Monday, December 29, 2014

Dupe Alert: Could There be Urban Decay Dupes for Tom Ford Lip Colors?

Purchased by Me (Unaffiliated Links)

I have a nearly irrational love for everything that Tom Ford creates, but I am particularly transfixed by his lipsticks (reviewed here). Therefore, when I purchased two Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks in Native and Rapture (reviewed here), I couldn't help but think that they reminded me of a few of the colors from the Tom Ford Lip Color core line.

From the moment that I first swatches Urban Decay Revolution Lip Color in Native it reminded me of Tom Ford Lip Color in Blush Nude. Urban Decay's Rapture, on the other hand,  approximated a muted  dustier version of Tom Ford's Indian Rose and Casablanca blended. It's not a perfect match, but it definitely offers a viable alternative for people who don't want to spend $50.00 on a Tom Ford Lip Color.
What do you think? Do tell!
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  1. Are the UD colors dupes for the Tom Fords? Not really. They're all lovely in their own right but, based on your swatches, they aren't duplicates in color, texture, or finish.

    I think that sometimes people get too fixated on finding a cheaper alternative and they forget about texture, finish, opacity, complexity, etc. all of which contribute to how the color will look when worn. I'm not saying that less expensive dupes are necessarily inferior. In fact, a person might actually prefer the dupe to the product being reviewed. Sometimes, though, bloggers get a bit crazy (not you, dear Helen!) offering up less expensive "dupes" which are not really duplicates at all. Perhaps I'm being too nit-picky, but what is wrong with labeling something as a similar, less expensive product? Why are they called "dupes" when they clearly are not? Ah me! I'm such an old curmudgeon! LOL

    As for a more expensive original versus a less expensive alternative, I think it is best to go with your heart and forget about the cost. Whether you choose the more expensive or the less expensive isn't as important as how the product makes you feel when you're wearing it. Many years ago I fell in love with a gorgeous La Prairie lipstick called Rose Bronze. I tried it, loved it, and balked at the price ($55). I thought I could surely find a much cheaper dupe; especially since I've never finished a tube of lipstick. Well, I was wrong. I probably spent as much, if not more, on dupes--all of which were quickly discarded--as I would have spent had I just bought the original to begin with. I eventually went back and bought my beloved Rose Bronze and learned an important lesson: Since makeup makes such a personal statement as to how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen by others, if a product has that certain je ne sais quoi that makes us feel beautiful, then it is worth the cost. No "dupe" needed :-)

    1. As always, such a wonderful and well thought out comment, Eileen! :-)

      Of course they are not true dupes, and the formula is completely different. While I agree with you that one should follow their heart and get what they truly want– I get lots and lots of emails from readers who are unable or unwilling to spend $50.00 on a single lipstick, and for whom an Urban Decay lipstick price tag is at the very top of their budgets. I try not to lose sight of this fact so that they don't feel frustrated and excluded when I blather on and on about my love of Tom Ford products.

      You are quite right though– if one buys piles of less expensive lipsticks in the hopes of capturing the spirit of the high end lipstick that they crave, it is ultimately less expensive and more satisfying to buy the one that you really wanted (instead of ultimately spending a lot on less satisfying lipsticks- when all you really wanted was the Tom Ford or Rouge G to begin with). Like you, I have done this myself, and now just get what I want to begin with! Happy New Year! <3

    2. Hi Helen, I know you blogging ladies get lots of requests from readers who love the look but hate the price and I do understand where those readers are coming from. In that regard, I think bloggers provide a wonderful service by showing less expensive alternatives. So, you see, my issue is not with the practice of showing products at different price points. It is with describing those products as "dupes" when they blatantly aren't. No matter what you call it, though, a beautiful product is a beautiful product and so long as it makes the wearer happy, that's all that really matters :-)

      Here's wishing you and all your wonderful readers a year bright with beauty. Happy New Year!

    3. Hi Eileen, That is definitely true! Excellent point, as always! Wishing you a very Happy New Year filled with great joy, and good health. <3

  2. Eileen is so right. I notice dupes in magazines all the time and just don't agree with them. Quality isn't the same in the less expensive items. Not to say that the UD lipsticks aren't nice since they are but I'd rather have my Tom Ford personally.

    1. I know just what you mean, and as you know all too well, I would rather have Tom Ford Lipsticks above all others! :-)

    2. Get ready you TF lipstick lovers because TF has more gorgeousness in store for us: Sultry, Frivolous, Unabashed, and Lust! Four new Shine colors are being released in February in Asia. I don't know when we'll see them on our shores--perhaps as part of the spring collection? Anyway, if you haven't seen them, Candace at The Makeup Box has swatches.

    3. I can hardly wait! Of course anything that he launches makes me overjoyed, but I get especially excited by all of his lip products! :-)

  3. Eileen. Thanks for expressing my sentiments about dupes! I don't know much about lipstick except when I wear one I like, however, what I see in the above example is the texture or "draw" --my term-- looks uneven in the UD swatches. The TF look very smooth and opaque.

    My first TF is on its way now from NM--Julian :-) I am anxious to feel it on my lips and see how it performs :-)

    1. I can't wait to hear what you think about the TF formula! It is, by far, my favorite lipstick formula! Hopefully you will love Julian!

  4. perhaps we need a new term? a term that indicates a similarity in color but not in finish or beneficial properties?

    1. It doesn't really bother me, and I do think that it is an excepted and easily understood description without having people think that it is literally the same product. That said, I am completely open to a more accurate or effective name to call colors that evoke others. Any ideas? Wishing you a very Happy New Year! Speaking of which, I guess it would be a bad day to go grocery shopping or run errands in Pasadena! I guess I won't be spending the day at The Norton Simon today- LOL!

    2. Oh no!!! How could you do this Lipstick Soul Sister..I feel betrayed! How could you even suggest that there are dupes for TF's divine lipsticks?! As its you & you are my kindred spirit I'm going to turn a blind eye on this occassion!

      Totally agree with the comments made here especially Eileen & am glad others share my sentiments....I made a similar point in another bloggers site who loves offering up dupes & got shot down. Ban the 'dupes' I say, it's like offering up a fake Chanel bag, I'd rather not have it. Let's enjoy things & devour them as they are...a great urban decay lipstick may be a great urban decay lipstick but it sn't a TF lipstick & nor does it need to be :)

    3. I wasn't suggesting that these are exact dupes, that's why I posed the question in the title and at the end of the post. As I said to Eileen, who always makes amazing well-reasoned comments, I get many many emails from readers who are either unwilling or unable to spend $50.00 on a single lipstick. There are also a lot of people who can afford it, but won't purchase anything from the many Estee Lauder brands (like TF) because it is no longer a Cruelty-Free company. They are aware that, for instance, Urban Decay is not the same as TF, but for many of them that isn't all that important because they aren't going to purchase a TF lipstick anyway. Therefore, if they like a particular color from a certain line that they won't likely buy, then it is once for them to have options that may approximate a particular product. For them, it isn't like getting a fake Chanel bag, but more like finding another bag that is about the same color as a Chanel bag that they admire, but will never buy. For me personally, of course, I would rather have a TF lipstick above all others, but there are a great many people who don't feel the way that we do, but who would like to enjoy some colors similar to his phenomenal shades! :-)

    4. arg! i posted my reply twice and it got swallowed up by technically difficulties!

      i think the problem is the word dupe. it automatically primes to reader to think exactly the same because that's what duplicate means. it can be hard in the excitement of a cheaper alternative to remember to consider other factors besides the actual color. i think the blogging world needs a new term. i like simi (for similar) but i'm guessing that maybe too cute for some :P

      p.s. we always stay in on new year's day because pasadena is pretty horrifying in the day time. luckily i'm in south pas so plenty of other directions to go in if i'm suffering cabin fever. let's grab lunch or coffee next time you plan to be in the area!

    5. That's a good point. I tend to read the term as being a bit more flexible since most of the dupes aren't exact matches, but I see your point in offering a term with more precision.

      My husband's office is in Pasadena, and one of his colleagues had to get some sort of special permission to run into the office over the weekend because of the parade! At least you are in S. Pas and could keep away from the craziness! Definitely! Lunch sounds awesome. The quarter starts back up on Monday, so I will be crazy busy getting for a bit, but will definitely let you know when things settle, and when I'm home rather than on campus.

  5. Replies
    1. So I followed your advice and decided to start off the year wearing Tom FordLip Color Matte in Velvet Cherry, and while I only wore it around the house, I have to say that it is truly one of the most gorgeous reds that I have ever seen anywhere anytime and from any line. Plus it is my opinion that Tom Ford makes the absolute best mattes on the market– so I couldn't be happier. That said, I didn't wear it out in the world when I was running my errands.

      I think that I forgot to respond to part of one of your questions from an earlier comment about how to get updates of my latest posts. You can either subscribe via email (there is a box in the right column to subscribe to), and you will be emailed all of my daily posts, or you can also subscribe via one of the readers Bloglovin' etc. All of those are in the purple icons in the right column. :-)

  6. I'm laughing now because that's exactly what I'd do with a new lipstick that was out of comfort zone...wear it round the house first!! How comes it didn't go with u outside? For me the prob with reds is that it makes me feel too 'done up' which isn't something I like. Having said that, Velvet Cherry really does look fab as from what I've seen online it looks like a darker red (with abit of brown in it) as opposed to bright & in your that accurate? (I'm trying to access your TF matte swatches!). Am determined to purchase 1 vampy shade this winter to mix up my vast collection of pinky/peachy nudes. Hopefully, I'll have the guts to actually wear it too (lol). The shortlist is down to TF Velvet Cherry, Bruised Plum or Black Dahlia plus saw a pic of Nars Velvet Matte Pencil in Train Bleu which looks super cool...altho is a very dark raisin colour so mayb abit much for a dark side novice. Will let u know how I get on :)

    (ps thanks for the subscription info however am not seeing anything in right hand column?!)

