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Monday, 25 February 2013

Field Swatches and Reviewlet: By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge

As you may remember, By Terry's Rouge Terrybly ranks high among my favourite lipsticks. So I was very excited to try their new Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge line for spring -- sheer, moisturising tinted "hydra-balms" -- retailing at £24 for 3g.

Unfortunately, these proved to be a severe disappointment.
The copy promises:
A hyaluronic acid melt-in lipstick balm that moisturizes, fills in wrinkles and fine lines, boots volume, smoothes and protects the lips in a “plumping glossy” colored veil.

What I got (over three shades on three separate days of testing):
Absolutely no textural improvement in smoothing or plumping and a very minimal moisturising effect that wore off after an hour, leaving lips crying out for (a real) balm.
These are also the sheerest sheers I've ever tried -- we're talking less pigment than Fresh balms -- and requires layering to show up at all, let alone true to tube. Which becomes even more unfortunate when you factor in the very high-slip texture, which makes even a light layer prone to migrate, and which makes layering at all an unappealing proposition, as the shades get cloudier, patchier, and more gloopy-slippery with each additional coat.
Erm...I have no complaints about the packaging (slim silver twist-up tube) or the scent (very, very faint tearose)? I like the absence of shimmer?

Swatches
FIVE swipes each, with one swipe swatches of 1 and 10 at the end of the second row. My arm is about N5, for extrapolation purposes :P
By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge lipstick swatches 1 Nudissimo 2 Mango Tango 3 Baby Bloom 4 Princess in Rose 5 Dragon Pink 6 Party Girl 7 Bang Bang 8 Hot Spot 9 Dare to Bare 10 Berry Boom
the patchiness of pigment-distribution is especially clear in the bolder shades 5-10 
By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge lipstick swatches 1 Nudissimo 2 Mango Tango 3 Baby Bloom 4 Princess in Rose 5 Dragon Pink 6 Party Girl 7 Bang Bang 8 Hot Spot 9 Dare to Bare 10 Berry Boom

1 Nudissimo
2 Mango Tango
3 Baby Bloom
4 Princess in Rose
5 Dragon Pink
6 Party Girl
7 Bang Bang
8 Hot Spot
9 Dare to Bare
10 Berry Boom

A closer look at one layer of 1 Nudissimo and 10 Berry Boom -- doing nada for the skin texture on my inner wrist, which is a lot less gnarly than that of my lips


As always, your mileage may vary, but these had been garnering such positive reviews online that I was extra surprised/disappointed upon testing them; definitely a Try Before You Buy. I'd also strongly advise those living in a warm climate to check your local testers carefully -- these seem prone to melting/liquefying messily in a bag/car.

For a dissenting rave review, check out Lola's Secret Beauty Blog, which also includes product pics and an ingredients list [which, btw, shows how low down hyaluronic acid sits :P In contrast to the standard waxes and cones, and the dessicant silica -- not uncommon for By Terry 'Hyaluronic' products in my expereience, especially their god-awful, extremely drying Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder.]

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen Looks: Black Tulip and True Teal

As established, these Endless Silky Eye Pencils are yum.

Here are my two well-loved shades, 03 Black Tulip and 06 True Teal, in action. Usual variable lighting disclaimers apply -- the weather has been seriously mad here, and I avoid flash because it distorts things too badly.


1. True Teal Split Wing
Chanel Abstraction Illusion D'Ombre over the lid and lower lashline, Pixi True Teal to line upper lashline and Tarina Tarantino Amethyst Android Hyperliner to half-mirror it below.
Lips: Fresh Sugar Rosé



2. True(r) Teal Look With Black Tulip To Boot
True Teal blended over the centre of the lid, Black Tulip wing, and the turquoise from Shu Uemura Smoky Velvet (Euro/Asia version) as inner lid highlight.
Lips: Chanel Confidence Extrait de Gloss | Cheeks: Ladurée Cream Cheek Base 102
Base: Vapour stick 90 mixed with Suki lavender CC cream

3. Black Tulip Smudgy Half-Cut Crease
Pretty self explanatory: Black Tulip winged out then feathered back in, to another Chanel Abstraction Illusion D'Ombre base. 

More eyespam, because I was going to capture the sparkles in Black Tulip that coordinated so nicely with the peachy coppery corally Abstraction:
okay, fine, flash pic. I hope you can see it now.
Lips: Korres Natural Purple cherry oil gloss, blotted down | Cheeks: Ladurée Cream Cheek Base 102 

Constants: Shu Uemura H9 brow pencil Seal Brown, GOSH white eye kohl on lower waterline, Burberry Sheer Concealer 01 under eyes, Mehron LT-1 to spot conceal, Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea of Clouds as highlighter.


