Rant & Rave: Tom Ford

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Tom Ford

Rave: When the products are good, they can reach exceptional status. Rant: The brand has released less consistent offerings over the last year or so, and this has resulted in less enthusiasm for new products as I’m never sure how they’re going to pan out.

— Christine

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32 Comments

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I don’t really have a true rave because I don’t own any Tom Ford products. The reason is because he once said something in an interview that made me associate him with unhygienic dirtiness. I don’t want to get into the details because it’s kind of silly and really doesn’t matter. The point is that I can’t think of Tom Ford without thinking unbathed and stinky. (And yes, I absolutely do realize that this is totally illogical, but my brain just can’t get past it.)

All that aside, judging from reviews I’ve seen here on Temptalia, it looks like his recent products have been very hit-or-miss, which is unacceptable for a brand as expensive as Tom Ford.

I know exactly the quote you’re talking about!! You’re not the only one who feels that way- there’s a beauty writer named Jean Godfrey-June who can’t wear his perfumes because of that quote!

Rave: When TF gets it right, the product will be legendary and inimitable. Think of Nude Dip and Honeymoon e/s palettes, the OG blush formula that got axed, many of the core lipsticks, the eye duos, and of course, his fragrances! I’m personally addicted to Black Orchid and Soleil Blanc. Oh, and rumor has it that he has one of the best, if not the best, eyeliner pens on the market!

Rant: Oh boy…. inconsistent products galore with all his newer launches. Just *WHY*, Major Tom? When I buy one of your products, I want what I’m going to pay for, with no worries over whether will it be great or will it be crap. I’m not paying for your name. But, for the lux experience. All brands are expendible. Even yours. Please remember that.

^^^^ What you said, Nancy!!! Maybe we should embroider a sampler with this message and sent it to Tom (or maybe it’s Estee Lauder’s fault though I would imagine he still has some sort of input???) so he can put it on his wall and read it every day!

The thing is, I don’t think the company really cares. People are still willing to pay his prices and purchase even the poorer quality products so they’re laughing all the way to the proverbial bank. And I guess that is what irks me….that these companies (TF isn’t the only one) have the labs and resources and R&D people to create good products but it’s almost like “why bother since people will buy it with the TF name”. And that is what I find really annoying.

That’s the sad truth, Mariella. There will always be those who will buy his stuff just because it says “Tom Ford” on it. And as you said, he’s not the only huckster out here.

I agree whole heartedly, Nancy. I must be the only person in the whole universe who didn’t love The Honeymoon palette. I look at it sitting in my small palette drawer and all I see is regret that I spent that much money on something that was so mediocre. It just doesn’t work for me and believe me, I have tried to make it work.

Mostly rant for me – the prices are beyond ridiculous (though plenty of people seem willing to pay them) and the quality doesn’t live up to the high price tag much of the time. I’m always able to find dupes that are just as good, if not better, at more reasonable prices.

That’s the other part of the equation. Most of it is dupable. Which is why I’ve only bought Stavros (actually, my husband got it for me as a stocking stuffer) and Powertrip Lip Spark, because they were much more hard to dupe than his other shades.

Ever since Estee Lauder acquired Tom Ford, By Killian, etc., they have used lower quality products because that is not part of their business model. The nicheness of these luxury brands, which were based on the utmost quality, has been lowered, and it shows in the releases of a majority of the products, including perfume, over the past 2-3 years.

Totally agree. I was one of his first customers when only Neiman Marcus had him. I would haunt the internet looking for each new release. He has steadily gone down hill for the past 3 years now. The whole Spark fiasco here was the final straw. Nordstrom San Diego hasn’t had reps since mid-February. I pay for quality & luxury and can’t help but feel the takeover by Lauder was the downfall. Have very fair, very sensitive skin and have no intention of even looking at new skincare line he is supposedly working on.

Inaccurate. Tom Ford Beauty was always a subsidiary of Estée Lauder. That’s how he launched his own brand after his departure from Gucci in 2004.

Rant: Too expensive for the quality. A lot of hype for little performance. I have been burnt a couple of times by TF and am reluctant to buy now for that reason. I like some of his lipstick formula’s but they sell out fast and are really expensive to buy in secondary markets. Don’t care for his eye shadow formula as they seem to either be not blended or blend into mud. In particular, I really don’t like his shimmer shadows as nothing keeps the shimmer/glitter where it belongs. Only thing I would like to try is his mascara but at the price I don’t think I will. The one product that I associate with Tom Ford and think I would like to try is one of his bronzer’s. I don’t use a lot of bronzer though because I have yet to find one that I really like. It is a catch 22 situation because I might really like his bronzer’s but don’t want to be burned again. I can’t swatch Tom Ford anywhere near me so only when I am in Seattle. That is another huge drawback for me.

I only own three TF products: Lips & Boys mini in Stavros, Lip Spark in Powertrip, and Black Orchid fragrance. I adore all three, with Black Orchid becoming my favorite fragrance I own.

