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Foundation can do wonders for concealing and evening skin tone, but my skin’s finicky canvas (read: sometimes dry, sometimes acne-prone) makes it tricky to find a reliable one that won’t emphasize texture. Heading into the winter months, I noticed patchy, dry spots despite moisturizing, priming, and diligently blending out my foundation and concealer. All this is to say, when Charlotte Tilbury reached out to me about its new $44 Beautiful Skin Foundation, I jumped at the chance to try it. After all, this is a brand from which I’ve tried several items recently with amazing results. Without giving too much away, it’s my new favorite complexion perfector.
What the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation claims
The medium-coverage foundation contains skincare ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and coconut extract to hydrate the skin, a proprietary ingredient dubbed “Bix’Activ” derived from a shrub to reduce oiliness and the look of pores, and rose flower oil and water to brighten the skin and decrease dullness, dryness, and pigmentation. All of this should lend to a moisturized, smooth finish that lasts for 16 hours on the skin, or so the brand claims.
The foundation is available in 30 shades ranging from very light to deep and in neutral, cool, and warm undertones.
What I like about the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation
Let’s start with the superficial things, shall we? The packaging is not only beautiful with its metallic gold details that Charlotte Tilbury products are known for, but it’s functional in a slim squeeze tube with a pump on the end. The opening on the pump disperses a small amount of formula, which allows me to start with less and build coverage as I desire it, and keeps the remaining foundation inside and protected from the air and contaminants. I chose the shade “1 Neutral,” which matches my self-described very light, neutral skin tone well—I wouldn't change a thing, except maybe in the warmer months when I have a slight tan.
My go-to foundation application method includes dispersing the product in dots around my face and then blending it out with my BeautyBlender makeup sponge. The formula’s consistency is thin enough to feel lightweight and trail down the back of my hand, but viscous enough to provide plenty of coverage over discoloration with just a few dabs on my cheek. Knowing that some may prefer to use a brush instead, I first wielded the “Foundation Brush” from the Sephora Collection Deluxe Brush Set, Reviewed’s Best Upgrade pick of the best makeup brushes. I was surprised by how fast I was able to get a smooth application, free of bristle strokes or patchiness, with the brush alone. I could have left it as-was, but I used my sponge to lightly tap the foundation in further, paying specific attention to the curves of my face, like around my nose, where the formula may have not coated the skin as evenly as I prefered. The result: a flawless-looking complexion.
Impressed by the foundation’s ability to glide over dry patches and fine lines, I applied some under my eyes, mixing it with a lighter-colored concealer, the Ilia True Skin Serum Concealer, to brighten up the blue-toned area. My under-eyes are a problem area for me, as blueness peeks through, makeup tends to settle into my fine lines, and many concealers end up looking patchy and dry. But this moisturizing combination, especially when set with a dusting of the Kosas Cloud Set Powder, was unstoppable.
I can’t say I wore this foundation for 16 hours—more like 12 at most—but the coverage lasted well throughout the day, wearing away slightly around my chin where I’m prone to touching my face (bad habits die hard). Unlike most foundations that look powdery after a few hours on my normal-to-dry skin, this seemed to get more luminous throughout the day. I prefer this outcome, as I can always add powder to my face to diminish shine.
What I dislike about the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation
Charlotte Tilbury is a luxury brand and many will be deterred by the prices on its top-selling items. This foundation, at $44 for 1 fluid-ounce, is no different. I’ve tried plenty of makeup over the years and I’m a devoted drugstore shopper, but if I’ve learned anything from trying this brand, it’s that the makeup doesn’t disappoint. Sure, you may only want to purchase an item when you have a gift card or feel like splurging on yourself, but when you do, you won’t regret it, if your experience is anything like mine. I own the Hollywood Flawless Filter, Cheek to Chic Blush, Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Duo, Glowgasm Beauty Light Wand, and tested the Pillow Talk On The Go set for Reviewed; everything has been of the promised exceptional quality.
So really, the only thing I dislike is the idea of spending $44 on the foundation because I know I’m going to want to keep this in my makeup arsenal long term.
Why the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation is worth it
I adore the finish this foundation gives my skin and how it wears throughout the day. Though it claims to be medium coverage, a little goes a long way, covering discoloration and blurring texture with just a light touch. Those with normal-to-dry skin like me will treasure the hydrating, semi-glowing quality this formula has, but even those with combination or oily skin may find it suitable, especially when paired with a makeup primer and/or setting powder that claims to tamp down shine. If you’re willing to spend the extra dough, you’ll be happy you did.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.