I finally had a chance to try the coveted Tom Ford Illuminating Primer. As you may have guessed, yes I love it overall but there is just one thing that prevents me from using it more regularly. Curious what it is? Then please read on!
The product is housed in a double-walled frosted bottle with the Tom Ford logo displayed on the gold band that separates the bottle from the cap. The clever thing about the packaging is the twist-up pump dispenser. Simply twist the cap to reveal the pump and twist it back to retract. It also has a lock mechanism where you twist it to the “lock” position to keep the pump secure when traveling. Pretty fancy! Not to mention sanitary! :)
The primer itself has a pearly texture that is thicker than most face primers. It feels like a hybrid product between a moisturizer and primer. It comes out off-white in color but spreads to a transparent layer that imparts the most gorgeous iridescent glow on the skin. No shimmery or glittery effect. It's a rather unique type of glow if you ask me and one that I think so worth checking out. It does not feel silicone-y at all and I think those who prefer not to use such formula will really appreciate this product.
What I don't appreciate, however, is the scent! My goodness, a product this expensive and luxurious should have a better or cleaner scent or better yet, no scent at all. I can't describe it in a polite way so I'm just going to say that it has an unpleasant, sour smell. And it lingers. I was hoping that I could hold my breathe until the scent wears off because it is an excellent primer after all but I just couldn't do it. So as good as it makes my skin looks, I only reserve it only for when I layer a fragranced foundation over it. Let's just say I would never wear this primer by itself. Such a shame since it gives my skin such pretty illuminating glow.
And when I use it under my foundation, I make sure to only apply it sparingly on the high points of the face such as under the brow bone, center of the forehead, Cupid's Bow, and top of cheekbone. Applying too close to the visible pore and fine line areas will only highlight them (as you will see in my face shot below). Using it this way will give the skin a subdued highlighting effect that looks so natural and effortless. I'd advise against applying it all over the face unless you have a decent skin with no visible pores or if your skin is dry to normal. Oily skin must apply it strategically on the face to avoid looking oily/greasy.
When used as a base, it primes the skin and gives the foundation a “dewy” look without lightening the color. It is a nice option for when you want to add a little bit of dimension to your matte foundation. I do find that it helps the foundation go on slightly smoother but it doesn't necessarily prolong the wear by any means. It works well with all sorts of formula be it liquid, cream, or powder. You can also mix it with your foundation and apply for an overall pearly skin effect.
It feels rather nice and hydrating going on and I appreciate that it hasn't caused me any breakouts so far. It feels just slightly tacky on its own but once I apply my foundation over it, my skin feels comfortable throughout wear.
The photo of me wearing it (above) actually seems unnecessary since you can't really see much of a difference here but I thought I'd give it a try! I applied it all over my bare face (on the right) so you can see that pores around my nose and fine lines under my eyes are visibly emphasized. It truly gives off a nice illuminating glow on the rest of the face, though. So for those who have oily skin and/or skin with less than ideal texture, try to apply this primer on the areas that you want highlighted only! :)
It doesn't conceal redness, or control oil production. It is basically a primer to add luminosity to the skin with added skin benefits. If you have rather decent skin that is on the dry or normal side and don't mind the “unique” scent, I think you'll get along really well with this primer. :)