Review: Charlotte Tilbury – The Retoucher – concealer

Angela Ranieri

Me – 22 Oct 2017

The world of “beauty products” is a vast, seemingly endless pool of solutions to address whatever vanity issue may be plaguing you or provide an assist in bringing out your most beautiful version of “you.”
This type of grooming or vanity, as some may call it, is certainly not new.

Cosmetic History

The Ancient Egyptians used green eye paint made of malachite, a copper pigment. Black kohl was used for around the eye area to shield from the sun and enhance the eyes. Facial makeup was derived from red ochre, a natural clay, which was mined and washed and then dried in the sun.

Ancient Romans admired pure white skin as this was regarded a characteristic of the highest class. Not surprisingly, most native Roman women were not naturally fair skinned. To solve this, women would use face masques containing lanolin, honey, placenta, vinegar and bile. After baths, they applied chalk powder to whiten the skin.

A lighter complexion was also most valued in ancient India where they mixed costus root, sesame seeds, lebbeck leaves, pongamia pea plant leaves, cedar wood and barberry wood together. They would roast the mixture and crush it to a fine powder and apply the mixture as a facial treatment to lighten the skin.

Over time and tradition, many of these cosmetic practices, were passed down through the generations, and with time, enhanced for more targeted, faster results, depending on the trend of the cultures.

Love of Beauty

In the 1980s, it was safe to say that I had an innate and, at times, obsessive relationship with this industry and the products within.
In Elementary School, I was once sent to the Principal’s office by my Spanish teacher for wearing make-up and I recall many occasions that my Dad reprimanded me, and promptly asked that I remove my make up as a teenager.

I can recall one awkward conversation when I was creating my own body products in Junior High School and my homemade exfoliator (which I still make) was clogging the drain in the bathroom. My Dad said:  “Angela; Mom said to stop exfoliating in the shower. I don’t know what exfoliating is, but please, just stop.”
I did not know it then, but the beauty industry became my passion, and fortunately, an integral part of my career.

About the Industry

Women finding success in the beauty industry is not new, although the parameters and competition is far fiercer. This is a $445 Billion industry and the innovation and electricity is palpable.

With that growth, competition and saturation, comes what I, and investors, call Consumer Resistance. With so many products on the market, how does one differentiate itself to overcome this prevalent challenge?

I witnessed the predominantly color line, MAC, being acquired by Estee Lauder. I followed and have been a part of the Organic Skin Care craze. I saw the entry of SKII to Saks Fifth Avenue, I worked with a subset of the “cosmetic industry” known as the “Apothecary”; essentially a place where you can purchase the day-to-day indulgences of your beauty routine. I have worked with beautiful lines, where I have always found at least one “must have,” but I gave up on finding one product that is important, and as I and others mature, only becomes more important – the concealer.

The skin around the eye area is the thinnest skin on your face, and therefore, shows everything. If you did not sleep, the eye area shows it. If you are genetically predisposed to dark circles, they will rear their head whether you slept or not. Too much salt? Those under-eye puffs will give it away.

I reached a point, where dark circles were a part of my life. I covered them with foundation but still noticed them and it made me look tired, even when I wasn’t. But I could not find a concealer that worked with my complexion to give me the coverage that I needed but not seep into my expression lines, thereby adding more age to my face.

A recent trip to Bergdorf Goodman, changed that……

Charlotte Tilbury

Since 2013, you may have heard of a brand called ‘Charlotte Tilbury’.
While I had heard of the line since it hit the market, I was resistant despite hearing excellent reviews from friends. If you remember, I had given up on finding concealer, and assumed this line would be yet another casualty, buried in my graveyard of cosmetics that I just do not use, but still do not want to discard.

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury, a make-up artist from London, has worked with entertainment power players Kim Kardashian West, Giselle Bundchen and Kate Moss. She has worked as creative Director for Tom Ford & Chanel, and as makeup director for Mugler during Fashion Week, Donna Karan and Hakaan. To say her resume is impressive is a vast understatement. She was the recipient of the CEW Achiever award in 2014 and a nominee for the Veuve Cliquot Businesswoman of the Year Award in 2016.

Charlotte Tilbury works on the Nicole Kidman GOLDEN GLOBES 2017 Look

In 2012, Tilbury began a YouTube channel and blog, which continues to operate and provide makeup tips and tricks. In 2017 this channel exceeded over 400,000 subscribers.

In 2013, Charlotte Tilbury launched her own skin care and beauty brand, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Ltd. at Selfridges in London, the retailer’s biggest-ever beauty launch. The brand is now available in department stores such as Harvey Nichols, Harrods, Fenwick’s, as well as Bergdorf Goodman and Nordstrom in the US. Tilbury opened her own store in London in 2015.

Despite all of Tilbury’s credentials, it was my friend Joanne, who insisted that this was the most “fab” line she had ever used and that I check it out.

At Bergdorf Goodman, I met the most exciting product I have ever used in color cosmetics…..


Product Personal Review:

Charlotte Tilbury – The Retoucher concealer & treat stick

Charlotte Tilbury – The Retoucher No.3 Medium

The concealer is packaged beautifully in a rose gold tube that reminded me of the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, a brightening pen available in the luxury market. However, the content of the pen is far different and much more in line with what I was searching for.

Charlotte Tilbury- The Retoucher No. 3 Medium

A few twists of the base of the pen and the product was applied to my hand; I wear a ‘No.3 Medium’.

Charlotte Tilbury – The Retoucher No.3 Medium


I used my ring finger to apply the concealer under my eyes and the results were shocking…

Before During and After Charlotte Tilbury; The Retoucher

The darkness under my eye became less noticeable and the “hollow” that I tend to get was also less pronounced. I’ve never had that experience with a concealer before. I also noticed that the product did not appear to sink into my under-eye expression line.

Also pleasantly surprising was the color variety. Often concealers are either far too pink or too yellow in undertone and for people like me, who fall in-between, that means you can not find a color to match. The result of mismatched concealer is that the world can see that you have concealer on, and that, defeats the purpose. My right eye showed far more of a rested, youthful appearance than my left, and therefore, I quickly applied ‘The Retoucher’ to the deficient side.

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher No.3 Medium color

The formulation of this product includes a hydrating complex that keeps the skin moisturized and a black tea derivative containing vitamins, to fill out the eye area.

For $35, it was a ‘no brainer’ to take it home.

Charlotte Tilbury; The Retoucher photos Before_During_After application

The following morning, I applied the concealer before I went to the gym. I also used it on some random redness and sun spots on my face (this article must make me sound like I am a complete mess,) and I had three people that day tell me how “healthy” I looked.

As an added bonus, I went for a long run and the product did not run in my eyes and stayed very nicely through my 8 miles.


VIDEO: Carina Lau for Vogue China

Cover Look Makeup Tutorial (4m 32s)

The Before and After looks are remarkable!


Alphaluxe Verdict

Run as quickly as possible to wherever you need to be, in order to get your hands on this product. Q.E.D.

[Chief Editor’s Note: AlphaLuxe has received no remuneration from Charlotte Tilbury for this personal review and test]



Author’s Biography
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.

She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.

Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for

In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.

About Angela Ranieri

Contributing Author on AlphaLuxe web magazine. View all posts by Angela Ranieri →

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