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Celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury drums up excitement whenever her eponymous beauty line launches a product. So when Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter hit shelves earlier this month, we dropped everything to test it out. Tilbury’s makeup and skin care goods have enjoyed many viral moments on TikTok for their ease of application and skin-transforming results. And if these powder highlighters are anything like Tilbury’s bestselling beauty wands, they’re poised to be veritable sensations.
Before we get into our testing review, it’s worth nothing that celebrity makeup artists are already taking a shine to this shimmery powder. In the few weeks since its launch, Jessica Chastain, Aubrey Plaza, Phoebe Dynevor, and Lily James (who’s featured in the product’s campaign) have sported it on red carpets ahead of the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. One box we can tick off on our testing list? This powder photographs beautifully.
Highlighters tend to have subtler color payoff than blush, contour sticks, and bronzer, but they play an equally important role in accentuating your facial structure and defining the contours of your face. The formulas bounce light wherever you apply them, which makes your skin appear hydrated and radiant, as if you’ve slathered on a super rich facial moisturizer. We’ve seen loads of newness in the cream highlighter category in recent years, from sheer balm sticks to pearly liquids that melt into your favorite foundation. So we had high expectations for Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter when it landed on our desks, wondering if the powder highlighter category is about to get a makeover. Read on to find out.
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Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter
- Product tested: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter
- Testing time period: Two weeks
- Application method: I used a soft powder brush to dust the powder onto the high planes of my cheeks and on the bridge of my nose. To illuminate my inner eyes, I used a smaller eyeshadow brush to blend the formula onto my lids.
- Size: 0.24 oz
- Number of shades: 6
- Doesn’t settle into fine lines
- Radiant finish
- Sheer color payoff allows for seamless blending with other products
- Pan is loose in the compact, so it may fall out
- Testing review: This highlighter is intensely radiant and a breeze to apply with a makeup brush or your fingertips. The shade range suits fair to dark skin tones, and the sheer color payoff gives you plenty of wiggle room when you’re choosing a tone. A little goes a long way, so it’s well worth the price.
About Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter
It’s no secret that lighting impacts our appearance — the warm glow of golden hour, for example, has a way of softening the look of our skin. With this powder, you’ll have A-plus lighting at your fingertips thanks to its unique finish. The formula has incandescence without coming off sparkly: Tilt your face, and you’ll notice a barely-there sheen wherever you applied it. As for the texture, this highlighter contains emollient ingredients like squalane that prevent the formula from caking, prolong the wear time, and make it easy to blend. Consider it a powder version of Charlotte Tilbury’s popular Hollywood Flawless Filter Foundation (a bottle is sold every 30 seconds, according to the brand). Both deliver radiance without making you look shiny or greasy.
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter Editor Testing Review
At first glance, Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighters look just like any other pressed powder: The compacts contain large, shallow pans of pearl, cream, soft peach, and bronze pigments with noticeable sheen. But my perception changed after swiping on the product — these powder highlighters are unlike any I’ve tested before.
I applied the fairest shade, Moonlit Glow, and immediately noticed that the formula’s color seemed to disappear on my skin, but pore-smoothing radiance remained in its wake. The blurring finish matches that of the best setting powders. I’ve since swatched other shades, including Pillow Talk and Champagne Glow, and each have a similar effect on the skin, with minor differences in undertones. The color payoff is so sheer that choosing a shade is strictly a matter of personal preference.
The highlighter’s silky texture prevents the powders from settling into fine lines while you wear it. Instead, the pigments sit lightly on your skin without caking or creasing throughout the day. Not only does this even out any texture on your complexion; it also extends the wear time of your makeup look.
How We Tested Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter
To test Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter, we first applied the product on bare skin to note its color payoff, texture, and feel. Then we tested the formulas over cream, liquid, and powder complexion products, noting if different textures impacted the wear time or ease of application of the highlighter (it did not). We tested three shades with multiple application techniques, using clean fingertips and loose blush brushes to diffuse the powder onto the high planes of the cheeks and bridge of the nose. To blend the powder on the inner corners of the eyes, we used a densely bristled small eyeshadow brush. Throughout the two-week testing window, we noted if the powder transferred, creased, or caked.
Meet the Author
Claire Sullivan is the Senior Beauty and Lifestyle Commerce Editor for WWD and Footwear News. She’s spent over five years researching, reporting on, and writing about the beauty industry for publications like Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, InStyle, and Byrdie. She’s swatched hundreds of highlighters during her career, be it a balm, cream, liquid, or powder. She tested Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter for two full weeks, taking notes on the color payoff, packaging, ease of application, and wear time in different environments.