THE BEAUTY BLACKOUT



The Definitive Guide to Charlotte Tilbury's Lip Cheats: Featuring the New Luxury Lip Liner Collection



Now, we don’t think this will come as a huge surprise to regular readers of The Beauty Blackout, but nevertheless, we’d like to make a formal declaration before jumping into today’s review. Two of our favourite lipstick formulas are formulated by none other than Charlotte Tilbury (we feel like we're on familiar enough terms with her to simply refer to her as 'Charlotte'.) Yes, yes, we know we’ve been sort of merciless with the teasing in our previous reviews of her products but our intentions were anything but malicious. So why all the teasing? Because: a) we think Charlotte’s chill enough to take it, and; b) her copywriters deserve the ridicule, given the absolute rubbish they routinely turn out. The truth is that Charlotte Tilbury makes such dependably good lipsticks that we obsess over them for months before the launch date.


A Brief Note on the Matte Revolution & K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick Formulas

All of the bullet lipsticks from Charlotte Tilbury come in one of two formulas. First, there's the Matte Revolution formula - which we'll acknowlede a little begrugingly is the more popular of the two. In our opinion, the MR lipsticks aren't quite matte enough to deserve the moniker. The finish is more akin to a satin formula - 'demi-matte' is about as far as we’re willing to go. However, leaving aside our quibbles with the name, there’s no denying that the Matte Revolutions are - generally speaking - very well-done lipsticks. That's definitely praise coming from Rachel and I because neither one of us is crazy about matte formulas in general. We prefer Charlotte’s creamier, much more hydrating lipsticks - aka the K.I.S.S.I.N.G range. (Quick disclaimer: we both suffer from seriously dry lips so that may factor into our preferences.*)

Until I tried her Hollywood Lips Liquid Lipsticks, I considered Charlotte a dependably dab hand when it came to any products of a lip-related nature. True, I’d never tried her Lip Lustres (I mean, they’re glosses, so no, gross = why would I even subject myself to gloss anyway?) But my first Charlotte Tilbury product - one might call it my gateway product - was her Pillow Talk Lip Cheat. In fact, it was Rachel’s too.

If you've ever watched any of Charlotte's YouTube tutorials, you’re probably familiar with her standard saleswoman spiel (as soon as she lifts up her lash curler, one can hardly help but mouth along “like a push-up bra for your lashes!” with her). Another of Charlotte's classic lines is almost invariably uttered as she brandishes one of her Lip Cheats towards to the camera (and yes, it's almost always Pillow Talk). In breathless tones, Charlotte will exclaim that there is indeed a way for you too (dahling) "to cheat your way to the perfect lip!” No points for guessing that the solution lies in buying one of her lip liners.

TL;DR Version: Let’s just say that neither one of those cringeworthy lines does anything to lessen my embarrassment over watching a Charlotte Tilbury tutorial on YouTube. However, I will concede that there’s a kernel of truth in her promise that the Lip Cheats can help you ‘cheat your way to the perfect lip.’ The holy trinity of Charlotte Tilbury neutral lip liners - Pillow Talk, Pink Venus, and Iconic Nude - is, in my opinion, a non-negotiable element of any self-respecting lipstick lover's stash.

Originally available in just six shades, Charlotte expanded the Lip Cheat range with the addition of five new colours at the end of 2014. These new members were Crazy in Love, Bad Romance, Berry Naughty, Hollywood Honey, and Foxy Brown. Since then though - nothing. That’s right - it’s been almost four years since we've gotten any new lip liners from Charlotte, and believe me, we’ve whinged and whined plenty in the interim. To make matters worse, in December 2016, Charlotte teased us with the prospect of a brand new Lip Cheat. This was ‘Bitten Kiss’ - a unicorn shade, one might say, which was included in travel-size form in her Legendary Muse Set for Christmas 2016. (Yes, I did contemplate purchasing the set purely for that lip liner but rationality won out….for once. Because guess what? After over a year of having an eBay alert up for Bitten Kiss, just this morning - seriously though, no lies - I received an email informing me of a new listing on eBay. Yep. It was for the elusive Bitten Kiss mini lip liner. Priced at just US$6.50. Did I click the 'buy it now' button? Are you seriously asking? OF COURSE I DID. (I’ll give you the full lowdown when it arrives.)

