Works well as a primer
Nourishes with ingredients like peptides and vitamin E
Fights dullness with vitamin C
High price point
Not suitable for oilier skin types
Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream
We put the Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
Few products are as universally important to a skincare routine as moisturizer. Whether you deal with intense dryness or are on the oilier side, a good hydrating product is helpful in both giving your skin needed nourishment and improving overall barrier health. Regardless of your needs, it's always exciting when you discover a moisturizer that takes a multitasking approach to giving you healthy, radiant skin, and the Charlotte Tilbury Charlotte's Magic Cream claims to do just that.
Charlotte Tilbury is known for providing a luxurious product experience, and the brand's cult-favorite moisturizer is no exception. The lavish jar is a stunning addition to any dressing table, and the velvety texture envelops the skin, leaving it soft and cushiony. And while I did enjoy the moisturizer like its legions of fans, I did notice a few things that you should consider in deciding whether the product is right for you. Keep reading for my thoughts.
Best for: Dry skin looking for a quick pick-me-up.
Uses: A daily priming moisturizer that hydrates and plumps skin while reducing the look of fine lines and enhancing radiance.
Hero ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and E, bionymph peptide complex
Byrdie Clean? No; contains PEGs.
About the brand: You’d be hard-pressed to find a beauty brand with as much hype as Charlotte Tilbury. Before creating her line, the celebrity makeup artist developed beauty products for other brands, including MAC and Tom Ford. Now, you'll find her products in almost every makeup artist's kit around the world.
About My Skin: Not excessively oily or dry
Fun fact: I rarely ever use moisturizers. I don’t have anything against them, just believe I can get all the skincare benefits I need from active serums. I think this also has something to do with the fact that my skin type is normal, so it's pretty balanced. It rarely ever gets dry, and I never need to compensate with really rich formulas. That being said, I will apply a hydrating cream before doing my makeup because I like my foundation to look natural and fresh.
The Feel: Super thick
No doubt about it, Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream is made for parched faces. The rich, creamy consistency does take some time to work into the skin, but once absorbed, it leaves skin suitably plush and plumped. My concerns—although not for myself—are that anyone with oily or acne-prone skin may find the formula to not be ideal. If you’re not a fan of fragranced products, you might find the scent quite strong, as well. It’s pleasant and not overwhelming, but noteworthy nonetheless.
The Ingredients: An assortment of hydrating and nourishing agents
Hyaluronic acid: One of the most efficacious humectants in skincare, hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule produced naturally by our body that can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water. As we age, this molecule declines, and topical application is necessary to restore hydration levels.
Bionymph peptide: Peptides are short chains of amino acids that act as the building blocks of proteins including elastin and collagen. Bionymph specifically is known for its ability to improve skin elasticity and firmness while reducing wrinkles.
Rosehip oil: Rich in fatty acids and vitamins, this pressed seed oil is incredibly restorative, diminishing dark spots, fading scars, and reducing inflammation. Its small molecular size allows it to easily penetrate deep within the skin and effectively stimulate collagen.
Vitamin C: Powerful antioxidant vitamin C is the ingredient of choice for radiant skin. Benefits of this ingredient include reducing hyperpigmentation, fading scars, and evening out your complexion. Its ability to neutralize free radicals gives it a protective edge that can prevent signs of premature aging and UV damage.
The Results: Bouncy and smooth, but wanted a bit more
When a product is so heavily hyped, it’s hard not to expect the world. In the case of Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream, it wasn’t just the customer reviews, but the claims themselves. Brightening, hydrating, firming, smoothing, calming—the list goes on. I wanted to love it, and I did like it; it just wasn’t the earth-shattering experience I expected. The consistency is lovely and thick, and I would imagine it's a treat for thirsty skin. Those with normal complexions like me can benefit from the smoothing and priming effects, but I wouldn’t recommend this for blemish-prone faces.
I’m known for going all out with my glow-getting and when it comes to primers, if it isn't packing shimmer, I’m not about it. Magic Cream might be beloved by many as a great primer, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it ticks most of those boxes, but the most important one for me is missing: radiance. The exclusion of any illuminating, pearlescent particles means the product likely wouldn't be my top pick, though I know this might not bother others who prefer different finishes.
The Value: Can be worth it, but there are alternatives
I appreciate that Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream is packed with beneficial ingredients, but the price is still a little steep. A quick Google search confirmed my assumptions: Some other brands are offering similar formulas for less. That being said, there are three sizes to choose from, so if you’ve got your heart set on Magic Cream but can’t imagine forking out $100, you can also try out one of the smaller sizes for $64 or $29.
Similar Products: You've got options
Versed Skin Soak Rich Moisture Cream: This moisturizer from Versed ($18) is a great budget option that doesn't skimp on the multitasking. It’s rich and restorative, and the inclusion of squalene makes it more suitable for oily skin types.
Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich: Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer Rich ($35) is a cult-favorite cream, and rightly so. Packed with fatty acids, ceramides, and natural butters, it’s a hydrating powerhouse that primes and soothes. Acne-prone complexions can also benefit from its buttery goodness, as the product is non-comedogenic.
I went into trying Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Cream ready to fall head over heels, and there are so many fantastic things about it. It's a wonderfully thick moisturizer that preps the skin for makeup application, and it contains all the ingredients one would want from a moisturizer. But for me, something was missing in the result. If it was more affordable, I probably wouldn’t think twice about purchasing it. Also, while the packaging is pretty, I wish they had used glass instead. The final takeaway is this: If you’ve got dry skin, are in the market for an everyday moisturizer, and budget is not an issue, then go for it. I can see why so many people love it, so as long as your skin could benefit from its specific nourishment, this is definitely a worthwhile purchase.
- Product Name Charlotte's Magic Cream
- Product Brand Charlotte Tilbury
- Price $100
- Weight 1.7 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Aqua/Water/Eau, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Olus Oil/Vegetable Oil/Huile Végétale, Isononyl Isononanoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Polyester-7, Phenoxyethanol, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Steareth-21, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Carbomer, Dimethiconol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Extract, Sodium Hydroxide, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Michelia Alba Leaf Oil, Sodium Lactate, Coco-Glucoside, PEG-8, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Plumeria Rubra Flower Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Nicotiana Sylvestris Leaf Cell Culture, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol.