Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in Natural (05)

**UPDATE 1/12/13…I now have swatches of EVERY shade of the TF Traceless Foundation Stick HERE!
The Tom Ford line is just exquisite…luxe packaging, gorgeous colors and brilliant quality…never mind that a single items a small fortune! I have been slowly adding to my burgeoning Tom Ford collection with Nude Vanille, Scarlet Rouge and Naked lip color and it was inevitable for me to branch out into procuring other products eventually.  Most recently, I got the Traceless Foundation Stick in Natural (#05) and couldn’t be happier with my initial trial.  
Retailing for $78.00, it was imperative for me to select the right color match…I selected Natural (#05) and the match is spot on!  At 15 grams, the foundation stick is quite large; housed in a shiny brown cylindrical case, this foundation is substantial.  For reference, I have used the Bobbi Brown foundation stick and the Shu Uemura foundation stick, both of which feel like veritable trial sizes when compared to the Tom Ford version!
Here is what the Neiman Marcus website says…
An essential tool in Tom Ford’s makeup regimen. Rich in hydrants, this foundation stick’s unique cream formula creates a flawless and smooth finish. Portable and precise, it achieves versatility of sheer, medium, or full coverage;always beautifully natural and undetectable. Or, when used as a concealer, it swiftly diminishes imperfections. 
The following images reveal the wonder that is the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in Natural (#05)…

Above: In the shade.
Above: a single swipe of the foundation stick yields a massive amount of pigmented color that is easily blended with a brush or with fingers.
Above: In the direct sunlight.
Above: Swatch in direct sunlight.
Above and below: Comparison swatches of some of the foundations in my current rotation.  In the images, The Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick appears lighter than the other options but once applied, it blends with my skin tone perfectly, making it an ideal match for my fall and winter skin.  
Natural (#05) is a yellow-based beige for light skin that leans towards light to medium.  The color before (Fawn #03) was much too “white” and the next color up (Tawny #07) was definitely too dark.  
I apply the foundation by putting a few swipes of the stick across my forehead, cheeks, nose and chin…then, I blend and buff it into my skin with my trusty Sephora Airbrush .  The entire process takes me about 60 seconds and my skin ends up looking perfected, but still like skin.  The foundation imparts a very believable satin finish that is a tad dewy while completely avoiding looking oily or shimmery…the finish is an integral part of this foundation’s magic! 
Above and below: Swatches of the foundation on a paper towel in natural light.  I wanted to reveal the true nature of the shade, unaltered by sunlight or the skin tone of my arm!
But how does it look on the face, one might ask…

The first image: I took this closeup in the mid afternoon during an excruciatingly hot day last week…even though I am not as fresh as a I would prefer, I was very pleased at how well this foundation held up amidst extremely warm conditions…one quick blot and I was good to go for the evening. Lip color is Beauty Is Life Sacara.

The next image: I took this in the afternoon as well, however, it was a much cooler day in overall.  

The next three images: Tom Ford foundation stick, freshly applied in the morning; lips are Le Metier de Beaute Palm Springs.

Below: TF Traceless Foundation Stick at the end of a teaching day (with NO touchups whatsoever).  On top of this, it was extremely cold and humid (due to a rainstorm) and yet it effectively performed without getting excessively glowy.  Lip color courtesy of  By Terry Rouge Terrybly Nude (#100)
Bottom Line:  I am so glad that I own this foundation (thank you, dear husband, for picking it up for me while you were out of town!).  I didn’t think I could love anything as much as my top three foundations (GA Maestro, By Terry Cover Expert and LMdB Classic Flawless Foundation), but the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation stick has exceeded my expectations.  Its natural coverage, satin finish and long lasting properties (the foundation just looks better with time…how is that even possible?) make it a welcome new addition to my regular rotation and the fact that it is in stick form means traveling with it is a breeze.  Yes, it’s an investment, but highly worth it!

Share this post

Comments (41)

  • Unknown Reply

    How do you find the coverage? Its shape makes me think of a jumbo Cle de peau and I must admit I am excited at that possibility. Though not all sticks are created equal (ha!) this one seems special.

    …Also, did you find anything you liked at Le Metier this weekend?

