I came to Tom Ford for the color — blush, eyeshadow quads, and the new lipglosses to complement his already-available lipsticks (previously swatched here) — but I was surprised and intrigued by a number of non-color items. These are things I want to play with more, so I thought I’d mention them (in case you find yourself at the counter today).
Sales associates described the Tom Ford line as an unabashed return to glamour, a willingness to embrace the “full face of makeup.” Yet the brand also puts an emphasis on radiance and modernity, which is best captured in two products: the Illuminating Protective Primer SPF 12 and the Illuminating Translucent Powder.
The Illuminating Protective Primer is a silicone-free primer/moisturizer with micro-pulverized pearls for a luminous glow that’s neither white nor pink nor sparkly. It comes in the world’s niftiest bottle: the cap twists to hide/reveal the pump, which strikes me as super travel-friendly.
I am so curious about the Illuminating Translucent Powder. It’s a powder that’s not a powder — a finishing powder that stays luminous, and doesn’t get heavy or cakey or powdery. A makeup artist said it’s perfect for someone who doesn’t want that matted-down powder finish, but it helps set everything, and provides the perfect base for smoothly blending your powder blush.
I am not really a foundation person. I’ll skip wearing it when I can, and foundation is never the first product I check out from a line. Tom Ford has two foundation formulas, and they took me by surprise. The liquid foundation (Traceless Foundation SPF 15) is so fluid it feels like skincare. It felt like it was actually absorbing as Russ put it on me.
The stick foundation (Traceless Foundation Stick) doubles as concealer. It contains no SPF, and is ideally applied with a dense, paddle-shaped brush that’s a cross between a MAC 109 (density and size) and a MAC 129 (head shape) — the third from the left in the photo below. Rather than apply stick-to-face, the makeup artists apply brush-to-stick, then buff the product on.
Mr. Ford himself wears the stick foundation (shade 5 Natural), and the male sales associates at the counter brought up a point I’d never thought of: not only do men have a lower tolerance for looking like they’re wearing makeup, they also need something that can buff/blend seamlessly over facial hair (or stubble). The two bearded men working at this counter swore the formula of the foundation and the brush designed to apply it were perfectly suited to the challenge.
The brand also puts a lot of emphasis on contouring, and the architecture of the face, and the last product I want to mention now — one of their signature products — is a cream-compact Shade & Illuminate duo.
Like the stick foundation, the Shade & Illuminate duo is sold alongside a specially designed brush: a dense, flat shader (like a MAC 227 or a big 239; fifth from the left in the photo). You’re meant to sweep the brush through the dark shade (just one side of the brush), then paint a line under your cheekbone and blend. Then flip the brush over and run the clean side through the highlighting shade. Sweep over the top of your cheekbone and blend. Because this is a cream product, it can be blended out to work on a variety of skintones.
Whether you’re a Tom Ford devotee or you just want to be the first to check out the latest makeup line to come to town, the party is tonight from 5 – 7 pm. I hope to see you there!