Flawless Finish: Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate (Intensity 1)

This review is a long time coming. I had ‘sample pots’ of these two cream products that lasted for nearly a year.  Now that they’re all used up, I decided to pony up for the actual retail product.

I chose Intensity 1 because it works best with my yellow undertones. Intensity 2 is darker, with a lot more red in it. The whole point of contour is to ‘trick’ the eye into thinking a shadow is there. That doesn’t work if you’re sporting reddish brown streaks under each cheekbone.

As you can see, the formula imitates the look and feel of ‘skin.’ Both the ‘shade’ and ‘illuminate’ is subtle. I’m particularly fond of the fact that the illuminator isn’t shimmery or glittery. And it’s not greasy. The formula adheres to the skin and stays put. Extremely oily skins will need powder to set, but a little of this product goes a long way. There’s no need to pile it on… so there’s less of a chance of it sliding off.

This is pricey… at $75 it’s definitely an investment. But if you think of it as actually getting ‘two’ products (imagine separate luxury contour and highlighter for about $40 a pop), then it makes a bit more sense.

Tom Ford Beauty is sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

May Favorites (2013)

This month, the list is ‘stripped down’ to the basics that I feel I must have — to function in truly flawless fashion.

Salux Cleansing Cloth.
Okay, I know that this is a regular staple in China and Japan, but I’m just discovering it and I LOVE IT! My baby sister insisted that I must get this cloth, and she was so right. I can’t live without it now. It exfoliates so beautifully, that it preps my skin to completely absorb the next treatment. I especially love using it before a Habibi Body Scrub. My skin is like SILK afterwards. Totally inexpensive, and totally worth it.

Asheida Face Sponge.
I absolutely love this sponge for removing makeup. I use it in two steps: first to take off the initial layer of makeup, and second to cleanse. I find it less messy than  my Clarisonic (which I still use religiously every night before bed) and easier to clean when removing makeup. It’s a fabulous little addition to my makeup removing routine.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.
This is  my new ‘go to’ for removing makeup… especially  heavier foundations. The oil interacts with the oils in my skin (and the makeup) to cancel the latter out, and my makeup just slides off! I love it. Right now it’s on sale – so now is one of the best times to try it out!

Sunday Riley Start Over.
I’ve been using this eye treatment religiously since discovering it last year. It is fantastic for targeting any puffiness or darkness around the eyes. Continued use has left my eyes brighter and ‘puff free.’  It’s not the most moisturizing formula on the planet, so I think it’s better suited to oilier skins like mine.

Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil.
I really didn’t expect to rely on this formula the way I’ve come to. It’s really wonderful. I love the idea of a ‘serum’ for the lips, and I love the way it perfectly preps my lips for lipstick application, without the ‘slick’ of a traditional lip balm. I’ll definitely be keeping this one in heavy rotation.


Tom Ford Shade + Illuminate.
This rather pricey, but fantastic addition to my ‘skin kit’ is a must have if you can swing it. The double contour/highlight cream formula imitates ‘skin’ in a way that leaves the skin dewy, but not greasy or glittery. Perfect for both a ‘no makeup’ makeup… or a full on  makeup. A complete review is coming.

MAC Riri Woo Lipstick.
Say what? I went from being skeptical about this lipstick to hopping on board as a full on fan. Wow, I love it. I really do. The matte formula is friendly enough to wear without any other real embellishment on the face, which is rare for this kind of finish. It will totally pull your face together with just a bit of mascara and a groomed brow. But it also works incredibly well as part of a full dramatic look. MAC did extremely well with this lipstick, and they deserve major kudos.

Diptyque Eau Moheli Perfume.
I think I may have found my ‘summer staple’ fragrance. Eau Moheli uses an insane amount of ylang ylang to set the base note for this unusual floral. This fragrance plays so well with others, it’s amazing. I’ve been layering it like crazy with other scents (even traditionally masculine fragrances), to see what I can come up with. Right now, my absolute favorite combination is Eau Moheli, layered over Habibi Body Balm in Pink Grapefruit. Every time I wear it, someone asks me what I’m wearing. It’s that amazing.

That’s it! Those are my faves for the month of May. Ciao for now!

*this post contains affiliate links

FOTD: Burberry Velvet & NARS Rotunde

Remember when I said I was saving the Burberry Velvet Foundation for cooler weather? Well, the morning was so overcast and chilly… that I figure it’s Mother Nature’s way of telling me to use it right now! So I did.

Burberry Velvet Foundation in Trench #208
Burberry Concealer in Sandy Beige
By Terry Hyaluronic Powder
NARS Blush in Rotunde
Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Cognac Sable:
Peach Shimmer on lids
Darkest Brown blended through crease, on lashline, and under waterline
Burberry Effortless Mascara
Burberry Lip Mist in Brown Sugar

FOTD: YSL Pure Chromatics (#9)

I was feeling a little ‘Seattle’ (gloomy weather… in need of a hot drink) when I did this FOTD. As I mentioned when I swatched the YSL Pure Chromatics Palette in #9, you get MUCH better color payoff with a regular eyeshadow brush. I used these shadows dry, and they performed very well.

By Terry Or de Rose Foundation (Magic Amber)
Kevyn Aucoin Radiant Diaphanous Powder
Chanel Blush in Tempting Beige
YSL Pure Chromatics Palette in #9:
Blue/Grey Eye Shadow on lids
Brown Eye Shadow on crease and under waterline
Chanel Eye Pencil in Intense Brun on waterline
Armani Eyes to Kill Stretch Mascara
Tom Ford Lipstick in Coco Ravish
Gloss d’ Armani in Brown 200

FOTD: Copper Wash

This was quick… I just went with one basic color to get everything done…

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation (Praline)
Laura Mercer Secret Brightening Powder (#2)
Chanel Blush in In Love
Laura Mercier Eye Canvas (#2)
Laura Mercier Baked Eye Color in Terracotta (lids/under waterline)
Louise Young Eyeshadow in Maowi (crease)
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Perversion (waterline)
Armani Eyes To Kill Stretch Mascara
Chanel Lip Pencil in Cognac
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Misia

FOTD: Aloha

I used what is likely my favorite color from the Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigments: Lantern Light

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick (Praline)
Kevyn Aucoin Radiant Diaphanous Powder
Laura Mercier Blush in Fresh Peach
MAC Crushed Metallic Pigment in Lantern Light (lids)
Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Rich Cocoa (outer crease)
Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in African Violet (above crease)
Armani Eye Pencil in Brown (waterline)
Guerlain Noir G Mascara
Chanel Lip Pencil in Nude
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Sari d’Eau

FOTD: Neutralized Pink

After the pink and green debacle, I decided to tone it down a bit with just a pop of polished pink…

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation (Praline)
Chantecaille Loose Powder (Shadow)
IMAN Blush in Sunlit Copper
MAC pigment in Naked Dark (lids)
Louise Young Eyeshadow in Maowi (crease)
YSL Shocking Gel Liner in Bronze Black (lashline)
Guerlain Retractable Pencil in Gold (waterline)
Guerlain Noir G Mascara
Le Metier de Beaute Lipstick in Rio De Janiero
Tom Ford Lip Gloss in Pink Guilt