    November 12, 2012 at 4:45 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hi Hazel,

      Good to hear from you! I would classify the coverage as medium, but easily buildable to full! The texture is very much like the CdP concealer…silky, smooth and one with the skin. The fact that it is a bit dewy but doesn't degrade to a pooling oily mess as the day wears on is one of its merits indeed.

      This stick is WAY better than any others I've worked with (and, as mentioned, the Bobbi Brown and Shu Uemura versions are well loved…this is just superior in every way) and I am excited that I am just about to go apply some right now ; )

      Thanks for asking about the LMdB counter…I ended up buying the color core lipstick in Thailand (alas, my affinity for light lip color cannot be quelled!) and my mom picked up Bondi Beach (a bit darker, equally pretty).

      How was your weekend? Any new makeup discoveries?

      Take care and talk soon!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm
  • Unknown Reply

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    November 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm
  • Gummy @ Gummy Vision Reply

    Someday I'd love to see pics of your entire foundation stash…it seems never-ending! 🙂 I use the Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick off and on, but I'm not in love with it by any stretch of the imagination. I end up using it because it's just super quick. If this is such an immense step up…Tom Ford here I come!

    November 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Gummy…what a great post idea!! My love for foundation knows no bounds, so there would be quite a bit to photograph…thank you for your interest!

      Having used the Bobbi Brown stick for at least a full season, I can attest to the fact that this is a major step up (and, after a week of use, no breakouts whatsoever!).

      Let me know if you end up getting it!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 13, 2012 at 2:30 am
  • Catherine (@bcrueltyfree) Reply

    I think I remember hearing somewhere that Tom Ford uses this stick foundation himself. The finish does look so natural – impressive

    November 13, 2012 at 12:36 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hi Catherine,

      You read correctly! I also read that he uses this exact shade (Natural #05) ; ) The finish is as natural as it looks in the pictures…I cannot get over how well it wears throughout the day. Here I am typing after having applied it 9 hours ago and I don't even need a touch up…amazing!

      Have a wonderful week and thanks so much for reading,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 13, 2012 at 2:33 am
  • Anonymous Reply

    Oh my, it's like everything that Tom Ford touches is magic. Sigh. I adore his lipstick formula, am saving up for some perfume (Cafe Rose has actually persuaded me to try something other than my Chanel, which I have been wearing for over a decade), and now… THIS. It looks incredible on you… satiny yet not that "dewy" business that so many liquids are after these days, and which ends up merely looking shiny on me.

    November 13, 2012 at 8:37 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      You are so right…his products are just absurdly good! Cafe Rose smells delicious (and is definitely at a "saving up" kind of price point!) and his lip color is perfect. Thank you for your kind words about how the foundation looks…the finish (satin, not shimmer) truly is is most remarkable aspect!! I hope you get your hands on it soon ; )

      Take care and do please keep me posted…


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 14, 2012 at 1:10 am
  • Elisa Zanetti Reply

    Nice blog you have…wanna follow each other?
    please follow with GFC, just leave me a comment and I'll follow u back!

    November 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Elisa,

      Thanks for your words…I will make sure to take a look at your blog.

      Take care,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 14, 2012 at 1:13 am
  • WQ Reply

    I was excited to read your TF review… I think foundationitis is seriously contagious;).

    **Thanks for the review and swatches–and by the way, the foundation looks great on you!


    November 14, 2012 at 12:20 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello WQ!

      You may be right about foundationitis being a serious affliction that is highly communicable! I know for certain that I have the ailment and, at this point, I am not looking to get better ; )

      Thanks for the sweet compliment…I am glad you like the review and pictures.

      Take care…xoxo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 14, 2012 at 1:18 am
  • Elisa Zanetti Reply November 14, 2012 at 8:01 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Thanks ; )

      Take care,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2012 at 6:04 am
  • ekirii Reply

    I tried the bottle of this the other day and I curiously got matched to Fawn :S which made me a little wary as only about half an hour before that I'd dropped by GA to look at Maestro and she said I'd be a 6.5. Sighhhh, these mismatched foundation matches always worry me 🙁

    November 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Ekirii,

      That is so strange that you were matched to Fawn if you are a 6.5 in Maestro! The Maestro 6.5 is definitely darker than the #5 (which is darker than the #3 Fawn) so go figure!