The first part of this post is a review of the just-released Luxury Lip Liner Collection. In the second part of the post, we have a full overview of the entire Lip Cheat range (sans Bad Romance) with swatches and comments on each shade. Taking a cue from Charlotte’s official website, we've grouped the Lip Cheats into five colour categories, listed below:

  • Berries - Bad Romance, Bond Girl, Crazy in Love, Savage Rose, Supersize Me
  • Browns - Love Trap, Foxy Brown
  • Nudes - Iconic Nude
  • Pinks - Hot Gossip, Pillow Talk, Pink Venus, Walk of Shame
  • Reds - Kiss 'N' Tell, Hollywood Honey

But first - let’s talk about the just-launched Luxury Lip Liner Collection featuring the five brand new shades of Lip Cheats.

Click on the names below to skip the chatter and go directly to the individual shades!

The Luxury Lip Liner Collection

The Luxury Lip Liner Collection is exclusive to Charlotte's official website and is priced at US $99 or SGD $176. In the United States, a single Lip Cheat will set you back US$22, which is not equivalent btw to the Singapore price (SGD $32). This means that this set is a really great deal in Singapore where you effecively get a 21.3% discount on buying the shades individually. In the US, you only get about a 10% discount. (Still though.....not bad.)

Top to bottom: Walk of Shame, Bond Girl, Supersize Me, Hot Gossip, Love Trap


Now, Charlotte didn’t publish a blog post to coincide with the release of her Luxury Lip Liner Collection as she did for the release of her 'At Your Lip Service' trio (you can read our review here). So, sadly, we only have the following rather uncharacteristically low-key (for Charlotte anyway) ad copy to refer to:

“Darlings, redefine, reshape & resize your lips to perfection! My Luxury Lip Liner Collection features 5 NEW shades so you can get a fuller-looking pout for any lipstick look. This lip kit includes:

Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Walk of Shame is a modern-classic dark rose shade, perfect with the matching matte lipstick.

Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Bond Girl is a natural berry shade which pairs with its matching matte lipstick for a lit-from-within pout.

Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Supersize Me is a neutral nude shade with a touch of pink, for a sophisticated dialled-up pout.

Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Hot Gossip is a tawny rose pink shade that will add instant intensity and volume to your favourite lipstick.

Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Love Trap is a peachy-brown shade for ‘90s-inspired perfection."

The product information section also includes the warning that:

"This is a CharlotteTilbury.com exclusive kit. Please note, this kit does not come pre-boxed."

The Collection (but first, a little bit of Pillow Talk)


Since two of the lip liners included in the set are named after and intended to be paired with a couple of long-time fan favourites in Charlotte’s lipstick range, it would be remiss not to first acknowledge the whole Pillow Talk story. The OG Pillow Talk (that would be the Lip Cheat) is the only one of Charlotte’s Lip Cheats thus far that has been deemed iconic enough to serve as the inspiration for a lipstick. Sure, Pillow Talk (the Matte Revolution Lipstick) isn’t the most exciting colour but we think the flack it gets is a bit unfair. The OG Pillow Talk (now we’re back to the Lip Cheat, btw) is a muted pinky-nude that reliably delivers what I can only describe as a ‘cushiony’ effect. It softens the somewhat stark contrast between my skin and the natural rosiness of my lips, blurring away the edges of my mouth in a very flattering way, Think nude lips à la Angelina Jolie and Brigitte Bardot. What do AJ and Brigitte have in common? Oh, you know - just that petal-pink, pillowy pout which has been responsible for making knees go weak, hearts skip a beat, and causing at least one husband to leave his wife (that would be Brad Pitt ditching Aniston for AJ. For the record, it's the second breakup that's left us devastated).*

Emily wearing Pillow Talk lipstick and liner

Where were we? Right - the Luxury Lip Liner Set. If Pillow Talk was THE iconic shade amongst the Lip Cheats (that includes you, Iconic Nude), then it’s official: Charlotte’s deemed Bond Girl and Walk of Shame THE iconic lipsticks in her line up. (Sort of.) Perhaps taking into account how often these two lipsticks get compared, Charlotte seems to have finally deemed it time to settle the debate once and for all. No, they are not dupes! BOTH lipsticks received the honour of a matching Lip Cheat - a stroke of brilliance on Charlotte's part because there’s a blood war taking place in the online beauty community over which is the superior shade. We conducted a poll and sadly, the results were way off - Bond Girl is not superior to Walk of Shame. Walk of Shame is the better lipstick. Just the truth!

