Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Charlotte Tilbury The Uptown Girl Luxury Palette

When I rebooted this blog, I happened to mention a wish for featuring not just the newest of new releases. From time to time, I'm late to a beauty party and miss out on an incredible permanent collection item.

The Charlotte Tilbury Uptown Girl Luxury Palette Colour-Coded Eyeshadow Palette is one of those. I always swore that I didn't want to splurge on this line without a local counter. Luckily, one of my local Nordstrom did get a counter! After playing with the testers, I completely fell in love with one of the four shades in The Uptown Girl and knew it would be my first palette foray into the brand (if you recall, I did buy a lipstick and a lipliner (which I adore) from the line when it first launched in the US). I stayed true to my convictions and didn't purchase any additional items until I could see them in person.  (By the way, I feel the same way about Gucci Beauty. Give me even a mini kiosk at a local Gucci boutique and I'm in.)

I'll be honest- as much as I love this item, I'm not sure if I'll be purchasing more after dealing with the staff at my local counter. I hope it was merely over-exuberance from the grand opening, but I was left with an extremely negative impression of how the brand postures itself. The product's wonderful, but I felt bullied because I wanted to only purchase the quad and not one of the $200 plus full face kits. Especially when I already own some of the items in the kit that goes with this quad! I was told by the SA that it was "not being true to Charlotte's vision" and "not correct" to just buy the quad and that "I didn't get the brand" if I didn't plunk down $200 plus and purchase repeats. That's one of the reasons why I've held off on this review for so long. Makeup is about self-expression, not bullying consumers and demanding products be used only a certain way as not to "offend" the brand's creator.

As I said, I hope that this practice has stopped at my local counter. I've not been back since.

But let's talk about this incredible palette today instead of dwelling on my counter experience.

The Luxury Palettes are designed to produce a signature look. Each contain 4 types of shades:
1 (Upper Left): Prime
2 (Upper Right): Enhance
3 (Lower Right): Smoke
4 (Lower Left): Pop

For daytime, one generally places Prime all over the eye, and uses Enhance as a deepening shade. Depending on your preferences, place a little bit of Smoke just for daytime Smoky eye. For nighttime, deepen with Smoke, and place a little Pop for some shine.

That's the "true to Charlotte's vision" way to use this quad. I wanted to make sure that I mentioned it.

Let's look at Uptown Girl closely.

Note: this is swatched 1,2,4,3

Uptown Girl #1 (Prime): An amazing golden-beige shimmer that produces an incredibly natural sheen on my NW15 skin. I love this for an all-over highlighting shade, not as a base for everything else (I use primers for that).

Uptown Girl #2 (Enhance): This is the shade that I fell in love with at first swatch, and why I bought the palette in the first place. It's a shimmery complex grey-taupe that's flattering on just about everyone and is literally the perfect lid color for an understated look on me. If I could only wear one lid color for the rest of my life, this would be a finalist in that tough decision. 

Uptown Girl #3 (Smoke): A purple-grey shimmer that reminds me a lot of a slightly darker version of the Armani Organica palette from fall a couple of years ago (and one of my all-time favorites. Hey, Prime actually reminds me of the lighter shade from that palette, too!).

Uptown Girl #4 (Pop): A rose gold glitter. This is close in consistency to the original glitter shades in Tom Ford quads. I'll pop this in the center of my lid on occasion, but glitters aren't a daily go-to in the office for me. Spray your brush with MAC Fix+ for best performance.

Overall, this is an awesome quad. Texture of these shadows is awesome- very buttery and blendable.  This quad has found its way into my weekly rotation- I wear it at least once a week.  Here's an example:

Bottom line: Looking past the marketing, this quad does it all right. The Uptown Girl is an awesome neutrals-with-a-twist quad that's found its way into my most-used items because it simply performs. It's worth checking out.

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