Charlotte's Magic Cream

Do you notice the jar? I used up almost more than half.

When Charlotte Tilbury said that it wasn't her who called the cream as "magic," one must remember that the moniker was coined by the runaway models: aka teen girls who naturally have plump, collagen-filled skins. When I was a teenager, I hardly need any cream to plump up my skin. None of us did. (As a reference, my current skin is dry, and dehydrated -especially in the winter).

Charlotte's Magic Cream is another one of CT product I ordered back in the beginning of December and I've been using this almost daily. I can tell you with certainty that there is hardly any magic in this cream, but if you are looking for an emollient cream, which gives that tacky finish as makeup base, this one fits the bill. Right away, this cream reminds me of the many Bobbi Brown skin creams (particularly the Hydrating Face Cream, Vitamin Enriched Face Base, etc), the consistency down right to the scent (fresh cucumber-y rose). I have not compared ingredients, but I think BB tends to include petrolatum products in her creams, whereas this one is without. The price points are almost the same. And those who knows BB skin care, they are designed to be makeup base. So, coincidence??

The SPF 15 is dismal: I never trust that it delivers any kind of protection, but lately, the UV index here has been 0 out of 10, so this is enough even for the day. Foundations do glide a lot smoother with this underneath. It is quite emollient without being too waxy/oily -- it has the balance of giving moisture and retaining moisture at the same time. The glow comes from the texture as there is no inclusion of mica (or any shimmer particle) listed on the ingredients. I've decanted this into a small pot in my handbag and this is nice to have as a touch up after workout or even as hand cream.

THM: Not a must-have but an unexpected love. I've finished almost half a pot.

BONUS!! How I read ingredient list.

First, I locate the ingredients that I know as preservative, the very first one down the list. In this case, it is the phenoxyethanol (marked with red dots above). Second, I google the name with the term "rate of usage" or "usage rate" so in this case, I typed "phenoxyethanol rate of usage" in the search box. Third, most of the time, you'll be able to locate an MSDS/material spec sheet about the ingredients from the supplier. From phenoxyethanol, I found this.

This confirms what I know so far about preservative: that is should not be used in a rate more than 1% (either v/v or w/v or w/w is unclear, but we all agree than less than 1% is quite small). Thus any ingredients that comes after phenoxyethanol in the above-mentioned product (in this case CT Magic Cream) basically exist in extremely minute amount, aka.. legal "filler" for marketing purposes. 

So, the "BioNymph Peptide Complex ... a unique, patented anti-age ingredient that multi-tasks in the skin, fighting the ageing process on all fronts?" Nah.. we know better than that.


  1. Hahah, so the amazing moisturizing properties come from the glycerin in this?! Excellent post, Claire. I tested this on the back of my hand back in November and wasn't super impressed, especially with the perfumey scent. But if it works well under make-up, you can't complain about that - I've been having so much trouble finding a good serum + moisturizer combo to wear under foundation, I'm not sure if it's my serum, but almost everything starts rolling on my face!!!

    1. Yep, pretty much butylene glycol + glycerin type moisturizer. With due diligent, I'm sure you can find something similar -- if not in ingredients at least in feel. The serum that I use is silicone-based (PC Super-antioxidant), and it does not roll of with this on.. Well I take this back. If I'm using a particularly sillicone-heavy foundation (think GA Maestro) I am almost sure that this would ball up if I don't put any moisturizer barrier in between the 'cones products. It is a bit trial-error to find the right combo. What serum/s have you been using lately?

  2. interesting! I always have been curious to try this, but the ingredients aren't terribly exciting ... so I may skip it and try other items from the line!

    1. Joyce, this is one product you can definitely skip. I wouldn't look back if your skin is not dry -- I think it'll be too much even on normal-dry combo skin.