Actually, it took this post for me to realise that I've been on a bit of a wing kick of late. Oops. At least it shows how beautifully these Pixi pencils work for precision/boldness in addition to (as their creaminess suggests) smudgy cream-eyeshadow-ness or hazy kohliness. Maybe I'll post some more varied shapes using these babies in future. With less 'ness'.:P

Even on my extremely dry lids, I get about a half a minute to work with these before they set, which is enough for pretty much any shape or placement; once set, they stay pristine without fading, flaking/shedding shimmer, smudging, or losing precision through an entire day and evening beyond (the last look I wore from 8am to midnight). I can't recommend them highly enough.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen Swatches

I'm just going to say it: Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pens (actually pencils) are the closest 'dupes' I've found to my beloved and eye-wateringly expensive THREE Flash Performance liners (drivel).

At £11 each, they still aren't cheap, but I am willing to pay a bit of a premium for such a divine texture -- describing them as gel-liquids in pencil form feels slightly inadequate, because they rival the THREE liners in sheer unctuous glide *lapses into uncontrollable drooling*

They also equal THREE in pigmentation and lasting power both on lids and waterline; for me they only lose out in relative lack of complexity and unique shades.

Like the THREE liners, they are extremely soft, so extra care when un/re-capping and sharpening is needed to avoid smushing and waste.

Swatches on bare skin, pictures taken in natural sunlight.
I focussed on each row of swatches in turn, which are labelled.
Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen eyeliner Swatches Black Noir, Black Blue, Black Tulip
Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen eyeliner Swatches Black Cocoa, Deep Plum, True Teal, Cafe Gold
Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen eyeliner Swatches Sage Gold, Oyster Glow, Copper Glow, Straight On Til Morning

Some of the shades are smooth, with an intensely glossy sheen: Black Noir, Black Blue, Black Cocoa, Oyster Glow.

Another step up the shimmer scale, with fine microshimmer scattered throughout the glossy base: Black Plum (browned purple base with coppery and plum shimmer), Black Tulip (blackened purple base with royal purple, gold and red sparkle), True Teal (tonal sparkle) and Copper Glow (rich burgundy base with copper and gold shimmer).

Sage Gold and Café Gold are filled with a higher concentration of larger gold glitter pieces.

(SOTM stands for Straight On Till Morning (sic :P), a separate range of (drier) glitter liners which had wandered onto the Endless Silky display -- this shade is 2nd Star Twinkle, with a more yellowed than Sage Gold, and with cooler green and gold glitter.


Here's a closer look at the finishes of the two shades I own, drawn on in one motion and unlayered -- check out the consistent intensity and smoothness.
Black Tulip
Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen Swatches Black Tulip eyeliner


True Teal
Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen Swatches True Teal eyeliner

To see see how they perform on the eye, click through for a few looks with both liners.

Those in the UK can buy Pixi from their own site, Boots or a variety of other places. In the US, the brand is sold at Target as well as from their US webstore.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Skincare: Dabbling with Decléor

It's been a while since my last skincare update, but the main shape of the routine has stayed consistent. However, this past winter in London has been so particularly bitter -- I think they officially dubbed it the coldest in a hundred years -- that I jumped at the chance to try some products by Decléor, mainly from their iris range, their richest, aimed at mature skin.


The set contains good sizes of a cleansing duo (75ml each) and a skincare trio, consisting of an oil serum (5ml), a rich day cream (15ml) and a night balm (5ml), enough even for a profligate slatherer like me to give them a good whirl over a month, used individually and together as an proper 'routine'.

Cleanse
okay...maybe I didn't think the skincare swatch concept though.... 
The cleansing milk is a light gel-cream, meant to be massaged onto your made-up or otherwise begrimed face, and then wiped off with damp cottons, before application of the toner (basically the texture of rosewater) to remove the last of the residue and prep the face.  Both products are free of alcohol but strongly scented. The cleansing milk actually proved to be very efficient at removing makeup (including waterproof eyeliners and mascaras) -- the equal of Bioderma Crealine -- and more surprisingly still, did not irritate my eyes, even when rubbed (eek) into my lashline. The toner didn't do anything for me used as a separate step (I am a fan of Japanese 'lotions' and expect this step to pull its weight), but I used it (saturating Muji peelable cottons) to remove the cleanser, and it felt posher than tapwater :P

Ingredients

I wouldn't purchase either of these products in future, as my skin can't deal with as much regular physical agitation (wiping) as they require; back to my trusty rinse-off Fancl cleansing oil and pat-on-with-hands Hada Labo lotion.


