This iconic multitasker is the one product I rely on during party season for an epic glow

The 2018 launch still has us hooked

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter - tori wearing the charlotte tilbury flawless filter
(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

So we’ve established that Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk and Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream are two products that make-up enthusiasts go wild for. But there’s another that people are completely devoted to and it's one of the best highlighters you can use: Charlotte Tilbury's Flawless Filter. 

Landing into our lives in 2018, people were hooked pretty much instantly after launch, many beauty editors, like me, included. At first, it was a little confusing for some people to get their head around because it was a pretty new category. Not a traditional primer, nor is it a highlighter exactly either and it's certainly not a foundation; Flawless Filter is its own type of product promising to act as a filter in real life. 

There’s no doubt it started a primer-highlighter movement so with plenty of dupes out there, we wanted to give a spotlight to the OG. We’ve dug into everything you need to know about the now iconic Flawless Filter. 

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

What is Flawless Filter?  

As mentioned, it’s a primer-highlighter hybrid that promises to “blur, smooth and illuminate” the skin. Described as a glow booster, it’s a bit of a multipurpose product and can be used in multiple ways. Most commonly used underneath foundation for an added lit-from-within glow. It can be used on top of foundation on the high points of the face like the cheekbones and bridge of the nose as a natural-looking highlighter. 

It has a touch of coverage, similar to your best tinted moisturisers, but not enough to be classed as a foundation. Although some people wear it on its own, the finish is very dewy and slightly shimmery so is a little too much for most people to use alone. Having said that, it’s a great product to achieve that ultra glossy skin look, particularly in the summer if that’s your vibe. 

How you choose to use it also depends on your skin type. Dry skin types like me benefit from the added layer of hydration underneath make-up, whereas if you’re on the oily side, you might just like to target it to the places you want glow versus applying everywhere. 

The Flawless Filter formula contains ingredients like glycerin and squalane to give an additional layer of hydration on the skin ahead of foundation. In 2021, the shades expanded and now there are 12 shades to choose from. 

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter packaging 

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter - image of the doe foot applicator

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

In classic Charlotte Tilbury style, the packaging is beautiful. Housed in a glass bottle with the iconic gold lid. The applicator is what makes it stand out from other complexion glow boosters though. Featuring a large doefoot applicator, it’s super easy to precisely dab onto the skin or swipe across the whole face. Although I really like the doefoot, it can make it a little hard to get every drop of formula out of the tube, which is the only downside. As you can see from my own, the writing disappears really easily from the bottle, which is a shame but doesn't put me off using it. 

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter results 

Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter - picture of Tori Crowther wearing Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter

(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

I personally love the Flawless Filter. It’s been in my make-up bag consistently since it launched 5 years ago. In the summer, I’ll use it more as an all-over glow underneath a skin tint and in the winter I like to just pop it on the high points of my face to give my complexion a dewy boost. I also like to use multiple shades. From 1-3 depending on whether I’m wearing my favourite fake tan for pale skin or if I’m slightly more naturally tanned in the summer. 

Although it looks incredibly pigmented, it's only slightly tinted which is something to bear in mind. It will definitely give the appearance of a blurred and subsequently more 'filtered' appearance but it won't conceal spots or uneven skin tone as well as a traditional concealer or foundation would. 

The best way to think of it is a highlighter or glow booster to give skin beautiful radiance. It’s definitely going to remain an icon in my make-up routine for years to come. 

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.