Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tom Ford Beauty: Let's Talk About It


Tom Ford Beauty, a makeup line carrying the name of the designer and supposedly curated/art directed/envisioned by him was announced a few months ago to much excitement from Ford's fans and makeup enthusiasts everywhere. Like many, I was intrigued and seduced by the promo photos that were released at that time and made plans to shop my heart out as soon as the Tom Ford collection comes out. When Bergdorf Goodman sent the email last week announcing the line is available for pre-order I clicked there as fast as my fingers could.

It's Sunday night and I have yet to place an order.

I'm not saying I won't buy anything. I'm just uncomfortable with it right now.

There are rumors and stories floating around concerning Tom Ford's actual involvement in the brand that carries his name. Tom Ford Beauty is an Estee Lauder-owned company, and they're the ones calling the shots. Various Lauder companies produce some of my favorite makeup items so seeing them branching out and creating a top luxury brand is definitely interesting. Many of you know me. I love my luxury products and I buy them whenever I feel they're worth it because I appreciate the extra care and quality put into many of them: unique concepts, exquisite textures, outstanding colors and packaging.

Is Tom Ford Beauty on its jaw-dropping prices really all that? Perhaps it is. I hope so. Some of the original Private Blend lipsticks (in the white packaging, now discontinued) were among the best I've tested.  But  I'll wait until I can see more in person, because at $78 for an eye shadow quad (compare with the $59 Guerlain) and makeup brushes that are priced at Hakuhodo S100 series level (the flagship range) and above, it better be breathtaking and made of awesome.



My biggest problem, though, is something relatively silly. Ever since the first promo pictures arrived I've been lusting after the chocolate brown nail polish. I quickly scrolled down on Bergdorf Goodman website to find it. There it was, gorgeous and sexy. But also named 'Bitter Bitch'. I don't know about you, but I find this a lot more offensive than any silly hyper-sexualized names (hello, Francois Nars, how are you doing?). I'm not here to be insulted by my nail polish or any other inanimate objects.

What say you? Did you order anything yet? Are you going to? How do you feel about a $45 lip gloss named 'Lost Cherry"? Please comment and share your thoughts.

All photos of Tom Ford Beauty: Bergdorf Goodman.

47 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you. I love my two Tom Ford lippies that I own, but I am a little hesitant about buying more. I want to wait to see if the new products are worth it. The price point is kind of ridiculous, so they better be some AMAZING products.

    Thanks for the post~

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  2. Are those really the names? Here I was thinking Tom Ford would be classy. I think I've reached the too rich for my taste limit and will stick to Guerlain & Chanel. lol

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  3. Now, while I absolutely want a nail polish called Bitter Bitch, I have to draw the line at Lost Cherry; it sounds entirely too rape-y for my tastes. I adore Tom Ford and I quite enjoy the shock value of most of the things he does, but god, what a HORRID name for a lip gloss. Not even NARS would go that far, and I'm having some issue with the G-Spot Multiple!

    Now, as for the actual products: $78 for a quad is...kind of hard for me to swallow. I want to buy one and compare it to my new Estee quint. I have a hard time believing that the Tom Ford MU just isn't gussied-up Estee. Still, I know I'll probably end up with at least a blush and that Bitter Bitch NP.

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  4. No; I am in agreement when I hear coarse names in luxury (or cheaper) products. It takes the niceness out of things and is just not necessary.

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  5. I read an interview in a mag (forget which one) in which he mentions those shade names specifically (Bitter Bitch, Lost Cherry) and seems to be very proud of them. I find it rather tasteless and at odds with the elegance of the products themselves. As for whether I'll purchase any... maybe when I win the lottery. I don't need TF makeup to be bitter or to lose anything, lol.

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  6. I was disappointed to find out what 'Lady Muck' meant when I purchased that Butter London polish, so I don't blame you!

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  7. I'd have to agree with you. I'm not a huge fan of the names you mentioned, and wary of the price point. However, I think many of the products have normal-ish names. I'm not planning on purchasing at this time, but am curious to see reviews or even see them in person.

