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

LE
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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Dupes
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Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color
Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color

Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color
Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color

Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color
Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color

Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color
Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

Saks, $40.

Is it limited edition?

Yes.

Any dupes?

NARS Surabaya is similar but less metallic. Make Up For Ever #14 is slightly darker. Le Metier de Beaute Bordeaux is redder.

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35 thoughts on “Tom Ford Illicit Cream Color Review, Photos, Swatches

  1. Carla Souza

    Chris,
    I can’t see that last 2 pictures :(
    Anyways, what a bummer! For this price, we do expect the product will performe better …

  2. Tom Ford has a cream/gel eyeliner (only in one shade – black with blue reflects) that is one of my favorite products from anyone ever BUT it comes in this same type of packaging and I was really surprised to see that dumb sticker on the top. WORSE still was that the sticker is actually crooked!! This wasn’t even a press sample, I bought that fracker with my own bucks!
     
    I’ve been really interested in these. Haven’t picked any up yet though. I may just skip them ;)

  3. lolliez

    Pretty, but moreso looking forward to your review of the other shades. :)

  4. Katharine

    It’s a pretty shade…too bad that it doesn’t perform well for the price.

  5. mdudani

    I wanted to tell you I really love Tom Ford Lovelust and Flush blusher. Bought them after your review, and love them so much. They were worth their money. I hope you review Ravage and Frantic Pink soon.
     
    Thanks
    Meena.

  6. xamyx

    Pretty color, but like you said, not worth the price tag. As for the sticker on the “bottom”, I’ve been reading alot lately that cream shadows, gel liners, and the like should be stored “upside-down”, so maybe the the top is actually the bottom?

    •  @xamyx The retail packaging has a sticker on the cap that says TF – the logo – and it’s really just a sticker. It’s not actually printed on the cap!  I’m not referring to the bottom of the jar :)

    •  @xamyx This one we should store on it’s edge so it goes rolling out the door! Uh huh.!!!

      • artemis

         @wwendalynne lol :)))

      • Mariella

         @wwendalynne At 40 bucks a pop (probably 50 or 60 here in the Great White North!), that’s an expensive “roll”.  Better to leave it in the store!  So thankful that Christine reviews this stuff for us!

        •  @Mariella I’m in Canada as well, Mariella ;)..  In order for me to get TF cosmetics, I end up paying a premium on an already premium brand and jumping through hoops to get my hot little hands on things..  So, absolutely, it’s great that Christine reviews these items.  She’s the one who turned me onto TF blushes which I think are worth that extra $ and effort.  This on the other hand… not so much.  That being said, I do have this in the platinum colour which I use practically every day as a base.  I don’t know what is so amazing about it exactly, but the colour is perfect with my skin and it hits just the right amount of sparkle without being over-the-top :).  

  7. Yeah, this one is a definite pass for me. There is NO way I’m paying $40 for a cream shadow if it’s anything less than amazing. Bobbi Brown makes some of the best cream shadows around–and they actually stay put on my oily lids! I’ll just stick with that :)

  8. Soooo glad I didn’t buy this colour.  The platinum on the other hand..I wear it very sparingly practically every day as a base and lurve it.  I also bought spice, and the wear on it is more in line with platinum.   The Illicit is most unacceptable at this price point.  Boo Hiss!

  9. Joni

    I’m sorry but it looks like glittery poop.

  10. Quinctia

    I still don’t get the appeal of Tom Ford.  It’s just not exciting me at all.  It’s not the price point, I have a couple Guerlain lippies now and god knows how much I’ve spent collectively on Urban Decay, but…I dunno.
     
    Shame about the sticker on the lid thing, though.  I’ve got better packaged drugstore items.  You know, like that L’oreal Infallible you just reviewed? Haha.

  11. Veronica

    Ah, that’s a shame it’s not worth the price.  It would look gorgeous on people with brown eyes!
     
    AND SPEAKING OF CREAM SHADOWS (~digression~), would anybody here have a brush they’d recommend for Chanel’s Illusion d’Ombre shadows?  I was considering buying the MAC 242 for it, but I’m curious if anybody here would suggest something better.

    • becca

      I use the eyeshadow brushes from the Real Techniques starter set. They work very well with any mousse or cream type of shadow.

  12. artemis

    pretty nice pigmentation and all but yeah…the shade is a lil funny :D

  13. Mariella

    The formulation sounds weird….the fact that it stays wet and will transfer to your finger long after it’s applied. That just has no appeal at all for me.

  14. Liz Inturrisi

    hey chris, when will you be reviewing heavenly creatures? im waiting to place an order.. i really want the MSF tho!

  15. I’ll say the same thing I sad about some of MAC’s recent collections: I can’t believe some of this stuff is getting past production, and at this price point, too! Pretty incredible. Who at Tom Ford thought that sticker label would be appreciated by people who are shelling out $40 for eyeshadow? Tacky.

  16. ElleEss

    The sticker issue puts me off as much as the poor wearability of the shadow. For under $10 I can deal with a sticker, but on Tom Ford that’s a huge no-no and I’m surprised they someone even let it be produced that way. What would you do of your Chanel D’Ombre had a sticker C’s on top? I understand not every product in a line can be a smash hit, but to be such a disappointment for $40? Try again please.

  17. Brittany

    I looked this up because I saw pixiwoo use this product in one of their videos and it looked gorgeous! I was willing to shell out $40 just to get my hands on something I know would look fantastic on my eyes. To see this review of it makes me so sad :(

  18. fireflies

    Would you say laura mercier burnished copper is the same in colour, texture and wearability?