Charlotte Tilbury ‘grey goo’ is the beauty product of the summer

Beauty: Charlotte Tilbury's Unisex Healthy Glow is a tube of instant sun

Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow: a tube of instant sun that works for all skins

Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow: a tube of instant sun that works for all skins

 

The Charlotte Tilbury brand is widely known for its Art Deco inspired packaging and overtones of Old Hollywood Glamour.

Luckily, the products inside the luxuriant packaging meet expectations in terms of quality and finish. Tilbury herself, a behemoth of charm and boho chic in sky high heels and a cloud of auburn hair which brings Dolly Parton’s Jolene to mind, could sell you the trousers you are already wearing.

A born artist and saleswoman, she is a formidable force in the makeup industry and is known as the makeup artist of choice for people like Kate Moss. She produces success after success.

When I think of the brand, I think glamour. It can be undone, bohemian glamour, Old Hollywood glamour or even edgy, grungy glamour. But Tilbury imbues everything she touches with ultra-feminine chic. This is why I was so intrigued by the new Unisex Healthy Glow (€40), which launches this Friday July 7th. It has the beautiful Tilbury emblem, but is comparatively simply packaged in a white squeezable tube.

The grey goo inside looks anything but glamorous. And as a very pale person, I was suspicious of the product’s description as a “summer tint”. It recalls frightening flashbacks of women in far too much makeup on various cosmetic counters coming at me with orange powders and platitudes prescribing an immediate dose of “warming up”. I would leave, orange and dispirited, when they were finished.

Instant sun

What I have found in Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow, however, is potentially my favourite product of the summer – a tube of instant sun that works for all skins but the deepest and is designed for men and women. 

Charlotte Tilbury at the launch of her first fragrance "Scent Of A Dream" in September 2016 in London. Photograph: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Charlotte Tilbury
Charlotte Tilbury at the launch of her first fragrance "Scent Of A Dream" in September 2016 in London. Photograph: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Charlotte Tilbury

When you first massage it into your skin after moisturising, it begins to turn a golden orange colour which is quite alarming. With fastidious blending (don’t forget your jawline and ears), it will disappear into the skin, blending your face with false tan, or giving radiance and evenness to olive or brown complexions without the need for foundation. It will leave a pale face looking somewhat deeper than the rest of your skin, but don’t be frightened – the magic hasn’t happened yet.

Begin to apply your normal foundation or concealer in your usual shade to the centre of your face, blending out to nothing and again being sure to blend the edges into the neck and ears with a little foundation to ensure no lines are visible.

What you will be left with is a lazy person’s contour – a more structured, naturally tanned (in appearance if not reality) face and a glow that looks like it comes from under your skin rather than under your makeup.

I do not wear tanning products (except to test them for beauty writing. Never ask to see my concealed legs, knees or arms; there’s no guarantee they’ll match the rest of me) but I cannot get enough of this. It is the product of the summer so far. It looks unassuming for a Tilbury product, but don’t be fooled. There is magic within.

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