| Review | Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation



| Review | Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation

Tom Ford has recently released its most expensive foundation yet and you know I had to pick up to see if it is truly worth the hefty price tag. I have always been a huge fan of the Shade and Illuminate range, which consists of the glossiest and glowiest complexion products. It is very exciting to see a foundation come out as part of this range, especially because I love a serious glow! The biggest hesitation when it comes to this foundation is the sticker-shocking price tag! So, is it worth it?




PRICE & PACKAGING

The Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Soft Radiance Foundation retails for $150.00 for 1oz. and is currently exclusively available at Nordstrom. Yes, that was no typo! This foundation is $150!! Now, embarrassingly, this not the most expensive foundation I have reviewed on this blog but it is pretty close. I have a lot of thoughts on the cost of this foundation that I will go into when I speak about the formula of this foundation.




The foundation is luxuriously packaged in a heavy cognac glass bottle with gold trim and a magnetic cap. It is an ultra-luxe, sleek, and elegant bottle. It seems the brand is taking a new direction with packaging, products, and rebranding themselves because this new foundation packaging is much more luxurious than previous foundations and it is also in the same style as the Gloss Luxe Lip Glosses (full review here). I love this packaging and I really feel like it elevates the brand's style and elegance, however, it isn't nice enough to warrant the high price tag. This is, however, a huge upgrade from their traditionally plastic foundation packaging (with the exception of  the Soleil Glow Foundation, full review here

SHADES 



This foundation has a massive range of 40 shades! This is HUGE for a luxury brand to cater to such a wide range of skin tones because you will often see luxury brands with shade ranges anywhere from three to ten. This is one of the first luxury foundation ranges that has gone to 40 and it's something to applaud Tom Ford for. 

That being said, I stuck to my good old 6.5 Sable shade, which suited me perfectly! This medium skin tone shades have a yellow undertone to it but it isn't overly yellow. It has a nice warmth to it but it still suits my skin tone very well and blends in seamlessly.


Foundation pumped from the bottle


Heavy Swatch


Blended Swatch


Fully Blended

Here is the Shade and Illuminate Foundation compared to the Soleil Flawless Glow Foundation and the Waterproof Foundation & Concealer. These are all in the shade 6.5 but you can see that the Soleil Flawless Glow Foundation runs more neutral in tone than the other two. The Shade and Illuminate and the Waterproof Foundation seem to be almost identical in shade. Overall, it seems like Tom Ford is pretty consistent with their shade names coordinating to their shades. You can probably trust that if you already use their foundation, the same shade number will be your match in this foundation as well.


Swatches from left to right: Soleil Flawless Glow Foundation, Shade and Illuminate Foundation, Waterproof Foundation & Concealer


Swatches from left to right: Soleil Flawless Glow Foundation, Shade and Illuminate Foundation, Waterproof Foundation & Concealer

FORMULA 

Ok, let the rant begin... so if you're going to charge $150 for a foundation, I, as a consumer expect this foundation to be packed with skincare benefits or do something amazing and special to my skin. This is not only because the price is so expensive but because equivalent luxury brands are offering foundations in this price range that supposed to infused with some skin of anti-aging-proprietary-skincare-magic and what does Tom Ford give us? 

Here's the claims of this extremely expensive foundation written on the Nordstrom's website: 
What it does: The fade-resistant moisturizing, nourishing and protecting formula contains a blend of advanced elastomers and light-diffusing powders to create the perfect radiant surface. Designed to create the appearance of flawless skin, this foundation also nourishes with breathable protection and is infused with hyaluronic acid to moisturize for a plump, dewy look. A trio of natural oils including balsam copaiba, andiroba, a├žai and anti-inflammatory noni fruit extract nourish and calm the skin while broad-spectrum SPF 50 helps protect from the harmful effects of the sun.
Research results:
In a consumer test on 104 women immediately after use:
- 97% said it immediately left skin looking smooth
- 92% said it immediately left skin looking radiant
After one week:
- 94% said it provided breathable coverage
- 93% said it felt lightweight on skin
First of all, they used the term "Research results" to make it sound like this foundation has something really special in it where they had to conduct "research" for measurable results but the problem is that these "measured results" aren't anything to be excited about! I mean, "people thought their skin looked good immediately after applying foundation" is one of the most bullshit statistics I have ever read! Of course, their skin looked smooth and radiant! It's a radiant finish foundation! That's what it's supposed to do!



