Thursday, May 12, 2016

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Natural Beauty Review, Swatches and Photos

After a long absence we have something very special for you today - a review of the very buzzed about Charlotte Tilbury "Instant Look in a Palette" (limited edition, $85.00 CA.)

The Instant Look in a Palette is designed to "take you from desk to dinner in 7 easy steps," or as Tilbury also suggests, give you a full look in five minutes. This is a full face natural colour palette that includes three eye shadows, a bronzer/contour, two blushes and a highlighter. Housed in Tilbury's signature night crimson and rose gold packing, the palette is medium sized and measures 3.5" squared.

The palette itself is well designed, thin and for the most part the pans are big enough to comfortably fit most full sized brushes. The only products I thought could have benefited from bigger pans were the blushes, but I could still fit a small blush brush such as the ELF Blush Brush within them.

The products are all powder and have a very silky, finely milled texture and good to excellent pigmentation. I did find that when using all of them, they were fairly powdery and kicked up excess product. I did not find I got fall out when I used them on the face however.

The products are labelled in the order of use:

#1 Eye Brighten - a matte white-pink
#2 Eye Enhance - a shimmery champagne with slight pink undertones
#3 Eye Smoke - a matte medium-light taupe brown, one of my favourite colours in the palette!

#4 Face Bronzer - a neutral-warm satin finish medium bronzer with slight gold undertones, this bronzer has gold micro shimmer which does not translate to glitter on the face. According to Tilbury, this is the same bronzer in the Filmstar Bronze & Glow compact, however I detect a subtle difference between the two with this bronzer being ever so slightly more neutral then the one in Filmstar Bronze & Glow.

#5 Cheek Swish - a beautiful matte medium dusky rose, another favourite!
#6 Cheek Pop - a beautiful matte light pink with slight peach undertones, another favourite!

#7 Face Highlight - a bright shimmery white-gold highlighter, again Tilbury states this is the same shade highlighter as in Filmstar Bronze & Glow, but again I detect this version to be ever so slightly lighter/brighter.

L to R: Eye shadows #1-#3, Bronzer #4, 
Highlighter #7 and Blushes #3 & #4 on NC 40 skin

Swatches and photos are all taken in natural light. The product swatches are on my arm, which is at least one tone darker than my face, so is probably around NC 40. As you can see on my medium skin tone the colours are very natural & subtle. Here is the first full face look I did with the palette, using the exact same application technique that Tilbury shows here applied with Tilbury brushes (kudos to Tilbury for choosing a WOC for this tutorial.)

As you can see the overall look is very natural - I actually described it to Cath as "supernatural" because let's be honest, no one, not even the healthiest/genetically blessed of us wakes up looking glowing, rosy cheeked and even toned.

In the photo I'm wearing all of the products in the palette supplemented with: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger mixed with MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in Bright Forecast (around eyes, nose, mouth), Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Ebony, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Perversion, Maybelline Lash Stilletto Waterproof Mascara, Boots No 7 Precision Lips Pencil in Nude and Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in Rosewood. I am not wearing foundation.

In an attempt to squeeze a little bit more drama/tonal range out of the eye shadows I used the palette again but this time used MAC's Soft Ochre Paint Pot as a base. Using a primer or a base will definitely help you achieve more impact.

Eye shadow without base or primer.
Eye shadow with MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot as base/primer*

*You will have to excuse the difference in colour between the two photos - the second photo was taken after a run in hot weather so my face is flushed.

Overall I'm fairly happy with this palette - the textures and formulas are beautiful, and because the colours are so natural and blendable you can really slap together a look  without worrying too much about how precise your application is. But to give you a well rounded review, let's address the weaknesses of this palette. Is it the most versatile in the sense that you can get both a natural day and dramatic night look from it without adding any other products? No. Is it the most unique palette in terms of colours? Also a definite "no." Is this palette truly "universal" in the sense that it can work for women of all skin tones as Tilbury suggests? Also a definitive "no."

To conclude, I think if you are light to medium in skin tone, enjoy "supernatural" looks and appreciate high end make-up, you will like this palette. You will also like this palette if you want to look pulled together and "naturally" luminous in a short amount of time with minimal effort and like practical, travel friendly palettes. The palette gives you the type of look that causes your boyfriend, who almost never remarks about your make-up to exclaim "your make-up looks perfect!" in a very approving way, ie: you look much better than usual in that "no make-up, make-up" way. True story.

Grades: A (for formulas, pigmentation), B/B+ (for colour range). 

Overall grade: B+/A-

Charlotte Tilbury's Instant Look in a Palette is available for a limited time directly from Charlotte Tilbury. and Holt Renfrew in Canada.

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