Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

This post wraps up all of the Tom Ford Brushes I’ve tested for the past several months. Generally, they’re well-made, high quality tools that likely won’t disappoint you–except if you already have high-end, well-loved tools. The handles are exceptionally well balanced and nice to hold, while the brushes are soft, durable, and easy to wash. I worried that the white bristles would really stain over time, but they’ve held up quite nicely since I’ve been using them. I can’t weigh on the Eyeshadow Contour, Shadow/Concealer, Foundation, Smokey Eye, Shade & Illuminate, or Lip Brush, as I don’t have those. My favorites have been Tom Ford’s Cheek, Cream Foundation, and Eyeshadow Blend Brushes.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush ($55.00) is large, lightly fluffed-up, eyeshadow brush with a flatter, wider shape that is dome-shaped at the top. The brush head is 15mm in length, 14mm in width, and 6mm in thickness. It has a pinched, gold metal ferrule, and a total brush length of 6.75 inches or 17 centimeters. The handle is etched with the brand’s logo and the brush’s number in gold foil at the end of the handle, and the very tip of the handle is flat.

The brush head is soft, not too densely packed, and just fluffy enough to allow for blending and diffusing of color in addition to being able to pack it on. I expect that this is a brush that is less universally applicable, because it is a larger brush, so if you have more eyelid space or you tend to wear one or two eyeshadows at a time, you may find it handy. If you have smaller eyes or you tend to work more precisely, it is not a must-have. It is similar to the MAC 252 ($32), which less fluffy, not as soft, and not as dome-shaped, but the overall size and shape are definitely similar–it is made out of synthetic fibers. shu uemura #10 ($68) is smaller, narrower, flatter. OCC Large Shader Brush ($22) is quite similar and made out of synthetic bristles. For this type of size and shape, I like to apply cream eyeshadows, pat powder over under eye concealer, or pat a powder eyeshadow all over the lid.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush ($55.00) is a long, narrowed brush with a rounded, domed edge that fits well into the crease. It’s not so long that it becomes floppy, and it’s wide enough to blend as well as deposit color. It also has good resistance, so it doesn’t splay easily. The brush head is 17mm in height, 9mm in width, and 9mm in thickness. It has a rounded, open gold metal ferrule, and a total brush length of just over 6.75 inches or 17 centimeters. The handle is round, not too thick or too thin, and flattens at the bottom.

This was definitely one of my very favorite brushes from Tom Ford, because it’s well-made, works well for its purpose, and is a shape and size that I would often reach for. It’s soft and never scratchy, and it lays down color well into the crease as well as blends and diffuses it above and below the crease as you want. Hakuhodo J142 ($18) is very similar, just slightly narrower–but at a third of the price, I would get three of these instead; unless, of course, you’re sold on the Tom Ford aesthetic! MAC 222 ($28, discontinued) has a more flared shape, so it doesn’t come to a point. MAC 226 ($24.50, limited edition) is smaller and shorter; there is also some variance in how these were made, so some are rather pointed and others are more dome-shaped. OCC Tapered Blending Brush ($22) is smaller but similar in shape. Sephora PRO Crease (10) ($20) is fluffier and wider. NARS Large Dome Brush (13) ($33) is more rounded at the edge with more flare. Make Up For Ever #242 Large Blender is less tapered, longer. Urban Decay Crease Brush is less tapered.

Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush ($50.00) is a tiny, squat brush with a rounded edge. The brush head is 4mm in length, 6mm in width, and 2mm in thickness. It has a pinched, gold metal ferrule, and a total brush length of 6.25 inches or just under 16 centimeters. The handle is well-balanced, rounded, and the handle end is flat.

It can be used for apply eyeshadow very, very precisely, but it worked best (for me) for smudging eyeliner, applying cream/gel eyeliner, applying eyeshadow along the lash line, and cleaning up any mascara smudges. The bristles are soft, but it’s a thin, firm, brush, so if you use too much pressure, you’ll feel the edge somewhat. Hakuhodo G5513 ($16) is longer and has a straighter edge. MAC 228 is also longer and fluffier. Make Up For Ever #208 Small Precision Shader Brush ($22) is slightly longer, but it is very similar–except it is not as firm or stiff, so it’s not as precise or as easy to control for applying cream or gel eyeliner.

The Glossover

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Eyeshadow (11) Brush

I expect that this is a brush that is less universally applicable, because it is a larger brush, so if you have more eyelid space or you tend to wear one or two eyeshadows at a time, you may find it handy. If you have smaller eyes or you tend to work more precisely, it is not a must-have.

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Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush

This was definitely one of my very favorite brushes from Tom Ford, because it's well-made, works well for its purpose, and is a shape and size that I would often reach for. It's soft and never scratchy, and it lays down color well into the crease as well as blends and diffuses it above and below the crease as you want.

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Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush

It can be used for apply eyeshadow very, very precisely, but it worked best (for me) for smudging eyeliner, applying cream/gel eyeliner, applying eyeshadow along the lash line, and cleaning up any mascara smudges. The bristles are soft, but it's a thin, firm, brush, so if you use too much pressure, you'll feel the edge somewhat.

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See more photos & swatches!

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Blend (13) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush

Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush
Tom Ford Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brush

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9 thoughts on “Tom Ford Eyeshadow (11), Eyeshadow Blend (13), and Eyeliner & Definer (15) Brushes Reviews, Photos, Swatches

  1. I want that number 13 brush so so so bad!!!!!!

  2. Pricey, but that is just Tom Ford for ya. The brushes look great.

  3. Eileen

    I have a large moveable lid area as well as a large browbone area so I tend to favor brushes like the #11. It’s great at laying done a smooth and even layer of color and then blending it to perfection. I also like smooth transitions of color and the #13 is perfect for blending color and softening edges without muddying the appearance of the shadows. As you noted, it is a real workhorse; the type of brush you reach for constantly. Consequently, I have two of the #11 and two of the #13. I also recently picked up a #15 which I use for smudging eyeliner. All the brushes are typical Hakuhodo quality. The hairs have not been cut into shape which accounts for the softness as does the use of a superior quality of goat hair. Between the quality of the brush heads and the weight and balance of the brushes themselves, these investment pieces are simply outstanding. I bought my TF brushes when Saks had a special on-line promotion going so I was able to get a bit off the price :-)

  4. Wow I really like that blending brush!!

  5. stacey

    I have the eyeliner and definer brush #15. Yep, it is super-expensive to buy something so tiny, There is nothing like it. Those smudge brushes are much larger in width. The MAC ones and other brands are not the same. When this brush came out, I looked and looked and looked…for a comparable one at a lower price. Could not find one…that was of quality. So I purchased it…along with other Tom Ford brushes…because I knew soon, Estee Lauder was going to raise the prices. Several months later…sure enough, it did.

  6. A wonderful friend sent me the #13 and the eye contour brush as a gift a couple of years ago. That was how I found out that there really can be differences in the brushes that you use. Both are now staples of my beauty routine, which I use almost every day.

  7. Avatar of Patricia patsyann

    Although I am a committed Hakohudo user, I am lemming that # 13. I have small eyes and small areas of a hooded, droopy lid to color, and I think this brush would work well for me when I just want a subtle wash of sheer color over the lid and beyond, Great review, thank you, Christine.