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  8. I haven't ordered anything because I wasn't impressed with the TF lipstick I have. Chanel and YSL are just as good or better, IMO, and less expensive. The eye shadows look appealing, but I've read on another blog that the eye shadow quad the blogger tested has begun to glaze after a couple of uses. I’ll wait to read more reviews. The nail polish colors intrigue me most. They look unique, but you can't trust internet images. The current Chanel Holiday collection is a case in point: the lipsticks and nail polishes looked true red in the promotional photos, but turned out to have pink hues and shimmer, which don’t appeal to me at all. I’m not likely to buy products with names that demean women or that are so coarse I’m embarrassed to tell anyone what I’m wearing. I won’t buy the other polishes (or other products) if I read that they don’t wear well or if the colors are not unique. We’ll know soon enough if there are equivalents available or dupes. I don’t care if he lent his name to Estee Lauder products as long as the quality is equivalent to the price. At these price points I expect LMdB quality and performance.

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  9. I am very discomforted when men and women laud Tom Ford as some sort of paragon of taste and style. No mere human being should be held to such high standards. Ford is a very talented director, a great fashion designer, and a famous perfectionist. But he is also misogynistic, elitist, and sometimes just plain tasteless. I'm not sure why any woman would want to look ghoul-like and objectified a la Lara Stone in the ad campaign for Tom Ford's cosmetics.

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  10. I fully agree. If butter london came out with bitter bitch id be all over it. But from tom ford? It doesn't fit. Also, I found the entire polish line yawn worthy. Beyond Safe. Boring.

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  11. You're right: it's creepy. ~~nozknoz

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  12. This is one of those rare times where as a UKer I got to play with these in person before the blogosphere hype started up (the line had a soft open in two dept stores in September).

    My favourite brands are Suqqu and Rouge Bunny Rouge, so the prices alone are not an issue for me. However, having swatched and tried most of the line on my face by now, I will not be buying anything. In my opinion, the quality is solidly Chanel/Dior/Guerlain and the pricing is pure brand positioning.

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  13. I own two lipsticks from the original white case line but I don't see myself purchasing anything from this new one. If I do, it will only be because Crimson Noir works well with my skin tone.

    I'm willing to pay if the product delivers but I'm having hard time justifying this price point. And some of the names . . . No thank you. I was able to overlook Deborah Lippmann's Bitches Brew because of its Miles Davis reference. I'm still wary of the name, given Davis' treatment of women, but at least Lippmann picked an existing song name and isn't herself insulting her customer (at least I hope not).

    But I can't stomach Bitter Bitch. Or Lost Cherry. That one makes my skin crawl. There's shock value and there's trying too hard to be shocking.

    - Kel

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  14. Tasteless? Nay, I think "provocateur" is to give him too much credit. He's nothing but an attention whore. Even the price point is supposed to make you gasp and wonder, much less the stylized misogyny. Boring pigments, too. Standardized, market-researched EL palette.

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  15. I find naming like this tasteless no matter the price point, however having the prices so high and firmly in the luxury cosmetics range does make it worse. I just can't into brands who try too hard to be "edgy" with their product naming. Let the actual products be edgy and I can respect that.

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  16. I have several lipsticks, an Eye Shadow Quad, and a blush, and I LOVE THEM ALL!

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  17. Lost Cherry? Now I'm glad that the quad I got is called Burnished Amber. What I find weird is that most of the products from TF line have really normal names so these two, Bitter Bitch and Lost Cherry are just completely unnecessary.
    I haven't seen the whole TF range in person but I ordered the Burnished Amber Quad with a lot of help from my UK friend and I really love the texture of those colours (they're by far better than for example my latest Chanel purchase, the eyeshadow in Magic Night, which cost 30€, gulp). I got the Burnisehd Amber because there were already some posts on it by other bloggers and the swatches looked very promising. But I've read some blog posts about some other quad colours and apparently the quality of the eyeshadows is not the same throughout the whole line. I don't know whether I'll get anything else from the line - especially as I don't have access to a TF counter and can't really see the colours in person.

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  18. Nor Chanel nor Guerlain nor YSL qualify for luxury products. Recently, luxury lines come from everywhere: Edward Bess, Hourglass, LMdB "claim" to be luxurious, but how do they convince you? Just from the price point! And some heavy and lustrous packaging. Quality is not pigmentation or softness or firmness of the products. It's about them being friendly to the skin and staying on the skin and looking natural, no matter how extreme the colour. Anything that fades or causes any sort of direct or long-term irritation or health problem or looks like your face is plastered with chemicals and wall paint is a gimmick.

    I' ve tried all of the brands mentioned above and more. They have so many flaws! I could accept the quality of some of their products, as decent. My favourite brand used to be Shiseido. I had confidence that I would buy an excellent product, whatever that would be. Their price range was high, but reasonable. Unfortunately, their quality has dropped a little bit. Plus, I don't risk buying Japanese cosmetics any more, after the radioactivity issues they have over there.

