Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation Review, Swatch, FOTD, vs Custom Cover Drops

How could I completely forget to review one of my favourite foundations of 2015 (see full list here)? Because I haven't worn makeup much in 2016 - I went out "full-face" for the first time just last week.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation is heavy-duty. Opaque. Matte. JUST what my skin needs right now. I rate it right next to Cover FX Custom Cover Drops, reviewed here. The formulae are even similar in terms of coverage.

Scroll down for review, swatch and FOTD of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation and comparison with Cover FX Custom Cover Drops.

Here is the review, swatch and FOTD of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation.


Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation took five years to develop. It promises "flawless, poreless youthful looking skin everyday". Right now, I'll settle for non-repulsive. Near-decent. Baby steps, as my derm says. The external box says the finish is "demi-matte".
The foundation contains hyaluronic acid, laricyl (mushroom extract) and Vitamin C. All three are beneficial for the skin. 
It is 'cone-heavy. I can identify three different 'cones in the ingredients list.
I like the thick glass bottle packaging. Plastic does not do it for me. This has a pump dispenser. I prefer my foundation bottles to have a pump or dropper or wand applicator. Who can, in this day and age, be bothered to tilt a bottle and get the exact quantity out before rushing outdoors? Are you even listening, ye of the Double Wear pump-less bottles?
There are 15 shades. I tried 6, 7 and 8 August - the lovely SA in Selfridges had given me samples of this and Light Wonder Foundation. Shade 6 dries reddish on me, shade 7 is yellow enough for my liking (and actually looks lighter than 6 on me) and shade 8 is way too deep. On me, I noticed that the foundation turned just a tad deeper as it dried. So keep that in mind when looking for a shade match. I like 7 in Light Wonder as well but cannot tell you if all the other shade numbers look exactly the same for both foundations.
Here is the review, swatch and FOTD of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation.

This stuff is thick. Greek yoghurt-thick. No-sound-when-you-shake thick. You can turn the open bottle upside-down and it takes a bit for the product to start coming out (yep, I tried). The good news is, even a light hand gives very good coverage.
Have a gander at that thick texture!
Here is the review, swatch and FOTD of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation.

Now here is Cover FX Custom Cover Drops. CCD or CTM? CTM is a standalone foundation. CCD is intended for mixing with other products. CCD costs $44 - same as CTM but CCD comes in a 15ml bottle while you get 30ml of CTM for the price. Coverage-wise, though, as I said, they are very similar.
Here is the review, swatch and FOTD of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation needs no setting powder - I use Laura Mercier's Smooth Focus translucent pressed powder to touch-up when my face becomes shiny and that's it.
When I finish blending, the foundation looks matte on me. But the finish changes to very dewy as soon as my oily skin realises that people cannot see their reflections on my face. And no, I have not had breakouts from this foundation.
Surprisingly, the foundation does NOT feel remotely heavy on the skin. Nor does it look weird or cakey, promise - you can see a photo further below. Beats me how they did that.

FAQs

Is this my favourite liquid foundation right now? 
I have 4-5 top-favourite liquid foundations. This one is right there, alongside Armani Maestro, Custom Cover Drops, Nars All Day Luminous Weightless, Cargo HD and Bourjois Air Mat. Other foundations rank below these for me.
Coverage comparison?
1. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops at the top by a whisker on its own (you can thin it out by mixing)
2. CT Magic (buildable)
3. Cargo HD
4. Bourjois Air Mat
5. Armani Maestro
6. Nars All Day Luminous Weightless.
Who does not need this foundation?
Flawless-skinned beauties who only need very light coverage. G'way and don't smirk, you lucky critters!
Also, 'cone-sensitive people.
Worth the price ($44)?
Given that I dread even signing for packages right now, any foundation that helps me go out without wanting to murder anyone who glances in my general direction is worth the price.
Fight with oil?
Finishes matte at first but turns dewy on my oily skin. Is not eaten up by my sebum and actually stays on. In fairness, though, I am less oily than I used to be because of heavy antibiotics.
Primer or no primer?
Yes to primer. Haven't tried this without primer.
Fingers, brush or sponge?
See further below.

Shade 7 pre- and post-blending. You can see how the edges, where the product is drying, are half a tick deeper than the liquid.
 Here is the review, swatch and FOTD of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation.

Blended. Can you see the slightly warmer patch in the middle?
 Here is the review, swatch and FOTD of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation.

How I apply Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation

CT recommends her Magic Foundation Brush. I tried this with the brush-alone method (paddle, stippling and flat-top) and the finish was a bit brush-marky. Plus, my face cannot handle brushing in right now. So I use the RMS Skin2Skin Foundation Brush (which closely mimics the structure of the Beautyblender) to bounce on a streak each on my forehead, cheeks and chin, then I blend it all out with the Beautyblender. That gives me the best finish.
 Here is the review, swatch and FOTD of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation on the face

Taken around mid-day, after dewying up. See here for full product breakup. You can tell there are issues beneath all that war paint.
 Here is the review, swatch and FOTD of the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation.

What Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation covers

I am too cowardly to show you - or even the mailman and the newspaper boy - my entire makeup-free face right now, thanks. So you only get to see the bare chin.
And this is after two months of antibiotics (still on one-a-day) and enough topicals to contaminate a river or two. So you can imagine how it has been. Brilliant coverage, innit?


Verdict and where to buy

Lifesaver! I am not going to change my foundation until my skin returns to near-normalcy. Anything that covers up the disaster on my face is worth sticking to, in my book. That is all.
I bought mine from Selfridges here back in November - they ship worldwide. It costs $44 for 30ml. Beautylish, who also ship worldwide, is releasing this foundation this week. Are you going to try it out?

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