I had hoped that after the launch of his lipsticks that Tom Ford would enter the fray of creating an entire cosmetic line. And now my wish has come true. Soon Ford will launch a 132 piece collection of luxury cosmetic products collaborated on with makeup artist extraordinaire Charlotte Tilbury. Tilbury happens to be one of my favorite makeup artists so when you add Ford, Tilbury and an ad campaign featuring Lara Stone… I am in heaven.
I fancied myself rather akin to Ford as he spoke to WWD about his days as a kid in the mid-Seventies when he would come home after school open a box of creal and watch the Merv Griffin show. He too was influenced by all the glamorous guests like model agent Nina Blanchard, hair guru Vidal Sassoon and a litany of others.
Ford told WWD “he’d wanted to do color for a long time — as far back as when he was creative director at Gucci. Even when he founded his signature brand in 2005, the time still wasn’t right for a launch. “My intention was to do color cosmetics out of the gate, but not everyone else was convinced that I had a voice in color until the lipsticks started selling out again and again,” he said, referring to the Private Blend Lip Color Collection, a group of 12 ultrapigmented colors that launched last year”.
From WWD -Ford’s starting point was facial structure and the importance of creating the illusion of symmetry. “You need to understand the face and compensate for the architecture of the face,” he said. He points to eyebrows, which fade and thin out as a woman ages. “A nice thick brow is the key to a youthful look,” he said, adding that a darker, heavier brow can make a high forehead appear less high, while an arched and tailored brow can make a round face appear more regular.
Ford said his calligraphy tip brow pens are so precise, they can be used to draw on individual brow hairs. He’s also a big believer in reshaping the face with illuminating and sculpting products such as the Shade and Illuminate cream duet. “In the old days, this used to be called contouring makeup.”
He said that, overall, he’s more about color than a nude face: “For night, it’s a strong eye and a strong mouth.” Indeed, even his lip glosses — with racy names like Lost Cherry — are packed with pigment. Eyes are most definitely smoky, and the key is to “anchor” intense colors around the eye with a rim of kohl-effect pencil, said Ford, who worked with the British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury on the cosmetics. The effect is the feminine aesthetic at Studio 54 circa 1978, the full glossy lips and thick brows, the sparkling eyes and the long flowing locks on characters including Jerry Hall, Lauren Hutton, Mariel Hemingway and Bianca Jagger.
Ford is so invested in this collection that he’s appearing in the ads — in sensual poses alongside his glamour girl models. “I’m not in the ads because I’m vain. A lot of people still don’t know who I am, and the product sells better with me in the ads,” he said. “The old designers — Yves [Saint Laurent], Giorgio [Armani] and Ralph [Lauren] — occasionally used to do it.” Ford also uses a lot of the skin care products himself, including the Traceless Foundation Stick in the corners of his nose and eyes, the Illuminating Protective Primer, and the Purifying Crème Cleanser “it goes on like cold cream and the skin feels moisturized and unbelievable.” He sometimes sleeps in the oil-based serum, Intensive Infusion Concentrate Extreme, which he said absorbs straight into the skin.