UPDATE! For our FULL review of the ENTIRE Private Shadows Collection, click here!
Fans of Tom Ford's eyeshadow quads rejoice! The luxurious cosmetics line is releasing an extensive new collection called **The Eyes of Tom Ford**. Yep, you guessed it- it's a collection focused completely on the eyes. The stars of this collection, which also includes an eye gloss, 3 brand new mascaras, and color extensions to the existing pencil eyeliners, are sure to be the clutch-sized 'Private Shadows'. Back in September, a Tom Ford representative named Allan Apone went on Sephora's Beauty Talk forum to answer questions and chat with major fans of Tom Ford Beauty. Throughout the course of the chat, we learned that the upcoming eyeshadow singles would include **30 shades** in **5 different finishes**. Two of the finishes would be old favorites, which fans of the permanent Eye Color Quads will be sure to recognize: UltraSuede (completely matte, no pearl), and Sateen (lustrous pearl with a glowing sheen).
However, Apone also revealed that **3 completely new finishes** would be debuted: Suede (demi-matte with subtle pearl); Vinyl (highly pearlized, metallic chrome); and Paillette (sequined, glittering pearl). Each of these adorably packaged singles run $36 USD each. To our readers in Southeast Asia: Emily has done the requisite intel and we can reveal that these babies will run at $58 apiece at Tom Ford counters in Singapore.
Each finish contains six different shades, which we've listed the names of below.
Row 1 L-R: Black Onyx, Breathless, Camera Obscura, Emerald Sun, Fire Sign. Row 2: Tempete Blue, Exposue, Infrared, Iris Bonze, Moonlighting. Row 3: Silver Screen, Smoked Opaline, Agenda Rouge, Burnt Suede, High Rise. Row 4: Hush, Loveshade, Videotape, Blonde Venus, Dark Victory. Row 5: Naked City, Nightcast, Starlet, Vertigo, Blue Velvet. Row 6: Body Double, Photographic, Purple Reign, Violet Vinyl, Warm Leatherette.
The Tom Ford Private Shadows, along with the rest of the new collection, are slated to drop on Black Friday (that's November 24th to all you non-Americans out there; and Emily’s brother’s birthday to...Emily). While these were supposed to be a Sephora exclusive, I think I speak for many of us when I say I don’t even know what that means anymore.
As luck would have it, FOUR of the shades have made their way into my hands a little bit early! Lucky me and lucky you. There are a few shades that I've beenn eyeing which unfortunately aren't included in this sneak peak (Videotape! Get on my eyelids ASAP!) so you can be sure that I'll be picking up more colors at the end of the month. In the meantime, I have one shade in each of the new finishes to share with you: Hush (Suede); Blue Velvet (Vinyl); and Camera Obscura (Paillette), plus one Sateen called Smoked Opaline, which - you heard it here first - is simply too beautiful to pass up.
The singles are a nice option for those who like to mix and match shades instead of relying on pre-selected quads. Of course, $85 USD per quad is a better deal (not that any one would ever mistake Tom Ford makeup as being a "deal") than 4 individuals which will run you $144. Now, the packaging does not disappoint; the eyeshadows look like exact miniature versions of the quads, but the gold hinge swings forward and down, revealing a little clasp that opens the compact. The packaging is rich, glossy mahogany as is standard for Tom Ford products, and the gold endcap with ‘Tom Ford’ etched into it is a lovely little detail.
Hush is a pinky light nude, quite close to my skintone so it's hard to accurately photograph, but it's beautiful, trust. The finish is AMAZING, fingers crossed the rest of the suede finish shades have this same glow and sheen, because I think they’ll be really beautiful. This is not matte, zero glitter, and is almost like a wet luster on the skin. It’s incredibly smooth. I don’t have another eyeshadow quite like it, the soft gray from the Tom Ford Titanium Smoke quad has a similar finish but is more satin (and obviously not a color dupe); the closest thing I could find is Surratt Soie, which again is not exact and is a bit more shimmery, but has the same sort of silky smooth glow.
