Charlotte Tilbury is a world-renowned makeup artist, with a fun personality to watch and to listen to. I first saw Charlotte at work thanks to Lisa Eldridge, click here to view the video of Charlotte’s guest appearance on the House of Eldridge.
You probably heard about her Feline Flick signature look, I really wish I could wear this dramatic full eyeliner look at my age but despite her claiming that it is an universal look for everyone I am not 100% convinced I can still pull it off at my age, but I know it’s also a matter of personality and whole attitude or look. I tried to find out how old she was just to see if that would give me enough confidence to wear it, I believe she is around 40 if I understand this article. So age shouldn’t be a too bigger issue since she wears it every day, then of course we don’t have the same job, wearing this look to an office full of geeks is maybe not the most appropriate thing to do… But how can I say that it won’t suit me if I don’t try it… Shall I take this as a challenge and do it for the next review of her makeup products ? I will for sure and I hope it works out !
Watch this video if you want to see what her Feline Flick looks like and let me know if you tried this look already or just go ahead and do it but report back please 😀
Today it’s just a brief review of the 3 brushes I purchased from her. In total she launched 8 brushes made in Germany from natural hair. I thought these 3 would already give me an idea of their quality and performance:
The handles are burgundy coloured wood, the ferrules rose gold, the blush brush feels quite heavy and sturdy since it’s so thick. In terms of weight and handle length, the two eyeshadow brushes are just in between Mac brushes and Hakuhodos placing them approx in the middle of the two brands. She had the idea of faceted brushes to not roll off the dressing table, glad she didn’t decide to put magnets inside the ferrules like Rae Morris did – relief!
I appreciate the fact that her logo is engraved on the handle and not only painted, the logos tend to fade away or disappear and that’s sad specially when the brushes are higher-end, the fact they are engraved will make them last longer or endure a regular usage.
Her brushes perform well, no question about that. In terms of quality it will depend where you come from, if you come from Chanel, Dior, Piccasso Brush, Edward Bess brushes, you may find these CT brushes could be equivalent or even an improvement in some cases.
If you come from Hakuhodo, Koyudo, Chikuhodo, you will suffer a decrease in quality despite the price being equivalent. Take note that I said quality and not performance 🙂
“Performance rating” can be dissociated from “quality rating”, it’s not that easy to apply a general unique rating to a makeup brush anyway, too many factors have to be taken into consideration. You can rate the quality of the hair, the quality of the handle, of the ferrule, you can also rate how it performs with delicate skin, or with heavy pigments, how easy it is to work with, and even if you rate the ergonomics, it’s too personal to fit all. A makeup artist will have different needs than a private consumer. My needs are those of a makeup lover with very sensitive skin who is looking for efficiency but with a touch of luxury and of course I am a brush collector if you didn’t notice 😉 To be honest with you, for the price, I’d rather use a Japanese hand made brush but I will of course get into details and explain what I like and dislike about this range, keeping in mind that the main idea behind her collection was to create a fool-proof, quick and easy line for busy women -so I understood- and this, she has achieved.
If you have been reading my previous posts, you may have noticed that over the past months I have purchased quite a few goat brushes because I love the efficiency of “rougher” materials – they are often easier to use and deliver faster applications than much softer versions. If I go for rougher materials they still have to be soft enough for a daily use on my very delicate skin and that is not that easy to find.
I love the Kashoen brushes for their soft and efficient goat hair but I have problems with the final price versus quality, because they don’t have the “perfection” of other Japanese handmade brushes and their higher price tag made me cringe.
I felt the CT brushes could be great candidates for efficient brushes and I didn’t mind at all getting some of them, do I regret it ? I partially don’t, but let me tell you why below.
The smudger brush (25£)
This brush is appropriate for the application of shadow on :
The lower lashline : the application will be roughly 2 to 3 mm wide, it will be fine with medium colours but with much darker or black colours it will be a little bit too dramatic for an office application. Outside of the office for a more dramatic smokey eye, no worries. It does apply the eyeshadow very evenly, very efficiently and with more intensity than similar squirrel alternatives. It is just soft enough for me to use it, we are just in the borderline here but that’s fine, I can deal with it since it is very efficient so I need less strokes to complete the result.
These are the brushes I like to use for darker eyeshadows on the lower lashline (more precision and a thinner application), from top to bottom the Suqqu S, the Koyudo C011, the Hakuhodo G5514, the Hakuhodo G5520 and the CT smudger :
The N°7 brush size is also great but it’s too rough when it reaches the outer corner of the lashline where it’s more sensitive for me, then it hurts too much, I just use this N°7 when I need to blend a harsh pencil. The Chanel 24 is very soft but I use it only around the tear duck with highlighter colors or sparkles, it doesn’t have much “smudging” power, it’s very thin and flexible. I mix sparkles (TF) with creamy long-lasting pencil or paintpot on the back of my hand then pick the product with the Chanel brush then apply.
