Introduction to Charlotte Tilbury

Introduction to Charlotte Tilbury

I’m new to this brand. Where should I start?

A Few Notes | Charlotte Tilbury’s most iconic product is likely her Magic Cream, which is a moisturizer (and now comes in additional types of products, like eye and night creams). I love almost everything about the Eyes to Mesmerise cream eyeshadow formula, but they did crease on me, which is why I’ve only recommended the most interesting and versatile of the shades there, but they’re well-worth trying if you have decent luck with cream eyeshadows (some readers reported no creasing, others had similar experiences) and primer will help.

What would you recommend to someone just trying Charlotte Tilbury for the first time?





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Laura Avatar

When you’re talking “iconic” don’t leave out lip cheat in Pillowtalk! I am intrigued by CT, but we don’t have a counter where I can test it out here. I think the Eyes to Mesmerize was my first product and it’s a major dud IMHO. It creased and was streaky, and Beautylish was extremely thoughtful about returning. I also have flimstar bronze and glow, Very Victoria, Bitch Perfect, and constantly reach for Cheek to Chic in Loveglow. I’d be interested to hear about what people think about the quads or the “sets” i.e. “The Bombshell.” I do find it annoying that everything has these “bedroom-y” names, and that trend in general. It seems kind of forced. Beautylish, Nordstroms, and Net-a-porter (who has amazing stuff) have been my main places to buy, all with great customer service since I can’t swatch, etc.

Christine Avatar

I’ve heard good things about Pillow Talk! I’ve heard more about Magic Cream, though – from beginning of when her line was first announced ’til now with the additional products! 🙂 Not only that, but it is the one product that has had soooo much hype but has had quite mixed reviews.

Nicole Avatar

I have both those items. The Pillowtalk is nice. But, I honestly didn’t think it was any better than UD or MAC pro long wear and it seems like a small amount. I really hardly wear it. I just don’t reach for it much because it got worn down to a nub within a few weeks. The color is really pretty though. But, I don’t like lip liner without a lipstick over. I guess I could try a gloss. The magic cream- I hated! The scent is so strong. It’s really nicely hydrating. But, the scent was just too much. I got really annoyed with Beautylish about it. I had purchased a TON of her stuff when she first rolled it out in the US and I had waited to try the cream. I contacted them on the 30th day and they wouldn’t let me return. I tried to give it to my mom, and my sister. They couldn’t take the smell. I finally got my friend to try it. She said it broke her out. I told her to just pitch it! lol! I do love the shadow form the Eyes to Mesmerize in On the prowl and her quads and Bitch Perfect and Cochella Coral lipsticks. Cochella Coral is just like summer in a tube. I need some of the newer ones. No counter makes us small town people less likely to buy after a bad experience!

Nicole Avatar

This is really helpful for me because there is no CT counter near me. I was looking at the Fallen Angel Quad and almost bought it. But, I notice your comment on the similarity to TF Nude Dip. How similar are we talking? 🙂

Christine Avatar

Two shades (the lighter beige and taupe) from Fallen Angel are similar to Tom Ford’s Nude Dip. The black is obviously the most different shade, whereas the medium-dark copper is similar but not as exact (darker) than the one in the TF quad! The formulas are very similar, though.

Nicole Avatar

Okay..hmm. sounds pretty close. Black is pretty easy to bring in & I already have Nude Dip. So, probably a skip for me. But, you know me. I’ll see how heavy it weighs on my mind and for how long. I noticed it was LE in 2014?! Just an observation. Seems weird it was still available.

Nancy T Avatar

So far, I have nothing from Charlotte Tilbury. I would probably want to try out one of her lipsticks first. Have had Bitch Perfect on my wishlist forever, but just today realized how close it seems to resemble MAC Reel Sexy, which I own. The eyeshadow quads, particularly The Uptown Girl, look really good. Great starter guide, Christine!

