Drugstore alternatives to Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter

Hi friends!

Since my last post on the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick dupe was so well-received, I decided to bring the brand back to the blog. This time we’re talking about another of my favorite CT products, the Hollywood Flawless Filter! I first spoke about my love for this product in this post, and since then my obsession has not abated 😊. But I know not everyone wants to or can pay upwards of $40 for (essentially) a glow/highlighter product, so I wanted to tell you about some cheaper drugstore alternatives that give a similar effect. It just so happens that both alternative products come from L’Oreal, but that wasn’t necessarily planned.

So let me refresh you first on what exactly the Hollywood Flawless Filter is, and why I love it. Then we’ll talk about the drugstore alternatives & compare.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

CHARLOTTE TILBURY HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER – Shop here

  • $44.00 for 30 ml
  • Available in 7 shades
  • Cruelty- free formulation

Darlings, my Hollywood Flawless Filter is a customisable complexion booster with the versatility of a primer, the mega-watt glow of a highlighter, and the perfecting properties of your favourite digital filter. Ingredients help to soft-focus, illuminate skin and makes lines and pores appear smoother.

WHAT MAKES HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER MAGIC:

• The ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! This was born on the red carpet makeup, inspired by technology, for real life, in real time that looks amazing on-screen or off.

• Smoothing airbrush polymers roll over your complexion for a poreless-looking, creamy finish.

• Glossy Oil is a lightweight moisturising oil that reflects and adds light to your face where you need it.

• Finely milled powders soft focus, makes lines and pores appear smoother which means it only ever looks as amazing in real life, as it does on camera.

• Porcelain Flower Extract is a brightening ingredient derived from a Thai flower with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to enhance microcirculation and brighten skin.

• Ideal for superstar-lit skin whether you want a subtle glow or a mega-watt complexion.

Source: charlottetilbury.com

This is an amazingly highshine product that I apply either under my makeup and/or over the top of my makeup, specifically targeting the high points of my face. It gives the most beautiful, dewy & almost juicy look to the skin that I’ve never experienced with any other makeup product until this point. It’s not glittery or shimmery in the slightest; it’s much more wet-looking, which to me is the pinnacle of sophisticated highlighting. I can see how this would play off the cameras on the red carpet very well. Charlotte really knows what she’s doing!

DRUGSTORE ALTERNATIVES

1. L’Oreal Visible Lift Luminous Serum Tint – Shop here 

  • $14.99 for 30 ml
  • Available in 5 shades

24 Hour Hydration. A touch of sheer radiant color. Smooths fine lines and wrinkles.

Give your skin a beautiful boost of hydration and a touch of radiant color with L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift® Luminous Serum Tint. The lightweight and sheer tinted moisturizer for mature skin smooths fine lines and wrinkles, while evening skin tone. This serum moisturizer is infused with key skincare ingredients such as nourishing oils and Vitamin E. L’Oréal Luminous Serum Tint delivers instant hydration to dull, tired skin while improving skin instantly and over time. Apply the glow serum all over the face to revive radiance for a healthy complexion that stays fresh all day long.

Source: lorealparisusa.com

I have to give credit to The Critical Babe on this one. I read an earlier post of hers where she spoke about how the L’Oreal Visible Lift Luminous Serum Tint gives a similar-type effect on the skin as the Flawless Filter does. I have to say I agree, but the Luminous Serum Tint feels just a bit more moisturizing than the Flawless Filter believe it or not. However this product is marketed as ‘skincare + makeup’, so perhaps it shouldn’t be as surprising. To me, the Luminous Serum Tint is like the shy little sister of the Flawless Filter; it doesn’t have as much impact or sheen as the Flawless Filter on first swipe, but you can build the layers up a bit to resemble a similar effect on the skin.

I got shade 801 Pearl which is a pinky, luminous tint that was probably designed to impart moisture & glow only. There are 4 other skin tone shades that perhaps provide a bit of coverage as well, but I can’t speak to those.

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2. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer – Shop here

  • $14.99 for 40 ml
  • Available in 4 shades

Highlighting glow lotion. Effortless illumination. For an all over natural glow look.

