Long time no speak, eh? I’ve been busy compiling this post, so get comfortable (snacks advised).
I didn’t have high hopes for the Charlotte Tilbury line – don’t get me wrong, Charlotte seems like an absolute ball and when it comes to sharing a gin
or seven, I’m first in line (you listening, Charlotte?). As for her line, the Magic Cream struck me as transparent-marketing-101 slap in the face and I assumed the rest of the line would follow suit: hype-driven, mediocre makeup (chances of gin with Charlotte = approaching zero).
My thoughts vary greatly per shade, so I’ll speak generally and then get
excessively thorough specific.
General thoughts, tips and tricks
Given my poor experiences with eyeshadow pencils (NARS UGH), Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleons have proved to be the best as far as eyeshadow pencils go: creamy, pigmented and complex. The shades are packed with complimentary and contrasting glimmers that do, in fact, translate to the eye.
Just a heads up, the pencils appear deeper/smokier on the lid and more vibrant in swatches, due to the natural curvature/shadows of the eye.
Getting them on the lid is easy, simply scribble. Getting them to blend is not, they tend to leave tide marks and require powder eyeshadows to ease the transition (strange, given that ease of use is a selling point). I had similar issues with MAC Blackground Paint Pot so I offer the same solution – face primer on the lid. I prefer Rouge Bunny Rouge Matte Primer for this purpose which, although unlikely, makes life much easier. Alone, Colour Chameleons have <30 seconds blending window but on top of the primer, you have a hasty minute.
With or without a primer, all four shades are absolutely indelible; I managed to spill wine in my eye (don’t ask) and all my makeup migrated except the Colour Chameleon, which was perfectly intact. Colour Chameleons are easily removed with an oil cleanser and they don’t stain the eyelid.
Given the super soft texture, I’ve found that they require a sharpen after every use (for any sort of precision, that is). You do lose some product to the greedy sharpener but… correct me if I’m wrong, I have an inkling that most people reading this blog don’t finish a whole lotta makeup – just sayin’, not a condemnation.
My main issue with the Colour Chameleons is that, upon blending, some shades kick up some serious chunky silver glitter (where did you come from?! *cue alien music*) that I noticed most in Black Diamonds, less so in Amethyst Aphrodisiac and not at all in Smoky Emerald/Amber Haze. So there is most definitely formulation differences between shades, let’s discuss them individually.
Aptly named, Amber Haze has an antiqued amber base with rust, pink and lime shimmers. Not the most complex of my picks but your argument is invalid because AMBER!
Opacity and texture of Amber Haze is great, it lies somewhere in the middle of the four. I found that blending with a small and stiff *snort* brush (SUQQU M) performed infinitely better than a fluffy crease brush, but you can see such trial and error below. While I don’t subscribe to the makeup according to your eye colour crap, Amber Haze does make brown eyes glow.
Recently, someone told me that my makeup was distinctly Karima, which kinda hurt my ego because I like to think that I’m not that predictable. In response, I opted for an decidedly-unkarima look by pairing a strongish Amber Haze eye with a strongish lip.
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon – Amber Haze // All over the mobile lid
MAC Swiss Chocolate & Makeup Geek Peach Smoothie Eyeshadows // Through the crease, a necessity to ease the transition of Amber Haze
Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eye Pencil – Black // I refer to this as the ‘retractable’ to distinguish it from the kohl pencil, although technically it’s a twist up and not a retractable mechanism. Regardless, the best tightlining product evarrr.
SUQQU Brow Pen – Brown // My go-to for warmer, softer brows.
Armani Lasting Silk – #4.5 // I think I’ve spoke about this enough.
Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Mascara – Black // A sample, very separating but wilts my curls :(
By Terry Rouge Terrybly Lipstick – Carnal Attraction 404 // The perfect brightened vamp, applied carelessly for a more casual feel.
Another spot-on name, Smoky Emerald has a blackened emerald base with gold, lime and pink shimmers.
Smoky Emerald exhibits the best opacity and texture of the four shades, opaque on one swipe, rich colour and no patchiness. Due to the amazeballs formula paired with the fact that greens are tricky for me, I decided upon a confined placement with a delicate emerald wing. The key to using Colour Chameleons as an eyeliner really comes down the brush, I absolutely freaking adore the Hakuhodo J521-d1, which is teeny weeny itsy bitsy and not slanted; I scribbled the product on the back on my hand and went from there.
Not sure if anyone will notice so shameless plug at my attempted creativity – the lower lashline placement is a bit different, not connected to the inner or outer corner.
The face breakdown
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon – Smoky Emerald // Newly sharpened
Rouge Bunny Rouge Cream Eyeshadow – Brocade Skipper // A soft, pale wash to even out the lid and to impart a slight glow to the lid
Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyeshadows – Sweet Dust Seriema & Bashful Flamingo // Slightly rosy hues in the crease, to pull together the lip
Rouge Bunny Rouge Lipstick – Word of Mouth // A pretty strawberry shade, used as a stain (Pinterest inspired minimalism yadda yadda)
Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eye Pencil – Black // To get in between those upper lashes
Model Co Fibre Mascara – Black // A freebie in a magazine, kinda shocked how much I like this
Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer – Light (not pictured) // All my foundations feel downright heavy in comparison
Hakuhodo Brush – J521-d1 // The star of the show and my new favourite brush; perfect for eyeliner, tightlining, lower lash work, you name it.