Dirty gold frosted over olive/army green. To me, this seemed more metallic than the Vinyl. It’s shimmery but with no obvious glitter and like the suede finish, is very smooth. Depending on the light, it can shine gold or green. This one is foolproof it's so easy to use and blend. It also looks gorgeous smoked out on the lower lashline. I have a real soft spot for olive greens, I think it's an underrated color even though olive clothing brings out the Kermit undertones in my skin. But on the eyes? Especially if you have hazel or brown eyes...perfection. Smoked Opaline is very similar to Charlotte Tilbury's Eyes to Mesmerize cream shadow in Verushka but a smidge lighter and with a stronger gold reflect.
I’m not one for blue eyeshadow in general, but this is a gorgeous cloudy, stormy, smokey blue- almost a deep gray blue. It's almost...subdued? Can a blue eyeshadow be subdued? There is glitter in this one, which adds sparkle and dimension in a very elegant way. I love it! When I opened this one I immediately smeared it all over my lids with a finger and then blended out the edges and then went out in public, and I'm 99% sure I did not look like a 1980s disco queen nor Mimi from the Drew Carey show, so make of that what you will. It's a wearable blue, in other words.
First impression: SHEER. I'll be honest and admit I initially found Camera Obscura difficult to work with. It's stunning in the pan, a purple a bit deeper than lilac with a touch of pink and just full of multicolored microglitter that catch the light beautifully. Without primer it is extremely subtle and using it wet only makes it marginally darker. If you want it to look remotely like it does in the pan you need a primer. Something like Urban Decay Primer Potion works fine, a glitter primer works even better if you want extra oomph. This one also goes on easier with a finger than a brush, unless you want to wear it as a sheer wash of color. Camera Obscura doesn't feel gritty like the glitter topcoats in Tom Ford quads or the Marc Jacobs Style Eye Con palettes, I assume because the glitter itself is more of a very fine microglitter than large chunks.
I had high hopes for these as a fan of Tom Ford's quads and cream eyeshadows, but was a bit nervous after being slightly underwhelmed by his recent Lips and Girls launch (although not as thoroughly underwhelmed as Emily, who had a quarter of her Girls break on her!). Overall, I’m a fan of Tom Ford's Private Shadows. One thing to keep in mind: for the most part, these shadows are buildable and you can build them up to your desired opacity on your lids. They are by no means patchy, but don't expect WOW IN YOUR FACE PIGMENT at first swipe - I don’t think that's how they were intended to be anyway. These shadows perform well alone or over eyeshadow primer, but with primer they really will not budge from your eyes. I also noticed that using primer kicks the pigmentation up several notes notch for Blue Velvet and Camera Obscura (respectively, a Vinyl and a Paillette). I recommend using Camera Obscura over a specialized glitter primer to achieve a jaw-droppingly gorgeous sequined effect.
The Tom Ford single eyeshadows don’t feel powdery like most formulas. The closest comparison I could find is the Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder Eye Metal formula, which is similarly hard pressed, has little kickup and doesn’t feel at all like a traditional powder when you swipe the surface with a finger. This lack of powderiness translates beautifully when applied to the eyes- the shadows seem to melt and meld with the skin instead of sitting on top, leaving them looking multidimensional- never flat and dull. Great news for me, because my face eats up complex shadow looks- heavy winged liner, 5 different shades blended intricately into the crease...not for me my friends! My eyes are deep-set and borderline hooded so heavy eye looks are one of the quickest ways to age me by about 10 years. But I don’t like to be left out of all the fun, so I adore shadows that give me a taste of that complexity and dimension without overpowering my features. This is partially why I love Tom Ford’s cream shadows so much- so easy, looks like I spent so much more time getting ready than I actually did! Either in a wash all over the lid, or built up layered on top of a complementary color, they are my go-to’s. So I was happy that this collection, while obviously powders and not creams (Mr. Ford needs to expand his cream shadow line too, please), has a nice range of neutrals, staple colors like cream and taupe and warm, velvety browns, with purples, blues, greens, and even orange mixed in. I can see myself easily pairing one of the neutral suede or mattes with a more vibrant vinyl and just leaving it at that.
I hope you've enjoyed this little sneak peek. Are you planning on getting any of the new singles? Let us know in the comments below!