Traceless Foundation SPF 15

by Tom Ford  
Price:
$78 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Makeup > Foundations With Sunscreen > Liquid Foundation w/ Sunscreen
Last Updated:
1/17/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Unknown

The first thing you're likely to notice about Tom Ford's Traceless Foundation SPF 15 is the price, a jaw-dropping $78, which leads to the question, "Is it worth it?" The answer: Absolutely not!

This liquid foundation starts off on the right foot, but things quickly go downhill from there. It blends easily and provides light to medium coverage that evens out skin tone. It's also emollient enough to feel moisturizing on dry skin, but doesn't have the heaviness of some moisturizing foundations - definitely a good thing!

Now for the major problems: This foundation never truly dries down, so your face looks shiny, almost greasy and damp, the whole time you're wearing it. Also, while this claims to provide broad spectrum sun protection, the only active sunscreen ingredient is octinoxate, which beautifully protects against the sun's UVB rays, but doesn't provide enough UVA protection on its own, leaving your skin vulnerable to sun damage. For a sunscreen to provide true broad-spectrum protection, it must contain ingredients that provide protection against the entire UVA spectrum as well. See More Info for details. The SPF 15 rating also leaves much to be desired - at $78, they could have offered at least an SPF 25 or 30, something that would benefit your skin far more than the fancy packaging.

This foundation also contains lavender, a potential skin irritant whose fragrance components can cause cell death, making this one to avoid. You can find foundations that provide adequate sun protection while also providing other skin-beneficial ingredients on our list of Best Foundations With Sunscreen.

Pros:
  • Blends easily, and evens out skin tone with light to medium coverage.
  • Feels moisturizing on dry skin.
Cons:
  • Finish is shiny, almost greasy, from start to finish.
  • Does not provide sufficient UVA spectrum protection.
  • Contains lavender, a potential skin irritant.
  • Has only an SPF 15 rating.
More Info:

This foundation does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun's entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. The sun's UVB rays are what cause sunburn, and the SPF number reflects that protection, but there is no rating for the sun's silent, though more penetrating (and in many ways more damaging), UVA rays. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active" to ensure you are getting UVA protection: avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).

Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 2.20%. Inactive Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau, Phenyl Trimethicone, Caprylyl Methicone, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Isohexadecane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isocetyl Alcohol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Wheat Germ Glycerides, Sapindus Mukurossi Fruit Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Cholesterol, Caffeine, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Linoleic Acid, Lecithin, PEG-10 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Laureth-7, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Sorbitan Stearate, Triethyl Citrate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Propylene Carbonate, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Silica, Linalool, Chloroxylenol, Phenoxyethanol, [+/- Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica].

Summary: The dashing, debonair Tom Ford is one of the world's hottest fashion designers, famous and sought-after for his controversial photo shoots (featuring models showing more skin than clothes) and his classic, yet edgy, fashion designs. Ford came to prominence in the mid-1990s, when he became Creative Director at Gucci's fashion house. He is credited with bringing glamour back to fashion at a time when grunge and heroin chic looks were en vogue, and he helped take the then-failing Gucci from the brink of bankruptcy to a multi-billion-dollar brand.

A few years after Ford joined Gucci, brand was acquired by rival fashion house Yves Saint-Laurent. Ford became Creative Director there as well. Finally, in 2006, Ford launched his own fashion line of menswear, eyewear, fragrances, and accessories. Five years later, he followed in the footsteps of fellow high-fashion houses Armani and Chanel by launching his own 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 - the foundations cost $78! However, like many other fashion designer makeup lines, what's inside Tom Ford's range of products is largely unexceptional, especially given the expense.

Tom Ford's makeup and fragrance lines are owned by cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, so you won't be surprised when we tell you that much of what you see in the Tom Ford line isn't all that different from what other Lauder brands, such as MAC, Clinique, and Lauder's namesake line sell. What that means is you don't need to ante up for Tom Ford makeup, because most of what this line does well is available for less money from other Lauder-owned lines.

High prices aside, though, there are some winners among Tom Ford's small but well-edited makeup line. The lipstick, brow pencil, lip lacquer, and eyeshadow palettes are all high-quality and perform well. We're also pleased to say that most of the makeup products either have no or minimal fragrance, which is always a bonus - especially when you consider that this line got its start in the cosmetics field with perfumes and colognes.

Unfortunately, the foundations feature such ingredients as fragrance and lavender, which are both a problem for skin, and some of the other products, like the needs-sharpening eye pencil, are so common and ordinary that it makes the asking price a joke! Overall, Tom Ford has a handful of excellent makeup products to check out - and the counter personnel we dealt with were first-rate makeup artists – but be aware that you're not getting anything that justifies any of those products' high price tags. If anything, Tom Ford's makeup confirms what we've been saying about cosmetics for years: There are good and bad products in all price ranges, and expensive doesn't necessarily mean better!

For more information about Tom Ford Beauty, visit www.tomford.com.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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