Rachel wearing Pillow Talk lipstick and liner

The other three shades in the set are all rather unfortunately named (don't worry, we'll explain why in due course). Luckily, in terms of formula, they're up to par, and also fill some pretty major colour gaps in the existing range.

*Now we admit Pillow Talk doesn’t turn us into AJ or Brigitte Bardot (if only!) but it does go a long way towards giving us that sort of effect, without any visits to cosmetic surgeons.

The Rest of the Lip Cheats (sans Bad Romance)

We've grouped the Lip Cheats according to colour family, taking a cue from Charlotte Tilbury's official website which divides the Lip Cheats (as well as all her lip products) into the following groups:

  • Berry (5) - Bad Romance, Bond Girl, Crazy in Love, Savage Rose, Supersize Me
  • Brown (2) - Love Trap, Foxy Brown
  • Nude (1) - Iconic Nude
  • Pinks (4) - Hot Gossip, Pillow Talk, Pink Venus, Walk of Shame
  • Reds (2) - Kiss N Tell, Hollywood Honey

To save you the effort, we’ve compiled an exhaustive list of Charlotte’s recommended Lip Cheat pairings with both formulas of her bullet lipsticks; her liquid lipstick range; and last and, yes, least (for once), her Lip Lustres. We’ve added a star next to Charlotte’s pick for each Lip Cheat’s ultimate matching lipstick (as you’ll see, the Lip Cheats are very versatile indeed). We’ve also added our own suggested pairings (denoted in italics) and commented on a few of Charlotte’s more puzzling suggestions. You’re welcome!

Berries



Top to bottom: Berry Naughty, Bond Girl, Crazy in Love, Savage Rose, Supersize Me

Bad Romance

"This deep midnight plum purple shade will lend a cool, vampy edge to your makeup look."

This is where I apologise and tell you I don’t have Bad Romance hence why this post can’t be called THE definitive guide to Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheats. I will get it, eventually - I promise. (After all, what’s one more Bad Romance when you have my track record with dating?)

Nevertheless, here are Charlotte’s suggested pairings for Bad Romance - described as “a deep midnight plum purple shade” which “will lend a cool, vampy edge to your makeup.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

  • K.I.S.S.I.N.G.:
    • Hepburn Honey
    • Night Crimson
    • Velvet Underground
  • Matte Revolution:
    • Glastonberry⭑
    • Birkin Brown (for darker skin)
    • Hell's Bells
    • Love Liberty (for darker skin)
    • Opium Noir
    • Secret Salma
  • Lip Lustre:
    • Unleash Me
  • Hollywood Liquid Lipstick:
    • Charlotte Darling

With that apology out of the way (and hopefully accepted by The Beauty Blackout’s understanding readers), let’s move on to the rest of the Lip Cheat range. I really do own them all.

Berry Naughty

“This sheer, beautiful berry shade looks GORGEOUS against darker skin tones.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

  • K.I.S.S.I.N.G.:
    • Kiss Chase
    • Night Crimson
    • Velvet Undergound
  • Matte Revolution:
    • Love Liberty⭑
    • Glastonberry
    • Hell’s Bells
    • Opium Noir (LE)
    • Shanghai Nights (LE)
  • Lip Lustre Lip Gloss shades:
    • Unleash Me
  • Hollywood Liquid Lips:
    • Dangerous Liaison

The shades that are recommended as pairings on the official Charlotte Tilbury website are listed above in regular font; recommendations from Rachel and I are in italics. For products that Charlotte refers to as ‘matching’, we’ve added an asterisk to highlight the fact that they are ostensibly a perfect combination.

As it happens, we disagree with quite a few of Charlotte’s recommendations, some of which verge on being downright bizarre. We've elaborated a little below as well as commenting on some of our alternative suggestions.

I don’t have any quibbles with this description. Although Berry Naughty looks frighteningly dark at first glance, it really is quite sheer. I’m quite pale, however on my fairly pigmented lips, Berry Naughty has a pretty, deep, berry-stained effect that isn’t overly dramatic. From looking at swatches that have been uploaded online, it appears that Berry Naughty is really quite similar to Bad Romance. The chief difference seems to be that Berry Naughty is the warmer of the two shades, as well as more muted. Most of the recommended lipsticks will work equally well with both these lip liners.

