As you may recall I’ve been testing out the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation for a good chunk of time now. I was on the fence in my prior post, but I think I’m ready to do a full review. As I said before, I really want to love this foundation. If you’re curious how I’m feeling after almost 2 months of trying it out, keep on reading! 🙂
Let’s start with the basics – the claims. This foundation really kind of claims to do everything. It is designed for all ages, all skin types and all skin tones. It claims to have weightless full coverage with a demi-matte finish and includes not only SPF 15, but is meant to have the “anti-aging and protective benefits of a luxury skin cream.” The description claims it can cover acne, rosacea and melasma with ease and without accentuating pores and other flaws. Add to that the claim of long wearing and you can see why the foundation is named “Magic!” Like most products though, the description may go a bit overboard with the claims. I will admit that it’s pretty close, but I don’t agree 100%.
The Magic Foundation comes in a stunning array of 15 shades! They have everything from what appears to be quite fair to what seems pretty deep, though I haven’t seen every shade in person. Each shade depth is also available in a variety of undertones for the perfect match. For reference, I have the shade 4.5 (which is probably a touch dark and too yellow for me) and I’m definitely on the fairer side of life with pretty neutral undertones. So in terms of working for every skin tone? With a range like that, I’d have to give that a yes!
On to the weightless claim. This foundation definitely feels pretty light and almost undetectable on the skin. If you hate the feel of liquid foundations, try this because you will probably not be disappointed! The only reason I throw an always in there is that I can sometimes feel the foundation as the day wears on and I get a bit shinier (my skin is normal to combo most days, but foundations almost always make me greasier). It’s more the slight oiliness that I’m feeling, but it does make me aware of the foundation. So as far as weightless goes, again I think I would have to say yup it meets the claim!
Coverage time! This is absolutely a buildable high-medium to full coverage foundation. I guess how you’d classify it depends on your experience with other foundations. I personally don’t think I have much that does a better job with coverage. That said, I do usually need concealer for certain redness around my nose and for old blemish spots. Adding a bit more of the foundation can also work, but I feel like the more layers you start adding, it can start to look a bit heavy. I tend to use 1 pump for my entire face with another half pump to build coverage in problem areas. The secret to keeping it from looking too heavy is definitely in not using too much and in blending it well. Generally speaking, it manages to balance between covering well and avoiding a heavy, caked on look! I’m not sure how it does it, but I would actually say that it looks quite natural, which is practically unheard of for a higher coverage foundation!
The finish of this foundation is rather unusual. It claims to be demi-matte and I would agree, but it look really natural! It’s not going to create a glow, but you’re not left looking lifeless either. Again another magical balancing act! And despite the higher level of coverage, I really feel that the Magic Foundation looks quite skin-like. It’s a beautiful finish that’s rare to find in such a well-covering product!
On to whether it works for “all skin types.” Again, I think my answer would be yes! Obviously I can only test it on my own slightly combo skin, but since I do have pretty regular skin with oilier areas and some dehydration, I feel like I can make a good assessment for a variety of issues. I’m guessing it’s not the best for incredibly dry skin, but I don’t think it would be terrible either. I don’t find that it accentuates any dryness or flakiness on my skin, but it’s not really hydrating either. As for oilier skin types, I find that though a bit of oil can break through throughout the day, I don’t end up as shiny or uncomfortable with practically every other foundation. At worst, I may have to blot once throughout the day. Again, it’s not mattifying or drying, but it doesn’t seem to make oiliness worse. Somehow it walks the line so it works for practically everyone!
The final claim (skin care benefits aside because I can’t really speak to them) of not accentuating flaws and imperfections is the only place where I don’t entirely agree or disagree with the description. Obviously I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles yet (thank goodness!), but I have quite large and deep pores as well as some acne scarring on my cheeks. These pores are the bane of my existence and are always accentuated by foundations. After this good long while of testing, I have decided that the Magic Foundation is much better than most at not emphasizing my pores, but it does do it a bit. I can lessen the issue by using less product around problem areas, but then those areas are where I typically need more coverage. I find the best approach is to go in with a light layer of the foundation and spot concealing with the tiniest of brushes to really pinpoint discoloration, it just takes more time than I would like. Even if I double up the foundation on my cheeks where the pores are most prominent, it is at worst equal to other foundations so I can live with that. As for the scarring on my cheeks, the foundation blends so nicely that I don’t find the product settling into or skipping over those pitted marks, which is fantastic! So though I don’t agree that it is perfect for all ages and pores, it is definitely much better than pretty much anything else…especially any foundation with this level of coverage!
Something else that’s definitely a selling point but I don’t see mentioned in the online description, though it’s on the box is that this foundation lasts! The Magic Foundation is probably the best wearing foundation I have ever tried! Once you’ve applied it, it sets and stays put all day. I don’t need to set it with powder (and usually don’t) or setting mists or any other type of prolonging product. It has the best staying power of anything I think I’ve ever seen! It’s absolutely wonderful! I’ve worn it through mild workouts where I’m definitely sweating, but not dripping and the foundation is still going strong! It’s truly impressive! All of that said, the foundation will set so you need to work somewhat quickly with it. It’s not the kind of product where you need to apply to your forehead, blend and then move on to a cheek, blend, etc. You certainly have enough time to dot the product over your entire face, take your time blending and you’re just fine. Just know that it’s a bit tough to blend out a spot you may have missed 30 minutes later. 🙂 It can be done, just takes some extra effort. 😉 I highly recommend the Magic Foundation for anyone in need of a fantastic long-wearing foundation!
Let’s see if there’s anything else? There is no real detectable scent. It comes in a beautiful glass bottle with a pump that allows you control over the amount you dispense. The foundation blends like a dream and it really is one of the most comfortable foundations I’ve worn! The price is relatively affordable for a high end foundation and much less than I expected from Charlotte Tilbury at $44 for 1 fl oz.
If you’re curious about how I like to apply it, here you go! I start with the Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray all over my face. Next up I pick a pore-filling / smoothing primer – I’ve been switching between the By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Primer and the Dermalogica Hydrablur Primer and dot that mainly where my pores are most visible. Yes, you’re seeing that right. I do use two primers, but it works wonders for me so I don’t mind! Then we’re on to the Magic Foundation which I usually apply and do an initial blend with my fingers, then typically blend it out with a slightly rounded Kabuki brush. My preferred brush is the IT Brushes for Ulta Velvet Luxe LBD Foundation Brush #302 (side note: this brush is fantastic and absorbs practically no foundation!). That’s it! Obviously I do the rest of my makeup, but rarely do I add powder to set or need a makeup setting spray. I occasionally need to blot throughout the day – maybe once or twice – and that’s it until I remove it. It can be a bit tough to remove, but get a good cleansing oil and you should be find (I’ve been using the Farmacy Clear Bloom Makeup Glideaway Cleansing Oil which I recently reviewed here). It’s actually a pretty easy foundation routine in my opinion and I really enjoy it!
So, as you can see, the Magic Foundation pretty much lives up to its claims – a rarity indeed! Though it does accentuate my pores a bit, it’s still much less than other foundations so I can live with it. I definitely recommend giving the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation a try if you’re in need of a new foundation…or are just constantly searching for the one. 🙂
love and stuff,