Thursday, September 17, 2015


Master Class provided courtesy of Tom Ford Beauty & Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills (Affiliate Links)

I was invited to another very special Tom Ford Beauty Master Class at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, and naturally I immediately accepted such a gracious offer. This event was once again presided over by Todd Davidson, a world renown makeup artist, and the West Coast Sales and Education Executive for Tom Ford Beauty. His model was none other than Sara Pinson, an extraordinary makeup artist herself as well as a market specialist for Tom Ford Beauty.

As I have previously noted, I have had the great pleasure of meeting many famous makeup artists, but there are only a small handful that are true visionaries with astounding skills and true artistic genius. Todd is one of them. His gifts and talents enable him to transform the lovely faces that he adorns with the gorgeous products from Tom Ford Beauty with seamless precision, a deft hand and an innate understanding of the architecture of the individual faces that he enhances.
As you might expect, a Tom Ford Beauty event hosted at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills is an ultra luxe affair. We were taken off of the main floor into a beautifully adorned banquet room with four-top tables clad with with black table cloths, stunning white rose bouquets, Tom Ford Gift Bags and Tom Ford Beauty Face Charts. Add to this that the Champagne and delectable Hors D'Oevres flowed freely from beginning to end, and we had one exquisite time together.
Left to Right: Sara Pinson and Todd Davidson

Before Todd began the to demonstrate the Fall 2015 Look on Sara, he gave a brief chronology ofTom Ford's more recent endeavors and achievements.


2005 Tom Ford launched his eponymously named Eyewear Collection
2009 Tom Ford took a break and directed his extraordinary film, A Single Man
2013 Tom Ford launched Tom Ford Beauty

Tom Ford's next film, Noctural Animals (2016), is currently in pre-production, and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams and Kim Basinger. 
Tom Ford has a very hand-on approach to everything that bears his name, and even all of the beautiful and artistic pictorial campaigns are photographed by him (unless they are pictures of him).
Todd began the class by describing Tom Ford's philosophy on beauty and by stating that Tom Ford's experience studying architecture in school has informed the way that he seeks symmetry and structure in the human face, and that this philosophical system is at the very foundation of Tom Ford Beauty. 

As I previously noted in the first Tom Ford Master Class that I attended last year,

This ideological system is the essence of Tom Ford's exacting designs ranging from his couture line,  his accessories, his fragrances, and his Beauty Line. All parts must be in harmony, and even the most minute details must serve the greater interest of the whole. Everything must be balanced, symmetrical and harmonious. Like the Renaissance sculptors and painters who outdid nature in the perfection of their works of art, so too does Tom Ford Beauty lend balance and symmetry to all of the faces graced with his exemplary line of cosmetics.
Before Todd began, Sara removed all of her makeup in order to provide him with a clean canvas. Todd began by selecting the first products that he was going to use on Sara to demonstrate the Tom Ford Beauty Fall 2015 look that was inspired by the runway show.
Of the gorgeous colors stories in the Fall 2015 Color Collection, Todd selected the Plums to adorn Sara's beautiful face.

Todd first prepped Sara's skin by applying the new Tom Ford Complexion Enhancing Primer in Pink Glow ($74.00) with the Tom Ford Foundation Brush #1 ($72.00). This is a flat paddle foundation brush, with synthetic bristles, that effortlessly delivers perfect streak-free coverage.
Tom Ford's new Complexion Enhancing Primer in Pink Glow is a new twist on the iconic Illuminating Primer ($74.00). The original formula remains one of the best selling Tom Ford Beauty products, and it achieved cult status soon after its release. It contains pulverized pearl for a flawless finish while adding radiance to the skin, and this is an essential step for Tom Ford Beauty.