Joy Avatar

Nicole: Hi! The packaging drives me nuts! Let’s toss around a pressed powder in an inconvenient case. Works so well! ?! I prefer a brush but you can buy bulk puffs at a stage makeup store and use one on an elastic to keep one strapped to you at all times. ? It’s a nice powder. Delicate thing too. I’m glad someone else likes it!

Joy Avatar

You are welcome Nicole! Camera Ready Cosmetics and Amazon have deals often. If you get the smaller ones with a satin like strap on one side for putting your fingers under, you can do a bookmark style knot with a soft hairband elastic easy. When you put the loop around the satin band and gather the rest of the elastic through it and pull. Is that a pull knot? I’m not Christian Grey. Don’t know. Glad to help! The useless velvet pouches that most HE makeup comes in? Put a puff in it! Put it in your pocket! No mess. Like you said, at least it has a mirror. ? Have you tried the magic two sides pen for eyes? That looks interesting. I’d like to test drive it. I say go for the quads! She was the creator of many Tom Ford products.. Just sayin.. They worked together a lot. Similarities in the line aren’t coincidence to me. It’s just talk.. ?

Nicole Avatar

I totally agree, It’s not a coincidence in the similarity between the two lines. I have I think all her other quads-except Fallen Angel (i think). I bought them ALL upon release. It’s hard for me to keep up because there is not a counter near me. So, I tend to get lazy on it. Nope, not tried the the pens! If you try them, LMK what you think! Nice tip on the knot Christian! Haha! Okay..I think I need the fallen Angel Quad. I can order it from Nordy’s so it can be returned. That always pushes me over the line. 🙂

Jill Ruben Avatar

Thanks to you both. I have read it is worth purchasing. Apparently it is milled so finely a review said they put on 2xs an hr for 8 hrs and never had caked face. I’ve purchased 4 of her quads and love the texture of all. Using any other palettes feels like chalk now and the pigments don’t last for longer than a few hours. My only complain is they only build so much. If you don’t really build, one can barely tell you have anything on. BUT, they last all day with no creasing whatsoever. Just tried Cheek to Chic blush. It’s okay. Not thrilled as I thought I would be. Also just received pillow talk. I didn’t know they don’t last long as far as amount which is disappointing. Iconic Nude is the best nude liner I have ever found. This is a great site!!!!!! So happy I found.

Joy Avatar

🙂 Sounds like you and CT get along well. I do love that powder. Lightest shade still too dark for me I make it work! So good! Love CT Lipstick too. If you’ve not tried they have cute 3 bundle of minis to try Her mattes are one of most hydrating formula for a matte. Looks like healthy satin lips.

Jill Ruben Avatar

+Joy Loved your comment and yes I am hooked BIG time. If I didn’t have to feed my College aged sons I wouldn’t and would just buy, buy,buy. Received 3 boxes in mail this week .HAHA. Placing order today. Her products are like no other. More importantly, thank you on your review on her Mattes. I was thinking of getting Bond Girl. As I said I only wear nudes ,Penelope Pink, B.I.T.C.H. Perfect and Kate Nude but want to try some color finally. I am going to check out the minis you recommended now, probably going in the order as well.. Sure hope you get this message. I want to order the Beach Sticks with spring coming. Any thoughts on those? Also finally getting her Filmstar Bronze and glow. All reviews give her powder products the highest ratings because how finely milled they are. The quads are simply beautiful, never crease and last . Thanks again. Hope I hear back from you.

Joy Avatar

Also: I don’t have the LE holiday ones Jatharine has luck with. I have the full size in every color. They could be difference in the size formula? The perms are super nice. Maybe try one that feels safe to you for crappy use if it still fails you. At least you’ll know. ? Travel sizes always feel different to me. Again I did not get those so I don’t know how I’d rate what you had a meh experience with. ?

