Tom Ford Holiday 2014 Matte Lip Colors Review, Photos, Swatches [All 8 Shades]

The Tom Ford Holiday 2014 Matte Lip Colors launched at first at Neiman Marcus and are now available at Nordstrom. I've been testing them for several days now, and I'm in love! The formula is only a hint translucent with a single swipe and is easily buildable to full coverage color. The velvety finish is not excessively mattifying or drying like traditional matte formulas (think MAC's Ruby Woo), making it more approachable and wearable for those with dry and sensitive lips. Check out the individual shade break-downs and swatches after the jump!

This next-generation, non-drying matte formula by Tom Ford boasts a creamier, plush formula that glides easily across the lips. Still, I highly recommend exfoliating with a lip scrub, moisturizing with a lip balm, and then wiping off the excess before application. The Matte Lip Color continues the tradition of Tom Ford's signature vanilla scent.

Pink Tease (03) is a blue-based pale pink. I did not expect to love it, but this has a retro vibe that somewhat reminds me of the mod Twiggy era. Those with alabaster to light complexions will likely fall head over heels for this shade, but Pink Tease causes a slight yellow cast to my teeth. It also photographs much cooler. Below, it looks more like cotton candy pink on my lips but I would say it looks like a warmer Petpo-pink in real life. Refer to the swatches for more accurate color representation. As pretty as it may be, I will reserve this for wear during the summer months.

Pussycat (04) is one of my favorites! It leans strongly mauve, but it has the perfect warm/cool balance. It is a darker version of my natural mauve-pink lip color, so it could be classified as a My-Lips-But-Better shade. Pussycat is right on trend for the Fall season, but it is also the most universally flattering and wearable of the eight shades launched.

Plum Lush (05) is a beautiful pink-plum. Most plum shades age me considerably, but Plum Lush has virtually no brown undertones. If you have medium to dark skin, this is a must-have because it will appear much more natural (less contrast). This particular shade has the least matte effect, as it looks incredibly smooth and does not accentuate my lip lines at all. Plum Lush was the most pleasant surprise from the entire collection! 

Flame (06) is a dramatic orange-red. I normally stay away from oranges, but this reminds me of a discontinued Rouge d'Armani lipstick that I used to love. Flame is not as pigmented as Ruby Rush, and I can detect a bit of sheerness with two swipes, but it is still a lovely orange lipstick.

Ruby Rush (07) is a stunning cool red. It is not quite as bright as Flame, but the hue definitely makes a statement. Ruby Rush is, by far, the best matte red lipstick I have ever tried. The pigmentation is rich and opaque with just one swipe. It feels sumptuously soft and brightens the look of my teeth. I own plenty of exceptional red lipsticks from Tom Ford, Chanel, and Armani, but Ruby Rush will absolutely reign as queen red for the rest of the year.

Velvet Cherry (08) is an excellent alternative for those who prefer a more wearable, natural red-brown hue. Flame and Ruby Rush are incredibly bold and vibrant, but Velvet Cherry is more appropriate for day wear since it leans so strongly burgundy. Velvet Cherry looks very 90's on me (more brown and less red). I can't say I love it, but the Matte formula suits this shade well.

First Time (09) is the limited edition peach that sold out almost immediately online. As much as I love this peachy-nude, due to the paler nature of the color, I found this one emphasized lip lines. I prefer to leave a little lip balm on underneath the color as a primer to plump up the lips. First Time is gorgeous nonetheless, so if you are able to order a tube in store, I highly recommend snatching it up! It is definitely the most natural of the 8 on my light-medium complexion.

Black Dahlia (10) is a gorgeous dark purple with a hint of brown, but it was sheerer than I expected. This color requires freshly exfoliated, smooth lips for best application. Black Dahlia, however, leaves behind one of the most beautiful berry-fuchsia stains I have ever experienced! I would only wear this subtly pressed onto the lips since it is too dramatic for me to wear at full potential, but that is simply my preference. This was the last Matte Lip Color to be released, and the rumors are that it may be limited edition. If vampy lips are your style, you absolutely need this!

Some have asked how the NARS Audacious Lipsticks ($32 USD) might compare. The NARS lipsticks offer incredible variety and are exceptionally pigmented, but they actually dry out my lips after a few hours of wear. The peeling is minimal but still worth noting. The Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipsticks ($35 USD) are most comparable to the Tom Ford Matte Lip Colors, since they both contain more silicone to achieve the gliding texture. I highly recommend the Tom Ford Matte Lip Colors if you have been searching for a formula that will not irritate dry, sensitive lips. In fact, my lips feel softer and smoother after wear and removal, with no peeling whatsoever!

I got four flawless hours of wear with the lighter shades like Pink Tease and First Time, but Ruby Rush and Velvet Cherry wore for a good 8 hours. They are not waterproof like many liquid matte lipsticks, but they do last longer than I had expected. I still prefer the original Lip Color and Lip Conditioner formulas since they are more moisturizing, but I believe these mattes are a trendy addition that will complete any lipstick wardrobe!

Plum Lush and Ruby Rush are the creamiest of the eight, with Pussycat and Velvet Cherry following close behind. First Time and Pink Tease accentuate lip lines most, but that is standard with any matte nude lipstick. Pussycat and Plum Lush are best for every day/work wear. Black Dahlia is the only shade that absolutely requires a lip liner.

Bottom Line: My personal favorites for Fall/Holiday are Pussycat (day) + Ruby Rush (evening),
but I highly recommend all of the Tom Ford Matte Lip Colors if you have been searching
for a comfortable and weightless yet pigmented, satin-matte formula!
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  1. i am in my 40's and my lips are not as full as they once were. i have been wearing Pussycat and this formula makes my lips look SO FULL. i love it. i thought the opposite would occur because they are mattes, but my lips looks so full and lush! even better than the original formula. HIGHLY recommend this for those in the same boat.

    1. Yes, I agree! Not all the eight shades make the lips look voluptuous, but Pussycat definitely does!

  2. Rae, what lipliner do you recommend with black dahlia??

    1. I recommend Lancome Le Lipstique! Use a red for brighter color or a purple for true color payoff!

  3. Love to read this. I am thinking of grabbing black dahlia as well. But where to go with so dark lip when I live in the tropical side of the world. Seems too much everytime I use dark subtle colour.

    1. That's why I demonstrated how it looks as a stain on the lips and only swatched to full potential on the arm! It can be layered, manipulated/blended with with reds, softer violets, etc.

  4. OMG they are so gorgeous! And I hpe that I can find them in Germany :)

    1. I hope so! Plum Lush would be right up your alley :)

  5. Fab review Rae (as usual)! Love how you explain the differences in the reds. I did purchase both LE's. First Time is showing really odd on my lips- not such a great color on me and I'm disappointed. But Black Dahlia is sooo pretty! Especially blotted to reveal the "day shade" underneath. I found Dior Prune Troublant/Thrilling Plum Lip Pencil to be a near exact match to BD ( you're correct- lip liner is a must with this shade). I'm well pleased with the new options Tom Ford has offered this season. It's your fault for making me want them all!

  6. Wow this is so helpful. I am going to treat myself to pussycat. It will be my first tom ford lipstick. What lipliner do you recomend please? Would MAC whirl pair with it well? Thanks


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