Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Intensity One Review

December 17, 2012

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.


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 in Australia here for AUD$98. The Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate can be purchased here in the US. A contouring tutorial using this product can be found here.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

birkie December 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm

tempted to add this duo to my set of shaders/highlighters…it looks fab for on-the-go


Reika December 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm

This one is much easier to use than powder 🙂


Cindy December 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I just got this in #2!!! 98aud is honestly not bad since its 75 USD plus taxes in the US 🙂


Reika December 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I know! I wish the prices of all the makeup brands in Australia are in line with US! If TF can do that..why can’t other brands do the same…


Cindy December 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I agree. Btw the new Chanel highlighter is gorgeous. 🙂 its pale creamy gold


Walls December 18, 2012 at 12:31 am

Thanks for the lovely swatches. I have been loving Chanel’s Sculpting Veil in Notorious for contouring and Chanel’s Pearl Glow illuminator for accenting and highlighting. However, I am coveting the Chanel highlighter newly released for spring 2013; I may have to cave and buy that one. Personally, I love powder highlighters. I am still easing my way into the Tom Ford collection due to the prohibitively high price points. I did splurge and get the cheek and bronzer brushes for Christmas!


Reika December 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Agree, the newly released Chanel highlighter is to die for! I can’t wait to get my hands on it either 🙂 I hope the texture is similar to the Chanel pearl glow which is my all time fav highlighter!


Eileen December 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Pearl Glow. . .are you talking about the Lumière Perlée from The Le Blanc collection two years ago? If you are, you will be thrilled with the new Poudre Signée de Chanel highlighter that is the centerpiece for the spring collection. It is a soft white gold with a tinge of pink. You’ll be captivated 🙂


Reika December 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I am already captivated by your description Eileen – re white gold with a tinge of pink!! Too bad that I have to wait for at least another month for the release to arrive Australia…


Christine December 19, 2012 at 4:20 am

Does it blend well if you have minor dry patches on your cheeks? I love cream products but they usually settle in my dry patches. Also, does it leave a tacky feeling that you have to set with powder or does it dry down to a powder finish? I love contour products so I’m really interested in this. Plus, I adore Tom Ford.=)


Reika December 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Yes the shading cream blends well on dry patches and doesn’t feel tacky. But the highlighter can feel slightly tacky on the skin, you can set it with powder but it takes away the illuminating effect.


Addie Cain December 22, 2012 at 3:53 am

This looks like a great product. Most recently, I’ve had my eye on Chanel’s Notorious!


Aisha January 15, 2014 at 2:56 am

What kind of brush is that in the picture?


Reika January 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm

It’s the Giorgio Armani blending brush.


Barbie lee December 1, 2015 at 8:58 am

I am NC 20 Chinese living in the Philippines do you think this will works on me and is it a long lasting product? I read in some reviews that this doesn’t last That long.


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