Here on my blog, I want to talk to you about all of the things I love. But as a consumer, I also want to hear about the things people don’t love so much, so in a new series called ‘Spotlight on’, I’ll be talking about the products I love as well as those I didn’t get on so well with. Each post will focus on a particular brand or category and for the first post in the series, I’m going to talk about Charlotte Tilbury.
Launched in 2013, the brand has gone from strength to strength, gathering quite the cult following along the way. Already with an impressive 84 awards under its belt, it’s fair to say that it’s one of the current favourites of the beauty community.
I tried Charlottle Tilbury products soon after the flagship Covent Garden store launched, and was instantly drawn in by the stunning rose gold packaging and wide range of products. Along with some friends, I made an appointment at the Boudoir to learn more about the products and how best to apply them.
Truth be told, I wasn’t that impressed. The look I tried really didn’t suit me, and the make up artist was quite rude & pushy. The whole experience left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth so I picked up a couple of the products I liked and went home.
Fortunately, I was actually quite impressed with everything I got to the point where I’m actually a little obsessed! So here’s the lowdown on what I rate and what I hate…
This was the first thing I bought from Charlotte Tilbury and to this day it remains a firm favourite. At first, I thought the Sculpt shade was a little warm for a contour, but it’s the one contour powder I keep going back to as it’s just perfect on my skin tone. The highlight is a beautiful, subtle gold, which can be natural when a small amount is applied or it can be amped up with a heavier application. I’ve just bought a new one as I’ve completely run out! It’s pricey, but well worth every penny.
Wonderglow is marketed as a primer with skincare benefits. It gives a soft focus finish to the skin and looks lovely & dewy underneath your foundation without looking greasy. I’ve used this on my skin when it’s been dry and when it’s been oily and it always looks good. I can’t say it does anything for my skin long term, but it does a good job as a primer. It’s £38.50 for 40ml, so in comparison to some other similar products like the Becca Backlight Priming Filter, 30ml (£32, Space NK) or the Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer in Dim Light, 30ml (£36, Space NK), it’s good value for money.
Available in a range of colours, this is probably the best lip liner I’ve ever used. I have 2 shades, Pink Venus & Pillow Talk, both of which have a soft, creamy texture and apply beautifully. Charlotte’s best seller, Pillow Talk, is my favourite shade. It’s a slightly pink nude tone which is the perfect ‘your lips but better’ shade.
This is my go-to matte formula. It’s creamy upon application but dries down to a soft matte texture. It’s a little drying, like all matte formulas, but it’s the least drying matte I’ve ever used. I have a couple of shades; Pillow Talk, Very Victoria & Love Liberty as well as Secret Salma from the Hot Lips collection. Just like the Lip Cheat liner, Pillow Talk is my favourite shade. It compliments my skin tone perfectly and goes with pretty much any look. I love it so much that I stockpiled 4 tubes when it was launched as a limited edition, but it seems like it’s now permanently available online. If you’re looking for a long lasting, non-drying matte lipstick, look no further.
Another of my initial Charlotte Tibury purchases was the K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in the shade Bitch Perfect. I got this when I was first starting to delve into wearing lipstick, and found it to be a great shade when I felt self-conscious about wearing lipstick. The formula is really creamy, very mositurising and is surprisingly long lasting. This colour wears beautifully, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying too often, even after eating.
I picked this up in the sale recently as I’d had my eye on it for a while. Perfect for travelling, the palette contains everything you need for a quick, natural look on the go. It has 3 eyeshadows to create a soft, subtle look, the same contour & highlight shades as the Light to Medium Filmstar Bronze & Glow kit and two blush shades. It’s smaller than I thought it would be, so I can’t see it lasting for very long. But for travelling, it’s perfect. You just need this, a primer, foundation, concealer, powder & lipstick and you’re good to go. Oh, and it’s got a great mirror in the compact too!
During my visit to the Boudoir in Covent Garden, I tried the Uptown Girl palette, which was a mixture of soft gold & silvery grey tones. It really didn’t work for me as the shades just didn’t suit me, so it put me off trying any of the others. Then the limited edition Legendary Muse palette was launched, and I had to have it as it’s definitely more me. The eyeshadows themselves are lovely and buttery, and they apply well. You can build them up for a heavier look, or keep them sheer. The ‘pop’ shade is best applied with your fingers but I can never get the same payoff I see on Charlotte’s tutorial videos. All in all, the palette is nice – but for the price, I’d rather have the original Urban Decay Naked palette where you get WAY more for the same money.
I’ve always loved the idea of cream eyeshadows, as they’re so quick and easy to use. I recently picked up the Eyes to Mesmerise shadow in the shade Marie Antoinette, which is a gorgeous oyster gold colour. It applies beautifully, and sets down quite quickly, so you have to work fast. Most eyeshadows, cream and powder, crease on me even with primer as I have the most oily lids on the planet, but this did last well. A little goes a long way, so good value for money.
I tried this during my visit to the Boudoir, and didn’t rate it much. I had high hopes, but it just didn’t look that great on my skin. It was a little dry looking for my normal skin and it dried with streaky brush marks. However, my skin has changed again recently and is now very oily, so I’ve given this another go. I ordered 2 samples online with my last couple of orders, and gambled with the shade selection and went with Number 3, Fair. The shade is a little warm as it oxidises slightly, so I’m probably nearer Number 2, Fair. But I now love this and will be making a purchase soon! Applied with a damp beauty blender, there’s no sign of any streaky marks like when applied with a brush, and it lasts all day. Coverage is buildable but natural, and it controlled my oily areas nicely. I was also able to go without concealer when I applied some foundation with my finger over any blemishes, so it’s definitely a winner!
So, they’re the products I love but sadly, there are a couple I’m not so mad on…
This is now completely out of stock, but I picked this up in the recent summer sale on the Charlotte Tilbury website. I’ve always favoured a pinky toned highlighter over a golden tone, so when I saw this in the sale I snapped it up.
The packaging is gorgeous, and in the pan, the highlighter is a lovely soft, shell pink colour. Swatched, it looks like the perfect pink shade but when applied to the cheekbones with a brush, it just disappears. I’ve tried layering this to get more of a glow but with no joy. I think this would be great for those who prefer a VERY subtle highlight, but for me, it just doesn’t cut it. I’m so glad I got this in the sale, as I would be extremely upset if I’d paid full price for it.
This is the product I’m most disappointed with. I’ve been searching high & low for a clear brow gel which rivals the one you get at the end of the Soap & Glory Archery Crayon. That is hands down the best brow gel ever, but it’s frustrating that the gel runs out long before the pencil. I like the small brush you get with that product, so when I saw the tiny brush with the Legendary Brows clear brow gel, I thought I was onto a winner. Sadly not. There’s barely any products in the tube, it dries white & crispy and runs out within about a week with daily use. A huge waste of £18.50!
So that’s it for my Charlotte Tilbury round up. I’d love to know which products you love from the range, as well as those you didn’t like. Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram.
Stay tuned for the next in the series, which will be my overview on the much loved brand, Hourglass.