L’Oréal Paris True Match® LUMI Glotion instantly hydrates and luminizies skin for an all-over, fresh, natural glow. The highlighting formula delivers an illuminating color tint to enhance your skin’s natural skinglow for a healthier, brighter complexion. True Match® Lumi glow lotion formula is infused with Glycerin and Shea Butter for all day continuous hydration.
Available in 4 shades for all skintones, True Match® LUMI glow lotion can be worn alone, under foundation, or target areas for a more luminous effect.

Source: lorealparisusa.com

I’d say the description on the Glotion more closely mirrors the description of the Flawless Filter, as it seems to emphasize the glowy & brightening aspects of its formula rather than the hydrating, skincare-infused Serum Tint does. This is definitely a glowy product that gives off a lovely sheen, but its not glowy in exactly the same way as the Flawless Filter, just so you’re aware. Again, the Flawless Filter gives an almost wet appearance to the skin; the Glotion gives a more shimmery effect on the skin. It’s a very refined shimmer though, but if you’re adverse to anything like that on your skin then I’d skip this one.

I got shade 901 Fair, but there are 3 other skin tone shades as well. Like any of the products spoken about in this post, this is not a traditional coverage product in the slightest. I think the shades correspond more to undertones, so fair skins don’t look orange & deep skins don’t look ashy, if that makes sense.

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From top to bottom: CT Hollywood Flawless Filter in Fair, L’Oreal Glotion in Fair, & L’Oreal Luminous Serum Tint in Pearl.
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Swatches rubbed in & sheered out. Same order as mentioned in previous photo. You can’t tell much difference between the products from this photo, but applied to the face you definitely can, trust me 😉.

So to recap, both L’Oreal alternatives give a similar effect on the skin as the Flawless Filter does. They are by no means exact dupes, but they are great options at a much smaller price point. If you want something more moisturizing, I’d go with the Luminous Serum Tint; if you want something slightly more shimmery, then go with the Glotion. If you want something that resembles the Flawless Filter as much as possible, then again I’d go with the Luminous Serum Tint. Or just go ahead and treat yourself to the Flawless Filter! It’s an amazingly beautiful product that I think is one-of-kind.

Have you tried the Hollywood Flawless Filter yet? Or any of the L’Oreal products mentioned here? Do you have any cheaper alternatives or dupes I should know about? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

Check out my post on a great alternative to Pillow Talk Lipstick here.

Check out my shopping guide to Charlotte Tilbury here.

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Check out some cheaper alternatives to the Hollywood Flawless Filter from L’Oreal!

 

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A drugstore dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Lipstick?

Hi friends!

I’ve spoken a few times on here about my love & obsession with the Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk from Charlotte Tilbury. It’s a beautiful lipstick with luxe, fluted rose gold packaging that to me embodies what is often referred to as a “modern matte” texture. It’s a velvety matte that is so cushy & comfy, but at the same time clings to your lips for longer than a cream lipstick generally would. This is an extremely popular shade from the brand, with 1 sold every 2 minutes in 2017 according to their website.

But Charlotte Tilbury is quite a premium brand so this formula comes at the hefty price tag of $34.00. I personally think it’s worth the money, but others may not think so. Or perhaps you like the idea of the “modern matte” texture, but can’t fathom spending $30+ on one makeup item. I hear you, and I got you. A few months ago I picked up one of the Mix N’ Matte Lip Duo’s from Flower Beauty in the shade Honey Nude for a mere $10.00, and I tell you it’s just as beautiful & comfy as Pillow Talk! According to Flower Beauty’s website, this product is also a best-seller for them.

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From L to R: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk, Flower Beauty Mix N’ Matte Lip Duo in Honey Nude
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A closer look at the lipstick bullets. Top is Pillow Talk, which has a square-shaped bullet that makes application super simple. Bottom is Honey Nude, which has a traditional slanted bullet shape.

I’m going to compare these lipsticks on 3 elements: color, texture & longevity. At the end I’ll give you my verdict on if these are dupes or not. So let’s get into it!

