Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate- the art of Chiaroscuro comes to life

Tom Ford has the perfect product to enhance your natural contours of your face (and even make supermodels jealous.) The cream duo allows you, the artist, to mould your features and hide your imperfections. Your cheekbone are now discovered and you will be bathing in the etherial glow of this soft-focus sheer highlighter. This is a cream palette which is housed in the distinctive Tom Ford packaging. Two large size pans are filled with one luminescent pearl highlighter and a natural shade for contouring that does not add warmth but depth to your face (a key feature for a good contour product). This shade, although a cream, goes on natural with a more matte finish. Many reviews made me worry that my oily skin would not like this cream product, but once applied it stays put and does not look shiny. The highlighter, of course has a more dewy finish to it, but used sparingly and in the right places can be worn during the day without making my skin look greasy and at night to add allure to a smokey, sexy look.
Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate should be renamed “Contouring and highlighting for Dummies.”

Shade and Illuminate in Intensity One
When at the Tom Ford counter, the correct method of applying the Shade and Illuminate was shown to me. Tom Ford is all about being bold, bordering on exaggeration . The Sale Associate also explained how Tom Ford loves symmetry and even the most beautiful are not perfect. This duo helps, with a little smoke and mirrors to achieve this beauty in symmetry. Lara Stone looks gorgeous and over -the- top lounging on Mr Ford himself, in many previous Tom Ford beauty adverts. The contour shade is therefore, taken in an arc motion. The top should line up with the top part of the ear, then arced downwards, following the hollow of the cheek. This, of course is the area we want to shade and recede. Please note that I did place too much product to illustrate the shape of the line. I used the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate brush, which was designed for precisely place the product in the right place. This cream can also just be used in the typical position as a diagonal straight line in the hollow of the cheek, from the ear area to direction of the mouth. But, since we are all little Tom Ford monsters, we need to do it in the Tom Ford way!

Step 1 : Apply contour shade in arc
Step 2: Pull brush along arc to blend cream
Step 3 : Pull brush downwards blending in the hollow of your cheek
Finish – subtle contouring achieved
L-R Illuminate pearl shade, Countour Shade, Contour shade blended out (with flash)

I did the face swatches without any foundation and in full sun. With your favourite foundation a more flawless finish will be achieved. The illuminate shade should be used on the high points of the face. These being down the centre of the nose, the cupid’s bow part of your lip, brow bone and the part of the cheek just below the undereye area on the outer area of the eye (my beauty mark marks the area). Got it! I have had so much fun using this product. While the brush, they say is not essential, to achieve that Tom Ford glamour, it really makes it child’s play. Intensity one will suit a wide spectrum of skintone. If you can check it out at your nearest counter. Makeup does not come better than this!

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8 Replies to “Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate- the art of Chiaroscuro comes to life”

  1. Hi Stacey,
    I have had my difficulty with contouring as well. This product really makes it easy as it blends out beautifully. My Nars Laguna bronzer is sometimes a bit strong in colour and harder to correct any mishaps. You have a great shaped face so accentuating your bone structure with the Shade and Illuminate will add even more dimension to a good canvas!

  2. This is the first time I've seen this "arc" method… definitely interesting. Contouring and highlighting truly do make such a difference in how the face appears – shape and bone structure. It's not something I do everyday, but when I do it, I always feel I should do it more often

  3. Hi Catherine,
    I love this method with my TF duo and I've only ever used it this way. One SA at a Tom Ford counter was doing my makeup and applied it in the usual way – I do not think Mr Ford would have been too pleased! But I must agree I am finding contouring more and more an essential in my daiyl makeup routine! Let me know how you go with this 'arc' method.

  4. Hello Bellyhead,
    Thank you- I really wanted to demonstrate how to use it! Today I used my mac contour creme and it was more of a muddy mess. Just go for it and have fun!

  5. Tom Ford Hit this one out of the park! It is my go to contour product at the moment. Its cream to powder formulation makes it gear to for winter and summer too! I would love to know how you are "hopefully" enjoying using it!

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