    1. i dab vampy shades gently on my lips for a lightly stained look in the day time to slowly acclimate to the new color!

    2. EXACTLY! That's the best way of getting used to seeing yourself in a color out of your comfort zone!! I ran errands before I put on the lipstick. I just ran around the corner and was dressed very casually, and Velvet Cherry would have felt far too dressy for my sweatpants and tennis shoes! LOL! Velvet Cherry is unbelievable, and I think that my swatches do a good job f showing the true color. It isn't brown, but instead a deep and dark blue-based red that is on the verge of being vampy. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the most beautiful reds that I have ever seen! He is just so spot-on with his color choices!

      In one of the two links that I posted in my last comment You will notice that I swatted Black Dahlia, Bruised Plum and Black Orchid side by side– it will give you a pretty good idea about how his vampy shades compare. I think that you would be happy with Velvet Cherry,Bruised Plum or Black Dahlia, but I will tell you that I oddly find Velvet Cherry further out of my comfort zone than Black Dahlia or Bruised Plum. Somehow I find reds less within my comfort zone than vampy shades. I have all three of those shades swatted– so hopefully that will help you narrow down your selection. I haven't looked at any of the YSL mattes, but pinky peach nudes make my heart go pitter patter- so I will have to go try them out! Do you have any color suggestions? Do you like the Burberry Lip Cover or Lip Mists? I have a whole bunch of them in pinky nude shades, and pulled a bunch of them out today! It's rather embarrassing how many lippies I have amassed, and how few I use with any regularity. Unquestionably my most used lipstick is Nude Vanilla, but I need to pay attention to some of my others as well! NARS Train Bleu is gorgeous! I don't own it, but I certainly think it is breathtaking.

      That whole series of purple icons (on the right side) are ways to subscribe or follow me, and they are all underneath the "Follow by email" box.

    3. @truecolorjoy I often do the same thing, Chia-Yi! I also top with a gloss after blotting, and that also helps me acclimate to those new colors out of my comfort zone!

    4. Love your description of velvet cherry...makes me want to try it asap! How does it compare to his other reds eg scarlet rouge (which also looks great altho not matte) VC seems more of a darker red. Your swatches & description of Black Dahlia & Bruised Plum are great too & look like proper vampy/superhero shades..can't wait to go & try these on. All the swatches I've seen of Black Dahlia look red toned & Bruised Plum more purple plus I suppose the finishes are different too so guess it'll be a question of which suits me better....must get 1 of these for my collection! I do wonder why really popular shades get discontinued (eg Black Orchid) & Vanilla Suede (brought back thankfully!!)?

      I hope you can get hold of YSL matte in no. 210 (limited edition from summer 2014) it is truly gorgeous & has this lovely stretch leather finish.

      I like the Burberry lipsticks but it's not LOVE or LUST....TF has a lot to answer for as I honestly don't think anything else compares on any level be it Chanel,Suqqu, Guerlain or YSL & I love all of these!

      Aaaaah Nude Vanille.....can totally see why that's your most used, it is so gorgeous...for me, it's a toss up between that & Blush Nude which I also love....& then of course there's Vanilla Suede which I think is such a unique beauty. I think these 3 are the best nudes I've used! I'd put YSL no.210 just below, followed by Guerlain Gabrielle....oh & I forgot about TF sable smoke in all its nudey beige glory!

    5. Speaking of glosses...just remembered-what about TF glosses-haven't tried them, have you? I have a few of his glossy Sheer (altho actually they aren't all that sheer!) lipsticks from the Summer release (Pink Dune, Summer Fling & Tutti Frutti) & they are sublime!

    6. I'm so happy that you liked my color description of Velvet Cherry, and in fact if it were named Black Cherry or Blackened Cherry it would give a better indication of the color since "velvet" seems to indicate the texture more than the color. I agree with you that VC is definitely a darker red, and in fact a darker richer and more intense blackened red.

      I'm elated that my swatches and descriptions of Black Dahlia and Bruised Plum were helpful to you, and they are definitely vampy/superhero shades! I wish I knew why shades like Black Orchid and Vanilla Suede were discontinued. When they repromoted Vanilla Suede and made it part of the core line I hoped that they would do the same with Black Orchid as well. BO is an extraordinary color, and it would sell out immediately if it came back!

      I love my Burberry lipsticks, but not like I do TF lipsticks! So I agree with you wholeheartedly.

      Nude Vanilla is an amazing chameleon shade that some how warms up and melts into the lips producing the perfect nude shade. I agree with you about Vanilla Suede– it really is a unique beauty. Ok, I am going to have to see if I can track down YSL no. 210.

      I think that Sable Smoke is gorgeous, but I don't know that I can pull it off. I will swatch it again to decide.

    7. Oh yes, Tom Ford Lip Glosses are really lovely! I have three of them: Naked, Love Bruise and Wet Violet. I have only reviewed Naked so far. They are thicker than most glosses but long-wearing. I'm very happy with them. I have three of the Lip Color Sheers from summer in In the Buff, Pink Dune and Summer Fling. I absolutely concur that they are sublime! I really really really really wish they would add them to the core line.

    8. Ok had to share this with you immediately....tried on my very first vampy lipstick today (don't get too excited as isn't TF...local shopping mall doesn't stock) & loved it...Chanel Rouge Noir (up until now, thought it just came as a nail polish but is lipstick & lipliner too). Totally see what u mean now about darker berry shades being easier to wear than reds plus I felt seriously kick-ass! Can't believe it's taken me so long to try out a vamp...was going to purchase it right then & there but am going to wait till have compared it with TF's black dahlia (if there are any left anywhere!) & bruised plum. Anyway, my venturing out of nudey/pink zone to take a walk on the dark side is down to your swatches & lipstick descriptions/discussions so thanks very much :) ps would so love to try black orchid now!

      Am not surprised at all that you also have summer fling & pink them plus also love the white/gold tubes as throwback to the original packaging.

      Totally agree with nude vanille 'melting' into the lips...such an apt description. Sable Smoke is a suit every1 nude I nice winter alternative to the TF pinky nudes that we both love, with its muted beige tone.

      Your description of TF lipglosses is soooo tempting & (like I said I'm not a gloss girl) 'naked' in particular is the 1 I had my eye on. Love love love Giggle, such a great shade & texture that is simple,sexy & sophisticated all at the same time. Whilst I love that Giggle has no glitter, I also love the glitter packed glossimers for that discoball effect & Star is gorgeous...wish I'd got it when I saw it (tend to take too long deciding over limited editions & then before you know it all gone esp Chanel!). I also have a pink glitter 1 which is a much brighter pink- Astral. Will def try the RAE formula...which colour (s) do you have...I had my eye on the beige one. Is paradoxal nail polish the purple toned one? all Chanel nail polishes look lovely I must say.

      I was extremely tempted by the TF navy eyeliner as looked gorgeous but refrained as have a lovely navy/black gel pot by Suqqu which I hardly use (& is crazy expensive) as find the whole brush/pot think abit of a hassle in practice (altho quaint in theory!). I did swatch the TF one tho & the colour is gorgeous...loved the subtle diamanté like sparkles..can imagine that catching the light in a glorious way.

      Looking fwd to what TF brings out next! :)

    9. WOW!!!! Welcome to the fold of vampy lips! I had a feeling that you would feel kick-ass! I'm sure that you looked utterly GORGEOUS!!!!!!! I'm glad you waited because I think that it's only proper that Tom Ford is your first– my god that sounds so lascivious!!! If you can't find Black Dahlia (I see that it is sold out at, then Bruised Plum is close enough to get some vampy goodness going– plus you can deepen it up with a dark lipliner if you want to go for pure unmitigated vampdom! Black Orchid is definitely more intense and more blackened, but you can get close by manipulating Bruised Plum or Black Dahlia.
      I do hope that they repromote it though because it really is vampy lip perfection!

      I love Summer Fling and Pink Dune, and there is a sort of retro 60s chic thing going on with the packaging that isn't the case with the current packaging!

      Nude Vanilla is a funny little chameleon. When I first saw it I was firmly opposed to even trying it on because I was certain that it would wash me out and cause me to look sallow and sickly! My friend, who is the counter manager for Tom Ford at Neiman Marcus, told be she was going to put it on my and that once the color heated up that it would adjust and look amazing on me. I nearly rolled my eyes because I didn't see how it was even possible with my cool complexion. I just thought that it would be a dull and dirty muted color that left me ready for the Zombie Apocalypse. I looked in the mirror and it still looked unimpressive– so I shot her a look as though to say, "yeah, right this is super flattering." She just looked at me and told me to wait a minute, then said "now look." I quite literally could not believe what I saw, and she was completely right. Since that time it has been my most reached for lipstick! I will have to go try Sable Smoke on my lips to see what happened! I thought it was stunning every single time that I swatted it, but just doubted that it would look goof enough to warrant buying it! It looks like the gorgeous YSL matte is gone, but I will continue looking!

