Tom Ford Beauty is undeniably one of my favorite brands. I have most recently fallen head over heels for his brush range, so I will be reviewing 5 out of 6 total eye brushes today. The missing brush is the Eyeliner and Definer, which I hope to review at a later date. The weight distribution on these brushes is quite even, so they feel perfectly balanced and steady in the hand. See the individual details for each brush as well as photos with comparisons after the jump!
We will begin with the Eye Shadow Contour 12 Brush, $55 USD, since I have been using this most frequently and also because it has the most unique shape out of all Tom Ford's eye brushes. I love how short and dense the bristles are. I have been using it to pack glitter and eyeshadow onto my lids with ease. Some might find it too stiff, but eye brushes with this much control are difficult to come by.
The slightly angled and tapered edge allows me to sweep the brush across my lids more smoothly than with a MAC 239. The Bobbi Brown Angled Eye Shadow Brush is the most similar, but the bristles flare out instead of taper in. It is also quite floppy in comparison to the structured TF. The MAC 239 has a tapered but straight edge which is great for lining the lower lashline, but the Eye Shadow Contour is able to blend though the corner of the eye as well. The performance of the Tom Ford's Contour brush comes with a hefty $50 USD price tag, but I think it is well worth it due to the versatility.
Next is the Smoky Eye 14 Brush ($50 USD), which is the softest yet most precise pencil brush I have ever encountered. The dense, tapered hairs give it bounce and movement without flopping over at the base of the lashes. It is ideal for blending out eyeliner or applying highlighter to the inner corners of the eyes.
Both of my go-to brushes in this style (by Chanel and Lancôme, both wider and less soft) have been discontinued, however, so this narrow-tipped Smoky brush is your next best bet. The MAC 219 is a more affordable alternative, but those with sensitive eyes will be hooked on the ultra plush feel of Tom Ford's Smoky Eye brush.
Then we have the largest of the five, the Eye Shadow 11 Brush ($55 USD). This covers more surface area than most other brushes I own, so it is ideal for those with lots of lid space. I use this to highlight my brow bone and apply color all over the lid.
The NARS 3 brush is much more densely packed at every angle, while the MAC 252 is most similar since it is relatively flat. The Tom Ford Eye Shadow brush is unlike either in that it is fullest at the center of the brush while feather-light at the tapered tips and rounded edges, making it an ideal multitasking tool since it can apply color and blend out edges. I have used it with both cream and powder formulas successfully, so I highly recommend this basic.
The Eye Shadow Blend 13 Brush, $55 USD, is a thin and slightly tapered blending brush. It is perfect for use in and around the crease area. I love the long but narrow brush head, which distributes pigment efficiently and evenly. The extra-soft bristles make me want to reach for it every time.
The shape is closest to the NARS 13 and MAC 226, but the Tom Ford is the most densely packed so I can kill two birds with one stone (apply color and blend out with the same brush). The Bobbi Brown Eye Blender and MAC 217 are best for softening edges as opposed to setting down color. The resistance makes this Eye Shadow Blend brush an interesting addition to any eyeshadow brush collection.
Last but not least, the Shadow/Concealer 03 Brush ($60 USD) is one of Tom Ford's few synthetic brushes. It is best for applying cream eyeshadow products or glitter precisely on the lids, though it can be used to apply concealer. The length makes it easier to place the concealer on top of patchy red spots and blemishes. I prefer to use the Le Metier de Beaute Concealer brush for eyes since it can cover more surface area in less time, but the Tom Ford Shadow/Concealer is able to better maneuver into the corners of the eyes where darkness is more noticeable. This is a very specific tool that not everyone may require, so revaluate your collection before splurging.
Tom Ford's eye brushes are so soft and luxurious, nearly irresistible. Their quality and performance does come at a cost, but it is an investment worth making.. A true testament to the value is that these white bristles, which have a tendency to stain, have yet to lose their lovely off-white coloring. And yes, I have used the darkest of pigments with all of these brushes. Tom Ford's Bronzer Brush and Cream Foundation Brush are still at the top of my must-haves list, but these beauties will help to contribute to a more effortless eye makeup application experience every time.
Bottom Line: My order of preference for Tom Ford's fabulous eye brushes -- Eye Shadow, Eye Shadow Contour, Smoky Eye, Eye Shadow Blend, Shadow/Concealer.
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