Friday, November 8th, 2013

Tom Ford Vampire Kiss Lipstick
Tom Ford Vampire Kiss Lipstick

Tom Ford Vampire Kiss Lipstick ($49.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a vibrant, medium cherry red with cool, pinky undertones and a subtle ruby shimmer. It had incredibly rich, opaque color coverage in a single stroke, and the color applied evenly and smoothly to the lips without tugging or pulling. When I wore this shade, it lasted for almost seven hours and left behind a noticeable reddish stain. It was moderately hydrating while worn, and even after seven hours of wear, I felt no compulsion to apply lip balm after. Chanel La Precieuse (317) (LE, $32.00) is more matte. MAC Prepare for Pleasure (LE, $15.00) is more muted. MAC Glam (DC, $15.00) is similar. Giorgio Armani Red Fuchsia (503) (P, $32.00) is a bit darker. MAC Ronnie Red (LE, $15.00) is less shimmery. MAC MAC Red (P, $15.00) is more matte. Guerlain Gwen (LE, $49.50) is slightly darker. Guerlain Vega (P, $35.00) is darker. Buxom Scoundrel (P, $21.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Shameless Nail Lacquer ($32.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark, warm red with a cream finish. It was nearly opaque in a single coat, but I applied two just to be sure for swatches. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, so the polish flowed well across the nail and the color was even and smooth from the get-go. It dried down to a naturally shiny finish, though I think it will look even plusher with a glossy top coat. I typically get a week or so of wear with Tom Ford’s formula–normal for me across most polishes. Dior Merveille (LE, $24.00) is warmer, lighter. Cult Nails Annalicious (LE, $12.00) is shimmery. China Glaze Hey Sailor (LE, $8.00) is not as warm-toned. Zoya Tamsen (P, $8.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

P.S. — For holiday, Tom Ford released two new lip and nail colors, but I caved and bought the ones I didn’t receive yesterday (oops!) and hope to have those reviewed next week sometime (depending on when my order arrives!).

The Glossover

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Vampire Kiss

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10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Shameless

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Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Tom Ford Jasmine Rouge Color for Holiday 2013
Tom Ford Jasmine Rouge Color for Holiday 2013

Introducing Tom Ford’s audacious new red lip and nail pairings: two duos of classic crimson or sumptuous cherry shades inspired by the daring femininity of his private blend fragrance, Jasmin Rouge. They evoke the scent’s decadent, spiced floral notes and iconic red bottle, and capture its mood of hedonistic glamour. Experience the power of crimson with Tom Ford Lip Color in Rouge Fatal and Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Shameless. Indulge in rich cherry with Tom Ford Lip Color Vampire Kiss and Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Trophy Wife.

Lip Color ($49.00)

  • Rouge Fatal Crimson
  • Vampire Kiss Rich cherry

Nail Lacquer ($32.00)

  • Shameless Crimson
  • Trophy Wife Rich cherry

Eye Color Quad ($78.00)

  • Ice Queen Subtle blues and icy grays

Gift Sets

Tom Ford Beauty has developed three luxurious cosmetics gift boxes exclusively for holiday 2013. Each presented in an iconic Tom Ford reflective chocolate brown hinged setup box in crosshatch pattern. Each box allows for customization at counter.

  • 12-Piece Lip Color Gift Box Personalized selection of 12 Lip Colors in a mahogany-colored box ($588.00)
  • 4-Piece Lip & Nail Lacquer Gift Box Personalized selection of two Lip Colors and Nail Lacquers in a mahogany-colored box ($162.00)
  • 4-Piece Lip Color Gift Box Personalized selection of four Lip Colors in a mahogany-colored box ($196.00)

Availability: Now @ Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus

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Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Collection
Tom Ford Private Blend Oud Collection

“I have wanted to revisit Oud for years; it is one of the most endlessly fascinating ingredients in a perfumer’s palette. For this collection, I explored how Oud could intertwine with other precious ingredients from the rich and storied culture and artisanal traditions of the Middle East.” — Tom Ford

The Private Blend Oud collection is an olfactive journey that explores three mesmerizing and sensual facets of oud. Two new oud fragrances join the best-selling fragrance, private blend oud wood, a groundbreaking composition of exotic woods and spices that is hailed as a definitive interpretation of oud. The new fragrances, Private Blend Oud Fleur and Private Blend Tobacco Oud, share the signature elements of the original Oud Wood—oud, sandalwood and patchouli—then follow two unique and contrasting directions. They give Tom Ford another opportunity to show his mastery of this rare and precious ingredient. The collection of three oud fragrances also features three bath and body products that offer sumptuous new ways to wear this unforgettable note, creating a complete world of oud within Tom Ford Private Blend. Oud Wood body moisturizer, Oud Wood shower gel and OudWood bath soap are perfumed with the original Oud Wood fragrance.

