Charlotte Tilbury Light/Medium (3) Hollywood Flawless Filter ($44.00 for 1.00 fl. oz.) is a light-medium, orange-leaning gold with warm undertones and a luminous, glowing sheen. This shade definitely had more depth than Fair or Light (both of which were more close in depth), so for all-over use and mixing, it should be most appropriate for light to medium skin tones. I’m light to light-medium, and it warmed up my natural skin tone but not in a way that felt like I had just self-tanned, so I could get away with using this shade all-over for a slightly warmer look overall.
As a standalone highlighter, it gave a dewy, luminous sheen that was a pinch warm but not orange against my skin tone, which I was happy to see as the swatch had me concerned! The texture was smooth, lightweight, and spreadable with a thinner, gel-like feel that was emollient enough to slide well over skin but absorbed quickly and mixed well with moisturizer and foundation without significantly altering their texture or application. It applied well over my bare skin as well as patted on top of foundation. For more targeted application, I like using my fingertips, as I just find I get the best blend and least chance of movement in base products (in general, across liquid and cream formulations).
I also liked taking this particular shade along the perimeter of my face (like a bronzer), diffusing with fingertips or a lightly dampened sponge, and then layering foundation. It’ll be key to pick a foundation without full coverage if you want to layer this product underneath it or else the foundation will cover the majority of the effect (if using full coverage, I’d recommend mixing it in with the foundation or applying in top, as it’s still drying, and gently dabbing and blending on high points).
It wore well for eight and a half hours well as a standalone highlighter, and as a primer, it didn’t extend the wear that I could tell, but it didn’t shorten the wear either and definitely made my skin appear a bit smoother and glowier, just as it was marketed to do as a primer.
FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).
- Tom Ford Beauty Scintillate (Illuminate) (LE, ) is less shimmery (90% similar).
- Becca Orbit (2) (P, $30.00) is darker, cooler (90% similar).
- Charlotte Tilbury Fair (2.5) (P, $44.00) is less shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar).
- Smashbox Gilded Rose (LE, $39.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar).
- Zoeva Liquid Clock (PiP, ) is more pigmented (90% similar).
- Becca Moondance (3) (-, $30.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar).
- Hourglass Glistening Strobe Light (LE, $40.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar).
- Becca Royal Glow (LE, $38.00) is more shimmery, more pigmented (90% similar).
- Becca Light Seeker (2.5) (P, $30.00) is darker (90% similar).
- Make Up For Ever #02 (P, $39.00) is more shimmery, more pigmented (85% similar).
$44.00/1 oz. - $44.00 Per Ounce
The formula is supposed to be a "customizable complexion booster" that can be used as a primer, highlighter, or mixed with base products. The line includes seven shades, like a more typical foundation or concealer range, but they have sheerer coverage and fine pearl, so there is some flexibility, though for added luminosity (but not altering color) all-over, one would want to choose a shade closer to their actual skin tone.
It has a jumbo-sized, doe-foot applicator, which I preferred for spot highlighting and priming but isn't as functional for mixing in with base products (compared to a pump). I find that the lighter shades look very similar when mixed with foundation or layered under it, so the shade range is more flexible than it might seem (for some skin tones).
The texture was smooth and lightweight, like a thin gel-based primer in feel, so the product easily spread across my skin for an all-over application (worn as primer, per the brand), and it made my skin look radiant. I can see one person finding that finish to look "oily," and another person to feel like it looks beautifully glowing--it's definitely very radiant on its own, so I'd recommend strategically applying it over bare skin, like a very diffused highlighter, or mixing it in with moisturizer if you're someone who wants glow but not full-on dewiness.
I also liked to gently swiped the product on using the included doe-foot applicator on the high planes of my face, diffused and blended (over a greater area than I would have if using it specifically to highlight my cheekbones) and gently dabbed foundation over it. I recommend using a sheer to medium coverage foundation over something full coverage, because full coverage will work better when it's mixed in otherwise the coverage level will tamp down the luminosity quite a bit.
As a standalone highlighter, it gave me a lit-from-within-glow that was luminous but not tacky or truly glossy, just looked dewy on my skin. It worked as well over bare skin as it did blended on top of foundation for me. On its own, it lasted well for nine hours with minimal fading and no migration as a cheek highlighter. As a primer, it seemed to help my makeup go on more smoothly but I didn't notice any extension of wear (but no shortening either); though the brand made no claim about it extending longevity, only that it would improve the finish and give skin a glow (so I didn't rate it down for not extending the wear).
Browse all of our Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter swatches.
Aqua/Water/Eau, Hydrogenated Didecene, Mica, Glycerin, Propanediol, Squalane, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Isoamyl Laurate, Hydrogenated Styrene/Isoprene Copolymer, Sodium Chloride, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydroxyacetophenone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Glycosaminoglycans, Hoya Lacunosa Flower Extract, [May Contain/Peut Contenir (+/-): Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).
Disclaimer: Ingredient lists are as available by the brand (or retailer) at the time of publishing. Please always check product packaging, if it exists, for the ingredient list applicable to the product you're purchasing, or the brand or retailer's website for the most up-to-date ingredient list.