      Do you think that Fawn looks too light on your face?!

      Warm regards,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 15, 2012 at 6:08 am
  • Jodi K Gordon Reply

    Hi Beauty Professor
    I have just managed to get some Tom Ford products- they are really some of the best available- I preferred the liquid foundation as it is lighter in coverage. I bought the shade and illuminate and it is amazing- expensive but worth the $$$. I however bought the hourglass veil foundation which is worth a try, but it is a very natural yet polished finish. Tom Ford is definitely Holy Grail territory!

    November 16, 2012 at 2:45 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Jo…wonderful to hear from you! Congrats on your Tom Ford products…they are just so high quality and I agree, they are well worth the crazy price tag if you can swing it! The shade and illuminate has definitely been on my radar; it kind of reminds me of the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder and Candlelight Powder–I recently depotted one of mine so they could be in the same compact. How do you like the Hourglass foundation? I used Veil years ago and they recently reformulated their foundation (thereby getting rid of Veil in the States as far as I can tell).

      Any new finds you are loving?

      Enjoy the weekend and talk soon!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 17, 2012 at 7:04 am
    • Jodi K Gordon Reply

      I bought the Veil foundation in London-My skin looks fresh and 10 years younger- I got it with the mineral primer which is good for all foundations as it makes them waterproof. I got the By Terry cover expert- no7 was a bit pale , so I add a darker Makeup forever face and body foundation which makes it perfect- I am loving this to for slightly more coverage but still natural. I pair this with the By Terry Hyaluronic primer- wow- amazing stuff- I seem to have a primer and foundation fetish.
      Back to Tom Ford- I bought Golden Mink- cool tone browns with grown up glitter shades- this would look gorgeous on you. My second quad was cognac sable- a warm palette with ginger colouring- will make your eyes look great. The pigmentation and interesting colour combo's are first rate. They are better than the new maestro palettes in intensity, which is what TF is all about. The shade and illuminate is natural and even good on my oily skin- I am on a bit of a contouring craze- and this wins hands down.
      Lastly I got Eve Lom cleanser- a deep, gentle balm cleanser which I am loving so far-too many new finds and only one face!
      What are you after at the moment…..

      November 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Jo,

      Glad you like the Veil…it is a lovely formula (what shade did you get?) and I have gone through at least three bottles of the Mineral Veil primer in my time (it, with Koh Gen Do and Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge) is one of my favorites! The By Terry Cover Expert definitely gives a supreme amount of coverage and the blendability with other foundations cannot be beat. Must try the By Terry Hyaluronic Primer next as I have heard many good words about it…take solace in the fact that you are certainly not alone in your foundation and primer fetish!

      The TF Golden Mink and Cognac Sable quads sound amazing…I am a hopeless sucker for neutrals for eyes and must take a peek at these next time I am at NM. Shade and Illuminate is calling my name…I am glad to hear that it is good for oily skin because sometimes I feel like the Kevyn Aucoin version contributes to excessive dewiness as the day wears on. I've heard very good things about the entire Eve Lom line. Right now, I cleanse with the Koh Gen Do Spa Water (I've stuck with the same product for over a year which is record for me!) but perhaps I will take a peek at Eve Lom next.

      Currently, I am looking to get the TF shade and illuminate and TF blush in Pink Frenzy over Thanksgiving weekend. Some new products I recently got and am loving include the Rouge Bunny Rouge bronzer in Goldcombe Bay (lighter than my favorite, At Netherway Cove, for winter), RBR blush in Gracilis. Guerlain Le 2 Volumizing Mascara (for amazingly lush lashes) and Sulwhasoo (a Korean brand known for skincare and powder) compact powder…so many products and such limited time for reviews!

      I am off to take some product images outdoors before I lose the sunlight…take care and do keep in touch!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm
    • Jodi K Gordon Reply

      Hey BP!
      FYI I am #3 in the veil!

      November 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Excellent! Thanks for the details!

      Enjoy the week, Jo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 19, 2012 at 3:05 am
  • ekirii Reply

    This looks lovely on you, but all foundations that I've seen on you look fantastic! I was so close to buying this the other day, but stopped myself. I'm still wondering whether to get the KA Sensual Skin Enhancer but haven't decided on a shade so… I don't know 🙁 But this looks lovely and I have nothing like it!

