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Tom Ford Goes Luxe with Lips

Renata Espinosa
May 14th, 2010 @ 1:17 PM - New York

The first thing you notice about the new Tom Ford Private Blend lip color collection, aside from its slick minimalist-meets-baroque glossy white and gold trimmed packaging, is its delicious aroma of a freshly opened bar of dark chocolate. Rather than slide the smooth, luscious color across your lips, you might be tempted to take a bite. It’s like the Lip Smackers lip balms you loved as a kid, in a more adult version.

The second thing you notice is that all twelve shades seem to be chosen for their “essential” quality. Whereas some companies might tempt us with their rainbow array of lip shades, Tom Ford has selected the colors that he feels are the ultimate versions, from a tawny Vanilla Suede that gives lips a pale Bond Girl sexiness, to True Coral, a perky pinky red that’s like an instant happy pill for your lips and just the shade for a sultry summer night’s soiree.

But it’s the dewy, lush quality of the formula itself that makes the Tom Ford lipstick worth the $45 price tag. It’s not the most expensive lipstick on the market -- Cle de Peau Beauty’s “Extra Rich Lipstick,” at $60, might win that prize -- but it was developed (in conjunction with Estee Lauder) with luxury on the brain. Ford said he wanted it to use ingredients that are usually only found in high end skin care, such as soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower. The result is an ultra-creamy formula that combines the moisture of a lip balm with long-lasting pigment so that it looks matte, yet doesn’t cake or dry out on your lips.

The lipsticks are moving fast, said a spokesperson at the Tom Ford boutique on Madison Avenue in New York on Thursday, May 13, where a handful of editors previewed the luxe tubes. In particular, the supply for the nudest shade in the group, Vanilla Suede, sold out on the Neiman Marcus Web site. The collection is also sold at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, both in stores and online.

The lip color collection is the first rollout of what will be a larger beauty collection for Tom Ford; the next addition, the specifics of which have not yet been revealed, will launch this fall.

For now, the focus is on the lip -- for Ford, one of the most dramatic accessories a woman can wear.

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