COLOR

Pillow Talk is described on the Charlotte Tilbury website as a “nude pink matte lipstick,” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s definitely a lot more on the pink side of nude than Honey Nude is. Honey Nude pulls a bit more brown & dark. Hopefully you can see the difference in the swatch photo below; there are also post-application photos towards the end of the post.

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Top swatch is Pillow Talk. Bottom swatch is Honey Nude.

TEXTURE

I’d say the textures on both these lipsticks are quite similar. They both apply extremely smoothly & very opaquely with minimal tugging. Both are lightweight and almost “set” onto your lips. When you rub your lips together, there’s a definite feeling of moisture and a bit of give there. A few subtle differences: Pillow Talk feels a bit more velvety or almost powdery (but not in a bad way), while Honey Nude feels more creamyHoney Nude is also a bit thicker than Pillow Talk to be honest, but not by much. At no point during the day do my lips feel dry with either of these lipsticks on, even after eating or drinking.

LONGEVITY

While both lipsticks do last quite well on the lips throughout the day, you will have to touch up after a big meal with both formulas. These are not liquid lipsticks that shrink-wrap onto your lips; you kinda know that going in. That being said, both formulas have lasted on me about 6 to 7 hours without major fading. Actually Honey Nude has lasted a little bit longer since the formula is slightly thicker than Pillow Talk.

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Honey Nude matte lipstick on left. Honey Nude pearlized gloss on right.
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Honey Nude swatches from left to right: matte lipstick alone, pearlized gloss alone, & pearlized gloss layered on top of matte lipstick.

If you’re chomping at the bit now to get your hands on Honey Nude from Flower Beauty, you should also know that you get 2 products in 1! (It ain’t called a Lip Duo for nothing!) On the opposite side of the matte lipstick, you get a pearlized gloss that you can wear on its own or layered on top of the lipstick. Honestly, I’ve only worn the gloss once on its own so I really can’t say much about it. But it’s cool that you get 2 products for only $10.00! You can check out more info on Flower Beauty’s website.

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Honey Nude applied on the lips. On the left, I have the matte lipstick on alone. On the right, I have the pearlized gloss layered on top the matte lipstick.
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Pillow Talk applied on the lips. If you’re curious, I also have the NYX Grind Machinist Palette on my eyes!

So, do I think Honey Nude from Flower Beauty is a dupe for Pillow Talk from Charlotte Tilbury? After analyzing both formulas, I would have to say they are not dupes. However they are quite similar to each other, so I would call Honey Nude a great drugstore alternative to the more expensive Pillow Talk. In fact, for less than one-third of the price you get 2 products that feel & last just as well as (if not slightly better than) Pillow Talk. A total steal, I’d say!

*Shop for Pillow Talk @ Sephora.

*Shop for Honey Nude @ Ulta.

Have you tried either lipsticks from this post before? If so, what did you think? Do you know any drugstore dupes or alternatives to Pillow Talk? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

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Did I find a drugstore dupe for Pillow Talk Lipstick? Read this to find out!

New skincare purchases & bits I’m loving

I haven’t written about skincare yet on here, which is probably a big shocker to a lot of other beauty bloggers. Truth be told I rarely change up my very basic skincare routine of eye cream, serum & moisturizer. Don’t skincare routines seem to be getting longer and more complicated as time goes on? It’s all very confusing to me. At the end of the day I think you should be guided only by what your skin needs and what it’s currently doing, rather than by what the new product releases are. By that rationale, I’m guided by my dry, sometimes flakey skin that needs as much moisture and illumination as possible.

I’m just not the biggest skincare connoisseur. I know what works for me and so I tend to be quite product-loyal (not necessarily brand-loyal). Historically, I’ve used both the Garnier SkinActive Ultra Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream and the No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum for years now. (I was quite late to the party on serums in general; back in the day I just used moisturizer and that was it.) But I can’t resist sometimes changing the product line up. For instance, I will change up moisturizers from time to time. I was a big fan of the Chanel Hydra Beauty Creme for a while but then I discovered the more affordable Clinique Moisture Surge range, which is a firm favorite for life.

