Dec 272013

Tom Ford Stick Foundation1

I’ve been using the Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation ($78./0.5 oz) occasionally for the past year. I purchased this last January, where I got into an arm-wrestling match over my color. You can see swatches of all shades helpfully here at The Beauty Professor. I ultimately settled on #3 Fawn, although this is on the deeper side for my Chanel Cameo/MAC NC15/20 skin tone. I had just returned from a sunnier climate, and I suppose my neck and body were a bit deeper then. The reason that I mention this is that stick foundations tend to be higher coverage, and we all know what that means. The more coverage you get, the more the color match matters, and the less forgiveness you have if there is a mis-match.

Tom Ford Stick Foundation3

The rather massive and gorgeous packaging holds 1/2 ounce of product. Although this is less than a typical bottle of liquid, you do not need much of this foundation to get medium coverage (more will give you full coverage). I’m an old hand with stick foundations, all the way back to the Chanel stick foundations of the 1990’s, so my application is a bit fearless.  First of all, the formula is very, very emollient and yet long-wearing. This rather miraculous combination of attributes allows you to have controllable, all-day coverage.

Tom Ford Stick Foundation5

Your application technique matters very much with this foundation. I have read reviews that describe this coverage as “heavy” and “too much.” It is true that it is a real challenge to get light coverage with this stick foundation. On light coverage days, I opt for another foundation choice and can use this as a concealer (if at all). For medium coverage, I dot this very lightly on my forehead, cheeks, and chin. The formula is very emollient, and as your skin and fingers warm the product it is very easy to spread over my face to get medium coverage. The product can be built up over any problem areas for more coverage. The effect is beautiful. It dries down, and makes my skin look gorgeous and very Tom-Ford-fabulous. It gives just enough of a sheen to look moisturized and youthful, and stops well short of looking even the slightest touch oily.  Although this looks amazing on my combination skin, those with drier skin will truly adore this slight sheen effect.

Tom Ford Stick Foundation4

I tend to use this when I’m looking forward to a formal event, whether a meeting, all-day conference, or evening event with a strong lip.  The wear time is phenomenal. This foundation does not break down, period. I do not get breakthough-glow on my combination skin, it just does not quit. So if you are looking for a luxury look that lasts all day, Tom Ford is your man.

Long Wearing Foundations11

As you can see, Tom Ford #3 Fawn is a little deeper and warmer than a few others in my foundation stock.

Same comparisons in different light:

Long Wearing Foundations09

Overall, Tom Ford’s Traceless Foundation gives a beautiful effect to make my skin look far better than it actually is. I understand that the foundation does not promise skin care benefits, it just makes my skin look fabulous. So I apply my skin care and sunscreen underneath. As with all stick foundations, removal is important to fully cleanse the skin and remove all traces of the product. I use an oil remover (currently, Shiseido), a Clarisonic with a cleanser, and a toner.  I need these to fully remove my sunscreen, so this is not a variation from my usual routine.

Tom Ford Stick Foundation2

 Like a perfect pair of pumps, Tom Ford’s Traceless Foundation makes me look fabulous, well-dressed, and comfortable without concern for breakdown or breakouts. When I’m getting ready for an event, I’m happy to have Tom Ford along for the (usually overly long) day.

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  11 Responses to “My Thoughts: Tom Ford Traceless Stick Foundation Review”

  1. I love this foundation. I ordered it online after researching swatches and got lucky with my match also. (Am BR22 in Chanel, got Bisque in this TF stick foundation.) Like you, I save it for special occasions when I want my foundation to last all day. It makes me look completely poreless. I use the TF Cream Foundation brush to blend it though, instead of my fingers. Works great!

    If you are looking for another great cream foundation, I highly recommend the new Armani Maestro Cream Compact foundation. I’ve seen mixed reviews for it online, but I LOVE it. Even more than this TF foundation! It’s a holy grail for me. Completely invisible and eerily weightless, and yet covers everything! Leaves a nice dewy finish, but not *too* dewy (I have oily skin and hate looking too greasy). Anyway, you should check out the Armani compact!

  2. Thanks so much for reviewing this. I’ve been considering it for many months now, but I live far from stores and haven’t yet seen a review by a blogger I “know” (that is, have been reading for years) and trust. Until now! So your review is extremely valuable to me. Altho my skin is much drier than yours, my skin color/tone seems similar, so that’s helpful in terms of picking a shade. I’d read in some reviews that the TF stick can collect in pores/wrinkles. Do you find that to be true? And have you tried the liquid version? I’m curious about that one, too. Thanks again.

  3. I’m so happy you shared this – I love stick foundations! I recently bought Bobbi Brown’s stick foundation and really liked it, sounds like I might like the Tom Ford version even better.
    Like you, I travel often for work and pleasure. I find stick foundations so much easier for travel. I dot the stick all over my face and rub it in with a little Bobbi Brown hydrating cream to make the coverage a bit less heavy. Then I apply a bit more under my eyes instead of concealer. I love the ease of the product (dont’ have to carry it in the stinking quart size bag!) and I feel so much more polished….the wear time is great with stick foundations!

  4. Stick foundation from the 1990’s? My, but you are an old-timer! 😉 Try Max Factor Pan Stick from the 1950’s. LOL As the old saying goes, “We’ve come a long way, baby!” TF’s is definitely one of the best stick foundations currently available. Apply it to your hand to warm it a bit; then use a brush (TF’s cream foundation brush is perfect!) to buff it in for as much or as little coverage as you desire to create a luminous and even finish. Your skin will look polished, poreless, and totally flawless. Interesting side note: This is the foundation Tom Ford wears and it is promoted as the foundation of choice for men because it is emollient enough to be applied easily over facial hair.

    Apropos colors, the swatches on The Beauty Professor give an idea of the color range, but they are not accurate. Unlike your photos, her lighting is off which distorts the colors. Since this is an expensive cosmetic, I’d strongly recommend going to the counter and testing colors on your jawline rather than ordering based on her arm swatches. It’s important to see how this foundation is actually going to look on your face since there isn’t a lot of forgiveness. If you don’t have a local counter, at the very least, call and tell the TF person what foundations you currently use.

    • Love you Eileen! 🙂

    • Great post… I love the TF Foundation stick, I have it in #5. I am very thankful for the shades the Beauty Professor so kindly swatched (of all the shades in different lighting scenarios!!)–Her swatching is immensly helpful!

      Thank you for all your wonderful reviews.

  5. Thanks for another great, informative review. I have the stick in both Fawn and Pale Dune (and the corresponding liquid foundations) and if you found Fawn slightly too dark, Pale Dune may work. I don’t notice a huge difference on my skin, but Pale Dune is one shade lighter. I have not noticed either the stick or liquids collecting in pores. They are really nice, both of them. I sometimes use the liquid and then the stick as concealer. Love having the stick as a travel option to reduce the amount of bottles in that tiny permitted carry on bag! It also works beautifully when I want to contour with Make Up Forever (or the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate).

  6. I’m more of a liquid foundation kind of girl, but I’d love to try this Tom Ford stick foundation. It looks like it’s great quality, and I love that you said it has good wear time. That’s a must for me!

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