Monday, 24 September 2012

Make sure you trust who you buy from, skincare as an afterthought? A rant.

So Tom Ford has been around for a while now - I don't have the same obsession for him as some of my fellow bloggers - ultimately because my obsession is skincare - not colour. So when he launched his skincare recently I thought 'YES! Finally I can share the Tom obsession.' 

Except I can get no information about his skincare in detail - anywhere. The e-tailers that are selling it say 'it's loaded with anti-oxidants!' and list no ingredients.

Five visits to his counters - where I was approached by his own people - his OWN counters - FIVE - this is the best I got:

'Hi, can you tell me a little about the skincare please?'

'Yes madam (they are nothing if not polite), they are LOADED with antioxidants.' Maybe this is enough for some people with money to burn.

'Ok - do you know what the active ingredients are?' *smiles*

'Of course!' *Passes the £185.00 box of 'Intensive Infusion Concentrate Extreme' to me*

I read the ingredients list - couldn't see anything ground-breaking and asked again (very politely - I wasn't even TRYING): 'What are the key ingredients in this?' 

'Oh its loaded with anti-oxidants!'

*eyebrow*

I resisted the urge to say 'SO IS AN ORANGE!' and simply handed it back and said 'Thank you very much.'

At which point every single Sales Assistant immediately offered me either a spray of fragrance/swatch of colour. At least they tried to save the sale. They are clearly more comfortable in the smelly/lippie zone.

Tom Ford does not strike me as someone who does things by halves - fellow bloggers rave about the quality of his lipsticks/foundations etc and my husband and I have spent a small fortune on his aftershaves/perfumes over the recent years. Black Orchid is in my all-time favourites. 

So my question is: Why can no-one tell me what's in his skincare?

Maybe I'm being over the top but I don't think it's too much to expect a fair run-down of something you are asking £185.00 for. 

If you are serious about your skincare Tom you need to train your staff correctly so that even if they are not skin specialists they can talk knowledgeably about key benefits and ingredients. 
Or hire me to do it. If they can handle me. *doubtful*

You are losing money. 

Which brings me back to my basic retail buying guide:

Buy your foundation/concealer from a makeup artist.
Buy your colour and fragrance from a couture house/perfumer.
And buy your skincare from a specialist house/doctor/facialist and you can't go far wrong.

Sadly my experience at TF has not done anything to change my mind.

Do better Tom.

Yours, 

Money not in your bank.












46 comments:

  1. Wow! I love that they just keep repeating that "it's loaded with antioxidants". So silly. xx
    bohoglow.wordpress.com

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  2. It would have been great if you had gone "don't you know who I am?!" teehee xx

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    1. Not my style - and they wouldn't know anyway! LOL :) x

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  3. Replies
    1. *double eyebrow* would be more appropriate!

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    2. I'll join you in that! I'll even flare my nostrils. It's a great look!

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  4. I've always been skeptical to buy skincare from make-up artists and I'm glad you reaffirm that! Although I do like my couture house/perfumer foundations :)

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    Replies
    1. Its ALWAYS an afterthought. Would be like me releasing colour.

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  5. Sadly I find in most department stores the staff know didly squat and spout actual nonsense half the time (I was recently told that a product was "natural" and therefore wouldn't cause an allergic reaction!)Hence why I turn to blogs like you/Cosmetics Cop then order online. Keep doing what you do. Please.

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    1. I have a lot of friends on counter that are really educated and brilliant at what they do - none of them work for TF though. CLEARLY.

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  6. Tom has a massive issue over control and it appears his sales assistants are briefed very clearly on what they can and cannot say. This follows on quite nicely from a TF product launch I went to, only to be told I wasn't allowed to take pictures - I had to use the stock images 'for consistency purposes'. Dear Tom: Get your head out of your own arse. Thanks.

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    1. I bet his bottom is waxed. And bleached.

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    2. Mmm he is gawj

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  7. 'So has an orange!' - brilliant! I honestly couldn't spend that amount of money on an item of skincare, especially if they couldn't tell me what was in it! x

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    1. Apparently that doesn't matter! We'll buy it anyway! IT'S TOM!! Not.

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  8. Yes! Please tell why I need to spend £185.00 on anti-oxidents? I prefer green tea - a box of 20 for 79p at tesco. x

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    1. At least you could make a face mask out of the green tea and clay and know exactly what was in it. :)

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  9. I used to work for TF and we really do have no idea what was in the skincare. It really is an afterthought! I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole and we had so many returns on it. For such a luxury brand the training and general treatment of the staff is appalling. It's not Tom's fault, it's the corporate evil of Estee Lauder!

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    1. I have great relations with a lot of people at Lauder (well I did before this post LOL) - I really respect EL - this is frankly beneath them.

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  10. Love your frankness, and so true. Thanks for a great read once again x

    @Yu not all MUAs are skincare specialist or even work on skincare, some like me are passionate about skin as much as make up and made sure we know our shite! Just sayin!!

    @LBQ Def needs to get head out of so called arse!

