Charlotte Tilbury – JK Magic Review

By now, everyone and their nana has seen that Charlotte Tilbury has launched Hot Lips 2 – a gorgeous new line of lipsticks all inspired by her famous friends. If you’re interested in a review of the Hot Lips 2 collection, and particularly a JK Magic review, then you’re in the right place!

Image result for charlotte tilbury hot lips 2Photo belongs to Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks are famous. Her previous collection of Hot Lips lipsticks were all inspired by famous clients that she has worked with before… so the second one should be no different, right!? The Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 collection contains 11 brand new shades, including CT’s first lip balm. The shades are as follows (image top left to right):

Glowing Jen – A tawny, beach rose nude
Viva La Vergara – A soft wine
Dancefloor Princess – A pop pink
In Love With Olivia – A sumptuous pink
Amazing Amal – A soft, berry-pink
Red Hot Susan – A tawny-orange red
JK Magic – A peachy nude-rose
Patsy Red – A statement red
Carina’s Star – A modern peach soft coral
Enigmatic Edward – A ‘comforting’ lipstick conditioner
Angel Alessandra – A ‘sunset’ peachy nude

(As far as I can tell, Angel Alessandra is missing from the pic above).

To me, these shades are far more beautiful and much more wearable than the previous collection of Hot Lips, mainly because it includes a wide collection of nudes.

Charlotte Tilbury JK Magic lipstick
Charlotte Tilbury JK Magic lipstick from the Hot Lips 2 collection, inspired by JK Rowling

Despite all these stunning shades, the main reason you might have heard about these lipsticks is because of their beautiful, custom packaging… and the fact that they are refillable. As far as I’m aware, Charlotte Tilbury is the first mainstream makeup brand to offer refillable lipsticks. Now, I might be living under a rock here and be totally wrong, but I can’t think of any others off the top of my head. Going forward, I think that refillable lipsticks will become the new ’40 shades’ – that is the new industry standard when coming out with a new product. I mean, you’ve got to hand it to her, Charlotte Tilbury is has come out with the most gorgeous packaging so obviously you’d never want to chuck it away! Plus the refills are obviously cheaper than the entire lipstick and case, AND it cuts down on waste! It’s all very clever and has me well and truly on-board. The only sliiiight downside is that you can’t choose which packaging you want – they’re already assigned to certain colours. This isn’t a massive issue to be honest and once you buy a refill, you can put any colour you want in any packaging. There are only 5 different packaging options, which, again, isn’t the end of the world AT ALL.

Related image

After lusting after these a bit online, I swatched pretty much all the nudes in store and they were all absolutely gorgeous. I could have easily walked away with four lipsticks (JK Magic, In Love With Olivia, Glowing Jen and Dancefloor Princess). I was particularly torn between JK Magic and Dancefloor Princess. JK Magic was more of a classic nude with a touch more orange/pink, whereas Dancefloor Princess was a nude pink. The way that I like to wear my nude lipsticks is using a dark rose shade lip liner (the absolute best one is MAC Whirl lip liner – nothing ever measures up to this!) Even though JK Magic does have a touch of orange to it, pairing it with Whirl literally makes it the perfect shade. It also makes it more versatile – you can wear your lipstick as it’s original colour and choose a lip liner that is close to it, or you can go for different lip liners to play around with the colour! These are very pigmented and just one swipe gives you great colour pay off.

These lipsticks don’t have the same matte finish as the original Hot Lips collection. I have another Charlotte Tilbury lipstick, admittedly from the Matte Revolution line, and they really weren’t joking when they said it was matte. These are a lot more comfortable on the lips and have a gorgeous sheen that make your lips look lovely and juicy.

JK Magic

In case you aren’t familiar with Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, the lipstick bullet itself if very angular. Initially it confused me because you can’t imagine how a square shaped lipstick could possible give you sharp lines or stick to the outline of your lips, but it does! And really well! Maybe the best part of this lipstick (if you’re a total sucker like I am) is the lips that are engraved/printed into the lipstick bullet. If I’m truly honest, this little kiss imprint in the bullet was a major deciding factor in me buying this. It actually breaks my heart to think that at some point it will wear away, but for the meantime, it’s true love. I keep looking at it and taking pictures of it. I’m such a loser I know.

