The Retoucher Conceal & Treat Stick
Charlotte Tilbury's The Retoucher Conceal & Treat Stick is a light to medium coverage concealer housed in a click-style pen container. Best for the undereye area for reasons we'll discuss shortly, it offers a natural-looking degree of coverage and dries to a flexible, softly moisturizing finish. Though this is an option for any skin type, it is particularly ideal for those with dry skin around the eye area—and it's fragrance free, too.
It falls just shy of our highest rating due to its inability to live up to its (considerable) list of marketing promises. Nevertheless, it's still flush with impressive qualities.
The packaging performs better than the average click-pen dispenser does—it resists pushing out too much product, and is (for this style of packaging) easier to control. Its fluid texture makes it particularly workable for helping to conceal undereye circles or areas of redness around the nose and mouth. When used around the eye area, it blends well, doesn't cake and resists the tendency to creep into lines—no easy feat!
Speaking of shine, though this contains mica, it doesn't leave visible shimmer on skin (not even in daylight).
The Charlotte Tilbury brand claims this is a "highly-pigmented formula" that makes "imperfections disappear." Unfortunately, those expecting it to live up to those promises will be somewhat disappointed—this offers medium coverage that can be sheered out if desired, but it just doesn't have enough pigment to conceal prominent discolorations or more dramatic under-eye circles.
It also claims the ingredient black tea ferment will help to fade discolorations, but there isn't sufficient research to support this claim. One study demonstrates some of the compounds present in black (as well as green and white) tea extracts have melanin inhibiting potential. However, the concentrations used were quite high (20%), it was tested on mouse skin cells, and even then, the results have not been reproduced or tested in cosmetic, topical application (Journal of Veterinary Science, 2015).
That's not to say this is a total loss, as black tea certainly has antioxidant potential, but it won't fade red marks left over after a breakout or other forms of discoloration.
To the shades: The Retoucher Conceal & Treat Stick is offered (at the time of this review) in nine colors, with options for those with very fair to medium-deep skin tones. The nine shades are all wonderfully neutral and skin-real, and conveniently correspond to the names and numbers of Charlotte Tilbury's Light Wonder Foundation.
Note: Due to the lighter coverage of the Light Wonder Foundation, you might find—as we did—the shade you use in that formula isn't the exact match for you in The Retoucher Conceal & Treat Stick.
For those seeking a natural looking light to medium concealer for the undereye area or face, The Retoucher Conceal & Treat Stick is a good option to consider. Its fluid formula blends easily, feels light on skin and moves well (resisting the tendency to creep into lines). Had this been marketed closer to the reality of its performance, it would have easily earned our top rating. This fell just shy of it for the reasons mentioned in our review, but it is still worth checking out should you be near a Charlotte Tilbury counter, as it may be a perfect match for your concealment needs.
- Natural-looking coverage.
- Excellent undereye concealer.
- Fragrance free.
- Offered in nine, neutral shades.
- Doesn't provide full coverage as claimed.
- Can't fade discolorations as indicated in its marketing.
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.