These two new variants, Complexion Enhancing Primer in Pink Glow #02 and Peach Glow #02, boast built-in highlighters that create a stunning luminosity that shines through the foundation in order to enhance its finish. It is essentially a creamy and superbly emollient liquid primer/luminizer that is unlike anything else that I have tried before. Incidentally, the Illuminating and Complexion Enhancing Primers enable foundations to last between 12-15 hours long!
Left to Right: Pink Glow and Peach Glow

The two new Complexion Enhancing Primers, in Pink Glow 01 and Peach Glow 02, should be selected based upon the undertone of one's skin.
Pink Glow 01 is for pink/cool complexions
Peach Glow 02 is for peach/warm complexions
Left to Right: Pink Glow and Peach Glow

Todd then used the same Foundation Brush #01 to apply the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation SPF 15 ($80.00) in Rosewood on Sara. It offers a medium coverage natural matte finish that is sweat and humidity resistant, and it is available in 15 beautiful shades. As previously noted, the luminosity of the primer pops through the foundation, which is essential to Tom Ford Beauty since the aesthetic is all about adding radiance back to the skin. 
Todd continued to add coverage when needed, and he took his time time to place the foundation  short little brushstrokes. The end result was flawless natural coverage underscored by the perfect amount of luminosity.

Tip: Todd brings the Traceless Perfecting Foundation right up to the eye, still using brush #1 even though he will be using a separate concealer. The rationale is that this creates even and natural coverage.

Todd emphasized that he prefers the finish that the Tom Ford Foundation Brush affords him, rather than using his fingers.  
Todd then blends the foundation into Sarah's neckline so that there is no disparity between the colors of her face and neck.

A Note about the differences between Tom Ford Foundations:

Traceless Perfecting Foundation SPF 15 ($80.00) is the newest liquid foundation to launch in the line, and it's already a best-seller. Todd explained that the semi-matte natural finish is medium to full coverage, whereas the Traceless Foundation SPF 15 ($80.00) has a light to medium coverage that is more dewy. The Traceless Foundation Stick ($80.00), on the other hand, offers buildable medium to full coverage with a more dewy finish. Furthermore, Tom Ford Beauty just launched the new Flawless Powder Foundation ($80.00 Available in 8 shades) that boasts a more matte finish. The texture is extraordinarily silky smooth and ultra finely milled, and would likewise serve as a tremendously luxurious setting powder for those who seek added coverage for their foundations.


Another relatively new addition to Tom Ford Beauty is the Concealing Pen, that is available in  shades, and it is a lovely alternative to using the Traceless Foundation Stick as an under eye concealer. The twist up packaging dispenses the perfect amount of concealer through a brilliant thick felt applicator tip that feels like the finest cashmere against the skin.  The generously sized applicator fits perfectly in the under eye area, but. Todd said that it was formulated to use anywhere on your face, and that the satin finish is perfection under the eyes. He also informed us that when paired with the Intensive Infusion Eye Treatment one will end up with the perfect finish. It is easily transported, and doubles as a foundation touch-up in you are out and about and need to reapply!

Todd chose Light to match Sara's complexion, and applied it directly from the wand under each of Sara's eyes. He utilized the Shadow Concealer Brush #3 to mix and blend it into her skin for a flawless finish.
IMPORTANT TIP ABOUT CONCEALER: Match your skin tone– you don't want to go too light or too dark. Matching concealer with skin tone creates a much more natural appearance.
At this point you could simply apply mascara and gloss or lipstick and go, but Tom Ford loves bold looks, and therefore Todd opted to further embolden the look that he created on Sara.

IV) Shade & Illuminate
The physical harmony that is created by a symmetrical face is further enhanced by the proper balance between the interplay of light and shadow modeling, or chiaroscuro, and this is at the very core of the Tom Ford Beauty aesthetic. This is something that Todd is able to achieve with a deft hand in what appears to be an effortless flick of the wrist
This philosophy, to which Tom Ford adheres, values above all else the creation of symmetry that is punctuated by light and shadow modeling. Shade & Illuminate ($80.00) and its corresponding Shade & Illuminate Brush ($72.00) are the perfect tools to create this highly sought after look.

Before applying Shade & Illuminate ($80.00) to Sara's face, Todd explained that creating structure, balance and symmetry was imperative in order to use Tom Ford products in the manner in which they were conceived. The first way to balance a face and create a more unified symmetry, since people are seldom born with perfectly symmetrical features, is to use this little treasure that creates the illusion of a perfectly balanced and chiseled visage.