    November 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Ekirii,

      Thanks for the sweet comment! Your will power against this foundation is commendable!

      Here is what I can say about this vs. the KA SSE: it is a bit more expensive, a bit dewier in finish (but NOT oily or shimmery!), doesn't need to be blended with anything else (although it does "play well with others"…some days I like to use it to add extra coverage over a liquid foundation) and it is great to carry around in your makeup bag (though the SSE is quite small and makeup bag friendly as well).

      I think that the TF has a more natural finish and the KA SSE can look more "caked on" if one is not careful to use it extremely sparingly. Also, the TF has no obvious scent, but the SSE (as I stated in my original review) does (though most do not seem bothered by it like I was!).

      Perhaps these facts will be helpful in your decision!!

      Take care, do keep me posted and xo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      November 20, 2012 at 12:36 am
  • JoanneP @ The Convenient Beauty Reply

    I've been digging through all on-line review for this foundation. Love your thorough review and pictures. I tried #4 at the counter and it's really smooth. I would have to go back there soon… TF is addictive! Thanks for the lovely post. xx

    November 24, 2012 at 5:20 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello JoanneP,

      So good to hear from you…I love your blog! I am glad that you liked my post and completely agree…the entire TF line is extremely addictive (I just bought a few items to add to my collection yesterday!). What are some of your favorite TF products?

      Take care and talk soon!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 24, 2012 at 8:32 pm
  • Kate Reply

    Happy New Year!

    Do you think this is good for oily/combination skin? I have the liquid one and it is too sheer and oily for me. Thanks! 🙂


    January 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Kate…Happy New Year to you, too!!

      I have combination skin and I find it works perfectly…I agree that the liquid seems very sheer and too dewy. The stick has great coverage, and, when applied with a stippling brush, becomes one with the skin and doesn't fade away!

      Please let me know if you have other questions and talk soon…


      –The Beauty Professor

      January 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm
  • Celena Reply

    Hello Beauty Professor!

    Let me first say that I've enjoyed your blog since first discovering it a few months ago. Your reviews are thorough and very helpful, and we have similar tastes!

    I live in Boston and there isn't a full Tom Ford counter here – I have to order anything besides lipsticks online- which I hate doing when it comes to foundations, but c'est la vie!

    I'm really interested in your opinion- I have oily-combination skin (pretty oily in the center, normal on the perimeter) and I like a natural looking, long lasting foundation that's imperceptible. Do you have a favorite that you'd recommend? I'm toying with purchasing the TF foundation stick or the By Terry Cover Expert (I'd use each sparingly, just in the center of my face), but I'm not sure if those would be best suited for my needs.

    I usually stick to powder because it's so quick (Chanel Double Perfection), but want to change things up. Thanks for any advice!

    P.S. I also have a very neglected blog that I'm going to re-vamp soon, I'd love for you to take a peek!


    February 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hi Celena,

      Thanks for your kind words about my blog…it is wonderful to share similar tastes ; ) I have combination skin as well and find that the Tom Ford foundation stick works great without getting oily. By Terry Cover Expert provides an unheard of amount of coverage without looking obvious (while the TF is buildable) and also works well with combination skin. It just depends how much flexibility you want…the TF can go on sheer (if you wish) or be built to full coverage, while the Cover Expert is an immediate full coverage (though it looks velvet and flawless rather than masky!).

      I hope that helps…if you remember, do let me know what you settle upon!

      Thanks for sharing your blog address with me…I'll have to take a peek : )


      –The Beauty Professor

      March 1, 2013 at 2:20 am
  • Rebekah Reply

    Ok you are amazing at this, so I have to ask…what shade would you rec for someone who is a 4 in LMdB CFFF, Chanel Gentle Ivory, Guerlain 02 or 31? Your recommendation for my shade in LMdB was spot on! I feel so silly asking you for back to back shade advice, but I recently moved to an area where there is NOTHING! No counters, no Sephora, no MAC, no malls…nada! I love the CFFF, but I want so badly to add the Tom Ford stick and liquid to my rotation! When I saw your post on it, I couldn't help but ask for your advice 🙂 thank you again for the amazing blog, and for helping me find my shade in LMdB! It looks amazing! Hope all is well with you and you have a great weekend!