Care

The Aromessence Iris oil functions as a serum -- a few drops massaged into skin at morning and night before either the Expérience De L'Âge Rich Cream for day or the Aroma Night Balm for, er, night. Together they promise to improve wrinkles, brightness and firmness.
All three items slotted perfectly into my routine, exactly replacing the REN Omega 3 Night Repair oil/serum, Boots Botanics Organic Super Balm, and Honey Girl Organics Sensitive face cream I'd just finished -- these form the base against which I am judging the performance of the Decléor trio.

The Decléor Iris oil felt much thicker and more viscous than the REN omega 3, so I needed far less -- three drops as opposed to two pumps -- and it also sank in more quickly, with zero tackiness or shine, perhaps because its hazelnut and sunflower base is lighter than REN's coconut derivatives and wheat germ. As well as keeping my skin moisturised, plump and soft, I noticed an additional visible tightening/firming effect with the Iris oil -- my pores looked smaller and my face contours (especially around the nasolabial and double chinny bits) generally neater, while  even a sloppy application after a particularly booze- or crisp filled-night seemed to make my skin look a little less puffy in the morning. The Decléor scent, while stronger than REN's, is also infinitely preferable to my nose -- I get mainly lavender and neroli/jasmine.
Aromessence Iris Ingredients


I'm too young to really talk about the efficacy of Expérience de L'Âge Rich Cream as anti-wrinkle cream per se, but it's certainly moisturising enough to ward off the (cosmetic) fine lines that can develop on my extremely dry skin as the day goes on, especially in cold/windy weather. That itself is a tricky if not impossible feat but this Decléor really excels as a day cream-- outperforming the cheaper, more minimal products I'd been using previously (like the Honey Girl Organics cream, or Avène Trixera+) -- in its cosmetic elegance, its surprisingly light texture (for such an effective moisturiser) instantly setting to a polished satin-matte base with subtle skin-evening and texture-blurring effects to rival most makeup primers out there. 
Expérience de L'Âge Rich Cream Ingredients


Cosmetic elegance isn't remotely a factor in night cream for me, and I actively enjoy applying a good glooping of goo (whether an East Asian 'gelly', a moisturising mask, or a rather more elegant balm, like this Aroma Night Iris balm) to seal in the strata of unguents beneath.... The Decléor is less sticky, feels smoother and more refined and melts into the skin with greater ease than my Boots Botanics Organic Face Balm -- it's a few steps closer to a cream than the traditional solid balms represented by Boots (can get grainy in the jar, requires a good bit of warming up between hands before application) -- but these are just peripheral considerations. Neither product is rich enough to keep my skin moisturised throughout the night; both work well in conjunction with other serums and moisturising creams to let me wake up with soft, plump skin.
The Iris balm looks prettier as a midday touchup on any nose-flakes etc. (i.e. more discrete, less like you've just basically run to the loo to oil your schnoz instead of powdering it in a moment of topsyturveydom) but I've rarely felt the need for boosters since using the Decléor rich day cream; overall, the price difference (£3.99 vs £34.50 for 15ml) makes the Decléor balm a definite luxury.

Aroma Night Iris Ingredients


The surprise winner for me was the day cream -- I've already purchased the full size and am happily (rather than just grudgingly) skipping foundation most days (good thing, too, as I'm far too pale for most of my usual bases right now). A purchase of the full-sized Iris Aromessence oil is also on the cards, since I don't seem to be getting such dramatic results from a diy mix of hazelnut and sunflower oils.


The products in this post were provided for review. My comments reflect my true feelings and have not been edited or pre-approved in any way; I am not compensated for any reviews/posts.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Mix Of the Day

Okay, not today but this is a high-low-mid-range look I put together a while ago, mainly to showcase Addiction Swimming Pool, upon a reader's request. (See, I do get round to them....eventually. Those of a patient disposition, feel free to email me :P) I'm posting it today because harddrive gremlins ate my Tom Ford Cognac Sable swatch pictures and also because this blog has become a bit too new!product review-dominated lately, and that's really not how I approach the question of what makeup to wear, most days.

