TOM FORD Beauty: Black Orchid Lip Color Review & Swatches

I had originally planned to save my reviews of the three “original/white packaging” TOM FORD Beauty Private Blend Lip Colors I own for last.  It never occurred to me to review them last year and, now that the packaging has been discontinued, I was concentrating on the new additions to the Collection.

That being said, I have decided to focus on Black Orchid today after receiving a comment from my gorgeous friend Bere Parra, who wanted to know “if there are blackish-red shades (blood-like) in the TOM FORD lip palette.”

Why yes, my dear Bere, there certainly are!  Let me introduce you to Black Orchid:

Black Orchid – Outdoor Lighting

Although Black Orchid is more of a brownish-red color with just a hint of blackened plum, it’s definitely the closest thing to blood-red you’ll find in the TOM FORD line. It is a slightly matte, full coverage lipstick with extremely high pigmentation.

First, let me say that I adore this lipstick.  It’s the perfect vampy red shade and I wear it a lot in the Fall and Winter months when I am feeling a bit vampy myself!  That being said, it isn’t without its challenges. I find it to be the most difficult TOM FORD Lip Color to apply because the color goes on dark from the get-go and just builds from there.

This is what it looks like on me with just one application using a lip brush. (Note: I can’t wear this one without a lip brush and clear lip liner—it bleeds due to the heavy pigmentation.)

If you want to deepen the color just apply a second layer!

Wear time is phenomenal on this lipstick and is the best of all the TOM FORD colors I own—it lasts for about 8 hours—I repeat, 8 hours!—and wears to a lovely brick stain before it disappears:

Amazing, really.

The formula isn’t quite as emollient as some of the others shades available.  This can dry your lips out a bit if they aren’t prepped properly, but as long as you have some gloss or balm handy, you will be fine.

Now, back to pigmentation. If you still think the pigmentation can’t possibly be all that, let me prove you wrong.  The below is a comparison of three lip colors that look “blood red” in the tube:  NARS Fast Ride, Benefit Ms. Behavin’ and TOM FORD Black Orchid.

As you can see, they all look pretty similar in the tube.  Despite that, the formulas are completely different and Black Orchid outperforms them all where pigmentation is concerned.  Fast Ride, which is actually the darkest of the 3 in the tube, goes on sheer.  Ms. behavin—which is a bit more purple than the others—used to be one of my favorite shades, but one swipe of Black Orchid does what 3 swipes of ms. behavin’ does.

So… Black Orchid wins where pigmentation is concerned.  It also wins for its staying-power and its signature TOM FORD vanilla scent.

Finally, I want to focus on the packaging for a second.  Although I love the new mahogany/black packaging, I do have a soft spot for the original white.  There is something very elegant and classy about it… and I really do wish it was still an option.

The “TOM FORD” on the cap has now been replaced with a simple TF that matches the stamp on the lip color itself.  The gold detailing remains, but the white is no more.  What matters, however, is that the lip color formula remains one of the best available today.

And Black Orchid remains one of the best reds available today!

The bottom line: if you are on the hunt for a vampy blood-red lipstick, add Black Orchid to the top of your list!

Now… do you have a blood-red shade that you love?  Tell me about it!


TOM FORD Black Orchid Lip Color is available now (in the new packaging) at your closest TOM FORD Beauty counter and online at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and other fine retailers.


Credits: All images were taken by me and Black Orchid was purchased by me.

4 comments… add one

  • Jill Oct 31, 2011

    Huh, interesting about the packaging (I am fascinated by this kind of stuff). I wonder why they discontinued it. Was it intended to become a collector’s item, do you think? I guess it’s one now, even if that wasn’t the original plan. I wonder if they did it in the white to help launch the collection. Now I want to try Black Orchid. You should get a little commission. Thanks for this post! Have you reviewed any of the nail colors yet? I already see a few that I want. Bookmarking this page! XO, Jill

  • Bere Parra Nov 1, 2011

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for reviewing Black Orchid B!!! And THANKS SO MUCH for the mention!! You’re way too kind… I *loved* the precision of your explanations and the photos you took, they give me a very clear idea of this shade and the quality of the product. Didn’t expect any less from Tom Ford or from you!! 🙂 This is so going to be my Xmas pressie to myself this year! I love deep, dark lip shades and I’ve been looking for this particular tone of red for years! So happy to have found it. And thanks also for the useful, practical tips on how to apply it!! xoxox I remain your huge fan!
    Bere Parra recently posted…Fairytales for grown-ups & not-so-grown-ups: Francisco ToledoMy Profile

  • Abby Nov 1, 2011

    Oooooooooh, I definitely have to try it! have been looking for a shade like this, it’s a perfect transition from the bright colors I have been wearing recently, and 8 hours?!? Hellooooooooo! The only problem I might have is getting my hubs to stay away from my vampy red pout for 8 hrs… but I look forward to the challenge, lol! 🙂

  • GRIT & GLAMOUR Nov 7, 2011

    B, I’m LOVING your reviews! They are so well-done! I just picked up Pink Dusk and Cherry Lush this weekend and I am IN LOVE. Wow! You know I’m a die-hard YSL lipstick fan, but Tom Ford’s are better, thicker, more moist and longer-lasting. They actually remind me of my mom’s lipsticks way back when I was a child trying them on. The quality seemed a lot higher across the board then.

    Anyway, keep up the reviews! And enjoy all those lipsticks!

    GRIT & GLAMOUR recently posted… Feature + Gucci Fall 2011 PicksMy Profile

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