Beauty Products

Attention beauty junkies…The only Tom Ford Beauty Shop in Arizona is now open at Neiman Marcus in Scottsdale ! The newly remodeled space takes Tom Ford beauty to a whole new level; it’s no longer a counter where you can find lipsticks, nail polish and those heavenly Ford fragrances. Nope, now it’s a full-fledged Beauty Boutique where you can try all the cosmetics in this luxury line for yourself.

Tom Ford beauty shop, Scottsdale Neiman Marcus

Bring on the luxury !

Tom Ford lipsticks

Tom Ford launched his highly-acclaimed cosmetics collection in 2011, but up until now, there was no place in town you could actually try it in person. So when I was invited to have a full-fledged makeover by an artist from the newly appointed Tom Ford team, I couldn’t get there fast enough !

And seriously, who would not want to be pampered, contoured and illuminated by this charming young man ? (aka Christopher Valenzuela.)

Christopher Valenzuela, Tom Ford makeup artist

I love when makeup artists ask me what I like and what look I’m going for, because it’s so easy to answer. “I’d like to look ten years younger… twenty, if you’re feeling up to the challenge.”

He didn’t bat an eye.

He went to work, gathering all the necessary ingredients including skin care, magic potions, brushes and a slew of carefully considered color choices for my eyes, cheeks and lips.

Tom Ford makeup table

I like to have the pros choose the colors and products they want to use on me; it helps you step out of your comfort zone a little and discover new color combinations that you might not typically choose. For instance, I would probably never have chosen this lipstick, Pink Dusk, thinking “too pale, too pink” for me. But it was actually quite pretty, especially with the smokey eye Christopher created with the Silver Topaz Eye Quad.

Silvered topaz eye quad, Tom Ford makeup

Gorgeous, isn’t it ? I like my Topaz, silvered. Duh.

Since this was the first time I’ve tried any of the Tom Ford makeup -besides one fantastic impulse purchase of an amazing dark plum lipstick, Black Orchid – I had no preconceived idea of what would emerge at the top of my favorites list. And of course, sitting across from me, was the doyenne of Phoenix makeup artists, Diane Aiello.

She told me her favorite thing is the Illuminating Primer, which she uses all the time on her clients and loves, loves, loves. If it’s recommended by Diane, who expertly applies makeup for a living, it’s obviously passed the test of worthy products and should clearly be in your beauty arsenal.

Aside from that, my top 5 were these.

1- Traceless foundation, (in Bisque.) An ultra creamy foundation, light enough to apply in layers, for the coverage you like. It works wonderfully with…

2-Traceless foundation stick, (in Fawn), which Christopher lightly brushed on after the cream foundation. This  comes in stick form and is also used as a concealer to take care of any areas that needed a little more attention. I like this rather than applying a heavy coat of foundation all over and feeling like I’m wearing a mask.

3-Illuminating powder. A word about this: I never use powder. Ever. Because I’m older, it has a tendency to look cakey and sits in my wrinklies, making my skin look and feel dry, and well, more wrinkly. But this powder is so light and so finely milled that it just gave me a more natural, finished look. I highly recommend it.

4- Ravish blush. Ravishing. Also, the largest blush compact I’ve ever seen. (Christopher is holding it in the picture above.) So while, it’s definitely not inexpensive ($56), you do get a lot, a lot, of product for your money.

5- But my very favorite was the Shade/Illuminate. This is a super sheer contouring and highlighting cream combination, which takes all the guesswork out of what shade to use to contour and highlight where you need it. You have two choices here. #1 or #2 -#1 works for light or medium skin tone, #2 is for darker tones. Seriously genius.

What impressed me most about Tom Ford Beauty is that this is a tightly edited makeup/skin care collection. The philosophy behind it is creating radiant and luminous skin. While there are plenty of beautiful colors and product choices, there’s not so much that it’s overwhelming. Who says basics can’t be luxurious ?

You can choose the products that work best for you, because let’s face it, we all have individual needs, ladies. There’s a killer angled Brow Sculptor, which I didn’t mention because it’s not something I use, but it was definitely notable in its design and comes in different colors.