Featuring:
1. Addiction Eye Lacquer WP in Swimming Pool [high end] which to my shame I've not written about since acquiring it last summer.
2. Kiko Long-Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 16 Purple [drugstore] because I really love this formula.
3. Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Tulip [mid-range], another recent...ish discovery I am fond of and really ought to blog about soon....

Kiko Purple as a messy base, blended up to socket and joined to the lower lashline:

Addiction Swimming Pool dabbed over the top and blended in turn, stopping short of the edges of the purple:

Pixi Black Tulip to rim waterlines and smudged into lashline, two coats of Armani ETK Waterproof mascara [....man, this does not build well. Spindly spider legs ahoy.]



The full look with Rouge Bunny Rouge Delicata on cheeks and Addiction Day Trip on lips, which should be titled, "Step by step eye pictures leave no time for hair; must crop the madness, meep. I'm going for BOYISHLY DISHEVELLED OKAY." I am only posting these because uncontextualised eye makeup pictures are a personal pet peeve, and because freakishly enough they seem to capture some of the textural complexity a bit better than the closeups.


So, a mixed bag all 'round, eh? :P
Despite all the whining, I really did love the combination of the Addiction lacquer with a Kiko base -- it's taken me some time to find the best textures to pair with that slightly tricky formula, but Kiko's ridiculously lightweight and blendable yet totally budge-proof formula makes for the perfect base.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Lip Love

As 'tis the holiday of formulaic declarations of affection... my favourite lip formulas, as requested by various folks over the past few weeks.

Lipsticks: Love At First Slick
I narrowed it down to eight (barely) all of which I can wear without balm underneath, and all of which make my very dry, lined, picky lips both look and feel smoother, plumper -- just prettier
From sheerest to most opaque (scent/finish):
Sonia Rykiel Sublime Rouge -- rose-scented / jelly (discontinued) swatches here and here
Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge -- scent-free / cream-jelly (crelly) swatches
Guerlain Rouge Automatique -- candied violet / crelly
Suqqu Blend -- scent-free / glossy cream (discontinued)
Revlon Super Lustrous -- scent-free / cream
Burberry Lip Cover -- rose / cream
Suqqu Creamy Glow -- scent-free / cream swatches
By Terry Rouge Terrybly -- rose / satin


I love them all. 
So I chose one particularly favoured shade from each formula. And did this. For reasons.
Lavshuca RD-1, Sonia Rykiel 24, Burberry Bright Plum Suqqu Blend Maizakura and Creamy Glow 18 Karakurenai By Terry Hot Cranberry, Revlon Fire&Ice, Guerlain Liu
Lavshuca RD-1, Sonia Rykiel 24, Burberry Bright Plum
Suqqu Blend Maizakura and Creamy Glow Karakurenai
By Terry Hot Cranberry, Revlon Fire&Ice, Guerlain Liu

Lavshuca RD-1, Sonia Rykiel 24, Burberry Bright Plum Suqqu Blend Maizakura and Creamy Glow 18 Karakurenai By Terry Hot Cranberry, Revlon Fire&Ice, Guerlain Liu

Common to my favourite formulas: a creamy or balmy feel with good slip, and moisturising properties. There are plenty of formulas out there which have good slip (e.g. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, Dior Addict, MAC Cremesheen) but which make my lips crack and peel off in sheets and conversely, there are some mattes which are very comfortable for me to wear (e.g. Lancôme Colour Design Matte, Addiction, Guerlain L'Extrait), but my favourites combine both.

On the other hand, lasting power / wear time is something I barely even consider when it comes to lip products. From my favourites, By Terry Rouge Terrybly is an excellent longwearing formula, and Revlon Super Lustrous, Suqqu Creamy Glow, Burberry Lip Cover and Guerlain Rouge Automatique are also reasonably tenacious on me -- but this is really just a nice 'extra'; as an inveterate snacker and sipper, my expectations in this regard are pretty modest. As long as something fades evenly (no dreaded outer lip tidemark or inner sharpie-sucker mouth), I actually quite enjoy seeing/wearing the different colour nuances a single lip shade can display as you build it up and later, as it wears down. I would much rather reapply a nice balmy jelly lipstick every hour than have a film-forming, long-wearing formula whose colour stays bulletproof, albeit in a increasingly hideous (and balm-repelling!) texture as the day goes on.... (e.g. Rouge D'Armani, Lancôme Rouge In Love, almost every lip stain ever)