Oud Wood

Private Blend Oud Wood captures the most sophisticated, precious and highly regarded materials in the Middle East. Rich, elegant oud is paired with smoky birch tar and cistus heart, which impart a sultry, smoky effect reminiscent of burnt incense lingering in the air, further enhancing the fragrance’s depth and sensuality. Adding a perception of warmth and intrigue, notes of patchouli absolute are used as cedarwood atlas creates a sense of animalic depth, leaving an intoxicating trail.

  • 1.7 oz. ($210.00)
  • 3.4 oz. ($290.00)
  • Shower Gel ($65.00)
  • Bath Soap ($35.00)
  • Body Moisturizer ($65.00)

Tobacoo Oud

Private Blend Tobacco Oud explores a secret history of addictive Arabic passions—crafting fragrances from precious oud wood resin and smoking aromatic tobacco. It intertwines mesmerizing oud with an idealized tobacco accord inspired by “dokha,” a blend of herbs, flowers and spice-laden tobacco that was smoked in secret five centuries ago during a ban on smoking— and retains its allure as a widely used tobacco today. Dried quickly in the desert sun, and then mixed with herbs, spices, bark, and dried flowers, Dokha delivers its rush in a potent, dizzying hit. Like a proper Dokha, private blend tobacco oud imparts an extremely smooth, warm blend of woodsy notes for a heady buzz; and then a warm exhale of spicy heat. Fine tobacco dust absolute is intertwined with coriander seed oil to achieve this spice-laden touch.

Roasted tonka organic absolute soaks the tobacco with a warm, addictive pulse of coumarin while streaks of sandalwood bring out mellow, lactonic tones. A seductive amber note is accomplished with high dosages of cistus oil from spain and cistus absolute—an indigenous Mediterranean plant also known as labdanum or rockrose—that contributes leathery-ambery, textural tones.

The regal oud element is further reinforced by fresh woody facets of Cedarwood Atlas Orpur®— sourced from the Atlas mountain range high in the Moroccan desert—and earthy patchouli absolute, while castoreum complements the primal, animalic aspects.1.7 fl. oz. / $210.00.

Oud Fleur

Private Blend Oud Fleur explores the mystique of oud in all its dimensions, including the aspect of prestige and age. It is crafted from a slowly perfected vision of Oud Wood that has been developed over twenty years by harmonizing the finest aspects of many variations.

The Oud Wood core is streaked with additional woody notes to amplify its effects: patchouli for cool earthy tones; sandalwood for warmth; incense for smoky mystery, and styrax, cistus and leather accord for added texture and presence. Ambergris and castoreum lend a wild warmth and mellow ambery comfort.

A complex rose dimension evokes the middle east’s legendary damascus rose. A blend of Rose Bulgaria Orpur®, Rose Absolute Morocco, and Rose Absolute Turkey Orpur® creates a brocade effect that weaves fresh petal, lush nectar and spicy stem-like signatures together. This floral heart is enhanced with Ginger CO2, Cardamom Seed Oil Orpur®, Cinnamon Bark Laos Orpur®, and Pimento Berry; these cool and fiery spice accents awaken the senses. A touch of Geranium Egypt Orpur® lends a peppery-green flourish as tagette, osmanthus, davana oil and date accord lend a beautifully mellowed effect which enhances the sensation of a precious fragrance crafted from superbly well-aged materials. 1.7 fl. oz. / $210.00.

Availability: Now @ Nordstrom

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Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Must-Have Eye Brushes
Must-Have Eye Brushes

It’s been a long time coming, so I’m so excited to share with you my favorite, must-have eye brushes! I’ve categorized them into a few different groupings, and when it comes to eye brushes, well, one can never have too many duplicates. Though you can definitely use one brush with multiple shades, if given the chance, I prefer to use one brush per color. I tried to include brushes that had high quality duplicates, too, so that you could see a few options for a given style (that is my must-have), because the shape tends to dictate whether a brush is one I’ll reach for often.

