Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tom Ford Beauty Eye Color Quad in Golden Mink

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

28 comments:

Clarisse said...

Oh dear! CG, don't order the 130 items if they are simply average for their price, you'll end up ruined!!!:-)
It seems that TF cosmetics aim at being very selective...but they should add more quality (except the beautiful packagings I think we can find the same shades in other brands)

alamode said...

Lovely to see these pictures; I've also been expecting the Tom Ford line to outshine other high end brands, based upon the price tag. I'm not sure why I expected that since I experienced a similar disappointment with his original lipsticks - good quality, but not good enough for the price.


After seeing your pictures of the quad, it reminds me of another product with a more reasonable price tag - the YSL Pure Chromatics quads. How does the texture performance compare?

I don't have a Neiman Marcus near me, so I think I'll skip ordering sight unseen for now, but I look forward to seeing photos of your other products. Maybe you'll change my mind! Thanks for posting these.

JoanneP said...

I feel odd since I have no interest in TF beauty line. Shade-wise and texture-wise, it is so so. I'm glad you review this palette for us. Thank you!!!

BlushingNoir said...

I'm just not impressed by what I've seen so far from this line... for the price the quality just doesn't seem to be there. I'd rather spend my $$ on LMdB!

CGstrein said...

I have to agree with you! Right now I am 1 for 2 with this line. I received the brow sculptor and a lip gloss yesterday. I think the brow sculptor is genius and I really love it. The lip gloss is nice but nothing special and for that price it should be "all that & a box of chocolates!" I think D&G and YSL are much better.

Now I am nervous about the quad I am getting, Burnished Amber. It should be here later today.

Pam said...

I think I've seen enough of his collection to know it's not for me. I made my mind up when I saw the names on his nail polishes...just tasteless and tacky.

productdoctor said...

I purchased Cognac Sable. One of the shades is gorgeous, but I am not in love with the texture and pigmentation. Overall, I think it is very pretty but not worth the high price tag.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Clarisse,

I think the four pieces are enough for now. Since they are so expensive, I'll wait until the pieces are sold locally before I try again.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Alamode,

I haven't had it long enough to fairly evaluate performance or compare it to YSL Pure Chromatics. I'd say the texture is similar, though.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Joanne!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi BlushingNoir,

I tried out all of my other pieces today, and I like them ALL more than Golden Mink. So, I'm going to reserve judgement on the whole line. I suspect this is a line from which I'll pick and choose very selectively - once it hits a counter in DC.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi CGstrein!

One for two isn't bad, given that we didn't know much about it yet. Let us know how you like Burnished Amber.

Charlestongirl said...

Yes, Pam, there are some ugly names out there these days, and they all seem to come from men!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi ProductDoctor,

There seems to be a general consensus on the price points. They are too high. As I write my features on my other colors, I'm trying to consider them for their product value, isolating the price. I think I can review them more fairly that way.

Some women won't buy Tom Ford because of the price. I understand that fully. Seventy-five dollars for a quad made even me gulp!

lizzybee said...

Dearest Charlestongirl, hurrah for you- I thought to myself, if even you would hesitate or think long and hard, then there's nothing wrong with me afterall, for that was what I was doing. The packaging doesn't matter that much to me. Thank you for your candid and refreshing discernment. It's pretty, though, I would guess anyone would agree. Beth In Pgh xp ;-)

Charlestongirl said...

Beth, there's nothing at all wrong with the makeup. My ambivalence was entirely due to the price. Actually, I like the three items I haven't featured yet more than the one I did. Still, the prices are off-putting.

Thanks!

MarciaF said...

I have no trouble paying $95 for a Le Metier Kaleidoscope but the price of the Tom Ford has made me wait to read more. I'm turned off by the glitter factor in Golden Mink. I'm looking forward to your other reviews. While I like my two lipsticks from TF I'm hesitant to buy any more unless I can see them in person.

Charlestongirl said...

Marcia, I don't have any problems with the LMdB prices either, but in the upper tiers, I expect something unusually great. I'm sure you do too. There are many dups for the shades in Golden Mink.

I expected to be blown away by it. I wasn't. Fortunately, I like the other quad I purchased much more, so I have a mixed "initial impression." One of the blushes I bought is drop-dead gorgeous. I will feature it in the morning.

I do think the Tom Ford Beauty line will meet with much price resistance, if the comments here are indicative. Until women can see and test the line in the store, I suspect it will attract only beauty addicts and Tom Ford devotees. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hey, everyone, ProductDoctor has darker skin than mine, and she chose different shades. Check out her blog. It's linked on my sidebar.

Mercedes said...

This is a perfect price compared to others. His lipstick is a bit over priced and so people often just assume this would be as well. I wish I could stop reading your blog so I wouldnt want more and more. But I just can't help myself... I hang my head in shame!

NeenaJ said...

IMHO, consumers are paying for the name. Why $75? Because they want you to feel like it's a luxury item and you're in a select group who can afford such pretty things. Unfortunately, it seems that many of the quads are pedestrian, with the quality being what you see in MAC's best shadows (Woodwinked comes to mind). Good, but not amazing.

For $75, I would want not only gorgeous, multidimensional colors, but an amazing formula, texture and adherence - without using primer. I'd pay $75 for a GA Eyes To Kill shadow quad in a NY minute. (If one existed.) The jury is still out for me on Tom Ford.

Klara said...

Thank you for the review, too bad that this quad didn't completely impress you. I think that for the price of the quads I'd expect to love all of the shades in it. Luckily, the one I got (Burnished Amber) is great in my opinion but I did take a chance and ordered it with some help from my friend based solely on some online swatches. As there have been such mixed reviews of the other quad colours I think I'd rather just try one of his lipsticks next. x

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Neena,

Since the line (other than lipsticks) is so new, I think the jury will remain out for many of us. The original range of lip colors did nothing for me. They were too dark/intense. I did purchase a few of the newest ones.

I was really looking forward to the eye shadows, blushes, and any "unique" items. I wish we had a counter here. It would be so much more fun to shop in person.

Charlestongirl said...

Once an addiction forms, Mercedes, it's hard to break. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Klara, try one of the blushes next. In my opinion, they are exciting!

CGstrein said...

Just wanted to update you, I LOVE Burnished Amber! It has more shimmer than the website showed but it is not too much for me. It has a gorgeous shade of gold, one that is more bronzy, and 2 that are burgundy (ish). I am not good with color descriptions but all I can say is it makes my hazel eyes look really green. Now I am going to want to try more. Guess I better start looking for a 2nd job! This is going to get expensive.

Charlestongirl said...

That's fabulous, CGStrein! I heard that two other neutral palettes also sold heartily at the BG launch this week: Cocoa Mirage and Cognac Sable.

Oh how I wish I could see the quads in person! Only in 10 doors right now: three in NY, and the rest in LA, Los Angeles, and Texas.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say.That I use an inexpensive line of cosmetics.It is found in places like Wal-mart.Not usually expensive stores I choose the eye liner pencil which is waterproof.It has an exciting gold sparkle added to it.You see,I happen to know that ALL makeup has to be of a certain standard ingredients wise.The product name will determine the amount you pay.The quality is virtually the same in both cosmetics...sorry...lol