I've wanted Charlotte Tilbury makeup since the line launched, but the elevated prices were hard to justify. Over the past year, the brand seems to have grown from strength to strength and its "it"/buzz factor shows no sign of diminishing, in no small part due to the persuasive talents and celebrity connections of Charlotte Tilbury herself, the renowned makeup artist behind the brand. With a significant social media following and comprehensive tutorials demonstrating how to achieve particular "looks" with her products (each with their own name, like "The Sophisticate", "The Golden Goddess", "The Ingénue"), the more I saw, the more I coveted. From the reviews I'd come across, the standout items from the line seemed to be the Dolce Vita eyeshadow palette and Filmstar Bronze & Glow. I'd added those items to prospective shopping carts on different websites throughout the months, but could never bring myself to follow through. Finally, when Beautylish had a $25 off promotion for purchases over $150 USD (and free delivery to boot), I consulted the wisdom of Twitter and caved. I figured if I was going to splurge, why not go all the way and order the 4 things I wanted the most. This post will detail my first impressions after a few days of playing around — I may do more indepth reviews later.
At $20 USD, it's not exorbitantly priced, but still expensive for what it is. I don't really care, because it's incredibly roomy, the zip feels really smooth and extends quite far down the sides (meaning you can really open up the bag and see what's inside), and the printed red lips on white is all kinds of cute. I've already swapped out my existing smallish and unexciting makeup bag for this one and now I can carry a bit of Charlotte Tilbury glamour with me at all times. The cotton canvas material is lightweight and machine washable, making it very practical. If I had to be critical, I'd say I don't love the back with the quote ("Give a woman the right make-up & she can conquer the world") as much as the front. I'd prefer if the lips print was on both sides, and rather than cutting off abruptly at the bottom, it extended all the way around the base as well.
Filmstar Bronze & Glow
Yes, the packaging is glorious. Charlotte Tilbury got that part so, so right. The actual product doesn't disappoint, with the 'Sculpt' shade a good mix of bronzer and contour, and the 'Highlight' shade a refined but powerfully glowy, champagne/beige-toned illuminator. Along with NARS And God Created the Woman Eye Kit and Urban Decay Naked3 (no thanks to artificially hiked up prices online), this is the most amount of money I've spent on a makeup item. Is it "worth it"? It depends. If you already have a good stash of quality bronzers and highlighters, the addition of this won't be revolutionary. Having said that, it's a thing of beauty and the only contouring palette I own.
Luxury Palette in The Dolce Vita
More glorious eye candy. I can kind of see what Lily Pebbles meant when she described Rimmel Brixton Brown as the "drugstore Dolce Vita". Both give a somewhat dark, smoky, russet/bronze/chocolatey look. The Charlotte Tilbury option is of course, much superior quality and the inclusion of the glitter shade is everything. It truly makes the palette. Even with just 4 shades, the palette offers a lot of versatility. The glitter shade can be used on its own like a normal eyeshadow rather than simply a sparkly top coat. The reddish shade is something a little more unique in my collection dominated by taupes and browns. (Doesn't stop me wanting the limited edition Fallen Angel palette though, mainly because Tiffany keeps showcasing its beauty.)
Powder & Sculpt Brush
I'm not sure if you can see from the picture, but the brush I received had a section of the protective plastic wrap it came in glued to the handle. It was this bit of thin plastic overlay that seemingly was fused to the handle and simply wouldn't budge, no matter what I tried. I was completely bummed about it, considering it destroyed the aesthetic of the brush, and added this weird texture to the surface of the handle whenever I used it. I emailed Beautylish about it, and within 24 hours, without any question, they had a replacement brush on its way. Talk about top notch customer service.
Onto the brush itself, I ended up liking this a lot more than anticipated. I was kind of bracing myself after hearing reviews that it wasn't as soft as it could be, but now I've tried it for myself, I don't have any complaints. Sure, it's not as soft as my SUQQU Cheek Brush, but it was also a third of the price. I really like the tapered, smaller shape and how it's the absolute ideal brush to use with the Filmstar Bronze & Glow. A match made in makeup heaven.