Once upon a time in the Summer of 2014, I went to a press event for the launch of a new British brand called Charlotte Tilbury. To be honest — aside from some Instagram buzz — I wasn't extremely familiar with Charlotte and her brand. That one was on me, because had I known, I would have gotten my hands on these makeup and skin care products (which are the equivalent of beauty crack) much sooner (everything launched in the UK first).
So back to our tale of true love: I arrived early to the chic event. Tables were covered in Charlotte's rose-gold-packaged goodies — bronzers, lash curlers, metallic eye shadow quads, creamy lipsticks, and smudge-proof eyeliners. It was nirvana. The vibe was boho goddess meets Hollywood glam.
I jumped into a makeup artist's chair, and as she began applying the products on me, I knew I was falling. My eyes transformed into a smoky gold ombré, skin was sculpted with bronzer, and lips were enhanced with a fashion-forward nude. Then, Charlotte Skyped in with the group to talk us through the line. The savvy, charming girl boss had recently given birth or she would've come to the event in person. She explained the genius tricks she uses on her celebrity clients (Kate Moss, Amal Clooney, and more) and how they inspired many of her colors. Since then, she's added more to her offering, including contouring sticks, matte lipsticks, and an under-eye cream.
Though I have countless can't-live-without favorites (Filmstar Bronze and Glow Palette, Liquid Eyeliner Pencil, and Pillow Talk Lip Liner), her original Light Wonder Foundation is my main squeeze. When it comes to foundation, I'm really, really picky. My theory on skin is: take amazing care of it by eating a green diet, getting consistent facials, and using natural, potent products. If you do these things, you won't need cosmetic surgeries (such as filler and Botox) or rely heavily on foundation for coverage. Skin should glow on its own, and makeup can just enhance what you have.
So, Light Wonder and I were an instant match made in heaven. Its sheer, luminous finish meets all of my requirements by giving me a dewy, smooth base that still allows my complexion to peek through. While I have no plans to break up with Light Wonder, Charlotte's latest baby — Magic Foundation ($44) — has been luring me away . . . especially during these colder months.
Light Wonder is my go-to during early Fall, Spring, and Summer since my skin tends to be in better shape during that time. I often have a natural glow from weekend getaways and exposure to vitamin D. But during the Winter, I often get red patches and sallowness. Every pimple and pore seems to stand out against my pale skin tone. This all caused me to cheat on Light Wonder with some of the heavier foundations out there. But none were quite right.
I got my hands on Magic Foundation about a month before it launched in February and have been using it almost every day since. It is truly the cousin of Light Wonder in that it is not too heavy, but it definitely provides a more matte finish. The formula is meant to offer more antiaging benefits by smoothing fine lines and reducing spots. It conceals acne, rosacea, melasma, and general redness. There is a blend of antioxidants that includes mushroom extract (for tightness), "genius" hyaluronic filling spheres (to plump wrinkles), and supercharged vitamin C (to help build new, youthful skin cells) that works together to make your epidermis look better while you're wearing makeup. Plus, there are 15 shades and SPF 15 that meet an array of needs.
When you first pump the formula into your hand, it seems glossy. But once you warm it up between your fingers or blend it out with a sponge (I like the Beautyblender), it envelopes your mug like a soft layer of neutral velvet. I've also found I need less concealer under my eyes thanks to the brightening effects. My favorite way to use it is cocktailed with Wonderglow, a shimmery primer that gives my face an extra luminous boost. The results have made me addicted, and I find my makeup lasts longer thanks to this base.
Currently, Magic Foundation and I are living happily every after.