Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Palette Review

May 5, 2016
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Palette Review Beauty Look Book

Charlotte Tilbury just launched a new palette called the Instant Look Palette ($75, limited-edition). It’s a palette designed for women with little time on their hands for a quick and easy polished look. She calls it her 5-Minute On the Go Palette and I was able to apply all 7 products within 5 minutes. I received mine from Beautylish and it sold out within a week – not surprising since they have excellent customer service. I asked if they would be restocking and they said most likely not since it was limited-edition which is too bad but you can still find it online at a few other places right now including Charlotte Tilbury and Net-A-Porter.

This palette has 7 products that are labeled in numerical order of application which makes it super easy to use. When I saw online photos I thought it was extremely overpriced for what you get, but the compact is actually larger than I anticipated. Even in the photo above with me holding it – it appears to be on the small side, but it’s really decent in size and the pans are large enough to dip a brush into without having to worry about mixing colors. The quality of the powders in this palette are on par with all her other face, cheek and eye products. Texture is very soft and finely milled with medium coverage. The colors are very natural for an easy no-makeup-makeup look. I will say up front that while this palette has excellent quality in terms of color, texture and design, the shades in this palette are all too light in color for my complexion and on my face they barely showed up. I played with this several different days with different bases. The result was always the same – light and almost powdery looking simply because the colors are very light in color.

It looked so natural and barely there on me that I asked my husband on several occasions to double check. I asked if he could tell I was wearing makeup and what he thought. His response was, “yes, I can tell because you look extra powdery today.” He confirmed my thoughts that the shades looked light on my skin. That being said I experimented with this more and found it to be a good starting palette for me – meaning it provides a good base but on my skin type and skin tone I find it definitely needs extra work to get it to work for me. I need an emollient creamy eyeshadow base to help the shadows be more visible and adhere to the skin. I need a cream base highlighter or bronzer to help the cheek products look less powdery.

Quality-wise it’s great. Concept-wise it’s genius. I just happen to be right at the skin tone that almost matches these shades so they are near invisible on my face. I’ve reviewed quite few highlighters that look like highlighters on my skin, but on others it doesn’t show up because the color matches their skintone. It doesn’t mean anything is necessarily wrong with the product, it’s just not the right color. That’s the case with this palette for me.

A closer look at the palette below:

The shades show up well on my arm, on the face they look a lot sheerer, colors and descriptions:1 Eye Brighten is a soft pale matte pink peach
2 Eye Enhance is a gorgeous warm champagne shimmer
3 Eye Smoke is a soft medium brown matte
4 Face Bronzer is a sheer tan with a hint of shimmer
5 Cheek Swish is a soft peachy matte
6 Cheek Pop is a sheer pink with a tiny hint of sparkle
7 Face Highlight is a shimmery pale ivory highlight

Comparison swatches Set 1:Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look (first three shades)
MAC Flounce (from the 15 Neutral Cool Palette)
Urban Decay Limit (from Naked 3, all Naked Palettes swatched here)
Urban Decay Naked and Buck (from Naked Palette, all Naked Palettes swatched here)
Urban Decay Sin Eyeshadow

Comparison swatches Set 2:
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Palette (first three shades swatched)
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Medium-Light (reviewed here)
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (review here)
Charlotte Tilbury Cream Shadow in Norma Jean (review here)

MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch Eyeshadow
Comparison Set 3:
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Palette (first two shades swatched)

Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in Ecstasy and Love Glow

For me this doesn’t quite work for an instant look because the colors are too matchy for my skintone but I suspect it will work better for lighter or deeper skins because there will be more color contrast. I do think quality-wise it’s excellent. The powders are very soft and are easy to blend. If she comes out with other more palettes like this one that have a deeper color range I think I would be 100% in love with it because it really has all the colors you need for a quick look or touchup. The design makes it perfect for on-the-go or for travel and the pans come with a decent amount of product. Based on the reviews I’ve seen online most give this one an overwhelming thumbs up which make me think I may be the one person who found this one didn’t work. I personally prefer the individual items such as her Filmstar Bronze and Glow and Cheek to Chic blushes – some of the individual products have a similar look to the shades in the palette but I find the separate colors work better for me.


