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charlotte tilbury magic cream final
Nothing can stand in our way…

Brace yourself: if you happen to see this jar sitting atop your dressing table, it means that any second now, your lady’s maid will magically materialize to dress you, gently brush every lock of hair into place, and pin a diamond tiara on your head.

(Side note: I have watched an obscene amount of Downton Abbey over the past few days.)

Only Charlotte Tilbury could turn a standard-issue makeup artist’s trick — applying a layer of rich moisturizer on your face before putting on your face paint — and turn it into a bonafide F.L.L. (that’s “Fancy Lady Lifestyle,” dahhhling), with one of her line’s most renowned products: Magic Cream.

Lots of people swear by this rich, thick cream, which is made for all skin types and designed to be applied right before going in with your makeup.

Devotees of the Cult o’ Magic Cream claim that it potently plumps the skin, and it does contain heavy-hitting hydrators like hyaluronic acid, shea butter and aloe vera (to name a few), but I’d characterize the plumping effect as subtle.

The idea is that it’s supposed to smooth your canvas, so to speak, before you layer your foundation, concealer, powder, etc. on top. So, basically, it’s a rose-scented moisturizer/primer combo in a very pretty jar.

One thing about it? It smells fancy and expensive, and my skin absorbs the rich cream right away. Immediately after applying my base makeup on top of it — my foundation, powder, concealer, etc. — my base products look a little richer, more vibrant and slightly smoother. Everything looks a little more…natural and less like “makeup.”

If you’re a seasoned makeup person, you’ll see a subtle difference, but I dare say that most people won’t.

Here’s the thing: you can get a similar effect with any moisturizer, and doing a quick hit of moisturizer before base makeup is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Be that as it may, this cream’s ability to actually adhere to whatever you layer on top is its super power. In that way, it’s far better than a run-of-the-mill moisturizer. A lot of similarly rich creams will make your makeup slip right off, but this doesn’t. So, as a primer, it’s very effective.

I like it. A lot. But I don’t like the price. AT ALL.

INGREDIENTS

This product is gluten free.

AQUA/WATER/EAU, C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE, GLYCERYL STEARATE SE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERIN, OLUS OIL/VEGETABLE OIL/HUILE VÉGÉTALE, ISONONYL ISONONANOATE, CETYL ALCOHOL, ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, DIMETHICONE, POLYESTER-7, PHENOXYETHANOL, NEOPENTYL GLYCOL DIHEPTANOATE, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, STEARETH-21, AVENA SATIVA (OAT) KERNEL EXTRACT, CARBOMER, DIMETHICONOL, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, CHLORPHENESIN, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, XANTHAN GUM, HYDROLYZED VIOLA TRICOLOR EXTRACT, ALLANTOIN, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE, DISODIUM EDTA, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, CAMELLIA OLEIFERA SEED OIL, ROSA CANINA FRUIT OIL, ROSA DAMASCENA EXTRACT, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, MICHELIA ALBA LEAF OIL, SODIUM LACTATE, COCO-GLUCOSIDE, PEG-8, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, SODIUM HYALURONATE, TOCOPHEROL, PALMITOYL TETRAPEPTIDE-7, PALMITOYL TRIPEPTIDE-1, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, PLUMERIA RUBRA FLOWER EXTRACT, ASCORBIC ACID, CITRIC ACID, NICOTIANA SYLVESTRIS LEAF CELL CULTURE, LINALOOL, CITRONELLOL, GERANIOL.

The 30-ml. jar at top is $64, a 50-ml. jar is $100, and a 150-ml. jar is $225. (Wow!) Sephora also sells a tiny 0.5-ml. mini jar for $29. Every size it comes in is crazy pricey!

If you aren’t too keen on dropping your beauty budget on a product that’s basically invisible, not to worry; you have other options. Head over to MAC, and give Prep + Primer Natural Radiance a try (it’s an underrated rock star, IMHO).

While it isn’t anywhere near as luxurious as Charlotte’s Magic Cream, it does basically the same thing, and it’s about 50% less pricey at $42 for a 50-ml. size.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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