Charlotte Tilbury was the first exceptionally high-end luxury brand that I bought from, and the company is synonymous with natural, you-but-better products – but it’s also known for high price tags. There’s always been a debate about whether makeup is the same at high-end brands and at the drugstore but just with fancy packaging, but I’ve never really bought into that argument. I find that a lot of drugstore concealers, for example, irritate my skin and, generally speaking, I’ve always preferred the formula of setting powders, eyeshadows and lipsticks, as other examples, from higher-end brands – but that’s just for me and my preferences! (I’m also lucky enough to be able to afford high-end makeup, and I think products have a brilliant cost-per-use even at a high-end price point).
With saying all that though, I do think that some of the price points of luxury makeup are ridiculous, and it’s especially irritating (and downright wrong) when the quality of the products don’t match it’s cost and what it’s been hyped up to be through clever marketing. The public, especially people who don’t have the time to regularly watch makeup reviews on YouTube, are drawn into a sense of security and believe that every item they buy from high-end brands will be amazing, which isn’t the case. Some brands are better than others, but I urge you to read up about a product you’ve got your eye on before you buy it, especially if the price tag is high!
Charlotte Tilbury has always been one of my favourite brands, so I thought it would be a good idea to go through all of the products that I own or have tried from the brand and tell you what my thoughts are about each one and whether I think they are worth the money!
MATTE REVOLUTION LIPSTICKS – £25
Even though, generally, I do prefer the feel of a cream lipstick, I adore the Charlotte Tilbury’s matte ones. The formula is somewhat of a hybrid – even though it’s definitely on the matte side, it does have a comfortable feel and gives the lips a cushioning sheen. My favourite shades are Charlotte’s iconic Pillow Talk shade and Very Victoria (which was named after Victoria Beckham – the majority of Charlotte’s lipsticks are named after her famous friends and clients!). Worth the money? Yes.
K.I.S.S.I.N.G LIPSTICKS – £25
The K.I.S.S.I.N.G formula is the name given to Charlotte’s range of cream lipsticks, and they almost have a glossy shine to them. My favourite shade is Penelope Pink, which was named after Penelope Cruz, and is a light nude with a pink undertone, which is amazing for my super fair skin. With all cream lipsticks, the way you apply them will determine how good they look, whether this be one from the drugstore, a mid-price point brand or a luxury one. I’ve found that if I don’t prep my lips properly (i.e. remove dry skin and hydrate accordingly) and apply the lipstick in a windscreen wiper motion, light coloured cream lipsticks never look good on me. Also, the backwards and forwards motion is a recipe for disaster as it weakens the base of the bullet and makes it vulnerable to snapping. I’ve found that by using a tapping motion to slowly build up the product on my lips is so much better and is a foolproof technique. The only way you can get away with windscreen wiping a lipstick on is if you don’t have many creases in your lips! Worth the money? Yes, if you apply them correctly.
LIP CHEATS – £17
Charlotte’s lip cheats, aka lip liners, are the longest lasting formula out of all the ones that I’ve tried! Even though they’re creamy, they’re completely smudge proof and come in a range of beautiful nudes, pinks, reds and browns. What’s more, they’re only about a pound more than the MAC ones which aren’t as long lasting. If I had one complaint, I wish there were more colours – specifically lighter ones, as the lightest ones that I feel comfortable wearing on a day-to-day basis are Pillow Talk, Iconic Nude and Pink Venus, which to a lot of people will sound like I have plenty of choice, but still…I wish I had more options! However, in saying that, I think the lip cheats are completely worth the money.