      I really like his lip glosses a lot. Let me review the other two before you get too tempted to spend money on them since you are much more of a lipstick girl than a lip gloss girl– that is, of course, unless you are really thinking that you want some lip gloss. They are a definite commitment price, and even make Chanel look very reasonably priced! LOL! I adore Giggle, and love the finish, but have to agree that the glitter packed beauties like Star are pretty irresistible! Hopefully they will repromote Star at some point because I really think it is one of the greatest Glossimers that they have ever made! I'm 99.99% sure that I still have Astral as well.I have far too many Glossimers! the RAE formula is really really really lovely, and in fact I think that I prefer it to the Glossimer formula. It is so much more pigmented and luxurious. I only have 3 sheds, and the beige one about which you speak is (of course) one of them! I have Insouciance No. 51 (which is remarkably similar to their Sweet Beige Glossimer), Troublant No, 68 and Merveille No. 69. I'm glad you brought this up so that I have to go dig them out! I will leave them out to use them!
      I think that you would really enjoy Insouciance! Yes, Paradoxal is that stunning dark purple toned polish. It is so complex and gorgeous!

      The TF eyeliner is as you describe it (and what a lovely description it is), but if you have the Suqqu liner and don't use it then you should save your money for something that you covet and will use. If the brush seems like more trouble than it's worth then you are better off indulging in the eye pencils that you love the most– at least you know that you will use and enjoy them!

    10. I got cut off for being too longwinded- LOL! I seldom exceed the character numbers permitted!

      Well, he's supposed to be launching several new Lip Color Shines that will be in the permanent collection. They are already in Asia, and I don't yet know when they will be available in the US and Europe. The colors are Sultry (a coral shade), Frivolous (a peachy pink), Unabashed (a Mid tone pink) and Lust (a deeper pinky red). I will have to see them to see if I need any. :-)

      Oh, BTW. I thought about you the other day when I went by a TF counter and swatched Flamingo. I was surprised how warm it turned on my skin, and it started to oxidize into a decidedly warm coral pink on my arm. If you were wanting a true pink you should swatch it to see if it turns into more of a coral pink on you as well! :-)

    11. I ordered Flamingo without swatching (crazy) as have had my eye on it for some time however it's just sitting in my vanity case & haven't got round to trying it on yet (terrible!). As soon as I do,I'll report back....I wouldn't be too bothered if it pulled coral as a bright coral is something I don't actually have whereas pinks I'm swimming in-albeit happily!

      I haven't actually tried the lip shines (I know that's surprising!) & am not sure why..some of the colours do look lovely tho eg chastity...I'll have to check out the range including the new ones when they come out.

      The purple Chanel nail polish looks gorgeous...they do have the most stunning colours I think which then all the other brands copy! The no.51 is the RAE I had my eye on..will def. try on when next at Chanel counter. Yes, I doubt I will splurge on TF lipgloss (famous last words!) as really don't wear gloss often & when am in the mood for it, have what surely is the best-glossimers. I also have Nars Turkish delight which is a to die for milky pink but such a thick,gloopy texture that I never wear it!

      Totally relate to your experiences trying on Nude Vanille...I actually feel the same regarding all the TF nudes plus they look so different on different people (as of course all lipsticks do!). Personally, I think Sable Smoke is a unique nude because it's beige & sooo sophisticated.

      As tempted as I am to get Chanel rouge noir lipstick (it really is gorgeous-love it) I will certainly wait to try Tom Ford's bruised plum & black dahlia first as agree TF should be my first dark one..actually can't imagine getting more than 1 dark one & 1 red (although maybe these colours will become my next obsession having exhausted the nudes?!). Selfridges has sold out of black dahlia & so have a few other stores but Harrods & Harvey Nichols have just got them back in plus the Tom Ford store in London has it (plus this store has a whole floor devoted to beauty & is laid out like a boudoir...fab!) so I may just take a trip down there & try on all the colours I've had my eye on-black dahlia, bruised plum,velvet cherry,crimson noir & scarlet rouge. Will let u know how I get on :) Funnily enough, whilst bd is still making an appearance, first time is totally sold out everywhere & no new stock coming glad I got hold of that in time! Really hope u track down YSL no.210....I suppose it's in the same vein as FT but much nicer.....yes, really!

      Totally agree ref.white packaging is 60s retro...we are so on the same page...I love anything retro by the way....70s being my fav!

    12. Ps. A friend on TF counter ??? I'm soooo jealous!
      Pps. Really really want black orchid :(
      Pps I really have to control & edit otherwise I would be going on & on & on & exceeding word limit all the time-chatting with you esp regarding TF is so fantastic!!

    13. If you can pull off warm pinks that can pull a touch coral you will not find a prettier one than Flamingo! I seriously almost bought it because of how gorgeous it is, but stopped myself because it's just too warm for me. You should really try it on! I'm eager to hear how it looks, and how you feel in it! I suspected that you will be elated by this beautiful addition to your collection!

      Since you aren't really a lip gloss girl, and since the Lip Shines are hybrid lipstick lip gloss formula, like the Rouge Coco Shines I think that you would like them. However, since they are about the same price as one of his lipsticks I will say they you definitely get way more bang for your buck with this regular lipsticks. I only have Bare so far, and while there are a few that I wouldn't mind owning I haven't added to my collection yet. I really like Chastity, but I always find myself swatching Smitten as well!

      Yes, the purple Chanel polish is a really stunner! I think that you really have to love lip gloss to be willing to spend that much on it, and your Glossimers will do exactly what you want when you are in the mood for gloss. The RAE are definitely worth taking a look at, and No. 51 is quite lovely. As I am typing this, it occurs to me that No. 51 might pair quite nicely with our beloved Nude Vanilla! I must give it a go, and will report back!

      Why of course you have Turkish Delight, and I'm sure that it will come as no surprise that I do to. It is gorgeous, but I almost never wear it because it feels too sticky, thick and goopy. We are, yet again, on the same page!

      I think that you are right about TF nudes, in general. You are definitely causing me to want to take another look at Sable Smoke! On the list it goes!

      I agree, hold out and try TF for your first vampy shade! I would say that it is worth the trip to Harrod's (good god, do I love shopping there) or Harvey Nichols, or better yet maybe go for the whole boudoir experience and go to the TF boutique! Now that sounds divine. I could so easily live in London, it is one of my favorite cities. I spent a great deal of time studying paintings at the National Gallery since they have several works that I was writing about for my MA thesis and Ph.D. dissertation!

      Speaking of vampy colors, I tried to vamp up Velvet Cherry– so I used a deep vampy burgundy lip pencil, and let me just say that the combination was stupendous! I can't wait to see which of the vampy shades most appeal to you! I know, I will continue to look for the YSL no. 210, but will try not to get my hopes up since it may be gone gone gone!

      I love retro too! There were so many interesting style choices in those two decades that were really inspiring. Of course, as with any decade, there were some flops as well!

      Yes, she's the TF counter manager! It's pretty nice!
      Oh, I know and the lack of availability only makes the Black Orchid pull that much stronger. However, as you saw from my side by side swatches with Bruised Plum, Black Dahlia and Black Orchid– they really are in the same family. Black Orchid is the closest in color to Black Dahlia, but in finish it is closer to Bruised Plum. You might be happier with Black Dahlia because it is vampier than Bruised Plum.

      Don't control your edit, and I won't control mine! Don't worry about the word limit! I love his as well!

    14. I'm not doing a great job of controlling anyway!
      TF counter fab is that...she must have quite the personal collection!
      Yes, BD sounds like the vampiest from your swatches & discussion & very likely to be the one I choose altho Chanel Noir is sooooo nice plus has the matching lip liner & nail polish. As I'm writing this, got a sinking feeling that may have to get TF & Chanel (my saying I'll only want 1 vamp declaration didn't last long!) as long as not too identical in colour. Have u tried the Rouge Noir? My friend sent me a pic of her with black dahlia on & was surprised at how red it looks on her whereas have seen it in pics & it looks really dark on others....I suppose when it comes to buying/choosing, there really is no substitute for trying colours on own lips in natural daylight!

      Even more eager to check out RAE in 51 now that u've mentioned the nude vanille combo!

      You've hit the nail on the head ref. The shines...I did find the price off putting for these as would rather spend the same amount & get one (or should I say yet another!) of his coveted lipsticks as opposed to a balmy texture that would wear off pretty fast altho am sure they are fab & I do love my rouge cocos & imagined them being similar. Having said that, I did purchase 3 of the sheers unseen in a moment of online summer madness & was pleasantly surprised by how pigmented & long lasting they are plus totally gorgeous-love them for a quick slick when doing the school run!

      Am chuckling away not only at the fact that you have Turkish Delight but that we have the same view on it...the only way I wear it is layered over a lipstick & that's hardly ever.Such a shame as such a lovely shade of barely there pink plus is surprising as Nars lipsticks really good. I think that's where the glossimers are top notch-not sticky at all & feel lovely on lips. Am sure TF glosses do too-do you think you'll get anymore? The YSL pots feel lovely too altho they not glossy & have a matte finish so don't know why I've mentioned that here...obviously on my mind so must purchase some time soon!

      Yes retro sure has some flops & avoids but there is a lot about the 70s I love (maybe it's a nostalgia thing as was born in 72!). The flared jeans & long wavy hair...Charlie's Angels eat your heart out-love it! I think the eighties was the avoid decade...apart from all things Madonna-will always love her!

      Yes, London is a fab city..I used to live in the heart but now with the children we've moved to the suburbs but still not far. Great stores (harrods is to die for!) galleries & museums & eateries (love good food!). Whereabouts in the States are u based? As cliche as it sounds...New York is on my 'must visit' list...largely due to Sex & the City (am obsessed with that show....even now!).

      Will report back on's weird, I purchase things & then have to be in the mood before wearing...even if it's just trying something on & so far haven't been in a flamingo pink mood....I better love it! Eagerly awaiting Sable Smoke viewpoint once you've tried it on!

    15. Would love to see Velvet Cherry vamped up which I guess also means it's not that vampy to begin with....does look like a gorgeous red tho as is & will try on as part of my 'must find 1 good red that suits me & doesn't make me look like the joker from batman' quest! Scarlet Rouge & Crimson Noir plus as discussed before, Ruby Woo, are the others on that list!