With that being said, I have made a few sneaky skincare purchases over the past few months that I wanted to talk to you about now. Some of these products have already become favorites, some I’m still testing, and one I haven’t even tried yet. That is how I’m categorizing them for this post. Let’s get into it!

NEW FAVORITES!

Belif The True Cream Aqua & Moisturizing Bombs – Shop here

beliftruecreammoisturebomb
Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb
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Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb

I spoke about my newfound love of The True Cream Aqua Bomb (and a little about the Moisturizing Bomb) in my earlier post on beauty mini’s, which was a hit with a lot of you. To recap, I didn’t buy either because I redeemed some of my Reward points on two separate Sephora visits, but I would absolutely buy either formula in the full size. You can buy either the standard size (50 ml for $38) or the mini size (25 ml for $22.00) from Sephora.

Belif is a Korean skincare brand I believe (someone correct me if I’m wrong), that has exploded on social media recently. Their products already have reached cult status like that of Tatcha and Laneige. To that point, The Aqua Bomb and The Moisturizing Bomb are both considered ‘Bestsellers’ on Belif’s website. Everything is formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates & synthetic preservatives, synthetic dyes & fragrances, mineral oils or animal byproducts.

When I wrote my earlier post I didn’t realize that Aqua Bomb technically wasn’t formulated for dry skin; it’s more suited to normal, combo or oily skin since it has a very lightweight, gel-cream texture. I still felt it hydrated and plumped my skin quite nicely, however I used it during the very humid NY summer when my skin was probably at its best. I’m just about to finish my mini of the Moisturizing Bomb, which is indeed formulated for dry skin. It’s definitely thicker than the Aqua Bomb and is creamier as well.

BITS I’M TESTING!

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream – Shop here

charlottetilburymagiccream

I just recently started using the Magic Cream after getting it at Sephora the day of the Charlotte Tilbury launch (and the day I met Charlotte herself!!). I deliberated for a while before putting this on my wishlist since it’s so darn expensive (50 ml for $100!), but I have to say the Sephora employees really talked me into this. The words “revolutionary” and “life-changing” were thrown around a lot, and while I’d like to say that I’m immune to all that sales mumbo-jumbo, clearly I’m not!

This is a very luxurious, thick cream that feels amazing to apply to your face and smells beautiful. The story is this is the secret weapon product that Charlotte formulated and used on models, clients and celebrities before they walk the red carpet. I think this will be a hero product for me going into the fall and winter months due to its richness. I tend to apply it at night before bedtime but you can also use it prior to makeup as Charlotte often promotes; I have yet to use it in that capacity. This gives a beautiful sheen and a feeling of plumpness to my dry skin. I really like it so far and it hasn’t broken me out at this point, but I’ve only been using it for about a week now.

(UPDATE 10/10/19 – sadly, I will be returning this product to Sephora. About a week after writing this post, I noticed little red bumps on my forehead, around my nose & my chin. I stopped using it for a few days to see if my skin would clear up and it did. Then I used it for about 3 more nights just to double-check and sure enough, the little red bumps came back. Such a bummer!)

On charlottetilbury.com there are 3 sizes available (150 ml, 50 ml, & 15 ml), although Sephora just seems to sell the 50 ml tub. The formula has SPF 15, and is gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free & cruelty-free.

Honey Belle Elixir Rejuvenating Facial Oil – Shop here

honeybelleelixirfacialoil

elixirfacialoiltexture

I spoke about the Elixir Facial Oil and about Honey Belle’s backstory in my earlier post detailing my Indie Beauty Expo haul. At the time of writing that post I still had not received this product in the mail, but since then I have incorporated this into my nightly routine. I hadn’t used a facial oil in ages so I was keen to get on that bandwagon again. I found a way to incorporate this product that didn’t extend the time of my normal routine: I combine it with my moisturizer. So far I’ve only added it to the Moisturizing Bomb from Belif and not the Magic Cream; I think the Magic Cream has enough richness on its own.