I am absolutely in love with this lipstick! This nude is perfect for anyone as fair as I am (NC15ish). Though you probably could wear it alone, I love to pair this up with Whirl lipliner from MAC and is the most perfect shade. I am so impressed with the shade, the formula and the packaging that I’m SO tempted to buy another one. I’m lusting after Glowing Jen or In Love With Olivia, and if I’m being honest with myself, it’s just a matter of time before I get another one. Even the non-nude shades have me ready to throw my money at the Charlotte Tilbury counter! This is probably one of the most expensive lipsticks I’ve ever bought, if not *the* most expensive, at Β£28 for the full package (the reusable packaging and the bullet – it comes all in one like a normal lipstick). The refills are Β£19, which to me is still pretty pricey considering it doesn’t include the cost of the packaging, but I think these are definitely worth it. I love wearing this lipstick, it feels really gorgeous on the lips and makes me feel so confident!

If you are in the market for a new lipstick – GET ONE OF THESE. The shades are excellent, super pigmented and have a beautiful finish. They’re pricey, but if you’ll get the use out of it then do it!


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Milk Matte Bronzer and Lip + Cheek Stick Review For Pale Skin – SUMMER MAKEUP

I am not a cream lover –Β there I’ve said it. I haven’t used cream makeup products since I tried out the Anastasia Beverly Hills cream contour palette 4 years ago and absolutely hated it. However, with summer around the corner and in a desperate bid not to sweat through my makeup, I’m willing to give cream another chance.

After watching lots of Youtube videos on sweatproof and heatproof makeup, the one thing they had in common was the use of creams and the total avoidance of powders. I am the ultimate powder girl. Ever since that rough encounter with the ABH cream contour palette, the closest I have dabbled with creams is applying a Fenty Shimmer Stick with a brush lol.

So here we are.

Milk Makeup Bronzer in Baked and Lip + Blush stick in WerkI decided to try out the Milk Matte Bronzer in the shade Baked and the Lip + Cheek stick in the shade Werk.

The product itself comes in a plastic cylinder with two blocks at either end to keep it in place. This seems like a bit of a waste of plastic to me and it would be just find with a thin plastic sheet around it (like mascaras have here in the UK) to stop people breaking into them. Aside from that, the packaging is really clever. You just twist the bottom up when you need more product and apply it straight out of the stick. These are a little bulky and would take up a fair bit of space in your makeup bag, but if you’re swapping out your powders, you’ll have space to spare.


Milk Matte Bronzer in Baked; Milk Lip and Cheek in Werk; Milk Hydrogrip PrimerIn the stick this shade looks very dark, especially to someone with pale/fair skin! Upon first application, it is very pigmented and makes you panic that it won’t blend out, leaving you with stripes down your face. But rest assured, you don’t need to worry. The bronzer is really creamy and blends out really well… maybe a little too well. It doesn’t blend away to absolutely nothing, but it does take a little time depending on how heavy handed you’ve been, but I do find that I go back in a few times to build the colour up to where I want it. As for the suitability for pale skin,Β  I find that the colour is pretty bang on. Because it blends out so well, I would say that people lighter than me (so very very fair) would be able to use the shade Baked with no problems. It is definitely buildable, so the product can be worked up to your preferred level of bronzed. As the stick is quite thick, when you apply it, the stripes can be quite thick. This isn’t so much a problem when you’re applying it to your forehead or your temples, but when you’re applying it to your cheeks you don’t really want a thick band of bronzer. When you blend it, it can travel down to the area that would usually be left blank (lower part of the cheek or towards the mouth) and it can look really strange. It’s really easily fixable with a bit of concealer so it’s certainly not the end of the world. You can turn the stick to an angle to get a thinner line, but you have to remember to do it! One thing I have noticed is that the formula does tend to stay wet for a long while after you’ve applied them. They don’t really tend to dry down for a fair amount of time, which has resulted in a lot of fly-aways getting stuck to my face (gross). I know some people like to blend bronzer in with a sponge, but I found that using a flat topped synthetic brush blended out the bronzer much more seamlessly and much faster.



