My Tom Ford Beauty "pre-sale" order arrived from Neiman Marcus, and the first item I opened was the Eye Color Quad in Golden Mink ($75). Because of its price, I had high expectations for a luxury cosmetic. I'd hoped it would sweep me off my feet.
After gaining international fame by turning Gucci into an icon of sexy, modern fashion, American designer Tom Ford introduced Tom Ford Beauty. His captivating collection of heady fragrances gained an instant cult-like following. Fragrance gurus adore the sultry scents. His cosmetics launch has been widely anticipated. We all expected the ultimate in luxury and class from the man who sets trends no matter what he does.
Called the centerpiece of the Tom Ford Color Collection, the Eye Color Quads are designed with four opulent, complementary shades that can be used to achieve multiple looks - from a bold, smoky eye, to a sultry slash of color and everything in between. Formulated with advanced color processes, the four luxurious finishes - sheer sparkle, satin, shimmer and matte - offer a spectrum of intensity and effects and deliver incredible shade fidelity and outstanding adhesion.
There were 10 quads from which to choose, and I decided to select two that looked "conservative." Let's dispense with "conservative" right away. There was nothing conservative about the Golden Mink I held in my hands after I unpacked the boxes (yes boxes - four boxes, one for each item I had ordered!). The color rendition in the photo on the Neiman Marcus Web site did not show the shine in Golden Mink - major sparkle in the top two shades.
It was not ideal light when I took the photos of Golden Mink for this feature, so I may throw in a few more later. My photo of the quad was not taken in full sun.
I know you've been excited about seeing some of the Tom Ford items, so I'm starting quickly here with Golden Mink. The brown and gold case is large and has heft in the hand. The mirror is large, as is the quad. It comes with the usual rinky-dink applicators included with many quads. In this case, they are dual-ended. One has two sponge-tipped applicators, one for shadow and the other for liner. The other has one for shadow, and a brush on the other end. Tom Ford's name us handsomely embossed on the gold trim, and we are reminded it's Tom Ford at the bottom of the mirror. The quad comes in a brown suede pouch inside a box.
The colors in golden mink? At top left, there's a very sparkly, lightly pigmented gold. I worked hard to get enough gold on my arm swatch to show you the color. It's a gorgeous gold, but I would be happier if it had just a little more pigment. It's clearly the shade designated "sheer sparkle." The peach shade is equally sparkly. It's a beautiful shade, reminding me of some of the other peaches I've purchased this year. It may surpass my other purchases in sparkle level, though.
I swatched in clockwise order. The next color (bottom right in the quad) must be the satin-finish color. It's an intense, milk-chocolate brown - very pretty with the other colors in the quad. The fourth shade (bottom left in quad, bottom on my arm) is a shimmering copper - perhaps my favorite of the four colors.
Evaluating this quad is difficult. I want to emphasize that it's very pretty. The colors coordinate beautifully, and it's showy. Because the colors are showy, I won't reach for the quad during the day. I can't imagine wearing the colors to physical therapy, for example. I'd look silly. It's only marginal for daytime wear. I need more time to play with it to find its "sweet spot" for wear. I'd also like to determine how long the shades last on my eyelids.
Golden Mink's cost is the factor that has given me "scoring anxiety." At $75, Golden Mink should have wowed me. It should be orders of magnitude better than other, comparable high-end quads. I have a Clé de Peau Eye Color Quad that offers similar shades. I paid $55 for that (a refill). Do the handsome compact and suede pouch justify a $20 difference? I'm not sure, but I'm leaning toward a "no." If money were no concern? I'd have a different opinion, I think.
I purchased one other quad and two Cheek Colors. I'm headed outside to get some photos so I can show them to you tomorrow. If you want to shop Tom Ford Beauty, the line is available at Neiman Marcus' Web site and select Neiman Marcus stores. It's also available at Bergdorf Goodman.
I spent a lot of money to order my four Tom Ford Beauty items, so I'm going to try to fall in love. There are 130 items in Tom Ford's cosmetics collection, the latest color launch from the Estée Lauder Companies.
Update: I like this palette - I really do. I am just not sure it's worth the price. The jury is still out. I wish the gold had just a little more color and a little less sparkle. I can tell you now that I'm much more excited about the other items I tried (and photographed) today. The colors in Golden Mink are pretty, but not earth-shattering. One of the blushes I purchased is a different story! Glam!
Photo at top courtesy of Neiman Marcus; other photos by Best Things in Beauty