    16. Well, I certainly understand the difficulty is controlling those impulses. I am definitely trying to be far more selective though. I tend to be attracted to like shades and often purchase so many things that are so similar– so I am trying to be far more discriminating. We'll see how that goes! LOL!

      Yes, it's nice having a friend who is the TF counter manager. She has quite a few things, but she is also one of the most level-headed people I know, and she doesn't feel the need to buy things that she doesn't need. She is also really good at stopping me from over-purchasing, and will tell me when certain shades aren't flattering on my skin tone. She will also say that I don't need to bother with a certain shade because it is close enough to xy and z that I already have. When she likes something on me, I know it is a definite winner.

      I think that you need to buy the Chanel since you will obsess about it in perpetuity, if you don't! You tried it on and it rocked your world, and I think that experience was such a revelation about vampy shades for you that you probably won't be able to shake it until you have it! Can you make a quick trip to your local mall to try it one more time, and avoid having to drive into London? If so, I would recommend it so that you can either get it, or decide against it. That's what I tend to do when I find myself in this position, and it really works for me! I have neither seen, nor tried the Chanel Rouge Noir, but trust me when I tell you that you have me motivated to go look at it!

      Interesting that Black Dahlia looked more red on your friend. Did she apply it in a single pass, or with a red liner? It might be that the pigmentation in her lips also impacted the color.

      In fact, if you do go, you should bring your Nude Vanilla with you and swatch it with RAE No. 51 to see if that combination speaks to you!

      Yes, the shines are lovely, and while I love the texture and feel (they are a bit thicker than Chanel Rouge Coco Shines), it is a rather extravagant indulgence for a balmy lipstick. As you said, they are great swatch and go shades, but then again so are his Nude shades from the regular Lip Color range. I apply Nude Vanilla without a mirror when I am sitting at a stop light while driving!

      Hilarious that we have the same experience with Turkish Delight! It is such a shame because the shade itself is perfection! I do, however, have a NARS lip gloss in Downtown that feels and looks amazing. I believe that it was limited edition and is long gone (from a 2010 Holiday Collection), but it is a perfect pink lavender metallic, and the texture isn't sticky like Turkish Delight!

      Yes, the TF lip glosses are lovely, but I am not sure that I need more than three of them. If they were a bit more moderately priced I would likely collect more, but the price point definitely makes me reluctant to mindlessly collect every shade that I find appealing!

      The YSL pots are definitely beckoning you! I don't think that you are going to be able to escape purchasing one!

      The 60s and 70s definitely had some truly amazing styles. Ah yes, the whole Charlie's Angels paradigm shaped a generation! Everybody sought out Farrah's hair! The fashion choices in the 80s– OMG the whole parachute pants, leg warmers and other aerobics-inspired clothing as street-wear– I shudder at the thought. Madonna definitely made such an impact. In fact, I was in the store the other day, and they played Into the Groove, and I remembered hearing it for the first time!

    17. London really is an amazing city, and how lucky that you lived right in the heart, but it does make sense that you would have moved to the suburbs after having your kids. Yes, the great stores and amazing museums and galleries make it such a treat! Of course the cuisine and the architecture make it a magical experience! Sex & the City definitely romanticized NYC from the vantage point of the single girl finding herself! I LOVED that show so much! I live in Los Angeles, but was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. I migrated down the coast for grad school, and then never migrated back home.

      I am the same way (shocking, I know) because I don't try anything on until I am in the mood. There is also the added obsession that I feel the need to photograph everything before using it so that I can post pristine pre-used products before using them. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about Flamingo. I am eager to swatch Sable Smoke again, and will definitely let you know my thoughts. I already know that I find it gorgeous, but the question is whether it will work on me! :-)

      As reds go, I find that Velvet Cherry is pretty vampy. That blackened base really vamps it up in my estimation! I will have to swatch it with a darker lip liner to show you what it does! It definitely is that intense blackened blood red that we talked about before! I can't wait for you to swatch all of the reds on your list to see which one achieves pride of place on your vanity!

    18. Ditto purchasing similar shades again & again hence am trying to venture completely out of comfort zone with a vampy beauty! Then again, as discussed previously, I have several TF nudey colours which may initially look similar or even the same yet when applied are quite different..that's my justification anyway!

      Your TF friend sounds very must be great trying on all the new products with a good advisor! You are so right ref. Chanel rouge noir...I'll just have to get it (although is an old cult shade so will be around for awhile I presume however Black Dahlia won't be!). Yes, local mall is literally 10mins away so can easily go & try on again but am not hesitant about its beauty, just want to know if TF's is even better...would be great if could try on TF BD at the same time. It's so annoying as local mall has all the brands from Chanel to Chantecaille to YSL but no Tom Ford...that's just Central London or online!

      My friend applied the black dahlia in 1 pass with no lipliner or gloss. It looked fantastic on her but the red was very noticeable...her lips are quite pigmented & skin colour dark so makes a difference I guess.

      Yes, YSL in No.7 shall be purchased....hope u get to play with them soon!

      Good to know that Nars lipglosses do not all share the same texture as Turkish Delight

      Yes, the TF shines are extravagantly priced....really think these should be cheaper than the lipsticks which excruciatingly expensive as they are, really do think are worth it!

      Aaaaaah Farrah Fawcett hair-loved it! Madonna is a pioneer in so many ways...get into the groove will always be one of my favs! Totally agree ref. aerobics inspired street wear although have to admit to a penchant for leg warmers (at home only!)....I blame 'Fame' & 'Flashdance' !!

      London/UK does not have good weather tho...LA the best weather? Wow u must really love it there to not have returned husband has travelled & lived in various places in the world & is full of praise for LA. Sex & the City was groundbreaking...loved everything..Carrie's fashion,apartment,storylines,humour,friendships,Mr Big.......there are regular repeats on TV here all the time plus have the box sets & movies....really want a 3rd movie!

      Of course you are the same way ref.trying things on when in mood :) :) Can't wait to try all the reds esp Velvet Cherry...maybe then if it's a vampy red as opposed to pillar box red, it'll work for me! Out of interest, do u use a lipliner with Black Orchid & Dahlia..if so which one?

    19. It can become a rather expensive, and at times rather wasteful, way of purchasing things (for me at least). I start to worry that things will go bad before I use them– especially when they are more expensive. I agree with you in the case of the TF nude shades because there is each of them really does have a very different character. However, when one continually collects, for instance, a particular shade of pale blue-based pink– at a certain point the differences in hue can become negligible. I have tried to reign myself in so that I am not compelled to buy what are essentially the same shades over and over again. It is so easy to get swept up in the moment, and to end up with far more things than one really "needs."

      It's great that you have a mall so close, but too bad that TF isn't among the brands sold there! It really would be so much easier if you didn't have to make the trip into Central London, or online. It would be great if you could compare BD and Rouge Noir side by side, but I suppose you could if you ordered BD online and then brought it with you to your mall to compare against Rouge Noir!

      It sounds as though it is a combination of the single pass and your friends pigmented lips that pulled the red out of Black Dahlia. I wonder how the look would differ if she applied multiple passes.

      YSL No. 7 will be gorgeous on you, and I can't wait to hear how you feel about it once you have it!

      Yes, not surprising that we had the same reaction to Turkish Delight, but Downtown is not at all cut from the same cloth! It's a gorgeous and infinitely wearable formula.

      Yes the TF Shines are definitely extravagantly priced, and while I am quite happy with the one that I have I do feel that I get more for my money with the TF lipsticks! I agree that his lipsticks are worth it– they are truly exceptional!

      Fame and Flashdance are definitely to blame for taking that style from the gym to the street, and while it may have seemed cool at the time– it was, in retrospect, a horrific fashion choice to be worn outside of the context of exercising! LOL!

    20. The weather in LA is quite good all year long. It is raining right now, but it basically has good weather all year! I think that the combination of the warm weather and employment kept me in Southern California. Plus I met my husband in Southern California and just settled down here instead. The weather is definitely much warmer down here than it is back home in the Bay Area, that's for sure!

      Okay, I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I was so obsessed with Carrie's apartment that I remember Googling it and finding an artist who had drawn plans of her apartment. I loved the idea of a super cute apartment in an old Brownstone! Ah yes, Mr. Big…. Before Thanksgiving a few years ago my sister and I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute things, and wouldn't you know it Chris Noth (Mr. Big) was in the store doing the same thing. I have to preface this by stating that living in LA you see celebrities all of the time, and I just don't tend to get star-struck, but somehow seeing him got a second look because I loved his character and their narrative so much. Plus I also watched him on Law & Order for so long, and now on The Good Wife. It was pretty funny seeing him at the grocery store.

      Yes, of course we are of like minds when it comes to having to be in the mood to play with our makeup! I have tried a lipliner with Black Orchid & Dahlia. I have an inexpensive waterproof plum lip pencil from Prestige Cosmetics that works beautifully. I think any dark vampy shade that you like will work fine. Also a clear lip liner works well since it won't alter the color of the lipstick, but will keep it from migrating when you are eating or drinking.