You can find the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Palette for a limited time right now. I received mine courtesy of Beautylish (where it’s sold out right now). You can also find it online at Charlotte Tilbury, Net-A-Porter and Nordstrom (on backorder). Retail price is $75.


Have you tried this palette yet? What did you think?

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  • suzannem80 May 5, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Hi. Thanks for your review! Do you know if the blush colors in this palette match one of her existing duo's? I have been trying to find this info online, but can't seem to.

    • Sabrina May 5, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Suzanne – I just uploaded one more comparison set. It resembles Love Glow the most out of the ones I own (I don't have them all). But the Cheek to Chic ones are shimmery/glowy while the palette has a less shimmer in them. HTH!

    • suzannem80 May 5, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you!! I didn't realize the blush in the palette was so much more matte than the blush duo's!

  • Kica May 5, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Trust me, you aren't the only one who this wouldn't work for; I don't see this working for ANY dark or deep skin toned woman.

    • Manu May 11, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      My thoughts exactly! I immediately gave this a pass because there's no way any of the colors would show up on my sallow face. I think they would just make darker skins look ashy. I'm thinking CT may come out with one for deeper skin tones eventually like she did with the bronzer palettes.

  • Danielle Beautyblog May 5, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Oh god I am so tempted by this, it's been in my basket since the weekend! I'm fair/light so it would definitely show up and I'm a sucker for face/try the brand palettes! Haven't tried any CT before and I generally think it's too expensive but was please lay surprised at the price point for this! I thought it looked small in the photos too but glad to hear it's a bit bigger in real life!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

  • Olivia Cheryl May 5, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    I LOVE this palette but I haven't used it fully yet so I can't wait to! EEEPP!! Xx

  • Porsha Troost May 5, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    I wish she wouldn't have marketed this as a 'universal' 5 minute face. Aside from pale girls, this palette won't show up well on anyone.

  • Anonymous May 5, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    I had this in my N-a-P cart for a week… 'no I don't need it'…'but wait… you do'…. I finally hit checkout and received it yesterday! It is my first CT purchase. I was in a hurry this morning.. really wanted to take my time with the first use but I couldn't wait. I LOVE IT. Yes, I have light skin, dark hair and hazel eyes. I was soooo simple and I can actually see myself bringing this palette on work trips along with just a few other items. Looking forward to not rushing with it, but I can tell I will be using it a lot. I have tried Becca, Benefit and Balm highlighters and decided I am not a highlighter kind of gal. But this one?!?! OMG IT IS AMAZING. I'm in love and will be having a hard time not purchasing more CT! I now understand the hype!

  • Behindthepillar May 5, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    I have it and being very pale the colours just about show on me when first applied but they are not great quality in terms of lasting – they wear off within a couple hours, especially the blushes. Great concept but very overpriced for the quality. Susan, London

  • Tali May May 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Glad to know I'm not the only one who thought it wasn't quite for me. I have olive toned skin as well. And the only thing that showed up that I could see was the cheek pop. What a bummer.

  • 3bDiva May 5, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Thrilled with this palette as the vast majority offer face shades that are simply too dark for me. Not worth the money if I can only use 2 or 3 items out of 6 or more. I ordered a back-up of this (first time) because all the shades are perfect for my pale skin, dark hair and eyes. LOVE. IT. I understand she's bringing out additional palettes that offer other shades and so while this one is working well for the lighter complexions, the next few will not. Perhaps if she hadn't used the word "universal" people wouldn't be so upset… trust me when I say 99% of palettes out there I can't use but everyone else can.

  • Isabella May 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Thank you for the review. I think this will work out great for me since I'm about a shade lighter than you. Luckily it's still readily available in my country.

  • Anonymous May 5, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Is the bronzer and highlighter the same as the original Filmstar Bronze and Glow?

