Tom Ford

Coming Soon!

January 17, 2014

 

1. Nars Final Cut Blush New Attitude – My heart skipped a few beats when I saw the preview of  Nars Final Cut Collection – it’s all about Pink! After playing with the testers for some time, I ended up with these two items. Check out the swatches of the entire Final Cut collection on The Make-Up Blogette. Nordstrom has a tutorial video on this collection.

2. Nars Final Cut Skin Illuminator Adelaide

3. Suqqu Concealer 01 – I heard so many good things about the white concealer as a highlighter!

4. Suratt Automatique Lip Crayon POC – A new makeup brand only available at Barneys. This is my first product from this line as I always have faith in the quality of the beauty products from Barneys. Check out reviews and swatches on Wondegondigo. Have you tried anything from Suratt? I would love to hear your thoughts :-)

5. Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer 520 – I rushed to the store and got these beautiful glosses after I read the review on The Beauty Look Book!

6. Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer 522

7. Tom Ford Lip Color Indian Rose – I bought thes lipstick with the gloss because the combo looked so beautiful on the gorgeous Tom Ford SA.

8. Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss Sahara Pink

 

Deal Alert! Neiman Marcus is currently offering $50 off any $200 purchase with promo code JAN50 and free shipping to Australia which I think is pretty fantastic (offer ends this Friday)! So I got myself this one…Yay!

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After my success with the Suqqu Cream Foundation, I have been exploring the beauty of cream foundations of different brands and I am absolutely loving the result! So naturally I started looking for a brush that is designed especially for cream foundation application, and the Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush was on top of my wish list. Tom Ford makeup brushes have won a lot of raves amongst the bloggers, and I have waited a long time before delving into this hype as I knew I would be addicted to them. And I was right – the brush is ultra luxurious and functional which makes me want to collect the rest of the collection, but they will seriously burn a hole in your wallet!

tom-ford-cream-foundation-brush-review-1The design has a round and fat brush head, and it is extremely densely packed. The hair is ultra soft which feels to me like the finest goat hair so it has some degree of resistance in it. Perhaps that is why they recommend this brush for cream foundation as it has more ‘strength’ to blend thicker and creamier product into your skin than a conventional flat head foundation brush. Having said that, I have tried this brush with a runny liquid foundation, and it works just as good. So please note that it is not restricted to cream products only.

Why should you get it?

The brush feels unlike any other foundation brushes I have used. It feels ‘cushiony’, meaning I can barely feel there is any hair against my skin – it almost feels like I am applying foundation with a piece of marshmallow on a handle!  It’s soft, bouncy and dense. and it gives a completely streak free result. I don’t have problem working around the corners with this brush, but you might need a small brush for more precision work.

Other similar brushes:

Tom Ford brushes are made in Japan. As you all know, the Japanese excel in making brushes, and here are some relatively cheaper Japanese brushes that are comparable to TF:

- Shu Uemura Natural 18 Goat Brush: It retails for around the same price in Australia so I opted for TF. The hairs are equally soft but less dense.

- RMK Foundation Brush: RMK is also known for this brush which I have yet to try, but I have heard good reviews about it.

- Chikuhoko GS10 Foundation Brush

Bottom Line: I probably won’t suggest this brush as your first foundation brush because of the high price tag. But if you are looking into expanding your collection, this is the one to invest. It brings a totally different experience in foundation application.  I know it’s expensive, but good brushes will last you for a very long time.  I bought mine from David Jones for AUD$108, and you can get this brush here in the US.

On a side note, I have been asked by many of my readers where do I store my brushes. I store my favourite (expensive) brushes in a roller as I like to keep them dust free, and lie them flat so the bristles don’t change it shape over time! For my other brushes I normally place them in my Anna Sui brush holders and leave them on my vanity table for easy access.

Tip: If you are after a brush roller, make sure it is made of non-stick fabric such as canvas, cotton or nylon. Though leather or faux leather look better, they tend to get sticky in hot weather and might scratch the paint/writing off the handles.

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I recently splurged on the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Intensity One. Makeup products designed for contouring is never really an area where I like to splurge on, but as my obsession grows I have decided to try out some of the best products in the market. What drew me in with this product is that it is a duet of highlighter and shading cream.

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The packaging is exactly the same as their eye shadow quad. I have this in Intesntiy 01 which is a good match for my skin tone (NC15-20).

I generally prefer a fluid or cream based product for contouring over powder form. They blend into the skin seamlessly so it makes the result appear more natural (like your own shadow). In the old days I would normally use a darker foundation for contouring for a very subtle result. Compared to my old method, the contouring cream shade is much more pigmented and intense so it’s easier to use but I have to be very light-handed.  A little bit of the product goes a long way and the color applies and blends evenly without too much effort! This is what I love most about this product as many contouring products can look uneven, patchy and bruisey on the face.  The texture is also perfect- creamy enough to blend the product into skin seamlessly  but not so slippery so it allows for a precise application for sculpturing and defining the face.

