There are/were two things on my beauty bucket list for 2016. One – try some Charlotte Tilbury items. Two – make a Sephora order.
Number one has now been ticked off the list.
I will be honest and say that I resisted for a long time. There was even a month or so when I convinced myself that I didn’t need to try any CT products. That I wasn’t missing anything, and really, how good could they be anyway?
If you follow any beauty bloggers or vloggers at all then CT is a brand that will be familiar to you. I have watched a few tutorials by Charlotte herself and, like so many professional make-up artists, she makes everything look so easy and effortless. Could her products really be that easy to use and have such great results or was it all make-up artist trickery, I wondered.
Her products are loved by so many, but then I have also purchased things that bloggers and vloggers have raved about and either found them to be ‘meh’ or very disappointing. So much so that I do now approach recommendations from such peeps with a little bit of scepticism / caution.
Anyway, I finally decided to take the plunge, because I would never know if I didn’t try.
I kept my selection small, sticking mainly to eyes and lips. To be honest I had contemplated a complexion purchase but my colour was out of stock, however I did get my hands on a sample or two. More about that below.
My order arrived promptly and in a plain cardboard box. Plain until you opened it, that is. Everything was enveloped in lovely burgundy tissue paper and even the inside of the box was decorated. My samples and delivery note were contained in an envelope made of delightfully thick paper, with the delivery note printed on the same. To some this may seem extravagant but to me, a lover of stationary and a mourner of a real lack of ‘proper’ paper (the kind that you can write on in ink, as in fountain pen ink, without it bleeding) it was truly appreciated.
There is even great attention to detail in relation to the boxes that the products come in. Even the little tabs have small gold stars printed on them. So far, CT was scoring many points on presentation and detail alone.
As much as I could wax lyrical about the packaging, really, what you all want to know is, what are the products like. Well, I shall tell you my overall impression and then explain each item individually.
Overall – they are bloody brilliant and I wished I had dipped my toe into the CT pool earlier! In fact, more than my toe, I want to immerse myself in it completely. And by that I mean that I would like everything in my make-up bag to be CT. Everything. There are a few things that are perennial favourites that will stay, but on the whole I think that as things run out I will replace them with CT (this could make for very boring beauty favourites come the end of each month, but hey, I will try and mix it up a bit somehow).
So now you know how I feel about them generally, let’s go through things item by item.
Eyes (L-R) – Colour Chameleon Eyeshadow Pencil in Champagne Diamonds, The Classic Eyeliner Powder Pencil in Audrey and Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow in Marie Antoinette.
The eyeshadow pencil is part of a range designed to help bring out the colour of your eyes. Mine are a grey/blue colour (more grey than blue, almost like an airforce blue). There are days when I would like to emphasise the greyness, however, finding a colour that does that is tricky. One the whole I want them to look bluer, and warm colours will do that. Champagne Diamonds in a warm neutral shade that is moderately heaving on the sparkles. It does bring out the blue in my eyes and is super simple to use – scribble over eyelid, blend with finger tip and line bottom lash line with it. Done. I have been reaching for this a lot on work days because it is so quick and so effective.
I picked up the eyeliner pencil because, although I do have a brown eyeliner pencil it is pretty rubbish – drags across my eyelid, can sometimes draw a thick line even after it has just been sharpened. The Charlotte Tilbury pencil is so soft and doesn’t drag. The line is subtle, emphasising the lash line and gently defining it rather than being obvious. The big news is that since I got this I have only reached for my black liquid liner once. Once! I have been loving this as I don’t have to be as precise.
There were two colours of the cream eyeshadow that caught my eye – Marie Antoinette and Jean. I went for Marie because I thought that Jean looked quite similar in colour to Champagne Diamonds. Now I wish that I had both! The colour payoff is incredible. You need the smallest amount, the merest dab, about the size of a pin head per eye, and it blends really easily. Marie Antoinette was described as an oyster shade but I find that on me it goes quite rusty/coppery/burnished (which is no bad thing). Great if you want an eye that makes an impact without all the hassle of blending 10 eyeshadows. A darker colour in the crease (if you want, these can be worn alone) and you are all set to go.
Lips – Lip Cheat Pencil in Pillow Talk and Mini K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick Charms.
My favourite lipstick (the one that I reach for the most and have gone through more than one of) is Chanel Coco Shine in Boy. Most of the time I am happy to slick it on like a lip balm, but some days I want it to have a bit more oomph, so I had been searching for a liner that matched it. And failing. Not even Chanel had one that matched! On the Charlotte Tilbury website this lip liner does look quite brown, but I saw it used in a video and it looked pinky, which is what I was after. And you know what? It matches Boy perfectly. The hunt is over! Super happy with this. It is soft and easy to apply. If you are looking for a liner that matches your lip colour, this is the one.
I saw the mini lipstick charms a couple of Christmas’ ago and assumed that they were a seasonal thing, but when I went to checkout my basket they popped up in the ‘other things you might like’ section, so I grabbed them! The three colours are So Marilyn, Bitch Perfect and Penelope Pink. I adore, adore, adore So Marilyn! It is a great red. Has a slight sheen to it and really complements my skin tone. My favourite red by far. I feel kind of so so about Bitch Perfect. I wasn’t sure about it in the tube as nude/neutral shades aren’t really my thing, but I can just about get away with this if I use Pillow Talk underneath. The one that I am most disappointed with is Penelope Pink (it is the one on the far left). It isn’t pink! It is a pale nude brown, that on me, makes me look a little bit, well, like a corpse. Apparently it was developed for Penelope Cruz and I imagine that if you have her skin tone, this will look great on you. If you have a pale Celtic complexion, not so much. Even though you can see the colour on the website, in my head I was thinking more Penelope Pitstop than Cruz. Now, that pink, I would love!
In terms of texture these lipsticks do feel quite thick, almost claggy (which I fully appreciate is not a word you really want associated with lipstick, but I can’t think of any other). They are not sheer formulas and they do really grab onto your lips, but in a good “I’m not going to budge” way. They are slightly scented and if you are familiar with MAC lipsticks, I think the scents are pretty similar.
I do love the little stars on the case though, so cute!
Free samples – you get to pick two with each order. I went for one of the Magic Foundation and one of the Light Wonder foundation (I was going to order the full size Light Wonder but at the time my shade had sold out). I like the Magic Foundation, I’m not crazy about it, but the formula is good. It didn’t emphasis the dry patches on my cheeks, which is always a bonus and I find that the coverage is buildable. The Light Wonder, however, I do love (and now have in the full size). You only need a little for a sheer perfecting coverage (I have used fingers and a brush, both work, haven’t tried it with a beauty blender though). It minimises pores, doesn’t exaggerate dry patches, give a lovely luminosity to the skin. This is the foundation to use if you are meeting people that you haven’t seen in ages and you want your skin to look great!
So there we have it. As always, if you have tried any Charlotte Tilbury items that you love, let me know in the comments below. Also let me know if you have come across a bit of a bummer in the range . . . if there is one?!