I was really REALLY hesitant about this product. Makeup base products are the worst to purchase online, because there’s no real way to account for undertones.
I finally took the plunge and decided to get Charlotte Tilbury’s retoucher in #3, then doubled back and also got #4 (because someone initiated a soundbite about #4 “being suited to olive/indian tones” and unfortunately it was picked up by every echo on the internet).
The Retoucher works almost exactly like (maybe better than) Chanel’s Eclat Lumiere. Forget about YSL Touche Eclat (everyone was comparing it to Touche Eclat…), because The Retoucher only matches Touche Eclat in terms of the way it’s packaged. It’s more opaque than Touche Eclat, and doesn’t perform the same. What’s inside is more on par with Eclat Lumiere in terms of formulation, and By Terry Touche Veloutee in terms of performance.
#3 (on the left) is more to my tastes, as I prefer to ‘highlight’ the high points of my face. For comparison, the color is much like MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC35. It’s warm enough, with neutral undertones to suit warmer skin tones perfectly fine. #4 (on the right) looks like MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC42. It nearly matches my skin perfectly, and works well over blemishes and minor discolorations. It’s warmer and ‘peachy’ and will beautifully highlight medium to darker skin tones with yellow (not red) undertones. On a red undertone, I suspect this will go ashy.
Now, Charlotte claims that this formulation is ‘makeup as skin care’ and is full of all kinds of goodies to make the under-eye area more … fabulous. Having actually used makeup as skin care (I always go back to By Terry), I have to say that at least for me… these claims are rather inflated. I have seen no change after a week of constant use (and I’ve been paying attention). It’s a concealer. It’s a lovely concealer, but at the end of the day, it’s makeup. It’s no more effective than Armani’s Maestro Eraser (which also claimed to do wonders for the eye area, but just ended up being concealer).
I love the thinness of this formula. Just a little bit goes a long way. And at first it’s worrisome because it looks sheer, and like you’re not going to get any coverage. I prefer to ‘pat’ it on, because if I move it before it is halfway set, I notice that it tends to streak. But it sets nearly matte, and once it’s on, it STAYS on. Unlike Touche Veloutee (which is heavy and very opaque), once you put this on, it doesn’t look like you’re actually wearing any makeup. It adheres to your skin, adjusts, sets, and stays put.
The only drawback to this product is color matching. Because it’s not available in the states, matching is tricky. I understand that the first two colors have a pink undertone, so that’s something to keep in mind. I do want Charlotte to come out with some darker colors, with more of a red undertone so that all beauties can get the chance to enjoy this product.