    June 8, 2013 at 10:05 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Thank you for your confidence, DocSmitty…I hope I am able to correctly suggest a shade once more ; ) I think that you are likely a #3 Fawn in the Tom Ford…it is a light beige for skin with yellow undertones (which is very similar to the LMdB #4). I truly hope this is helpful!

      Take care, have a lovely rest of the weekend and do keep me posted…xoxo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      June 8, 2013 at 11:34 pm
  • Rebekah Reply

    Thank you so much! You are so kind and I am so grateful to have you and your blog for a trusted reference! It's really a bummer to live somewhere that doesn't give me any access to swatch or test products…especially since I lived most of my life in a large city, then all of a sudden I find myself in the most rural place ever! LOL! I apologize for asking yet another question, but it seems that Fawn is sold out everywhere I have checked. Would Pale Dune be an option? I have had success with BB's foundations as well as the Amber range of Guerlain, so I just wasn't sure. However if Pale Dune is, in fact, too yellow…I'll wait patiently (err impatiently lol) for Fawn to restock :). Thank you again!! Have an awesome day!!

    June 10, 2013 at 12:58 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      My pleasure…happy to help! On a completely unrelated note of curiosity, what prompted your move from the big city to the rural hinterlands? I am always fascinated by the reasons behind people's moves from one place to another! I cannot believe that Fawn is sold out! Have you tried calling a Neiman Marcus Tom Ford counter directly? I suggest doing that because they typically have stock that the online website may not…I work with Jennessy at the TF counter at NM in Fashion Island (Newport Beach, CA) and she can be reached at (949) 759-1900 should you want to try there. I think that Pale Dune could be a good back up option (similar undertone as Fawn though a bit more yellow rather than yellow to neutral), but it is a bit lighter than the Fawn so that potentially could be a concern with summer basically here.

      I hope that is helpful…please keep me posted on what happens!


      –The Beauty Professor

      June 10, 2013 at 4:24 am
  • Rebekah Reply

    Wanted to update you…I found the traceless stick in fawn, ordered it, and I LOVE IT!!!!! The match is perfect, it's just sheer enough to let my freckles show thru but it evens out my skin beautifully! It just survived a horrible 97 degree day with 80% humidity, and then it survived the rain that followed! I was so sad because my current HG (Guerlain Parure Gold) has been dc'd, but I'm super happy now because this TF stick is definitely settling nicely in its place! I can't thank you enough! You're the best!!

    June 30, 2013 at 6:57 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello DocSmitty!

      Thanks so much for the update! I am thrilled that you are loving TF Fawn and am relieved that my recommendation worked for you. The formula is amazing, especially for a creme stick, no?! Once again, thank you for the happy news!

      Have a lovely rest of the weekend and talk soon…xoxo,

      –The Beauty Professor

      June 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm
  • Anonymous Reply

    I'm about an NC 25 and surprisingly Natural and Bisque were too dark for me. Do you think Fawn would be a good match or is it too light? I have light to medium skin with yellow undertones.


    July 26, 2013 at 3:28 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Leila,

      Thanks for the question! For those readers in your skin tone range who find Natural too dark, I've suggested Fawn and they've been happy. It is the next step lighter (while still having yellow undertones)…hope it works for you!

      xoxo and do keep me posted,

      –The Beauty Professor

      July 26, 2013 at 5:42 am
  • Unknown Reply

    Hi, I love your reviews and am looking for wedding makeup. I was at the Tom Ford counter today, and bought this foundation stick which is pricey so I was looking online for reviews. Looking at your photos (you are gorgeous by the way), it looks like it actually sinks into pores and lines and makes them more obvious. Do you find that to be the case?


    October 30, 2013 at 1:59 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hi Jean,

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I find that I get the best, most seamless, skin-like application with a limited amount of product and a good stippling foundation brush. When I apply a bit over primer (in my case, the Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge) with the aforementioned brush, it doesn't highlight pores or lines. What is your current application method?

      I hope that helps!


      –The Beauty Professor

      November 1, 2013 at 5:08 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *