Tom Ford Camera Obscura

April 23, 2018



I have had Tom Ford Private Shadow Camera Obscura for a while now but I still am not sure if I love it or hate it. This tiny thing is about $40 after tax so I was ready to be blown away by its gorgeousness. I can't say I was, to be completely honest with you.




Well, to be fair, Camera Obscura is a real beauty. It is a complex purple with a prominent blue duochrome - totally unique and eye-catching. However, the formulation is a little fussy to deal with. I was initially shocked to see how sheer it went on leaving so many fallouts on my face!


It still makes me laugh to see how small the compact is. I haven't used up any eyeshadow in a long while so I have no complaint about how much it actually contains, but the mirror is too small that I have to hold the compact afar if I want to see my whole eye fitting in the frame. It's not like my eyes are huge or anything.


The color payoff got much better as I was digging in past the harder surface, but I still had an issue with fallouts. It is interesting that most of the fallouts are from the base, not the blue shimmer. The blue specks actually stay on impressively well. 


I finally figured out that this fussy beauty needs a sticky base and ended up buying NYX Glitter Primer (which is supposedly a dupe of Too Faced Shadow Insurance Glitter Glue). The NYX primer saves the day (this is a very good primer, btw), and now I can wear Camera Obscura without tearing up.

(indirect sunlight)
(softbox lighting)

(from left to right) The color was applied over lightly lotioned skin, over Cargo HD Eyeshadow Primer (my go-to), and over NYX Glitter Primer. You can clearly see how the color intensity and the finish varies depending on the base. Anyway, isn't this gorgeous? My inner magpie can't stand it.


Today I am just wearing the color by itself except that I defined the outer corners a little bit with a dark chocolate color. I applied the eyeliner partially because I was in a hurry this morning. I promise you it didn't look this weird in person, though.

Below are a few overall looks with Camera Obscura.



With a thoughtful pairing, I can make this work and even like the way it looks on me. It's a bit frustrating to admit that I own a few duochromes and even loose glitters that go on creamy and stay on all day over a regular eyeshadow primer and they didn't cost this much. Still, I feel challenged by the unique beauty of Camera Obscura that I've come up with a couple of different ways to wear it. I will feature them in my next Look Book post.

Tom Ford Camera Obscura is quite difficult to find but you can order directly from Tom Ford Beauty. They ship free.


Thanks for looking! Have you tried these single eyeshadows from the Tom Ford Private Collection? What are your thoughts?




Join the conversation

  1. This shade looks both unique and complex and I can see why it might be challenge to wear but I think you've managed to pull it off marvelously Lena! Happy new week! Yay for Springlike weather like finally :D

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    1. Thanks, Rowena! I was like "I couldn't have bought an expensive dud!" I would have made half the effort if it wasn't so expensive. Haha ;D I'm glad that I don't have to give this away. It IS a pretty color. ;p

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  2. Ah, such a stunning, unique shade! Was so tempted by these shadows when the collection came out. Glad you found a primer that works well with it! :)

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    1. I feel more frustrated because the color is so gorgeous! Well, I guess some eyeshadows are not meant to be blended anyway. It looks best if I pack the color in the middle of my mobile lids. ;)

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  3. This is the only shade I thought about getting but the price...I was like i rather go with decorte(27 bucks) for single eyeshadow and only splurge on Tom Ford lipstick...

    Now I am glad I didn't get it because I am lazy with primer.

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    1. I am not denying Camera Obscura is a gorgeous color but I doubt that I'd have bought it knowing all this. This is a tricky one because it swatches better than how it applies on the lids, too. Glad I helped a little! ;)

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  4. Ahh Tom Ford! It's amazing how small and $$$ his products can be, but I still covet them! The pigmentation and complexity of color here is quite amazing though. You look gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad I ended up with a satisfying result with it otherwise I would have been quite upset. LOL. I haven't tried enough to make a conclusion about the brand but I do know that so far I like their fragrances more than the makeups. :)

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  5. I've read a lot of reviews about Tom Ford's single eye shadows. I'm not that tempted, for some reason. And I've been on a matte eye shadow kick lately. That said, I'd expect a single eye shadow at that price to kick some ass and transform my eyes completely. LOL!

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    1. My thoughts, exactly. Because of this experience, I am not sure if I wanna buy any of the quads, either. These days we have so many great quality options for so much less and I prefer the sheer finish which Japanese eyeshadows offer anyway. ;p

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