Bond Girl

“...a natural berry shade.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

  • K.I.S.S.I.N.G.:
    • Hepburn Honey
    • Kiss Chase (LE)
    • *Stoned Rose
    • Velvet Underground
  • Matte Revolution:
    • Bond Girl⭑
    • Amazing Grace
    • Legendary Queen
    • Love Liberty
    • Secret Salma
    • Walk of Shame
  • Hollywood Liquid Lips:
    • Charlotte Darling
    • Show Girl
    • Too Bad I’m Bad
    • Dangerous Liaison
  • Lip Lustre
    • Unleash Me

Emily wearing Bond Girl Lip Cheat

Bond Girl is a muted, rather light, plummy-pink berry that is very wearable. Obviously this liner is a perfectly satisfactory pairing with Bond Girl lipstick (see the pic below!), but there are other lipsticks that go equally well with the Bond Girl Lip Cheat, particularly Love Liberty and Secret Salma.

Emily wearing Bond Girl Lipstick and Lip Cheat

However, some of Charlotte’s more bewildering suggestions include Hepburn Honey - a pale ochre-toned nude that would not be remotely flattering paired with Bond Girl, as well as Charlotte Darling Hollywood Liquid Lipstick, the lightest shade in the Hollywood Lips collection and possibly the lightest shade of lipstick she has, period. I can only assume whomever was writing the ad copy for these suggestions was drawing names out of a hat because these two make zero sense whatsoever.

Crazy in Love

“This chic, natural rose pink shade is perfect for medium skin tones that want a lift!”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

  • K.I.S.S.I.N.G.:
    • Night Crimson
  • Matte Revolution:
    • Amazing Grace
    • Lost Cherry (for darker skin tones)
    • Opium Noir
    • The Queen
  • Hollywood Lips:
    • Dangerous Liaison
  • Lip Lustre:
    • Unleash Me

Crazy in Love leans slightly more red than Savage Rose, but given the existence of Crazy in Love and Savage Rose, we feel it was slightly redundant to add Walk of Shame and Bond Girl to the Berries family (and, btw, Walk of Shame Lip Cheat belongs in the Berry category, not with the Pinks). In reality, all four shades are subtle variations on the same colour. Crazy in Love is nice to wear on its own for naturally rosy looking lips, especially with a bit of balm patted on top. Pairing it with Opium Noir is just rather random - we think that Berry Naughty or Bad Romance would be a much better choice given the deep burgundy colour of Opium Noir. But who are we to disagree with Charlotte Tilbury?

Savage Rose

"...This warm rosy red shade is ideal for perfecting your lips before going bold with your lipstick."

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

Between Crazy in Love and Savage Rose, Savage Rose has got more oomph and it’s the Lip Cheat I’d recommend between the two. I actually think Bond Girl is the most muted - the ‘safest’ of the berries - and that Savage Rose pairs much better with Bond Girl lipstick (it looks great with Walk of Shame too, although it mutes the brick tones down considerably and makes WoS pull cooler and redder.)

Looking at Charlotte’s recommended pairings, surprisingly, none of them are terrible. We’ve fleshed out the list quite a bit, and we think that Savage Rose would work with a lot of the reds in Charlotte’s line-up, if you don’t mind the cooler effect it will produce, Dangerous Liaison would work with Savage Rose, however the rusty brown undertones in Dangerous Liaison probably makes it better suited to one of the other Lip Cheats, perhaps Hollywood Honey.

Supersize Me

“...a neutral nude with a touch of pink.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

First thing to get out of the way: WTF were the copy writers working for Charlotte Tilbury thinking when they came up with this abomination of a name? Like most people, I associate the phrase ‘Supersize Me’ with that horrifying documentary about McDonald’s. You know what I’m talking about, right? To summarise, the dude who filmed it ate nothing but McDonald’s for every meal for a whole month and ended up turning into a beached baby whale; okay, some hyperbole there. However, he did cross the BMI threshold into the ‘overweight’ category; had heart palpitations, which is the type of thing nightmares are made of btw; and, last but not least, 'experienced sexual dysfunction'. (We’re guessing this is a euphemism for erectile dysfunction so to any coupled-up ladies reading this, you may want to helpfully spread the word to your partner. We guarantee this is the most effective way to get whatever man you've been generous enough to let into your bed skip the drive-thru and - perhaps - even lose those few extra pounds that he insists are just more cushion for the pushin’.)

