For Spring 2014, Tom Ford deigned to bestow on us a collection of 8 lipsticks and 4 nail polishes (what, that’s it?!??). These have yet to arrive in Singapore, but everybody seems to have already gotten them through the power of online shopping.
In a throwback to the early days, the new Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers are housed in chic white and gold casing. I am quite partial to the espresso casing, but these white ones scream feminine chic and are just begging for a permanent spot in my purse / vanity / office desk! Together with the Hourglass Ambient Light blushes, I decided to limit myself to 2, yes only 2 please! And with the help of online swatches and reviews, settled on Sweet Spot and Paradiso.
Unlike the original Lip Color (full cream coverage) and the more recent Lip Color Shine (glossy), the new Lip Color Sheers are supposed to have the best of both worlds, i.e. creaminess of the Lip Colors, hydrating and luminous feel of the Shines. They are formulated with vitamins C and E, plus shea butter to keep the lips moisturized while delivering a pop of color.
I own quite a few of the original Lip Color lipsticks, but never fell deeply for them as I found them to be quite drying on my lips, and did not apply smoothly. When the Lip Color Shines were released, I found them better in terms of ease of application and comfort, but somewhat sheer. So I had rather high hopes for these Lip Color Sheers, made even more impossible by all the rave reviews out there.
True enough, these Lip Color Sheers feel creamier than the original Lip Color, but that differs between shades. Between the 2, Sweet Spot was clearly a whole lot creamier than Paradiso, which felt closer to the original formula. In terms of opacity, Tom Ford wasn’t joking when naming these Lip Sheers. Whilst Paradiso was sufficiently pigmented and buildable to opaque in 2-3 coats, Sweet Spot was clearly translucent and is at best semi-opaque.
Paradiso is a warm-toned medium pink, and is quite similar to Guerlain Attrape-Couer (swatched here) which is a little more salmon-red. It felt much more matte than Sweet Spot and clung to every line and wrinkle on my lips, and made me crave for a good lip balm afterwards.
Sweet Spot is a warm-toned medium coral-orange with an iridescent pearlized finish. It has a nice balance of pink and beige in there to make it much less orange and more wearable on a wide variety of skin tones. Creamier in texture than Paradiso, it wears slightly better on my lips, although in the swatch above, I had first applied a balm beforehand. Also, you can see how my own lip is still showing up in patches despite having put on 3-4 coats here!
Clearly, I was very disappointed by how badly these Lip Color Sheers dried up my lips, and emphasized every line and wrinkle that I had not noticed with any other lipsticks before. Also, I don’t understand why the texture and finish varied so much within the range. The patchy translucency and limited buildability makes this more suited for casual wear than actual color. Alternatively, I would top it off with a more pigmented gloss to make it work. On a more positive note, these Lip Sheers do last a good 5 hours and leave a stain even with continuous sipping and drinking.
Despite the overwhelming number of devotees out there, I am still puzzling over the appeal of Tom Ford lipsticks. Beautiful packaging aside, there are certainly better formulas out there. What do you think?