Hugely hyped and anxiously anticipated – just another day at Charlotte Tilbury HQ I’d assume -is her newest release – Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation. Charlotte has a way of building a genuine hysteria about her upcoming releases – she is always so incredibly passionate about each and every product in her range (as she should be of course – she created it!) and that kind of passion is reeaally hard to resist. Charlotte can make you feel envy and need over basically any item of makeup she released even when you may have turned a blind eye to it if it were released from any other brand. The phrase ‘could sell ice to eskimos’ springs to mind.
I haven’t done a proper foundation review in a long time. Argh, hoping we do alright! So here we have it, the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation review. If I’ve left anything major out due to my rustiness please forgive and ask me in the comments. Also – this post is quite heavy on the story-time and lighter on the ‘official’ details – let me know if you like this type of review – or if you want the focus to be more on the official stuff.
So, back to the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation. When I first came across posts on social media there was to be a new CT foundation released oh boy, was I interested. I was anticipating a medium-ish coverage base with a glow. Based on the fact there’s Light Wonder (sheer and glowy AF) and Magic Foundation (which I believe is a demi-matte full coverage- I haven’t tried this one) a luminous satin with a good medium type coverage felt like the perfect choice to fill in a bit of gap within the base products from CT. Unfortunately this was not the case.
The Official Deets
- 44 shades covering a variety of undertones
- All day, weightless, full coverage formula with a natural matte finish
- Sweat proof, humidity proof, water proof and transfer resistant.
- MOISTURISES for up to 24 hours! Skin moisture levels boosted by 216% in 1 hour!*
- Ground-breaking Magic REPLEXIUM® to significantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles by up to 22%* after 8 weeks of use
- MossCellTec™ No. 1 to boost HYDRATION by up to +216%*
- AirCool™ for an instant fresh feel on the skin**!
- Has a unique C.T. DEFENCE™ that is designed to limit exposure of the skin to everyday pollutants.***
- Gives a FLAWLESS, PORELESS looking finish! 95% agree pores look reduced!**
When the launch happened and I saw some clips on Instagram I was still like, hmm… maybe this could work for me. It doesn’t look so matte. The models have a glow… **editors note – let’s just stop here and clarify that 20-ish year old models ALWAYS have a glow. That’s called youth and a blessed gene pool. That doesn’t always translate to this 38 year old face. Bummer.
When three shades of the foundation arrived via PR I was hopeful. I mean, Charlotte does exquisite skin. Surely claims of a matte finish is exaggerated? I bet I can get this to go on flawlessly with a nice hydrating primer. Of course I can! Or so I thought. Get ready for a rollercoaster ride of foundation testing. It’s not all doom and gloom, but it’s been a wild ride.
The Quick Application
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation is a very VERY matte, very high coverage base. Like matte matte – at least on me it is. Can you see where I might be headed with this review?
The night I received I quickly grabbed the shade that looked closest to my skin shade and applied with no real skin prep prior. I applied in very small amounts at first, wondering if the claims of full cover had been over-promised. Umm, no. She is full cover alright. I was quickly blown away by just how little product was needed to cover things like redness. Ahhhmazing.
I dabbed and blended with my beauty blender until I had covered my entire face, with what was essentially very little product. I leant back to analyse my face. Feeling hopeful that even this slap dash late night foundation trial would create a glimmer of hope of a brilliant relationship blossoming between myself and Charlotte’s newest creation.
I was not ready for this kind of heartbreak. Firstly the shade was not a good match. But ok, I could deal with that. I have two other shades right here and we can mix up a concoction if need be. But it wasn’t only the shade. The finish looked super dry. Powdery even. I can assure you no powder was used, so that was a bit shocking to me. I could feel the base literally sucking my skin in and any surface hydration I had before was now long lost. Ok, I can still deal with this. More hydration underneath! More, more, more, MORE!
I’ll spare you the details, my skin had an un-related freak-out so cue one week downtime, and now back to testing.
Day One Proper Test
Day One – I thought, ok, let’s go with something I know will work. I’ll mix in a bit of CT Light Wonder. I’m positive they’ll play together nicely and this blend will up the coverage of Light Wonder and perhaps turn it a bit of a more natural finish. In other words, take down a little coverage off the Airbrush and give it a little luminosity.
