‘The Ten Commandments of Makeup’ + ramblings

I came across this article from Vogue the other day. It’s an old piece published about a year ago when they rolled out the rest of the collection. A short and (to me) amusing read on Tom Ford makeup with the man himself. There’s a video you can watch on the TF website where he talks about beauty in relation to his range.

I don’t own anything by Tom Ford, but it got me thinking about the brand (talking about his beauty collection here only), and how well-oiled their PR machine is. People say the line was conceived as a top tier brand positioning itself with other luxurious lines like Clé de Peau, Sisley and byTerry. To give you an idea of pricing (in US dollars):

Clé de Peau $120
Tom Ford $78
Guerlain $58

Clé de Peau $52 – $60.
Tom Ford $48
Guerlain $48 (Rouge G)
[just for fun, Serge Lutens lippies are $75 and are apparently smaller]

Sisley and byTerry are closer to Clé de Peau in terms of pricing. They almost make you think Tom Ford is a bargain. TF is a step up from the Chanels and Diors, but still more affordable than Clé de Peau.

I’m still staring at those prices. It makes you wonder doesn’t it …

I think the top tier brands are more discreet, both in advertising and their products – polished, sophisticated and elegant. Tom Ford of course is all about glamour, saturated colours and being sexy. I don’t think their target market is the same, though it may overlap. It’s certainly generated a lot of interest and shopping impulse among women. I mean, look at all those swatches on the internet (whether PR given or self-purchased), it’s enough to make you drool.

Makeup houses are interesting. Usually one brand excels in a particular product but not every single one. I find Japanese brands tend to be stronger in skincare and base makeup (Clé de Peau and Shiseido, so by that I will also include NARS skincare. I had a jar of their hydrating moisture cream before and loved it. They rolled out a whole range of products recently); Dior makes beautiful shadows and powders, Chanel for their liquid foundation (maybe I’ll include Bourjois here), lip products, varnish and blushers … Armani Beauty is a very solid line. Excellent perfume (the Privé range), eyes (Eyes to Kill anyone?), lips, base makeup. Launched in 2000 with Pat McGrath on board… TF has Charlotte Tilbury, he also has an amazing range of perfumes and lipsticks. Armani is L’oreal, TF Estée Lauder.

… gosh I’m really rambling now.

Anyway. With high-end makeup you’re paying for packaging, advertising and usually (hopefully?) a better texture or formula (colour more opaque/intense/long-lasting) with the inclusion of more precious ingredients that’s better for your skin. If I have money on the side, I would rather splurge on a foundation than say an eyeshadow duo. Nowadays even drugstore brands make some really good shadows. They might not be able to compete with say Burberry for their buttery texture, but they are smooth with good colour payoff. And it seems that without anyone noticing eyeshadow primers and bases have slowly infiltrated every makeup bag or dresser in the world. So we shouldn’t have any problems right?

I haven’t tried any of the Tom Ford products, but if and when I do, I know I will be dipping my toes first with his Shade and Illuminate.

Finally look at these ad campaigns I found on the net:

This is a Gucci spread from the TF era
A Gucci ad for their perfume – post TF
TF beauty ad campaign

Edited to add: If you haven’t seen A Single Man, please do. There are many reasons is but I just want to say the attention to details in this film is incredible. And I don’t mean the James Cameron kind of replicating every prop on the Titanic for his movie. 


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