However, back to the Lip Cheat. So, we’ve established that there is no reasonable justification for the name unless you’ve been living under a rock/have not watched TV in the last decade. (Who are you???) Striving for objectivity, this is a perfectly nice lip liner - in fact, I might go further than ‘nice’ were it not for my visceral cringing every time I think of the name. Charlotte describes it as a ‘neutral nude with a touch of pink’ on her website which confirms my suspicions that someone on her copywriting team brought edibles to the office the day that ‘Supersize Me’ was on the agenda. This is not a nude, as you can see from the pictures - it’s a medium to medium-deep mauve pink with neutral undertones that pulls slightly cool. It’s a lovely, versatile shade that gets my thumbs-up - although I wouldn't go so far as to say it’s undupeable. Shame about the name because Supersize Me might have been a real winner. Unfortunately, it just has a tendency to make me wonder if I should tune in to the current season of The Biggest Loser. (Any good?)

Only recently did Charlotte suggest pairing Supersize Me with Bitch Perfect but we like the look of them together which you can check out on her official YouTube channel here.

Charlotte’s suggestions here are pretty solid with the exception of - once again - Hepburn Honey. What is up with Charlotte thinking that Hepburn Honey is a good match with berry-toned lip liners? (We don’t think it’s a good match with anything, period, but we can give you more sensible suggestions if you insist on it). Show Girl and Secret Salma are deemed ‘matching’ pairings by Charlotte and we think that the pairing is a slam dunk for sure (especially if you like being matchy-matchy.) Luckily, the two are now available in a Luscious Lip Slick Duo right here. As for the Hollywood Liquid Lipstick in Show Girl, this pairing would also work well but Show Girl has some fairly pronounced brown undertones that might make it work better with a liner like Hot Gossip.

We wouldn’t recommend wearing Supersize Me with Pillow Talk. It’s probably not a trainwreck but it doesn’t make much sense to us either.

Browns

Top to bottom: Love Trap, Foxy Brown, Iconic Nude

Foxy Brown

“This rich velvety suede tone is ideal for subtly shaping deeper lip shades."

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

Is Charlotte aware that suede can come in a gazillion different colours? Because it can. Just saying. Foxy Brown is a coolish cocoa-toned shade that definitely is on the deeper end of the spectrum. That’s not to say it’s unwearable for paler-skinned people - just that you may want to exercise caution when wearing this particular Lip Cheat.

Foxy Brown is a good choice of lip liner to pair with the deeper red shades in Charlotte’s line-up if you want to mute down the brightness and/or bring out the browner undertones.

In general, we don’t have any major issues with Charlotte’s recommended pairings. However, Sexy Sienna is a real head-scratcher (it’s a washed-out peachy coral, btw). We’ve recommended trying it with Hepburn Honey and Penelope Pink, both of which are several shades lighter. However, if used as a base for either of these shades, Foxy Brown can lessen the rather sickly shade of ochre which these lipsticks bring out in some people (like us).

Word of advice: Pair Foxy Brown with lipsticks of a similar depth and fill your lips in completely rather than simply lining the edges of your mouth. This will help you prevent the risk of inadvertently sporting chola-style lips. If you’re a fan of that aesthetic, disregard our advice and go ahead and keep on rocking your (badly-dated) ‘90s look. Get out your tweezers and eviscerate your eyebrows if you're really serious about attaining authenticity.

Love Trap

“... a ‘90s-inspired peachy-brown shade.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

It should come as no surprise to readers of The Beauty Blackout (beauty blogs in general, really) that the ‘90s aesthetic is currently back on trend. (Rachel says she’s into it and I mainly concur - minus the whole eyebrows thing.) Love Trap is Charlotte's token offering to the '90s mania that has swept us through the last year. It's actually a great shade but oh Lord, that name. Although not as terrible as Supersize Me, ‘Love Trap’ brings to mind a whole host of unpleasant associations for both myself and Rachel. In fact, there are so many possible offenders for this shade that listing them out in bullet form is probably the most efficient way to highlight what a poor choice of name this was.

"Hop in my Chrysler, it's as big as a whale

And it's about to set sail

I got me a car, it seats about twenty, so come on

And bring your jukebox money

The Love Shack is a little old place where

We can get together

Love Shack, baby

A Love Shack, baby.”

