Thoughts on Tom Ford in the PH, plus a review of the Lips & Boys Lipstick

Call me crazy, but it gives me hope whenever new luxury brands arrive in Philippine shores. It means that not all is lost despite the current political climate and economic downturn. If a juggernaut like Esteé Lauder has done their market research and has decided that it's feasible to invest millions of pesos to bring in a high-end brand, it means that they're confident that Filipinos will buy. Beauty products may seem frivolous at a time like this but it does tell us a few things about what both companies and consumers feel about their future.

But on to lighter things! Tom Ford Beauty is coming to the Philippines on October 6, in Rustan's Makati. If you've always wanted to experience the brand full stop then you must visit the soft launch! There are bigger plans early next year (*wink*) but by next month, you'll be able to try on the brand's famous perfumesLips & Boys Lipstick, Lip Color, Patent Finish Lip Color, and selected pieces from the Soleil Collection.

We'll have more photos and swatches for you after the event, but for now I've got a quick review of the Tom Ford Lips & Boys Lipstick (P1,960 for 2 grams) which their team sent ahead. Let's go!

The COMPLETE Lips & Boys line will be available here - all 50 shades - which is good news for fans and curious minds alike. I have the shade James, a demure warm coral pink, and Luciano, a devilish cool red. Love 'em! Both colors glide on my lips like butter and have a luminous satin finish. I'm not sure if it's the high-quality pigments or the mica used in the formula, but these lipsticks make my lips look fuller than usual. It also doesn't sink into fine lines so I imagine that contributes to the plumper effect.

The pigmentation is AMAZING. One layer is all it takes! And it better be all it takes, because each lipstick only has 2 grams versus the average 3-3.5 grams in most bullets. I thought these were just generous sample-sized tubes at first but Tom Ford has this concept of "clutch-sized lipsticks". These are designed to slip into your evening clutch or minaudière so you can retouch the whole night.

Staying power is already pretty good though. It stays on for about five hours (minimal eating and drinking) while providing my lips enough moisture. It also has a light vanilla scent, with dare I say a tiny hint of chocolate.

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Back to the packaging: everything is luxurious from the paper bag, the boxes in gold wrap, and the actual bullet with its satisfying heft and click. The smaller size compared to the average lipstick can be discouraging but you do get it for a little under P2,000 - this is the "gateway drug" for Tom Ford PH. The price difference from the US tag ($36 USD or P1,833) is not too far off.

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Should you get one? If you're reading Project Vanity then you probably don't need another new lipstick. However if you want one and you have the budget for it, then I think it's a worthy splurge. Luxury lipsticks like this no matter how amazing the formulation are functional accessories. Maybe Tom Ford couture is not in the cards for us right now, but lipstick? Well, we all work hard for the things we want!

So yes, mark your calendars: October 6, Rustan's Makati. I think I'll drop by the Tom Ford counter too, so I'll see you there. ;)

What do you think of Tom Ford Beauty? What's on your wish list?