Review: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Hello, dear friends! Today’s post is a review all about the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter, quite possibly one of the celebrity makeup artist’s most popular products in her current lineup. Over the summer, I redeemed 2,500 Sephora points for a $100 gift card, and I used the gift card to purchase this. After testing it for a few months, I’m finally ready to review this!

For reference, I have dry skin, and when it comes to base products, I tend to go for something glowy that will not cling to any dry patches.

Charlotte-Tilbury-Hollywood-Flawless-Filter-Complexion-Enhancer.jpg

THE BASICS

The Hollywood Flawless Filter is a liquid tinted complexion booster for a superstar youthful glow. This can be used as a primer, highlighter, or can be mixed with your foundation to get a perfected dewy finish or glow. Inspired by the perfecting lens of social media filters, ingredients help to soften focus, illuminate skin, and make lines and pores appear smoother.

The Hollywood Flawless Filter comes in seven shades. The description of how this product is meant to be used pretty vague, as a “complexion enhancer” could mean anything – it sounds like it can be worn as a primer, highlighter, or mixed with foundation. I have tried using this in a multitude of ways – by itself, under foundation, over foundation, and mixed with foundation, which I’ll go into more detail later.  This retails at $54, and is made Italy. It can be purchased at Sephora, Beautylish, Nordstrom, and the Charlotte Tilbury website.

Charlotte-Tilbury-Hollywood-Flawless-Filter-with-Applicator

THE PACKAGING

The Hollywood Flawless Filter comes in a glass bottle with a rose gold lid. Surprisingly, the packaging is different from most primers or foundations in that it doesn’t come with a pump, but a giant doe-foot applicator. I believe this packaging makes it easier to use the Hollywood Flawless Filter as a highlighter, so you can use the doefoot applicator to apply strategically to the high points of the face.

Charlotte-Tilbury-Hollywood-Flawless-Filter-Applicator-Comparison.jpg

I understand the reasoning behind the packaging, but I personally don’t love it. It’s just not as hygienic as a pump or tube applicator. I mostly apply the HFF by using the doefoot applicator to wipe some product onto the back of my hand, which I think is the most hygienic way to use it.

THE FORMULA

In an industry where it is now expected for brands to have 40-50 foundation shades, it might seem alarming that the Hollywood Flawless Filter only has seven shades. It’s actually not a necessity to find an exact shade match in this product, just because of how sheer this formula is. Of course, if you are very fair, things aren’t going to go well if you decide to buy Shade 7, but you could get away with using either Shade 1 or 2. With that being said, I think the brand needs to release some shades for deep skin tones.

In terms of consistency, this is quite thick, but as I mentioned before it sheers out to barely there coverage. There is no shimmer in this, just a pearly sheen, so I find that it does not emphasize texture or pores. Before I bought this, I wondered if I could use it similarly to the Becca Backlight Priming Filter. As you can see below, the Becca primer is a lot lighter compared to Shade 4 of the HFF, as well as more metallic. The Becca primer is truly meant to be a primer used under foundation where the metallic glow shows through, but the lightness of the shade is covered by the pigments of the foundation.

Charlotte-Tilbury-Hollywood-Flawless-Filter-Swatch-vs-Becca-Backlight-Priming-Filter.jpg

I’m going to be completely honest – I didn’t really like this when I first started using it. I couldn’t really figure it out, and felt like it wasn’t worth the money. It took about 2 weeks for me to warm up to it, but once I did, I truly fell in love with the effects it gave my complexion.

In the initial stages of testing, I tried using the HFF in all matters of ways – on its own, under foundation, over foundation, and mixed with foundation. I was hoping that I would be able to wear this product on its own, but I personally don’t think it can be worn that way (of course, if you typically wear it by itself, you keep doing you!) The formula is just way too sheer to give any semblance of coverage, and WAY too dewy. I have dry skin, and even I found this way too glowy. Wearing it over foundation was not much better; of course, I get enough coverage from my foundation, but I personally still found it too dewy. Under foundation, I found that my medium-coverage foundation covered up the dewy effects of this foundation entirely, which pretty much negates the whole point of using it.

My favourite way to apply this is mixed with foundation – it gives the perfect amount of dewiness to make your complexion look naturally radiant. I wore it this way to a wedding at the beginning of the month, and one of my girlfriends complimented me on how glowy my skin was. Exactly what I’m trying to go for!

In terms of wear time, it’s a little hard to tell if it lasts all day since it’s mixed in with other base products. However, if the fact that I still look glowy after a whole day of wear is any indication, I would say that the HFF is long-lasting on my skin. It mixes well with my foundation, and does not interfere with the wear of it. Since I have dry skin, I’m unsure of whether this will work for people with oily skin, or if it will make them look more oily. I have heard oily-skinned gals say that they love it, though!

For those of you who don’t like fragrances in products, rejoice – unlike a lot of luxury products, the Hollywood Flawless Filter does not have any scent!

THE SUMMARY

Pros:

  • Gives a beautiful dewy finish to the face
  • Multitasking product that can be used in a variety of ways
  • Lasts all day

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Packaging can be inconvenient to use for some
  • Poor shade range

The Hollywood Flawless Filter is absolutely gorgeous, and I think it’s well worth the hefty price tag. I’m not sure if this product is for everyone, as it seems like the type of product a person with oily skin would not get along with. With that being said, I do know people with oily skin who love it!

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3 thoughts on “Review: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

  1. Oh man, I ALMOST bought this during the Sephora sale but I had a little self-talk about how many other skin illuminating products I own but do not use (ahem still not opened the back up bottle of the Becca Backlight Priming Filter). The packaging of this product does seem to be terrible – it would be so great in a squeeze tube but I guess it doesn’t match the CT aesthetics. Huzzah for unscented – I would have pegged CT to add some musky scent to her skin products but glad to hear that she does not. This is still on my “loves” list on Sephora.

    And hey, I know that I went MIA. 😛 I just got back from Japan and OMG, best trip ever! We went to Universal Studios Japan and DisneySea this time around! The weather was amazing (sunny high of 22C) and we ate SO MUCH. If you’ve never been to the southern main island Kyushu – you must go. We only visited Fukuoka and Beppu but we’re already planning to go back – the food, the people, the scenery. Shockingly, I wasn’t a big fan of Osaka – I loved mostly the food there – but the vibe of that place is kind of… tacky? And can you believe that I barely bought any makeup in Japan… I’m broken!

    Hope all is well with you! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Props to you for resisting buying this! It’ll always be there for you to purchase when you finish up your stash of glowy base products, haha. I was surprised there’s no scent, too!

      Oh last time we chatted, it sounded like you guys were thinking of going to Japan in May, but sounds like that changed! Ahhh I’m so jealous, but I’m glad to hear you had the best time! YAY to visiting TWO theme parks, and that is the best type of weather when travelling! We have not been to Kyushu, nor do we know anyone who has been, so it’s good to know you guys loved it. Japan is one of the top places we’ve been to, and we’ll definitely go back…at some point in our lives. We’ll put Kyushu on our list!

      And I agree, Osaka seems more…tourist-trappy compared to the other Japanese cities? The food there is great though! Did you guys go to the aquarium there?

      So great to hear from you!!

      Like

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