Monday, July 18, 2016

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Beauty Palette - The Dolce Vita: First Look

It looks like Charlotte Tilbury's Instant Beauty Palette - The Dolce Vita is the highlight of the beauty exclusive from Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale. I've heard people worrying that it would sell out before they get a chance to see it or even order online (this  palette's predecessor, a light colored version of the same structure was a blink-and-you-miss-it thing). Right now Nordstrom is only  running the early access part of the sale, limited to their card members, and I admit that I was thankful to my cat Sophie who woke me up at 5 am last Thursday, allowing me to shop the event soon after it started (I had to use the Nordstrom app on my phone, because the frenzy has crashed the regular site). The palette has arrived this afternoon, s you and I can share a first impression before I put it to the test (I promise a FotD once I get over the crud that has been slowing me down lately).

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Beauty Palette - The Dolce Vita is rather small. For better and for worse it fits in the palm of my hand making it a good fit for makeup bags and travel. It's perfectly fine for the eye shadow pans that look standard, but the face color pans would make it somewhat awkward for many face brush brushes. Looking at them I'm overcome with an urge to just grab a large(ish) blush brush and swirl all the colors together. I have a feeling it could work. The palette comes with a travel-size Legendary Lashes mascara. That's a nice touch.

The three eye shadows are a classic neutral combination: #1 is a champagne color, #2 a gorgeous taupe, while #3 is a dark cool brown. The texture is a smooth satin with a delicate gleam, none feature shiny particles, and the texture is lovely and silky. Depending on the brush you use, there might be varying amount of fall out, so I'd recommend delicate patting down and less than vigorous blending. Not that you'd need much. These eye shadows are easy to work with and almost blend themselves, so no makeup expertise is needed. Place, swipe, and go.

There are two blushes in the palette, both somewhat  on the warm side. No.5 is kind of peachy, while #6 is more coral. These are popular shades for a reason, and would flatter many. I like their silky matte texture and from the limited playtime I've had so far I ca tell they blend beautifully. The tiny pans are annoying. Even a small pointed Yachiyo brush lands outside the pan, so instead of Charlotte Tilbury's "swish & pop" method I'd just blend them together (it's not like she's invented anything new here. Bobbi Brown has been showing the same technique for decades).

A second swatch of the highlighter, trying t see how peachy it appears.

Last are the bronzer and highlighter. The bronzer is gorgeous. It's a medium shade with a satin-almost-matte finish that you can blend to the sheerest hint of a natural tan. I've gotten ridiculously pale and ash-toned in recent year because of a strict regimen of of acids, retinoids, and zero sun exposure (never without SPF 50, hats and scarves). As a result, few bronzers look even remotely natural on my skin and everything needs to be blended to the max. I have a feeling (will need to confirm) that the fine and luxurious texture of this Charlotte Tilbury's bronzer can work. I do have a compact of her Film Star Bronze & Glow that I bought mainly for the highlighter, so a comparison is in order.

The highlighter in the Dolce Vita palette looks so far like the weakest link. It's supposed to be the same as the Film Star one, but I'm not sure. I won't know for sure until I do a full face and see how the product interacts with everything else, but from the three swatches I've tried so far I suspect that the texture is different enough from both the highlighter in the Film Star duo and from the glorious limited edition Charlotte Tilbury x Norman Parkinson compact.  Maybe it' just the narrow uncomfortable pan that doesn't let me maneuver the brush, but the texture in the new palette seems thicker, less even, and I suspect that the color itself is a bit too saturated to function as a proper highlighter on my skin. I do appreciate that this palette was intentionally created for deeper skin tones who could not abide the previous version (there was no way those colors would have worked for me). But I'm more of a neutral light-medium, so a peachy highlighter looks questionable on my cheekbones. I presume.

This palette requires good testing, but I wanted to show you the swatches and give a first impression while it's still widely stocked  (Early Access for card members is until July 21st. After that it'll be available for everyone).

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Beauty Palette - The Dolce Vita ($75, made in Italy) is exclusive to Nordstrom.


  1. Those eye colors are pretty. Can't say I'm excited about the rest of the palette. I've been slowly returning every color product (as they trickle in) from the Nordstrom sale. Considering how much I own, nothing seemed that exciting to me. I paused for a moment over the Laura Mercier palette but considered that I already own a ton of LM. I saw a few teaser photos of the Dior fall collection on line and I believe I will be saving my money for the shadow quints. If they don't work out, money saved all around. The Dear Husband will be happy about the savings.

  2. Hi Tatiana,

    I felt kind of the same way about the color cosmetic offerings this year. They just duplicated so many things I already had and since they weren't bringing anything new to the table (formula, texture, finish, etc.), I just wasn't inclined to purchase any. I did stock up on Antica Farmacista reed diffusers, but that was it. More money to spend on the fall collections! :-)


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