As I have previously stated,

Where nature may have failed, Tom Ford steps in as a modern Michelangelo in his ability to create the most perfected chiaroscuro effect. His light and shadow modeling techniques are precisely what Renaissance painters employed to their two-dimensional surfaces, and that sculptors achieved as they carved in stone. My "AHA" moment was that Tom Ford brilliantly assimilated tricks known by Cinquecento painters to create the illusion of symmetry and three-dimensionality! The brilliance of Shade & Illuminate is that the dark color mimics shadows thereby creating recessions that can give people without prominent cheekbones the appearance of cheekbones, while the highlighting portion captures light where the sun would naturally fall on the face. It is, however, the combination of the two that gives the appearance of the perfectly sculpted face, and  this is pure unmitigated genius, people!

Todd noted that Shade & Illuminate comes in two different intensities: 1 & 2. It is very easy to choose which one is best suited to your skin tone because Intensity 1 is a warm peach that is intended for people with golden or warm undertones, whereas Intensity 2 is best suited for people with pink or cool undertones.

How To Use Shade and Illuminate:

You first have to feel your bone structure, starting near your hairline, and once you locate the ledge of your jaw bone then place your finger right under the one in the hollow of your cheek. Take the flat side of the Shade & Illuminate Brush and paint a strip of Shade the width of the brush in the hollow of your cheek from your hairline and stop at the end of your eye, and voilà you have chiseled cheekbones.

You can also use it on the temple as well with what is left on the brush. Use it under the jawline– everything is always underneath. Always mimic shadows. Illuminating- use middle finger and tap into skin on top of cheekbones. Stop at the end of the eye. Diffuses unwanted fine lines and sculpts. It's the embodiment of light and shadow modeling (chiaroscuro).

Shade and Illuminate to add dimension and balance. Creates a chiaroscuro effect- light and shadow modeling– which is employed by painters to create the illusion of 3 dimensional space on a 2 dimensional surface. when applied to the human canvas it creates the chiseled effects of sculpture. The Shade creates shadows in areas that would naturally be darkened and the illuminate sits where the light would naturally touch the face. It is the juxtaposition of the two that create a sculptural chiseled effect.

Todd explained that the Shade & Illuminate Brush ($72.00) is the perfect tool for the job because it is designed with the perfect width for the job.

Todd then used the Cream Foundation Brush ($72.00) to blend out shade and Illuminate anywhere needed. This is one of my all-time favorite brushes, and I use it all of the time!

Since the eyebrows frame the face, their shape needs to be carefully articulated in order to enhance its overall symmetry. Todd asserts that at this point you have created an architectural template for the application of color. In other words, now you know precisely where to place your color products. You can stop here, or add serious color.
Brow Sculptor ($44.00) is a wonderful brow pencil with a wax consistency and tremendous staying power. Brow Sculptor comes in 4 shades (Taupe, Blonde, Chestnut and Espresso), and Todd chose Taupe for Sara. It has a slanted tip on one end and a spoolie on the other end to tame and brush unruly brows. It also has a built-in pencil sharpener for added convenience.
Todd begins by filling in Sara's brows with the Brow Sculptor, and then brushed the brow sculpting powder from the new Brow Sculpting Kit ($72.00) on top of the pencil that he used on Sara. This is the same principle as using a eyeliner pencil and then setting it with an eyeshadow powder for added longevity. Todd then used the wax from the palette to set the powder. The wax dries clear, and does not flake off.
If you have more sparse brows you may want to use the new Brow Sculpting Kit that comes in two shades (Light and Medium). 
Brow Sculpting Kit in Light coordinates with the Blonde and Taupe Pencils.
Brow Sculpting Kit in Medium coordinates with the Chestnut and Espresso Pencils.
Todd uses Tom Ford Shadow Concealer Brush #3 to apply the cream part of the Eye Primer Duo to Sara's eyelids to even out color, and it can also conceal veins and discoloration. He applies it all over the lid from the lash line to the crease, and you can set with the powder at the top of the duo. 