Note: This may come as news to you (it did to us!) but Disney World refuses to allow “Love Shack’ to be sung at weddings held on their premises. Why? Because let’s take a moment remember: besides being the happiest place in the world, Walt Disney is all about keeping it G-rated and family friendly. Therefore, Disney isn't down with some “little old place” where people ‘can get together’ (because we all know what that means. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

At this point, we’ve expounded forth enough on the name of the liner. What about the colour, you may be wondering. Fair question! When I swatched my collection of Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheats, I was struck by how few warm brown and nude shades there were in the range, given Charlotte's many honey and ochre toned lipsticks.

Verdict: Love Trap is a solid addition to the Lip Cheat line-up and we think Charlotte could have left out a few berries in her Luxury Lip Liner Collection to make way for a couple of nudes instead. While Love Trap is categorised as a ‘brown’, it has more in common with Iconic Nude than it does with Foxy Brown. Love Trap and Iconic Nude are about the same depth - considerably lighter than Foxy Brown - but Love Trap’s cooler, rosier undertones make it the more versatile of the two in my honest opinion.

Love Trap is now available in a Luscious Lip Slick Set - the matching lipstick is Very Victoria in the Matte Revolution formula. Thee Lip Slick Set is a recent addition to Charlotte's range of online exclusives that wasn't available at the time this post was orginally published. Back then, the suggestions offered were fairly limited, which we found odd because there are so many lipsticks in her range that coordinate well with Love Trap. Therefore, we listed quite a number of recommendations for this shade. Apparently, Very Victoria eluded us because we just had to add it in but, now we think about it, they are the perfect pairing. You can buy the set on any of Charlotte's official websites here). Simply toggle between the regions.

For the record, the only pairing that strikes us as puzzling is Charlotte’s suggestion to wear Love Trap with the Hollywood Lips Liquid Lipstick in Too Bad I’m Bad. This particular shade is a rosy coral pink that would be best suited to Pink Venus instead.

Nudes

Iconic Nude

Iconic Nude

"...This nude beige lip liner is perfect for pairing with your everyday nude lip."

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

As the only ‘nude’ lip liner in CT’s line-up, Iconic Nude has a lot to live up to. After all, CT loves her nude-ish lipsticks - she just doesn’t seem to see the need to produce an expansive range of lip-liners to match. While Iconic Nude is a good, versatile lip liner that pairs well with many classic CT shades (Pillow Talk, Bitch Perfect, Very Victoria, just to name a few), both Rachel and I think it’s slightly too dark to be a ‘nude’ for the average person. Charlotte would really cater to more of her customers if she introduced a paler nude Lip Cheat (hint hint).

Iconic Nude, paired with the ‘matching’ K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Nude Kate, together make up the lip part of the iconic ‘Rock Chick’ look* I guess this is as much by default as it due to anything else as Nude Kate is several shades lighter than Iconic Nude but has no closer match in the Lip Cheats. (We think it might be worth giving it a go with Hot Gossip though!) Other than that, we don’t fault Charlotte’s pairings although we think the two latter Hollywood lipsticks have better equivalents elsewhere. Ultimately, it will depend on your own colouring and preference..

*Charlotte has 10 'Iconic Looks'.

Pinks

Top to bottom: Hot Gossip, Pillow Talk, Pink Venus, Walk of Shame

Hot Gossip

“...a tawny rose pink.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

As far as the Luxury Lip Liner collection goes, Hot Gossip is one of my favourite additions to the Lip Cheats, and a much needed one I think. It’s long past time for a warm pink rather than the bubblegum fuchsias or berry plums. Tawny rose is a good description, although I detect some brown tones and muted mauve too. Overall, Hot Gossip is a winner. I find it slightly puzzling that it’s in the ‘Pinks’ family (actually, I find the ‘Pink’ family puzzling) given how tawny its undertones are. Both Rachel and I think that Hot Gossip is only marginally rosier than Love Trap and would work with most of the same lipstick shades. Both are versatile new additions to CT’s collection and we welcome their arrival.

Hot Gossip is available paired with Stoned Rose K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipstick in of Charlotte's Luscious Lip Slick duos

No quibbles with the shade pairings suggested here - these are all solid recommendations. Again, keep in mind that Love Trap would make a good substitute for any of the shades recommended under 'Hot Gossip.’

