Tom Ford has pages’ worth of accolades like none other: he’s been a fashion designer for 29 years (he cut teeth in 1990), launched his eponymous brand in 2005, launched his own film production firm, directed films A Single Man (2005) and Nocturnal Animals (2015), and has no intents on stopping.
Just a couple of months back, Tom Ford announced that he was rolling out a skincare line in hand with the beauty giant Estee Lauder Companies, christened Tom Ford Research. It was to be a luxurious line with high-performance products formulated by top-notch scientists.
So, instead of leaving the Estee Lauder Companies to run the trials and formulations for him, Ford personally involved himself, assembled a team of scientists of his own, have a laboratory to himself, just so he could bring his project into fruition.
“My vision is to merge breakthrough skin science with true luxury, to create transformative skincare regardless of skin type or gender. This is the reason I established Tom Ford Research,” he says in a release. “Working closely with a team of scientists, we develop what is truly remarkable and that which delivers undeniable visible results.”
While you’d expect Ford to roll out a full 12 or 16-piece product range in great fanfare, he did the exact opposite: he launched two products, a serum and a cream, housed in the simplest matte white and black packaging emblazoned with nothing but the words “Tom Ford Research” and the products’ names.
Given the no-frills philosophy that Ford adopted for his skincare range, you won’t find application instructions, suggested usage, or recommended skin types. Well, if you were to pick up these products then you must be some kind of serious skincare aficionado to start with.
Yet, don’t be mistaken. If you happen to be familiar with the clothes that Ford sends down the runway and his cosmetics line, there’s nothing inconspicuous these products. From the choice of ingredients, the texture and application, the results, and the packaging, everything feels luxurious.
The Serum Concentrate
First up, the serum. Priced at $503 a pop, this is a potent formula jammed packed with potent ingredients — majority of which poses low risk to the body (or you might know it generically as ‘clean’). A couple of ingredients that stood out to us were, namely, white porcelain cacao, caffeine, and Gyokuro.
There are a few key benefits here: it moisturises, reduces fine lines, gives lethargic skin radiance, and energises the skin. Pop open the magnetised cap and at first whiff, you’d immediately realise that the gel-like formula is unscented — you really do smell the mix of ingredients in there. Spread it around your face and you’ll find that this lightweight formula glides easily and is readily absorbed into the skin, leaving behind a velvety, matte finish on dry, normal, and oily skin types.
The Créme Concentrate
At $588, this is an ultra-rich face cream that delivers intense nutrition and hydration to the skin. The repertoire of ingredients is largely similar to that of the serum’s, save for the presence of the moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid and urea, vegetal oils, cholesterol, and shea butter — just to list a couple. Again, the benefits are intense hydration, radiance, and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
The fragrance-free, lightweight cream feels like ice cream at first touch — soft but it melts as you spread it around the face, leaving behind a faint trail of sheen before disappearing as its absorbed into the skin into a barely-there texture on dry skin types. On normal to oily skin types, a thin film product coats the face — perfect as a night mask for individuals who consistently sleep in dry, air-conditioned environments.
Oh, yes. Both products are suitable for irritated skin, says the brand. The Tom Ford Research laboratories had individuals use the serum and cream on their red and irritated post-chemical peel faces. And, well, the redness subsided according to these clinical trial reports.
The verdict? A powerful skincare duo.