Base Makeup Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review + Swatches

April 10, 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review and Swatches

The latest from Charlotte Tilbury is her new Hollywood Flawless Filter ($44 each for 1 fl oz/30 ml). It’s a complexion booster which you can use in a variety of ways for a radiant glow. I’m a huge fan of glowing skin and love mixing in liquid luminizers with foundation, applying as a base or layering it on top. I already own quite a number of glow bases but the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is one of the best ones I’ve used. It’s very pigmented but is easy to blend. It melts into the skin and layers well with liquid foundation. For me it has the perfect amount of glow to be noticeable without looking harsh. Texture is just perfect for my combination skin to last all day without getting too dewy looking.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review and Swatches via The Beauty Look Book

There are seven shades total and each one has a really pretty glow to them. Her website has shade recommendations according to her Light Wonder and Magic Foundation shades. I’d recommend sticking with the shade recs there. I’ve always been in between colors for her foundation varying between 5 (a bit too peachy), 6 (a bit too olive) and 7 (perfect undertone but a bit too deep). I usually mix 7 with 6. The Flawless Filters come with a sponge tip applicator. With this you can wear:

  • As a primer under foundation
  • Mixed in with foundation
  • Or on top of foundation

I like it mixed in or on top. To mix I simply swipe on a few stripes on the face and dot in foundation on the forehead, cheeks and chin. I then blend out with a beautyblender sponge. The other way I’ve applied it is on top of blended foundation like you’d apply a brightening concealer or highlighter. Then blend with a sponge. Many of you have mentioned liquid highlighters tend to disrupt the foundation underneath. This one stays put and blends in with the base without wiping it away.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter All Shades vs Wonder Glow and Brightening Youth Glow

My best matches in the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter is Shade 4 or Shade 5. I’ve experimented with both and there’s a pretty big gap. I’m on the lighter side right now so 4 works best. I’ve also found Shade 2 or 3 work to lighten some foundation shades that are a bit too deep for me because they’re my summer color. I did try to use the deeper options as a contour and for my skintone they are really too warm to use. The nice thing about this product is you don’t need an exact match as it’s intended to add glow to the complexion not cover up the skin like foundation.

Swatches of all 7 shades below:

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Swatches All Shades


Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Swatches All Shades

Swatches next to the Wonder Glow and Brightening Youth Glow. Both of these are a lot sheerer in color and thinner in texture. The Wonder Glow has a beautiful golden yellow undertone which I have loved for years. The Brightening Youth Glow is more opalescent with a pearly glow. It’s also sheer and similar in concept to MAC Strobe Cream. The main difference is formula and color. MAC has more of an iridescent sheen and comes in different flashes of color. The Charlotte Tilbury is more of a natural flesh-toned shimmer. Applying all over does some slight color correcting in the brightening sense but in a very sheer natural way.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Swatches All Shades vs Wonder Glow and Brightening Youth Glow

Swatches of Hollywood Flawless Filter 4, 5 and 6 next to Magic Foundations 5, 6 and 7:

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation 5, 6 and 7 vs Flawless Filter 4, 5 and 6 swatches

Flawless Filter Shade #4 in action below applied on top of Magic Foundation 6 + 7 mixed.

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter Shade 4 swatches

Full natural makeup look wearing:

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter Shade 4 swatched on face

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review and Swatches

Bottom line love. I love these mixed in with foundation or layered on top. I’ve tried this with a variety of bases including the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, Dior Fiorever Foundation, Dior Forever Undercover, YSL Touche Eclat Glow, La Prairie Skin Caviar and found it compatible with all the formulas I tried. I like that the Flawless Filter has no detectable scent, has a dewy finish that doesn’t get greasy and has a beautiful glow. Quick note that a little goes a long way. The formula is very opaque and if you find you look too dewy or glowy then you’ve applied too much. I found there was a slight learning curve to getting just the right amount of glow. I think less is definitely more with this unless you want a real intense shimmer. I do wish there were a few more shades options. To me 1 and 2 look really similar but if you’re on the fair end of the color spectrum I suspect you will see more of a difference. I see a pretty big gap between 4 and 5 but I should be able to make them work with mixing for me once I get my tan back.

