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Charlotte Tilbury has launched a rival lipstick to its classic pillow talk shade – we put it to the test

One is matte, the other a creamy satin, but which one comes out on top?

Louise Whitbread
Tuesday 23 March 2021 09:41
<p>One pillow talk lipstick sells every two minutes globally</p>

One pillow talk lipstick sells every two minutes globally

When it comes to luxury make-up, Charlotte Tilbury is often the first brand name that comes to mind. With an army of cult favourite products, from glowy skin tints, foundations and bronzing creams to highlighters and lipsticks, all housed in gilded gold packaging, they are a make-up obsessives dream.

None have made quite the impact as the famous pillow talk lipstick. The universally flattering nude-pink shade first launched in 2013, with one selling once every two minutes globally, according to the brand.

So popular in fact, it’s gone on to span into a full collection of products, including an eyeshadow palette, blusher, highlighter, eyeliner, lip liner, lip gloss and even mascara.

The latest launch by the eponymous brand, created by the celebrity make-up artist, is a new lipstick called “nude romance”, and it’s certainly piqued our interest.

According to Tilbury herself, if you’re a fan of the cult-favourite pillow talk shade, you’ll love this new one, which has a peachy nude hue in a creamy-wax formula.

Comparing the new product to the brand’s most coveted beauty buy is a big claim, so we were keen to put it through its paces, to see if it can live up to our beloved pillow talk lipstick.

Read more:

We put both to the test in order to find the merits and pitfalls, if there are any, to each lipstick.

Rating them on texture, finish, staying power and pigmentation, this is our in-depth review as we see if nude romance will take pillow talk’s crown.

On the left is the cult classic shade pillowtalk and on the right is the latest launch, nude romance

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Charlotte Tilbury matte revolution pillow talk lipstick

This is the ultimate your-lips-but-better lipstick, thanks to its pink undertones that add a coat of natural-looking colour to compliment your complexion and eye looks, no matter how bold.

The rose-gold packaging with a “CD” engraving on the lid has instant appeal and every bit as luxurious as you would expect from the price tag.

The lipstick bullet itself is synonymous with the rest of the Charlotte Tilbury range, with a square, angled tip that’s designed for the most precise application possible. It helps deliver an even matte coat of product to lips and reach into the inner corners and onto the cupids bow with ease.

There’s a slight scent but it’s not overpowering and the formula is a mix of papaya and orchid extracts and oils to keep it from drying out lips. You do need to apply a bit of pressure when applying it and we found we needed to use a few coats to get the finish we were happy with.

Read more: We tried Hourglass’s new vegan, carmine-free red lipstick – here’s what we thought

It’s a tad dry on the first application, but throughout the day we didn’t notice that feeling continue, though with any matte lipstick we would recommend applying lip balm to prep skin first.

We wore it without a lip liner and found it lasted incredibly well, barely transferring onto a cup of tea or onto our cutlery when we ate with it on.

It’s not hard to see why it has such a cult following, it’s ideal if you want to forgo a bold lip colour but still want to wear something to finish off your make-up, along with being perfect for pairing with bolder make-up looks.

Charlotte Tilbury look of love lipstick nude romance

Despite containing the same amount of product (3.5g), this new shade comes in a bigger, more extravagant tube – could the brand get any more luxe? We didn’t think so. You’ll recognise the classic rose gold packaging, but this lipstick case has an even more decadent design, bejewelled with silver crystals in a star pattern. The bullet itself is also imprinted with a heart design, making it feel like a real treat to own and use.

As glamorous as the make-up artist itself, it’s heavier than the brand’s other lipsticks and is refillable too, unlike the pillow talk shade. It has a narrower bullet and a slimmer square tip but offers the same easy application.

As it’s part of the K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick range, it has a creamy, balmy texture as opposed to matte, but it’s still very rich in pigment – one coat was enough to completely cover our lips fully.

Instead of pink undertones, it has a mix of peach and brown, making it essentially the nude, creamy alternative to pillow talk. With a satin finish, it’s infused with light-diffusing pigments which give it a subtle glow on the lips, but isn’t so brown it would wash out fairer skin tones.

Read more: Milk Makeup sunshine skin tint review: Is this exactly what our post-lockdown beauty bag needs?

We found it felt much more comfortable to wear, but did need a little more touching up after eating and drinking as there was a tad more transfer, but not so much it would put us off wearing it.

You would need to be careful wearing it underneath a face covering as it did brush off a little on the fabric, whereas pillow talk stayed put.

If you love nude lipsticks that leans towards brown rather than pink, then this is perfect for you.

The verdict: Charlotte Tilbury pillow talk vs nude romance lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks are pricey but you get what you pay for; the gloriously lavish packaging is a palm-sized treat that you won’t regret investing in.

If you’re looking for a nude toned version of pillow talk, or are just keen to ditch the matte finish lipsticks in favour of creamier textures, then nude romance won’t let you down on coverage, pigment or staying power.

However, if you’re a die-hard fan of pink undertones and a formula that won’t budge, then pillow talk ticks all the boxes. It’s a fuss-free product that will suit almost every make-up look, making it a no-brainer as to why it continues to be a bestseller.

For more make-up reviews, read our guide to the best eyeshadow sticks for quick and effortless make-up

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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