Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter review

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Is it a primer? Is it a highlighter? Is it a lightweight makeup base? What kind of makeup product is this? Let’s just say that the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter can be all three of those things and then some. The Hollywood Flawless Filter I bought to try as a glowy base before makeup, but you can also use it as a highlighter on the tops of the cheeks or you can wear it as is. In February I am trying two more of these products: the Glossier Futuredew and Colourpop’s Pretty Fresh Illuminator. At the end of the month, I will be doing a video in which I compare all three. However, I also wanted to make sure I had dedicated reviews for each product up here. Today is the first one for the Hollywood Flawless Filter.

Review: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter in 2 Light

Of the three that I am trying, this is the most expensive one, but also the one I bought first. Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter is an infamous products in her line. Many people rave about it and it has been a cult favorite makeup product for years. In 2020, I decided to try some more Charlotte Tilbury makeup and this one was high up the list. At €40, I wanted this to be revolutionary and so the question is whether this is truly any different from any other primer I have tried?

What does this product have to offer?

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Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter promises to be more than just any primer. This is supposed to make your skin look the best it has ever done. It boasts including a filler ingredient, while also creating a soft focus effect with a glowy finish that should make your skin look youthful and glowy. Hence the claim that you can use this in different ways: it has a bit of coverage, it has a lot of glow, but it also has some elements that makes your skin look smoother and more evened out.

What does this product do?

charlotte tilbury hollywood flawless filter primer highlighter illuminator illuminating primer review swatch fair skin dry skin sensitive skin makeup application look

As mentioned I wanted to use this as a glowy primer and that would be my preferred way of using this still. The way you apply this product is through a massive doe foot applicator, which I don’t love. To cover my entire face I feel I need to dip into the bottle a few times, so a pump or a squeezy tube would have made this product easier for me to manage. That said, the formula is quite liquidy in texture and so I also understand why the doe foot was chosen as it makes less of a mess. This product is super glowy, but I find that once I sheer it out it looks more like a healthy natural glow, rather than a super strong highlight. I therefore find it doesn’t work well for highlighting the high points of my face if I don’t use a light layer all over. As a makeup base I would skip this too as it doesn’t have enough coverage to cover up all of my redness and I find it too glowy to wear by itself.

How does this product swatch?

charlotte tilbury hollywood flawless filter primer highlighter illuminator illuminating primer review swatch fair skin dry skin sensitive skin makeup application look

In this swatch I am showing the product to you full on as well as blended out. As you can see, the product sheers out very nicely, but it has a lot of glow so I don’t feel it is perfect for building up to create more coverage. The formula is a lightweight liquid that feels pleasant on the skin. Once blended in you can’t even feel anymore that it is on your face. The shade I bought, 2 Light, looks a bit dark in the bottle, but because of the sheer texture I felt it works really well and still has some coverage to it. Before buying this, I got a tester card with all the shades on it and I tried all of the lightest three shades before settling on 2 Light. That shade just worked best on me and had the effect I wanted. I feel I can get away with a slightly deeper shade as the product is so sheer.

How does this makeup product apply?

charlotte tilbury hollywood flawless filter primer highlighter illuminator illuminating primer review swatch fair skin dry skin sensitive skin makeup application look

Here you can see the product applied all over my face. In the before picture you can clearly see the redness of my cheeks. This is minimized somewhat by the primer, but not completely. I could get away with wearing just this for sure, however I like wearing a base to cancel out all redness so products such as blush and bronzer look better on my skin. Additionally, if I want to wear a red lipstick, I find it important to cancel out all redness in my skin so I have a flawless base against the red of the lip.

That said, this product evens out my skin, adds glow and sits well under makeup. I have been using it with the NARS Sheer Glow (review pending!) for a few days as I find a product like this works best under a more medium coverage foundation. And I have been loving that combination. I often find a medium coverage foundation can look quite heavy on my skin, but with this product underneath it, it makes any heavier base product look more flawless and less cakey on my skin.

My final thoughts

charlotte tilbury hollywood flawless filter primer highlighter illuminator illuminating primer review swatch fair skin dry skin sensitive skin makeup application look

Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter has been a great one to try in the winter months. This is not the kind of primer I will be using on a daily basis though. Mainly because this adds so much glow to the skin, I don’t feel I need this unless the foundation I am using calls for it. As a primer, I don’t feel this makes my foundation last any longer but it has some priming quality that I like. I will surely be keeping this one around to be wearing under some heavier coverage foundations and to make them more perfect for the winter time. I love a glowy, dewy look and this turns any foundation that is a bit too matte into just that what I am looking for.

Would I recommend the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter?

This is a lovely product and if I am judging it on its own accord, not comparing it to the two products I will be comparing it for you soon, I think this is a product many people will like if you like a dewy, glowy finish to your base makeup. For me personally, the product doesn’t exceed the level of a glowy primer, so it has its limited use and therefore I don’t think it is necessarily worth the luxury price tag. I would be happier with this if I had paid a little bit less. However, if you want to splurge then I think this is a great product from Charlotte Tilbury’s line and it comes in a bunch of shades now too, so the line has a lot to offer to many different skin tones.

What is a glowy primer you tried?

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Joy says:

    Wonderful review! I really love this product, I use it as a primer but I don’t apply all of my face, just my cheekbones, nose bridge and chin. I love how it makes my foundation look. And I actually saw a major difference when I stopped using it. I totally agree with you though, that it’s not extraordinary, especially for the high price tag

  2. retrodee says:

    Wow your skin looks flawless in that last photo. I mean it always looks good, but wow. Did you put foundation on top of the CT Flawless Filter? Also, do you think this product MIGHT work for someone with oily skin? LOL. I about never use liquid foundation or primers or anything… but this is so tempting to try under a powder… When I wear powder, it makes me look all pasty and dull. So something like this might be the answer.

    1. indiequeen84 says:

      Yeah that last picture is with a full face of makeup on. I think of the three glowy products that I am currently testing out, this is probably best for oily skin. Ct counters are usually really good with giving out samples though so if you ever get to shop in a store that carries them just ask!

      1. retrodee says:

        Thanks for the info! I will have to give it a try if I can find a sample. There’s a mini version, but the shades available are too deep for me.

  3. True Baronesse says:

    I’ve never tried HFF, but I am loving Revlon’s Skin Lights Face Glow Illuminator. I’ve heard Karima Mckimmie say they are very similar. The downside is that Revlon only comes in 2 shades (I use Sunrise Luster). It doesn’t have much base pigmentation though, it’s almost transparent when blended out. Thank you for the review, I am hoping I will be able to get my hands on a mini HFF someday (currently, I don’t see it on CultBeauty or FeelUnique, and Charlotte’s website apparently isn’t shipping delivery duty paid to EU… and I am not about that double taxation life πŸ˜…)

    1. indiequeen84 says:

      Sadly Revlon isn’t for sale here anymore or in any case really hard to find. And we never get any of the new products either. That’s one brand I wish would be more readily available.

  4. taglientimua says:

    I need to re-try this, it didnt give me enough coverage alone. Glad I read your post! Love your blog. Just gave you a follow and can’t wait to see future posts xxx

    1. indiequeen84 says:

      Yeah this is more of a topper than a powder that will give you actual coverage. Works best over other products that’s for sure.

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