RANTS: His stuff is expensive. Sometimes the makeup quality is not up where it should be for this price tier, if I’m going by reviews. For myself, the Lip Sparks were a real disappointment. I love Powertrip to death, but all of the Sparks looked gorgeous in the tube, yet so many were duds in practice.

RAVES: His lipsticks are usually wonderful. I love the looks of a lot of his quads. His fragrances are unbelievably awesome, and I need more. lol

Just 3 here too, Rachel. Mostly for the reasons you mentioned. Expensive as all get out and inconsistent quality. I have one full size lipstick in Seadragon, a Lips & Boys lipstick in Derek, and also Black Orchid perfume, a ride or die fragrance for me now!

Hate the marketing, hate the prices, hate the inconsistency of the cosmetics.

I enjoy a few of the perfumes, but that’s it.

I have one TF product: the smaller version of the Giacomo lipstick, purchased during the Sephora sale last fall. Yes, it’s a beautiful shade, got an A+ from Christine, but for me, it’s not worth the full price.

My rant and the reason I haven’t purchased more TF products: prohibitive prices for consumable items. It doesn’t matter that I can afford his makeup products. As a matter of principle, I refuse to pay such a high price for a product that gets used up, has a very limited lifespan and is not even a skincare treatment with real benefits. Finely milled powders, beautiful shades, are not unique to Tom Ford. Not even an A+ justifies his makeup prices, imo. And the luxurious packaging is just plastic after all, of which we have more than enough on this planet.

Honestly? Not a brand I’ve ever been wanting to try and I don’t get excited about it. The only individuals I ever hear talk about it are Youtubers (not friends and not family) and they don’t carry it in the stores near me at this time. None of the products call out to me enough to stray from current brands I love PLUS the price is definitely up there. If I got a sample product from TF I’d try it, and if I loved it I’d pay the price if I felt it was worth it… but I’m not interested enough to go seek out samples myself.

Rave: Used to love the esthetic & color story of TF.
Rant: Color story seems repetitive, quality is hit or miss. What really ended TF for me was the recent release of cream eyeshadows that were just MAC paint pots at an exorbitant price.

Raves: I liked the initial luxury of the Tom Ford brand. It evoked high end, classy, elegant, sophisticated. I bought an item here and there. And yes, I found a Black Orchid fragrance at Costco for $60. Bought some of the lipstick minis, a couple of full size lipsticks, a perfume that is now discontinued, the bronzer, a bit here and there. Have bought a couple of smaller sized scents to try out, along with a couple of body sprays. $107 for a 4 eyeshadow palette is a tad high for me (Canadian dollars);

Rants: The yearly July price increases. Not a couple of dollars here and there. Significant increases. The average 50 ml scent is now $290 CAD. The newer ones are $400. The 10 ml travel sizes are now $75.

I have chatted with the local sales associate at my Holt Renfrew. I was intimidated by him for a bit but once I started talking to him, things changed. We’ve discussed the brand, the hit and miss quality, the luxe appeal. I would like to buy one of the signature fragrances, but I don’t know which one I want. Been trying a few of the 10 ml sizes so it’s not a huge investment for me. People at work can and do fake fragrance allergies. The small trial sizes were $62 a few weeks ago Unless a lipstick is fabulous, I refuse to pay $70-80 CAD for one single full size lipstick. Tom Ford name brand or not, that is outrageous. I like nice things and nice packaging, but I still want quality. And it’s not there regularly.

Rave: The brand can come out with some innovative colours and combinations that are dazzling.
Rant: Their LE products are so LE that no-one can buy them and they rarely add them to their permanent list (think The Emerald Lust palette from years ago). Their products are also very expensive and of late, have been very inconsistent in quality.

Rant: The prices are a real problem, and I only buy from this brand when there is a big discount. I’ve never gotten any of his mixed blush and shadow palettes and the last eye palette I got was Lilac Dream at a CCO. His cream shadows are always too warm for me as are most of his palettes. His last Lavender palette this past year I got at the Sephora sale and had to return because it was poor qualitiy. I had gotten some of the first Lips and Boys and still use them.
Rave: That being said, some products are just great quality as staples and seem to last forever. I get them when there are sales and discounts. In this category are the Deeper eyeliner, the Brow liner product (it stays indelible and it seems I’ve been using it daily for years.) I have two of his original blushes in Frantic Pink and Wicked– fantastic shades and formula. And based on Christine’s suggestion, I tried his mascara at Sephora this week, loved it, and sprung for it at the Nordy sale. Buying two and getting three at the same price as I’d pay for 3 Le Volumes? Yes please.

Rant: recent releases have often been uninspired and derivative at best, terrible quality money grabs at worst. Let’s go back to the days of fewer and more special items!

Rave: at its best, the brand has lovely design, special formulas, and weighty packaging. Each item used to be a little jewel — a treat for the eyes and a joy to use. The newest quads seem to harken back to that feel. I’m hoping someone with the power to change things is paying attention and turning the ship back around.

When I got back into makeup TF was the first brand that really made my heart sing. I feel that way every time I use some of my favorites.

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