Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Tom Ford Spring 2014 Launches
Tom Ford Spring 2014 Launches

Sheer, natural, effortless beauty is the focus of the Tom Ford spring 2014 color collection launching this March. This limited edition line-up contains eight new Sheer Lip Colors and four new Nail Lacquer shades that harmonise shimmering nudes with accents of hot, sunkissed color.

Lip Color Conditioner ($49.00) (Limited Edition)

This exclusive new Lip Color collection, featuring eight indispensable shades, is housed in Tom Ford’s iconic ivory and golden case. The semi-translucent formula, in a distinct beveled form, contains a blend of moisturizing ingredients, such as Vitamin C and E, shea butter, and other natural oils.

  • Bitter Sweet Plum
  • Firecracker Orange
  • In the Buff Beige
  • Incorrigible Coral
  • Paradisco Light coral
  • Pink Dune Pink beige
  • Summer Fling Pink coral
  • Sweet Spot Orange coral

Nail Lacquer ($32.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Coral Beach Coral
  • Incandescent Bronze
  • Indiscretion Pink
  • Sugar Dune Beige

Availability: Now @ Nordstrom; official launch date is March 2014

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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

When it comes to eyeshadows, by and large, most of the ones covered these days are found in palettes! There are definitely plenty of reviews of singles, but palettes outnumber them easily. To compile this list, though, I only think it’s fair to focus on the singles (that’s why there’s a whole top ten for palettes, so they’re not left out!) that made my heart pitter-patter and go all aflutter.  As always, I tried to go across formulas and colors, picking the best of the best, though I couldn’t help myself from choosing two from Dior’s new cream formula.

What eyeshadows captured your attention this past year?

Monday, December 30th, 2013

love a good finishing powder.  I love an ethereal, lit-from-within glow.  There is a very high likelihood of me trying any new formulas or shades that hit the market–I’m just a total fiend for them. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings in this department!

What highlighters and finishing powders have you been reaching for in 2013?

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Tom Ford Seductive Rose Eye Color Quad
Tom Ford Seductive Rose Eye Color Quad

Tom Ford Seductive Rose Eye Color Quad ($78.00 for 0.35 oz.) consists of four shades–a light pink, medium pink, mauve, and darker plum.  Though at a glance, it seemed like a cool-toned palette, it almost leans somewhat warm.  I think it’s on the fence such that cooler undertones will find it leans cooler on them, and then someone with warmer undertones (like myself) will find their skin tone pulls the warmth out of some of the shades in this palette.  The colors complement each other, and there is some variety in finish, they all run on the shimmery side–there are no mattes here, which may be a deal-breaker for some.  All but the sparkly shade wore well for almost eight and a half hours, while the sparkly shade didn’t have fading or creasing either, it did have minor fall out.  It’s a nice offering, but it’s not perfect, and at this price point, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be.

Seductive Rose #1 is a pale, light pink with cool undertones and a frosted finish. It had so-so color payoff–there was noticeable sheerness–but the texture was soft and smooth. MAC Fair Sex (LE, $15.00) is similar. Tom Ford Beauty Enchanted #1 (LE) is lighter, whiter. MAC Joy & Laughter #1 (P, $21.00) is similar. MAC Seedy Pearl (P, $15.00) is a bit darker. MAC Maribu (LE, $32.50) is similar. Dior Aurora #3 (LE) is also similar. See comparison swatches

Seductive Rose #2 is a light-medium rosy pink with subtle warm, yellow undertones and a frosted, almost metallic, finish. It had excellent color payoff, while the texture was soft, buttery, and very dense–almost felt like a cream. Too Faced Marshmallow (LE) is less frosted, darker. Too Faced Taffy (LE) is lighter. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Tease #5 (P) is a bit lighter. MAC Pinkluxe #2 (P) is more glittery. theBalm Safe Bet Annette (P, $16.00) is very similar. MAC Love Power (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. Make Up For Ever #303 (P, $20.00) is not quite as warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