Todd applies Runway Color AW15 Cream Color Shadow with the Tom Ford Shadow Concealer Brush #3 from the lash line into crease, and all the way across Sara's  eyelids. 
Left to Right: Runway Color AW15 Cream Color Shadow heavily swatched and then sheered out.
Swatches of all four of the Eye and Cheek Palettes
Todd then applied the Eye and Cheek Palette in Plum Ombré ($65.00) to Sara's eyes. This coordinates with the new Lip Color in So Vain and Ultra Lip Shine Lip Gloss in Love Bruise that he uses on Sara for the quintessential monochromatic look of the season. All of the Ombrés have coordinating lip colors, see my post here for a detailed account of this collection. 
Todd uses Eye Shadow Blend Brush #11 ($56.00) and presses the lighter Ombré color on the inner part of the eye. Then he creates the ombré effect by sliding across the palette with his brush and deepens it as he glides across the crease. Todd opts for a traditional eyeshadow placement by putting the deeper shade toward crease and toward nose.
Todd then uses his finger to blend Sara's makeup.

Todd sought to enhance and dramatize the effects of Sara's eyes by using the iconic in Eye Color Quad in Cocoa Mirage. This is a stunning neutral palette that features 3 matte shades and 1 satin shade. Todd uses colors #2 and #3 from the palette (the upper right and the lower left shades) in order to give Sara a smoldering eye. Todd uses the darker shade toward the crease and the lighter placement. 
Tom Ford Eye Color Quads are hand-pressed in a factory in Italy, and are ultra finely milled with stupendous pigmentation.
Todd used the Eye Shadow Contour Brush ($56.00) to add color into Sara's eye socket because it is designed to perfectly accommodate the shape of the socket, and it lays down the pigment perfectly. The tightly packet bristles coupled with the angularity of the brush head makes this brush a must-have for structure work. This is a wonderful brush, and I use mine all of the time. You can use it for a nicely sculpted cat eye as well.
Todd then uses Tom Ford Eye Defining Pencil in Bruise (a stunning dark eggplant color) in the lower lash line and waterline for some drama. Gives more drama doing upper lash line and then smudging it using brush #15. One of my favorite brushes, and perfect for smoky eye and cat eye. used on Sara. 

Eye Defining Pencil in Bruise ($36.00), according to Todd, is a waterline safe liner that is about as gorgeous as it gets. He smudged it into Sara's lower lashline to elevate her smoky eye to a whole new level of smoldering perfection!
Ultra Length Mascara in Raven ($44.00) boasts a cutting-edge formula that gives lashes tremendous volume and rich color. Raven is the only shade available, and it is one of the richest black pigments that I have seen.  The formula is lengthening, thickening, volumizing, curling and water resistant (not waterproof). To use, simply start at the base of lashes and wiggle as close as possible to lashline.
Todd explained that if you were in a rush to get out of the door in a flash that all you needed to do is add some lipstick and Ultra Length Mascara in Raven and you would be ready to go. 

IX) Highlight
Rather than choosing a predictably smaller brush to apply Tom Ford Illuminating Powder Translucent, Todd instead opted to you use the colossal Bronzer Brush #5 ($115.00) to apply added illumination where needed.
The Bronzer Brush ($115.00), made to use with the colossal Tom Ford Bronzer, is also the perfect tool for dusting a setting powder all over the face.
Bronzer Brush #5 ($115.00)
Tip for Cleaning Tom Ford White Goat Hair Brushes; These beautiful and luxurious brushes are handmade in Japan by Hakuhodo, and are therefore made of the highest quality and the most exacting standards. The key to washing these brushes the right way, according to Todd, is to avoid using a regular brush cleaner because they tend not to remove all of the pigment that can stain the white hairs. Instead, everyone at Tom Ford Beauty uses the Tom Ford Bar Soaps, in any of the scents, with water. They simply brush the wet hairs across the bar and then rinse, and this keeps the hairs nice and white instead stained.
For Sara's cheeks, Todd selected the Eye and Cheek Palette in Plum Ombré to coordinate with her eyes, and to create the desired monochromatic look.
To apply Plum Ombré, Todd slid the Tom Ford Cheek Brush ($78.00) over the whole pan and applies it directly from the apples of Sara's cheeks backward toward the cheek bone. Since the Fall Runway show wrapped the blush around the temples toward the eyes (in a gentle backward "C" motion, Todd did the same on Sara. 