The cream highlighting shade feels like a solid clear cream gloss. Compared to the contouring shade, this texture is much more emollient and is super sheer. It can feel a little tacky on the skin if too much product is applied.  On the face it gives this soft, translucent and wet-like glow that is often seen on the backstage models. It also makes the applied areas look more moist and dewy – dab this product on the apple of the cheeks makes you look instantly younger and fresher . On the downside, this cream highlighter only lasts for a mere of 1-2 hours if applied alone. If I apply another product over it, it defeats the purpose of using this for a natural and dewy glow. For that reason I would probably only use this highlighter for taking pictures as it photographs extremely well.

Tom-Ford-Shade-Illuminate-Intensity-One-swatchI bought mine at DavidJones for AUD$98. The Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate can be purchased here in the US, or here with international shipping and VAT deduction available. A contouring tutorial using this product can be found here.

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I find contouring is particularly challenging for everyday makeup. I have tried different ways of contouring my face over the years, and I have finally figured out a way that enhances my typical Asian bone structure. The reason I said that is because if you are an Asian like me – you would probably realize by now that there are a lot of makeup tricks that work on other races but do not work on Asians/Orientals. That’s because our bone structure, facial features and skin tone are completely different to that of Caucasians, so one solution does not fit all..

To make contouring work, you really need to study your face and this exercise is more important than the amount of tutorials you watch/read. I have made a few generalization of standard Asian features which might apply to some of you.

Cheekbones: Asians generally have a bigger, flatter and wider face (sad but true…) Contouring cheekbones is never a mainstream makeup application as the highest point of our cheekbones is already over the nose bridge. Hands up how many times you have given up a pair of sunnies because it is sitting on your cheekbones rather than on your nose bridge?! Whereas for the Caucasians it is the other way around. The placement of our cheekbone is slightly different too. They are normally more prominent (slightly protruding) on the side of the face (below the temple areas), whereas Caucasians’ cheekbones are more prominent to the front.

Jaw: The gold standard of Asian beauty is that we don’t want chiseled jaws. We want a v-shaped face!

Nose: Kindergarten knowledge! Asian noses are much flatter, lacking of a prominent nose bridge, with a rounder or wider nose tip.

So based on the above ‘general Asian features’, I have put together this contouring tutorial.

STEP 1:

Cheekbones: Apply the contouring product starting from the hollow of the cheekbones all the way up to the temples. More product is applied on the side of the cheekbone for a slimmer face effect.

Nose: Apply the contouring product starting from where your eyebrow begins to fake a v-shape for the nose bridge. Bring it all the way down to the bottom of the nose for a more refined nose tip. I also applied a bit of product along the nostrils for a slimmer nose effect.

Jaws: Apply the contouring product starting from the side of your chin up to the cheekbone. More product is applied to the side of the jaws.

contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step1contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step2

STEP 2:

Blend, blend and blend. I find that a good blending brush really makes a big difference to the result. Start light-handed, and do not apply too much contouring product in the first place. Start blending within a small area then blend the residual product outward – that way it gives a natural looking gradient of shading.

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STEP 3:

How much to blend is really your personal perference. I wish my face was that small (see pic)! I just blend the contouring shade to cover the areas covered under my hands.

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Final Result:

contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step5Added cream blush to the apple of the cheeks

contouring-tutorial-for-asians-frb-step6BEFORE AND AFTER

Left: With foundation only – my face is looking flat without contouring and highlighting applied.

Right: Final look.

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Products Used: Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Intensity One, with Giorgio Armani Blender brush. Reviews coming soon!

 

 

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Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lipstick Black Orchid is the one and only vampy lipstick that I have bought this season. It is a very bold and daring deep wine color with the most intense pigmentation – it’s one of those dramatic shades that gives you an attitude and a ‘bad-girl’ look, and makes you feel powerful!

Tom-Ford-Private-Blend-Lipstick-Black-Orchid-1I have expressed how I feel about Tom Ford’s lipsticks in my previous post, so I won’t repeat that again here. In short every inch of Tom Ford lipstick is totally luxurious and I just absolutely love them. From packaging to the most fashion-forward color selection, I cannot pick a single fault. I love the texture with most of the shades that I have tried, but I have some issues with this particular shade.