‘Werk’ is a really pretty shade that is described as a Dusty Rose colour. Of all the shades, it is the most ‘natural’, least bright and most wearable. Like the bronzer, this has a very strong swatch that blends out pretty nicely. The only issue I find with using the bronzer and the blush together is that they blend in with each other and one colour replaces the other. Due to the thickness of the sticks, it is quite difficult to have separate areas on the face where the blush and bronzer don’t meet or overlap. It doesn’t create a muddy look (luckily) but the pigmentation of the blush takes over the cheek and you have to reapply the bronzer to get the bronze back. This colour is pretty, but once it’s blended in it does give you a bit of a sunburnt look (which I know some magazines are promoting at the moment, but I don’t want that look). On skin tones darker than mine, I’m sure it would be a lovely shade, but it’s just unfortunate that when blended out, it is the exact shade of my skin when it’s burnt. As a result I’ve not been using this as much. I have used this on my lips, but it is actually quite difficult to apply (BECAUSE IT’S SO THICK, just in case I haven’t mentioned that enough already). It also is quite an odd formula to wear on the lips as it doesn’t really look much like a lip product.

Blended with finger

It’s important to mention that neither of these sticks remove any makeup when I apply it onto foundation or concealer. Unlike my Fenty Shimmer Stick, these do NOT remove your foundation or leave it patchy. The formula is very smooth and it sails over the foundation and creates a really gorgeous, natural base.

The bronzer is a definite winner for pale skin, but I’ll have to get back to you on the blush.

I have been really enjoying these products from Milk, especially the bronzer, though I do wish they were slightly thinner so that application could be a little more precise. When compared to my powder bronzers, I would say that these last better and don’t go patchy throughout the day when I’m sweating or touching my face. On days where I’m just wearing blush, the blush would be a banger. I’m still working on ways to make this work together, so if anyone has any tips, please leave them below!

These are Β£20.50 each, which at first glance you might think is quite expensive, but a little bit of this does go a long way and this would be around the right price point of a mid/high-end bronzer/blush. I am definitely tempted to buy more from Milk after trying these, especially their highlighter which I have pretty high hopes!

If you’d like to try these out (and I think you should!), then you can find them at Cult Beauty.

Leave me a comment if you’ve tried these and what you think!


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Milk Hydro Grip Primer – Dry Skin Review

Milk recently released their first primer – the Hydro Grip primer – that promises to give you deep hydration while offering a ‘turbo grip’ to ensure that makeup lasts the whole day. This product is being talked about all over the internet, so I decided to test it out!


I have normal-dry skin so I do usually look for a hydrating/moisturising primer. The Hydro Grip contains hemp-derived cannabis seed extract that is supposed to hydrate, plump and smooth the skin. The blue agave extract is the ingredient that adds the hold, while aloe water, cherry blossom, hyaluronic acid and B vitamins boost the skin to give you a healthy looking base. It’s worth noting that this primer is silicone free and oil free.


The packaging for this looks brill. The box has an awesome blue holographic Milk logo on it, and the bottle itself is clear and only really coloured by the greenish gel. It uses a pump system and the clear bottle makes it super easy to see when you’re running low on the product (which you often can’t tell with other primers with opaque packaging). When you pump out the product, it comes out slightly green but turns clear once it is applied to the skin so can be used on all skin tones. The only downside is that the bottle is quite bulky and would take up a lot of space in your makeup bag if you’re travelling.



This primer is quite different to any other hydrating primer that I have tried. Usually they are thick and creamy and do offer an instant hit of hydration that makes your skin go ‘aaaah’. It’s not necessarily the case with this one – it is more of a gel consistency, as opposed to a cream, and leaves the skin quite tacky after application. I guess this is to really ‘grip’ on to the makeup, but it does feel quite odd and it’s not a sensation I’m used to.

Staying power

I’ll start by saying that I wear my makeup for 12+ hours every day, wear glasses, go for walks in my lunch break and travel to work on public transport. My makeup takes quite a beating during the day – it usually breaks up where my glasses sit on my nose and cheeks, between my nose and mouth and on my cheeks around my nose. The Hydro Grip primer didn’t stop it breaking down any more than usual. After you apply the primer, you’re supposed to wait for 1 minute to activate the ‘grip’.Β If I apply it before or after waiting for this minute to pass, the result is the same. My skin definitely doesn’t feel anymore hydrated – if anything the gel-like consistency makes me skin feel a bit less hydrated. The base is also very tacky, which may help to increase the longevity of your base, but it doesn’t make the products go on very smoothly at all. I found that some of the products would apply differently to usual and would be a little patchy and difficult to blend out seamlessly. I prefer a less tacky and smoother feeling base so that my complexion products can glide easily over the top.

