Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation review: our beauty writer puts the stay-all-day base to the test

Our Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation review - how does this award-winning formula measure up?

charlotte tilbury airbrush flawless foundation review
(Image credit: Canva/Kelle Salle)
Woman & Home Verdict

A buildable base that left my skin looking radiant. While it is true to its name and offers a flawless finish, I did notice a few dry patches. It does a great job of minimizing shine and settles into the skin with ease, so still has a lot to offer your makeup collection.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Lightweight

  • +

    Full coverage

  • +

    Demi-matte finish

  • +

    Airbrush effect

  • +

    Skincare benefits

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Can cling onto dry patches

  • -

    Not the easiest to apply

  • -

    Undertone offering could use work

Why you can trust Woman & Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Writing this Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation review reminded me that the search for a great foundation is never easy. There’s so much to take into consideration, such as undertone, finish, and skin type. Finding the right match for your skin type is probably the biggest challenge of them all. 

If you have oily skin, then you’ll know how important it is to leave no stone unturned when searching for the best foundation. A base that's been formulated with different skin types in mind can be hard to come by, which is why I jumped at the chance to review Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation.

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: $46/£36

Available shades: 44 

Coverage: full 

Finish: Demi-matte 

Extra features: Hydrating, anti-pollution, moisturizing

Beauty lovers will know that Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless foundation has been around since 2019. It is one of the brand’s best-selling foundations and according to the CT website, over 650 tones were analyzed to create 44 shades with every skin tone in mind. This means that there should be something for everyone - but how does it fare when it comes to this particular beauty writer? 

OUR BEAUTY WRITER’S CHARLOTTE TILBURY AIRBRUSH FLAWLESS FOUNDATION REVIEW 

The FOUNDATION PACKAGING

The base is housed in a luxurious oval-shaped glass bottle with an equally luxurious gold top. It has a pump dispenser and looks great for the price tag, in the sense that it’s everything you’d visually expect from a $40/£30+ foundation. 

Something to keep in mind with glass bottles is that they’re not great for travel or carrying around when you’re on the go, but you could always stash it in a mini handbag if this is a concern for you. I always put my foundation in a makeup bag, regardless of how big or small the bottle is, to prevent any issues with spillage or breakage. 

The base’s pump dispenser is easy to use, which means you can avoid wasting any product. Something to keep in mind is that it will take a few gentle presses to get the foundation out, so if you’re testing it on your hand at first or putting a bit on your brush, try not to be hasty. The bottle is medium-sized, lightweight and the glass component can be recycled. The brand is working with a company that stops beauty packaging from going to landfill, but this service is only available with purchases of Charlotte's Magic Cream. Hopefully, the foundations will be next.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY AIRBRUSH FLAWLESS FOUNDATION FORMULA

The two shades I put to the test: shade 14 and shade 15

The two shades I put to the test: shade 14 and shade 15 

(Image credit: Kelle Salle)

What I look for in a foundation is full coverage but it can’t feel heavy or caked on. The best foundation for oily skin should have a beautiful, natural glow but not be super shiny. I want a balanced complexion that stays in place all day. I had two different shades to try (14 and 15) but eventually landed on 15 - a deep shade with golden, neutral undertones. Charlotte Tilbury offers cool, warm, and neutral undertones for all shades of this base, which means there should be a match out there for everyone. 

The first thing I noticed when I tested the foundation on the back of my hand was the texture - it wasn’t runny or silky, it was very smooth, and didn’t slide down my hands. The foundation is infused with the brand's skin-boosting complexes Replexium, Moss CellTec, CT Defence, and AirCool. All of these work to hydrate, protect and perfect the complexion.

The moisturizing formula means that the base will protect your skin as you wear it, leaving it looking smooth. If you have normal skin that needs a bit of a boost from time to time, this foundation would provide an extra level of moisture and protection to add to your skincare routine

HOW DOES IT LOOK AND FEEL ON the SKIN?

charlotte tilbury airbrush flawless foundation review

How Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation looked on its own (left) and with a full face of makeup (right)

(Image credit: Kelle Salle)

The brand recommends using a foundation brush and buffing it in from the center of the face. I can confirm that the formula worked well when applied with a buffing brush. It sank into my skin nicely and blended out well for a natural, radiant glow. The foundation didn’t give me the second-skin look I wanted because it wasn’t an exact match, but it did breathe new life into my complexion. 

For me, the finish was good but it wasn’t amazing. If you have balanced skin, then I think this foundation would be ideal for you. It doesn't work as well on oily/combination or dry dehydrated skin types. The coverage is full, which is what I wanted, but full coverage doesn’t look or feel great without the best shade match. Something I noticed when applying was how the thick texture impacted the application process. It could have been a little lighter in my opinion. 

After a few hours of wear, I was able to see my imperfections even though I used concealer and a setting spray beforehand. It did feel light when it was on but it moved when I set my under-eye area, leaving two dry patches that my loose powder couldn’t fix. 

HOW ABOUT AFTER A DAY OF WEAR?

My Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation review couldn’t be concluded until I put it through its paces, with three full-on days - one with back-to-back meetings, another running errands, and a weekend brunch date with friends. 

On all days, the base did fade around my cheeks and the sides of my face, so I had to reapply. If you decide to give this foundation a try and you have oily/combination skin, pop it in your bag so it’s on hand whenever you need to reapply it. Skincare prep is really important during the application process here, so always put on your best primer to keep the makeup in place, and finish it off with a setting spray to lock it in. 

CHARLOTTE TILBURY AIRBRUSH FLAWLESS FOUNDATION REVIEW: MY VERDICT

While this foundation promised and delivered a flawless finish, it was too drying for me. Additionally, I struggled to find a match and I think that the brand could do a bit better with its neutral shade offerings. If I was able to find a neutral match that had a brown tint as opposed to a red or yellow one, I could have added it to my collection. The formula is good but I don’t want to look like I’m wearing makeup and with this foundation, I did. 

I do think it would be great for those with balanced or sensitive skin. My skin still looked flawless even though it didn’t last all day. I would recommend wearing it for special occasions. With everything the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation has to offer, it could be a 10/10. It's a good formula with an array of skin-enhancing benefits, but it just wasn't quite right for me.

Kelle Salle
Beauty writer

Kelle is a writer and blogger, specializing in beauty, lifestyle and wellbeing related topics. She has twelve years of blogging experience, and launched KS, a lifestyle platform which aims to inform and inspire millennial women in 2017. In 2020, Kelle started writing for digital publications. Her work has been featured in POPSUGAR, Byrdie, Stylist, BeautyTap and Brown Beauty Talk. Kelle's published work ranges from beauty news to women's health and lifestyle-related topics.