Then they go into say that AFTER ONE WEEK people noticed the breathable coverage and lightweight texture of the skin?! IT TAKES SOMEONE ONE WEEK to notice this?!!! If you don't notice the texture and the way a foundation feels on your skin immediately after application, I think you have some big problems.

These statistics prove the foundation isn't an actual "special formulation" because these are just made up some inflated statistics about nothing. If they had actual legitimate claims about the foundation "improving skin" or "after one week, people noticed their skin was smoother and more supple", I would care about the statistics. These statistics aren't anything revolutionary, they don't encourage me to buy the foundation, and they make me extremely skeptical about the quality of this foundation.

To me, this is a HUGE MARKETING FAIL! This coming from both a consumer standpoint and my professional opinion, as someone who works in that industry. I feel that they are marketing to their consumers like they are stupid and won't notice these bullshit claims. I feel that they think we will be impressed with these "statistics" when they mean nothing! I really don't appreciate being treated like a fool! In this day and age, when consumers are educating themselves thoroughly before purchasing high ticket products, I feel that this marketing tactic is extremely foolish and embarrassing for such a big brand to partake in. Rant over.


This foundation also contains SPF 50, which is very high for a foundation. I personally prefer foundations without SPF because, like most people, I use a separate SPF regardless. I suppose if you're feeling particularly lazy or you forget your SPF, you will be covered by applying this foundation. Just be wary of possible flashback from flash photography however, I haven't seemed to run into this issue with modern foundation formulations like this one.

INGREDIENTS

Here is the full ingredients list from the Tom Ford website:
ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: ENSULIZOLE 2.7% , OCTINOXATE 6.7% , OCTISALATE 4.5% , ZINC OXIDE 3.8%
INGREDIENTS: WATERAQUAEAU , DIMETHICONE , PHENYL TRIMETHICONE , BUTYLENE GLYCOL , GLYCERIN , POLYMETHYLSILSESQUIOXANE , LAURYL PEG-9 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXYETHYL DIMETHICONE , HDI/PPG/POLYCAPROLACTONE CROSSPOLYMER , TRIMETHYLSILOXYSILICATE/DIMETHICONOL CROSSPOLYMER , TROMETHAMINE , POLYSILICONE-11 , HEXYL LAURATE , CETYL PEG/PPG-10/1 DIMETHICONE , NEOPENTYL GLYCOL DIHEPTANOATE , HYDROXYETHYL UREA , TREMELLA FUCIFORMIS SPOROCARP EXTRACT , HYLOCEREUS UNDATUS FRUIT EXTRACT , EUTERPE OLERACEA FRUIT OIL , CARAPA GUAIANENSIS SEED OIL , LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (LAVENDER) OIL , SAPINDUS MUKOROSSI FRUIT EXTRACT , MORINDA CITRIFOLIA FRUIT EXTRACT , POLYGLYCERYL-4 ISOSTEARATE , COPAIFERA OFFICINALIS (BALSAM COPAIBA) RESIN , TRIOLEIN , CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE , BETAINE , CAFFEINE , ACETYL HEXAPEPTIDE-8 , TOCOPHERYL ACETATE , TREHALOSE , HYDROGENATED COCO-GLYCERIDES , CAESALPINIA SPINOSA GUM , TRIMETHYLSILOXYSILICATE , POLYHYDROXYSTEARIC ACID , LECITHIN , GLYCERYL STEARATE , TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE , LAURETH-7 , SODIUM CHLORIDE , DISTEARDIMONIUM HECTORITE , METHICONE , LINOLEIC ACID , PHOSPHOLIPIDS , STEARYL ALCOHOL , CETEARYL ALCOHOL , AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE , SODIUM HYALURONATE , TOCOPHEROL , TRIETHYL CITRATE , PALMITIC ACID , DIMETHICONE/DIVINYLDIMETHICONE SILSESQUIOXANE CROSSPOLYMER , PHYTOSTERYL CANOLA GLYCERIDES , STEARIC ACID , OLEIC ACID , POLYSORBATE 80 , POLYSORBATE 20 , BEHENYL ALCOHOL , SILICA , LINALOOL , DISODIUM EDTA , BHT , POTASSIUM SORBATE , SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE , PHENOXYETHANOL , [+/- MICA , TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891) , IRON OXIDES (CI 77491) , IRON OXIDES (CI 77492) , IRON OXIDES (CI 77499)]
With other luxury foundations within the same price point, they often contain skincare benefits or skincare ingredients. This one also apparently has skincare infused into it but it makes no mention of it on the Nordstrom's website only on the Tom Ford website. What bothers me is that they don't tout their supposedly "skincare infused" formula in their statistics but instead focus on some bogus statistics about how it looks and feels on the skin. I suspect this is because the product contains so little of these skincare ingredients that it doesn't make a measurable difference.

