Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Cheek Palette

When I think of the ultimate luxury makeup brand, I think of Tom Ford. Others are right up there–Chanel, Burberry, YSL–but Tom Ford just has that certain edginess they lack. It’s luxury, but it’s also just a really cool brand.

Last Christmas, my husband gifted me my very first Tom Ford product, the Shade & Illuminate cream blush and highlighter palette in Scintillate. At a whopping $85, it’s hands down the most expensive makeup item I’ve ever owned, something I wouldn’t treat myself to. Not going to lie, I squealed with delight when I opened it up, like receiving a Barbie Dream House when you’re six years old.

Admittedly, and a bit embarrassingly, I tried out the product only about a month ago. I have a bad habit of waiting to use expensive things because I don’t want to mar their beauty or use them up. This is ridiculous, I know. Barring collectors, why have something if not to use it? I had been waiting for the perfect occasion to crack into this bad boy, but the “perfect” time never comes. So, I tried this out on a normal Sunday and was left wondering why I waited so long.

TF 8

The Packaging

As with any Tom Ford product, the packaging is beyond gorgeous. The palette arrived with a suede-like dust cover. Though impractical, I love the touch of luxury a dust cover brings. The palette itself is sturdy, with a nice weightiness and a firm enclosure. The inside includes a mirror that expands the entirety of the inner lid, and the blush and highlighter pans fill the bottom portion almost to the edges.

The Blush

This blush is peachy-pink with a warm undertone. It has a balmy texture and a sheer finish on the cheek that lends to a natural flushed look. I find it lasts the entire day and, despite it being a cream, does not budge.

To apply, I swirl my finger in the product to warm it up and then tap it onto the apples of my cheeks. Next, I blend it out around the apple of my cheek and toward my temple using a damp sponge. Specifically, I like using my Real Techniques Miracle Finish Sponge, which was designed for the express purpose of blending out blush. Though I haven’t attempted using a brush, I have tried blending this blush out with just my fingers and found it would mess up the foundation underneath. With the sponge, it blends out effortlessly and flawlessly.

Swatch 2

The Highlighter

Raise your hand if you like a natural highlight. I know I do! That’s why this is the highlighter of my dreams. It imparts a truly lit from within glow. Although the highlight has a neutral, champagne tone, it really doesn’t add any visible color to the skin, and I’m all for that. It simply reflects light.

Just like the blush, this lasts all day and doesn’t move around. Once again, I swirl my finger into the product and tap it on the high points of my cheeks. Unlike the blush, the highlighter blends perfectly by just tapping it into the skin with a finger. After, I run over it once with the sponge for good measure.

Face Pic 10
Indoor Lighting
Outdoor Lighting

The Verdict

I’m happy to say that, in my opinion, the quality and aesthetic of this palette justifies the price. There’s a certain refinement to this product that makes the experience of using it quite lovely. At the same time, I’m not going to call this a staple. I probably won’t replenish this, given the price. However, if you’re looking to treat yourself to an expensive piece of makeup, this will not disappoint!

What’s your favorite luxury brand or product? I’d love to know in the comments!

xoxo Kelli


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