Seductive Rose #3 is a warm-toned mauve with a metallic, sparkling finish. It had a glittery texture, and it felt almost emollient to the touch. It had fairly good pigmentation. When worn, I had minor fall out but the fall out was surprisingly less than I would expect. Too Faced Mauvelous (LE) MAC Circa Plum (LE, $21.00) is pinker. MAC Neo Nebula (LE, $21.00) is a bit darker, warmer. Urban Decay Bordello (P, $18.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Seductive Rose #4 is a deep plum with subtle warm undertones and a pearly finish. It had rich color payoff, and the texture was soft, finely-milled, and blendable. This was the best shade of the four. Tarina Tarantino Deep Dahlia (LE) is less pearly. MAC Hyperviolet (LE, $18.00) is darker, cream, no shimmer. Le Metier de Beaute Fig (P, $30.00) is similar. Inglot #446 (P, $6.00) is purpler. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Seductive Rose #1

C+

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7/10

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7/10

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8.5/10

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Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Tom Ford Rouge Fatal Lip Color
Tom Ford Rouge Fatal Lip Color

Tom Ford Rouge Fatal Lip Color ($49.00 for 0.10 oz.) is vibrant, warm red with orange-brown undertones and a luminous finish. This is very nearly the same as Marc Jacobs Beauty Showstopper (134) (P, $30.00), which I reviewed just yesterday–at the most, Rouge Fatal is slightly redder/not as brown. Givenchy Grenat Initie (307) (P, $36.00) is darker, less brown. NARS Golshan (P, $25.00) is more matte, lighter. NARS Majella (P, $25.00) is similar but more matte. Milani Cherry Crave (P, $5.49) is metallic. MAC Viva Glam I (P, $15.00) is more matte. Buxom Provocateur (P, $21.00) is brighter, less brown. See comparison swatches.

Rouge Fatal is richly pigmented and fully opaque on lips in a single stroke. The consistency is light-to-medium-weight, creamy, and comfortable to wear; it doesn’t slip around, but it doesn’t cling either. It lasts and lasts for a long six hours and leaves behind a red stain.  The Tom Ford Lip Color formula is supposed to “deliver pure color with just the right balance of luminosity,” while also being hydrating and applying smoothly. The formula lives up to all of those things–great color payoff, moderately glossy/luminous, and it gives lips a smoother, healthier appearance. It is lightly scented with sweet vanilla but has no discernible taste. It was somewhat hydrating while worn.  The biggest drawback to the Lip Color range is really that most colors are more basic, so they are more easily duped by comparable formulas at a lower price point (case in point: Marc Jacobs’ Showstopper for this shade).

Tom Ford Trophy Wife Nail Lacquer ($32.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is pink-toned red with cool, bluish undertones and a cream finish. Chanel Rouge Rubis (P, $27.00) is a touch brighter. Chanel Cinema (P, $27.00) is darker. MAC Touch of Red (LE, $16.00) is slightly redder. MAC Russian Red (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Flaming Rose (P, $16.00) is darker. L’Oreal The Queen’s Might (LE) is pinker. Guerlain Champs-Elysees (P, $23.00) is similar. Chanel Suspicious (P, $27.00) is a bit pinker. China Glaze Hey Sailor (LE, $8.00) is similar. Essie Silken Cord (LE, $8.00) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

The quality of the formula was very nice with rich, fully pigmented color in almost one coat (but the swatches are with two). It had a consistency that was balanced between thick and thin, so it didn’t accumulate along the edges or shift while drying. Even the dry down seemed slightly quicker than the average polish, and when it dried, there was a moderate shine left behind. If you want a plush, glossy finish, you’ll still need a top coat. I get about a week of wear out of Tom Ford’s formula with minor tip wear but no chipping, which is normal for me across most polish formulas (so take that with a grain of salt).

The Glossover

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9.5/10

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10/10

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10/10

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10/10

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5/5

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Trophy Wife

A

Product

9.5/10

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10/10

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9/10

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9/10

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Monday, November 11th, 2013

Tom Ford Oud Collection
Tom Ford Oud Collection

Tom Ford Oud Collection is an expansion of the usage of Oud in Tom Ford’s Private Blend fragrance range, which is centered around Oud Wood. I reviewed that scent a few years ago, and it remains my favorite fragrance of all-time (though it jockeys with Tom Ford’s Amber Absolute and Bois Marocain). There were rumors of Oud Wood being discontinued, but luckily the brand confirmed it was staying in line and merely being repackaged for the Oud collection launch.