Pillow Talk

“Pillow Talk is a barely-there nude shade that will suit all types of skin tones.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

For our completely exhaustive views on Pillow Talk Lip Cheat, refer to the section at the beginning of this post discussing the shade (here) . ‘Pillow talk’ is of course an idiom for the intimate conversation that takes place between two lovers in bed. We think Charlotte hit it out of the park with Pillow Talk - it’s a beautiful Bardot-beige nude with enough pinky-brown in it to emphasise it could be a more exciting shade but overall it’s a staple shade and it’s disappointing that Charlotte has yet to exceed the high expectations set by Pillow Talk- one of the earliest Lip Cheat releases.

Pink Venus

“...This warm peachy coral shade is the perfect everyday shade.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

Pink Venus was the second Lip Cheat I bought (Rachel bought hers at the same time she bought Iconic Nude- a.k.a. right after Pillow Talk, and I’m pretty sure I did the same. That’s the Lip Cheat Holy Trinity right there!) As far as recommendations go, Pink Venus gives Pillow Talk a run for its money. It’s a staple item in three of Charlotte’s Iconic Looks (alright, Pillow Talk features in five - yeah, it’s ridiculous) and is recommended with a host of lipsticks. We’ve added to that already long list with more suggestions because quite frankly, Pink Venus is the only shade in the Lip Cheat range that is suitable to wear with the half dozen coral lipsticks in the CT line-up.

Pink Venus is aptly-named - it’s a sunny shade of petal pink with the bloom of a ripened peach at the very end of summer. It goes brilliantly with tawny honeyed-apricot shades like American Sweetheart and Bitch Perfect (its ‘matching’ pairing) as well as with the coral-based pinks like Kidman’s Kiss (vastly underrated) and Lost Cherry. It’s also a lovely lip liner to wear on its own, with a dab of lip balm patted on top. Charlotte- if you’re reading this, you need to up expand your range of coral lip liners. In the meantime, we’ll be relying on Pink Venus.

Walk of Shame

"...Modern-Classic Dark Rose Pink"

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

Emily wearing Walk of Shame Lip Cheat

Walk of Shame is a perfectly nice lip liner and I can confirm that the colour is as described - a “dark rose pink”. (No idea about ‘modern-classic’ or what that means.) The problem is that it bears very little resemblance to the eponymous lipstick which it’s named after and inspired by. To be honest, I don’t think it pairs particularly well with Walk of Shame lipstick. You can see in the pictures below that, together, the combination of liner and lipstick produces a generic shade of berry-red. Basically, the lip liner eliminates the brick tones present in Walk of Shame, which is a shame because that’s what makes the lipstick so special. In my opinion, both Walk of Shame and Bond Girl were the weakest shades in the Luxury Lip Liner collection and are both skippable if you are planning to buy any of the new liners individually.

Emily wearing Walk of Shame Lipstick and Lip Cheat

I personally favour Hollywood Honey with Walk of Shame - the caramel undertones and rusty red hues in Hollywood Honey bring out beautifully the brick tones that I love so much in Walk of Shame. If you’re a wuss about vampy lipsticks, Hollywood Honey and Walk of Shame are essentially the perfect pair of training wheels. You get the deep, sophisticated effect of a vampy lip but muted down to a comfortable level of intensity.

If you’re wondering about Bond Girl’s ideal Lip Cheat (The Beauty Blackout’s endorsed pairing, if you will), we suggest taking either of two routes: for a straight up bad-ass Bond Girl berry lip, Rachel suggests pairing the lipstick with Berry Naughty. If you want to bring out the softer, redder tones in Bond Girl, I recommend going with Savage Rose rather than Crazy in Love. The former is more complex whereas Crazy in Love is a straightforward rosy red...rather like Walk of Shame Lip Cheat.