Opposites Attract 
....so why do I love YSL Glossy Stains with a frankly idolatrous love? I am not a stain girl; I am not a gloss girl; I am definitely not an alcohol-in-my-products girl (down my gullet is another matter entirely). I just do. A LOT.
Idiotically, my "best of the year" round-up missed these out twice -- in 2011 because I had just tried my first one in December and was all honeymoony and didn't want to jump the gun and in 2012 because they were technically a 2011 discovery/release. Let the wardrobe testify to my love:
YSL Glossy Stain 1 7 9 11 15 24 27
YSL Glossy Stain 1 7 9 11 15 24 27
YSL Glossy Stain 1 7 9 11 15 24 27
7 is not swatched because it was the 'out' replaced by 27 -- even so, I own more of these than of any other lip product
As well as requiring no touch-ups through a full day and many a drink, snack and hearty meal, I adore the shade range in this line and their glorious lacquered finishes. I am odd and also enjoy the boozy rose scent. They also mix beautifully to create new shades -- more of this in a future post. While they don't dry my lips out over the day (I think due to the no-reapplication-needed thing), a few consecutive days' wear will start to show on my lips with deepening liplines and dryness.



Tender Loving Care
I hope this post has established that people's preferences in formulas vary and very often make no sense, because skincare/makeup hybrids are particularly tricky, and this final section should be hedged by big flashing Your Mileage May Vary lights.
But for me, these are the tinted treatments I reach for when my lips are actually chapped, peeling, bleeding or otherwise leprous, but I feel the need for a bit of warpaint for psychological blanky reasons and not-scaring-the-small-children, if nothing else.Bite Lush Lip Tint RMS Lip Shine Fresh Sugar tinted balm
Bite Lush Lip Tint Cherry Raspberry RMS Lip Shine Sublime Fresh Sugar tinted balm Rose Honey Berry

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments have been a standby for a decade now -- I've tried every other cheaper substitute on the market and always come crawling back. All three shades I own add a little warmth to correct my naturally corpse-mauve lip tone, and tint them: a clear reddish pink (Rosé), a deeper rose (Berry), and a peachy-pink nude (Honey). They taste like lemon sugar crêpes.
Bite Lush Lip Tints are a relatively new discovery, from a Canadian brand I've become very fond of. Somewhat less moisturising than the Fresh Sugar balms, they pack much more pigment -- more sheer lipstick than tinted balm -- and hug the lips more closely (with less slip). Lightly fruit scented, Cherry is a coral red and Raspberry a rose red, both clear and bright.
RMS Lip Shine in Sublime was the cool, clear shade I was waiting for to try this formula [thanks for the tip, Grace!] and it is a moisturising and subtly lip-plumping gloss without stickiness. The pink, while cool, is a pop-bright, spring-in-your-ponytail kind of cool, which in its own way achieves the enlivening  / de-corpsifying thing I like. Smells/tastes of its ingredients, vaguely waxy.

lip balm swatch Bite Lush Lip Tint Cherry Raspberry RMS Lip Shine Sublime Fresh Sugar tinted balm Rose Honey Berry

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Ford Farewell II: Tom Ford Narcissist Blush

Following on from Part I, another beautiful shade from Tom Ford which failed to win my texturally persnickity heart: Narcissist blush.
sunlight
Narcissist is a highly pigmented cool-toned hot pink (oh, you know what I mean), with a tightly-packed texture and smooth frost finish. The softness and high fine shimmer content means that it's very easy to overload a brush -- even with the lightest tap of a fluffy brush, a lot of frantic dabbing into clean tissue might be needed before application to cheek -- and also that even the softest squirrel brushes tend to kick up quite a bit of powder...enough that I would end up with shimmery pink elbows after resting my arm on my vanity to finish an eyeliner flick.

Swatch, applied with Suqqu Cheek brush (left) and sponge applicator (right)
Tom Ford Narcissist blush swatch
as always, bare arm / natural light

As mentioned in a previous review, my skin tends to show textures and colours true, and shimmer is usually highly unforgiving on the especially dry, thin skin on my cheeks. In the swatch above, you can see the dry 'skipping' at the edge of the heavy swatch and every pore highlighted in the sheer one, even on my relatively smooth inner arm.