The Tom Ford Fall Look 2015 introduced 16 new permanent shades of Tom Ford Lip Colors (see all of my swatches here), among them is the gorgeous Tom Ford Lip Color in So Vain ($52.00) that Todd used on Sara along with its coordinating Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Love Bruise ($46.00).

Todd used Tom Ford Lip Brush #21 ($46.00) to apply So Vain to Sara's lips, and suggested that you really don't need to use a lip liner to achieve the perfect look. He simply lined Sara's lips with the brush and then placed Love Bruise on top.

The reason that Tom Ford objects to the use of lip liner, and in fact does to make lip liners, is because of the textural difference that it creates. Instead, he prefers an intensely pigmented and shiny lip unencumbered by a liner.
 When Todd finished the makeover, this is how Sara looked!
The elegant plum monochromatic effect created by the marriage of Eye and Cheek Shadow in Plum Ombré,  Lip Color in So Vain, Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Love Bruise, Runway Color AW15 Cream Color Shadow and Tom Ford Eye Defining Pencil in Bruise is the embodiment of Fall Color.
This look can be worn during the day, but can be intensified for an evening look as well.
Todd did an extraordinary job recreating the Fall Color Look on Sara
Once Todd's extraordinarily informative Master Class came to an end we were escorted back to the Tom Ford Beauty Counter where a whole host of Tom Ford Makeup Artists were giving beautiful makeovers to the Master Class participants.
Tom Ford Fall Color 2015 Makeover
The elegant centerpiece from my table
Todd exclaimed that colors and fragrance are mood changers before introducing us to the NEW Tom Ford Private Blend Venetian Bergamot ($220.00-$535.00).

According to Tom Ford Beauty,

Sensual yet sparkling, Venetian Bergamot eau de parfum from Tom Ford is a confluence of sun-drenched citrus from Italy's south and the rich florals, precious woods, and warm spices of its north. As elegant and fresh as the individual who wears it, this is a fragrance that leaves an indelible memory.  

Todd suggested that Tom Ford sought inspiration from a 19th Century Italian nobleman for this fragrance, and that this elegant fresh citrus scent evoked an effortlessness in its elegance that embodies Baldassare Castiglione's concept of sprezzatura that was first introduced in his seminal work, The Book of the Courtier (Il libro del cortegiano, 1528). This book was the most important guide to decorous behavior and etiquette to which Cinquecento Renaissance noblemen referred, and it continues to be an important source of scholarship for Italian Renaissance scholars. Sprezzatura suggests a kind of studied nonchalance or effortlessness that an Italian nobleman should display in any cultivated activity (such as dancing, playing a musical instrument, or anything else that requires considerable skill and training to be done well), but that is done with the appearance of effortlessness. Therefore, by analogy, the studied effortlessness with which Tom Ford created Venetian Bergamot actually required considerable study and skill to create. In the end, this is a lovely and easy- to-wear fragrance that is a worthy addition to the Private Blend line of fragrances.

Each Master Class participant received a lovely Tom Ford goodie bag, and with their $500.00 purchase received an amazing GWP (not normal or the line)! The gift, an atomizer with funnel, was filled with the fragrance of your choice.

The Gift Bag and Contents: Tom Ford Noir Eau de Parfum, Tom Ford Fleur de Chine Eau de Parum, Tom Ford Plum Japonais Eau de parfum, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Body Moisturizer, Tom Ford Lip Color in Indian Rose, Tom Ford Illuminating Primer and Tom Ford for Men Intensive Purifying Mud Mask.
My Purchase:
Overall Assessment: This was such an amazing event, and Todd is one of the most gifted artists that I have ever known. A very special thank you to Michelle Weinstein, Todd Davidson, Sara Pinson, Tom Ford Beauty and Neiman Marcus. I am grateful to you for inviting me to another extraordinary Tom Ford Beauty event.

