All the glamour you’d expect from Charlotte Tilbury, plus a glut of serious actives that might surprise you
Several active ingredients
By Fiona McKim
This brand is primarily known for glamorous colour cosmetics, but if the success of much-hyped moisturiser Charlotte’s Magic Cream taught us anything, it’s that when Ms Tilbury does skincare, she commits. And with Magic Eye Rescue that commitment is to making the best eye cream for a vast range of skincare needs.
This means we get an active-packed formulation targeting lines, dark circles, puffiness , textural issues and more. Generally speaking, the more seriously formulated an eye cream is, the less fun it is to use. Thin textures, odd smells and unsexy packaging are all to be expected in exchange for a potent ingredients list, but this is Charlotte Tilbury we’re talking about here, so there’ll be no sacrifices in the name of science. This is mostly a very good thing – the cream and its jar are pure glamour – although it does mean a few of the ingredients aren’t quite as hardworking as they could be.
Even so, the most effective eye creams are the ones you actually want to use and there is no doubt you will look forward to applying this luxuriously textured dream cream every day.
At a glance
Targets: Fine lines, puffiness, signs of fatigue
Star ingredients: Plant stem cells, algae, peptides
Why create several eye creams when one can do it all? That seems to have been the thinking when formulating Magic Eye Cream, which throws just about everything imaginable at the cause of perkier-looking eyes.
One star ingredient is Winter Daphne stem cells, a moisturising and barrier protecting extract from the Daphne ddora plant, known for its resilience in cold temperatures. Also on the list are soy peptides. These are part of the peptide family, which are known as top-tier ingredients for the eyes, thanks to their ability to re-energise skin cells without irritation. Red algae helps with hydration and elasticity, as does saccharide isomerate, a powerful moisture binder.
Also included are retinyl palmitate, a retinol derivative that’s less irritating than pure retinol, and A+ brightening active vitamin C in its most powerful form, ascorbic acid. It is worth pointing out here that both vitamin C and retinol can be destabilised by light and air, so this jar packaging isn’t ideal to keep the ingredients in peak condition. However, it is somewhat forgivable here as both are included in relatively low doses as part of a wider cocktail of ingredients, so they aren’t being relied on to do all of the heavy lifting.
Due to the glamorous look and feel of the product, I was convinced it would contain added fragrance – a pet peeve of mine in skincare, particularly skincare for the sensitive eye area. More fool me – Magic Eye Rescue’s very pleasant but unobtrusive scent is all natural, and likely comes from the addition of skincare botanicals like shea butter and starflower seed oil.
Texture and immediate effects
You only have to look at this thick, glossy cream to know it’s going to apply like a dream. The buttery texture spreads on beautifully and instantly makes skin feel soft, plump and smooth. This will be very welcome by anyone with dryness around the eyes, which, past the age of 30, is just about everyone regardless of skin type (you can thank thin skin and a lack of sebaceous glands in the eye area for that). This means even those who usually don’t like the feeling of thick creams on their face may well enjoy an extra viscosity hit here.
This is not a cream that sinks in and disappears – you will feel it sitting there, keeping moisture in check, for hours to come. It might be for that reason that the box recommends using the cream at night only, advising you “lightly pat onto eye contour using your ring finger”. Far be it from me to say I know better than beauty guru Tilbury, but during testing I got a lot out of using Magic Eye Rescue during the day, too.
Owing to its very slight peach tint and the lasting moisture and plumpness it offers, it helped the lines around my eyes look smoother and acted a bit like the best primer formulas do, stopping my concealer sinking or drying out.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue Clinical results
In a clinical study of 30 women over eight weeks, testers reported:
- 100% agree dark circles are significantly brightened
- 100% agree skin looks and feels smoother
- 100% agree skin looks and feels firmer
- Reduces the appearance of wrinkles by up to 24%
- Brightens the appearance of dark circles by up to 21%
There’s no denying the chunky octagonal jar, rose-gold lid and sleek Charlotte Tilbury branding are all incredibly appealing. Even the box the jar comes in is glossy and glamorous, embossed with just enough information to inform but not bamboozle whoever is buying.
That said, lidded jars are falling out of fashion with cutting-edge skincare brands in favour of airless pumps and pipettes. This is thanks to the aforementioned issues with ingredient stability and some beauty shoppers getting a bit squeamish about about dipping their finger into creams (although to them I would say your hands have never been cleaner or more sanitised than they are now – or they should be anyway).
You can’t match packaging like this for dressing-table appeal, though, and as long as you’re not trying to save space in an overnight wash bag, I’m sure it will prove very pleasing indeed.
Who should buy Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue
Charlotte Tilbury’s genius lies in creating products with universal appeal and this eye cream is no different. It packs in so many active ingredients it should tick just about everyone’s boxes. Lines? It’ll plump them. Shadows? It’ll brighten them. Love a late night? It’ll hide the signs of those, too.
The texture is fairly rich, meaning you can feel it sitting in your skin long after applying. This will be a very good thing for dry or dehydrated skin, but if you’re more of an oily or congested type, you might prefer something a bit lighter and more serum-like.
The jar boasts the sort of good looks that belong on a diva’s dressing table along with crimson lipstick and frou-frou powder puffs, so will appeal to fans of traditional, luxurious products. Having said that, there’s no denying it’s a chunky little number, so if you prioritise portability and convenience over glamour factor, this may not be for you.
As woman&home's Senior Beauty Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about a brilliant beauty find on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair dye experiments and cute shih-tzus)
Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013, working under legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know about the industry (clue: learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism).
In a previous life, Fiona studied journalism back home in bonnie Scotland and honed her skills as a magazine features writer, with a brief and terrifying stint on the showbiz gossip pages of a tabloid newspaper in between. She's a skincare fanatic who can’t resist adding an extra step to her routine if it’s all the rage in Japan, loves fragrance, has fun with makeup and never turns down the chance to test a new hair tool. Basically, she loves it all.
When not slathering herself in self tan or squinting at a tiny ingredients list on a moisturiser, you’ll probably find Fiona enjoying something to do with food - cooking it, eating it, cajoling her friends into trekking across London to try a hyped pop-up in a dirty car park.
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