    As for the "it's Estee Lauder quality, but overpriced" argument, it's so untrue. Estee Lauder quality is mediocre. Tom Ford's is by far superior. The fact that a Group has the fiscal and managerial control does not translate in similar products. Is Maybelline in par with Shu Uemura? Is L'Oreal in par with Giorgio Armani? Yet, they are in the same cosmetics Group along with other brands. The reason why this is happening, is not for economies of scale in the production of the SAME products. It's a matter of market penetration, distribution, control of resources, etc.

    TF is a definite buy for someone who just appreciates makeup and not makeup junkies / hoarders. If you hadn't hoarded heaps of rubbish makeup, you could have afforded a few select TF.

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  19. I am in no way tempted to purchase from this range. I have trouble viewing any recent brand as luxury and exclusive - that is something that goes with heritage for me. Plus, while I definitely admire the Tom Ford perfumery line for doing something different, there is nothing particularly unique about the colours or presentation of the cosmetic range. It's hard to be unusual with colour cosmetics but Nars for example consistently manages it. I don't think this line does and that means there is no temptation at all for me to pay the considerable price premium over Chanel or Guerlain.

    I'm not sure how I feel about the naming. I certainly find some of the Nars names a bit vulgar but I only start thinking about that after I've identified something I actually want in the range and there is nothing in the TF range I do want.

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  20. I totally agree with Joey: Bitter Bitch is a bitchin' name, but Lost Cherry crosses the line.

    I loved Asuka's comment, and ITA.

    I'm a huge Tom Ford fan, and I'm salivating over the makeup line. The only problem I have with the prices is that I'll be able to afford very little - but I'm not upset at the exclusivity factor that the high price provides.

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  21. I didn't realize the original white packaging lippies were discontinued as a result of this lauched. Now I'm annoyed, because Moroccan Rouge is one of my favorite lipsticks colors of all time.

    The names are just tacky, but they don't really surprise me. The curious thing about Tom Ford is that the brand always veers between taste and tasteless.

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  22. I ordered four items so that I could see for myself whether they deserve the acclaim. They are like a research project to me. If I didn't write, I would not have ordered. The prices are ludicrous. I am usually hesitant to return makeup I ordered (my choice, after all), but if the first quad or first blush I try doesn't knock my socks off, the second of each will go back unused.

    I agree that vulgar names are unnecessary and insulting. The culture of vulgarity that many designers seem to celebrate (see the nudity on recent runways) is a sad commentary on the "state of fashion and beauty."

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  23. I went to look at the Guerlain shadow palette last year at $78 and just couldn't bring myself to pay that much. Now it's $59. Maybe somebody got a clue?

    I find the whole TF persona to be tiring. Maybe that's just me. And, as for NARS, I can't bring myself to buy a blush with That Name, either, although it would be a good color for me. In general I'm the least old-fashioned person I know but I guess this stuff is where I draw the line.

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  24. The price points are simply ridiculous. I worked in the food business, and the raw materials for cosmetics are simply not that expensive! It's one thing to splurge on a beautifully packaged lipstick, as you can "show it off" when reapplying, but $78 for four eyeshadows that I have read are mediocre?
    One thing that perplexed me about the TF launch was the size of the line. Wouldn't it make more sense to start with a limited color story and build from there? What new products can possibly be introduced? Every color is already there - especially in the eyeshadows and blushes. I feel very "meh" about he line.
    I also very much agree with Charlestongirl's comment about the "culture of vulgarity." Cosmetics at the TF price point should exude more class.

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  25. I have several lipsticks and eyeshadow quad and I do think the eyeshadow is really good..
    I don't think it s expensive at all if you consider the size of product. It is like 30-40% times bigger then standard quad..
    But of course, personally I would prefer if they make it smaller and charge less..

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  26. All Lady Muck means is that it is a woman who feels she is too important or upper class to talk to anyone else. It is someone who feels that they are aristocratic without the back up. In other words, a snob. There is nothing else behind it.

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  27. I'm with Joey -- I totally wanted Bitter Bitch, but I read his comment on why he called it Lost Cherry ("if you haven't yet, this gloss might make it happen" etc.) and that grossed me out. I'm not a prude, but I am the mom to a young girl, and this kind of over-sexualization is starting to make my skin crawl. I know the price point puts it out of the reach of younger girls, but it isn't something I would want to have to explain if my daughter ever read the name on the tube.