    21. Like the idea of clear lipliners that don't alter colour of lipsticks.
      Love love love Mr Big/Chris Noth....certainly worth a second look esp at grocery store! Watched a few episodes of the good wife when it first aired but then for some reason didn't pursue.
      No need to be embarrassed & am actually surprised I didn't think of doing that ref.Carrie's is so the kind of thing I would do! Completely obsessed with the show esp Carrie's style but my fav character was Samantha...pure entertainment & brilliantly played by Kim Catrall.
      That's nice...meeting & settling down with your husband (& cats) in Southern California. Love the idea of good year round weather...such an instant mood booster!
      Agreed ref. duplicating colours...I believe I'm
      done with nudes/pinks now as have a wide selection of these which are mainly TF & don't think anything else can now compare. Will get 1 (possibly 2) vampy shade & 1 red (when I find the 'right' one) & then I'm done...oh & the ysl pot..then I'm done..until TF's next collection that is :) I think alot of the temptation comes from the release of LE shades which makes every1 rush out & buy something they may well already have. Chanel' limited editions in particular seem to fly off the shelves....very clever strategy!

    22. Sorry for the slow response! Crazy week at work, and I don't have time to check my non-work emails when I am on campus.

      Clear lip liners are just such a brilliant invention!

      Definitely worth stopping and taking note, but of course he just looks like a regular man doing a regular thing in that context. Yes, I think that there were a great many people transfixed by all of their apartments! Haha! Samantha was awesome and fearless! I think that each of them represents a different part of each of us, and that's why each one was relatable and appealing!

      Thank you for the link to the Chanel swatches. It is such a gorgeous shade. I haven't found it online her– so I am not sure whether it is still available, or whether it is being repromoted. I have a friend who is a Chanel Sales Associate, and will ask her about it next time we talk.

      I know what you mean about already having a wide selection of nudes and pinks, and definitely think that it is nice to reach outside of one's comfort zone! Plus,vampy shades are just so perfect for the season!

      Yes, a clever strategy, indeed. That said, the frenzy that it creates can artificially manufacture the desire to purchase things that one might not otherwise purchase!

    23. Certainly no apology necessary-u always respond so promptly,don't know how u do it!

      Will have to get a clear lipliner...I usually use Chanel natural with most lipsticks but I suppose a totally colourless one would be useful.

      Mr Big a 'regular' man....never!!

      Friend at TF & I'm really jealous!!

      Yes, if it was summer or I didn't live in freezing UK, I wouldn't think of venturing into vamp territory but major part of it was your swatches of black dahlia & discussions that got the ball well & truly rolling! What would be out of your comfort zone?

      That's what I mean about clever strategy...its the power of consumerism at its best, as cultural theorist Jean Baudrillard said : 'I buy so I am' !!

      Ps tried Flamingo on & is a bright pink on me (actually just like the bullet). Gorgeous colour but very similar to Nars Nu Satin lip pencil that I have so could have done without this...altho 2 bright pinks in collection is passable I suppose!

    24. Thank you for your understanding! On the long days that I spend on campus I just don't have much time to check emails or post comments.

      A clear lip liner is definitely a nice thing to have on hand because you really can use it with any shade lipstick without it altering the color. I have Chanel's natural lip liner as well, but do not find it the perfect selection for many colors. It's great for many, but the more pigmented richer shades just don't seem to benefit from its use.

      LOL, I suppose that Chris Noth will be Mr. Big in perpetuity!

      Yes, it's nice to have a friend at the Chanel counter as well!

      I completely understand your inclination not to venture out when it is freezing! I'm really glad that my swatches proved to be useful for you! Out of my comfort zone shades would be reds and really bright shades of fuchsia. I used to wear them both periodically, but I tend to prefer nudes and pinks for everyday wear. Then for the more daring shades I gravitate toward the vampy shades. I think that part of the issue is that I don't like to wear distracting makeup when I am at work.

      That is exactly right– it is a brilliant strategy! It is so funny that you mention Baudrillard in this context! I wrote a piece on consumerism/makeup hoarding and referred to the Descartes maxim "I think, therefore I am" and used Barbara Kruger's Untitled (I Shop Therefore I am). Incidently, I just so happen to be teaching Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation in a couple of weeks! I now firmly believe that we are sisters that were separated at birth!

      Flamingo sounds absolutely stunning on you! Too bad that it is very similar to the NARS Nu Satin Lip Pencil! Do you prefer one over the other? What about playing with the two together? You could line your lips with the NARS and fill in with the TF. The textural differences might give you a stunning finish!

    25. Flamingo is a gorgeous colour & great idea to wear it with the Nars pencil-will try that combo out. They are very similar altho TF goes on with a satin finish like Nars Nu but dries to more of a matte finish therefore is longer lasting. But still they are so similar that feel I should have perhaps gone for a TF red instead or True Coral as don't have any shades like that.

      Am getting very excited now...hope you are sitting down-I used to teach about the cultural theorists & one of my absolute favs was Baudrillard & S/S !! I also love Gramsci's 'cultural hegemony', Althusser's 'ideological state apparatus' & Simmel's 'actors on a stage' ideas. My PhD was on cultural representations of identity & one chapter in particular deal with popular culture & consumerism so Baudrillard featured heavily there....gosh I thought I'd long forgotten these gems amidst nappies,feeding, Barbies (my 7yr old's current obsession) etc but clearly it! Oh & Foucault/the body too is an endless source of fascination.

      Am with you on the Reds being out of comfort zone (altho am determined to have 1 in my collection... & wear it with ease!). Fuschia isn't really a colour that appeals to me...I like bright pink (eg Flamingo..but even that isn't a shade I would have very many of) or Violet (I don't have any such shades but Violet Fatale keeps catching my eye in swatches!) but somehow Fushia falls between these 2 shades & occupys the neither here nor there ground for me.

      Agreed ref. Chanel natural altho the vast majority of my lipstick shades are Nudey pinks which I found it works well for, it's not gonna work with Flamingo for instance so will get a clear liner. Yes of course ref.distracting make-up at work big No No!

      Aaaaash yes Mr Big...always! Even hated it when his name came up on Carries phone at the end of the first movie (John...I think it was?).

      Wow...still reeling from the Baudrillard et al connection! Where have u been all my life :)

      While we're talking connections 'Lola's secret blog' daughter's name is Lila!

    26. Ps Going to check out your piece on make up hoarding-thanks for that!

    27. Since the NARS has a more matte finish it will serve you well as a liner for Flamingo, and I presume that it will increase the overall wear-time. I imagine that this pairing will be absolutely stunning on you! I know what you mean though, and while a read or True Coral would have certainly been more unique to your lipstick color wardrobe, you had been thinking about Flamingo long enough that your desire to have it may have persisted had you not purchased it. I am definitely finding that I need to be a bit more cognizant of the colors in my collection when I contemplate another Tom Ford (or another equally pricey brand) because becoming overly duplicative at a luxury price point can become quite costly.

      WOW WOW WOW! Now this is far more interesting to me than our shared TF lipstick fetish! Seriously, I am nearly falling out of my chair! SERIOUSLY, you have nearly rendered me speechless! I love teaching Baudrillard! I also teach Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Foucault etc.

      In my dissertation I used Foucault's The History of Sexuality to historicize and frame notions of sexual orientation in the 16th and 17th centuries when evaluating the proclivities of particular artists, and the ahistorical approach that some modern scholars have taken in evaluating their work (and personal inclinations). There were also quite a few Barthes citations in my dissertation as well! I don't really teach Gramsci, per se, but do mention him when discussing Edward Said (specifically his seminal work Orientalism).

      This is truly extraordinary! While part of me is hardly what I would describe as surprised, another part of me just can't believe the depth and richness of our similarities!

    28. It's so nice that we share this! Of course you haven't forgotten any of this amidst the nap pies, feedings and running after your kids! This academic part of who you are remains, no matter what! Yes, I completely agree with you that Foucault is an endless source of fascination! I can only imagine the theoretical discourses running through your head as your 7 year old plays with her Barbie's!

      Yes, reds, to me, are a real commitment type of color. They are dry attention grabbing and bold, but I think that there are some that can be worn with greater ease– provided that one is comfortable with the particular hue! Interesting, and very astute, take on fuchsia as occupying some sort of liminal space between shades such as Flamingo and Violet Fatale! Violet Fatale is absolutely stunning! I swatched it the day that I swatched Flamingo, and I could not believe its staying power! In fact, after I washed it off it left a very detectable stain on my arm for many hours.

      Agreed that Chanel's natural liner is perfect for nudey pinks and peachy nudes as well. I definitely agree that it is ill-suited for shades like Flamingo– unless of course one is trying to alter the character of Flamingo. Agreed, and not just because it would be distracting for students, but also because of the way that colleagues might react!

      Ah yes, the rupture of our fantasy access to Big actually having a name– let alone a common one! I remember feeling so conflicted when his name popped up on Carrie's phone!

      I agree, it's just crazy that we have this Baudrillard connection! I am reeling with you! And indeed, where have you been all of my life!

      Wow, Lila is a gorgeous name! I named the blog after my cat Lola who often sits on my lap when I work!

      I hope you enjoy the piece that I wrote on consumerism! :-)

    29. Oh too cute-cat called Lola (how adorable that she sits on your lap whilst working!) & another called Milo :)

      Yes exactly..of all the names, it's 'John'...Big so doesn't look like a John (no offence to Johns intended!).

      Yes indeed ref. student & colleague reactions....crying shame but true!

      The Nars Nu & TF Flamingo both apply with a satin finish however the TF appears to dry more matte nevertheless I will certainly try the Nars as a liner with Flamingo.
      Violet Fatale does look lovely (don't they all though!) & I remember when I swatched it out of curiousity ages ago, it had a slight shimmer to it & seemed to have a less creamy consistency than other colours in the range. I was looking at swatches of it online the other day & it does seem to pull more pink or even fuschia than violet/purple so that would def be one I would try on the lips first to see if I loved it before purchasing. We've been conversing about TF lipsticks for a while & I forgot to mention that my friend has the boxed original collection of lipsticks. At the time, I thought how ridiculously & extravagantly indulgent but now having accumulated so many from the range myself, I just think how utterly fab!

