Norman Parkinson's fashion photographs are among the most iconic and inspiring images for me. I go back to them again and again, enjoying their beauty and often humorous attitude. Forty, Sixty, and even Eighty years after they were taken, Parkinson's pictures maintain their freshness and charm (I highly recommend the book you see above, Norman Parkinson- A Very British Glamour by Louise Baring). I dream of the clothes, the accessories and the makeup, and apparently it was enough to sell me on a couple of items from the collection Charlotte Tilbury created as a collaboration with the Norman Parkinson Archive. Up until now I've never been impressed enough with Tilbury's brand, and even within this collection I had no interest in the lipsticks or the overpriced plastic makeup bags featuring Jerry Hall. But the elegant compacts of the highlighter and cream blush were irresistible with their vintage charm.
Dreamy Glow Highlighter Illuminating Youth Powder is a highlighting powder that depending on your skin tone and method of application can be used on certain areas of the face or as an all-over soft focus light reflecting powder. It's somewhere between Beauty Is Life Multi-Touch Powder and Hourglass Ambient Light powders (pigment level as in the former and less reflective than the latter). Being on the lighter side of the medium/olive spectrum (NC 30-35, with more green and less yellow) I can use it both ways and like it well enough to keep the Illuminating Powder within easy reach. Also I love looking at the compact featuring the stunning Carmen dell'Orefice as shot by Norman Parkinson for Vogue in 1959.
Next comes Color of Youth Healthy, Happy Lip & Cheek Glow. I'm starting to deeply resent Charlotte Tilbury's overuse of the word "Youth" when naming her products. Why can't I be happily middle-aged? I'm also guessing that's the case with a large portion of Tilbury's customers who deserve the credit for not expecting (or even wanting) to be transformed into teenagers. Can we just watch 'Peggy Sue Got Married" for the hundredth time instead?
But back to the product, which is really lovely. The Lip & Cheek Glow is what our mothers and grandmothers used to call a 'rouge', and it's a beautiful and lively coral, a shade that can take us from summer to fall. My personal preference is to only use it as a cream blush, but it is emollient enough to go on the lips if you wish. It contains ethyl vanillin but no other fragrance, which is nice. I've applied the blush with fingers as well as with a flat top synthetic brush and found that I actually prefer the former method, It's easy to blend, sheer out or add more, and in general I think that a little bit is all that it takes for an almost natural healthy glow. Longevity depends on the base underneath and the use of powder(s) over it, and I've experienced fading after four hours or so. That's when it times to get out the compact and reapply while admiring the photo of Wenda, Parkinson's muse and third wife, taken in 1956 for British Vogue.
One last word about the compacts: as gorgeous as they are, I wish they have been heftier. I have every intention to find something to refill them if I ever finish the original products, and a sturdy packaging would have been a better choice for these timeless images.
You can see the rest of the collection swatched and analyzed in Sabrina's post on The Beauty Lookbook.
Bottom Line: None. I'm too engrossed staring at the beautiful compacts.
Charlotte Tilbury Norman Parkinson Dreamy Glow Highlighter Illuminating Youth Powder ($65) and Color of Youth Healthy, Happy Lip & Cheek Glow ($58) are limited edition items, available from Nordstrom, Neiman, Bergdorf, and Beautylish. Both products are made in Italy.