| Review | Tom Ford Extreme Eye Color Quad in Badass

| Review | Tom Ford Extreme Eye Color Quad in Badass

This quad of smokey tones is definitely a badass combination of shades. Not exactly my idea of a holiday palette but I love the vibe nevertheless. As part of the Extreme Collection, this palette already has its cards stacked against it because this eyeshadow formula has a pretty horrible reputation. Historically, I have found these Extreme Eyeshadows to be very hit or miss. I have previously reviewed these eyeshadows as single eyeshadows here and again, in the 2018 Extreme Eye Color Quad in Frost Fire here.

The Tom Ford Extreme Eye Color Quad in Badass retails for $88.00 USD and is available at Sephora and other retailers. This palette has the same style compact as the classic Tom Ford Eye Color Quads but instead of cognac and gold, the compact is an extremely reflective silver compact. This makes the packaging very fingerprint-prone. However, it does look very cool and it's a nice switch up from their traditional packaging. 


The shades in this palette are very smokey, which suits the "badass" title it has been given. The four shades in the pan are much more stunning in person than in the promo pictures. You can see the flecks of shimmer and refects in each shade that you aren't able to see in promo pictures. The four shades are:

Warm Champagne (top left) - This shimmering champagne shade is quite warm and on the peachy side. 

Blackberry Shimmer (top right) - The eyeshadow has a black base with blackberry and burgundy shimmer running throughout it. 

Charcoal Sparkle (bottom left) - This shade is a sparkling charcoal shade with a multidimensional rainbow sparkle running throughout it. 

Shimmering Black (bottom right) - This shade is a matte black base with a multidimensional rainbow sparkle running throughout it.

Swatched dry


I pulled out some similar shades from the Tom Ford range but none of them really "dupe" this palette. Also, no one palette has similar shades to the ones in the Badass palette. To compare with the Blackberry Shimmer shade, I have the deepest shade from Virgin Orchid Eye Color Quad (full review here) and Ripe Plum (LE) Eye Color Duo. To compare the Warm Champagne shade, I swatched the Shimmering Ivory shade from Double Indemnity Eye Color Quad (full review here).

Badass - Blackberry Shimmer

Virgin Orchid - Deep Plum

Ripe Plum - Plum 

Swatched from left to right: Warm Shimmer (Badass, Light Champagne (Double Indemnity), Blackberry Shimmer (Badass), Deep Plum (Virgin Orchid), Plum (Ripe Plum) 

To compare the Charcoal Sparkle shade, I swatched the charcoal shade from the Starry Night Eye Quad (DC) and to compare the Shimmering Black shade, I swatched the Sparkling Black from the Double Indemnity Quad. 

Badass - Charcoal Sparkle

Charcoal - Starry Night 

Swatches from left to right: Charcoal Sparkle (Badass), Charcoal (Starry Night), Shimmering Black (Badass), Sparkling Black (Double Indemnity)


The Extreme range of eyeshadows doesn't typically come in this gel-powder formula, which is typically a very high-quality eyeshadow formula. These baked eyeshadows can be used dry or wet for more intensity. Performance-wise, I found these eyeshadows to perform exceptionally well for this black-based eyeshadows. I found the formula to be extremely creamy and smooth! They have a beautiful buttery texture but because of the sparkle in many of shades, there is minimal fallout.

I believe that this palette is extremely misunderstood and in general, black pigment-based eyeshadows tend to be very misunderstood. I feel like the reason why this palette has been receiving such bad reviews is that people have different expectations for these eyeshadows. For example, people are expecting the Blackberry Shimmer shade to be this burgundy eyeshadow but it's not, it is a black eyeshadow with burgundy shimmer. The distinction is very important because the majority of the eyeshadow pigment is coming from the base shade, which is black, not burgundy.

When you apply an eyeshadow that has a black base, that will be the dominant color and the sparkle is strewn throughout. To get the sparkle to stick and stand out on the eyes, you need to use a colored base, like an eyeliner or cream eyeshadow. I recommend using a dark or black base because these eyeshadows already have a dark base and this will allow the sparkles to really shine. Alternatively, you can use a base that has the same tone as the sparkle you are trying to bring out.

I found this application method to be ideal for this kind of eyeshadow formula. The Blackberry Shimmer shade is the poorest performing eyeshadow when applied on a bare lid and has a tendency to fade to deep brown and lose its shimmer throughout the day. However, when applied over a burgundy eyeliner, it remains true to the pan color all day long.

Additionally, when you are applying these black pigment-based eyeshadows, the best technique is to use a very dense and stiff brush to pat the eyeshadow on and blend only the edges. This ensures you get the full impact of the shimmer applied to eyes and you don't blend any of the shimmers away.

When it comes down to it, I think a big part of why the palette has had so many poor reviews is because of user error, technique, and incorrect expectations. I personally found all the shades to be pigmented and easy to blend. The applied evenly and smoothly on the eyes. In general, the black-based eyeshadows are a bit drier than others in this formula but that tends to be the case with most black eyeshadows.


For this first look, I started this look by using a burgundy liner to sketch out my outer corner and then I used a small detail brush to smudge it. Then, I applied the Blackberry Shimmer shade on top of the smudged liner with a dense flat eyeshadow brush. I used a dense crease brush just to blur and blend the edges. I applied the Charcoal Sparkle shade in the middle of the upper lid and the Warm Champagne in the inner corner.

For this second look, I used the Shimmering Black on the inner and outer corners of my upper lid and the Charcoal Sparkle for the middle of the lid. I applied these shades with a stiff and dense eyeshadow brush and a patting motion. Because of how dark this look is, I felt I needed a crease blending shade, so I took my bronzer and applied on the edges for a seamless transition. I then applied a burgundy eyeliner on the upper lid winging it out and halfway on the lower lid. I used the Blackberry Shimmer to smudge out the lower lashline and I applied the Warm Champagne in the inner corner of the eyes.


I understand why there are so many bad reviews for this palette but I personally strongly disagree. I don't believe this is an amazing or must-have palette because it does require a lot of work and technique to create a strong end result. I also don't think it is for everyone because this palette isn't meant to offer even a somewhat wearable smokey eye. It is designed to give a very intense, very black, and very sparkly smokey eye. I really think people have been judging this palette too harshly and it is very misunderstood. It is my no means a bad palette but it is a palette that can take a lot of time to apply and work with.

I would recommend this palette because I have really enjoyed working with it and wearing it. I think this palette is ideal for someone who enjoys a black smokey eye because the majority of the shades have a black base. I also think someone who really likes to experiment with makeup and has the time to apply elaborate or more complex looks will like this. This isn't a no-brainer or easy to apply eyeshadow for the everyday on-the-go person but if that person wants a super badass intense smokey eye when they do have the time to apply it, then this is the palette for them!

Overall, it's a very fun palette that is true to its name and because of user error, technique, and incorrect expectations, it has gotten a bad rap. I think this badass palette is just an incredibly misunderstood palette and it's worth giving it a chance!

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