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One palette to rule them all?

April 27th 2016 / Anna Hunter / 1 comment


We put the ‘suits all’ Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette to the test

Makeup palettes: generally they give the biggest scope for disappointment on planet beauty. The formula normally goes something like this…

One shadow/blusher/bronzer you can’t live without but is really very small in size + something bright blue you’ll never wear + a colour you already own = expensive makeup mishap.

Thankfully, a certain A-list makeup artist has rewritten the makeup palette equation to ensure that no shade goes unused, no pennies are wasted and pans are sized accordingly (because a penny sized space for bronzer just doesn’t cut it). Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette, £49.50, (which you can win here, along with other goodies) takes everything you thought you knew about palettes and turns it on its head. From a glowy highlighter to a subtle bronzer and flattering smoky shadow, it’s all in here, and it’s been designed to suit every woman, taking you from desk to dinner to dawn if you so please. The question is, can a seven product palette really serve every woman’s needs? Our Not Fair columnist and Makeup Maniac, who just so happen to be on the deeper and paler ends of the colouring spectrum respectively, put the universal ‘5 Minute Face On The Go’ to the test…

Ayesha Muttucumaru, Not Fair columnist

Truth be told, I’ve always been somewhat dubious about universal, instant look palettes - how can one palette really do it all, let alone suit all? My darker skin tone often means that the shades aren’t pigmented enough or don’t have the correct undertones. However, this palette has certainly helped change my perceptions, due to its great colour payoff and impressively instantaneous results.

The videos on Charlotte Tilbury’s website are among some of the best I’ve seen on the web and so to ensure I got the most out the palette’s powers, I hit play on this particularly handy one here, opting for the night time look to ensure maximum impact.


First up, the trio of eyeshadows - Eye Brighten (step 1), Eye Enhance (step 2) and Eye Smoke (step 3). Often falling into the trap of the darker the better when it comes to my smokey eye of choice, the mixture of finishes created an overall more multidimensional look than I’m used to, which I loved. The beauty of it was it could easily be built up to create the perfect base for my eyeliner, evening the tone of my eyelid and providing a great canvas to suit either day or night brilliantly.

The standout feature of this palette for me though was the Face Highlight (step 7). Dewy, pearlescent and illuminating, it added the perfect amount of radiance to the high planes of my face to give it an instant pick-me-up. When combined with a few strategic swipes of Face Bronze (step 4) on my forehead and cheekbone hollows, plus the duo of Cheek Swish (step 5) and Cheek Pop (step 6) on the apples of my cheeks, my skin was veiled with a natural sunkissed glow - one which I’m certain to replicate on many an early morning to come.


With each of the seven steps having a place in my makeup regime, its refreshingly comprehensive range of shades combined with its surprisingly sleek compact case makes for the type of multitasking makeup essential desks and dancefloors can only dream of. Simplifying and streamlining my eyeshadow and contour regimes to a PB-beating 5 minutes (10 minutes max), light to olive to medium deep skin tones may well have met their match.

Anna Hunter, The Makeup Maniac

I just want to eat this. It probably helps that the case looks like perfectly tempered chocolate, but what’s within is seriously delicious. If you can’t afford the full Tilbury whammy of Filmstar Bronze and Glow, Swish & Pop Blusher and a Luxury Palette for eyes, Instant Look in a Palette will quench your thirst for all things Charlotte.


In typically insightful Tilbury style, Charlotte has edited her award-winning makeup line down to the elements that make a look, namely a highlighted bone structure, flush of cheek colour, hint of bronze where shadows naturally fall and subtly defined eye. You can go in soft for a daytime ‘five minute’ face, or add drama at your desk come nightfall, without carting your dressing table around with you.

Being on the pasty side of pale, a shot of blusher is normally my first port of call in the mornings (espresso has nothing on the enlivening effect of a flush of cheek colour). The fact that Charlotte has included not one but two shades of blusher in the palette (steps 5 and 6) makes me rejoice; one shade never quite jollies my face up as much. As for the bronzer (step 4), it’s on the lighter side of cocoa, which had quite the contouring impact. I’d suggest using a purpose designed brush for the contouring stage and only going there in natural light; I perhaps got a bit carried away, but that’s only because I loved the shade so much, and was attempting a speedy full face in the work loos.

As for the eyeshadows, all three brought out the green in my hazel eyes with very little effort on my part, making me look fresh and actually rather sultry for a Tuesday morning. In particular Eye Enhance (2) is the business; a taupe/champagne shade with just the right amount of sheen. Apparently this palette was conceived around the idea of Kate Moss’ wedding day makeup, and I can picture Kate looking especially ethereal in all of the palette’s tones and finishes.

Eye Smoke (step 3) was a softer brown than I’d usually use to create a smokey eye, but it’s convinced me that light and rich can be far lovelier than sooty grey. Equally Face Highlight (7) was more golden than my usual Snow Queen choice of highlighter, and it blended into my skin far better than the icier alternatives in my makeup bag. Never mind this suiting everyone, Instant Look in a Palette has finally made me realise that actually, what I thought suited my colouring, perhaps doesn’t, and that warming things up is no bad thing.


We've teamed up with Charlotte Tilbury to offer Get The Gloss readers the chance to win the new palette plus a mascara, lipstick and lip pencil - the complete set that you need to recreate Charlotte's The Complete Natural Glowing Look, worth £110. Click here to enter.

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