I would LOVE to hear about your must-have eye brushes, if you would be so kind as to share below!

Note, I have about 30 brush reviews I’ve yet to post, so some brushes mentioned here will eventually have fully fleshed out reviews, complete with individual photos. Stay tuned!

Blending Brushes

The classic may be MAC 217, but Hakuhodo J5523 is my new favorite–so much so that I bought a second one to add to my stash.

  1. Sephora Pro Blending Brush #27 ($20.00) is a soft, lightly fluffed-up brush that works well for blending powder products together, applying highlighters to the brow bone, or dusting a sheer color all-over the lid.
  2. MAC 217 ($24.00) is a long-time favorite for myself as well as readers as a go-to brush for blending eyeshadows together, softening edges, and applying brow bone highlighters. It’s a solid choice and readily accessible for most.
  3. Hakuhodo J5523 ($18.00) is incredibly soft, lightly fluffy, and a dream to use. It outshines both the brushes mentioned above, and even better? it’s the cheapest of the bunch.

Crease Brushes

If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you’ll know that I’ve often raved about MAC’s 226 brush, which was a limited edition medium-sized, tapered crease brush (I think I have four or five of them). So long 226, for I’ve found four replacements that I love even more (who knew!). Hakuhodo J142 wins this one for quality, shape/size, and price.

  1. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Tapered Blending Brush ($22.00) is a slightly shorter, nicely rounded and tapered brush that works well for depositing color into the crease and then blending and diffusing that color. It’s incredibly soft, works well, and is synthetic, so it’s what I usually reach for when I’m using liquid or cream products.
  2. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush ($55.00) is the perfect shape, density, size, and softness for depositing color into the crease with good color deposit and blends and softens the color easily. It’s a real workhorse of a brush for me. That being said…
  3. Hakuhodo J142 ($18.00) is a near-exact dupe of Tom Ford’s crease brush and a third of the cost–and because it’s nearly the same, this is my top pick. I reach for this one often, so I recently purchased a second one of these to have on-hand.
  4. Hakuhodo G5522 ($28.00) is slightly larger and a bit more tapered than the other three brushes, so it works well for really diffusing and softening color. I also like using it to lay down a mid-tone color that I’ll put in the crease first and really blend well past the crease before adding a darker color to define the crease (with a more precise brush).

Eyeshadow Brushes

Sorry, there’s only one that is the holy grail for me, and that’s MAC 239 ($25.00). It is the perfect brush for applying eyeshadow, and frankly, if I could only have one brush to do my eye makeup, I’d pick this. Over every single brush mentioned in this post. There’s a reason why I have six of them. (I’m pretty sure I have two more hiding from me.) I have tried two Hakuhodo brushes (J242 and J004) and neither are quite right to me–though I am still testing the J004 so we’ll see. The shape of the 239 is square-ish, and it’s quite dense but still has a slight fluffiness to it, so it blends out colors if desired. It deposits eyeshadow nicely onto the lid, and it can be swept on or patted and packed on.

Cream Eyeshadow Brushes

When it comes to cream (or liquid) eyeshadows and products, I like firmer, flatter brushes for application. My favorite is MAC 242, because it’s firm, flat, but not too big or too small, so it is good for laying down a lot of color at once, blending out edges, and is a versatile choice.

  1. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Brush ($55.00) is a larger, slightly fluffy, flat eyeshadow brush with a tapered edge. It’s nice for applying eyeshadow all-over the lid, so I like it a lot for creams (but it does work well with powders). The fluffy edge makes this brush work for blending the edges of cream eyeshadow, too, so you can that diffused, softened edge.
  2. MAC 242 ($25.00) is a smaller, flat and firm brush with a slightly domed edge. It’s great for applying cream products to the inner corner of the lid, and it also works well for packing out any eyeshadow (powder or cream) and helps minimize fall out.
  3. MAC 252 ($32.00) is a large, flat brush with a slightly domed/rounded edge. It’s excellent for applying cream eyeshadow all over the lid and still having enough edge to blend out the edges. It’s not as fluffy as the Tom Ford brush but is similar in size.
  4. MAC 249 ($27.00) is a firm, flat brush that gives the most streak-free finish even with more emollient products. I, of course, just learned it has been discontinued when attempting to find the current price on. I guess I’ll have to go about finding a dupe for it now!
  5. Hakuhodo J242 ($17.00) is similar in shape to the MAC 242, but it is softer and a bit fluffier, so it doesn’t pack on color as intensely, but it is softer to use on the lid and blends out color even better. It also does a nice job of applying cream products with minimal streaks.  This brush also works well for applying powder eyeshadow, but I find it a little too narrow personally so I don’t often use it for powder.

