My highlighter stash just keeps growing and growing but the funny thing is I'm highlighting my face less and less these days. In this kind of weather, my face kind of auto-glows by itself not long after I put on makeup in the morning. Does it ever stop me from buying more, though? Of course not. However, I have promised myself that I'd be more picky from now on. It can't just be any new highlighter, it has to be one that I have a strong feeling for. And Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo in Moodlight is one such product! Let's see if it performs as beautifully as it looks!
Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Powder Duo in Moodlight comes encased in a signature Tom Ford's mahogany brown with gold trim compact. It has a full-sized mirror and strong magnetic closure. The product is wrapped in a protective pouch to keep the shiny surface scratch-free during storage and travel.
At a glance
At first glance, I was floored with the beautiful crosshatch pattern across the surface of the powder. It's a very simple design, really, but for some reason it looks so beautiful and luxurious here especially when completed with the TF initials. I have used the product for many weeks now and the pattern is still intact so I have a feeling it runs pretty deep into the powder. Moodlight is unscented so those who are sensitive to fragrance will really appreciate this.
Moodlight contains two full-sized illuminating powders to capture the two most flattering types of light on the skin. The top shade is to enhance a soft, naturally luminous glow to the face perfect for daytime wear whereas the bottom shade adds a soft, warm candlelight glow perfect for nighttime wear. The effect from each shade is quite distinct from each other and I really like that about Moodlight. You can apply each shade individually or mix and layer them as pleased to create your own customized shade and multidimensional glow. For example, increase the top shade for a more brightening effect or the bottom shade for warmth and a slightly bronzed finish. The final look is really up to your heart's desire! I also appreciate the generous pan size as you can fit most blush/highlighting brush in it without causing too much of a powder mix-up between them.
Swatches of both shades
Top shade (daytime)
The top pan is a beautiful ivory white with a soft, delicate sheen. I don't think I have anything similar in my stash so this is definitely a welcome addition to my collection. Initially I thought the white was going to be opaque and intense but I was wrong. It actually applies quite sheer! The color sort of melts into my skin and blends so seamlessly that I have a hard time detecting where I've applied it. It contains ultra fine shimmer but it is very, very subtle, and may not be noticeable at all if not packed on. It has more of a pearlescent characteristic to it than full-on shimmery. Not only is the color so subtle to start with, the texture is also a bit firm compared to the bottom shade. I'd advise using a denser brush with this one so that it picks up the color better. It still blends well on the skin, though, and never leaves hard edges.
The good thing about it not being too overly shimmery is that you can really pack it on for a brightening, radiant glow that is still believable and natural-looking. You won't ever see chunks of glitter with this shade. In fact, you'd never see chunks of glitter in any of Tom Ford's cheek products. It won't ever become frosty, chalky, or powdery. The best part is it doesn't highlight enlarged pores (which I have plenty on my face) so you can use it in large areas on the face if you wish to, like what I did below. I applied the top shade quite heavily across my forehead, down the nose, on my cheeks, as well as on my chin. As you can see, I don't look like I'm wearing a highlighter at all. My skin looks like it's glowing from the inside (if I say so myself) and I just love that so much about this shade! :)
Bottom shade (nighttime)
And I thought the bottom shade was going to be the softer one! Yes, I was wrong again! This one creates such intense sheen, almost metallic! The effect is so sparkly in the most sophisticated way especially when the soft light hits at night. It is a golden peachy shade that adds beautiful warmth as well as a gorgeous, luminous sheen. The color is buildable to almost bronzed on my skin but as you build, the sheen becomes stronger, too. I have to be very careful where and how much I apply this shade. I can't get too close to the inner cheeks or it will emphasize pores and texture on my skin. I'd also make sure to use a small loose brush to apply so you don't over dose on the pigment.
The texture is considerably softer, smoother, and creamier compared to the top shade but I don't necessarily see a significant difference in terms of blendability between them. It still requires barely any effort to diffuse the edges!
Since it has a slightly warm bronze-y tone to it, I have tried to use it as a bronzer along the perimeter of my face and I have to say, I quite like the sun-kissed glow effect! I wouldn't use it for contouring, though, since it has shimmer. In the picture below, I applied the bottom shade lightly on my cheeks, jawline, and temples. As you can see, my face appears so much warmer in comparison to the top shade! :)
Both shades last well throughout the day (and night) for me. From my experience, Tom Ford cheek products adhere to the skin well so I'm not surprised at the incredible wear time.
Comparison to theBalm's highlighters
When I first saw Moodlight, I immediately thought of theBalm's famous highlighters: Mary-Lou Manizer (review) and Cindy-Lou Manizer (review) so I swatched them side-by-side here for you. Pretty close huh? :)
At the time of writing, Moodlight appears to be permanent and not limited-edition as previously thought. This is a good thing since you can take your time deciding whether it is something for you. At US$80 a pop, I would never deem it a must-have. Honestly I think you can probably create a similar effect from what you already have but if you ever feel like giving yourself a luxurious makeup treat, this is the one product that won't disappoint. :)