Wednesday, September 12th, 2012


The gist of Tom Ford’s newest Private Blend launch (which contains four scents) is about revealing the “forbidden sides” of four flowers: rose, narcissus, lily, and hyacinth. None of the scents struck a forbidden chord with me; I didn’t envision clandestine meetings near the ivy at midnight. Each seemed to be a different take on some of the usual ways these flowers are presented, so they may be darker, but they just didn’t resonate as truly rich and dark and forbidden.

Cafe Rose ($205.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) contains notes of saffron, black pepper, Rose de Mai, Turkish rose, Bulgarian rose, coffee, incense, amber, sandalwood, and patchouli. It begins with a strong dose of rose with a peppery edge that transitions into more and more rose over a backdrop of amber and coffee–almost reminded me of something chocolaty.  If you are looking for a real coffee or cafe presence, it’s not quite there. It’s rather subtle.  It evokes an image of sitting in an elegant rose garden after you’ve sipped your morning coffee and are just now getting up and preparing to go to work.  There’s a natural sweetness from the rose that prevails throughout the wear of the scent, a hint of spiciness that begins and ends after a few hours, while amber, patchouli, and rose remain most potent until the very end. On me, Cafe Rose lasts for eight to ten hours. It wears close to the skin for the first hour, then seems to become more present, but finally returns to a closer wear for the last couple hours.

Jonquille de Nuit ($205.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) contains notes of Wild Alpine cyclamen, acacia and angelica seeds, Egyptian violet leaf, bitter orange leaf, narcissus, orris, and amber. You may know narcissus by its more common name, daffodil. The former sounding far more in sync with the concept behind the range/scent! Of the four scents, this was the most dominated by its floral; this is narcissus over and over again. There’s a crispness with a subtle citrus–like the rind of an orange–in the beginning; it reminds me of spring gardens after a fresh rain. Within a half hour, though, it sweetens and smells like a mix of narcissus and jasmine, even if it’s not listed, that’s what I’m detecting. It loses a lot of its intriguing character once it dries down on the skin. This fragrance was particularly strong, both in its sillage and wear. The wear was still going strong after twelve hours, and even by morning (so almost twenty-four hours), I could still detect it. At that point, it was an nondescript, sweet floral.

Lys Fume ($205.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) contains notes of Italian mandarin, pink peppercorn, nutmeg, turmeric, white lilies, ylang ylang, davana, rum, vanilla, labdanum, amber, styrax, and oakwood. It’s warm, lightly sweetened and somewhat musky; it’s lily and nutmeg with a touch of pepper–it reads oriental to me. All that spice and warmth just envelop me like a soft blanket on a cool autumn evening.  Slowly, it becomes a patch of soft lilies over a background of rum, pepper, and amber. In its final stage, there’s the ylang ylang and lily playing together to create a pleasing but soft floral with the warmth of amber and the sweetness of vanilla rounding it out. Of the four, this was the “darkest” scent to me. I don’t think I’d really describe it as a dark scent overall, though. This was my personal favorite, but I tend to gravitate towards scents with amber and vanilla. The wear was around eight hours, and it wore closely to the skin.

Ombre de Hyacinth ($205.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) contains notes of galbanum, violet leaf, magnolia leaf orpur, olibanum, hyacinth, pink peppercorn, jasmine, benzoin, and musk. The opening is intriguing–it’s sharp, crisp, and green–all hyacinth and gardening with dirt on your elbows and knees. It’s grassy and earthy and a little bitter. Then I catch jasmine and more jasmine, but it softens, and the whole scent becomes less sharp, less bitter. Finally, it’s floral and musk in a way that’s not spectacular but not displeasing. There’s a lingering greenness to the fragrance that persists throughout the development and wear that makes it appeal to me. This scent was a bit stronger, so it wore longer (twelve hours) and was more noticeable when worn.

I’m not actually drawn to most floral fragrances. I’m picky about them, as too often it’s dominated by the flower of choice and translates as”springtime allergies” in my brain. By that measure, the scents I enjoyed the most were Cafe Rose and Lys Fume.  All four scents seemed a little… tame, or perhaps, restrained, is a better way to describe these.  Ombre de Hyacinth was more interesting than Jonquille de Nuit, which tended to get more generic as it wore on, while Ombre de Hyancinth managed to keep some interest with the ever-present green note–it’s a scent that, while floral, may be more polarizing. All four scents are also available in 8.4 fl. oz. bottles ($495 each).

Because Tom Ford is by no means an affordable fragrance range, one might consider decants or samples. The way they open seems to be more complex and enchanting than some of the dry downs, so I recommend at least wearing and seeing how they read on you first.  As always, fragrance is quite personal, not only because different scents trigger our own personal memories but with the way the scent interacts with one’s body chemistry.

What’s your favorite floral scent?

