Tom Ford Burnt Topaz, Gold Haze & Silver Smoke Nail Lacquers

March 28, 2012

Tom Ford’s Spring 2012 Collection includes four new metallic nail polishes and I purchased three from Saks.com in Burnt Topaz, Gold Haze and Silver Smoke ($30 each). Tom Ford initially launched sixteen non-shimmer cream shades of nail polish when the complete beauty line was rolled out to select Neiman Marcus and Saks stores. I purchased two shades sight unseen online (African Violet and Pink Crush) and was less than impressed with the color and formula for the price. I did not feel compelled to review them. The formula was difficult to apply smoothly and I felt the colors were unoriginal. Upon professional application I did find the formula extremely long lasting without chips or peeling, but still the formula wasn’t so great. Several months later I was able to see the entire line in store at Neiman Marcus but the poor lighting conditions of the displays combined with the messy leaking lids on the testers prevented me from looking further.
When previews of the new spring collection surfaced, I saw nothing but raves. I thought perhaps the metallic shimmer formula is better to work with. Plus the colors looked really gorgeous. Unfortunately, I personally found the metallic formula just as difficult to work with as the non-shimmers. Application does improve with a good base coat (I tried it with Le Metier’s and Deborah Lippmann’s on several swatching occasions). However, I’m spoiled by the smooth flawless formulas of Dior, Chanel and OPI. I personally find that the Tom Ford doesn’t apply smoothly or evenly with ease. It does even out after two coats. Note this is my personal experience … others might not have experienced the same.
My personal issues with the formula aside, I do find the metallic colors striking. Just not well suited for spring. I know there are no rules when it comes to seasonal makeup … often times colors are timeless and can be worn year-round. I just feel that these are more inline with a fall mood rather than spring or summer.
The colors, swatches and comparisons. Left to right: Burnt Topaz, Gold Haze & Silver Smoke:

For those of you who haven’t seen these in person, the Tom Ford Nail Polishes come in a square bottle with tops that come off. Underneath is a twist-cap (which I find are prone to leaking, at least mine were):

The brush is a good length and size for precise application, if only the formula would glide onto the nail better. There are really good brush comparisons to other brands on Edelich.com – Tom Ford Nail Polish #08 African Violet.


Burnt Topaz is a coppery metallic warm brown. The shimmer is complex and beautiful. Streaking doesn’t show up too bad which is nice for a metallic.

Gold Haze is a pale gold metallic. It leans slightly warm on me. It’s not as yellow as Chanel Gold Fingers and has a softer finish/feel to it.

Silver Smoke appears to be a warm silver in the bottle but on my olive skin shows up as more of a cool-toned silver. It’s also highly metallic.

Comparisons below (you can click for larger viewing):

Overall I think the colors are lovely, but for the high price I expected better formulas. I’m not completely disappointed though. The colors are striking even if they are not my cup of tea for right now. I don’t have a lot of these shades from less expensive brands like OPI, Essie or Zoya, but I do suspect that these are very easy to dupe. The colors unfortunately don’t appear to be all that unique. Still, if you are lucky to be near or happen to visit a store with a Tom Ford counter I still think you should have a look. It’s definitely worth while to stop and play. I still think his lipsticks are the best part of his makeup line, with the blushes as a close second.
Have you tried Tom Ford Nail Lacquers? What were your thoughts?

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  • Silver smoke looks lovely; it's too bad the formula is difficult. (Although I wouldn't be able to tell by looking at your swatches, they're perfect!) I'm not coordinated in the least so I need polish that's easy to apply!

  • Thanks so much for posting this. All these colors are eminently dupable, so money saved! Package is a knockoff of Dolce & Gabbana, so I don't need these.

  • I like them all, the metallic colours and the shimmer are beautiful – but Silver Smoke is my favourite! <3

  • K Wilk

    I live very close to a Tom Ford counter and was incredibly excited about the whole line. While the brushes and blushes are beyond superb in my opinion, the nail colors really fall flat. I bought four, Viper, Pink Crush, African Violet, and Bordeaux Lust. After using Viper I took all four back and I never do that. I collect Dior and Chanel and I must be spoiled because Tom just didn't live up to the hype and price. I think I will avoid these as well. Too bad.

  • I really hope the eyeshadow creams are better! Thanks for doing this:)

  • loving burnt topaz! I haven't tried anything Tom Ford yet. I have so many high end loves I can't bring myself to try and fall in love with another lol

  • eke

    Thank you very much for your review. I've been thinking about purchasing a TF polish, but haven't because of lack of reviews and not being able to try in person (if anyone knows of a Tom Ford counter in Miami, please let me know, because I've checked all the usual suspects to no avail). I had a feeling that if you weren't talking about them, something was up. I'll stick with Zoya…

  • The colors all look flattering but there's no way they're worth $30…

  • Silver Smoke is so my color but I can't spend $30 on nail polish, ha yes, even though I have no problem spending $32 on mascara…but I digress!

  • i think burnt topaz is my favorite!!! its really pretty!

  • Anonymous

    I have Carnal Red and African Violet and love them both. i fell in love with african violet after seeing it in the ad campaigns last year. I thought the formula was great on both, good thickness and stayed on for a long time. i dont know if i care enough about any of the metallics here to buy any of them… maybe burnt topaz if anything… i have gold fingers and quartz so meh…

  • Dee

    Thanks for doing these swatches, it's pretty hard to find any info on TF polishes. That is a shame about the formula, you would expect more for that amount of money and from Mr Ford. I may have a look at Burnt Topaz as I love that colour, I'll see if it can tempt me even more in person!

  • those colours are gorgeous! the packaging is divine!!

  • ChristyK

    I ordered Silver Smoke and thought I had received the gold one! I really think it looks gold. It does look more silver on you, though. Lovely swatches as usual.

  • Thanks for your honest review. The burnt topaz and silver smoke look lovely!

  • Anonymous

    To me the colors are looking very 60-ies, 70-ies. Not very exciting to me. I would expect far more fashion forward things from Tom Ford. I will stick with my all time favorite Chanel options for nails and make up….and skip these.

  • Burnt topaz looks very pretty actually. I thought it would be rather 'normal'. I wonder if it will look good with my neutral skintone (leaning cool).

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I was wondering if Silver Smoke is similar to Deborah Lippmann Believe? Thanks for the post

    • AS

      Hi, I have both colors and checked them for you. Silver Smoke has a browner base color, whereas Believe is slightly greener. The shimmer in the TF is primarily pale gold with some copper, and the DL shimmer is a bit larger with varied colors, and a more prevalent silver. They are very similar but not dupes.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks a lot! Have a great weekend

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful post as always!! I thought Burnt Topaz is stunning, but thanks for the info about the formulation. I'm notoriously shaky when it comes to n/p application, so a smooth formulation is a must.


    • Hi Claire, if you can try the line in person I highly recommend you do. Others really like the formula, I'm not sure why it doesn't work so well for me.

  • I'm still deciding which Tom Ford nail polish to spoil myself with this Summer. πŸ˜€ I always love going through your older posts. Your beauty blog helps me make good beauty decisions! πŸ˜‰