This Neutral Eye Palette is Everything – Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette
I’ll be the first to admit that I own waaaaay too many neutral eyeshadows. As in, enough to last me the rest of my life. Then if my brain is ever cryogenically frozen, there will be enough left over to last my new immortal lab-grown body into eternity. So what I’m trying to say is, I got a new eyeshadow palette. Normally I can resist shadow releases without too much fear of missing out, but when I saw that the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette was on pre-sale for a day, I went from ‘omg’ to ‘your order is confirmed’ in under five minutes.
You see, I love Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadows, or at least I love the Rock Chick quad I got when the line very first launched. The textures and finishes are very close to the famed (and much more expensive) Tom Ford eyeshadow quads, and did I mention I’m a huge fan of neutral colors? I don’t usually get too wild with eye makeup, so the chance to get a dozen shades in one of my favorite formulas for less than the price of two CT quads was way too good to pass up. I’ll go ahead and tell you now – I’m very glad I clicked that ‘add to cart’ button.
The Art Deco-inspired, vintage glam of this palette really speaks to me. Even the shiny gold (usually not my favorite) looks nice, even if it does show fingerprints like crazy. The compact is slim and lightweight – hello, new travel friend! – with a magnet clasp that closes pretty firmly.
Inside, the twelve eyeshadow pans are arranged into four ‘looks’ with three colors each. My only minor complaint about the layout is the pans are narrow and sort of close together, which makes it tricky to get bigger brushes into them, like the Hakuhodo J532 I use for a base color. I can live with that though.
I’ll also go ahead and mention the product weights here pre-emptively, because I know some people won’t be thrilled. Each pan is .02oz/.7g, which is about half what you get in, say, the Urban Decay Naked palettes. At the $75 price point, I do think it would be nice to get more product. Since I don’t pan eyeshadows quickly I’m not too hung up about that, but if you’re a one-palette-at-a-time kind of person it’s worth knowing. Also, what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in other ways (in my humble opinion).
So here’s the thing I love about this palette versus alllll the other ones I have: I can and do use all of the colors in it. Every single one. It’s curated and laid out in a way that encourages using it to build a variety of looks instead of defaulting to 4-5 shades and neglecting the rest. Not that you can’t use all the colors in other large palettes, but I’m just not willing to put that much thought into my eye makeup at 6:30AM (#notamorningperson). Aside from the arrangement, I also love that there’s a mixture of warm and cool shades. The ratio of mattes to shimmers and glitters is nice too.
As soon as I posted these swatches on instagram, two things happened: dupe requests, and comparisons to the Naked palettes. With that in mind, I’ve swatched the CT colors along with a few colors from the Naked 3 palette (the only one I own) and whatever else I have that’s similar-ish. Surprisingly, I didn’t find any exact dupes. I came the closest with the mattes, which makes sense. With shimmers & glitters the finish can give it a totally different look, but with matte shades you pretty much get what you get. (By the way, please pardon my arm in these swatches – I was working in my flower bed and apparently got into something I’m allergic to.)
I love my Charlotte Tilbury Rock Chick quad, so I’m really please that the Instant Eye Palette shadows are a similar formula to that. There are really three different formulas in this palette, each with their own high and low points.
Mattes – I think good matte shadows are probably the trickiest to get right, and these strike a good balance. They’re fairly smooth, but on the hard side. That means they don’t kick up a ton of product if you look at them too hard (glares at Lorac) but it does take some building up to get the right intensity. The color payoff on all of them is pretty good with one exception – the second shade in the Desk Eye look takes a lot of work to show up on me. The first color in the Day Eye look blends into my skin tone, so same kind of thing there.
Shimmers/Pearls – Shimmers are my favorite finish to use, and Charlotte Tilbury does them really well. They have great color payoff, don’t take too much building, and go on smoothly.
Glitters – Glitters are where this palette really shines (see what I did there?). The intense glitter shades (Date #2, Disco #1 & #2) have a ton of shine without looking chunky, and through some sort of witchcraft, I haven’t had even a speck of fallout from any of them. Same goes for the other finishes, but glitters are notorious for dropping all over the place, especially during blending. I’m greatly enjoying not having to clean up my cheeks after doing my eyes. Fair warning though: they will give your brushes (and maybe your eyes) glitter herpes. You can see in the swatches that I had some trouble cleaning the glitter specks off between colors.
I’ve been wearing these over Smashbox 24 Hour Eye Primer and haven’t noticed any creasing until around the 12 hour mark, which is not too shabby. No fading to speak of either.
In Short: 12 shades from a brand I love, in colors that somehow managed to be unique in my collection despite being neutrals. When does the next one come out? It is limited edition, so if you think you’ll love it as much as I do I recommend snagging one soon.
The Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette ($75, limited edition) is available at charlottetilbury.com