Magic Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
We'll preface this review by saying that if you have dry skin, Charlotte Tilbury's Magic Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is not for you. Even if dry skin isn't your concern, if you have any areas of flakiness, you'll want to avoid this foundation. Why? Because despite the claim that this foundation is for ALL skin types, it clings to and really exaggerates every last dry patch of skin (and even some that you didn't know you had), whether or not you prep skin with a primer. On the other hand, those with normal to oily, flake-free skin may find Magic Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 to be an attractive option, offering a demi-matte finish and medium coverage for a more even-looking skin tone.
Housed in a frosted glass bottle, Magic Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 dispenses as a liquid, cream-like texture. It initially feels similar to moisturizer with SPF but dries down rather quickly (you'll need to be swift with blending). Once set, you get a comfortable, almost powder-like finish, which helps hold back oily shine. Those with very oily skin will likely see shine start to pop through a few hours in, but the fact that you get at least some help in managing this department is a nice touch.
We agree with Tilbury's claim that the formula feels lightweight on skin, but we disagree with the full-coverage claim. Instead, we'd describe it as medium (slightly buildable) coverage. Unfortunately, we found the coverage fades a bit as the day wears on, though pairing this with a setting powder helps.
On a high note, the fragrance-free formula is suitable for those with sensitive skin, and thanks to the mineral-based sunscreen (via titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), it provides gentle broad-spectrum sun protection to help ward off pro-aging sun damage. As with any SPF-rated foundation, though, such protection depends on liberal application—likely more than many will want to apply, especially given the recommended minimum SPF rating these days is SPF 30.
Beyond that, the anti-aging properties aren't as impressive as claimed—what few beneficial ingredients this does contain are in minute concentration.
Shade-wise, Magic Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 comes in over a dozen shades for the palest of skin all the way up to very deep complexions. The lightest color, Shade "1 Fair Pale" turned out ghostly white even on our ultra-fair staffers; so if that's your normal color, you may want to try a sample first to gauge how it looks on you. Actually, trying a sample of Magic Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is a good idea no matter what your skin color, as we found that in some instances the colors oxidized to a warmer hue than they appeared in the bottle.
Putting things in perspective, is this foundation MAGIC? No, and it's certainly not for all skin types as claimed. However, for those with normal to oily skin (including acne-prone), the demi-matte, medium coverage evens out skin tone attractively and feels comfortable. When you factor in the SPF, it's a nice way to boost your normal facial sunscreen…though overall the formula isn't as anti-aging as Charlotte Tilbury would like you to believe. In a nutshell, Magic Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 is a decent but not amazing foundation.
- Medium (slightly buildable) coverage evens out skin tone nicely.
- Comfortable, almost powder-like finish helps minimize shine (at least temporarily).
- Fragrance-free formula ideal for sensitive skin.
- Gentle, mineral-based sunscreen helps ward off pro-aging sun damage.
- Formula + demi-matte finish are suitable for breakout-prone skin.
- Vast shade range.
- Clings to and exaggerates dry patches of skin (even some you didn't know you had).
- Ingredients aren't on par with a state-of-the-art anti-aging cream as claimednot even close.
- Coverage fades as the day wears on.
Charlotte Tilbury At-A-Glance
Charlotte Tilbury's journey into creating her own makeup line began back in her teen years when she discovered the transformative power of makeup. Fast-forward several years and celebrity clients later, Tilbury made a name for herself as a makeup artist who epitomized the glamorous beauty of the supermodel era in the 90s. Along the way, she became a consultant for beauty brands, and eventually decided to create her own line of makeup and select skincare products in 2013.
One of the strong suits of Charlotte Tilburys makeup is her take on color. The woman knows her way around flattering a complexion and making features pop, and you can see that in her shade range. That doesn't mean you wont find some misses along the way, but as a whole, the line offers an impressive selection of color.
Tilbury's skincare, on the other hand, doesn't fare quite as well. Between the use of jar packaging and some highly fragranced formulas, skin is left compromised (see individual reviews for details).
In no small way Tilbury's years of painting beautiful faces has helped shape what her makeup line is today. If you don't mind the $$$ factor, it's worth taking a look at the standouts which earn our highest rating.
Strengths: Excellent color selection; natural-looking foundation and concealer.
Weaknesses: The iconic Magic Cream comes in a jar; some highly fragranced formulas.
For more information about Charlotte Tilbury, call 646-828-7431 or visit www.charlottetilbury.com/us
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.