Monday, July 12, 2010

What Your Lips Say About You: Tom Ford Lipsticks

9EF1C0F8-382A-47AF-A487-D750221AB599.jpgTom Ford, former Creative Director for the house of Gucci and YSL and founder of the Tom Ford label, is now leaving his legacy in the lipstick department.

Ford, legendary artist, creator and fashion designer, boldly takes on the cosmetics world with his Private Blend Lip Color, a glamourous collection of 12 startling yet unbelievably wearable modern luxury lipsticks.

At $45 a tube, Tom Ford’s Private Blend Lip Color is expensive. There’s no question about it. So why are the lipsticks flying off the shelves of Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman?

One of my friends thinks the price is nonsense. She said, “This is what you are paying for,” pointing to the heavy, white, gilt-trimmed enamel bauble engraved ‘Tom Ford’ in my hand.

But I disagree. I mean, I know it is expensive and sounds crazy to some people, but I love this lipstick and everything about it.

And yet, the whole thing has me thinking: makeup artist lines, their lipsticks are $22-$30. What does Ford know about lipstick that neither Bobbi nor Trish, Laura nor Nars can capture combined?

First, the colors. “I took the most universally flattering colors that a woman can wear, and then I reimagined them in a modern and authoritative way,” Ford said.

The shimmering, gem-toned Bruised Plum is so juicy-gorgeous that you just want to eat it; its cousin Black Orchid, which steals its name from Ford’s signature fragrance, is all femme fatale; Cherry Lush and True Coral are fresh and unexpected poppy hues that are young and hip and surprisingly not garish; and Smoke Red is destined to become a classic.

Nothing is sexier than a sultry eye paired with nude lips. Finding the perfect nude, and the perfect lipstick, is the daunting part. You always see those peachy creamily-nude, putty-colored lips on old Hollywood photos of Brigitte Bardot, just waiting to be kissed, but achieving those lips in that specific color is a real triumph. Tom Ford captures that color. Blush Nude is perfection.

“These lipsticks are the result of years of research,” said Alberto Mayoral, West Coast Manager for Tom Ford Beauty. “A lot of investigation went into these lipsticks to give them their perfect shades and rich consistency.”

…Which brings us to the formula. Ford doesn’t simply rely on his exquisite sense of color to create these best-sellers. I am no chemist, but I can say, with utmost confidence, lipstick has never felt so good.

“It’s a treatment-based lipstick, if you think about it,” said Alberto. “Imagine a great lip balm with beautiful pigment in it.”

It boils down to three ingredients: murumuru butter, soy extract and chamomilla flower oil.

“This is the first time murumuru butter has been used in a lipstick,” Alberto told me, “it is usually reserved for skin care.”

“Murumuru butter offers a high degree of hydration and environmental protection. It’s got oleic acid in it,” he continued, “and comes from a tree in Brazil. It has a faint, vanilla-like odor.”

According to Alberto, the chamomilla flower oil is a natural anti-inflammatory for the lips.

This lipstick really delivers in the luxury department gliding on buttery smooth and hydrating, but it also gives a good opacity with one swipe and wears a long time, especially considering its hydrating properties.

It makes your lips look young, reflects light, is moist and luscious. Plus, it does not bleed or look thick and matte, or clay-like, an unfortunate side effect with some brands. Your lips still look and feel like lips, no gloss required.

At once long-wearing and hydrating, with full coverage, the formula boasts that “specially treated color pigments are blended to deliver pure color with just the right balance of luminosity.”

If you are not able to make it to one of the stores to experience the colors, go to the seductive tomford.com for a glimpse into the exotic terrain of the mind and world of this style giant. Choose your language and click on those luscious lips at the bottom of the page. View the collection on the right and the website unveils all 12 shades, studio shots in lighting where you can really see the true colors: http://stg.tomford.createthe.com/#/en/beauty/privateblendlipcolorcollection

You must take the time to do this before you go to the Neiman Marcus, Saks or Bergdorf Goodman websites because their online color charts are completely inaccurate.

Once you see the lush colors and stunning packaging on Tom Ford’s website, you may decide that owning a little piece of this designer’s glamour is not as impossible as you first thought.
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Tom Ford is creating accessible luxury for women, Alberto said. “If you can’t afford one of his dresses, for example, he has created in his lipsticks and fragrances an iconic way of having a luxury item in your purse.”

“I’m not seduced,” Ford stated, “by the ‘new’ or the ‘now.’ I’m seduced by style, luxury, exclusivity, and glamour–qualities that are hard to find in our disposable society. Taking classic elements and reinventing them for a sophisticated customer is my idea of modern,” he said.

“My mission is to bring luxury back, expressed through my voice and my style. It is important to me to instill glamour, integrity, and sophistication in everything I do.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

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