From his trailblazing ways at some of the top European fashion houses in the ’90s to the launch of his eponymous label in 2005 to his two Academy Award-nominated movies, Tom Ford – the man and brand – has been synonymous with unabashedly sexy glamour, seduction, and pure luxury. It’s little surprise considering how this suave, multi-hyphenate American is a known perfectionist, applying his exacting eye and preternaturally exquisite taste to everything from women’s wear to film.
In 2006, he extended this legacy of his to the world of beauty with the debut of the uber luxe Tom Ford Beauty line, kicking it off with the iconic oriental chypre Tom Ford Black Orchid, followed by a whole suite of more lush fragrances. Five years later, he introduced equally refined makeup to the mix, with everything from saturated lip colours to bronzers all steeped in exotic ingredients and his signature sleek, sensuous touch.
Good taste aside, Ford’s also one of the industry’s most daring and progressive thinkers. Well before the term “gender neutral” became a buzzword, he was already developing eyewear and watches that could be worn by women and men. In 2014, Tom Ford Beauty would make headlines for releasing a range of men’s grooming products that includes the likes of lip balm, concealer and even a bronzing gel when makeup for men was practically unheard – or unspoken – of.
Now the latest addition to his empire encapsulates everything that he stands for: Tom Ford Research, his first skincare line that hit the brand’s Marina Bay Sands boutique as well as standalone counters at Tangs at Tang Plaza, Takashimaya and Robinsons Raffles City on Sept 16. Comprising for now a serum and a moisturiser, it’s also been designed specifically to be dual-gender (read: it works for both men and women).
In typical Ford fashion, the idea stemmed from his own personal quest for high-performance, restorative skincare. Tom Ford Research is the designer’s personal beauty incubator, so to speak; backed by his very own cutting edge research facility set up specially to create products that “essentially don’t exist” (how often does one hear of gender-neutral skincare, for one?).
Says Ford: “My vision is to merge breakthrough skin science with true luxury to create transformative skincare regardless of skin type or gender. This is the reason I established Tom Ford Research. Working closely with a team of scientists, we develop what is truly remarkable and that which delivers undeniable visible results.”
So just what exactly has Ford’s team of super scientists discovered? That caffeine – yep, what many of us guzzle down to stay awake – actually has the ability to increase and support skin’s energy levels. And because caffeine promotes the movement of sodium ions – molecules in skin’s surface that enable the flow of electrical signals – it also helps to keep the complexion hydrated, resulting in a bright, youthful glow.
So groundbreaking is this research that it’s been presented at the prestigious American Academy of Dermatology Conference with a publication in a scientific journal in the works. (The other thing that Tom Ford is? An over-achiever.) As if that’s not enough though, the Tom Ford Research lab has singled out three key ingredients with jointly the optimal amount of caffeine to give skin a new buzz.
The first is caffeine itself, its composition within each formula tweaked to deliver a heightened burst of hydration and energy to skin. Then there’s exotic White Porcelain Cacao – said to be the most delicate and rarest variety of cacao (it makes up less than 0.5 per cent of the world’s cacao production) – that not only has a high caffeine content, but also that of polyphenols (micro-nutrients derived from plants) that help protect skin from free radical damage. The last is Gyokuro, a highly-prized (and reportedly most expensive) type of Japanese green tea that helps to soothe and provide even more antioxidant protection with the amino acid theanine.
Enriched with all three caffeine-packed ingredients as well as hyaluronic acid and peptides, both Tom Ford Research products have been found to revitalise skin significantly on both genders through a series of clinical studies.
The Tom Ford Research Serum Concentrate (20ml, $503) was perfected on the 75th try. Besides promoting energised skin, the silky smooth concentrate boasts a brightening blend that evens out skin tone; glycolic and lactic acids that refines roughness; and peptides that help diminish the appearance of lines. Absorbing into skin instantly, it essentially helps skin – no matter age or gender – to return to a healthy, glowy state with prolonged use.
Meanwhile the ultra luxurious-to-the-touch Tom Ford Research Creme Concentrate (50ml, $588) leaves skin feeling immediately comforted with its high content of hyaluronic acid and humectants that flushes skin with moisture, keeping it hydrated for a good 24 hours. Along with skin-smoothing peptides and soothing algae extract, this indulgent yet feather-light facial moisturiser ultimately leaves skin looking recharged and luminous.
Turning back the clock is often said to be impossible in skincare, but Tom Ford Research might have just come up with the closest thing to it. After all, ladies, just look at Ford himself.