Katherine T. Avatar

*I thought her Rock N Kohl Eyeliners were awesome! I have 4 colors (Bedroom Black, Sapphire Sex, Supernova, and Amber Moon), and they are all super smooth, pigmented (or easily built up), and lasted +17 hrs on my oily lids. I know they didn’t review well on Temptalia, but I seriously think there’s a QC issue because mine wasn’t dry, didn’t tug at all, or go on patchy. If she comes out with a holiday set, I will grab for best value. But in case you get a bad batch, recommend buying where you can easily return.
*Thought her Nocturnal Eyes shadows were pretty, although pricey. Amber Moon was my fave, followed by Saphire Sex, and On the Prowl. I was on the verge of returning On the Prowl (mine had lots of fallout even with primer and only a little bit of shimmer), but I got it to work over a cream shadow, so will keep, as the color makes a nice smoky purple eye. Again, probable QC issue as the shadow reviewed well on Temptalia.
*Got a sample of her Magic Cream and liked it (does moisturize and blur well), but can’t justify $100 a jar, and it smells like rosewater
*Airbrush Face Powder -nice, finely milled, but not a lot of product and pricey at $45, but the color medium is a good match for me, so will keep

Katherine T. Avatar

Oh I forgot about Fallen Angel Quad! Yes, the colors are very dupe-able, but it’s nice to have all of the colors in one quad, it’s a workhorsefor me (except at Thoroughbred prices) and the packaging and embossing are stunning. Not sure if I would pay full price for it, but I got a good deal over the holidays.

Katherine T. Avatar

I think Christine described the color/tone differences between Nude Dip and Fallen Angel pretty well. I’ve only swatched Nude Dip in store, and while Fallen Angel is pretty good, Nude Dip has the superior formula. Both of the kits have neutral colors that are pretty common, so you will probably find multiple dupes in your stash. I picked Fallen Angel because I liked the how the shades contrasted more with each other than in Nude Dip, liked the stars embossing (although it fades after some uses), and I got a sweet deal on it over the holidays. I was eyeing Nude Dip, but not going to buy it until I make a dent in my stash of neutral shadows.

Nicole Avatar

I see. Well, I don’t have quite the willpower you do. I wear neutrals most days. I don’t even know why I’m buying these bright colors anymore. I made it one of my resolutions to try to figure out how to wear them in a way that flattered me that didn’t look like a clown! I can add a color or two. But, I can’t seem to pull off the full-on “parrot” look anymore. So, anyway, I ordered Fallen Angel yesterday,lol! I ordered it from Nordstrom. I have had Nude Did for some time and love it. I do often with if had a matte something in it. But, if I feel there is too much similarity, I’ll return it. $65 is too much to sit on. Thanks for your response!

Sarah Avatar

I really love my Amazing Grace lippie. I know that it got lower ratings here (B I think?), but the shade is just such a lovely pink. I wore it on my wedding day and it held up very well, never transferred on my hubby, and only needed a couple touchups throughout the day/night. I’m even wearing it in my profile pic!

Darcy Avatar

I highly recommend that before you purchase any of the skin care products ( masks, creams etc) that you check them out in person due to the heavy fragrance in some. You may love the scent. I did not, in fact on the mask in particular, I would not repurchase for that reason- it was overwhelming. I love Bitch Perfect- and am on tube #3, the Lip Cheat (lip liner) in Pillowtalk is fantastic-and the blush brush is my favorite. None of the skincare and foundation and primer items inspire me to repurchase. Other things are better. Did not care for the Magic Cream- again other things are better, especially for the money.

Darcy Avatar

I did not really see a $70/ tube difference in my skin that was much different than most other clay masks. In the masking world, to me it seems that a clay mask is kind of a clay mask- as a generalization. That said, I have not experienced any awe from glamglow either- seems as though they have a lot of hype, but I do not see a difference in the result vs a less expensive clay based masks like ones you can pick up at Whole Foods like Aztek Secret $6 which has a cult following. The only exception to this is the May Lindstrom mask that is a dry powder that includes clay and other ingredients that you add water to and apply to your face with a brush- this is a stellar product- very unique and I noticed a big (improved) difference in my skin afterward. (This has a scent that is a result of the natural contents, and I actually surprisingly, like it.) Generally speaking, I am inclined to spend masking money on hydrating type masks vs clay ones. But then everyone has their preferences. It is the frangipani scent in the CT that is just way too powerful. I have pretty normal skin.

