Tom Ford's Bronzing Primer is intended to be applied before your bronzer to enhance radiance or be worn alone for "a sheer veil of golden shimmer." Unfortunately, we didn't find that it worked all that well in either capacity—and it contains some bad news ingredients most bronzing products leave out!
The bad news ingredients include several fragrant oils and other fragrance ingredients, which can potentially lead to a host of problems for skin, especially if you opt to use this every day (see More Info).
Another issue is that the warm, slightly reddish bronze hue looks unnatural, unless you're already really tan or have a deeper skin tone that is complemented by such a hue. Once you apply makeup over it, the color becomes less noticeable, but if you decide to wear this alone, it may be iffy. In the same vein, we found the mousse texture didn't diffuse the color as evenly as we hoped.
We were also surprised that Bronzing Primer is not as luminous as the advertising suggests. It has a dewy finish (thanks to the hydrating formula) but no shimmer so the radiance gets lost when it's layered under makeup.
In the end, this product left us thinking 'why bother?' rather than 'must own'! Our suggestion: Save your hard earned cash on this one, and get a top-rated bronzer from our list here instead.
- Lightly hydrating formula.
- Contains several fragrant oils known to irritate skin.
- Reddish-bronze color won't work for everyone.
- Not as luminous as it's made out to be, and the dewy finish gets lost under makeup.
- High-end price tag with not-so-high-end results.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
Tom Ford is one of the world's hottest fashion designers. Coming to prominence in the mid-1990s, he became Creative Director at Gucci's fashion house, creating his own designer line in 2006 and five years later, followed in the footsteps of other high-fashion houses by launching a line of color cosmetics.
Housed in sleek black packaging with "Tom Ford" stamped in prominent gold-embossed lettering, the makeup certainly looks luxurious, and the pricing is definitely in the haute couture range. There are some great performers among Ford's small but well-edited makeup line, and were happy to say most of the products have minimal or no fragrance. There are a few exceptions which are noted in our individual reviews.
For more information about Tom Ford Beauty, visit www.tomford.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.