Detail Brushes

These are smaller, more precise brushes that I don’t reach for as often as the brushes above, but they’re ones used enough that they’re still worth mentioning. These may also be helpful for someone with less lid space or who needs smaller brushes for their eyes.  MAC 266 is the only one I use every day from this grouping, as the others tend to be used if the application calls for it.

  1. MAC 266 ($20.00) is my go-to for filling in my brows, which I fill in with powder eyeshadow. It has a nice slanted edge, is firm enough to apply thin, precise lines, but has enough thickness that it can gently soften those lines as necessary.
  2. Hakuhodo G5513 ($16.00) is a small, flat, dome-shaped brush that works well for patting, packing, or sweeping eyeshadow onto very small areas. It is similar to Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush but is slightly bigger.
  3. Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush ($50.00) is a small, flat, dome-shaped brush for very, very precise eyeshadow application. I also like using it to pat on eyeshadow on the lower lash line or for blending out very small areas.
  4. MAC 208 ($20.00) is similar in shape and style to the 266, it’s just thinner. It’s great for applying cream, gel, and liquid eyeliner.
  5. MAC 228 ($24.00) is a small, dome-edged brush that’s lightly fluffy. It is a lot like the 239, just much, much smaller, so it works in a similar way: for applying eyeshadow, can blend out if necessary, and can be used in a sweeping or patting motion.

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Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Tom Ford Lavender Lust Eye Color Quad
Tom Ford Lavender Lust Eye Color Quad

Tom Ford Lavender Lust Eye Color Quad ($78.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a pink and purple themed palette. Tom Ford’s eyeshadows have four finishes: “sheer sparkle, satin, shimmer, and matte.” They’re supposed to “offer a spectrum of intensity and effects” with “excellent adhesion.” Overall, it’s a good quad, though not without its imperfections. The sparkly shade does produce some fall out during wear, though it’s minimal, it’s something to note. The lightest shade is on the sheerer side, which may be right up your alley if you intend to use it as a highlight shade, but for those who wanted something more opaque, it will be a let down. The colors go well together, and it’s certainly a very a harmonious set of shades.

Lavender Lust #1 is a pinky lavender with white sparkle. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft, finely-milled, and smooth. This shade wore well (no fading or creasing) for nine hours but had some slight fall out over time. CoverGirl Blazing Purple (340) (P, $4.99) is a bit darker, less sparkly. L’Oreal With a Twist (LE, $7.99) is darker, purpler. Urban Decay Grifter (P, $18.00) is darker. Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 #1 (LE) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Lavender Lust #2 is a medium-dark, smoky purple with subtle, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. It had very nice pigmentation and applied smoothly and evenly. It wore well without fading or creasing for nine hours. Urban Decay Voodoo (LE, $18.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Black Grape (P, $21.00) is more sparkly. Dior Constellation (864) #4 (LE) is similar, less metallic. theBalm Lavish Latoya (LE, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. Urban Decay ACDC (P, $18.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Lavender Lust #3 is a pale, lavender-tinted white with a pink iridescent sheen. It was semi-opaque in pigmentation, though the texture was incredibly soft and finely-milled. I checked it a few times, as it’s such a light shade that it can be hard to tell opacity against my skin tone, but it’s more opaque than sheer–there’s some translucency there, though. It seemed like it might be a satin finish. It wore well for almost eight hours but looked somewhat faded after nine hours of wear. Fyrinnae Unicorn (P, $8.25) is cooler-toned, lighter. MAC Digit (P, $15.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Ready to Party (LE, $21.00) is more metallic. MAC Triple Impact (LE, $21.00) is more metallic, less pink. Guerlain Attrape-Coeur #1 (LE) is similar. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Datura (P, $14.00) is purpler. See comparison swatches.

Lavender Lust #4 is a dark, red-toned purple with violet and plum shimmer. It had a satiny finish, and it had decent color payoff, but the texture was noticeably drier than the other three shades–soft but dry. It’s a shade that I’d probably use damp more often than not. With a fluffy crease brush, the dryness wasn’t noticeable during application. Urban Decay Tornado (LE, $18.00) is darker. Le Metier de Beaute Matte Plum (LE, $30.00) is similar. MAC Highly Charged (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. MAC Grape (LE, $32.50) is brighter, warmer. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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palette

Lavender Lust

B+

The sparkly shade does produce some fall out during wear, though it's minimal, it's something to note. The lightest shade is slightly sheer, which may be right up your alley if you intend to use it as a highlight shade, but for those who wanted something more opaque, it will be a let down.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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P
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Lavender Lust #1

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

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Lavender Lust #2

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9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Tom Ford Beauty for Men
Tom Ford Beauty for Men

Purifying Face Cleanser ($48.00)

It features the Tom Ford Purifying and Skin Calming Complexes to leave skin exceptionally clean without tightness or dryness. Its lightweight formula conditions and hydrates the skin as it unclogs pores and prepares skin for a smooth shave. It rinses beautifully without drying, so your face looks and feels smooth, refreshed and energized.

Concealer for Men ($40.00)

Every man’s face occasionally suffers from redness, blemishes, under-eye circles or razor nicks. These things can be swiftly camouflaged with concealer in a natural-looking way. Tom Ford For Men Concealer is a practical, simple tool: a twist-up stick that is offered in three shades. It can be applied with your fingers after your moisturizer or eye treatment, and it will seamlessly blend into the skin as it hides imperfections.

Hydrating Lip Balm ($25.00)

One of the simplest things a man can do to improve his looks is to combat dry lips and improve their smoothness and texture. The Tom Ford ultra-emollient lip balm contains a unique blend of natural oils, vitamins and butters to soothe and condition. The balm seals in moisture, helping to protect lips from the effects of any kind of weather so they look and feel comfortable.

Bronzing Gel ($48.00)

Developed to mimic the look of a few minutes of sun on the skin and lift the complexion with a healthy-looking touch of color, the Tom Ford Bronzing Gel is made with a water-based, oil-free formula that blends in easily without masking your skin’s natural features. It features the Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes to calm and comfort the skin. The Bronzing Gel can be used all over the face, or simply swiped onto the places the sun would naturally hit you harder: the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and the top of the forehead.

Intensive Purifying Mud Mask ($60.00)

A weekly clay mask treatment is integral to your personal grooming routine. Tom Ford developed this time-signaling Mud Mask to counter the dulling and irritating effects of a busy lifestyle on the skin. As the mask turns light gray, it draws out oil, dirt and toxins and diminishes tension lines. When you rinse it off, your skin feels clean, hydrated and conditioned, and you look revitalized and younger.

Anti-Fatigue Eye Treatment ($75.00)

The eyes are the first place people look when they meet you. They are also the first part of your face to show signs of aging and fatigue. This multi-beneficial, restorative eye treatment is infused with the Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes, to lift and firm the look of the skin around the eyes, helping to diminish the look of lines and wrinkles. The silver-tip applicator helps to cool your skin to help reduce visible puffiness, leaving your eyes looking refreshed and awake.

Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer ($105.00)

A hydrating and conditioning moisturizer is essential to achieving well-kept skin. This lightweight, quick-absorbing, skin-mattifying moisturizer uses the Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes with a combination of luxurious butters to hydrate your skin, help reverse dullness and help reduce the look of fine lines and pores. It leaves your face looking toned, polished and reenergized.

Skin Revitalizing Concentrate ($150.00)

When your skin is depleted or dry, adding a multifunctional treatment oil into your regimen before moisturizing is one of the simplest ways to energize and regenerate it. This concentrate contains the highest concentration of the Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes, plus essential oils and other enriching natural ingredients. It deeply hydrates and nourishes the skin and it conditions it before shaving and soothes it afterwards. Your skin has fewer fine lines and greater resilience against damage.

Availability: Pre-order online at Neiman Marcus now

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