The smell of the Elixir is quite strongly herbal and ‘homemade’ but I like it. It gives serious shine and glow to the skin which you would expect from an oil. It doesn’t stay tacky for long and seems to absorb into the skin quite nicely, but keep in mind I’m applying this right after my shower so my pores are ready to drink this stuff up. Is it doing amazing things for my skin? I’m not sure at the moment to be honest, but it’s a lovely product that I like using. As the colder months approach and my skin gets drier, I will probably be able to tell more of a difference.

You can grab either the mini size (15 ml) for $15.00, which is pictured above, or the standard size (56 ml) for $34.00. Very affordable organic skincare.

BITS I HAVEN’T USED YET

Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream – Shop here 

freshroseeyecream

I purchased this just recently and it’s currently waiting its turn behind my latest pot of the Garnier eye cream, which I’m about halfway through at the moment. This smells amazing and as the name would suggest, it’s got a gel cream texture (my favorite). I’m new to Fresh skincare but I have high hopes for this little guy. There’s 15 ml of product in there for $41.00 so it’s definitely not cheap; this is actually my first foray into luxury eye cream. According to Fresh’s site, this is a cooling eye treatment that promises oodles of hydration and illumination. Oh, and ‘30 hours of continuous moisture.’ Cool, sign me up! I’ll have to report back 😉.

Fresh products are primarily made from natural ingredients and are cruelty-free.

Have you tried any of the products on this list? What skincare products are you currently loving or trialing? I’d love to know!

Xo, Erica

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Charlotte Tilbury is now in Sephora! My shopping guide.

Charlotte Tilbury is now officially stocked in Sephora! As of today you can get all your favorite goodies or explore the brand online at sephora.com; the products will be in stores tomorrow 9/14. Very exciting stuff. Prior to today you either had to shop on charlottetilbury.com or nordstrom.com if you lived in the U.S. I’ve been a big fan of this line ever since it initially launched, so over the years I’ve curated my own little collection of favorites. As usual, there are also a few items that I think are not worth the purchase. So in celebration of the Sephora launch, I put together a little shopping guide on what to buy and not to buy from Charlotte Tilbury.

Please keep in mind that this is definitely a premium brand, so what I think is worth my money may not be what you think is worth yours. All the products that I recommend below bring something unique to the experience of applying makeup (in my opinion of course).

WHAT TO SNATCH!

Luxury Eyeshadow Palettes – Shop here

ctdolcevitapalette
Luxury Palette in The Dolce Vita contains 3 shimmers and 1 finely-milled glitter (the third swatch down). Palette leans warm-toned.
ctrockchickpalette
Luxury Palette in The Rock Chick contains 2 shimmers, 1 matte, and 1 finely-milled glitter (the third swatch down). Palette leans cool-toned.
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Luxury Palette in The Sophisticate, the only fully matte shadow palette in Charlotte’s line. Palette leans neutral to cool-toned.

These eyeshadow palettes were my first loves from Charlotte’s brand. These products date back to her initial launch in 2013 when she released 10 iconic looks. Now they come in about 8 different colorways excluding the new limited edition Pillow Talk Luxury Palette (which is currently out of stock on charlottetilbury.com). The shadows are buttery smooth, blend seamlessly (in every finish!) and keep their color intensity all day; what else can you ask for really? The only thing I’ll say is these are very, very powdery so make sure to tap your brush out a few times before applying. The most special part of each palette is the glitter pigment on the lower left; it’s the most beautiful, finely-milled glitter I’ve ever used. With the exception of The Sophisticate, there’s one in every Luxury Palette. You just use your finger to lightly tap the glitter over your eyelid and it is so incredibly gorgeous. Perfect for a night out or special occasion. These palettes all retail for $53.00 and personally I think they’re worth every penny; I go back to them time and time again.

Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Iconic Nude – Shop here

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Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude

This is actually more of a recommendation from my mother than me! You can’t see the full pencil in this photo but take my word for it she’s whittled this down pretty far. She loves this particular color, Iconic Nude, which is very neutral and goes with a lot of different lipstick shades. (This formula comes in loads of different colors.) I did use the Lip Cheat once on myself and it had this slightly waxy, but very comfortable texture. It reminded me a bit of the MAC Pro-Longwear Lip Pencils but much easier to work with. It lasts quite well on the lips, yet it creates this very soft definition. And at $22.00, it’s one of the more affordable items from Charlotte’s line.

Matte Revolution Lipsticks in Very Victoria & Pillow Talk – Shop here

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Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick
Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk
Swatch of Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick
Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

I’ve talked about my obsession with this formula in a previous blog post, so I’ll be brief here. This is probably the most comfortable, velvety matte lipstick I’ve ever used, hands down. The Tom Ford matte lipsticks are a close second though. And it lasts through eating and drinking quite well; there’s always a soft stain left on my lips at the end of the day. Pillow Talk, a soft, mid-tone pink, is my personal recommendation; Very Victoria, a taupe nude that is almost mauvey, is another recommendation from my mom. At $34.00, again I think this is worth every penny. If you struggle to find a comfortable matte and want to treat yourself, get one of these.

Hollywood Flawless Filter – Shop here

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Hollywood Flawless Filter in Light/Medium

This is my most recent obsession from Charlotte’s line. I heard about this product when it first launched and was totally confused as to what it was, as was the rest of the beauty community. However when my mom decided to buy it she got me a little sample, and boy am I glad she did. It comes in 7 ‘shades’ (the one pictured above is my mom’s), but honestly this isn’t a coverage product in the slightest. This is a liquid glow product that gives you the most beautiful dewy sheen. I usually apply it (in the shade Fair) as you would a highlighter on the high points of my face; sometimes I apply it underneath my base product, over the top of it and sometimes I do a combination of both if I really want serious dew! This is what I’d imagine red carpet makeup to be. It’s not sparkly or glittery at all; it just softens your features ever so slightly. Pure magic. At $44.00 it’s definitely not cheap, but you do get 30 ml of amazing product.

WHAT TO SKIP!

Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow – Shop here 

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Eyes to Mesmerize in Bette

You know by now that I love a good cream eyeshadow. I got this one ages ago in the color Bette (a coppery-bronze), and while it has a lot of things going for it (interesting texture, saturated color pigment, great longevity) I just don’t find myself gravitating towards it in my collection. At $32.00 a pop, I think you can absolutely get cream shadows just as nice and well-performing at a much lower price point. Try Maybelline, Revlon, or ColourPop for a cheaper alternative.

Instant Look in a Palette in Seductive Beauty (discontinued)

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Instant Look in a Palette in Seductive Beauty

I don’t see this particular palette listed anywhere on either Sephora or Charlotte’s website so I think this was limited edition. She’s done a few different versions of this all-in-one palette with slightly different shades (right now you can get the Smokey Eye Beauty version). If you travel a lot or want all your face and eye makeup in one place, this kind of product would be ideal for you. It’s got 3 eyeshadows (labeled 1, 2, 3), 1 bronzer (labeled 4), 2 blushes (labeled 4, 5) and 1 highlight (labeled 7). The quality is definitely very good. However with that being said, I just don’t think it’s necessary, especially at $75.00. If you have a decent-sized makeup collection, you probably have all these products already.

Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Barbarella Brown – Shop here

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A lot of beauty editors, makeup artists and influencers love this product but it just wasn’t my favorite. I threw mine out a while ago since it got old, so the one pictured here belongs to my mom. She likes it a lot but I couldn’t get on with it. Everyone talks about how creamy it is (and it certainly swatches well), but on me it was stiff and I could never get a good blend. I applied it both over bare skin and over eyeshadow; the result was always the same. This is touted as being so smooth it’s more like a liquid eyeliner than a pencil. Just didn’t find that to be the case. I’ve gotten much more use out of some of my drugstore eye pencils than this $27.00 product.