FILMSTAR BRONZE & GLOW – £49
I love this product. The Bronzing/Sculpting side of this iconic duo is a perfect bronzer shade for me with my fair skin tone, however, you need to be careful not to press too hard on your skin because I’ve found that it can lift up coverage from your foundation/concealer/powder and it has a tendency to latch on to dry patches as well. If you use a light hand this doesn’t happen. The fine formula is subtly pigmented, yet buildable and doesn’t look powdery. The highlighter is exceptionally soft and gentle yet can be layered to achieve a more intense shine. It’s really pretty and is loved by a lot of celebrities and models. Even though I do think £49 is a lot of money, you are getting a bronzer/contour and a highlighter for this price and each pan is similar to the size that you’d get if you were buying each type of product singularly from different brands – plus, I use the bronzing shade every single day, so I definitely get my money’s worth from it. The only criticism I have is that the bronzing/sculpting shade from the light-medium palette will be more of a contour shade on the majority of light-medium skin tones, but it’s still beautiful! I (for obvious reasons) haven’t tried the medium-deep version on myself, so I can’t pass comment on whether or not I believe this product is suitable for darker skin tones. Worth the price? Yes, especially if the ‘natural’ look is your preference.
BEAUTY LIGHT WAND – £29
The Beauty Light Wand in the shade Spotlight is by far one of my favourite Charlotte Tilbury products that I’ve ever tried! The undertone is suitable even for fair skin, so you can’t see a visible and opaque coloured streak on your cheekbones, and it’s exceptionally easy to blend (I use the Fenty Beauty Bronzing Brush to lightly buff the product out). It can give quite an intense shine when the light hits your skin, but it is beautiful. Also, something to point out, if you touch your face a lot during the day, this product will transfer and lessen over time as you won’t set it with a powder, so keep your fingers off your skin! What’s more, from the amount of product that you need compared to the size of the tube, I can tell that the cost-per-use will be really good. Worth the price? Yes, 100%.
MAGIC AWAY CONCEALER – £24
So many people love this concealer, but it creases REALLY badly on me within a couple of minutes no matter how much or how little I put on and what powder I used to set it. Even though I tried it a few times in different ways and it never worked for me, I still want to give it another go just to make sure I wasn’t having a moment! However, as none of us want to have a bad makeup day and we don’t often have the time to do our makeup twice in the morning, I haven’t managed to test it again, however, I’m pretty sure I won’t change my mind. I found it quite difficult to blend out as it’s relatively thick. So, for me personally, I don’t think it’s worth the price, but I’m reluctant to write it off completely since so many YouTubers have said they enjoy it, but ultimately that was my experience!
LUXURY PALETTES – £40-£42
I only have one of the 4-pan Luxury Palettes, namely, the Pillow Talk one, which I absolutely adore and wear regularly on work days as it’s so easy to use and the colours are flattering and pretty. However, I have to admit that none of the other colour stories, except for the 4-pan metallic Pillow Talk Palette of Pops, get me excited, especially considering each of these palm-sized palettes are £40. Let’s compare them to eyeshadows from Jaclyn Hill x Morphe, Makeup Geek and Anastasia Beverly Hills: with these three brands you are getting more shadows for your money which have a higher level of pigmentation and are easier to blend (the ABH ones can be a tad patchy on a section of my eyelid in all fairness). Like I said, I LOVE my Pillow Talk Luxury palette, but I’m exceptionally lucky that I can afford a £40 4-pan eyeshadow palette, and truthfully, for the majority of people, I’d recommend you’d try a different product from a different brand before you splash the cash on the current Luxury Palettes on offer. However, if you are a “natural makeup” lover, I think you’d enjoy them and use them all the time. For me personally, I just don’t think the colour stories and the formulas match up to a £40 price tag for 4 eyeshadows, however, somebody else might completely disagree with me! If you like “natural makeup” formulas and the colours within these palettes, you’ll get great use out of these products, but what I really want to stress is that I’d suggest you only buy this product if you really like the colours so you will get great value for your money. So, in saying all that – worth the money? Yes, if you love a “natural makeup” look AND you love the colours, otherwise I’d suggest that you’re better off purchasing a palette elsewhere.
All in all, makeup isn’t a one-size-fits-all. We all have different requirements and preferences, and that’s the beauty of having such a vast industry with hundreds (if not thousands) of products on offer. There are products which the majority of people will love, and then there will be products that, for 50% of customers, will become staples in their collection, and for the other 50%, they will never use them again. With that said, I want to stress that these are just my personal opinions and that you might have a different experience than myself. I always try to keep my reviews fair and kind, and I can’t wait to see what other products Charlotte Tilbury release in the near future and to try out the ones I haven’t already!