Nope. Wasn’t the case. It did cut a bit of the coverage out, but this girl was a still matte nightmare. I found the foundation mix had a hard time sticking on areas of dryness (sides of nose at this point – due to that skin freak) it also looked patchy in other areas and again it seemed as though any moisture that had been in my skin (there was plenty too! Hydrating skin care routine prior and a hydrating primer) had disappeared once again.
I wore for a few hours and my face looked worse with each hour passed. I gave in and washed it off.
Ok, let’s think here. How am I going to make this work? In the famous words of Barney Stinson “Challenge ACCEPTED”
Testing Testing Day Two
Day two I woke and was prepared for battle. I did ALLLL the prep. And then some more. I went super nourishing with my skincare. Doused my face in MAC Fix+ and Smashbox Primerizer which I find supremely hydrating without greasiness. I did Hollywood Flawless Filter ALL over my entire face. I dampened my Beauty Blender and stared down my other foundations, making life or death decisions on which one I was going to sacrifice next to the cause. Ever so slightly dramatic.
Dior Skin Glow. Number one foundation in my arsenal for decent coverage but, as the name so suggests, gives a good glow. So here we have it. I take a pump of Airbrush Flawless Foundation and two pumps of Dior Skin Glow (equated to roughly a 50/50 mix) mixed it together on the back of my hand, breathed deeply and bounced my Beauty Blender in there and started to pounce onto my skin.
Ok. Alright. Not so bad. There’s a glimmer of luminosity there – but don’t get ahead of yourself Blanche. She could still dry down. So I kept working that foundation mix into my face. To be honest, at this point, I wasn’t so hopeful.
Finished, didn’t bother with concealer – I didn’t need it. Like I said earlier – this bish has COVERAGE! I used the teensy tiniest bit of powder to set under my eyes. Eye makeup. Complexion – CT Contour Wand, Glowgasm Beauty Light Wand – Peachgasm and a bit of a new Cover FX blush duo I’d been meaning to try. Popped a lip on.
Stood back. And let out a deep breathe.
Not bad, not bad at all. Yep, this is still full cover. But the type of full cover I can work with. I just about got my natural skin finish. I don’t look powdery at least. It’s not clinging to any drier patches. I’ve got this!
As the day wore on, 5 hours later to be exact, I was pretty damn happy. I got a bit more glow (yay!) It still looked like foundation (but what full cover doesn’t tho?!) it had melted into my skin more and looked more at one with it.
I had done it. I made it work. I won. Where’s my prize?
8/9 hours after initially applying the glow was dying down and my skin was looking just a little thirsty again albeit nowhere like the day prior.
At this point I called it a day. I went to battle and won. Here’s an insta clip of me talking it through. With a cameo from my little monster. Oh, and the camera picked up a lot more glow than real life. Cheers for that iPhone.
- Worn on its own – very matte on my DRY skin. Not cute. Mixed with something glowy – I’m on board with that
- The coverage is no joke
- Performs nicely over pores to minimise appearance
- Long-lasting enough for a full day – don’t ask me to wear a foundation for 16+ hours cause it’s not going to happen lols
- Is not going to be kind to rough dry flaky skin texture – exfoliation and lots of hydration prior will be key!
- Of the shades I have, two of them being ‘neutral’ I still find they lean quite warm/yellow on me
- A little goes a long way. Not kidding. You do not need much at all to get a full cover look
Should I (or you) need to work this hard to make a foundation work? In a perfect world, no. If you are lucky enough to have found a formula you love and a shade match is available in that formula – then you’re done! Case closed. For a lot of people that’s not an option and mixing a personalised blend is just what needs to happen.
Do I hate this foundation? At first yes I did. Now that I have a mix that worked, not so much. If I needed to look flawless for the day or night I will most certainly revisit this little base recipe I created. But am I going to do it day to day? Absolutely not.
Who Would I Recommend Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation To?
I would recommend this foundation to anyone that loves themselves a little full coverage number and who has a skin type that range in the oily-combo and possibly normal sphere. If you are dry or if you have dry patches I would totally recommend against it. Mature skin? I think be wary and get a sample if at all possible before taking the plunge.
I was very kindly sent three shades of the Airbrush Flawless Foundation via PR. Thoughts are all my own. Quite obviously.
Just because one product from a brand isn’t suited to my tastes and needs does not mean the entire line is rubbish. Quite the opposite in this instance! Charlotte Tilbury has been a huge love of mine for years. Almost every product I have bought and used (or been sent via PR) has been a absolute winner. I have linked a couple of my favourites below. If you’d like any of them property reviewed LMK!