Black Diamonds can be described as having a blackened base with light blue shimmers (and perhaps a little teal) that lends a graphite edge.
Black seems like a safe choice, right? Wrong. Black Diamonds was the real stinker of the bunch: it’s patchy in areas, cracks on the lid (not creasing, cracking) and is an absolute nightmare to blend out. In hindsight, you can even see the slight patchiness in the collective swatches; Black Diamonds required multiple swipes whereas other shades are a single swipe. See what I mean about the chunky silver glitter? I love me some glitter but jeebus, not in my crease and brows and all over my damn face.
The saying runs true: glitter really is the herpes of craft supplies. Black Diamonds ruins my foundation and continues to dandruff glitter throughout the freaking day. I hate to say it, but my experience with this shade is sub-par and I’ve found better quality at the drugstore. Murphy’s Law, I was on my way to a party so I frantically tried to salvage the look using my beloved Chanel Ombre Perlees Palette; it was a quick fix but even Perlees has seen better days, it adhered unevenly upon Black Diamonds.
Everyone hated the limited edition Chanel Ombre Perlees Palette but man, it’s among the favourite pieces in my collection! If you’re out to sell one, hit me up because I’m seeking a backup.
I paired the eye with a brainless blank face. The makeup struck me as very Keira Knightley-esque, I’m also sporting that irritating jaw-drop thing she loves so there ya go.
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon – Black Diamonds // A hot mess
Chanel Ombres Perlees de Chanel – All shades // Shades mashed about the lid, all slap n dash. The combination gives a mother-of-pearl appearance
THREE Performance Eyeliner – Eye Doll 07 // Smudged into the lower lashline because Black Diamonds was pissing me off. Topped off with the Chanel Palette for MOAR mother-of-pearl goodness
Rouge Bunny Rouge Matte Eyeshadow – Chestnut Napped Apalis // To rein in the glitter on the crease and brow bone
Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eye Pencil – Black // Again and again, I love it.
Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara – Black // Strange, flattened wand. Great for dramatic lashes
SUQQU Brow Pen – Moss Green // For cooler looks or bolder brows, the white sticker is to quickly distinguish it from my Brown shade!
Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer – Light // Errrryday!
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Pen – #1.5 // Dabbed on sparingly to blank out my lips a little
By far the most complex of the bunch, Amethyst Aphrodisiac boasts a plummy base jam-packed with cornflower, peach and lime shimmers.
The texture and opacity is similar to that of Amber Haze, not as great as Smoky Emerald but worlds above Black Diamonds. I did find that when used all over the lid, Amethyst Aphrodisiac produced some mystery silver glitter so I minimised that by using it in the outer corner, paired with an apricot and warm pink cream shadow.
I’m a fairyyyy!
You can see the shift from purple to plum, depending on the lighting situation.
Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon – Amethyst Aphrodisiac // Perhaps my favourite of the four, complexity is my Achilles’ heel
Tom Ford Cream Colour for Eyes – Escapade // Sadly limited edition, it shifts between apricot to a pale bronze. Dabbed in the inner third.
Tom Ford Cream Colour for Eyes – Pink Haze // A warm cherry blossom shade, patted on the center of the mobile lid. I think I picked up one of the last available in Australia.
MAC Eyeshadow – Soft Brown // A soft, peachy brown to provide some depth to the crease and variation amongst all the SHIMMAS.
Rouge Bunny Rouge Nocturnal Ink – Dark Bay* // A chocolate liquid liner, I much prefer this to the Raven Glaze formula. Dark enough to provide definition yet soft enough for whimsical looks
Rouge Bunny Rouge Long Lasting Eye Pencil – Brown // To mirror the brown liquid liner, used to tightline
Geisha Ink Mascara – Black // My all time favourite mascara. I try others to stay on top of my game but really…my heart belongs to you
SUQQU Creamy Glow – Saebana 01 // A soft cherry blossom lipstick, patted with a finger for all round prettiness
Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer – Light (not pictured) // SORRY CAN’T HELP IT
Dermablend Fluid Corrective – Opal 15 // Trialling this for spot concealing and under the eyes. Can I gauge interest for a review on the product? Leave a comment.
I have conflicted thoughts on the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleons; I really enjoy the shade range and the complexity (wholeheartedly appreciate the time and effort that makes that a reality). That being said, they’re far from fool-proof and application is sometimes tedious; there lies this notion that cream shadows are easier to blend and that couldn’t be further from the truth for me, I feel as though I could get a similar effect with powder eyeshadows (sans frustration). Additionally, all my potted cream shadows are far more pliable, Colour Chameleons have me feeling like a situation-critical heart surgeon rushing for implements (scalpel, please). Overall, they’ve been a fun experimental product and if you have some extra cash on hand, enjoy layering and complexity and have a soft spot for shimmers, you will enjoy these.
Black Diamonds has to go, though.