    And the prices! I get tip wear on day 1 with Estée Lauder polish, and this costs $30?!? It had better wear like a gel manicure for that price. I've seen swatches from our UK blogger friends, and I'm not that impressed. I like my original lipsticks, but not enough to buy more.

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  28. I don't even look at lipgloss so Lost Cherry passed me by (can I just say Urgh though?) and we don't have the nail polishes here yet (although I can live with Bitter Bitch as a name more comfortably than Lost Cherry).

    I think the sexualised names are unnecessary. I also suspect they are deliberate, in order to generate buzz and controversy.

    It's a shame. I've been able to look at the products at a counter and make gradual and considered purchases, and I've loved everything I've bought so far. The prices are high, but the amounts are generous too - 10g in the eyeshadow quads, compared to something like 1.2g for a Chanel quad.

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  29. This type of marketing cheapens Tom Ford's products. I like and wear many of his fragrances, but I can't in good conscience purchase these products. I feel to do so would encourage a culture of vulgarity and misogyny toward women.
    With all the anger/ugliness in the world, this is unnecessary.

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  30. I was really looking forward to his new products (although they are not available in Greece, as far as I know). But the prices are so insanely high...
    And I totally agree about the sex/insulting names. Besides the insult, do they take us for men? Only men would be thrilled and drawn with such implying names. People, think of something that will draw WOMEN!
    -Marianthi, Greece-

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  31. I honestly feel kind of "meh" over the whole thing. None of the shadow quads or nail polishes blow me away. The Crimson Noir lipstick is tempting, but otherwise this line kind of bores me. I don't see anything that other brands (Chanel, Dior, Guerlain, even MAC and NARS) haven't already offered.

    As for the names? Eh, tacky, but not particularly shocking or cause for a moral outrage. I mean, NARS has a blush called Deep Throat. I don't think anybody can outdo that, in terms of shock value.

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  32. I found it pretty weird that TF lipsticks in spite of their pr iciness contain gluten (wheat germ extract), while most of the luxury brands don't. Wheat and gluten are cheapest fillers... :)

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  33. Gosh, I'm late to this but Lost Cherry. Ewww! I was really keen on the collection but after some mixed initial reviews I decided to wait until I could look in person. I've not had opportunity yet so I'm still TF quad-less.

    I am sure I'll get something, there's a lot that appeals but it is undoubtedly expensive. I shall be having words with Father Christmas. I'm not sure he'll forgive me if I put Bitter Bitch on my list though!

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  34. I don't particularly care for Tom Ford as a person after reading some of his comments. The names just seem like par for the course. I can't see his products in person and the price points are too high to order sight unseen, so I will not devote any space to his beauty products. The nail polish colors aren't unusual or unique, though the purples do look nice.

    He (or Estee Lauder as a company) must have faith in the economy picking up because the Ford line has plenty of beauty and skincare products. I know that those flush with cash are starting to spend it again, so it'll be interesting to see how much of a hit the line will be.

    As far as brown nail polish, I know Revlon and Essie have made browns within the last year. I'm sure OPI has, too. If Essie wears decently on you, you might want to look for swatches of Little Brown Dress.

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  35. Asuka,

    As is the case with many of us, it's just your opinion. People really vary greatly in how their skin reacts to makeup so TF might be totally blah on one person while L'Oreal works very well and of course vice versa. Yes, it's possible, no one makeup is flat out 100% best all the time on every person.

    We can disagree with the quality of the Tom Ford line and say it's really quite up there in price and not be junkies or makeup hoarders that should have saved their money to buy TF cosmetics.

    In any case, my thoughts are - did we really need another designer to come out with a cosmetics line? It's really not as if the colors and products are so incredibly original that a new line should come out. Even if your name is Tom Ford. :)

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  36. Ladies,

    Tom Ford puts his line of products on sale; we are not obliged to buy it. If we feel the price is too high, we restrain and use worse or finer cheaper substitutes :) No doubt about that! But the laws of demand & supply don't work here. Even if you protest that the price is high, I don't see any spectacular discounts (max 20%) coming other than the regular ones offered by the stores. TF makeup line, although not LE, is set to become collectible. Prices will not drop on ebay or other discount markets.

    The quality is definitely good and definitely overpriced. That's how most things "luxe" are marketed - we pay the costs of marketing. But, as many people already mentioned, quantities are generous!

    As for the offensive names, seriously, how many can you count among all the line...? Most of them are totally uninspired and unimpressive! That's what I noted as drawback.