      Yes, I don't think academic learnings are really things you forget about....just get abit rusty on the details etc as you get consumed with other phases/facets of life. I must admit though that just before I became pregnant with our first baby, I was starting to feel disillusioned with academia & the startling gap between theory & practice (eg. Professors becoming fairly well to do through writing books on issues such as 'poverty', the 'underclass' etc whilst remaining in their Ivory towers). I started to question in my own head-what was the point in me going into a lecture theatre to 'teach' about Karl Marx when children all over the world were dying of hunger or being exploited. It didn't feel like I was helping to change anything in the true sense of the word. I guess stepping out & having babies came at a timely point! Having said that, I do love the cultural theorists & ha, ha yes Barbie does engender various discourses not only when my daughter plays with them but also when my son grabs them repeatedly-:)

      Ok now this really is getting surreal....Roland Barthes & Mythologies played an important part in my PhD as I conducted a semiotical analysis of images of Madonna (in her role as cultural icon & appropriator). I love Barthes work! Don't worry, there's more...Edward Said's Orientalism (one of my ultimate works of all time!) underpinned my entire thesis & formed the cornerstone of my discussions on cultural representations,appropriations & identity. Love Said...felt very sad when he passed away. I mean...come on now what is going on here....I feel that you are my mirror image!

      Yes certainly Gramsci is very relevant to Said's Orientalism & also to so many cultural practices. I used to teach social & cultural theory as well as social divisions ('race' gender & class). Your thesis sounds very interesting...what artists did you focus on?

    30. Pardom me for a moment while I lift my jaw off of the floor! I must address all of the scholarly stuff first, and then the makeup! First of all, I can certainly understand how you found yourself disillusioned by the startling gap between theory and practice. This is certainly not true of all educational systems, but certainly so for scholarly research institutions with a penchant for collecting Nobel Prize winners and leading scholars on the world stage. Extreme levels of erudition can certainly create a rupture between theory and practice. Those ivory towers can become quite impermeable to things and ideas that aren't theoretical, highly conceptualized intellectual ideologies. This utopian landscape, of their own making, can often fly in the face of reason, and can be quite difficult to reconcile with the many realities of the world. Seeing such a disparity can certainly be incredibly disheartening. There is something to be said for pragmatic scholars who are able to function in the "real" world with their feet firmly placed on the ground without lessening their impact in their fields. It's great to have rarified knowledge, but it's also important to know how to tie your own shoes!

      When I walk into large lecture halls and talk about such theorists and philosophers, I do everything in my power to make their ideas as approachable as I can to my students. For some it will make a difference, but for others it won't because they don't want to roll up their sleeves and attempt to understand the intricacies of these ideas. I certainly do know what you mean though, and there is no question that highly successful scholars tend to perpetually live in their heads, and are consumed by their corner of the intellectual and scholarly universe. Sadly, that may often mean writing about things such as poverty as an abstraction, rather than an actual problem. Of course this is not always the case, but academia offers all of the comforts of the womb, and being born is an option that one does not have to take. One can philosophize in utero in perpetuity without penalty.

      Barbie does indeed engender a great many discourses, and I can only imagine how you must get a good chuckle when your daughter plays with it, and when your son repeatedly grabs for it! I am grinning ear to ear right now!

      Haha! Of course Barthes and Said were important for your research! A semiotic deconstruction of Madonna is fascinating and so very appropriate! I use Barthes to teach Semiotics to my students since his permutation is more approachable than Saussure's to undergraduate students. I will be teaching that with respect to Art and Film in a couple of weeks. Then we will be discussing Said a few weeks later! I felt very sad when Said passed away as well, as did I when Derrida passed away.

      I imagine that your classes where absolutely fascinating! Mirror image as well, or some kind of Mise en Abyme! My topic was the heterodoxy of Caravaggio's Naturalism. I used Barthes and his S/Z for pointing to the artificiality (and artifice) involved in the highly mediated process that the artist/author relies upon in the creation of their work, and that naturalism is itself a construct. Of course that it just one small part of what I was trying to achieve, but it was certainly fascinating!

      WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!! This is just such a rare treat!

    31. Lola and Milo are actually litter-mates, and profoundly bonded with one another. It feels so funny to talk about makeup– which we clearly both fetishize– after talking about our respective academic training and interests! LOL!

      I look forward to hearing how the NARS gets on with TF Flamingo! I'm sure that the combination will be visual perfection, but the question seems to be whether you will like the combination on finishes!

      I definitely think that you should try Violet Fatale in person to see how you feel about it, and your body chemistry could oxidize it somewhat and it could pull more purple. It's not a neutral ho-hum color– so I think that it's definitely worth pondering in person rather than online.

      Perhaps giving Big a commonplace name (also no offense intended to the name) it was meant to make him more accessible, and to demystify him. That said, it certainly disrupts the fantasy of access (or lack thereof when he remained somewhat elusive). After all, once they became betrothed he was no longer the eligible bachelor answerable to no one!

      I didn't address the issue of louder lipsticks and the distractions they might cause in the academic setting, and I agree with you wholeheartedly that it is a shame that anyone would even think twice about such modes of self-expression. For all of the open-mindedness and liberal inclinations found in such an environment of higher learning, there is likewise a judgmental side, and such aesthetic things might be deemed utterly superfluous, unnecessary and a waste of time and energy. I will never understand why this must be the case!

    32. Oh you really do get me...we appear to be on the same page about everything!! I absolutely love your analogy of academia as enabling a perpetual womb existence & the abstraction (& in this sense dehumanising & trivialising) of concrete & life affecting realities. You are completely on the money! For me, academia & academics started to seem hypocritical & the whole process abit admiration remains for theories,theorists & teachers of knowledge however my true respect lies with those who practically seek to make a difference on the front line, at grass roots. For instance, on a personal front, a friend of mine works in a refuge for abused women & my mum was a social worker for over 20years in the field of child protection. I wish I was selfless enough to affect change in these sort of ways. How did you get into academia? With me, I loved studying & researching in particular especially around anything 'socio cultural' plus my dad being a lecturer certainly was a contributing factor. There's also the somewhat embarrassing fact that I had no clear idea about what I wanted to do when I 'grew up' so it ended up being a case of doing 1 degree, then another & then another, followed by working as a researcher for the EU & then lecturing which despite my later cynicism, I really enjoyed.

      Barthes certainly more accessible than Saussure & dare I say, more interesting? I was completely enthralled by his analysis of magazine covers such as Paris Match.

      Aaaah yes Derrida & deconstruction. There does feel a sense of personal loss when theorists or actors whose work you've admired over the years passes away infront of your eyes so to speak. The influential cultural theorist Stuart Hall passed away very recently & I felt so sad as have lapped up so much of his writings & heard his lectures. I suppose it's a comforting thought that through writings & theories, these great minds or performers live forever & shall continue to enthrall & inspire generations.

      Mis en Abyme-love it! Ideas always sound grander in French! Your work on naturalism as a construct sounds very interesting & you must have ended up with masses of material!

      Totally with you on the WOWS & can't quite believe it...& to think this all started with me not being able to sleep one night & browsing for reviews/swatches on Tom Ford lipsticks.....& here we are talking about Barthes et al !!!! I certainly love TF even more than before!

      Know what u mean ref. going from academic interests to make-up is funny..kind of like sublime to ridiculous but no,no TF is sublime in his own way :) but seriously this to me is the holy grail-someone I can be high brow with whilst also passionately appreciating the superficial. I am a girl who will pour over a broadsheet but also devour a trashy celebrity gossip mag with equal glee (or dare I say, prefer the latter!). Plus whilst I love make-up (& may I add, my obsessive collector status in this area is fairly recent) it's the TF lipsticks that I particularly fetishize & we are both not just academics but have a similar theoretical pool. Seriously where have u been all my life?!

      I certainly think Violet Fatale looks lovely but it's not a colour I'm particularly coveting (famous last words!) or would even think about getting without testing on lips...same goes for Bruised Plum & Black Dahlia.

      That's very astute, yes of course once Carrie finally secured commitment from Big he was accessible to all of us & therefore we coukd be privy to the 'real' him. Still didn't like it though!!

    33. It certainly is a shame & deeply ironic that even in institutions of learned thinking & enlightenment, there remains the tendency to refuse to view beings as multi-layered/faceted identities in practice. There is still the need to shove people into narrow boxes & subliminally dictate what is considered 'appropriate' there & 'inappropriate' here. It's just some face paint at the end of the day so what's with all the rules! But hey, there may be a throw caution to the wind moment & 'Velvet Cherry' 'Ruby Rush' etc may make it to the lecture theatre one day :)

      Lilo & Milo sound them already!

      Ps was my turn to exceed the word limit!

    34. We seem to get each other, and we most certainly are on the same page about everything! I'm glad that you appreciated my analogy about academia as the perpetual womb. While there most certainly is a disenchanting side (as there is to just about everything) I keep motivated and excited about teaching because learning and scholarship excites me, and because I love the act of teaching itself. I also make sure to remain approachable to my students, and do everything in my power to make complex ideas as accessible as possible, rather than perpetuating the "Mystification" about which John Berger speaks. I completely understand your disenchantment, but this method prevents me from feeling as though I cannot affect any sort of change. In fact, I feel as though being able to reach as many students as I can can hopefully impart a love and excitement about the practice of learning for its own sake. My interest in entering academia as a career choice was a slow one, and the road to it was fraught with a measure of rebellion. With a parent who was a professor his whole adult life, there was a serious interest (understatement) in education, and I rebelled against it for a long time. However, my favorite college professor asked me to stay after class one day (I was worried that I had done a bad job on my research paper), but he brought me to his office and told me that he wanted me to go to grad school for a Ph.D.! I couldn't believe that he thought enough of my work to make such a suggestion, and told him that I was a professor's daughter and wasn't sure that I wanted to take that route, and told hime that I would consider an MA. He told me to either stop at the BA, or get the Ph.D. because the MA would not be enough to get an academic job. I thought about it, and finally decided to do it!