Tom Ford brow sculptor

And as for price ? As I was going down the list asking Christopher for specific prices, it was pretty much $75. Some things are more, some things a little less. Those creamy Tom Ford lipsticks in colors to die for ? Probably the best $49 you can ever spend on yourself. Also, best stocking stuffer ever on the face of the earth, in case you need to drop a few subtle hints.

If you specialize in not-so-subtle-this better-be-in-my-stocking, like me, go for the 4 piece Lip Color Lipstick Set. It’s available in a few different color combinations.

4 piece liip color set, Tom FordLove you, Santa. I’ll bake you cookies-not-from-a-mix, pinky swear.

So go. Try. Luxuriate. Be serenaded and pampered.

Christmas carolers at Neiman Marcus

 Only at Scottsdale Neiman Marcus, right ?

Here’s the number to set up your appointment with Christopher or any of the other Tom Ford specialists: 480-990-2100, ext. 2118.

p.s. You can check also check out the just released Ken Downing Holiday Gift Collection and squeeze in a little holiday shopping in case you’re feeling guilty about that $49 lipstick !

Ken Downing gift collection



From customized Manolos to Marchesa’s 3-D nails, we’ve got the scoop on fall fashion’s best new launches…ladies, prepare for lift-off !

1- Made-To-Order Manolo Blahniks from Neiman Marcus

If you’ve always wanted your very own pair of Manolos, now’s the time to take the plunge. You can order the classic BB pump in the color you want and the heel height that works best for you. Choose from 20 color options – from leopard suede to black patent leather to cobalt satin – and 5 different heel heights, ranging from 2 to 4.5 inches. Your customized BB pump will arrive in approximately 6 weeks; it’s priced at $595. You can order online if you know your size; if it’s your first pair, we suggest trying them on at your local Neiman Marcus first, as custom orders are not returnable. For more info, visit the Neiman Marcus Manolo BB Boutique.

Manolo Blahnik, Made to order BB leopard pump

Manolo Blahnick, Made to Order BB pump in leopard, from Neiman Marcus.

2- Louise et Cie from Vince Camuto

From footwear mastermind Vince Camuto comes the launch of Louise et Cie, the fall line from Vince’s wife and former footwear model, Louise Camuto. This collection features pumps, riding boots, booties, wedges and oxfords in fall’s newest color palettes. Order online at Vince Camuto, or find it locally at Dillard’s in Scottsdale Fashion Square, where I spotted the graceful Kenley pump in black for a very reasonable $139 !

Ruby red Louise et Cie Kenley pump

Louise et Cie, Kenley Pump in Ruby Red, $139

3- Marchesa nail art for Revlon

Marchesa glam girls Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig have launched a line of 3-D jewel appliques for nails. Inspired by their fall runway looks, the collection features eight unique designs,  translating their signature beading into relief detailing on the nail strip surface. You can find these at drugstores; they sell for $10 per package of 18 strips !

Marchesa for Revlon nail appliques


4. 7 for All Mankind & Mahlia Kent

Denim paired with tweed makes up this new collection from 7 for All Mankind and French textile mill Mahlia Kent. Pieces include denim pants and jackets in a luxurious mix for Fall that can’t help but conjure up your longing for a classic Chanel tweed.

7 for all Mankind & Mahlia Kent moto jacket

Pieced moto jacket in blue metallic striped jacquard, $650.

5. Modern Treasures from jewelry designer Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott’s newest collection features the rich jewel tones from the fall runways of Balmain, Lanvin and Peter Som. From statement earrings to necklaces and big, bold rings, you’ll find a stunning array of deep red, cobalt blue, and black onyx stones, set in majestic gold tones for the perfect finishing touch. You can shop online at Kendra Scott, or even better, design your own at the Kendra Scott Color Bar !

Modern Treasures collection, Serena earrings from Kendra ScottSerena earrings, from left to right, Gold Blue Nile, Black leopard, Red Chariot, $110.

 What are you most looking forward to for Fall ?  Besides temperatures under 100 ?!



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