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Charlotte Tilbury pillow talk mascara review: Is the new launch worth the price tag?

With a wait list of 45,000 people, it promises to lift, lengthen and volumise lashes in one fell swoop

Ellie Fry
Wednesday 26 August 2020 08:00
The brand claims this mascara has a '24 hour vertical lift effect', curling your lashes for a wide-eyed look
The brand claims this mascara has a '24 hour vertical lift effect', curling your lashes for a wide-eyed look

Charlotte Tilbury has not been short of launches this summer. The coveted beauty line, headed up by the celebrity make-up artist, has released a new bronzer range, a cream blush and make-up setting spray in recent months, among other products.

But as soon as anyone sees the words “pillow talk”, our eyes widen. The best-selling nude lipstick shade has inspired a whole range of products since its launch in 2013, from blushers to eye shadows, but the latest addition to the family is a “pillow talk push up lashes” mascara.

Launching on 26 August, the product has seen more than 45,000 people join the waiting list in just seven days following the brand's announcement. The third mascara in Charlotte Tilbury's arsenal, it arrives with fierce competition, as Fenty Beauty launched a highly anticipated mascara earlier this year, as well as Urban Decay’s recent release.

The product claims to deliver everything we’d want from a mascara: instant volume, length and definition, with a “24 hour vertical lift effect” that curls your lashes to high heaven. As with all of the brand’s products, it’s packed with hardworking ingredients too, aiming to deliver jet black, glossy lashes while feigning the appearance of a lash lift.

We got our hands on the latest launch to see if it lives up to our expectations, judging packaging, ease of application, the finished look, staying power and price point, to decide if it’s a worthy addition to your make-up bag. Any product that’s awarded pillow talk status has us on the edge of our seats, read on to find out what we thought.

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Charlotte Tilbury pillow talk push up lashes mascara, 10ml: £23, Charlotte Tilbury

We’ve come to expect luxe packaging from the brand’s products, as it’s synonymous with weighty gold accents and dark burgundy compacts. It makes sense to go pink for a pillow talk launch, but on first impressions, the packaging feels a little lacklustre.

Now down to business: the wand. Charlotte Tilbury’s previous mascara launches have seen thicker bristles, but this dual-sided paddle brush has smaller rubber bristles formed in a diamond shape to hug the contour of your eye shape. The flat side works to load each hair with product, while the bristled side lifts, separates and lengthens lashes.

When applying, we used the flat side of the brush to start, as the brand recommends, and it instantly coated every lash with product, with little effort. Holding the brush horizontally, we pushed the brush upwards through the lashes, and found instant definition from the jet black formula. Although each lash was coated, we did experience some initial clumping and it was hard to disperse the product evenly, but this is often the case with a new mascara as the tube is packed with product.

The second stage of application helped alleviate said clumps: the bristled side of the brush separates lashes and gives one of the most impressive lifts of all the mascaras we’ve ever tested. We have quite straight lashes naturally, but the wand lifts and curls hairs effortlessly with just one coat. Think fanned out, dramatic lashes that you’d find from a lift at the salon.

Although the bristles help to define the hairs, we did find that the product built up quickly, especially on our bottom lashes, meaning there is risk of a clumpy, spidery look. To help avoid this, wait a few seconds between coats.

Infused with waxes and keratin, the brand says the formula gives a “stretch effect”, which helps to lift and lengthen while adding thickness and volume. We did find the formula to be quite thick, so if you’re not looking for bold lashes, we’d steer clear. However, if you struggle with straight lashes and want something that lifts instantly, this may become your new best friend.

The brand claims this mascara is smudge-proof and sweat-proof, and we can confirm that it does not budge. Lashes stay lifted hours after application and we didn’t experience any crumbling under the eye or smudging. At £23 for 10ml, this is on the higher end of the price spectrum, but that's fitting with the rest of Charlotte Tilbury's line, and given you don't need more than two coats for a bold lash look, we think this should last you a while.

This is definitely not a mascara for the faint hearted, and the brush can take some getting used to, but if you’re looking for a bold, lifted and voluminous look with plenty of definition, then we’d recommend it.

Buy now

We compared Charlotte Tilbury's cream blusher to Fenty Beauty's – read our review

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