Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate Brush

I promised to get into more detail with the Tom Ford brushes that I currently have in my collection.   Since I've already reviewed the Shade and Illuminate palette, I wanted to quickly show you the brush that coordinates with that contour and highlight product.

As I mentioned in my summary post, I am generally impressed with Tom Ford's brushes.  Even now, I'm plotting how to justify additional purchases and even thinking about buying duplicates of certain brushes.  First, let me show you this very specialized brush from Tom Ford, which is made in Japan.

This is the Shade and Illuminate Brush that is designed to be used with the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate contour/highlighting product.  It looks really unique among my brushes.  The brush hairs are short and very firm, but pliable.  Here is a front and profile view of this brush.

With this brush you can apply an even layer of the contour product into a very precise application.  For instance, you can use the brush to very easily apply the death-skull contour on the sides of your temples with one quick swipe.  Also, you can apply a very sharp and distinctive shadow underneath the cheek bone.

The shortcoming of this particular brush is its very limited functionality.  A precise look is not exactly everyday and non-editorial friendly.  The Shade and Illuminate brush is really not a tool for blending away those sharp edges so that you don't look like this.  Unless you want to, because this picture is mind-blowingly beautiful.

Not sure where this is from originally but seen on Pinterest

You will need a separate blending brush to give yourself a well-blended and natural look.  So no, this brush is not an important brush to have.  If you own a good angled brush as an example, then you can apply and blend in one easier step.  Sure looks nice in my cup of brushes but is not something I reach for very often.
with a MAC 217 to show scale
Do you own this brush?  Do you have any instructions for me on how I can use this brush more effectively or if there are any alternative uses for it?


  1. I have been lemming this brush since forever! One day I will have it lol.

    1. Hi honeyjr!
      It is a pretty neat look brush, isn't it? thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

  2. I have it and can't declare my love. Got it because I don't have anything else that I feel comfortable to contour. This makes the job so much easier. However, the blending still confuses me. I've found that you need a very light hand when use it to blend upward after creating a crisp line under the cheek bones. and blend up. Charlotte Tilburry also uses the foundation brush to contour and it works beautifully. Of course, she's a legend and nothing impossible with her skills. That might be an alternative. I myself prefer another brush to blend after using Shade and Illuminate brush to map out the contouring.

    1. The blending part was impossible with this brush for me. I'm heavy handed, too, so it made it extra hard. I ended up getting rid of this brush and of course, I sort of miss it! It does do a great job with the initial application and mapping out the contour area.


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