Are you excited that Charlotte Tilbury is now in Sephora? Will you be picking anything up from the brand? I’d love to know!

xo, Erica

My favorite luxe beauty products

This post contains affiliate links (denoted with an asterisk), which means I earn a small commission if/when you click through to purchase. Regardless, these are my honest opinions. I do not recommend products I do not love or use myself.

Even though I live for a good drugstore beauty find, I still have plenty of more luxury beauty products that I frequently indulge in. I love having a mix of high and low-cost items in my stash; it gives you a well-rounded understanding of all the beauty world has to offer. I’ve spoken about plenty of more affordable products here on the blog, so I wanted to take this opportunity to devote an entire post to my luxury beauty faves and tell you why I love them so much. To challenge myself, I picked one item from each category. But of course I slightly cheated here and there, so in some instances I’ve included a runner-up. Without further delay, here we go.

FOUNDATION

Dior AirflashShop here

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Image Source: Feelunique.com

I’ve actually never talked about this product on the blog before, but this is probably the most beautiful foundation I’ve ever used, hands down. Beautiful in terms of both the finish and the texture. What you see pictured above is actually an aerosol can so the product sprays out in the most fine texture you can imagine; this is essentially airbrushed makeup. I preferred to spray it directly onto a damp sponge and then blend it in all over my face. When I first bought this I tried spraying it directly onto my face from the can but that resulted in a horrible mess. The combination of the fine-textured foundation and the damp sponge was total magic; my skin looked glowy, fresh and almost plumper when I applied this. I don’t have this in my collection at the moment since my previous bottle got old and I sadly had to toss it. Even though this is insanely expensive, I would still repurchase it. It’s that good.

*First runner-up: Bobbi Brown SPF 25 Tinted Moisturizing Balm

CONCEALER

Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer – Shop here

I did an entire review on this product which was packed with detailed information so please check that out for photos & swatches. Even though I didn’t find the most ideal shade match for me, I still love this concealer. The application, the coverage level, the longevity, the finish, everything is lovely. I’ve used this as both an undereye concealer and also as a spot corrector all over my face when I don’t want to wear any other base. I’ve never noticed any cakiness or significant cracking (I don’t always set it with a powder either). Great stuff.

*First runner-up: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

POWDER

*Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

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You see how much I’ve used of this powder? I have never, repeat never, used a product up or seen as much pan as I have with this palette. I love it that much. Hourglass just knows what they are doing with powders. Typically I take a duo-fiber kabuki brush and swirl it around all three colors/finishes, and then lightly dust it all over my face. It doesn’t look like traditional powder in the slightest; it gives you this beautiful soft-focus finish to your skin with the tiniest bit of sheen. It never looks cakey or dry on me. My mother refers to it as a “veil” and I think she’s onto something.

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From L to R: Radiant Light, Incandescent Light, Dim Light.

I know the swatches are hard to see especially on my light skin tone, but there are three different colors and finishes in this palette. Radiant Light is a beautiful pearly cream shade, which you can buy individually as well. Incandescent Light is exclusive to this palette and has the most noticeable shimmer/sparkle to it. And Dim Light is the deepest shade of the three that has the most warmth; it’s a light peachy shade with very fine gold shimmer. You can buy this individually as well.

EYE PRIMER

MAC Pro-Longwear Paint Pots – Shop here 

I spoke about my love for MAC’s Paint Pots back in a much earlier post I did on my favorite cream shadows, which you can check out here. I also have swatches in that post as well that you can reference. But I’ve been using Paint Pots as eye primers for years. They are creamy and blend across the eye very easily. I use the lighter, skin-tone shades (for my complexion) like Painterly and Camel Coat. They have just the right amount of tackiness that powder shadows really cling to well. I wish MAC would bring them out in stick form for even easier application!

EYESHADOW (POWDER) 

MAC Sumptuous Olive – Shop here

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When I was making my list for this post, this shade was an absolute no-brainer for me. I’ve been using and enjoying this product for years and years. It applies on the eye like a dream and blends out perfectly with hardly any fallout. And the color! One of my absolute go-to’s. It’s a wonderful mix of gold and olive green, and it has just the right amount of shimmer. This is one of MAC’s Veluxe Pearl finishes. I usually just apply this all over my eyelid, into the crease and smudged along the lower lash line as well; nothing else on the eye apart from lots of black mascara. It’s the nicest daytime-appropriate smokey eye I can think of.