I did half my face using Hydro Grip and half using myΒ fave primer – MAC Skin Base Visage – and the difference was clear. On the Hydro Grip side, my base looked visibly drier and my base didn’t look as smooth and flawless as it did on the other side. It didn’t pick up on any dry patches necessarily, but the skin on my nose definitely looked more grainy. In terms of ‘gripping’ my makeup on, I saw no increased longevity.

I have never used a product that had cannabis extract in it before, but I had heard that it is really great for the skin. I can’t say I saw any skincare benefits from using this, which I was really hoping for!

I think this primer might perform better for oilier skin types because I’d imagine it really controls oil and grips makeup in place. However, for normal-dry skin I didn’t find that it delivered the smooth base and made the skin look a little drier than usual. For Β£27, I think it was quite expensive for a pretty average result. I’m curious whether this would work better with other Milk complexion products, and hopefully very soon I’ll be able to test this out!

If you’re in the UK, you can find the Hydro Grip primer at Cult Beauty for Β£27.

Have you tried the Hydro Grip primer? Let me know your thoughts!


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The Best Affordable Brands for Each Makeup Step

The high end often takes the spotlight when it comes to makeup, but it’s important to remember that the drugstore also releases some amazing products. Just like the high end, not everything is a hit, so I’ve broken down my favourite affordable products for each step of your makeup routine!


Finding your shade can be a little bit difficult in ‘drugstore*’ brands, especially if you fall at either end of the spectrum. If you find yourself in this category, your best bet brand-wise will probably be NYX. Their recent Can’t Stop Won’t Stop range was a collaboration with Youtuber Alyssa Ashley and was formulated with POC in mind. Makeup Revolution also offer a pretty good shade range. If you’re looking for something a little less matte and a little more dry skin friendly, consider Bourjois – their Healthy Mix foundation, or even the serum version (even more dry skin friendly) are both great options.


The Maybelline concealers are great – the age rewind one is great if you don’t mind concealers with a sponge – and likewise their Fit Me range is great (even though the shade order is a bit messed up). My personal favourite and go-to for many years now is the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. It’s full coverage and blends out beautifully.


For me, there is only one contender here – NYX! Their Microbrow pencil is a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer and there is a pretty wide shade range. Their clear brow gel is another absolute winner – who needs high end!?


You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to blush from the drugstore. Brands like Milani, Kiko, NYX, Bourjois… the list is endless! The pigment is really close to more expensive products but just at a fraction of the price!


This one is a little harder, but Sleek and MUA tend to do pretty good highlighters. These are brands that are pretty widely available in Superdrug here in the UK and are really cost effective.


Affordable eyeshadow can be a little hard to find. I don’t find that the traditional ‘drugstore’ brands (L’Oreal, Maybelline etc.) offer much in terms of good, pigmented eyeshadow. Brands that I have decent luck with are Makeup Geek (their singles are fab, but they’re about to relaunch the brand and half their stock is sold out everywhere), Colourpop and NYX. NYX is easily the most accessible of the 3 brands and offer a great assortment of colours at a really reasonable price point. The Colourpop shadows do have a lot of fall out in the pan, but I personally don’t find that to be the end of the world.


When it comes to affordable mascara, I am team Maybelline all the way. I was a Maybelline girl since I started wearing makeup until I started wearing Benefit Roller Lash a few years back, but Maybellina hands down makes the best drugstore mascaras on the market. I never found L’Oreal to be as lengthening and voluminising in one, plus they were always that bit more pricey.


Hands down Sleek. Their white eyeliner was a staple in my makeup kit for yeeeeears for my lower water line and it would. not. budge. They are lovely creamy formula and last for a really long time! I’m not sure they have a massive array of colours, but for the basics there is none better!


For lip liners, NYX are very good and offer a great shade range. When it comes to lipstick, there is only one winner for me – Maybelline! Their colour sensational range is SENSATIONAL – there is an amazing range of shades and finishes and they come at such an affordable price point that honestly there is no beating it. Two of my favourites are nude shades 725 Tantalising Taupe and 630 Velvet Beige (pictured above). If you’re a nude fan like me, you need these in your life!

You may notice that there are some steps that are missing – that is because I haven’t found products that I like enough to recommend. I find primers to be a bit hit and miss, bronzers in the drugstore are a mess and setting sprays aren’t that widely available and the ones that are miss the mark.

Let me know what your favourite drugstore products are!


