REVIEW: Tom Ford Traceless Foundation SPF15 – “Pale Dune”

While I was home for spring break, I stopped by the Tom Ford counter at Neiman Marcus because I was itching to test out the foundation. While I didn’t do any additional research before going, I was disappointed with the small color selection and lack of proper customer service. Nonetheless, I requested a sample of the product because the foundation was expensive and I didn’t like how I couldn’t play with the foundation by myself (like at Sephora or at Ulta). The Tom Ford Traceless Foundation SPF15 in “Pale Dune” had been on my wish list for months.


I was matched to the shade “Pale Dune,” which the sales associate transferred for me into a small bottle. This is the 2nd lightest shade with beige-yellow undertones, but I kind of wanted to see what “Alabaster” would’ve looked like on my skin. I didn’t like how the sales associate eye-balled my shade and didn’t really try anything on my skin. When I asked to see “Alabaster,” she said it would be too light and dismissed the request. I took the sample of “Pale Dune” because it was quite obvious that all the other shades after that were super dark.

The Neiman Marcus website states that this foundation is unique because its 3-in-1 formula “delivers a balanced complexion that glows with vitality and radiance.” It claims to be “extremely lightweight and luminous [and] includes the skin-nourishing Tom Ford Infusing Complex to help protect skin and promote its vibrancy from within.” The foundation’s “micronized pigments deliver seamless and undetectable coverage that is easy to build up or sheer down.”

“Pale Dune” is too dark for me but I’ve tried to make this sample work in so many ways. I’ve been wanting to dabble into the Tom Ford beauty range, and starting with the foundation was a bad start because I was disappointed and I wouldn’t recommend it at all. As a foundation and base makeup fanatic, I have high expectations as you all may know. Because of the brand and the price of this product, I had high hopes that this would be like magic.

Unfortunately, this shade is about 2 shades too dark for my skin and sat heavily on my face all day. The formula is easy to work with and has a pleasant, herbally scent. However, the formula is quite thick even though it didn’t provide that much coverage. The foundation was luminous but made me really oily; and, even with powder, still made me oily.


“The Tom Ford Infusing Complex infuses skin with a potent combination of specially selected nutrients that help skin stimulate its natural repair mechanisms. By helping skin cells replenish their natural energy, it fundamentally rejuvenates the complexion, so it looks and feels brighter, fresher, and less tired. High-performing antioxidants help protect the skin, creating a vital-looking face. The skin is left looking renewed, resilient, and smoother.”

While we can assume this foundation is packed with skincare ingredients, my complexion didn’t look extra radiant or smooth. In my opinion, the performance of this foundation was mediocre and didn’t really “wow” me in any way. Also, the heavy feeling on my face didn’t really have a “traceless” effect either — so I find it strange that this foundation is called “the traceless foundation.” It also didn’t help that I didn’t really get focused attention and help at the counter either. It’s a good thing I asked for a sample because I’ll be throwing it away anyway. I may re-visit this issue and try “Alabaster” and see if a better color match will make me feel better.


There’s different kind of foundation formulas out there and it’s important to find the one that works for your skin tone, your skin type, and your personal concerns/needs. I’ve included this magazine excerpt for those who are on the hunt for the perfect foundation. Please remember that the brand nor the price will all of sudden give you perfect skin. I was mainly disappointed with the Tom Ford foundation because I had high expectation because of the brand and price. However, it just sat on my skin and did nothing. For me, I don’t have a lot skincare concerns and I require very little coverage anyway; so, when I notice a foundation not performing, it’s a big red flag for me.

My other complaint is the poor customer service. I’ve always been physically matched to a shade at a counter, with the sales associate actually applying the product on my skin. This was the first time someone just eye-balled my potential shade. Meh.

30 mL/1 fl. oz.
Retails for $78.00 USD.

How-To Apply Foundation

Applying foundation is easy once you’ve developed your personal style. What’s important is that you choose a formula that works for your skin type, rather going for a chosen brand. Another thing to remember is that what you do before makeup application is just as important when it comes to how your foundation will look and how it will wear throughout the day.

At night, proper skincare is imperative – remove all traces of makeup – including eye makeup, lipstick, and of course, your base makeup. Follow up with night time skincare – it doesn’t have to elaborate, but moisturization is key for healthy looking skin. Remember that without adequate hydration, your skin will be dry and dehydrated – which makes it difficult to blend your foundation. It will also accentuate fine lines, wrinkles, flakes, and areas of dryness.

In the morning, splash your face with water that is at a comfortable temperature; or, if you’re oily-skinned, use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil to get your face started on a clean slate. Apply toner if needed and don’t forget to moisturize and add sun protection/primer. Allow a few minutes for the products to sink into the skin. If not, it will be too slick for foundation – allowing the makeup to move around and slide – eventually, it will come off throughout the day and get patchy.

Nowadays, there’s tons of foundation formulas – liquid, cream, powder, cream to power, mineral, etc. Find one that works well with your personal skin type. Get samples of different colors and formulas and experiment with them to find which ones you like.


I found this on Pinterest and just had to share it with you. Everyone develops their own taste and technique, so do what feels right for you. But if you’re unsure, give this pictorial a go because I think it could help! Another thing to think about is the right tool to apply your foundation. Your hands are perfectly fine for liquid and cream types, but if you’re concerned about hygienic issues, use a synthetic buffing brush or flat paddle brush. In my opinion, a synthetic buffing brush is much more versatile and deposits just the right amount of color onto the skin. For mineral or powder foundation, try a kabuki brush or a dense fluffy brush to sweep on the color.