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Wednesday, August 29th, 2012


Tom Ford Beauty for Fall 2012

Lip Color ($48.00)

  • Aphrodisiac Plum
  • Black Orchid Dark purple

Ultra Shine Lip Gloss ($45.00)

  • Naivete Dark plum

Cheek Color ($55.00)

  • Narcissist Pink

Eye Creme Color ($35.00)

  • Plum Absolute Plum

Lip & Cheek Stain ($48.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Tainted Love Red

Eye Defining Pencil ($35.00)

  • Exotic Teal Teal

Nail Lacquer ($30.00)

  • Dominatrix Smoky purple
  • Minx Smoky brown

Eye Color Quad ($75.00)

  • Emerald Lust Teals
  • Enchanted Neutrals

Availability: Now @ Saks, will also be at Neiman Marcus

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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Tom Ford Indian Rose Lip Color
Tom Ford Indian Rose Lip Color

A Rose in Bloom You Can Wear Everyday

Tom Ford Indian Rose Lip Color ($48.00 for 0.10 oz.) is medium rosy pink with subtle yellow undertones and a soft sheen. MAC Pink Treat is actually very similar–it’s matte in finish and a smidgen darker as a result. Becca Valentina is lighter. Bobbi Brown Pink Peony is darker. Bobbi Brown Nude Rose is just slightly darker. Guerlain Bloom of Rose is pinker.

Indian Rose has mostly opaque color coverage, and it delivers that coverage in a single pass. The consistency is about medium-weight (not thin but not heavy), creamy, and feels comfortable on. It doesn’t cling, and it dosen’t slide around, so the color stays even and wears well. When I tested the wear, I was able to get four and a half hours of wear, which is just over average. This shade was slightly moisturizing but not ultra hydrating. It has a sweetened vanilla scent (very similar to MAC’s vanilla-scented lipsticks) and no discernible taste. It’s encased in a brown square-shaped tube with “gold” trim.

The Glossover

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product

Indian Rose

A
It's an amplified version of a more natural lip color; rosy without being too bright, pink that's not too warm or too cool-toned. It's comfortable to wear, and the finish has just enough sheen to give lips a healthier, fuller look.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Tom Ford Frantic Pink Cheek Color
Tom Ford Frantic Pink Cheek Color

Tom Ford Frantic Pink Cheek Color ($55.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a subtly gold shimmered light-medium pink with yellow undertones. MAC Stunner is similar but doesn’t have a golden shimmer. Benefit Hervana is slightly pinker. MAC Alpha Girl is more peach/orange. Tarina Tarantino Feather is more coral.

I’ve been particularly impressed by Tom Ford’s blush formula in the past, but I was a little disappointed in Frantic Pink. It’s not bad; it’s even really good. It’s just not as amazing as the other shades have been.  The texture is soft but very powdery, so it feels a little dry and doesn’t sit as nicely on the skin as the other shades.  It was still easy to blend, which I’d expect with such a soft texture and light color.  This one is less shimmery, though, compared to some of the other colors in the line-up.  It’s a lighter color, period, so it’s not going to show up well on medium to dark skin tones.  The color is very much what you see in the pan.  I was only able to get good wear out of this for eight hours, which is good, but other shades have yielded longer than that.

On the upside, Tom Ford gives plenty of product for the hefty price tag; it’s higher than average and definitely not skimpy. For reference, MAC blushes are 0.21 oz. and NARS blushes are 0.16 oz. each.  So, if it’s a shade you’d wear everyday, it might be cheaper-per-use, but it’s still an investment.

The Glossover

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product

Frantic Pink

A-

This one is less shimmery, though, compared to some of the other colors in the line-up. It's a lighter color, period, so it's not going to show up well on medium to dark skin tones. The color is very much what you see in the pan.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, June 30th, 2012

5 Must-Have Shimmery Blushes

This was a tough one, because I wanted to have diversity in color, and preferably, diversity in brand, too.  ‘Cause let me tell you, there were 239847234 corals I’d love to have included, too.

  1. Le Metier de Beaute Echo — coral-orange with a golden shimmer-sheen; lovely texture and wear
  2. NARS Taj Mahal — golden shimmered orange; lots of great warmth, plenty of pigment
  3. Benefit Bella Bamba — medium-dark pink with a subtle shimmer-sheen; very wearable, buildable
  4. theBalm Cabana Boy — shimmered plum; simple, wearable, beautiful on
  5. Tom Ford Wicked — subtly blue-based medium-dark pink with a shimmer-sheen; long-wearing and super soft

What’s your favorite shimmery blush?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color
Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color

Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a bronze and burgundy shimmered medium-dark brown with warm, red undertones. When it’s sheered out, it’s less red-toned. NARS Surabaya is similar but less metallic. Make Up For Ever #14 is slightly darker. Le Metier de Beaute Bordeaux is redder.

Tom Ford describes the formula as “highly reflective,” “ultra-pigmented”, “non-creasing”, and “long-wearing.”  This shade has a shimmery, sparkly finish that does reflect light, but not to the same degree as Platinum.  The pigmentation is so-so; it is buildable, but it was difficult to get really opaque color, because the color kept slipping around, so it looked more smeared on and opaque in some places but sheered out in others.  I had noticeable creasing after six hours (as compared to minor creasing after eight hours with Platinum), which was a major bummer.

The consistency is a lightweight cream, almost more like a mousse because of its airy quality, that spreads and smooths out easily and evenly.  To apply, I tried using a few different brushes but still went back to MAC’s 242, which is a firm, flat bristled brush, because it gave me the “best” results.  The product stays wet for hours, though for as wet as it feels and seems (if you pressed your fingertip against your lid, there would be transfer), it stays on longer than you’d expect. It’s not great, and it’s not worth the $40 price tag for something that’s supposed to be long-wearing and isn’t.

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

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product

Illicit

C

I have no problem shelling out for a high quality product, but I'm always very disappointed when I see an extremely high price tag on a poor performing product. I also think that for the price point, the packaging needs some improvement.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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