According to the Tom Ford Website, this foundation is infused with:

Hyaluronic Acid - As you probably already know, hyaluronic acid is an extremely popular ingredient for retaining moisture in the skin, which in turn, plumps the skin and makes the skin look youthful. This ingredient often makes a product very hydrating, which is great for dry and mature skin types.

Balsam Copaiba Oil - This oil derives from tree sap and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It has also been known to help treat acne. It is also known to a powerful healing oil, helping with skin conditions, infection, and even pain relief. Some article I came across claims that it activates your skin's cannabinoid receptors, producing endorphins the skin making you happier. Being an oil, this ingredient, of course, helps with hydrating the skin but it is also supposed to help with tightening the skin, reduce the appearance of scars.

Andiroba Ascai - This is an Amazonian superfruit that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for the skin. This oil is not only anti-aging and helps fight free-radical damage but its nourishing and vitamin-rich oil is great for healing skin conditions. It is also known for promoting skin cell turnover and speeding up skin injury recovery. It is also known for building stronger collagen in the skin, plumping it and making it smoother. It also helps deeply hydrate the skin and soothing inflammation.

Noni Fruit Extract - Like the other ingredients in this formula, this ingredient is known to contain vitamins and antioxidants to fight free-radical damage and rejuvenate the skin. This fruit extract is also known to be anti-bacterial, which is great for acne-prone skin types. It is also packed with essential fatty acids, which nourish and improve the cell membranes of skin cells.

As amazing as these individual ingredients sound, they don't reflect very strongly in this formula. However, I feel this way about most foundations that claim to be skincare-infused. The foundation is very comfortable on the skin, it also feels hydrating, and the skin-soothing ingredients seem to soothe any irritation I have. Since they don't seem to highlight the skincare in this formula, I feel that this formula isn't going to be doing any wonders for the skin but it also can't hurt. I appreciate when brands put skincare into their product because I do believe that every little bit helps but don't expect this formula to work any miracles on your skin.

One thing to be aware of is this formula contains a lot of silicones in it. If you are sensitive to silicone heavy formulas, this may cause irritation or breakouts.

FINISH & WEAR



This foundation has a medium to full coverage and is very buildable. The coverage of this foundation is really good. With two pumps, I have pretty much full coverage. If you'd like it to be a bit sheerer, I'd recommend only a half pump or one pump and applying the foundation with a fluffier brush, lightly buffing it all over the face. I find the most flawless and streak-free application is using a dense buffing brush and stippling the foundation or using a beauty sponge. You will achieve the most coverage and most even application with these methods.

This foundation has a very light and runny texture. When you pump some on the back of your hand, it will run and move about your hand. It blends into the skin very seamlessly and evenly with very little effort of blending needed. What I love about this formula is that it's so easy to apply the foundation, get coverage, and all with very minimal blending needed. The foundation seems to create a very even veil over the skin but also blending into the skin and becoming part of it. The coverage is so amazing and it looks so natural that I have often forgotten to put on under eye concealer because my skin looks so flawless.

This formula really smooths over any texture or lines. Although it blends into the skin, it doesn't sit or sink into any fine lines. This is probably due to the high silicone content in the formula. Silicones tend to fill in and smooth over texture and lines in the skin. This is what creates a very flawless veil over the skin. This also means that for most people, you can forego the smoothing primer because this will cover both primer and foundation steps. However, if oil control is what you're after, you will need a primer.


I wouldn't call the finish of this foundation a "soft radiance", that makes me think of more of a natural satin finish. It is very much a glossy, dewy, and glowing finish that you often associate with the Shade and Illuminate range of products. However, the dewiness does seem to soften a bit after you apply the foundation. The foundation while dewy doesn't remain wet or tacky on the skin but it doesn't set down, so it will transfer onto your phone or if you touch your face. The transfer is very minimal and I don't recommend setting your face because it covers up the beautiful healthy glow the foundation provides.