Overall I highly recommend these and think it’s definitely worth a look. They truly make the skin glow in a radiant way where you can control how much glow you have. You can definitely get a similar effect with other liquid luminizers but I feel like this formula works best for my skintype. So many other liquid highlighters tend to be a lot more shimmery or get dewy-looking very quick. This one has the right balance for me.

You can find these at all Charlotte Tilbury counters and retailers. Mine are from Charlotte Tilbury and Nordstrom.

Shades 3, 4 and 7 purchased by me. Shades 1, 2, 5, and 6 provided courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury for review.


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  • Lisa Carbone April 10, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Hi Sabrina,
    I’ve been sampling Shade 4 the past few weeks and I LOVE it! I’m definitely going to splurge on a full size bottle…it’s the most gorgeous “natural” highlight I’ve ever used…really stunning. Thanks for the lovely review.
    Cheers, Lisa

    • BeautyLookBook April 12, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Nice Lisa! Glad you found a good match 🙂

  • Yolennie April 10, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    They look lovely! I heard quite a bit of praise on those already, might actually pick one up. I recommend Heimish glow base if you’re looking for another glowy base option, it also has SPF50!

  • Amanda Hollingsworth April 10, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I would recommend avoiding shade 1 unless you are anemic. I followed the CT website shade guide as I am foundation 2 but the shade 1 Flawless Filter is virtually translucent and undetectable on the skin. I then went to Selfridges and got myself tested and the second shade was such an improvement. It actually warmed the skin as well as giving me subtle glow. My PS mixed it on me with Stila Skin Tone Correcting & Brightening Serum and I was blown away with the instant lift it gave me. It’s not out there it’s more of an aura of radiant good health. Loved both the CT and the Stila. Xx

    • accordingtoame April 11, 2018 at 10:04 am

      Is there a difference in undertone? 2 looks slightly more yellow and 1 more pink. I am basically green, and pasty as F.

      • Amanda Hollingsworth April 11, 2018 at 10:24 am

        In my opinion there is no undertone…..I looked ashen. It had no pink or yellow. There was no warmth at all. It was as strange a product as I ever used because it just didn’t really do anything except empathise my own tiredness and paleness. It was on when Number 2 was applied I thought oh wow this is what it should do. Personally I don’t think no matter how pale you are the number 2 would be too dark. That was my initial fear but it’s just like a hint of good health being applied. No glow or glitter just radiance. It’s like a better version of Victoria Beckham’s Aura as it’s less dewy and less sweaty looking. However CT have exceptional service and in my experience will always take back unsuitable colour if exchanged for another preferable colour.

    • BeautyLookBook April 12, 2018 at 9:18 am

      Thank you for the tips! On my medium skin Shade 1 and 2 look identical! But as I suspected a bigger difference will show on fairer skins.

    • lilahtov April 12, 2018 at 10:34 am

      I’m very curious to try shade 2 now, as I used shade 1 in samples I received. I wonder if I would see a difference! Granted…I actually am anemic…! Haha. So perhaps it’s appropriate.

  • Lisa Adams April 10, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    That is a great look on you! Thanks for a great review

  • Anne Capitant April 10, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve been hearing such good things about this one! I don’t know that I have the $$$ to get it soon, but my birthday is in June so it’s definitely going on the list for then!

  • accordingtoame April 11, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Finally some good swatches on this!

    What is the shade difference between 1 and 2? I am really green/yellow and they look slightly different in undertone but not much else.

    • SoSuSam April 11, 2018 at 10:22 am

      I haven’t tried 1, so my comment may not be much help, but I have 2 and it leans slightly yellow.

      • accordingtoame April 11, 2018 at 10:43 am

        THANK YOU! I might just try 2 to start. I look like a jaundiced zombie of death, so I have a heck of a time finding anything that greenish, but this looks fascinating.

        • SoSuSam April 11, 2018 at 12:42 pm

          Haha–I’m rather jaundiced myself. 🙂 I just took another look at #2 (I was going from memory before) and I have to say it’s a bit peachy, not straight-up yellow. For CT, it leans yellow–but I find her colors aren’t as light yellow as I typically need. So maybe proceed with caution on this one? Get a sample or see it at a counter before buying? (Tho where’s the fun in waiting to do that?) As Sabrina said, they’re translucent enough that you don’t need a perfect match, but #2 does have a peachy tone. Works fine on my NC15/C1 skin.

