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League of Shadows
Ever since I learned proper eye makeup application (which to this day I still can not perfect but remain steadfast that I will sometime soon I HOPE), I’ve been looking high and low for the supposedly ‘best‘ eyeshadows (palettes, quads, trios, singles you name it) in the market. Of course, I haven’t tried enough brands to be able to proclaim the bests and worsts yet.
However, with the shadows I’ve tried so far – I pretty much already know what I look for in a formula. Great color pay-off (on the lids especially!), easy-to-no-effort in terms of blendability, ultra-smooth and buttery texture, long-lasting and crease-proof (although a primer usually solves these two issues) to name a few.
I’ve found a few good formulas with most, if not all, of those features in the drugstore aisles as well as in more high-end brands I’ve featured in this blog (referring you to the Eyeshadow page). I could’ve stopped with Burberry and Rouge Bunny Rouge as I found my ultimate favorite formulas in those two brands.
But no, some kind of beauty-obsessed freak, I had to get my hands on a Tom Ford quad to see for myself how spectacular they are because my trusted beauty gurus slash enablers (shoutouts to Michelle and Alex!) love the formula. I’ve actually reviewed one before, one of my Tom Ford favorites, Orchid Haze.
Golden Mink isn’t actually my first quad, that spot belongs to Cognac Sable. Golden Mink was actually a gift from my husband when he went to Europe for a trip and remembered my on-and-on yapping about how extremely high the mark-up of Tom Ford items are from a local stockist.
Would’ve ordered online but Neiman Marcus (Nordstrom didn’t have TF yet then) charges shipping to the courier forwarder that I didn’t want to pay additional for (hashtag firstworldproblemsfromathirdworldcountry here). The quad was his personal choice, too!
Anyway, enough yapping and on to the review. In general – I love the texture of Tom Ford’s eyeshadows. There, I said it. It’s not overly bold nor strikingly saturated – rather, it gives off just the right amount of pigmentation and pay-off when swiped on the skin. It’s super smooth (as it should be!) and a bit creamy without being crumbly at all.
Moreover, the real beauty comes out when they shadows are applied on the lids. They are almost opaque in one pat and blend easily with little-to-no effort. I absolutely can not fault the formula of most quads, much as I want to, to save myself from future expenses.
But for this entry, I will wax poetic about Golden Mink – home to four stunning neutral-to-warm soft bronze shades with two glitters and two satins. Now, I am not a fan of SPARKLE!!! on the eyes especially for daytime, but you know what? This quad unexpectedly converted me – from the glittahphobe that I am to a bring-out-the-sparkle-baby in just one go.
This is because I find the glitters more delicate and ‘grown-up’ (as described by most bloggers) as compared to most glitter shades in the market that are “WHOA GLITTERZ!”. In turn, the sparkle in Tom Ford quads actually translate to being wearable even for the day. Definitely an upside because hello? Who can justify owning this palette if you’re only able to wear the two non-glitter shades all the time?
Speaking of the non-glitter shades… the two satin selections in this quad are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. Too beautiful that I even almost misspelled beautiful because I was picturing the shades in my head. In my swatches, they both look very taupe-ish but the lighter one is a neutral nude beige with silver undertones and the other is a cool brown shade. I can’t really describe these shades fully
because I suck at that as they are much more complex and multi-dimensional than they look in 2D.
Overall, the four shades make for a very sophisticated and elegant daytime look. I honestly thought I would get very little mileage with this quad when I opened it but turns out, I’ve pulled it out more than I already thought I would. I’ve used it for going to events during the day, meetings and even to Church on Sunday (sans the sparkage!).
Bottom line? Golden Mink is an unexpected love. The glitter shades initially turned me off but was quite enamoured with the two satin shades. In a Tom Ford twist of fate, I’m no longer a glittahphobe as you can see above how the sparkle looks subtle, delicate and wearable. Grown-up glitter, indeed.
I think if you’re on the lookout for a Tom Ford quad to start with but are overwhelmed with the choices, you can go with the forever-recommended Cognac Sable or this, Golden Mink, which I would recommend more. I find Cognac Sable trickier to work with. The shades are just too strikingly coppery on me. Golden Mink is a more subdued, wearable and flattering palette (for many skintones) in my opinion.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying these Tom Ford quads are worth every cent because hell no, no palette is technically ever worth $78. But if you love the shades and see a good amount of use out of them, then that’s money well spent right there. As for me, Golden Mink is a winner. Cognac Sable? That’s for another entry!
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