      Your CV is quite impressive! From researcher for the EU to a university Lecturer! Nice job, my sister!

      Barthes is definitely more accessible that Saussure– especially to a lecture hall filled with undergraduate students! I absolutely agree about his analysis of magazine covers such as Paris Match– pure brilliance!

      I can't believe that Stuart Hall's death last year escaped me! What a brilliant deep thinker. I love discussing him when I talk about racism in Hollywood films. Between his ideas and Said's there is such a wealth of information, and their ideas are a little more readily accessible than say Benjamin or Barthes for students just being introduced to theory and philosophy.

      Naturalism as a construct is very interesting, especially since it itself is artificial (no matter how "real" it may appear).

      I'm deeply grateful that you found my blog on the sleepless night when you sought TF swatches! From TF to Barthes– this is seriously edifying! This is definitely holy grail stuff to be able to go from lipstick to theory! I have the same impulses as you do, and it certainly is lots of fun to have interests and obsessions outside of academia! I completely agree with your question, "where have you been all my life?!" Just so glad that we made the connection and can move from fetishizing TF lipsticks to theory and then back again!

      I'm not coveting Violet Fatale either, and while I think that it is absolutely beautiful I don't think that I would wear it nearly often enough to justify the expense. You definitely need to see VF, Bruised Plum and Black Dahlia in person. You may find that your beautiful new Chanel lipstick will satisfy the need for something outside of your comfort zone!

    35. I love the idea that moving from academic interests to makeup as moving from the sublime to the ridiculous! I certainly agree that TF is sublime in his own way! This is just wonderful!

      I'm glad that you liked my read on why Big became John and more accessible, but that doesn't change the fact that it altered our perception, and ruptured the space of fantasy by making him more ordinary!

      Yes, I agree with the irony that institutions of learned thinking and enlightenment often fail to incorporate or factor in the everyday experience or desires that in anyway vary from the norm! I love the notion of a serious scholar wearing such a vivid lipstick without anyone judging. After all, it's what comes out of your mouth– not what you put on it that matters most!

      Yesterday when I was running errands I made a quick stop at a TF counter and was given a generous sample of Tobacco Vanille, and thought of you. On my skin it dried down to a delectable vanilla with a spicy clove-like edge to it. It was tantalizing and sublime! I will continue wearing it, and may end up having to buy this one! You are quite right about it (of course)!

    36. That's exactly right-vanilla with a spicy has a kind of festive,seasonal feel to it as it lingers on the skin....hope u end up taking a bottle home :) & by the way don't u just love the bottles!

      Totally agree (of course) plus I think students appreciate lecturers who present themselves as individuals & can relate to those that are abit 'contemporary' both in appearance & splash the colour I say!!

      Speaking of colour..received my goodies today but would you believe it, they sent me the wrong Chanel lipstick shade!!!! Instead of my eagerly anticipated rouge noir, I was sent 'evolunte' (think I've spelt this wrong) so back its gone & have re-ordered Rouge Noir...was thinking that maybe this is a sign that I should wait to try Black Dahlia! It is funny that we both think Violet Fatale is lovely but neither of us are hankering after it plus it would be abit cheaper to get Xavier from the lips & boys.

      Are there any TF colours that you are coveting or do you have all the shades you love? From the regular collection, I'd like to try on bruised plum & a few of the mattes-bd,velvet cherry,ruby rush...I also think plum lush & flame look lovely too. Of course, so does pink tease but I'm steering away from pinks as u know! As much as I love the regular formula, I think this matte range is extra special-am enjoying first time & pussycat :)

      Now...from the 'ridiculously sublime' to the 'superbly sublime' Stuart Hall....I was lucky enough to be doing my masters at LSE when prominent sociologist Anthony Giddens was Director & he would often invite Stuart Hall (plus other cultural theorists like Paul Gilroy) to give lectures so I have had the good fortune of not only reading many of his works but hearing him speak...apart from his obvious intelligence & astuteness, his charisma was extraordinary. I certainly agree that the works of Said & Hall assume greater relevance as a gateway for students as their language & examples cited are perhaps more relatable than that of earlier theorists.

      I certainly agree with you about the enjoyment enveloped in teaching & certainly to see a room full of engaged & interested faces is reward enough. Absolutely, breaking down abstract notions into the everyday so as to canvas the mass is an essential teaching skill & it's not easy to do! The best teachers I've had have all been able to do this & right from my school days, they were the ones that fuelled my interest in certain subject areas & ensured my complete focus. My PhD supervisor has written various books & is very theoretically inclined however when she is lecturing or presenting at a conference, she is so bang on 'simple' & 'real' that the effect is hypnotic. Whenever I've been in the audience, I remember thinking,.'.I hope I'm even a quarter as good as this'! I have a feeling you are one of the good ones...loved how you embraced academia post rebellion & esp loved the bracketed 'understatement' comment.....I'm with you on that one. Actually it was my dad who introduced me to some of my favourite theorists through books that were on his bookshelf eg. Policing the Crisis (Hall et al), A Different Hunger (Sivanandan) plus the review sections of the Guardian & Times newspapers. Did your dad teach in the same field as you?

      Just remembered that along with Baudrillard,Barthes etc I'm also a fan of Kristeva :)

    37. Yes, and I even detect a bit of clove in the dry down that is absolutely divine! I haven't yet purchase a bottle, but I suspect that I will once I have finished the deluxe sample! Yes, I absolutely love the bottles! They really are gorgeous!

      I definitely think that is true. The more approachable and relatable that you are, the better your chances are of actually reaching your students! Haha splash of color, indeed!

      I cannot believe that they sent you the wrong color! Wow, we really do use similar pathways in the brain! I would have thought precisely the same thing that maybe the mistake was a sign! LOL!!!! I don't think that you can go wrong with Rouge Noir, but that doesn't mean that you won't continue to ruminate over Black Dahlia, and you may ultimately get it. That said, if Rouge Noir satisfies your vampy desire then maybe you should just walk away from BD– because you don't need to make the purchase if you place it in the same category with Flamingo (gorgeous color, but I didn't need it AND had similar shades already). I completely agree about Violet Fatale– it truly is gorgeous, but I can appreciate it from afar. I know I wouldn't wear it often enough to justify the expense. Now, if I all of a sudden found myself with a hankering for that type of shade, then I would definitely purchase it, but I just don't wear such shades very often. Definitely getting Xavier is a more sensible option due to the price and size!

      I love all of the TF shades that I have, but definitely Nude Vanilla and Vanilla Suede get the most use. The only TF colors that I am somewhat coveting are two of the mattes: Pink Tease and Pussy Cat, but so far I haven't been compelled to buy either. I agree with you about the matte formula, and definitely love your choices! I need to pull out First Time and use it! I actually think that Pussy Cat is more beautiful than Casablanca!

      Wow, I am thoroughly impressed by your academic pedigree! I am in awe that you were able to listen to Stuart Hall speak in person! Such a truly brilliant scholar, and as you said his theories were much more relatable (as is Said's work).

      Seeing a room full of engaged faces is what I live for in teaching! Of course there are always students who have no inherent interest in learning, but the students with an innate curiosity and an openness to learning are the things that academic dreams are made of! I agree with you completely, the professors who were the most impactful on my studies were always the ones who broke down the abstract ideas into more readily accessible concepts. They really facilitate an excitement in learning, and the rewards last a lifetime!

      Your PhD supervisor sounds like an amazing scholar AND teacher, and that is often such a rare combination! That is a true gift! Those are definitely the scholars to emulate!

      I'm glad that you liked my "post rebellion…'understatement'" comment! Interestingly, I would have to credit my dad as well. I have most of his library in my collection, and while he taught literature, comp lit and language, and my field is art history, there are some intersections. Many of my theoretical texts are from him (Kristeva, Barthes, Baudrillard, Foucault etc.). Amazing how these similarities continue to unfurl! The WOW factor continues to grow!

    38. Agreed ref.WOW factor altho am now expecting the similarities to keep unfolding :)

      Yes I agree that there will always be students who do not 'naturally' have the desire & curiosity to learn yet even here, an approachable teacher who can offer nuggets of knowledge in a deconstructed & relatable manner can work wonders in sparking interest. It is wonderful also the relations forged between teacher-student through the process of disseminating & dissecting knowledge...I had some lovely students who I'm sure I'll always remember & hopefully vice versa :)

      Yes Stuart Hall truly brilliant (it's rare to have written & verbal brilliance) & the work of Centre of Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) in UK that he was instrumental in setting up was pioneering.

      PussyCat is truly gorgeous & such a unique shade...I don't have Casablanca but have tried that on in the past & PussyCat has the same mauve tone but is much more 'knockout' if that makes sense. Love First Time too. Will have to try on all the mattes (once I come out of winter hibernation mode!) to satisfy my curiosity as suddenly am coveting all of them eg.plum lush (or is it rush?) wasn't even on my radar but swatches I've seen look beautiful! At the same time, have a feeling more shades will be added to the matte range soon enough so best to not go nuts!

      I know...what are the odds of being sent the wrong colour plus to top that, Zi also received an email from a dept store informing me that the previously out of stock black dahlia is now in stock....signs are now alarm bells!!

    39. It's just such a delight, and I can hardly wait to see this continued unfolding!

      It's the lovely and engaged students who always stand out, and they are the students that cause me to continually have a renewed interest in the act of teaching. I have no doubt that your students remember you and the many gifts that you gave them as an educator!