    • BeautyLookBook April 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      They look pretty much identical – check the Charlotte Tilbury website for swatches though, on different skintones you may see a more visible difference. Linked in post!

  • SoSuSam April 11, 2018 at 10:29 am

    How fun to see swatches of all of the colors! I purchased #2, guessing that the color would work for me, and it’s perfect. Pale but leaning yellow. (I’m around NC15–Mac F&B C1 is my perfect match.) In CT’s Light Wonder foundation, I don’t have a great match–like you, I have to mix two shades together. For the foundation, generally I wear shade #2 with a little bit of #6 added in. #6 is very dark and olive, but it deepens #2 enough to make it work better for me. I can also get away with #4, though it makes me look tanned (and I’d rather it were a bit more yellow). That said, adding the Hollywood Flawless Filter in #2 to the Light Wonder foundation in #4 works pretty well! (I prefer it mixed in with the foundation in #2 and #6…but that’s a bit more effort than I prefer. (I’m lazy.)) Anyway, I totally agree–the Hollywood Filter is fantastic. I’ve liked it every way I’ve tried it, including mixed in with non-CT foundations. The only thing I don’t like–I really hate it, in fact–is the applicator. Why on earth did she use a big doe foot? I’d infinitely prefer it in a pump or a tube. Not only is the doe foot irritating to use, I can’t imagine how I’ll get the last 1/8-1/4 of the bottle out. Maybe she’ll improve on that in the future. For now, tho, I love the results. Thanks for the great review!

    • BeautyLookBook April 12, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Wow! That’s quite a bit of mixing! Wish she would expand her color range for bases as the formulas are really good but shade sequence is just SO odd to me.

      • SoSuSam April 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm

        I totally agree!

  • Jina Jung April 11, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    I love how comprehensive this review was, or rather how comprehensive ALL your reviews are.

  • Jessica English April 11, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    I officially *really* need to try this!

  • Anna April 11, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    I’ve heard such good things, officially on my wish list!!

  • diana yu April 11, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    I love this product!! I used this over the weekend under foundation and WOW, that glow!!

  • mlletendance April 11, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    Waiting to Sephora give me some sample to try it! Good review

  • Justine R April 11, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    I have a sample of #4 coming with my order so I’m excited to try it… I’ve never really used highlighters as I find most of them too sparkly but these look much more subtle. Thank you for the swatches !

  • Lindsey April 12, 2018 at 12:17 am

    I’ve been dying to try this, but you just convinced me to throw it in my Nordstrom bag. It’s just stunning.

    • BeautyLookBook April 12, 2018 at 9:16 am

      Hope you like it as much as I do!

  • Liz April 12, 2018 at 12:27 am

    I love the flawless filter! I use it daily as my base!

  • Whitney Lau April 12, 2018 at 1:04 am

    These look so pretty! I would not have known about these without this post

  • Lyssa April 12, 2018 at 1:20 am

    Is the Fair option darker than the Light one? It looks like that on the CT website.

    • BeautyLookBook April 12, 2018 at 9:15 am

      I’m not sure which is Fair vs Light, I’m going off the numbers on the bottles.

  • Kirsten April 12, 2018 at 1:39 am

    I’ve always been a fan of Charlotte Tilbury! Wish they carry this brand at sephora.

  • Victoria Lo April 12, 2018 at 2:43 am

    the glow is unreal girl

  • Eileen April 12, 2018 at 4:03 am

    I thought I would be shade 3 (in terms of light/darkness) but it looks a bit pink in the swatch. I’m not sure if that would look too pink on my warm-toned skin (Dior Forever shade 21)? Maybe I should go with shade 4 in the flawless filter instead?

    • BeautyLookBook April 12, 2018 at 9:15 am

      3 is definitely pinkish but when you blend it’s not as pink. I’m Dior Forever 21 + 31 mixed, I think you can go with Shade 4.

  • Trudi April 12, 2018 at 4:04 am

    I want to try anything that has a pin tone in it, since that is what my skin is like. I want to enhance my skin tone, not change it.