This foundation gives you a very glossy and glass-skin effect. It looks very healthy and fresh on the skin. Like many of my favorite foundations, it gives a very fresh and surreal finish to the skin. It's an extremely flawless finish that will have people complimenting on your "perfect skin".

This foundation has great wear time even without being set and can last beyond eight hours, however, depending on how you prep your skin, you may find to wear off much faster. On my dry skin, my natural oils will seep through a bit during the day. If you have a more combo skin type, you may want to selectively powder your more oily areas. As a dry skin type, I am very pleased with the comfortable formula and longevity. These two features don't often go hand in hand.


COMPARABLE FORMULAS



There are some formulas that I find quite similar to this foundation, which make it hard for me to say that this foundation is worth the heft price tag. The Tom Ford Soleil Flawless Glow Foundation (full review here) has a very similar silicone-based formula and dewy finish. This is the closest formulation to this foundation and it cost significantly less.

I also like the Guerlain L'Esstentiel Foundation (full review here), which doesn't have the same silicone-based formula but it does have a dewy finish and similar coverage.

The other foundation I find similar is one that was also recently released, the Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultra Radiance Liquid Makeup (full review here). This one has a very similar glossy and dewy finish but it doesn't last as long on the skin and it isn't a silicone heavy formula.

I'm seeing many people comparing this foundation to the Estee Lauder Futurist Foundation, which I don't own but I'm not surprised, considering that Estee Lauder is the mother company to Tom Ford. Their foundation formulas would be extremely similar and Tom Ford has already been caught repackaging formulas from other Estee Lauder-owned brands. For example, the Emotionproof Eye Colors are the same exact formulas as the MAC Paint Pots, you can read all about it here.


THE LOOK

This is what the foundation looks like on the skin. Note: I am wearing the Shade and Illuminate Highlighter and Shader Duet, as well as the Shade and Illuminate Cheek (review here, now discontinued). The Glow Sticks (full reviews here and here) are identical in formula to the Shade and Illuminate Cheeks. This is the glow that you see on the cheeks but the all-over glow come from the foundation since I did not powder my skin.



FINAL THOUGHTS

Ok, so I got very heated and worked up over the poor marketing tactics when it came to this foundation, which has left me with a very bitter feeling towards the foundation. This tricky means of marketing this foundation upsets me so much because this foundation is ridiculously expensive! Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there is anything worthwhile to justify the extremely high price of the foundation, so they chose to make something up! This I can't forgive them for.

However, the foundation itself is very beautiful. I will admit that the formula and finish are absolutely stunning! I love the natural and glowing finish to this foundation. The smoothing and filtered finish to this foundation make your skin look so flawless. I love the coverage this foundation provides without looking or feeling heavy at all. If price wasn't a factor in this review, I would highly recommend this foundation for its beautiful formula and finish. This is the kind of foundation I love! It's a foundation that is ideally suitable for normal to dry skin types, also mature skin types. If you spare no expense when it comes to foundation, I highly recommend picking this up.

However, when we factor in the cost to this formula and finish, I can't recommend it. It's so insanely expensive and I don't think it actually does anything that special to the skin that other foundations wouldn't also do. There are many foundations out there right now with a dewy and flawless formula very similar to this that will be half the cost or less! Don't let their "sly" marketing tactics try to convince you that this foundation is special. It's not. It is beautiful but at a $150 price tag, I just can't recommend it.

Shop Tom Ford Beauty:

2 comments:

  1. IDK but I've lost interested in some of Tom Ford's newer products.. Not Tom Ford quality and aesthetics, but how the marketing can be so-so. I do love my Soleil cushion and the previous light liquid foundation is a part of my never-ending wish list.. But this is a skip for me. Thank you for the thorough review!!

    -Laura / Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

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  2. Thank you for the honest review! This is what I love about your blog. Honestly I hate it when companies think consumers are idiots. If someone with the slightest interest in high end products reads that ingredient list..... they are bound to notice the bucket load of silicone they are paying a premium for. oops!
    Sad way to go about marketing. I'm surprised no one actually thought of talking about the so called skincare in it. And why is lavender oil so high up in the ingredients list.... It's a pass for me.

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