Fran Avatar

I’m not sure why, but so for there hasn’t been a product from Charlotte Tilbury that excited me enough to order it sight unseen. Maybe in the future, or if I get a chance to actually see and swatch them.

pePear Avatar

I really love her Lip Cheat products there are something about it that really help my lipsticks to stay put until I want to removed it! it’s smooth enough to not tug and dry your lip but not too creammy that make lipstick or gloss live shorter,especially Pillow Talk this color I repurchased so many time I stop counting! and other than the products in Christine’s list above her Air Brush Micro Powder is also one of my favorite powder I often used it with fluffy brushes during the day when my T-zone get oily(I have combination skin,FYI) it’s sheer and smooth so you can used without it’s cake on your skin

Laura Avatar

I have the Bronze and Glow contour and highlight, the Light Wonder foundation, as well as two KISSING lipsticks. I love everything about the powders and foundation. I was so disappointed with my lipsticks though. The colour stays on for a long time and the colors are lovely…Bitch Perfect and Stoned Rose…but they dry my lips out to the point of making my lips crack. I wear them now, but not daily. I cannot repurchase those I guess. Bitch Perfect is a great nude. It is too bad.

Jan Avatar

Love her nude lipsticks, Nude Kate, Bitch Perfect, Penelope Pink and Hepburn Honey. All are rich and creamy without smearing. I also have her matte formula in Miss Kensington and Very Victoria. They are not typical matters. They have a slight sheen. I have a terrible time with lip products. I usually end up with cracked, peeling and sometimes bleeding lips. I have never had a problem with any of her lip products. Her blush is creamy and very bendable. I have Ectasy and Sex On Fire. The names are pretty creepy, I’ll admit!
I do like her Magic Cream. I use it during the day in the winter and as my night cream. I love her Wonder Glow. It’s kind of a primer. But, you won’t look like a disco ball. Lastly, I’ve been wearing her new Magic Foundation. It is full coverage, supposedly matte but it feels light and just looks like amazing skin. It doesn’t have that flat look. Unfortunately it is only available in Great Britain. I rarely use eye shadow. So I’m no help there.

Tracey E. Avatar

When I was first introduced to the brand, I walked away with the Multi-Miracle Glow cleanser, which I enjoy using from time to time. A little goes a very, very long way, so I felt I got good value for money. The first time I had a makeover at a CT counter, I felt the luxury of Miracle Cream and OMG, did it ever feel luxurious on the skin. At that encounter, I purchased the eyebrow pencil (which is my HG), the Air Brush Micro Powder. along with the powder & sculpt brush, Pillow Talk lip liner, which everyone should have and a lipstick. Last year, I bought the Miss Kensington “look” from the CT x NP line, especially loving the cream blush and eyes to mesmerize, the retoucher pen, and at Christmas, I received my first blush, 2 lipsticks, my first lip lacquer, a second lip liner (came from the Perfect Pink Kiss set). I just ordered the Bar of Gold but have not used. I have 2 eye liners but I can’t get them to work on me.

My advice to someone starting out is to go to a counter, request samples, and see what works for you and watch collection reviews online. It’s no coincidence that some of the items I own came from a makeover as well as subsequent visit to a counter when on holidays. The blushes are beautiful and Pillow Talk lip liner is really universal. That’s where I would start. I’ve been underwhelmed ed by certain lipstick colors (Bitch Perfect) while loving others, like Stoned Rose. As one person commented, some products are scented (like my beloved Multi-Miracle Glow) AND, some items contain ALMOND, so those with a sensitivity need to look carefully at the ingredients. My mother has a severe skin allergy to almonds and I won’t bring any products containing almond home when I visit. CT worked with Tom Ford, so their products are similar in design and quality. Her quads are luxurious, too (and at a lower price point). I own only one but the Dolce Vita is on my wishlist.