  • Megan Harrington April 12, 2018 at 9:08 am

    I’m so intrigued by this but I really don’t know what shade to get. I’m VERY fair (use Shade 2 in CT light wonder foundation) and I also use the wonder glow as a primer before applying which is very gold and darker for me but once I blend foundation over top it looks great. So, by that standard it seems I should get either 3 or 4? Ugh I wish there was a charlotte tilbury counter near me so I could test them on myself! Beautiful post and swatches as usual <3

    • BeautyLookBook April 12, 2018 at 9:14 am

      I feel your pain! I ordered 3 and 4 sight unseen as I no longer have a counter near me either. Based on the recommendations online for her site:

      Filter Shade 2 is recommended for Magic Foundation 3, 3.5, 4 and Light Wonder 2 and 3.

      Also as recommended in the post, check out her swatches online which might help as well.

  • Alysha Evans April 12, 2018 at 9:24 am

    I was just placing an order to Nordstrom, and this was all the nudging I needed to add to my cart. Some CT and Chanel are the perfect pick me ups to a bad week 🙂

  • Lauren April 12, 2018 at 9:35 am

    I haven’t tried any of her products yet but I was just looking at this product the other day after seeing it on Sali Hughes’ column. Thanks for the thorough review.

  • lilahtov April 12, 2018 at 10:33 am

    I can’t wait to try your technique! I have samples of shade 1 but I East using it all over my face and though I loved it, it was just edging into greasy territory in its own by the end of the day.

  • Erin April 12, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Looks gorgeous on you!!

  • Merry Rower April 12, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I have been slow to embrace CT for two reasons. 1) The unbearably cheesy in-store counter displays, with the headshots of models made up to look like 1980’s Playboy centerfolds, and 2) the generally unpleasant sales associates. Perhaps I am too far outside the demo, but even at Nordstroms the SAs are surly.

  • Carole D. April 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    very pretty!

  • Jessica April 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks. Your swatches always help me choose the right shade.

  • murphmeister April 12, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    can’t wait to try these in person and see what shade i am – since i get a little shiny want to make sure they dont look too oily but i know you tend to run that way as well and in Florida so usually i can do similar formulas for my skin and being in Houston where it is also humid.

  • Kim Pincombe-Cole April 12, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    I like that these are not super shimmery {not good for my skin}. But I wish they came in more colors..

  • Kim April 12, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    What an amazing glow! I’m dying to try it!

  • Maya April 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    these look really interesting!

  • Vanessa April 12, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    Love the glow on you! There’s so many products from CT I’d like to try. I think the #1 item currently on my list from the brand is the Airbrush Flawless Finish powder.

  • Samantha Irene April 12, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    This looks so much fun! Wow, what a glow. I wonder how it would look on bare skin and concealer …

  • Katelyn Du Sherman April 13, 2018 at 1:00 am

    I’m using #3 and so far I love it! Makes my skin so dewy and youthful.

  • T. April 13, 2018 at 2:11 am

    I wanna try this foundation!

  • Lisa Santos April 13, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I love it! I used two samples that they gave me in store and fell in love. Really need to buy it but shade 3 is out of stock! Last time I actually wore it on its own. I just have to avoid certain areas of my face so I don’t look to oily. It is beautiful!

    Blog: The Lisa’s World | Instagram | Twitter

  • Jeanie M. April 13, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    This looks like something I need to try.

  • Sunnykm April 14, 2018 at 1:41 am

    I tried Ct foundation but found them too orange

  • Catherine Shi April 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks so much for reviewing this, it’s such an interesting concept and product! I gravitate towards really matte foundations since I’m oily, but those can look so flat (Shu Uemura, Fenty), so I often do want to mix a luminizer back in but one that can also be used to adjust foundation color slightly sounds freaking amazing! I’m pretty low key for most days right now and wear a BB pact daily, but I’ve felt like I needed to buy a new foundation for the last few weddings I’ve been invited to since the foundation shades I have just don’t happen to be a color match. Maybe I’ll pick up one or two of these to help adjust and add a bit of life back to the face.

  • accordingtoame April 16, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Potentially stupid question …

    I went with 2, and of course before blending it’s dark for me but once blended not bad at all. But…how do I layer this? Like over sunblock and after primer or as primer?

  • Stephanie April 18, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I admit I’m a little confused by this product, but it looks absolutely gorgeous! I’m not sure I need another step in my makeup routine but the before and after looks stunning.

  • Yolla Jezzini April 23, 2018 at 4:01 am

    Hi Sabrina! Thanks for the detailed review! How does this compare to the eclat glow from Sisley? Do you prefer one over the other? I am trying to decide which to purchase. Thank you!