Lipstick Monday: Tom Ford Black Orchid

We’re heading towards the fall and winter seasons, but it’s not like we have any of that going on around here. Still, we have plenty of malls and many air conditioned places to don the layered outfits; as a matter of fact, I take advantage of the rainy season and chilly days at the office as an excuse to sport my cute shawls and jackets. Most of the tops I own are long-sleeved too, so there’s no denying I’m a winter person at heart :)

One of the other things that I like to do to reaffirm the winter look is none other than to wear darker, more serious lips.

I have owned this for a while and it’s only appropriate to show it now: Tom Ford Lip Color in Black Orchid.

I suppose the name Black Orchid itself is already intimidating. As I opened the lipstick for the first time, I realized I might have been out of my mind for getting this. It is a very dark color, almost black. But I had a vision for the look that I was going for.

I was hesitant at first and actually left it untouched for about two weeks or so before I finally had the guts to swatch it. I didn’t want to ruin the TF initials on the bullet. And yes, I was intimidated, yet excited at the same time.


Black Orchid is a blackened burgundy wine shade. To my surprise, it is not as pigmented/scary as I had imagined, something like M.A.C Diva. It’s a medium pigmentation, buildable to an extent. It has red shimmers, not noticeable when applied, but rather just adding shine to the result. It applies rather patchy, worse when my lips are not in tip-top condition.

As for the formula, it has more slip than my other lipsticks and slides easier around the lips, which is why I do have to build this up to get the intensity that I wanted. My foolproof trick is to blot in between the layers. A matching lip liner would help too I believe. Wear time is medium at best, it doesn’t last through meals unfortunately, but it leaves a beautiful wine stain.


On the above photo, I wore three layers (with blotting in between). It has a satin, glossier finish that also lends it a less serious and somber look. In real life, it looks darker and less red.

Despite the formula issues, the color is breathtaking. Whenever I wear it, I feel like one of those mysterious, sultry women. Picture Severine from the James Bond 007 – Skyfall or Camilla Belle’s makeup look. It’s divine.

Because the color is on the gloomy side, it drains the life out of my complexion. I counter this by either applying heavier bronzer and/or blusher. To change things up a little bit, rather than wearing a predictable, analogous blusher shade, I applied a peach blush and it works well too! I’m not one of those who follow the rules of what lipstick to wear on what season. I would happily wear this with bright colored clothes: I’ll still look serious, but less restricted. I also love wearing it with white or off white clothes for a contemporary-sophisticated look.

I hate to say this, but Tom Ford is discontinuing Black Orchid. I’m still upset by the decision to discontinue such an iconic lipstick! He’s bringing back the formerly discontinued Bruised Plum as a replacement. While the plum shade is luscious, it’s got nothing on Black Orchid.

So, my fellow lipstick fiends, if you’re still able to find Black Orchid from the counter, please do get it. Otherwise, you might end up paying a steep price for this on Ebay :)