Monday, December 5, 2011

Tom Ford Beauty: Wicked and Love Lust Cheek Color Review and Swatches

"Makeup is the most potent way for a woman to transform herself. It is how she achieves true glamour and makes a fashion statement with her face." - Tom Ford

Do you love Tom Ford? Because I do. Ever since the mid 90's when Tom took over as creative director at Gucci he's had my attention. I loved the skinny hipster pants, slinky jersey dresses with cutouts and the Gucci logo g-string swimsuits. But what frequently caught my eye at Gucci (besides the logo g-strings!) was the makeup he sent down the runway. I remember one look he did with Pat McGrath where she had painted the models eyelids liquid gold and contoured their creases with a bit of brown shadow - gorgeous, sexy, bold and very inspiring!

Fast forward almost twenty years later and Mr. Ford finally has a full range of luxury cosmetics to add to his empire of fragrances (I wear Black Orchid). On a recent trip to NYC I made a point of visiting Bergdorf Goodman to check out the brand new high end line which had launched that very week.

First before I get into the actual product review I want to say something about Tom Ford is expensive. Very, very expensive. Anything in the Ford brand empire is to be considered a luxury item, and the makeup line is no exception. Eye shadow quads retail for $78.00, blushes $55.00 and lipstick $48.00 (all prices US). That being said the first night Tom Ford Beauty launched at BG they sold $52,000 worth of product. Think about it.

Tom Ford Cheek Color in Wicked and Love Lust

My original plan was to pick up the eye shadow quad Sahara Haze, however when I got to the tiny counter (which was continuously, and annoyingly mobbed by customers) I started to waffle. I'll admit the price made me waffle, and not because I wouldn't spend $78.00 US on an eye shadow quad I loved, but because I wasn't 100% sure I loved it. Sahara Haze is pretty, don't get me wrong, but a few of the shades were sheer and I wanted my Tom Ford Beauty experience to be perfect like Mr. Ford himself.

Tom Ford Cheek Color in Wicked and Love Lust

After much, much waffling over the eye shadow quads I turned my attention to the Cheek Colors, and that was love. I picked up Wicked, a cool, bright pink with a pink sheen and Love Lust, a pinky coral with a golden sheen. The Cheek Colors are very finely milled and have very strong pigmentation but are sheer. 

How can a product be simultaneously sheer and pigmented you ask? Well through very fine milling of pigments you can get a product that deposits a lot of color without opacity. I actually think this is the strongest point of the blushes, it helps them look very natural, like the color is coming out of the skin and not sitting on top of it. The blushes also have an incredible sheen which naturally highlights bone structure without having to add a highlighter or making you look like a glitter bomb.

The texture is smooth but quite powdery, and they tend to kick up a lot of product when you use them, so I recommend patting the surface with a brush to minimize the loss of product. This is the only aspect of the blushes I am not in love with as when you use them, they tend to spread blush dust everywhere. However, and most importantly, they do not look powdery on the skin. Please note that these look significantly better in real life than they do in the photos.

Wicked and Love Lust (top no flash, bottom with flash), NC 40

The packaging for the Tom Ford line is sleek with a dark, glossy burgundy brown case with a gold monogrammed clasp on the end. One unique aspect of the packaging is the way in which the compacts open. Unlike most compacts, these do not have a button to depress. You simply pull the top half up. 

So here's the million dollar/$55.00 question: are they worth the price? In terms of quality and performance I would say yes. Wicked and Love Lust are unlike any other blushes I own and I own at least 30 blushes from numerous brands both high end and low. Does this mean I think everyone needs to go out and buy these? No. Obviously this is the type of purchase you make when you want and are willing to pay for a luxury item. If you do decide to splurge though, I think you will find that these blushes will become ones you reach for again and again.