As further illustration, here's Narcissist swatched between Sleek Pink Ice (left, from the Pink Sprint trio) and Suqqu EX-02 Mizumomo (right, deeper pan only).
Tom Ford Narcissist blush swatch Sleek PInk Ice Suqqu EX 02 Mizumomo
All three blushes were applied very lightly and blended out with an Illamasqua Highlighter Brush (ahem, holy grail cream blush brush, two backups are totally reasonable, shush). Sleek Pink Ice (£10 for trio) is a matte, and despite its unprepossessingly dry texture, it like all Sleek blushes is so pigmented that a tiny dab deposits even pigment without worsening the appearance of my skin, if not improving it. Suqqu Mizumomo (£38 for duo, LE), despite being a satin (with almost as much sheen in the pan as Narcissist) actively blurs and flatters any bumpy skin, even when swatched along the tricky veiny/bony bit of my wrist. Narcissist, much like the equally popular Chanel Notorious, makes visible a bazillionty bumps I didn't even know were there. Lurking.

On my cheeks, in real life....it aint pretty. Even my blush-eating camera can pick up on the bumpiness, translating it as blotchiness (and I swear I blended properly), which makes Narcissist exactly the kind of cool pink rash I get from a mild rosacea flare, for free.
Tom Ford Cognac Sable quad, Wet'n'Wild Cherry Bomb lipstick

Yeah, it's out.
But neatly, it's yet another colour family I'm fairly well equipped to comp-swatch ;)
Tom Ford Narcissist blush swatch Sleek Pink Ice Suqqu EX02 Mizumomo Becca Lychee beach tint Addiction Amazing cheek stick
Sleek Pink Ice (from Pink Sprint trio) -- the most pigmented, and coolest of the bunch
Suqqu EX-02 Mizumomo (right pan only) -- cooler than TF, without its warmer shimmer
Tom Ford Narcissist
Becca Lychee Beach Tint -- more candied, lighter
Addiction Amazing Cheek Stick -- tonally closest to Suqqu, but it's a totally different texture, yeah? And doubles as a matte lipstick *hoards*

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Ford Farewell I: Tom Ford True Coral lipstick

Among my presents under the tree last Christmas was this selection of bits from Tom Ford, courtesy of a friend who'd noticed the absence of this brand in my stash the last time she'd come round to play Makeovers(!one!!eleventy!)
Tom Ford Cognac Sable quad, Narcissist blush and True Coral lipstick
And *spoiler alert* they pretty much confirmed my feelings of "meh" towards this line. Since my earlier forays into and farewells to Tom Ford makeup (three other quads, a blush and two lipsticks) predate this whole blogging thing, I thought I'd review these new "outs" as they go. First up: Lip Colour in True Coral.
bit washed out here -- it's really as bright as in the first picture, above
I wasn't a fan of the original Tom Ford lipstick formula, but the new line (of which this is a core shade) sacrificed a little pigment for a much smoother texture, which seemed promising. Sadly, the MAC-like vanilla scent remains. Pigmentation is still on the good side -- not quite full-coverage, but definitely above average -- and the finish is that kind of close-to-lips satin which means good wear-time and even fading.

Unfortunately, being freakishly dry-lipped, long-wearing formulas tend to sink into and highlight every single one of my vertical lip lines. And this is no exception. Freshly applied over lips in tip-top condition (no flakes or chapped areas, freshly exfoliated and prepped with lip balm), True Coral just about passes muster:
Tom Ford True Coral lipstick swatch

However, the desiccation process begins immediately and is visible a bare five minutes later, even at a more normal distance -- check out those crevasses:
Shiseido Jungle trio, Illamasqua Rude cream blush

Looks aside, this lipstick also makes my lips feel dry and after a day's wear, even with regular top-ups of lipbalm, leaves them in slightly worse condition. I seem to be alone (or in a tiny minority) in the blogosphere in experiencing this drying effect, but makeup can just be tricksy like that. Ingredients list for the curious:
Tom Ford lipstick ingredients

The one aspect of True Coral I love unreservedly is, of course, the colour; my Santa knows me well. This also means that parting with it was not such sweet sorrow, as I had these to keep me company....
Tom Ford true coral lipstick swatches Guerlain Rouge G L'Extrait Colere, Revlon Strawberry Suede, Lancome Corset, Chanel Rouge Allure Genial, Hourglass Femme Rouge Muse
Guerlain Rouge G L'Extrait Colère (review/swatch -- note how this matte is more flattering on my lip texture than Tom Ford's satin)
Revlon Strawberry Suede (discontinued)
Lancôme Colour Design Matte Corset
Tom Ford True Coral
Chanel Rouge Allure Génial (discontinued -- see how pink it looks against the others here)
Hourglass Femme Rouge Muse


Tom Ford Lipsticks retail for £36 each in the UK.