Sunday, July 23, 2017

Glow, Glow and More Glow

I first was introduced to Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette in Beauty Glow in Alix's Current Everyday Makeup Routine. Initially, I didn't think much of it, given it seemed like another beautiful but expensive makeup item that was beyond my buying capacity. But as I was lying in bed one night, I recalled how gorgeous it was and googled it out of curiosity. To my surprise, I discovered it for a not too outrageous price on NET-A-PORTER. For whatever reason, it was discounted by 20% and the pound to Australian dollar conversion (minus UK sales tax) ended up being more favourable than the local Australian price ($99) or the USD to AUD equivalent. Even with $10 AUD shipping, I paid all up under $65. Still pricey, but I want nice things okay.












What appealed to me was the fact it's a palette with both eye and cheek products. I only have one other palette that incorporates both eyeshadows and blushes, and that's the Laura Mercier Lingerie Eye & Cheek Palette, but even then that doesn't have a bronzer or highlighter. As the name "Instant Look in a Palette" suggests, everything you need is laid out in front of you, so your whole face can be done (base notwithstanding) in a matter of minutes. Charlotte herself demonstrates the palette in this video, though the model has a medium skin tone (and perfect face, lbr) so I didn't know exactly how the powders would look on a lighter complexion like mine. I just liked the idea of being able to travel with this one palette, especially for special occasions like to a wedding, which might call for a fully made up look.

This is the third iteration of the Instant Look in a Palette, with the first being Natural Beauty and the second Seductive Beauty. I was under the impression the past versions were limited edition and therefore would've sold out ages ago, but Cherie brought to my attention they're still available for purchase on the Australian Charlotte Tilbury website. There's plenty of information on the interwebs comparing all three versions, but briefly, Natural Beauty has more subtle, lighter eyeshadows and pink-toned blushes ("champagne, pink and neutral shades"), Seductive Beauty has more taupe/cool-toned eyeshadows, a warmer, darker contour and more pink-toned highlighter ("pale pink, taupe and chocolate brown shades") and Beauty Glow is more "rose-toned and bronze". I probably preferred the look of the cheek shades in Seductive Beauty, but the eye shades in Beauty Glow.

l-r: Eye Brighten, Eye Enhance, Eye Smoke

l-r: Face Highlight, Face Bronze

l-r: Filmstar Bronze & Glow Highlight, Beauty Glow Face Highlight, Beauty Glow Face Bronze, Filmstar Bronze & Glow Sculpt

l-r: Filmstar Bronze & Glow Highlight, Beauty Glow Face Highlight, Beauty Glow Face Bronze, Filmstar Bronze & Glow Sculpt

I was very curious to compare the Face Bronze and Face Highlight shades to the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow palette. I wasn't able to get much information comparing the two prior to my purchase, except for one YouTube video where the reviewer remarked they looked the same. I wouldn't agree with that assessment. The highlight in the Filmstar Bronze & Glow is peachier and slightly darker, whereas the highlight in Beauty Glow is brighter, more champagne, cooler-toned, icier. The sculpt shade in Filmstar Bronze & Glow is darker, cooler, more of a contour powder, whereas the equivalent shade in Beauty Glow is warmer, lighter, more orange in tone — some people have compared it to Benefit Hoola Lite. I have read reviews that the quality of the face powders in the palettes aren't as good as standalone products like Filmstar Bronze & Glow, but I haven't noticed any major difference. Maybe the Beauty Glow highlighter is slightly chunkier and has a tendency to sit on top of the skin a tad more than the one in Filmstar Bronze & Glow, but by and large, they seem like the same formulation.

l-r: Cheek Pop, Cheek Swish

After using this palette for three weeks, I'm kind of on the fence about it. Yes, it is aesthetically beautiful, Italian-made, everything feels expensive and high quality (as it should!). Charlotte Tilbury knows how to sell her products, but at the same time, if they didn't deliver and perform, they wouldn't enjoy the popularity and good word of mouth they do.

My main issue with this palette is the shades. I thought I would love them, since rose gold and bronze is everything I love, but it's a different story when it comes to how they work on my face. First, I don't actually like the colour of the eyeshadows that much. The Eye Brighten is basically useless to me as I don't find any point in priming with a light shimmery powder eyeshadow (I use a dedicated cream eyeshadow for primer), and as an inner corner highlight, I could just use the Face Highlight. The Eye Enhance shade is meant to be the star of the show and a major selling point of the palette, but it doesn't excite me. I'm not talking the quality — the shadows are smooth, blendable, long-lasting and pigmented. I just mean the colour. It's honestly just not unique enough for me to really care. I have so many similar rose gold, coppery shades (e.g. Clinique Chubby Stick Eye Tint in Ample Amber, Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in My Two Cents, Holika Holika Jewel Light Marble Cushion Eyes in Orange Cappuccino), some of which are much more metallic and vibrant (e.g. Makeup Geek Grandstand, Colourpop Game Face, Urban Decay Chopper or Trick, Rimmel Eye Shadow Stick By Kate in Rose Gold). The Eye Enhance is actually on the lighter side for my skin tone. I prefer something darker but more neutral in colour as an easy, all-over lid wash, but this is distinctly orange-toned and gives more subtle shading and a glimmering effect. I then have to deepen the look with the matte chocolate brown Eye Smoke shade, but it's almost like that's not dark enough for what I want to achieve. I would have preferred something with more instant definition like Sable or Espresso from the LORAC Pro Palette, or Anastasia Beverly Hills Fudge.