* I hate the term ‘drugstore’ because we don’t call those brands that here in the UK, but we don’t have a word for it, so I’ll use the American term.

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Dose of Colours Friendcation Review

I got the Dose of Colours Friendcation palette a little while back after lusting after it for aaaages, and it’s safe to say I have some thoughts on it…

Image result for friendcation palette

The palette is a collaboration between Dose of Colours and best friend beauty influencers Desi Perkins and Katy. When I first heard this collaboration was coming out, I wasn’t instantly drawn to the collection and didn’t really have any aspirations to get the palette. I watched their videos on how to use it and the looks were nice, but I didn’t feel like it was something my collection was missing. Then I started to see it everywhere and saw it with new eyes. I NEEDED IT. I managed to get it in the Black Friday sale on Beauty Bay.


Just looking at it, this palette is absolutely beautiful. I would say, that the image above must have been doctored because the shades don’t look quiet this perfect in person.

When I began playing with it, even though I think these were made for someone much more tanned than me, these do look really nice on my skin tone. The palest shade in the palette was way too dark for me to use as an all over base shade, but worked well as a first crease colour.

How do they perform?

The mattes in this palette are pretty nice and blend well into one another. The warm brown shades are so flattering and have become my go-to shades for daily use. The lightest shade is still too dark for me to use as an all over lid colour so it gets largely ignored. On a few instances they have looked a little patchy when applied, especially when applied in the crease as they tend to skip in certain places.Β  I’m not going to lie, the swatches look absolutely awful – they look so patchy but that’s what the look like! I was tempted to go over them again and build them up, but that isn’t indicative of how they really perform.


The shimmers are a bit hit and miss too. They are quite chunky and a few times the shadow has balled up in the pan, which I expect more of cheaper shadows. When I first used the red and gold shimmers, I thought I was going going to have to remove all my eye makeup because they were really scratchy and my eyes were getting really irritated and watery. The glitter fell into my eyes and onto my cheeks, so if you’ve already done your base makeup and haven’t baked then this could be quite a problem. The gold shimmer is not very opaque and is more of a wash of colour with glitter. It’s actually the most beautiful see through gold that just gives your eye enough of a shimmer to look done, but not so much as to over cook it. Weirdly, I’ve used the gold glitter again since the burning/itching and it’s been absolutely fine? Really weird.

The khaki green is probably my favourite shimmer shade. It’s not the most wearable shade for everyday, but I was bowled over by how stunning it was when I wore it. The main reason I ended up buying this palette was for the bright blue and this is easily the most disappointing shade in the palette. Whether you apply it with a brush or your finger, it doesn’t translate onto the lid. I have seen tutorials where people have used glitter glue and that seems to work well, but ultimately I don’t see why I should have to take that step to make it work. I did test it out just to see and I do think they went on much more smoothly but I didn’t think they were that much more pigmented.

*Swatches on the left are without glitter primer, swatch on the right is with glitter primer*

User friendly?

Welllllll… It’s not the most user friendly palette in the world. The way Katy and Desi showed off the shimmer shades, you’re supposed to be able to layer them to create brand new shades. Realistically, I’m not too sure who is doing this. There is quite a lot of fall out from the shimmers and the colours don’t always come off the most pigmented so this would be really hit and miss. The warmer colours (basically all but the green and blues) make it far easier to create a cohesive look or something that you can wear on a regular basis. As pretty as the others are, they’re not going to be an everyday shade for most people.

While the colours in the palette are really pretty, I’ve actually found it quite difficult to use the shimmers on the right of the palette. It’s quite easy to use reds and golds because a lot of brown or reddish shadows go well with these colours. However, blues and greens are a little bit harder to wear on the average day. I tried to create a halo eye using the blue shimmer and it looked like a bruise. Since then I’ve not really wanted to even experiment with the colours. Maybe it’s because my makeup style is very neutral and I don’t have the creativity to come up with a cohesive look, but I don’t find those shades the most user friendly. It’s a real shame because I actually picked up this palette for those shades, because goodness only knows how many warm browns I already have.

I don’t think I would repurchase this again, simply because I’m not that impressed by the quality of the shadows. Ultimately this palette is quite a lot of work. It’s definitely not one of those palettes where you can just bang the shades on quickly and go if you’re doing anything more than natural makeup. You have to work with and finesse most shades, so it does put you off using them.

Have you tried this palette? Did you like it?


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