely all on its lonesome, not as a wash, but as a full-color coverage product, just taken above the crease and blended out.  It’s packaged in a screw-top glass jar and holds a little more than the average cream eyeshadow does. I’m a little surprised to see that the TF logo is a sticker pressed on top. At first, I thought it was just a clear sticker over the actual TF, but I peeled it all the way off and the entire thing came off.

The Glossover

LE
product

Platinum

A

I'm torn--there's a part of me that's still chafing at the price tag. For a cream eyeshadow? Really? What? And then another part of me that knows this is Tom Ford, this is luxury, and that is really the point. Thankfully, it performs fairly well, and it is extremely well-pigmented. The texture is what will sell it, though, because it's so smooth.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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