      So true about Stuart Hall. It is such a rare combination. So often scholars lack the ability to be pragmatic and accessible while remaining cultivated in their erudition. He was one of those truly gifted individuals!

      I agree that Pussycat is much more of a knockout than Casablanca! I suspect that I will eventually get it. Your description is spot on! First Time is definitely a stunning shade as well! Pink Tease is definitely teasing me, and will likely end up in my collection one of these days! I know what you mean about his mattes. They are so superb that it's hard not to want them all, but again I must try and let my reason prevail, and only buy the ones that I actually know that I would wear (Hello Pussycat and Pink Tease).

      It's natural that being sent the wrong color would cause such contemplation. It's even more interesting that you have been alerted to the fact that BD us now back in stock! It would certainly seem as though the lipstick gods are trying to lead you down a certain path!

    40. Love the idea of 'lipstick gods' & of course a calling is a calling so have ordered black dahlia (before it goes out of stock again) & hopefully will get to a TF counter in time to try it on incase I hate it or is too close to Chanel RN so can then return it. Got a feeling I'll love it & will end up having 2 vampies!

      I suppose the non limited ed shades can be purchased at leisure & with a rational mind altho Black Orchid wasn't LE I don't think, yet was discontinued out of the blue?! Yep Pink Tease looks lovely..I wonder if it may be similar to YSL lingerie pink tho?

      Speaking of TF (as we always do!) I came across a blogger online going by the name of Fulltime we are not the only worshippers!

      Yes hopefully former students remember me for good reasons...not much more you can ask for :)

    41. Me too! I knew you would have to have BD! I suspect that you will want to keep it, but if you feel that it is too close in vampiness to Chanel RN (thought the hues will differ), then you can return it and save yourself some money. Remember there will be likely temptations in the TF Spring and Summer Collections, so we might want to be fairly prudent before those launches- LOL!!!!!!

      I know what you means, and permanent shades are periodically discontinued. I can't remember if black Orchid was LE or whether it was simply discontinued. Wasn't it also repromoted once?

      Hmmmm, good question about whether Lingerie Pink and Pink Tease are similar. Comparing my swatches it appears that Pink Tease is a much darker shades, whereas Lingerie Pink is a light baby pink comparatively. Both definitely lean cool.

      Yes, Fulltime Ford is definitely a true TF worshipper!

      I agree, and I have no doubt that they remember you with great fondness!

    42. Certainly hope students remember me with fondness-would be great to know what they've all ended up doing!

      Yes lingerie pink (fab name) does seem lighter & mayb even bluer/cooler than pink tease (also fab name)..both look so gorgeous that am impressed I haven't ventured near them.......,yet! :)

      No idea if B Orchid was reproomoted as never paid attention to darker shades pre-Lola :) just remember it being very popular & then disappeared! Bet I'll decide to keep the black dahlia that's on its way 2me (as have already decided in my head that Chanel Rouge Noir is more of a blackened red whereas black dahlia more of a blackened purple hence quite different & should have both!!) & then Black Orchid will be repromoted!

      Oh I'm all 2aware of potential spring/summer irrationally excited altho want to enjoy my new winter vamp purchases!

    43. I'm sure that they do! I keep in touch with some of them periodically, but often wonder what has become of others as well!

      I think that your assessment of Lingerie Pink and Pink Tease is spot on. I love both names as well! At least there is no rush to buy either since both are part of the core line!

      Love the idea of "pre-Lola!" :-) Yes, I bet that you will want to keep Black Dahlia as well. YES, Chanel RN is a blackened red vs TF BD as a blackened purple. Certainly quite easy to justify keeping both since they are quite different, actually. If they do repromote Black Orchid you will definitely have to go look at it next to BD to see if you "need" it!

      You and I are both all too aware of the potential (read: cost of our obsession) of the spring/summer collections in the land of Tom Ford! I share your irrational excitement, but it should not overshadow the pleasure that you should be experiencing with your new winter vamp purchases!

    44. That's right... so shall stop for a moment & smell the roses & revel in velvet cherry & rouge noir (plus potentially BD) & put thoughts of TF spring/summer to back of mind (good luck with that!)

      Certainly from your wonderful swatches, having either BD, Blk Orch or even Bruised Plum would cancel out the 'need' to have the other 2 as all 3 look so similar therefore I guess it comes down to which finish is preferable & how each translates on the lips. As I said before, BD on my friend comes off as a very dark red yet all swatches I've seen look dark purple. Having said that I'm guessing u love black orchid above the other I right?!

      I did keep in touch for a short while with a few students post leaving (a couple of them even came to my wedding) however regret not continuing to do so-would have been good 2know how they all doing.

    45. Agreed! I have to remind myself of such things all of the time! The anticipation for those two collections is becoming palpable!

      You are so lovely to say that! I definitely do not think that having all three is necessary in the least bit. While they are variations on the same (notwithstanding differences in texture) they can be manipulated further with a vampy lipliner. I definitely do not think that it is necessary to have all three of the. One should suffice. Of course, as you said it depends on what each of them does on the lips, and your friend is proof positive that how one color looks on one persons lips isn't necessarily the way that it on anthers. That's a tough question, really– it is sort of a toss up between Black Orchid and Black Dahlia for me. The colors are close enough, but the matte finish in BD is pretty exquisite! I will say that once you have BD that there really isn't a lot of need to lust after BO.

      That's so lovely that a couple of your students attended your wedding! No need to regret it– try to track them down and sending them an email! I have done that before, and it led to delightful exchanges!

    46. Some of the dept stores here have got the TF Spring collection in & although I've only seen online have 2 say am abit underwhelmed...there are blue eyeshadows, blue (not blackened blue..more of a bright blue) & green nail polishes plus a mascara. So far no new lip colours...actually maybe there won't be any with this collection as TF only recently came out with the mattes & then lips/boys. Hey maybe it's just as well I'm underwhelmed so I don't go crazy...could this signal the TF hold on me loosening?! Could BD be my last TF purchase?!! Surely not!

      As referenced above & in other post, BD is in my possession now....will let u know if I hold on to it!

      Off 2watch late night tv now...we have an American cop show addiction that began with 24 (SUPER LOVE!) & is now continuing with The Wire & gripped!

    47. WOW, well in a way that is a relief! That said, it's always such a let-down when one anticipates wanting everything in a collection only to be underwhelmed by it instead. I think that these occurrences are good opportunities to go with gut instincts, and to avoid purchasing for the sake of purchasing from a favored line. It's also a good way to stay grounded if the collection gets lots of hype! I look forward to seeing it in person and swatching it, but what you are describing doesn't sound like the type of products that I would likely wear. I someone doubt that your love of the line will be diminished, but this collection will likely save you some money!

      I hope that you can try on BD at the counter soon so that you can decide whether you want to keep the one that you received. It will be very interesting to see how much it differs from the Chanel!

      I used to watch 24 religiously! I love and watch Homeland! Such great, albeit tense, story arcs!

  7. PPS I'm with you of course on TF making the best mattes on the market altho I also like YSL mattes-I have No. 210 (nudey peach LE) & 207 (rose pink) plus their red mattes look lovely. Chanel's mattes look great but the one that I tried was surprisingly very drying!

    1. I absolutely agree. I really feel as though he created a whole new breed of velvety mattes that aren't flat or drying. Thank you for the YSL numbers I will put them in my phone so that I have them with me next time I find myself near a YSL counter! Ok, here goes another similarity– Chanel mattes are way too drying for me, and actually there only lipsticks that I can comfortably wear are their Rouge Coco Shines! Other than that I wear their Glossimers and Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss formula. My sensitive eyes are bothered by many of their Eyeshadow quads as well. I love their Joues Contrast Blushes and cream blushes though!

    2. Of course you find Chanel mattes drying...we're not lipstick soul sisters for nothing!! I think their pur couture line is great but I agree their rouge cocos are lovely (I have 'romance' & 'boy') & the glossimers are truly much so that I have two (my fav so far is 'giggle') & I'm not a gloss girl! The RAE Gloss looks great too...been meaning to check them out properly. I haven't tried the eyeshadows & am not into blush (altho as mentioned before love the YSL kiss & blush pots!) however have tried there eyeliners & wasn't impressed at all (too scratchy & not pigmented enough!). Although their 'Rouge Noir' & 'Black Satin' nail polishes are on my 'must have at some point' list :)

    3. LOL! Seriously, I'm starting to wonder if we were separated at birth! I don't have anything from their put couture line. I only currently have two rouge coco shines: Boy and Antigone (LE raspberry red color). I actually rather recently finished up Royallieu (a LE rouge coco in a light light pink). Come on, seriously?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Giggle is one of my two all-time favorite glossers. It is the perfect MLBB shade. The other shade is Star from the SOHO Collection a few years ago. Star is a pale cool whitened pink. I seldom purchase backups, but I have 2-3 backups of that one, and wish that they would bring it back! The RAE formula is stupendous, and that applicator feels sublime sweeping across the lips!

      I used to use some of there eyeliners, but for some reason I lost interest. The e/s have generally caused me too many problems– though I do have a couple of old ones that work fine for me. I have a couple of their nail polishes that are lovely. I adore Paradoxal!

  8. Replies
    1. I totally forgot to mention, after you asked which navy eyeliners I had or loved– it occurred to me that the one that I had and was crazy in love with is the Tom Ford Absolute Noir for Eyes. It is his gel eyeliner in a pot that has a black ground with subtle and stunning optical blue particles that make the whites of the eyes look brighter, whiter and more clear! It looks like a blackened navy on the eyes!


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