Reds

Top to bottom: Kiss'N'Tell, Hollywood Honey

Hollywood Honey

“This intense caramel hue has red undertones for pure, unashamed glamour.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

First of all, if anyone working for Charlotte (or Charlotte herself??) is reading this, we just want to let you know that it was slightly idiotic to name one of your Lip Cheats Hollywood Honey (which is in our opinion, one of your most beautiful and frankly extremely underrated shades) when you have a lipstick called Hepburn Honey, which is one of the ugliest lipstick colors I have ever had the misfortune of laying eyes upon (not my opinion, this is the truth). Every time Rachel and I, as usual, chatted for hours and hours (literally- we have great work ethic) during the process of compiling this overview, I referred to Hollywood Honey as Hepburn Honey at least 90% of the time.*

With that out of the way, Hollywood Honey is a must-have Lip Cheat. Possibly the must-have Lip Cheat. The truth is, there are other lip liners that can give you a Pillow Talk-esque pout, but I don’t own any lip liner quite like Hollywood Honey. Charlotte categorised this as a ‘red’, but it’s a complex shade that’s hard to classify. If I had to, I would place it in the ‘nude’ or ‘brown’ families. It’s got red in it, a warm brick red that borders on being mahogany- but it’s not quite that dark. It’s not a “scary” shade at all; if you are pale (as I am), it’s easy to wear with a little bit of lip balm for moisture. ‘Tawny’ and ‘caramalised’ are the adjectives that spring to mind for me. Like Chanel’s Mordoré Nude 05 Lip Definer, it’s just a timeless, sophisticated shade that I’m certain I’ll still be wearing 30 years from now. Strangely, Charlotte doesn’t promote Hollywood Honey much, and there aren’t many recommended pairings for it, but this is my pick from the entire Lip Cheat range. It goes well with all brick toned lipsticks, rosewoods, neutral reds that you want to mute down, or browns that you want to bring out the red in. My favorite way to wear it is with Stoned Rose lipstick, which also happens to be my favorite Charlotte Tilbury lipstick, btw. It’s great for a vampy but wearable daytime lip. No shame in being a wuss about wearing vampy lipsticks, by the way, I certainly am. So if you want to blow some money on Charlotte Tilbury right now, just go buy Stoned Rose and Hollywood Honey; she should really sell them together in one of those Luscious Lip Slick sets. Unfortunately, she doesn't BUT Stoned Rose + Hot Gossip is almost as good a pairing and - happy days! - the two are available in a duo here).

*this is 100% true, not exaggerating

Kiss ‘N’ Tell

“This warm scarlet red lip liner shade is ideal for perfecting that red lipstick look.”

Charlotte’s Recommended Coordinated Pairings

It’s a mystery as to why there’s only one red lip liner in Charlotte’s entire range, given that she has a plethora of red lipsticks- Love Bite, So Marilyn, Carina’s Love, Tell Laura- and that’s just in her permanent range. You’ll notice in the recommended pairings, basically every red is listed. If you only have one red lip liner, it better be bloody amazing. Kiss’n’Tell is a good lip liner, don’t get me wrong* but it’s nothing particular special. Rachel mentioned it can have the tendency to pull quite pink- Kiss'n'Tell is like a maraschino cherry red with no orange in sight, so it's not a great option for any lipstick that's an orange-toned red (such as Tell Laura). Charlotte really needs to expand her options in this category. Also- Pillow Talk (lipstick) as a recommended pairing?? We can't even imagine how egregious these two would look applied together.

Bottom line- red is another category Charlotte needs to expand upon, along with corals, lighter nudes, and cool pinks.

*both of us agree on this

Final Thoughts


The Lip Cheats are definitely not just an add-on product to boost sales of Charlotte’s lipsticks (although I can attest that the two pair well together); they are worth getting simply on their own merits - they're that good. When I'm rushed for time in the morning, I'll often just line and fill in my lips with one of these, dab a bit of balm over the top and head out the door without any lipstick.

Now with that said, I wouldn’t wear the Lip Cheats without balm, as, like most lip liners, they're primarily designed to last (and last they certainly do - six hours later, they’re still usually going strong for me). These do not infuse your lips with moisture so if you find them drying, keep in mind that they’re not intended to be NARS style lip pencils suitable for using alone.

In terms of formula- are they the best lip liners on the market? Probably not, but they’re good and certainly superior to most drugstore lip liners and better than a lot of higher end brands as well. Pat McGrath has a liner formula, possibly produced in the same factory as Charlotte's (citation needed, just a hunch), and they are excellent, plus there are some shades that fill in the gaps in Charlotte’s line- ie cooler pinks. During swatching, we noticed the liners do have the tendency to crumble, especially if freshly sharpened, which is something to keep in mind. They also don’t sharpen well with generic pencil sharpeners so you kind of need to buy her special $6 sharpener. Lame, but hey, it's the cheapest thing on her website!

-- Emily & Rachel