I swatched this alongside my favorite highlighter, which you’ll find below.

EYESHADOW (CREAM) 

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Sticks – Shop here 

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Bobbi Brown Shadow Stick in Taupe

I also talked about this product in my favorite cream shadow post, so I won’t stay here long. But these are so easy to use, creamy and they stay on quite well. (You may get a little creasing at the end of the day, but nothing major. If you want to be extra safe, put a primer on underneath.) I just love shadow sticks though, and while you can absolutely find them on a budget in the drugstore, I have yet to find one as creamy as the Bobbi Brown version. They come in loads of colors and finishes, so there’s something for everyone. The two I have are both matte: Taupe and Nude Beach. Check out my earlier post linked above for swatches.

EYELINER

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliners – Shop here 

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Three things I look for in an eyeliner: 1) goes on creamy; 2) gives me playtime to smudge; 3) sets for the day. The Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliners tick all these boxes for me. Of course you can get really good eyeliners in the drugstore; I have a few of them myself. But there’s something about these I absolutely adore and always will. I have them in a variety of colors and finishes; they’re all awesome.

MASCARA 

*Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara in Black (for upper lashes);

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara (for bottom lashes) – Shop here 

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Image Source: Cult Beauty

I’m a little high maintenance with mascaras I know. I need two all the time: one for the top lashes and one for the bottom. I can’t deal with smudging mascara, which is what I experienced before I discovered the Clinique product. I wrote about both mascaras in much detail in my very first blog post, which you can read here. The Stila is perfect for those who want dramatic and volumized lashes that are very black; it’s not for those who go for natural mascara looks. The Clinique is specifically made for bottom lashes so the brush is tiny and the formula is perfection; no flaking or smudging in sight. Both are total winners in my book.

*First runner-up: Lancome’s Hypnose Drama Mascara

BLUSH

YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush – Shop here 

Blush is so important in my makeup routine because I’m so fair-skinned. I love nearly all colors of blush from brights to neutrals, but I tend to lean towards more warm tones like pinky-peaches and pinky-reds. I also heavily prefer the finish of creams over powders, so my go-to for years has been the YSL Kiss & Blush which is a dual lip and cheek product. I spoke about my favorite cream blushes in this post which included the YSL product plus swatches. The thing I like most about this product is the staying power. It goes on like a cream-gel hybrid, blends out quite easily (beware of some of the darker colors though) and stains the cheek. I don’t mean stain like you’ll never get it off, but it’s still there in some form at the end of the day. Blush is one of the first makeup products to fade on me so when I find one that actually lasts, it’s a keeper.

*First runner-up: Stila Convertible Color

HIGHLIGHTER

*BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector – Opal

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From L to R: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal, MAC Sumptuous Olive eyeshadow.

I got three Shimmering Skin Perfectors in a set years ago called Spotlights, which included Pearl, Opal and Moonstone in the cream versions. I ditched Moonstone since it was too yellow for my skin tone and hung onto Pearl and Opal. I love the formula on these, but then again who doesn’t love Becca highlighters? They’re some of the best on the market. They’re creamy and blend seamlessly into the skin with the tap of your fingers. And the amount of shimmer is just perfection in my opinion; not overly shiny or obvious in the slightest. If you’re looking for a blingy highlighter, go with the powder version over the cream (or layer both together).

LIPSTICK

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick – Shop here 

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Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

Although this is a fairly recent addition to my lipstick collection, it’s become my absolute favorite. I wrote about this in my makeup travel bag post, but I find the formula on these lipsticks second to none. Comfortable, easy to swipe across your lips, and with decent staying power. I feel this is more of a semi-matte finish because there’s a generous amount of give when you rub your lips together, although the color gives off no shine. I would happily repurchase again and again for a formula this good.

What are your favorite luxury beauty products? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to know!

xo, Erica