While we were in London, we were so busy seeing friends that we didn't have the time to pop into Selfridges so that I could check out Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream for myself first, so I literally bought this blind from Net-A-Porter when we got back into Sydney. Though it wasn't without reliance on the countless hours spent researching on beauty blogs and YouTube looking, listening and reading any possible reviews for this seemingly magical cream. While I could visualise my skin getting all plumped up and wonderful like Charlotte proclaims this cream to do on tired, dehydrated skin, my number one fear was that this rich cream would clog skin and cause me acne drama. But seeing as my skin has turned into a an unpredictable dehydrated and oily T zone mish-mash, that was a risk I was willing to take.
The other reason for purchasing something really moisturising was that I wanted something with more oomph (more so than my favourite Napoleon Perdis) to sit beneath the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet that I picked up while on holiday.
Charlotte herself is one hell of a sales lady and gosh does she know how to market this stuff! She promises that this is her dream cream which is akin to her own mixed potion she has been using in her kit during her 20+ year career. When a makeup artist to the likes of Kate Moss proclaims things like this, my ears definitely perk up.
Sooo ... I took photos for this post about 3 months ago when I first received the cream and have only remembered to write words for it now.
Let's start by saying my main skin concerns are: Dry cheeks, sometimes susceptible to ezcema, sometimes susceptible to mild acne with the occasional pimple on the cheek, chin or temple area. A few sun freckles on the cheek bone and all over dryness when hayfever season really hits (I told you... mish mash skin type).
So what is the verdict? I have to say it isn't for everyday use, and only best for special occasions, makeup artists or those with constant dry and/or mature skin.
When the box arrived, it exuded all sorts of luxury, there was no mistaking the cream was from the higher end of the cosmetics spectrum. Copper foil font on blush packaging already played symphonies with my heart strings and my face was a full on heart eyes emoji mode. The packaging contains some tips on how to do a 5-minute facial which I think is a bonus as I just love doing this on clients before makeup application, but never really bed down a step-by-step technique. The scent is like a light turkish delight candy smell that I definitely would love if it came in candle form. If you don't like scented creams though, the scent does dissipate quite quickly.
The cream is lush and rich, so a little goes a long way. It reminds me like they say, a bit like a traditional Ponds cold cream, but I would say a silkier and lighter texture that actually absorbs well into the skin after a good massage. My first wear was under a layer of foundation - Nars Sheer Glow - and lemme tell you, my skin did indeed "glow". But my oily skinned girlfriends will have to beware that you definitely need to powder, perhaps the powder-after-moisturiser-but-before-foundation technique will keep the oily T zone at bay.
Safe to say though I have been using it on and off over the last few months. Why only on and off you say? Why not religiously apply it everyday? Because my friends, at $AUD105 a pop, I don’t really intend to keep going out and buying another for a very long time (and by going out I mean jumping online, sadly this isn't yet sold in stores in Australia or NZ).
I have tried this on at least a handful of ladies, young and old, as well as on myself on a few occasions, and I have to say it really works best on mature skins and extremely dry and tired skin, where the plumping glowing results are more visually apparent. I found I've reserved this cream for special use, for those times when my skin needs a big kick up the backside for moments where, oh I don't know, you are on the red carpet or walking down the aisle to your own wedding after months of tireless planning and DIY. Dry skin seems to drink it up and really does help to plump and bring radiance to mature or tired skin. This was the most visible after playing makeup on my Mum a couple of times, she looked more noticeably fresh after each makeup application. It's a good moisturiser for normal skin but I still wouldn't go without a primer like Hourglass's Veil Mineral Primer or Benefit's Porefessional on top for extra smoothness before makeup.
There is an element of SPF which made me think it would clog my skin, but I'm happy to report this hasn't happened to my bipolar skin! At the same time though, I would never use this cream as an overnight cream. I still love my Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial Cream for that purpose! As Caroline Hirons (facial beauty expert extraordinaire) has pointed out also, do not sleep in this cream, it's not a magic a elixir for overnight stays
Pain Points? Definitely the price. I do love the packaging, it looks so pretty on my bathroom counter top, and I understand that luxury packaging mimics the "pot of gold" or bold jewels aesthetic, but this also hinders the portability of the cream, so decanting into a small container is a must. There are potential hygiene heeby jeebies about this cream being used on makeup jobs, and if you're freakish about fingers in pots, you're going to need a small spatula to dish the cream out. As a makeup artist though, hygiene is engrained in my blood so I only use this with clean, anti-bacterialised fingers, or a spatula, and thereafter sprayed over with an antibacterial spray. These are meagre points though if your intention for the cream is for special occasions, and bottling the cream in a tube would likely lessen the luxury feel of the product. A little goes along way, and should I ever run out, I definitely would repurchase to keep this in my makeup kit arsenal for all my special occasion clients.
To read more on another point of view, click here to read from Caroline Hirons.