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I Tried the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation for a Month to See If It Lived Up to Its Name


I’ll be honest: I’m not a foundation kind of person. At least not lately. For the past seven years or so, concealer has been the complexion product I reach for the most, since I’m always looking to cover up blemishes, hormonal redness, and dark circles (shout out to my toddler for the sleepless nights!). But it wasn’t always this way—I still remember college-me using the MAYBELLINE Dream Matte Mousse® almost every day under the tutelage of one grainy YouTube tutorial or another. I think one day, I just decided that concealer was how I would achieve a more natural (but hopefully flawless) skin finish, and all my foundations got buried in my makeup drawer—and memory—until now. 

So when I got the chance to review the CHARLOTTE TILBURY Beautiful Skin Foundation, it was like hearing your ex’s name for the first time in years. Foundation? What? Did I even like it anymore, and how would it compare to my current routine (aka only concealer)? Would I become a foundation believer again? There was only one way to know for sure. So I test-drove this product for one whole month, and here’s what I found.

A Review of the CHARLOTTE TILBURY Beautiful Skin Foundation

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Beautiful Skin Foundation

My First Impressions

It’s worth noting that the brand describes this formula as “buildable, medium-coverage, hydrating foundation”—not that I read any of that before using it (unlike when I build IKEA furniture, I prefer to go in blind). Good thing I didn’t though, since hydrating usually means glowy and dewy—two adjectives that my oily skin fears most. 

The first day I tried this foundation, I was shook by the color match. As someone who is notorious for choosing the wrong color for complexion products, I couldn’t believe that this shade (in 4 Neutral) could actually be my perfect match. It only took me 30-something years to finally match my skin tone and undertones to the right makeup product, but who’s counting?

After applying the foundation all over my face.

The formula had a smooth, liquid consistency, practically gliding over my face when I applied it with a kabuki brush. It’s such an easy product to use that it almost made me feel like it was part of my skincare routine—but that could also be thanks to the fact that the ingredient list includes hyaluronic acid (there’s that hydration factor!), a rose complex to help brighten and strengthen the skin barrier, and coconut extract to help plump.

The Pros and Cons of the CHARLOTTE TILBURY Beautiful Skin Foundation

After using the foundation for about a month, I found a few features I love about this formula. For starters, it really does make your skin look, well…beautiful. Whereas some of the foundations I’ve tried before have felt heavy or looked cakey on my skin, this one blended seamlessly into my complexion and was virtually undetectable unless you were looking at me up close (please don’t).

Another day trying the foundation, this time with the rest of my makeup applied on top of it.

And you know how we all sneak glimpses of ourselves in mirrors or windows throughout the day? During those midday checks, I was surprised at how well my makeup held up, and how natural and even my skin looked. My oily skin thrived with this hydrating, longwear, medium-coverage formula, so I can only imagine the wonders it could work for dry skin (or any skin type, for that matter). I also loved how effortless it was to apply—gone were the days of foundation application feeling like a bicep workout from dragging a super-thick matte foundation across my skin.

When it comes to cons about this foundation, there aren’t many. Call me greedy, but mostly I found myself wishing that this was a full-coverage foundation instead medium-coverage, so I could address the uneven pigmentation in my skin without reaching for another makeup product.

Who Should Use This Foundation?

If you’re into a natural makeup look but still want a bit of coverage on the complexion front, I think you’ll love this CHARLOTTE TILBURY foundation. It helps you achieve that coveted your-skin-but-better look and also lasts for hours—a rare combo in the makeup world. But if you’re used to a more flawless finish, you may want to pair this foundation with a high-coverage concealer and setting powder to achieve the look you’re going for. 

As for me? I really like this foundation. Do I like it enough to replace my trusty concealer with it? Well…that’s a different story. If anything, I would use this foundation in tandem with a concealer for special events, or on its own on a day when I want to amp up my look without overdoing it. For now, I’m still enjoying spot-concealing my problem areas without needing to apply foundation all over my face—but ask me again if CHARLOTTE TILBURY ever releases a full-coverage version!

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About the author
Susan Muramoto
Susan is a senior copywriter at IPSY and a Bay Area-based freelance writer and copyeditor. She has over ten years of writing experience that spans public media, higher education, and beauty.
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Article Last Updated January 18, 2024 12:00 AM