Ever since I saw the teaser of the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter on Instagram, I have been impatiently waiting for its official launch. I mean it’s from Charlotte Tilbury, and it’s a glow inducing product, need I say more? So when it’s dropped in cultbeauty, I snatched it up so quickly that I didn’t even have the chance to read the reviews. Fortunately, Charlotte does not disappoint. I have been using mine in the past few weeks non-stop, and I love it.
There are 7 shades in the line, and I got mine in the shade no.4 Medium, which has a slight warm yellow/olive undertone, matches my skin perfectly. Even though 7 shades sound quite limited, because it is a sheer glowy product, shade matching is very forgiving – I could probably go by with both shade 2 and 3 just by looking at the swatches online.
Like all Charlotte Tilbury product, the Hollywood Flawless Filter is packaged to perfection. It’s housed in a rather weighty glass bottle, with her signature rose gold coloured cap, and you apply it with a giant doe foot applicator, which is not the best from hygiene perspective, but I find it weirdly satisfying to use. It doesn’t seem to have added scent, and actually have a faint trace of chemical smell, but not too strong to annoy me.
When I first received the product, got to say I was pretty confused on how to use it, and the description on Charlotte Tilbury’s website is not particularly helping:
It’s the ultimate high gloss, high glow celebrity-skin-filter-in-a-bottle! With my NEW! Hollywood Flawless Filter, you can wear it UNDER FOUNDATION, INSTEAD OF FOUNDATION or ON TOP OF FOUNDATION in the areas where you want to glow the most.
I mean is it a foundation? Is it a primer or is it a highlighter? After several tests, turns out it’s none of it, but at the same time, it’s also kind all of it. Now you are more confused, OK, let me break it down for you.
As a foundation, it’s definitely too sheer to cover any imperfections or even out the skin tones, but it has certain unexplainable perfecting properties that just seem to make your skin look better, fresher and of course, more glowy. So I have been actually enjoying wearing it alone on the days I’m completely makeup free. You can take a look at my photo below for the below before and after comparison, I don’t have any makeup on except few swipes of the hollywood flawless filter. Doesn’t it just make the whole complexion look better, but you cannot quite pinpoint what it does exactly? It has no glitter or noticeable shimmer whatsoever. It’s probably the very first complexion product that I feel is completely traceless on my skin – I cannot even tell I have it on when I’m looking at a 5X magnified mirror, isn’t that insane? Just for that, it’s magic in a bottle!
As a primer, I like to swipe it across my forehead, cheekbones and near smile lines to provide a subtle glowy base. I also find it slightly minimize the appearance of pores along my nose, and it does make foundations go on a bit smoother and blends more easily, because of which, I would agree it can work as a primer, but if you have specific concerns other than radiance (e.g. hydration, oil control, pore minimizing) when it comes to a primer, you would most likely need to use it in conjunction with another primer. And even if glowy skin is your thing, I would highly recommend not using it on the entire face, as it could end up being too glowy (yes, there is such as thing as too much glow), or borderline oily & greasy after 4-5 hours of wear. At least on my combination to dry skin, it seems to be the case.
Apparently, you can also mix it with your moisturizer to create a customized glowy tinted moisturizer. Personally, I don’t like to use it this way as I find the texture of the Hollywood Flawless filter doesn’t mix well with a lot of my moisturizers. But I do love it as a highlighter, especially on the cheekbones, which is not as strong as her liquid highlighting wand (my favorite liquid highlighter by the way), but still is divine because it doesn’t emphasis the the texture of the skin, subtle (I swear no one can tell you have a highlighter one) yet definitely glowier than your natural skin. When I’m in the mood of extra glow, I would use it under foundation and then on top of foundation.
If I’m comparing this to my favorite Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base, which is also a gorgeous glow inducing product, I would say the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is more multi-purpose because of the extra perfecting/blurring property. This perfecting property also makes it a very unique all-in-one product that I haven’t experienced anything quite like it in the market. As the name says, it truly is your favorite digital filter in a bottle!