Bronzer + Blush Tom Ford Beauty

Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duos in Softcore and Stroked

September 2, 2014

Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duos ($77 for .70 oz/29 g) are new for fall and come in two shades: Softcore is the cool-toned option with a pale white pink highlighter and medium to deep terracotta pink while Stroked is the warm-toned duo with a soft peachy champagne highlighter and a medium bronzed coral. Both duos have blush/contour shades that are on the shimmery side with highlighters that have high shimmer.

Both duos sold out very quickly in stores and also online when they first launched. It seemed to be a blink and you might miss them kind of thing. Keep checking online because many retailers have restocked. I bought mine from Saks a little over a week ago. You can also find them online at Tom Ford, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Selfridges.

After testing these for over a week, I prefer these as a blush and highlighter duo rather than as a contouring set. The shimmer and color make both duos them more blush-like. Color-wise I adore Stroked (the warm one) and have lukewarm feelings about Softcore (the cool one). I wish the names didn’t both start with a letter “s” though because I often get them mixed up.


Stroked is easy to wear (for me). The shimmer factor is on the medium/high side but it blends easily onto the skin and the color warms up the complexion. I found the blush color to be very unique with a mix of copper and bronze intertwined with the peachy coral base. The blush is very pigmented so I prefer to use a soft skunk brush to apply the color so I can build it up. The highlighter is also intense which I find best applied with a fluffy brush.


Softcore is very difficult for me to wear. It is cool-toned and cooler tones tend to clash with my warmer olive skin. The blush is very dark and the rich pigment make it very easy to overdo (even with a light hand) resulting in a sunburned or punched look (yes it makes me look like someone punched me in the cheeks). The highlighter is almost white on my skin and enhances pores if I swipe it one too many times and ends up looking too sharp and frosted. The quality and pigment are still very good, but the colors only work if I use an ultra light hand.

Swatches and comparisons: left Softcore, right Stroked

Comparisons to:

The blush side of the Stroked Duo is a mix between Love Lust, Ravish and Savage. If you swirled all three colors together, you would get something very similar to Stroked.

Bottom line I love Stroked. It’s really flattering and brightens the face. I was worried it would be entirely orange based on some swatches I had seen online. I prefer applying with a lighter hand but even with a regular one, I don’t find it turns orangey at all on my skin.

Softcore is hit or miss, for me it’s been mostly a miss. I was able to get it to work on me a couple times, but most of the times I tried it, I found it looked too dark/harsh and too cool-toned. I ended up having to redo my makeup entirely, but I’m still determined to try and make it work. It looks better if I use only the blush side on the face and save the highlighter for the eyes. Still for cheeks, I need something that is easy to use, naturally flattering, easy to build – not something I need to be super careful with.

The Contouring Cheek Color Duos retail for $77 each. Both are limited-edition. They are online now at Saks, Tom Ford, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Selfridges.

Did you check out the Cheek Duos or purchase any of them? What did you think? Did they work for your skin tone?

You Might Also Like

  • I've ordered Softcore from Selfridges and it should arrive today. My skintone is somewhere between yours and Karen's from MBB and she posted a gorgeous look and swatches today, so I hope for the best :).

    • It arrived yesterday, and I can only report being very happy. In fact, I own Ravish, Love Lust and Wicked blushes, but this is the first Tom Ford cheek product I truly love. I think it's the fact that I can controle how much shimmer and where it goes, since the plummy colour is pretty matte. karen had a good tip for the highlighter: use an eye brush, it's plenty. The highlighter is also super pretty on the inner corners of the eye.
      The plummy colour is very easy for me to use; I lightly touch my Mac 187 brush to the surface ONCE and then apply below and along my cheekbones. It's very easily blendable. Hope this helps.

  • I would love to try the softcore one! Great post.
    Lots of love, xx

  • Love these colours. Really pretty.

  • Wow!!! I wish to get these two as well!!!

  • Great swatches Sabrina! I have super fair skin and surprisingly the Stroked looks hilariously bad on me. The tones of Softcore are much better for my particular coloring. But as you quite accurately described, I have to use an EXTREMELY light hand. My Suqqu cheek brush is what I use to get a light application.

  • Ooh, love a new Tom Ford release! These colours look gorgeous, will definitely be trying these out once we get them in Australia!

  • ame

    I picked up the Stroked, and I am having mixed feelings. They're beautiful in the pan and on the skin, but the longevity sucks! I actually wish I had waited for them to hit Nordstrom because buying from Bergdorfs means I am now stuck and cannot return.

  • Gosh, these are both stunning! Love that the contour shade isn't a typical cool brown, but something a bit more colourful. And the highlighters are dreamy πŸ™‚

  • I got Stroked and was planning on picking up Softcore from Nordstrom but the issues you're having reinforce my concerns with that duo from the start. I adore Stroked. On me it reads like a lovely soft coral. But Softcore seems to read very reddish/terracotta on some skin tones and that's not necessarily going to flatter. Also, the dilemma over where best to apply it (as contour or blush)…and on top of that the fact that it requires SUCH a light hand. Now I'm back on the fence. I feel almost compelled to try it because I think it's unusual (plus it's LE), but then again I'm not sure it's practical or user-friendly enough for me to get much use out of it.

  • Anonymous

    I love Stroked as well. I was hesitant when I ordered, but I also use a light hand and it gives the most beautiful glow. I passed on Softcore because also believed it would be too difficult a color for me to work with. Great reviews and pics! – Zeynep

  • Hi Sabrina,

    I was looking forward to this review! These cheek duos did catch my fancy as they do seem like unique 'contouring' products, if they can be called that! I'm intrigued by the cranberry contour of Softcore, but do wonder how well the ruddy shade would translate to the face. I imagine a very very light hand would be necessary!

    The Tom Ford Contouring Cheek colors seem to correspond nicely with the new fall lip colors (which I imagine isn't a coincidence). I bet they'd look nice paired together!

  • JudithDM

    I bought Stroked, have not used yet! Have been organizing my brushes seeing what I may need, skunk brush? Honestly, they did my makeup in NM BH (was going to a very special event) used Stroked and I looked fabulous! I bought this as well as two eyeshadow quads, which I need to play with and a lipstick, Casablanca. Why or why does not Tom Ford put some sort of a brush in the packaging/case as
    Chanel did with a recent limited edition highlighter? Thank you for posting this, as it was because of you I went running to NM!!!!!

  • Stephanie

    Being horrible pale (even the lightest Chanel foundation is too dark for me), I have to confess that I was a little scared of "Softcore". But loving everything from Tom Ford, I bought the whole fall collection. These last days I have been playing especially with "Softcore" and I truly love it. I use my Suqqu blush brush and create a healthy flush – something that is important at the moment being two days after the calculated delivery date and looking drained and tired without make up πŸ˜‰ Next I will be trying "Stroked" πŸ™‚
    Thank you for your wonderful review and fantastic swatches – as always perfect!
    Many greeting from Germany
    xxx Stephanie