Tracey E. Avatar

And Wonder Glow, which can be a foundation or mixed with your foundation (I use Light Wonder foundation on days when medium coverage will do.

Mandy Avatar

I have the Magic Cream, the Rock n Kohl eyeliner in black and the Feline Flick liquid eyeliner pen. I use the Magic Cream under my makeup, it is nice but there are lots of other creams that could do the job as well. I love the Rock n Kohl eye pencil but after a while the gel has separated from the wood pencil and you cannot use it without poking your eyes. This has happened before with the Bobbi Brown gel pencil. The Feline Flick is a nice glossy eyeliner that draws a precise line for a klutz like me who no longer has a smooth lid to draw a line on. It works great, I love it!

pat Avatar

When the Matte Revolution Lipsticks came out, I got Bond Girl and I like it a lot. CT had a pairing offer with new lip cheats at a small discount which I took advantage of. Bond Girl was paired with Hollywood Honey which it turned out was a little too brown for my taste and I ended up wanting pillow talk instead…

Tabitha Avatar

Lets not forget the Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude! Thats such a great liner I use it for a few of her lipsticks and glosses. Its truly versatile. For a suggestion on a 1st CT buy, mine would be her Wonderglow. I asked for a sample from Beautylish -all hail the greatest beauty webstore ever!- put it on & thought, “meh”. About 10 minutes later I walked by the mirror & came to a screeching halt. I have never seen my skin look so good. Whether worn alone or mixed half & half with foundation it just gives your skin a great evenness and the best glow minus disco ball glitter or shimmer. But I’m biased, I have more CT products than any other line of cosmetics. Go to Beautylish and start ordering new favorites!

Claire L Avatar

The only CT product I have is Love Liberty, I love it but have to be careful how I wear it as it changes according to the lighting – has anyone else noticed this? It’s much darker and browner when worn in the evening. At first I thought I’d gotten the wrong colour as I wore it in the evening but it was fine in the daytime!

Charlotte Avatar

I love CT K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipsticks! I have Penelope Pink, which is a better nude for me than Bitch Perfect. Have not tried Matte Revolution. I like her uptown Girl palette. Have not tried her beach sticks or dual-ended concealer wands. I want to try the concealer wands, though.

Charlotte (

Charlotte Avatar

If any one has tried the Beach Sticks, concelaer wands or the Matte Revolution lipsticks, let me know. I’d love to hear an honest opinion. CT is not cheap, and the only CT counter I know of near NYC is at Bergdorf’s. Perhaps we can prevail upon CT to open a few counters at Nordstrom’s or SFA or Bloomie’s here in the States? xox CL

Charlotte Avatar

Cool! Thanks! I may be giving her Matte revolutions a try. Also Coachella Coral KISSING. I do have Pillow Talk lip liner and love it. I have tried her Magic Cream. Love that too.

Jules Avatar

I am a huge fan of the CT range, I got first products recommendations from great MA service at CT Selfridges. So far I tried the uptown girl and supermodel look and purchased several other products on top. My absolute favorites for eyes are the Fallen Angel and Vintage Vamp pallet as well as the bronzed garnet stick (I have green- brown eyes and these colors really pop). For cheeks definitely the bronzer and for lips walk of shame, sexy sienna lipstick and sweet stiletto lipgloss. Not so happy with the very purple and bright eye stick in intoxicating violet and the blush in ecstasy broke within a few weeks. Now wondering if I should buy the new two lipstick colors just launched in UK and the rock chick vs Tom Ford Titanium smoke. Any recommendation on rock chick vs tom ford?
Besides of that: I LOVE this blog, I love cosmetics and it’s so much fun to read!

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