The outer V : great for that precise application, picks enough product to do a single “pick and apply” and then blends the corners efficiently. For more sensitive days I use the Suqqu M or the similar Yojiya but I have no complaints about this one, I love that it has a flatter surface that doesn’t feel scratchy, I don’t need to force on the blending so that’s a good thing, this one has a great efficiency factor with just enough softness, that said, I do prefer other brushes like the Yojiya or the Suqqu M.
From top to bottom : the Yojiya, Suqqu M, Hakuhodo G5528 and the CT smudger :
The mobile eyelid : I often apply a dark eyeshadow along the mobile lid very close to the lash line and then blend upwards, this is how I like to do soft smokey eye looks for the day. For that it’s the perfect size for me and with a lot of blending power in this one !
I thought it could be similar in size to the Suqqu S but the CT is firmer, not as soft and will apply the shadow with more intensity versus the Suqqu finish which is more natural.
The blender brush (£25)
This is a quite a soft brush, feels nice on the skin and is dense, firm and flat enough for me to use it as a soft blender. But I don’t. When I grab a blender brush, I am thinking more of an “even harder” blender like the Hakuhodo 214 for example. Some would say that I “destroy” the look, I don’t feel like I do, it’s just the way I love to finish my looks : very blended !
When I want to apply colour in the crease with a bit more precision to follow the socket I prefer a slightly pointier version like the Nars 13 :
or the Paula Dorf :
The only problem with the Nars or the Paula Dorf is that for me and my painful lids they are not the most pleasant brushes. But yes, they apply and diffuse perfectly the colour, in fact the Nars and Paula Dorf are extremely similar brushes, nearly twins.
There was a similar brush from Mac some time ago, the 223, but that one is synthetic, it is much more flexible than the CT and has poor blending capabilities, this Mac is more a “setting” brush for me :
So, I don’t use this CT for crease or for blending but I use this CT for something a bit new to me that I just discovered last week. When I apply matte shadows sometimes I think I am missing some “oomph”, I have discovered a few shadows that add shine (micro sparkles without shouting shimmer or metallic finish), for example the sheerest color from the new pink trio from Tom Ford, or the white shade from the old Serge Lutens palette, if I apply a sheer wash of one of these shadows on top of the finished eye look it brings it to life. For that this is a great brush because it will just apply the wash of color without altering the application underneath. It’s not scratchy at all and it does have enough blending capabilities to work with a wide array of textures, the “fool-proof” factor is very well met.
Here is a size comparison with the Mac 217 and the Edward Bess blenders. I love the Mac, still going good after all these years together… the Edward Bess is a very efficient blender but unfortunately I have here once again a problem with the softness.
The blush brush (£30)
Ok, so yes, it is efficient. I won’t use it to give a “polished” look to the cheeks because rubbing this against my sensitive cheeks is not very pleasant at all, if I do her swish and pop technique (watch the video if you want to see what she means by that, the pop is followed by a shy ouch. It does poke on my skin, if I use it briefly and don’t force on it, it works nicely and I can just tolerate it. In a way I feel like I am no good for most of the brush companies because my reviews are tough but what pokes on my skin may not poke on yours, that’s why I try to show you other brushes with similar hair quality.
It has the perfect density and shape to make this brush also very fool-proof but still… there is room for a little bit more softness in there. Compared to many other brushes, it is too expensive for the quality of hair and it has shed a bit since I got it, I have been using it very regularly for the purpose of the review.
The Louise Young LY 04 is extremely similar in hair quality so in case you own it, you know what to expect, I think the LY feels slightly softer but it also sheds.
Another similar brush in terms of hair quality is the Trish McEvoy which is made in China, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the hair comes from the same source. As you see the Trish looks like her Powder and Sculpt brush, that’s why I didn’t get it, I know this has never saved me from buying similar looking brushes but the quality of the hair does not really appeal to me.
The RBR 012 reminds me of the CT blush brush because it has similar density, but the RBR is softer.
I prefer the Hakuhodo goat hair better than the CT, even though Charlotte’s brushes are probably made with squirrel hair – I am not sure but compared to other similar hair it looks like squirrel hair to me- but it is not that soft at all. I didn’t know that squirrel hair could poke until I tried Piccasso brushes by the way so it’s not because it is squirrel hair that it will always be soft !
A picture of them sideways :
Yes for the efficiency but the price and hair quality of the face brushes are not very appealing. I don’t regret the eyeshadow brushes but the blush brush I really wish it would be a bit more pleasant to use, shame because the shape and density are spot on for a very multi-purpose brush.
The brushes came in boxes like this :
and at the back you can read this :
I ordered mine on her website as soon as they were available, I won’t be ordering more unless there are nice reviews on the internet, if you have some of her brushes please let us know your thoughts 🙂
I hope that was helpful to you and thanks for reading !