Black Orchid gives a satiny finish.  The texture feels the same as the others and it still glides on ultra smooth. Unfortunately it enhances every single dry patch/skin on my lips which I was not even aware of, so the finish looked very uneven on my lips. You may not be able to see this in my FOTD, but that’s because I had spent a great deal of time to make it work with a lip brush by applying a thin layer over and over until it looked reasonably even.  This lipstick will not work for me if it is directly applied from the tube. However, to be fair, I have experienced the same issue with vampy lipsticks of other high-end brands as well. The highly raved Chanel and YSL also added more dry lines to my lips than I thought.

In this FOTD, I am wearing the Tom Ford Black Orchid in full opaque layer. I probably applied 5 thins layers of it and I blotted my lips between each application. I am also wearing it as a blush (as suggested by Claire – check out her awesome blog here!) I applied the color on the back of my hand and mixed it with Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè so it turned into a cream blush. It goes on pink with a plummy undertone, and the Embryolisse Cream gives a lovely dewy finish.

Tom-Ford-Private-Blend-Lipstick-Black-Orchid-fotd-1Tom-Ford-Private-Blend-Lipstick-Black-Orchid-fotd-2

If you don’t feel comfortable wearing such a bold shade out (including me…), you can wear it as a lip stain. I have a FOTD showing this, and I paired it with a clear lip gloss to take away the dryness.

I bought mine at David Jones for a record high of AUD$65. It is available in the US here and here. Good news to the fellow Aussies – international delivery of Tom Ford makeup is now available at Harrods with 10% VAT deduction off the retail price.

 

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As promised, this is a FOTD post wearing the Chanel Quadra Eye Shadow HARMONIE DU SOIR from the 2012 Holiday Collection. This quad is beyond my expectations, as I have to admit I thought the overall mulberry tone of this quad could be a little tricky to pull off for someone like me who is used to the earthy neutral shades. And to my pleasant surprise, Harmonie Du Soir is just simply stunning and easy to wear. The four shades look complementary when blended on the lid (for swatches please refer to this post). I especially love the effect when the taupe is blended with the reddish burgundy shade as it creates a beautiful sultry plummy color without looking too warm. The final look is very autumy and goes particularly well with vampy lip color.

chanel-2012-holiday-collection-Quadra-EyeShadow-HARMONIE-DU-SOIR-swatches-review

Upper Lid:

Wearing the light gold shade all over the eye lid up to the brows, then applied the taupe shade over the eye socket area. The shimmery pale pink shade is used to blend out the harsh edge. Lastly the burgundy shade is applied along the lash line and blended into the taupe.

Lower Lid:

The pale pink is added on the inner corner and the burgundy is applied at the outer third.

chanel-2012-holiday-collection-Quadra-EyeShadow-HARMONIE-DU-SOIR-swatches-fotd-1chanel-2012-holiday-collection-Quadra-EyeShadow-HARMONIE-DU-SOIR-swatches-fotd-2chanel-2012-holiday-collection-Quadra-EyeShadow-HARMONIE-DU-SOIR-swatches-fotd-3Other Products Used:

Face: Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer (reviewed here)

Blush: Les Tendres De Chanel in Les Roses (reviewed here)

Lips: Tom Ford Black Orchid as a very light stain (review coming soon!)

Bottom Line: A stunning, unique and classic eye shadow quad for the fall and festive season! I actually prefer this over the Topkapi Quad from the Byzance de Chanel collection. Harmonie Du Soir is now available online here!

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My quest for the perfect base makeup never seemed to end, until my most recent acquisition of the Tom Ford Translucent Finishing Powder that has really put my obsession to an end for now.  I was at the counter with my friend wanting to buy  another eyeshadow palette, and while she managed to get herself a beautiful new quad, I got sidetracked by the testers of the finishing powders. The minute I swiped my fingers across the powder, it was the silkiest and the finest powder I have ever touched. My desire for achieving the most flawless complexion intensified so I just became $100 poorer!

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The packaging is tastefully plush – a sexy and masculine looking brown mirrored compact case with a gold magnetic closure embossed with Tom Ford.

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I praised my love for the La Mer Loose Powder recently, on how incredibly light and silky fine the powder is. To me Tom Ford’s Translucent Finishing Powder is the compact version of it – it has an aero light and superfine texture that adheres to the skin like an invisible silky veil for a natural and luminous finish.  I have been using the powder to set my makeup every morning, and it gives a shine-free and soft-focus finish with a better coverage than loose powder but just as natural looking. The powder diffuses the light to blur out the imperfection, and although a lot of companies have done the revolutionary “light reflecting” technology in their compact foundations/powders,  Tom Ford is the only one that lived up to my expectation with such a lightweight texture of powder. It is also surprisingly long lasting and keeps my face shine-free for the whole day. Sometimes I use it to retouch my makeup throughout the day to freshen up, and it applies beautifully without caking up and looking blotchy. My only complaint is that the enclosed brush is a little prickly for my sensitive skin that has been spoiled by my Suqqu brushes lately.