Moving onto the cheek shades. Cheek Pop is your generic shimmery warm pink. The shimmer and pigment are intense, so I need a really soft, floppy brush like Wayne Goss Brush 14 or SUQQU Cheek Brush to apply it. Colour-wise, think NARS Orgasm or a multitude of shades in those little blush pots from Bourjois (if it begins with the word "rose", you're probably on the right track). If I thought Cheek Pop was pigmented, I hadn't seen anything until Cheek Swish. I genuinely do not understand the inclusion of this shade in the palette. It's so dark and brown and metallic. You would only need a minuscule amount and even then, it would have to be blended to death. I appreciate the thought of adding something that wasn't just another ho hum pink blush, but I would have preferred a less intimidating, more "wearable" peachy/nude shade (like Benefit Rockateur or Clinique Cheek Pop in Nude Pop). This is just too much effort to tackle on a daily basis, the fear of creating a muddy, shimmery mess constantly hovering over you. I used it as an eyeshadow and even then, it was uncomfortably dark. I love a daytime soft smoky eye, but this was overboard.

No one found it a little strange that the Cheek Swish shade was magnitudes darker than the Face Bronze shade? Those are going to be some really defined cheeks. While I prefer the Sculpt shade in Filmstar Bronze & Glow to the Face Bronze in Beauty Glow, I like that it's lighter and warmer so there is that point of difference, since there wouldn't be much excitement if they were identical shades. I use the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt brush to apply it and it's a perfect pairing. The Face Highlight is probably one of my favourite things about the palette. It alone makes the entire look when everything is used together. Your face looks like it's basking in an ethereal glow, especially when some is placed down the bridge of the nose.

One final thing about the palette is that all the shades except Eye Smoke are shimmery, so you can imagine the overall look it's going to give you. I love to glow as much as the next person, but these aren't subtle in the shimmer stakes, nor are they liquid/cream textures that you might be able to blend more seamlessly into the skin. They're all powders and invariably have to sit on top of the skin, so even with careful blending, it's a lot to have shimmery eyeshadow and shimmery blush and shimmery contour and shimmery highlight. Naturally, your comfort level may vary. Of course you can try to tone things down by prepping and priming the skin well, adjusting the amount of product, maybe opting for a different matte blush or eyeshadows, and spritzing all over with a setting spray/face mist at the end.

21 comments:

  1. I really like Eye Enhance shade! I thought it was absolutely gorgeous but I don't have many like it. And I too was befuddled by the Cheek Swish shade being so dark- almost something you'd expect from NARS or MAC rather than CT by how editorial it could look. I've been really impressed by the longevity of the powders on my skin but I do agree with the sentiment of your post that for something as luxe and 'travel-friendly' the shades aren't particularly unique or all you need for a full face away from the whole collection at home.

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    1. I think my main problem is I have too much of everything :p At least when it comes to your standard eyeshadow colours. Like, I don't have a bright yellow - maybe I could do with that rather than another rose gold or bronze.

      How are you getting on with Seductive Beauty? Somehow I think I might have liked that one more!

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  2. I have seen these everywhere and it's not that I have something against Charlotte Tilburry's line but their products are so expensive for what they are! I don't think her formula is that much better than other luxury brands. I do like the premise of their products though - perfect for travelling and the colours seem to be skintone friendly!

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    1. I haven’t tried that much luxury makeup so I wouldn’t know too much about how CT compares with her competitors, but I do like CT’s approach (simplified, beautifying makeup for the every woman) and her packaging gets me every time. This palette is definitely suitable for travel however I would be paranoid of taking it too far in case it gets damaged :p

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  3. I have been on the fence on buying this palette, however the shades combination has been putting me off. Don't want to be even slightly disappointed with my first ever CT product. Especially the cheek pop shade. I like more of a defining blush than brightening. Do you have a recommendation on CT product that I can try first?

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    1. If you like defining blush, maybe you’ll like the Cheek Swish shade then! If you gravitate toward warmer, shimmery shades and think those work best for you, you’ll probably like this palette. I highly recommend the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow – it really is faultless and one of my all-time favourite makeup products.

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  4. Great all in one product!

    Liv

    http://livforstyle.net

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    Replies
    1. It's nice to have everything in one place!

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  5. Looks beautiful x

    http://whattaylorbuys.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. This palette is stunning (but so is everything from CT!)!

    xx, The Makeup Feed

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    1. Agreed - CT has the best looking products!

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  7. Your thoughts echo mine, though I haven't tried this palette. I'm a sucker for CT's packaging and branding, but this particular product never sucked me in because the colours just don't excite me! I'd love it if she did one with colours from the Dolce Vita palette - they're more interesting!

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    1. Agreed, though I have the Dolce Vita palette so I wouldn't want it to be the same - but I get what you mean. All these colours are very "safe" and kind of unexciting, though they would do the job!

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  8. I am yet to try out Charlotte Tilbury's products and I am not really into eyes and face palettes but this one looks really nice!!
    But to be honest, I am still dreaming about their Dolce Vita palette!
    Take care*

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    1. I love the Dolce Vita, it's so beautiful and definitely one of the highlights of their collection (though I haven't tried a lot of it).

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  9. Just found your blog and I love it, already following :)

    carolinasmakeuplife.blogspot.pt

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  10. Thanks for the in depth coverage and comparisons to other products! I've heard nothing but great things about her eyeshadow palettes and the bronze and highlight duo. This has gotten lots of mixed reviews, many citing similar issues regarding everything being shimmery and the not particularly interesting.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't read too many mixed reviews about this palette - most of what I've seen has been pretty positive! But the colours are kind of bland and very "safe", I guess to appeal to the majority of women. And yes, it is a whole lot of shimmer!

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  11. I want to say many more thanks for providing instructive and qualitative stuff here.
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    ReplyDelete

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