TOP OF THE TOWER: ISSUE 23
REAL ESTATE IS EXPENSIVE, ESPECIALLY WHEN WE'RE TALKING BEAUTY PRODUCT SPACE. OUR TOP OF THE TOWER PRODUCT PICKS ARE ALWAYS FRONT AND CENTER, RIGHT WHERE THEY BELONG.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY HOLLYWOOD FLAWLESS FILTER
by Catherine Spinley
I suppose it was only a matter of time until makeup brands began to market products using the word “filter.” Who doesn’t want to purchase something that sounds like it will make them look as smooth and flawless as the infamous “Subtle” Instagram filter that is quickly distorting humanity’s perception of their own faces one Instagram story at a time? Enter Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter, a product that is described as such on the website: “this...complexion booster has the versatility of a face primer, with the mega-watt glow of a highlighter and the perfecting properties of your favourite digital filter.” It all seemed too good to be true - makeup hyperbole at its finest. I didn’t purchase at the initial launch, instead choosing to watch a LOT of YouTube tutorials and Instagram Lives to understand if the hype was real. It (kind of) is.
WHY DO WE LOVE IT?
It’s no secret in the beauty community that Charlotte Tilbury is fastidious with product development and a genius with helping create some of the most innovative formulations. She was integral in developing Tom Ford Beauty and is responsible for a little cult-favorite product called Tom Ford Beauty Shade & Illuminate. Once I finally got my hands on Hollywood Flawless Filter my love of Charlotte Tilbury was, once again, reaffirmed. Let’s first address that this product only comes in seven shades, which is simply ridiculous. Why the brand has not launched a wider shade range is something I can’t explain but, what I can attest to is that each of the seven shades covers approximately 3 skin colors. That still leaves a lot of skin tones without representation.... When looking for a shade, it’s best to match to your undertone first (warm, cool, neutral) and then look for a shade closest to your skin color. Next, let’s address that this product is marketed as creating the same end-result as a digital filter. I take issue with this end-goal. We are struggling with the psychological effects of social media-created facades and I refuse to further the notion that an unrealistic beauty ideal is okay. This product does not smooth, blur and plump a la Facetune, thankfully.
So why do I love Hollywood Flawless Filter? Because it is healthy, even skin in a bottle, it’s versatile in its use and application and it’s customizable in its potency. After applying your daily skin care, you may opt to use a primer first and then apply Hollywood Flawless Filter or skip primer altogether. You may use foundation, tinted moisturizer or BB/CC Cream after, or you can use Hollywood Flawless Filter as a glowing, sheer foundation, opting to just spot conceal blemishes with your normal concealer. You can use over the entire face or where you’d normally apply highlighter. You can powder as normal or not. It’s all about the look you want to achieve. I opt to skip primer and use Hollywood Flawless Filter (I am Shade 3, which has a pink undertone) as my foundation. I then spot conceal and use concealer under my eyes as normal. I only lightly powder my T-zone and do use a very subtle highlighter on my cheek bones.
The first time I used it, I walked into work during the dregs of winter, a time when my skin is at its dullest, driest, angriest state and was stopped three times in one day by coworkers telling my how healthy, happy and radiant I looked. I wasn’t any of these things on the inside, mind you, so maybe Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Filter does create an unrealistic facade, a “fake it ‘til you make it” makeup look that never betrays what’s really going on inside this chaotic brain of mine? Honestly, I am so conflicted by all of this. I don’t know where to begin or where to end so I’ll just say if you’re looking for a sort of makeup-themed existential crisis, this is your product. Just an FYI, you’re going to want to talk with your therapist about whether it’s okay to look this good when you’re feeling this bad. But remember, you’re going to be okay.
Meanwhile, I’ll just be over herE glowing.
CATHERINE SPINLEY IS THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR AT THE SUNDAY ISSUE AS WELL AS A FREELANCE WRITER AND SOMETIMES-PHOTOGRAPHER. WHEN NOT STALKING OTHER PEOPLE’S DOGS OR YELLING AT PEOPLE WHO REFUSE TO WALK UP THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ESCALATOR, SHE WORKS IN THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY AND PRACTICES YOGA. YOU CAN READ ABOUT HER AT WOREPAINT.COM AND @SPINDERELLA1110.