    • 3bDiva May 5, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      No. The bronzer is a tad lighter and the glow has just a hint of shimmer. I wish she would bring THIS combo out as it's great for those who can't wear or don't like to wear the more obvious highlight look.

    • Anonymous May 6, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Thank you so much for that info. Do you think the bronzer/highlighter is different enough to get the Filmstar Bronze & Glow? I love this palette but I've read so many good things about Filmstar.

    • 3bDiva May 6, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      Unless you REALLY use bronzer and highlighter, no. The Bronze and Glow is a great product and when I use up the palette, I WILL buy the B&G.

    • Sabrina May 12, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      The duo in the instant look palette is lighter than the original one in the duo.

      I believe the duo is superior in pigment, color and finish and yes well worth having.

  • affecionada May 6, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Do you recommend the powder and sculpt brush, Sabrina?


  • Sophia LCS May 6, 2016 at 3:33 am

    This looks so beautiful! How is the brush?

  • nueyork May 6, 2016 at 4:15 am

    All of these products are just so, so beautiful! CT never gets it wrong. The powder and sculpt brush is something I've been wanting to pick up for awhile now.


  • MizzJ May 6, 2016 at 6:48 am

    This looks so handy but too bad it's so limited in shades. I love CT but she doesn't seem to come out with enough shades of items!

  • Jen May 6, 2016 at 7:21 am

    This intrigued me when it came out, but I just bought the Filmstar Bronze & Glow. I love the concept, but I can't justify the price tag. :S

    • Sabrina May 12, 2016 at 8:42 pm

      I think you're better off sticking with the duo – it's really a good one!

  • SarahS. May 6, 2016 at 7:57 am

    I just got this palette from Nordstrom. I'm fair (about an NC15 in MAC), and honestly, the jury is still out for me on this palette. The colors are very light, very subtle. Maybe I just prefer deeper eyeshadows? I also have very oily skin… I need to play it with some more, I think. I have quite a few of her blushes already, so I'm thinking I might just go with the Bronze and Glow duo instead. Thanks for the review!

  • Fa nny May 6, 2016 at 8:25 am

    This is exactly the first thing I thought when I've seen this palette: one palette can't suit every skintone, yet the idea is truly original and quite unique so I can see why so many people have purchased it!

  • alittlekiran May 6, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    I think this would be a really lovely palette for anyone with fair/light skin, I can't imagine that I would get much use of it but it definitely looks luxurious and beautiful x

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  • Clever Girl Reviews May 6, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    yeah I certainly see this working for lighter skin tones!

  • naybeautymua May 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    this has certainly made me want this palette even more x

  • Anonymous May 10, 2016 at 1:01 am

    I'm with one of the other fair commenters above; to me this palette is kind of meh in terms of color. I saw it online and in person and it just seemed so bland to me. I own a wide variation of taupe shadows, but all with more life than the shadows here. I only own one palette that is matte and neutral and while I surprisingly love that palette (limited edition Chantecaille Glaciers palette), it's very unusual for me to go so subtle. For me, my eyes are where I can accentuate a lot without overwhelming my fair skin and dark hair.

  • Maria May 10, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you Sabrina for your lovely review. I just received this today, but I'm quite disappointed. I like the idea and the size of the palette, but the 3 eyeshadows are way too light & bland. I understand it's suppose to be subtle, but this does nothing for me- its very powdery and I'm pale/fair skin! Also I would prefer if the swish & pop were just 1 blush than the 2 little square pans. The best thing about this palette is the bronzer & highlighter. I don't get all the rave reviews, for the price I don't think this is worth it. I am unfortunately going to return it and hope she comes out with a better version/variety of this same type of palette format.

  • Anonymous May 27, 2016 at 12:55 am

    I think the by terry sun designer has similar shades, and better suited for olive and darker tones. Beautiful on lighter skin as well. The quality is beautiful and might be a good alternative ๐Ÿ™‚