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Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips

26 July 2016


If there's a luxury "it" brand of the moment, surely it's Charlotte TilburyWith her rose gold and Old Hollywood aesthetic, her products are constantly raved about on blogs and on YouTube. 

The woman herself is a makeup mastermind, with a portfolio that boasts some of the world's biggest stars, some pretty famous photoshoots, and some very iconic looks. I'm not surprised Charlotte can count so many of her celebrity clients as friends, considering her vivacious personality and ability to create—what will often becomea signature look for her clients.

I haven't tried the vast, vast majority from Charlotte Tilbury (the price point keeps me from hauling too many things at once...or at all, lol) but being the lip fiend I am, I do own a Lip Cheat and a couple of her lipsticks in the Matte Revolution formula, which I like, so I was keen to add more to my collection. 

I first heard about the Hot Lips collection in March or April: months before their release, which is something Charlotte seems to do a lot with new releases. I understand that it builds interest and anticipation, but it's a bit too much of a tease for my liking. Did I get sucked into the hype anyway? Yep.

Hot Lips is a collection of 16 lipsticks including 12 new shades and 4 existing ones, each named after famous women Charlotte Tilbury is inspired by. £1 or $2 from every lipstick purchased within the first two months of sale will go to Women for Women International, a non-profit organisation which supports women survivors of poverty, war, and injustice. I think it's a great cause and the overarching intent is good, but I would've liked to have seen a larger portion donated. If you're buying one of these lipsticks because you'd like to support Women for Women International, it'd probably make more sense to donate directly to the cause, but if you were already interested in the lipsticks, it's nice that some money—however small—will still be going to a good place.


I think Charlotte did an amazing job with the spectrum of shades, and I like that the collection includes both cream and matte finishes, but I did have a lot of trouble picking ones that would look good on my skin tone. Of course, I'm a believer that we should rock whatever shades we want to wear, but I also think certain colours are more flattering than others on my complexion, which are the ones I naturally tend to gravitate towards. 


Despite the nice colour range, I knew that only the dark or bright shades (the ones without too much white pigment) would look flattering on me, but none of those were really shades I was too drawn to. Instead, I threw caution to the wind and chose two mattes: Secret Salma and Miranda May.


Secret Salma and Miranda May

Secret Salma and Miranda May, taken in natural daylight
After trying the colours on, I'm pleased to say that even though I don't think either of them really suit me, I would still happily wear both. 


Wearing Secret Salma, taken in indoor lighting


Secret Salma is described as a "deep rose plum" but on me it's a mauve pink. It looks fairly purple on my lips, which is probably because I have dark, purplish lips to begin with, and a yellow/golden complexion (yellow is opposite purple on the colour wheel, making it stand out more). It's not quite the perfect sultry companion to tanned skin I was after, but it ain't half bad. For reference, I'm about a MAC NC37.


Bond Girl (Matte Revolution), Secret Salma (Hot Lips), Walk of Shame (Matte Revolution), and Miranda May (Hot Lips)

Comparison swatches: Walk of Shame, Bond Girl, Secret Salma, and Miranda May


The Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution formula is one of my favourites because of how unique it is. The lipsticks look very much matte in the bullet and appear almost powdery when swatched, but feel creamy and comfortable on the lips. While I expected the matte Hot Lips to be the same, Secret Salma looks a lot more creamy than the original line of mattes. It still lasts a decent amount of time for me, though, and doesn't look totally horrendous on my awful, dry lips.


Wearing Miranda May, taken in indoor lighting


Miranda May, on the other hand... This colour is not Charlotte's best, I have to admit. It applies quite sheer and patchy, emphasising dryness and settling into lip crevices. The colour is gorgeous though, so it might just be worth it if bright, summery shades are your jam. Miranda May is described as a "fresh, pinky coral", which is quite accurate. This shade reminds me so much of a tropical watermelon cocktail, and will probably be getting a lot of wear time once summer hits and my lips are in a better state. 

I shouldn't like this lipstick given the poor application and the fact that it has little silver glitters in it, but I do. Still, it's a bit disappointing for the price, and I'd definitely recommend to skip this one if you have no time for patchy lipsticks.




I purchased my Hot Lips from Beautylish, which is by far one of my favourite online beauty retailers. Their customer service is second to none. They offer free and relatively fast shipping to Australia on all orders over $50 USD, plus flexible payment options, and full refunds on items you're unsatisfied with. I highly recommend.

Charlotte Tilbury is so often touted as someone who can "do no wrong", and her products as "revolutionary" that it's hard to know whether the hype is real. While I don't think her lipsticks are necessarily the best thing since sliced bread, I think she's got a good thing going on, and some ingenious marketing to go along with it. Her sometimes superfluous language helps too. 

Hot Lips, based on the two I've tried, aren't must-haves, but if there's a colour that really strikes your fancy and it's in your budget, I don't imagine you'd regret your purchase.
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