If ever you have the opportunity to attend a Tom Ford Beauty Master Class-- I highly recommend it!

Master Class provided courtesy of Tom Ford Beauty and Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills.
All views expressed are categorically my own (Affiliate Links).
Copyright © 2015 All Rights Reserved.


  1. Replies
    1. No because, as always I end up spending my time talking with everyone instead!

  2. What an awesome experience! I enjoyed ogling at all the products in the photos. I need to pick up the TF Foundation (you had me at medium matte) and maybe a brush or two, and definitely that concealer. You are so bad for my wallet (I blame you for the three TF lippies I bought last month LOL).

    1. It really was an amazing event, Renu! I am definitely a Tom Ford Beauty enabler, that's for sure! Sorry to your wallet! My unmitigated love for this line is quite expensive for me as well! :-)

  3. This sounds like an amazing night! I didn't know that Tom Ford made movies, it's nice to know more about him and how hands on he is!

    1. It was an amazing event, Kristina! He does make movies, and A Single Man was an absolutely amazing film starring Colin Firth! He's very very hands on with everything that he does!

  4. What a fabulous opportunity and incredible event! I didn't know that TF studied architecture. Makes sense. So many gorgeous products, I'm speechless. The pink primer would be a dream, and I love the cream shadows and the So Vain lipstick. So happy that you attended and can share the fun with us!

    1. It really was an incredible event– they always are! He did, and I agree that it makes perfect sense! His products really are outstanding! So Van is definitely a real stunner, and well worth the splurge! I have a sample of the pink primer, and imagine I will end up buying a bottle at some point! It was lots of fun, and I'm so glad that you enjoyed my coverage of the event!

  5. So Vain looks like the perfect color for fall/winter. i've been lusting after some tom ford lippies for quite a while and i may have to bite the bullet soon!

    1. So Vain really is perfection! His lipsticks are worth the splurge!

  6. How amazing! I'm dying over the ombre blushes!

    1. It was an incredible event! The Ombrés are really incredible!

  7. What an amazing experience. The perks of living in LA and being a top notch beauty blogger. I want everything he used except for the cream shadow. Those brushes look so incredible.

    1. It really was, Marcia! There are definitely some great perks living in LA. Thanks for saying that, it means the world to me that you feel that way! Yes, everything that he used was absolutely amazing! I skipped the cream shadow as well. As beautiful as it is, the color doesn't work on me. I have most of the Tom Ford brushes, and I can attest to the fact that they are absolutely remarkable! <3

  8. It seems like such an incredible experience- jealous!

  9. That looks like an amazing experience. But am I the only one that thinks that's a LOT of products for one face at one time? How long did it take to apply all of that?

    1. It really was AMAZING! Todd is such a gifted artist. Well, it may be more products (he used 15) than the average person might think to use, but he was also recreating the monochromatic runway look from Tom Ford's show– so it actually makes perfect sense that he would have selected the products that he did.

      I would say that we were in there for an hour or more, but he wasn't only applying makeup– he was imparting a lot of information about the line, Tom Ford's philosophy on the architecture of the face etc. Plus it was interactive– so we were definitely engaging with hime, and people asked lots of questions. Champagna was also flowing– so there was lots of laughing and engaging with the other people in the class! It was just awesome!

  10. What a fun time! The pink and peach blush ombres are so pretty.

    1. It really was so much fun, Courtney! I agree about the pink and peach ombrés! I'm loving my pink one!

  11. This post is heaven. Heaven, I tell you.

    1. Thank you, Laura! The event was absolutely heavenly!

  12. OMG, I felt that I was actually there by reading your blog post!! I can't wait to try this brand and in the future makeup events!

    Ursula aka Blueridge Beauty

    1. Hi Ursula, That was precisely what I wanted to do– create a step-by-step in-depth recreation of the event so that everyone could imagine experiencing the actual master class! Tom Ford Beauty is incredible, and their events are amazing!


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