    @Anonymous Love your honesty ;-)

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  11. I used to freelance for the EL brands, and I actually went for TF 'training' before the brand launched. I say 'training', it was actually just- look at the pretty products (no, you can't touch them)Tom uses the most expensive ingredients he can find. The end. I really like the makeup (even though it is hideously priced), but I agree, they need to train their staff more so that they can actually tell you what is in the skincare!
    Just FYI for those who don't know: Most people who work on counters are not makeup artists! Grrr

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    1. God poor you - if I wasn't sure on counter I would literally say 'I'm really sorry I haven't been trained on that particular item yet.' because I couldn't bear to lie! :)

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  12. this really gives me food for thought! such a good post! like u... i've spent a small fortune on fragrance in particular over the years. at first i used to get it from the states before it's release over here so i've been a huge fan since the start! it's such a shame staff aren't educated in simple product info. you would think it was a necessity when it comes to skincare... i mean how can they advise what is best for the customer without knowing what's in it? xxx

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  13. I always refuse the little samples skin care offered when I buy a foundation / lip stick. It’s almost always over perfumed for my taste (who needs a heavily scented eye cream) Samples of perfume or a mini lip gloss I'm all for, but the latest laser in a bottle, no thanks.

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  14. This was so good to read. Not only because my first love is skincare but also because I too like to know exactly what is in the products I put on my face. When one brand does more than one area of beauty, they should ensure they are trained and knowledgeable in all of those areas. For a hefty price tag you'd think that would be even more reason to ensure the staff were fully trained in the new skincare range. I feel your disappointment!xo

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    1. Apparently not. We'll just go ahead and buy it - NOT. :)

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  16. One of the main reasons I love your blog so much is because you invest so much time into skin care, and this is a perfect example of why I trust your reviews and rants haha. I've bought numerous items you've recommended because we both pretty much the same skin and I have to admit, when TF came out with their skin care I was really excited unti I saw that I could barely find anything online, even on their main site. I'll be giving that a miss! Thanks for this :) xx

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  17. Great post Caroline. I feel sorry for the poor staff at Tom Ford for not being given any further information. Totally agree with your buy make up from make up artists sentiment, even if the TF staff were to be trained would that help? Skincare is a complicated field and not everyone can explain it. I can't believe it's £185 for something that no one can justify on their sales staff!

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  18. *clutches Anne Semonin bottles tightly* £185!? and there's no INCI!? and no one can tell me WHY it's good!?

    *flees*

    xo
    Sara

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  19. i cant think if any ingredient that would justify that price, i think even his lipsticks are hype though.

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  20. When I worked for TF we had to 'earn' our place on training, if we didn't sell enough we wouldn't be 'rewarded' with a stay in London actually learning about what we were selling!

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  21. This is so bad and hocking, I'd expect hem to know it all! Thanks for the heads up :)

    http://Heidi-likes.blogspot.co.uk

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  22. you are raising a great issue. Most of the sales assistants DO NOT KNOW anything about the product they sell. I am amazed that for example at Harrods, the majority of them are in the luxury sales and have no clue about the beauty/products they sell. They only want to shed more products. In addition, places like House of Fraser or Debenhams are also appalling. I was at House of Fraser buying bronzer from Dior and the SA was horrible and gave me the wrong product at the end. When I went back to return it, not only did she tell me off but also was so pushy in giving me a make over. When I said yes in the end, and then we started talking about the products, she suddenly told me 'so which ones are you buying?'. I think that is super rude, super pushy. Then I asked about prices. She told me 'Oh i dont know. Why dont we start with the products you wanna buy and then I will let you know about prices.' She was a young american one and clearly clueless about anythign and everything and also rude. I find that rude. A small example of staff training there.

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  23. Omg, every counter staff I approach gave me no answer to my questions like, does this contain physical sunblock. They look at me totally don't know what physical sunblock is!!!

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  24. I think generally counter staff are pretty clueless, theyre just there to give the hard sell and rarely know anything about ingredients x

    www.luxenoirbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/

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  25. Well said! I was in House of Fraser the other day and the lady on the cosmetic counter was trying to sell me a serum, when I asked "what are the active ingredients in this?" she looked confused and proceed to read the ingredients off the box! Haha, needless to say I did not purchase! xx

    beauty-and-the-best.blogspot.co.uk

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  26. it is so frustrating to have sales associates who are not learned in the products they are selling. I was a biology major chem minor in college so I may not be a skin care specialist but I have a pretty good idea of how the body and skin work, and when associates try to sell products without giving any sort of scientific background as to how they will benefit me I am immediately turned off.

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  27. Yes, I was in a store today and saw a new range of skin care products so I asked a question and they told me a member of staff would come and tell me all about it. This young girl came up and pointed at the products one by one and told me what they were. I had already done that because I can read....
    Then I asked what exactly was the peptide rich elixir for [I didn't have my glasses on to read the [very] small print]. She said, 'Um...' and picked up the bottle to read the label herself. I just walked out...

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