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  37. As for showing your disdain on the fact that he launched a makeup line, you treat him unfair :( There are so many celebrities out there who put NO effort or artistic direction in products that simply carry their name, leaving the factor of familiarity with their name do the magic and trick us to buy. No matter what the quality of the products turns out to be, the intentions are insincere and lazy. Tom Ford is an individual who has contributed to the world of fashion and is involved, even if that means hiring the people who represent his beauty and quality ideals, in the lines he launched.

    By the way, isn't Lara Stone a model quite far from the ideal of beauty other brands convey? There is one stunning detail: her eye colour is green-hazel. I don't remember any high-end (and most drugstore) brand prefering this eye colour. I don't have blue eyes, so I don't need to see the colours on a face like Natalia Vodianova, who has quite an unnatural appearance, totally right for graphic representation. I don't identify with this ideal. That's snobbism: representing your makeup line on blonds with blue eyes... :(

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  38. Love Dain's comment "he's an attention whore," I couldn't agree more.

    When I first saw the pictures, I was very underwhelmed. Now that I know about the "Lost Cherry" name I am completely turned off.

    No interest in this line here.

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  39. I won't be buying any Tom Ford soon, as I live in the french speaking great white north, but I don't find misogyny cute so I definitely won't - I have other options. Sorry it is as simple as this: if you want me to buy your expensive product, don't insult me or my intelligence. It is nice to hear someone else can't get with that.

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  40. Wow loved all the comments (but not necessary agreeing with all of them)
    Interesting TF line : Yes, but not ready to buy yet.

    As for the name, I couldn't care less, but yes it is a little ''dépassé'' or ''cliché'' as some say Nars went on that road a long time ago!
    And really if i'm wearing Lost Cherry I might get lucky??? Isn't why the caveman start wearing colours on their skin (for war and for love). Tom won't start any scientific revolution with those statements.

    As for Luxury, makeup is luxury! that you spend 1$ for a nail polish or 25$, we don't need this to live. So if you decide to pay 75$ for a quad why not? Isn't Clé de Peau in that range? I have 3 LMdB Kaleidoscope who cost me 95$ each, plus taxes, plus shipping and handling, and duty free because I live in Canada, So I think 75$ is a bargain! (LOL ok not really but hey a girl can make jokes!)
    My philosophy is wait and see and yes I want that lipstick ;)

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  41. I just question the originality of a designer when I see someone give products names that remind me of Nars and whose advertisement made me think it was a new collection from Illamasqua.

    Could be the products are good, but their advertisements aren't making them stand out from the pack aside from price.

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  42. I find the price point to be over the top for my budget. I can justify Chanel pricing; I could justify TF's price (if the quality was in line with price) but I have yet to experience any of this first hand so, really no comment.

    As far as the naming, I'm turned off by much of what's going on in fashion, not to mention media/entertainment. Too much sexualization, sublime violence. I'm more turned off by the fact that there are TV shows whose whole premise is based upon (sensationalizing) sexual violence. TF's line (and others) is just an extension of this.

    Just makes me appreciate my Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and Chanel all the more.

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  43. I'm a bit slow evidently; I didn't catch the name "lost cherry", but I found "love bruise" and "bruise" plenty offensive. I suppose I'm solidly middle class, but I don't find the line to be aspirational with these tacky names, and from what I've heard about the eye shadow quality, middling performance. Moreover, the lipstick has phthalates! I expected better. Estee must be turning circles. Oh, well - is the Aerin line going to have color? Maybe that will be more for grown-ups and less for teenagers who look like adults. -Jane

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  44. I'm not interested in the line. I have 2 lipsticks in the old packaging. They are OK, but looking back, I wish I purchased 4 Guerlains.

    TF thrives off of controversy, because of that, I'm not letting the names bother me. That's what the brand wants! I do find it tacky. But, I find NARS, Urban Decay and Illmasqua crass too. Like I would want a nail polish named "milf". Ugh.

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  45. I think a lot of you are being ridiculous, and singling Tom Ford and NARS out. Almost every major makeup company has a few items in their collection that allude to some sort of sexual undertone. Who cares? You have the choice to not buy it and ignore it completely.

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  46. OWN's new show, "Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind," will focus on Tom Ford for the hour tonight.

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  47. OK, so here it is 2013, and I'm commenting on a 2011 post. Oh, well. From a small town Southern woman's point of view...most of the women I know (except for me, of course!) who would pay the high prices for Tom Ford's beauty products are exactly the type for whom the names would be conversation starters and flirtation devices. Go figure.

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