There’s no question that Charlotte Tilbury is pretty much beauty’s biggest deal. Not only have her skills as a makeup artist seen her paint the faces of some of Hollywood’s biggest names (Amal Clooney, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell are just a few that spring to mind), but her eponymous beauty brand is also responsible for some of the industry’s most-loved products.
Created off the back of a handmade formula that Charlotte herself regularly used to prep models’ skin backstage, it delivers intense hydration, reduces inflammation and generally makes skin smoother, more even and luminous beyond belief. Essentially, Magic Cream is healthy-looking skin in a tub. With A-list celebrities often turning to Charlotte and her team (including her makeup maestro niece Sofia Schwarzkopf-Tilbury) to execute the glowiest of makeup looks, the radiance-boosting cream is responsible for gifting the likes of Sienna Miller, Suki Waterhouse and Olivia Palermo with flawless complexions.
However, as with all beauty products, it’s worth noting that Magic Cream isn’t for everyone. The formula is intensely rich and possesses a heaviness that oilier, more breakout-prone skin types might not get along with. I’m gutted to say that, unfortunately, I fall into that category. While I have watched on as colleagues, friends and fellow beauty editors reap the glowing, flawless benefits of Magic Cream, the results that I get from the very same product aren’t quite so.
For many moons, I (along with many other beauty buffs with congested skin) have longed for a lighter version of Charlotte’s Magic Cream. A formula that offers up the exact same perfecting qualities just with a little less oily weight to it. And it is on this note that I can finally announce today is the day our oily skin wishes have been granted as Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir (£60) lands.
Formulated with powerhouse ingredients that you’d be more used to seeing in clinical skincare products, the new serum contains the same iconic Magic 8 complex as the existing cream but with a few added extras to deal with skin clarity, texture and resilience. With vitamin C to deliver radiant glow; polyglutamic acid for deep, plumping hydration; niacinamide for overall skin health and a special patented peptide blend to tackle the appearance of wrinkles, Charlotte’s Magic Serum promises so much more than just a glowing base.
And I can vouch for it. Over the past week or so, I have been using Magic Serum every single day before applying my makeup, and honestly, it’s all I ever wanted. It delivers the perfecting qualities of Magic Cream (glowing hydration, refined pores, smoothed texture), just without the threat of oily breakouts.
My only niggle? Much like the original Magic Cream, I’m still not entirely sure how it fits into an evening routine. While the brand recommends application both morning and night, a quick glance over the ingredient list leaves me conflicted. Sure, both products are jam-packed with skin-loving goodness, but they also contain perfecting ingredients that could be potentially pore-clogging and are largely unnecessary for pre-bed application. However, if you're willing to accept Magic Serum purely as a daytime skin-prepping product, I really do struggle to fault it.
So whether you have experienced a similar longing to join in on the Magic Cream fun or you simply want to up the ante when it comes to your base, if you ask me, this new serum is definitely worth your time.