Tom Ford Eye Shadow Contour Brush #12

November 18, 2012

Tom Ford’s Eye Shadow Contour Brush #12 has been my beauty BFF for the past few weeks ($55 individually or part of the 5-piece brush set at $365). When Tom Ford released his beauty line back in September of 2011, I was drawn to his lipsticks, blushes and glosses. I was told that the brushes were best in class, but the high price points prevented me from even daring to touch one at the counter. Since then I’ve been scouting the web for reviews and features on his brushes. More and more raves from loved and trusted sources kept popping up.
  • The Non-Blonde raved about the blush brush
  • CafΓ© Makeup gushed about the amazing softness and lusciousness of the bronzer brush
  • Product Doctor found the cream foundation brush gave a flawless streak-free application
  • Sweet Makeup Temptations did a thorough feature on 7 of the brushes (excellent resource and feature)
  • Karla Sugar photographed the entire brush lineup on her blog (good for sizing reference)
My curiosity got the best of me and I’m glad it did. I’ve tested a few of the brushes now – all have been amazing. Tom Ford’s Eye Shadow Contour Brush #12 measures about 6.4 inches and comes with a mahogany-colored handle with white natural hairs (made in Japan). It has a slight angle with densely packed hairs, but it’s soft enough that it doesn’t feel like a normal smudge or liner brush. Others have reported that it’s great for contouring the crease or making an outer v for the eyes. I have crease-less lids, but this is the perfect tool for making a killer smokey eye. I’ve found it to be extremely versatile. It applies color to the lashline like a normal smudge brush. Since it’s thicker it creates a smokier look (rather than a more precise line). Turn the brush flattened against the skin and it blends out any harsh edges perfectly.

On the nails: Chanel Riva with YSL Premiere Neige

The price of $55 is quite high. Because of this, I can’t say this is a must-have. There are a number of other brushes which are more affordable that will achieve the same result of either a well-contoured or perfect smokey eye. For me though, having no crease, getting that smokey eye look often requires tons and tons of blending with multiple tools and layering of 2-3 shadows. This is where I feel Tom Ford’s #12 is worth the price in terms of time saving and performance. It’s the all-in-one smokey eye brush. Rather than having to use 3 different brushes for lining, smudging and/or blending, I now have the perfect tool that can do all three steps for me. (Of course for a precise defined line I do still need a finer-tipped brush.)

Here are a few comparisons: My MAC eye brushes are among my favorites for price, shape and quality. The white-haired brushes by MAC were the softest in my collection and best for blending. The Tom Ford beats it by far in terms of softness while still managing to be dense enough to be a good smudge/contour tool.

Bottom line: performance is amazing and love that it’s also a time saver. Have you tried Tom Ford brushes yet? Which ones?

As a side note, many have been emailing me reports of my photos showing up on places (such as ebay), some with watermarks, some with removed/edited watermarks. As a reminder, I currently do not sell on ebay so any listings with my watermarked photos are not from me. I’ve been doing what I can to get certain listings removed, but since it will be a time consuming and never-ending process (content is continually being lifted without permission), I felt the best thing to do was just put a warning/reminder/disclaimer that I currently do not sell on ebay or any other sites.

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  • Love love loveee ur posts and ur blog!

    kisses from Spain!


  • The Tom Ford makeup brushes are so dreamy! I've heard wonderful things about the bronzing brush. I really want to try them in the future. I'm always looking for the perfect HG this or that. πŸ™‚

    It's so annoying that there are people who take your photos for their own personal gain. I have always had this problem with photos from my jewelry line. They make that added effort to crop, and blur out watermarks. It doesn't make any sense to try so hard to play it off as their own. Not cool!

  • This looks like it would be perfect for contouring the crease. I need to venture into the Tom Ford beauty world.

  • ABI

    Thanks for the post!! :Dxx

  • Ah sounds like an amazing brush!!! Checked out Karla sugar's pics from the link u posted…looks like I need to get to a Tom Ford counter STAT! πŸ™‚ also saw a video on how amazing the Shu Uemura foundation brush is…have uou had any experience with Shu brushes?

    • Hi Gummy – I have a few Shu Uemura brushes, but none with the white hairs. I have the regular blush and angled brush brushes and love them. I haven't tried the foundation brushes though – since the line was pulled from US counters, I've sort of lost touch with the products.

  • Thank you for the link Sabrina! I agree with you, the brushes are sooo gorgeous. It is hard for me to look into the eye brushes because of the price, and because my Mac 239 and 217 have never let me down. Maybe for christmas…

    • You're welcome for the link. I agree on the prices and I really really love the MAC. I still think they are staples, but the Tom Ford just blew me away. Definitely a good Christmas wishlist item πŸ™‚

  • Hi
    I just got the brush for the shade and illuminate palette- as I do not think u can dupe it and it is made for perfect application of this product- I would love the other TF brushes- they are like cats paws on my face!!!

  • Hi! What is that gorgeous polish you're wearing?

    • Oops, forgot to list that. It's Chanel Riva with YSL's Premiere Neige topcoat on top although you can't really see the glimmer/sparkles in the photo.

  • Oh, gosh, why do I have to read this blog post, Sabrina πŸ™‚ Now you've definitely turned me to try out this brush. I'm like you, using multiple brushes to do smoky eyes and this brush seems like the perfect one. Also, it helps that you mentioned it is made in Japan (somewhat guarantee of an assurance, I guess).


  • Anonymous

    Sabrina would this work as an all in one brush for a simple 2 eyeshadow look?

    • I think it could work. As long as you don't mind the shades mixing together on 1 brush. If you're using contrasting colors I think you still need 2 brushes (one for light and one for dark). I think it could be done with this but might be a bit tricky.

  • This brush looks like it is well designed and would be really useful.

  • Absolutely must tell you as a pretty new subscriber and an infrequent commenter, how I admire and appreciate your careful, meticulous style here with these glorious photos and editorial/tutorial flair. You do amazingly wonderful work and I am always so eager to get to your site!! Keep up the great work- looking so forward to more. xoxo Beth in Pgh πŸ˜‰