Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Hollywood red carpet glamour in a bottle, or a base so glowy I’m giving the Tin Man a run for his money?

Glow - Highlighter - Makeup - Primer

This has to be one of the most confusion-causing products out there. Is it the doe-foot applicator, large glass bottle, thick texture, or ‘use any way you like’ directions that cause such confusion when it comes to the Hollywood Flawless Filter? Whatever it is, this product has been asked a lot of questions: How do I use it? When do I use it? Where do I use it? Which colour do I use? And why isn’t it in a pump bottle?

Your standard glow-giving products generally come in two forms; either the primer/lotion you slather on before foundation, or the highlighter that you dab on after foundation. But the thing to get your head around with this product is that is can be used before, after, or instead of your foundation. It’s a Charlotte Tilbury wonder.

While they also tout this as a ‘complexion booster’, the name really does sum it up – flawless filter. This thick, sheeny cream is intended to diffuse imperfections, add luminescence and a slight hint of colour in the same vein as your favourite Instagram filter. In terms of application options, think of it again like your camera filters – those that improve the light a little, those that up the summer tan and improve your skin a touch, right through to those that fully perfect your skin and even add eyelashes. The Hollywood Flawless Filter might not add eyelashes, but you get the idea.

Firstly there’s the bare face option, where you cover your entire face with a thin layer of the product and have a subtle hint of colour, lots of glow and a little blurring of imperfections. It’s like an extremely glowy, sheer tinted moisturiser. Next you can step it up a notch, and add your foundation over the top, which allows the shine to pop through and also adds a certain dewiness to your base. Or finally, you could go ahead with your usual face base products, and then dab a little of Charlotte’s filter onto the cheekbones, nose and cupids bow for a liquid highlight.

When I first got hold of this product, despite its myriad of uses I just couldn’t seem to find the place for it within my routine. I wasn’t loving it’s almost greasy feel, and using it all over my face made me a little tin-man weary. But one day, I just swiped it over my bare skin before, generously applied concealer where I need it and when my makeup was finished I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw the results in the mirror. The glowing, soft focus effect that Charlotte likes to promise was definitely there. Was I just having a good skin week? Had I just not given it enough of a chance previously? Since then I go through waves of loving this product daily and then letting it sit unused for weeks on end – it’s a funny one. The consensus of online reviews seem just as confused, 50% absolutely loving it and 50% staying meh. 

It all depends on what effect you like with your makeup, and whether you’re satisfied with your current round-up of products in your routine. If you can’t get enough of the glow, not sparkle but that real high-shine, almost metallic illumination then this is a winner. If you hate powder highlighters, and can’t find liquid versions in the correct tone for your skin – again, this is a winner with it’s seven colour options. If you’re not much of a makeup wearer but want to get on the glow-trend, a touch of this smoothed over your face with just mascara and lip gloss might be the something something you’re after. As for me, while not part of my everyday base, I’ll be bringing this filter out on occasion, just like I might use camera filters, when I want to up the drama. If you can’t get your hands on Charlotte Tilbury, or can’t handle the heavy glass jar packaging, a good alternative is Vita Liberata’s Beauty Blur – a similarly glowy, tinted base that perfects and add luminosity.

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