Product Review

Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Foundation


I get asked by many people my opinions on products, what I like, dislike, what’s best for their skin. For many people it's a sort of try before you buy. The Charlotte Tilbury Magic foundation has been requested by a lot of people unsure whether or not to put it on their Christmas list this year.

So listening to you lovely lot I went out and brought myself the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation set, this includes her famous Magic foundation, Magic cream and the Magic Complexion brush.

I will touch slightly on the brush and magic cream but this review is more based on the foundation.

Now I brought this whole kit for £80.00 which is on the higher end of the product scale, the foundation on its own you can purchase for £29.50.

Before I start this review I'd like to say that these are my own opinions based on my skin type, which is normal/dry.  

Product description by Charlotte Tilbury:

My Magic Foundation is a miracle in a bottle that transforms skin for all ages, skin tones and skin types.

I have worked with laboratories for five years to create a “hyper-intelligent” formula that gives full-coverage yet feels completely weightless, with all the anti-aging and protective benefits of a luxury skin cream.

It conceals imperfections, glides on like a dream, and literally feels like a second skin. Whether your skin needs just a bit of perfecting, or you struggle with a frustrating issue like acne, melasma or rosacea, my Magic Foundation will give you a perfect skin day, every day!

Chose from 15 beautiful demi-matte shades to match every skin tone from Lily Cole to Lupita Nyongo. Buff on with my Magic Complexion Brush for a flawless, air-brushed finish.

**(The dreaded no makeup selfie... in the picture above the left side of my face is covered in the CT Magic Foundation and the right side is completely foundation free, so you can compare the difference.Also sorry about the cat ears, I always use them to hold back my hair!)**

When this package was delivered you could tell that a lot of thought, pride and attention to detail had gone into it, you receive a thank you letter from Charlotte, samples, and everything is wrapped and packaged in her colours and stuck down with her logo.

The products are beautiful and very expensive looking so much so that I would assume a lot of people who own CT products have them displayed on their dressing tables instead of in their drawers.

Displayed in a frosted glass bottle, CT Magic Foundation dispenses as a thin liquid texture, slightly similar to a moisturiser. Its supposedly a fragrance-free formula suitable for those with sensitive skin, but I found the smell to be quite strong almost like that fake tan biscuit smell.

Now I have had this foundation for a few months and it did take me a while to get to grips with it, at first I hated it, now after playing with it and applying it in every method I knew how, I think I actually kind of like it, love maybe a little way off yet.

The first week I tried it I found it horrendous I vowed I had wasted my money and I was done, it clung to every dry bit of my face, even areas that I didn’t think were dry it sourced them out, it looked flaky, was hard to apply and didn't wear nicely at all.

To start with I was applying the Magic Cream which I have now started to use on my own clients, it’s a very thick formula which hydrates and plumps out the skin, great for mature ladies, and those looking for a heavy, moisturising base. I then applied the foundation with the Complexion brush this foundation does dry down rather quickly so you will have to be swift with blending.

My first real problems were with this brush, what a complete waste of money! The first time I used it I think I ended up with more bristles on my face than in the brush and with the foundation being such a dry texture they literally clung onto my face, and had to be removed with my tweezers. It didn't seem to want to stop shedding after a couple uses either, I even washed it and that didn't help. Also I found when applying this foundation with this particular brush it just didn't seem to do any buffing rather than just moving the product around on my face so I could then see brush marks when the foundation had dried.

Would I recommend this brush? Definitely not. I do still use it, but as a blusher brush and it works very well.

Despite the claim that this foundation is for ALL skin types, it clung to and really exaggerated every last dry patch of my skin, with this being said when I dug it out my drawer for the second time I was ready to give it another shot, as I said before I have normal to dry skin but I treated my skin as if it was the driest skin out there. I applied Mac's Prep + Prime Moisture Infused Serum, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturiser and Benefits Pore Professional primer, then applied the foundation with my Zoeva buffing brush and a damp beauty blender. In areas where I needed more coverage I sprayed my face with Mac's Fix + spray and applied some more.

Once set I was actually surprised with the results, I agree with CT's claim that the formula feels lightweight on skin, but I completely disagree with the full-coverage claim. Instead, I would describe it as medium, slightly buildable coverage. Unfortunately, I found the coverage wasn’t enough on its own and had to cover extra red blemishes and scaring with my Nar's Radiant Concealer. It does fade a bit as the day wears on, though pairing this with a setting powder helps but don’t be to heavy with a powder as it will cling and look cakey.

So if you have dry skin, I’m afraid a primer alone is just not going to hack it and if you can’t be bothered to go through all the skin care that this foundation demands than this one is probably not for you.

On the other hand, those with oily, flake-free skin may find CT Magic Foundation to be an a suitable candidate, offering a demi-matte finish and medium coverage for a more even-looking skin tone, once set, you get a comfortable, almost powder-like finish, which helps hold back oily shine.

The foundation does provide a gentle broad-spectrum of a SP15 to help anti ageing sun damage but what few beneficial ingredients this does contain, are in a minuscule amount.

Shade-wise, the Foundation comes in over a dozen shades for the palest of skin all the way up to very deep complexions. I purchased shade 4 Fair which is slightly lighter than I was expecting so if you are on the paler side just be careful that you don't go to low down the colour spectrum as I have a feeling you will be darker than what you think. I would definitely try a sample first to see how the colour looks on you.

So to summarise do I think this foundation is MAGIC? To be brutally honest...No, and I don't think it should be advertised for all skin types as claimed. (Unless you’re prepared to prep your skin as if you’re attending a photo shoot or a wedding everyday) However, for those with normal to oily skin (including acne-prone), the demi-matte, medium coverage evens out skin tone attractively and feels comfortable. When you factor in the SPF, it’s an added bonus to boost your normal facial sunscreen for those sensitive skin beauties out there.

** (The photo above shows my whole face covered with the CT Magic foundation, with blusher bronzer and concealer added where I needed more coverage, which was around my chin, mouth, nose and temples. As with any Matte foundation you will have to add colour back into your skin.)**


- It gives a medium coverage which evens out skin tone nicely.

- It's a very light, comfortable, almost powder-like finish, great for sensitive skin.

- A very broad shade range.

- Photographs nicely.

- The formula + the demi matte finish is perfect to help control shine ideal for oily, acne or breakout prone skin.

- Having a SP15 helps ward off pro-ageing sun damage.

- The packaging is absolutely beautiful.


- Not a full coverage foundation (for people who have red scaring like me, you will have to build it up or apply a concealer over the top) 

- I used a lot trying to achieve a full coverage, around 3 pumps, so all this 1 pump talk is nonsense. 

- Hard to apply, you will need to work quickly and see what works best for you, I also found using my fingers helped, but I know that's not for everyone.

- It is not odour free.

- Not suitable for every skin type as claimed.

- Packaging may not be suitable for makeup artists to carry around as the bottles are bulky and heavy. 

Would I purchance these products again? The Magic Complexion Brush, never! The Magic Cream, although it has a hefty price tag, yes I would. The Magic Foundation, for my myself. . . No, I have better full coverage foundation's that demand less work and are better for my skin type. I am however undecided whether to add this to my kit for my more oily clients, I think I will have to try and test it out on a few more people before I fully commit to buying more shades.

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with these products, comment down below!

Have a Fabulous Day!

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