I am using the shade Ivory Fawn which is the second lightest shade. I have also compared it with the lightest shade Alabaster Nude and they looked extremely similar in the pan! Even the SA was not able to tell the difference…Tom Ford Translucent Finishing Powder is available online here and here.

PS. I don’t have a swatch for you because it just disappears in the skin.

Updated with the Ingredient List:

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It is Friday night! I usually don’t blog on Friday night as it is my “happy hour” time, but I wanted to lose a couple of pounds after the festive season so I decided to stay home and just vegetate, and in the meantime killing my time off blogging…This post is about my picks for the best eye makeup year 2011! The same with my previous post – I picked one or two of my favorite and most used items from every eye makeup category.

Best Eye Shadow Primer - Nars Smudge Proof Eye Shadow Base

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Best Liquid Eye Liner: Dolly Wink Liquid Eye Liner in Jet Black, reviewed here.

Best Gel Eye Liner: Bobbi Brown Gel Eye Liner – an oldie but a goodie!

Best Eye Liner Pencil: Dior Crayon Eyeliner Waterproof - I use an eye liner pencil to define the outer third of my lower lash line, and I like the Dior as it is soft and pigmented so doesn’t tug my skin, and it stays put for a whole day without any smudge.

Best Eye Brow products: I get asked all the time what eye brow products I used in my FOTD. They are always by my holy grail combination – The K-Palette Real Lasting Liquid Eye Brow Pen in dark brown, followed by the Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo in Deep Blonde

The Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo in Deep Blonde has a light brown ashy color which works really well with my complexion. I use the dark shade to define my eye brow and the lighter shade to contour the bridge of my nose.Best Eye Brow Tint: MAC Brow Set in Girl Boy. If I go for a very soft and fresh makeup look, I tend to tint my eyebrow slightly lighter and I really love the color of MAC Girl Boy.

Best Cream Eye Shadow: Chanel illusion d’ombre long wear luminous eye shadow, I like the weightless texture and the shimmery semi-translucent finish.

Best Pigment: Inglot Pigments

Best Single Eye Shadow: Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eye Shadow. I haven’t used them long enough to do a proper review yet, but I was impressed and they win for their exclusiveness!

Runner Up: Chanel Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eye Shadow. Chanel offers a beautiful and wearable selection of single eye shadows. I have collected quite many of them and both the texture and the colors never let me down.

Best Eye Shadow Palette in general: Without a doubt that it’s my Suqqu Blend Color Eye Shadow, the entire range is easy to wear on a daily basis.

Best Cool Neutral Eye Shadow Palette: Other than Suqqu I have also included a few of my all time favorite neutral eye shadow palettes in this post. For the cool neutrals, Chanel Les 4 Ombres Quadra Eye Shadow in Prelude wins my heart. Do you know Chanel les 4 Ombres has also won the 2011 Japanese Cosme best eye shadow award?!

Best Warm Neutral Eye Shadow Palette: the legendary Lunasol Beige Beige – perfect for a “no makeup” makeup look.

Best Sparkly Neutral Eye Shadow Palette: Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Golden Mink (reviewed here)

Best Collectible Eye Shadow Palette: Shiseido Maquillage Eye Creator by Alexander Wang (limited edition). This is my most precious makeup as I am huge fan of Alexander Wang’s modern and edgy design. I was lucky enough to snatch up some products from his first makeup collection in collaboration with Maquillage.

Best Drugstore Eye Shadow Palette: Kanebo Lavshuca Melting Eyes – as the name suggests, the eye shadows are so fined milled that they almost felt they were melting into the skin.

Best Mascara: The Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Mascaras. I have both the original lash queen and the feline extravaganza lash queen. The feline adds more volume to the lashes but the original defines the lashes better and gives a soft and feathery finish. Absolutely adore this range!

Runner Up: Fresh Supernova Mascara – it gives super thick and dramatic lashes (almost doll like). The only downside is it doesn’t hold the curl well so I have to use another mascara or a primer underneath.

Best Drugstore Mascara: Kiss Me Heroine Make Volumising Mascara

Best False Eye Lashes: It’s a tie between the Princess Lee criss cross 7 in light black and the DUP Eyelashes. They are the most natural looking falsies I have used so far – soft and feathery and the human hair blend into your own lashes. I get a panic attack if I don’t have multiple backups of them. Just a note to those of you wanting to buy the Princess Lee lashes, be aware that there are so many counterfeit on the internet as Princess Lee lashes are extremely exclusive.

What a long post! If you have made it to here, well done! Hope you all have a good weekend :-)

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