The collection features three scents: Oud Wood, Tobacco Oud, and Oud Fleur. The latter I don’t have, so I can’t speak on, though it seems to be the more interesting scent between the two newer scents from early reviews. In addition to the two new eau de parfums, Oud Wood now has companions in the form of soap, shower gel, and body moisturizer.  Private Blend fragrances are available in the following sizes:  1.7 fl. oz. ($210), 3.4 fl. oz. ($290), and 8.4 fl. oz. ($520).

To quickly summarize Oud Wood, it opens with a spicy, smoky air–rosewood and cardamom–that is a little sharp initially, but it transforms into an amber and sandalwood mix with an underlying touch of vetiver with just a lingering smokiness. Towards the end, it is a mix of amber, vanilla, and woods; rich and earthy and warm. For a really great, in-depth look at Oud Wood, I recommend this review.

Oud Wood Bar Soap ($35.00) is a lot like the first forty minutes of the eau de parfum, but the scent doesn’t linger on my skin for very long–an hour or so post-shower, and I really can’t detect it. It produces a rich lather that’s hydrating, and thankfully, doesn’t leave the skin feeling squeaky-clean. The Oud Wood Body Moisturizer ($65.00) follows a similar pattern as the fragrance on a more muted scale that always wears close to the skin, though it lingers for far longer than the soap; after eight to ten hours, it’s mostly gone on me. It has the consistency of a slightly thicker lotion, but it is thinner than a cream. To contrast that against the eau de parfum, I can still get faint whiffs the eau de parfum of Oud Wood twenty-four hours later.

Tobacco Oud opens with a burst of smoke, spice, and almost reminds me of incense burning at an altar. It’s dry, like walking in the woods during autumn, when it’s chilly enough that fireplaces are crackling, but there’s no snow or rain yet. Or stepping into a dry sauna–it’s just a lot of smokiness and drier woods to me; I keep thinking cedarwood (which is a note). There’s amber in the background, somewhere, that’s fleeting initially, and then it settles in for a long stay. It morphs into a mix of smoke, spice, amber, labdanum, and the beginning tendrils of vanilla. Finally, it becomes a more comforting, warmer scent that smells of lightly sweetened vanilla with a soft smokiness and a wee bit of spice that lingers. Oud is here and there throughout the first few hours of wear; it’s not the star–the smokiness from tobacco is definitely more in the forefront. If you’re looking for a strong oud note, it’s not in this scent. It has moderate projection and wore twelve to sixteen hours (two sprays) on me.  If you like Tobacco Vanille, Amber Absolute, Sahara Noir, or Oud Wood (or some combination of them), I think you’ll like this one.

Tobacco Oud has received some comparisons to Amber Absolute, which I can see and not see. I found Tobacco Oud’s metamorphosis was greatly influenced by the number of sprays; less than two, and it was very, very dry and lacked warmth, but three sprays gave me that warmth that I missed the first time I wore it, and that warmth made me understand some of the comparisons to Amber Absolute. With that being said, Amber Absolute is much, much heavier on the amber; it’s headier, thicker, warmer, cozier; when Amber Absolute opens, I get that resinous quality but not the smokiness that I wafts from Tobacco Oud. Amber Absolute is also sweeter throughout the wear, where Tobacco Oud turns slightly sweeter from the tonka bean after six to eight hours of wear. Even if the two had more similarities than differences, the most marked difference is that Amber Absolute is a monster–it has more projection, longevity, and overall, it is just more potent. Amber Absolute–one spray split between my wrists–is still a skin scent twenty-four hours after I’ve applied and taken a shower.

Tobacco Oud is standing in front of the hearth and warming your hands, a brief respite from the cool outdoors.  Amber Absolute is curling up in a luxurious blanket in your favorite chair and settling in for the night.

The Glossover

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Tobacco Oud Eau de Parfum

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Oud Wood Eau de Parfum

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Oud Wood Bar Soap

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