Review | Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquer in 13 Carnal Red

Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquer in 13 Carnal Red

I recently tried this crimson polish, a gift from the Tom Ford launch event in Singapore.

I wasn’t sure about which nail colour to buy when I made my first purchases at the brand’s Tangs Orchard boutique, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a nail lacquer inside the gift bag.

Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquer in Carnal Red NOTD

A red with a cherry-fuchsia undertone, it is beautiful at first application and striking with subsequent layers. The brush is somewhat narrow but deposits colour easily (I didn’t make many mistakes, despite not having the precise application talent of nail bloggers).

It dries fairly quickly too, thanks to its somewhat-thin consistency. Unfortunately, this also means it’s not opaque enough – look closely and you will see visible nail line…this, despite 3 layers. And for S$45 (12 ml), I’d expect nothing short of richness and density of colour, a luxurious creaminess. It’s a pity its texture doesn’t reflect its price and high-end pedigree. It stains my nails too, like many reds.

Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquer in 13 Carnal Red Tip Wear

That said, its lasting power redeems itself to some degree. Pictured above is the lacquer on Day 4: minimal tip wear – surprisingly even – and no signs of shrinking from the sides, a sure prelude to flaking. I did use Zoya Anchor Base Coat and Poshé Super-Fast Drying Top Coat, which might have attributed to this (though I do not see this with other nail shades using the same combination) or it might be that 3 coats of the varnish extends its wear.

Whichever the case, I wasn’t expecting it to last this long, not with the surge of washing and cooking I had to do last week. Reds have a habit of chipping on me too, so I was glad for its long-wearing characteristic.

Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquer in 13 Carnal Red NOTD

Would I purchase another Tom Ford nail lacquer? Perhaps. Though the thin consistency isn’t up to par and I despair at seeing the slight translucency, I’m actually impressed by the lasting power of Carnal Red. It might’ve been the Zoya and the Poshé, in which case the tenacity of the combination is undeniable.

Moreover, the tonal finesse is a plus point: The scarlet hue itself is stunning and a little unusual, being underscored by the coolness of the fuchsia. (I think this would be the perfect ‘SQ red’, an ideal red polish for the Singapore Airlines flight attendants.)

I love the luxe heft of the bottle too, as well as its shape – there’s something very chic and modern about angular bottles.

Tom Ford Nail Lacquers at Tangs Orchard

I only hope the other varnishes are just as lasting and uncommon; better yet, creamier. Perhaps the deeper colours would be richer and less sheer…we’ll see.

Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquer in Carnal Red Made in France and Ingredient List

Like Chanel Le Vernis, Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquers are made in France. For more thoughts on the Tom Ford polishes, do read Joey’s review of 09 Plum Noir and Sophia’s post on 16 Bordeaux Lust.


  • Hey Mag,
    Thanks for the review! I am actually reading TF lacquers online to know what people really feels about this. I actually love this Carnal Red shade, so sexy and bright :)

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Meryl,

      You’re welcome. I like how you described this polish! It is very stunning. I only wish its formula were richer.

  • wickermoss says:

    hi Mag!

    your blog is one site I always browse every morning.
    not only you give straight revs; simple pics that strikes the readers with the exact message you want to convey.

    and! best part, the way you interact with us:) love that you take extra time replying. I believe it is really one way to engage…with sincerity and all. More power! x

    • makeupmag says:

      Hello Wickermoss,

      This was such a lovely comment. Thank you!

      I know that many people who read my blog prefer to simply read and move on but sometimes it feels like I’m talking to myself, ha! So reading this was heart-warming. Have a happy weekend!

  • I purposely didn’t look at the polishes when I finally made it to a Tom Ford counter. I have a problem when it comes to buying polish and I just didn’t want to add to that problem by not resisting. I’m glad I didn’t since it sounds pretty but it isn’t all positives.

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Mar,

      Do give it a go, nonetheless, when you’re ready; I am rather impressed by how long Carnal Red lasted. I think I might cave on Bordeaux Lust!

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