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


Cobalt Rush


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.











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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom Ford Cobalt Rush Eye Color Quad
Tom Ford Cobalt Rush Eye Color Quad – after six hours with a base – so much fading and fall out!

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50 thoughts on “Tom Ford Cobalt Rush Eye Color Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Pang

    I was hoping the quads were as awesome as the blushes. Guess Not

  2. Are you going to post a review of the other quad as well? Or if not, can you tell us which one it was?


  3. Eileen

    I’m a TF fan but will be the first to admit that his quads can be hit or miss. When he does a good job, he knocks it out of the ballpark (Cognac Sable). When he does a poor job, it is a lesson in expensive mediocrity (Cobalt Rush). Because of the price points of his products, I think it’s important to actually test his products at the counter or, at least, read a few reviews about the product which interests you.

  4. Ms

    Hope u review more stuff by him. Thanks! I m curious about the lipsticks specially.

  5. snm

    At this price point,I feel quite happy that the line isn’t really attracting me.I guess I am a little conservative about the brands that I am willing to splurge for-Guerlain and Chanel that is:)
    The packacing looks cool though,feels luxurious but not tacky.

    • I love TF’s Private Blend fragrances and the blushes. The lipsticks are good, but Guerlain’s are better (to me) – but if you like creamy finishes with no real shimmer, then one might prefer TF’s lipsticks over Guerlain’s Rouge Gs!

  6. Amanda

    I have quite the collection of Tom Ford products and at first had difficulty with some of the shadows as well. I called my girl at Saks and asked her some questions and this is what she told me regarding the shadows: The upper left shade, the highlighter usually, is meant to be applied with your finger, never a brush. She said to gently press the shadow onto your lid where you wanted a little sparkle or highlight. Using a brush will always cause fallout with that one shade in each palette. As far as the colors themselves she said they are meant to be layered and bc of that can be sheerer or deeper depending on what you want.
    This is what she told me so maybe it can help some of you if your interested in this brand. Personally, I do love the shadows and have found they work well for me. All up to your preference of course!! Hope this helps.

    • Hi Amanda,

      I’m surprised she told you to use your finger – the texture of the shade seems like it would just be prone to hardening from the oils of your fingers (which is one reason why application with fingers can be troublesome). Have you had this happen? Thank you for sharing!

      I’m less concerned with fall out *during* application, but the fall out occurs throughout the day, not just because you applied with a brush. Did she have any advice for preventing fall out during the day?

      Thanks again! :)

      • snm

        Each to their own but I always find it funny that how the brands sometimes try to justify their highly priced-low quality products.Like Chanel’s baked quads for example.

        • Carrie

          I agree. Plus I hate the notion that you should ever be -meant- to apply products with a finger. How unhygienic and messy!

      • Evelyn

        I have to laugh, it sounds like we need an instruction sheet to use makeup sometimes. If you don’t have a makeup artist tell you, how would you know?

        • The more instructions a brand gives, the more it reeks of excuses, IMO. It reminded me of when Benefit put out Stay Don’t Stray and then filmed a video on how to use the pump with a “tap” method. How about just using better packaging from the get-go?

          It’s not always true, but that’s, ultimately, what it sounds like to me. At least if it’s some crazy new product – say perhaps Givenchy’s Phenomen’eyes (the one with the sphere applicator), you could see why instructions might be necessary.

      • I agree! I don’t recommend using your fingers to apply your eyeshadows because (1) it’s unsanitary and (2) the natural oils produced by your fingers/hands will leave a “hard shiny film” on the eyeshadow.

      • Amanda

        I dont disagree with any of you – which is why I wash my hands before and after. Definetly a bit of a pain. I havent noticed any difference in texture bc of the oils but I believe thats bc I do wash my hands before and after. I looked at mine last night and there was no hardening at all. Thats not to say it wont happen, just not yet. As far as fall out during the day, she didnt mention anything :(

        I did purchase all of my products at once and while I do love them, there are definite hits and misses with certain formulations within the line. Some have amazing texture, pigmentation, etc and others….not so much. I will continue to buy them bc i do love them but there is room for improvment for sure!

  7. I don’t mind spending money on high end brands, but for that price, I would expect to be really blown away.

  8. def out of my price point for a quad..even if it is TF.appreciate your honest review!

  9. joyce

    ngl, I think Tom Ford himself is terribly glamorous but his cosmetics line has fallen a bit flat for me. With his taste and at this price point, I really did expect something more impressive – not that the products are bad, but they’re not particularly special imo.

  10. kiwikeely

    Its interesting for me to see the first tom ford eyeshadow quad review receiving such a low rating because I’ve seen countless of reviews that absolutely loved them. Generally, I find that english-speaking beauty bloggers tend to have a less positive reaction towards these quads than the asian beauty blogging community. But usually, I see more praises than criticisms (except for the price).

    The tom ford eyeshadow quads were launched for a while. I tried very hard to control myself, but just couldn’t resist getting one of the quads after seeing several (like, 4?) highly experienced and well known chinese bloggers purchasing the entire line – thats either 750 USD or 650 Pounds, which is a lot of money to shell out for 10 boxes of eyeshadow. There must be certain qualities about these quads that made people willingly shell out so much money for just four shades of shadow. I myself purchased Sahara Haze (the only green quad) and I am absolutely loving it. The two upper shades were buttery smooth with decent and true-to-pan color pay off. I manage to get at least 6 hours of wear without eyeshadow base (and my eyelids are REALLY oily – typical of asians single eyelids.)I was most impressed with the beautiful glittery green shade for both the quality and the unique greyish green color. Despite having a rougher texture it had minimal fallout and excellent holding power (makes my eyelid looks like they glow glittery green!) Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with my first Tom Ford experience despite the days I had to starve for it, I’m already saving up for my next TF quad.

    I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t fall in love with this collection but perhaps you should try a few more shades. I heard (from two of the chinese bloggers who purchased the whole line) that cobalt rush seems to have the chalky-est texture and pigmentation out of the 10. Perhaps you should try some of the others colors! My friend who had titanium smoke swore the bottom left color was the best blue-black eyeshadow she ever laid hands on (her original words were “much better than that useless MAC Carbon” lol) and their glitters shades were so awesome I couldn’t help recommending the line to all the beauty junkie friends I know. Anyways, look forward to the future Tom Ford reviews and hopefully you’ll find the quads not so disappointing!

    Keely x

    • Hi Keely,

      I’m glad yours work for you – I have had a completely different experience, unfortunately! The glittery shades are actually the worst offenders – the amount of fall out was unbelievable! I have tried Titanium Smoke, and I didn’t like that one either – sorry again! I’m super glad you are enjoying yours, though. :)

      • I own Titanium Smoke and Cognac Sable because both have pressed glitter. I love glitter shadows and this is adult glitter. I do agree the Cobalt Rush is not something to brag about. There are other brands that does it better. In fact UD shadows are more buttery and applied better.

  11. Quinctia

    I like the look you did–shame about it not wanting to stay on your eye!

  12. Dear Christine,
    Did you think about apply the eyeshadow wearing a primer before?
    For example, Lime Crime helper eyeshadow is great, every eyeshadow keeps perfect with it!
    Kisses for you <3

    • Hi Catuxa,

      I wore this with a primer, without a primer, and I’ve tried it also with an adhesive base (MAC Mixing Medium). I do not use Lime Crime products, unfortunately, but I appreciate the suggestion!

      • Dear Christine,

        I’m sure you will not regret about Lime Crime products. Everything I’ve used I loved!!! And the primer “Eyeshadow helper” is wonderful! My make-up keeps perfect all day long (or all night long) :)

        About Tom Ford quad, it’s a disappointment :(

        Kisses for you from Brazil!!

        • Hi Catuxa,

          We do not work or use Lime Crime products in any way, we do not support them. I’ve been personally attacked by its owner, so it is firsthand knowledge and experience.

  13. sunny

    I have Kat Von D’s palette in metal orchestra which contains several blue colors, that might be dupes for this Tom Ford quad. I really enjoy it, though the shadows are a bit powdery but are extremely pigmented.

    I would recommend it to those who want an palette with a few blues to try!

    • amy

      Or Wet n Wild Blue Had Me At Hello, which actually reminded me of Metal Orchestra. Although the price really isn’t bad in and of itself (I have no problem paying $24 apiece for a NARS single), the quality should be there, or the colors could at least be a little more unique. I’m not a huge fan of blues, but I’m quite sure I could nearly dupe this pallette in terms of color with what I already have.

  14. Ainsley

    A shame, I think the color combo is gorgeous!

  15. Candis

    Lancome has a palette that’s similar to these colours. It’s the Color Design Palette in Midnight Rush 401. I don’t know if it was limited edition or not, but it works way better for $25 less.

  16. Joanna

    it kind of reminds me of kat von d’s metal orchestra

  17. DeniseLuvsKauai

    Why does he put talc in them as the first main ingredient? So cheaply made. I would never drop $75 on his quads. Garbage quality!

  18. I love the colors but wow, so not worth the price. Thank you SO much Christine for the review, you saved me a bundle of cash!

  19. Wow! That is a lot of fallout which is unfortunate. Thanks for the review.

  20. Hilary♥

    Very pretty colors but I’m never ever gonna spend $75 on this.

  21. SamN

    I’d rather spend this kind of money for Clea de peau or Chantecaille.

  22. Maya


  23. Brittany

    Never heard of Tom Ford and even if i did i wouldn’t bother to buy this quad. No way is this worth 75, the colors are pretty and im a huge fan of blue but it doesn’t impress me. I feel like you can get these colors anywhere, either from Mac or the drugstore.

  24. Beth Maiorana

    I was just about to go onto NM’s website to drop a few hundred on TF’s e/s quads since I found out I’m finally cancer free and have been wanting to celebrate … thank God for Christine and her candor and her uncompromising discernment, though. I am not surprised, I suppose. Yes, for seventy five dollars a pop, I want to be sure I’ll be in love with my purchase. Don’t ever change, Christine … xoxo Beth in Pgh 😉

  25. cloudburst

    On a recent trip to Bergdorf I really, really wanted to get one of the eye shadow quads but didn’t find one that knocked it out of the park for me. I ended up with Lovelust and Wicked blushes which I can totally love even at the price point, but I didn’t think I would be able to feel the same about the quads so I never pulled the trigger. At $75.00 I want to feel over-the-moon about my purchase!

    • I agree! I will pay $75 for it–but only if it’s excellent quality. It HAS to be at that price point; there is nothing that could justify not having a high quality product. Sure, maybe you can nitpick here and there – maybe one shade isn’t 100% best of all time, but it should be impressive overall!

    • Semele

      Hello, Ladies. The TF eye shadows look, in person, NOTHING at all as they appear on-line. Even in person, I was not “blown away” by how any of them looked, though they are all quite pretty in the pan. (I have worn Chanel, exclusively, for many, many years and no other brand has ever tempted me to stray away from C — despite so many negative comments from others, here and elsewhere, regarding I quality, color pigmentation, wear, etc.: I simply disagree with such posts and my experience is quite to the contrary.) However, when the TF SA at Neiman’s persisted in “encouraging” me to let her apply “Burnished Amber” on my eye lids — even though my husband awaited me upstairs and I repeatedly told her that I didn’t have time to do so — I reluctantly gave in and obliged her. . .And I was “bolwn away” with the look; I would never choose such colors on my own, just by how they looked in the pan — red/pink shades are usually not attractive on, as they can make one look “tired.” The hands-down selling affirmation was when, over lunch, my husband stated, in the middle of our conversation, “Your eyes look amazing.” That did it for me: On the way out of the store, I stopped back at the TF counter and purchased the quad — I also bought “Silvered Topaz,” solely on the SA’s verbal recommendation that it, too, would be beautiful on me, because she had been so spot-on accurate regarding the beauty of the latter one for me (I have brown/hazel eyes with gold flecks in them; almost-black eyelashes and eyebrows; the palest/fairest-of-fair olive-based 100% Italian skin color; and very long brunette hair with long bangs). I had already acquired TF lipsticks “Scarlet Rouge” and “Cherry Lush,” both of which I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE (another such astonishing affirmation occurred with my husband the first time I wore “Scarlet Rouge”). So I am a fan of TF and I believe that you absolutely MUST try the colors on before you can make any intelligent determinationa about them. Period. The price is expensive but if it makes you look — and feel — like a million bucks, then it is worth it — and a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy!!!

  26. darkforest

    Do you think that if this were let’s say a wet n wild palette you would give it a higher rating bc it would be good quality for that price?

    • No – price has absolutely zero impact on the rating. There are five areas – product (overall quality), pigmentation, longevity, application, and packaging. If a $1 product receives an A that means it is AS good as a $100 product that receives an A. The whole point being that you know your budget and what you can/can’t afford or do/don’t want to spend, so I’m only trying to set expectations and shed some light on how products perform irrespective of price.

  27. Liz Baker Maschmeyer

    First Tom Ford product review I’ve read. I’ll stay away.