Thursday, 14 May 2015

Reds by Charlotte Tilbury: red lip products overview plus a ton of dupes!!!

 Being a great fan of Charlotte Tilbury I just couldn't resist taking advantage of their free shipping offer and ordered a couple of red lip goodies for my ever growing collection.

Matte Revolution lipsticks are probably the best matte lipsticks in the world. They're very definitely matte, but creamy and non-drying. Like most matte lipsticks they're long wearing and fade slowly and evenly.They have a unique angular bullet which makes application so much easier. 
I've already got one of those lipsticks in Very Victoria and now I've reached for a classic cool-toned, but not very bluish red. Red Carpet Red is an epitome of class, style and timeless idea of feminity. It's absolutely perfect and I see myself reaching for it often.

Apart from the matte lipstick, the formula of which I'd been familiar with, I got the regular K.I.S.S.I.N.G.  lipstick in So Marylin which came in a bundle together with a matching lip liner and a gloss.

When I opened those three I was startled at how neon orange they looked in their packaging. Fortunately the packaging is highly misleading and the products themselves are much more wearable and right up my alley.

The Lip Cheat Kiss'N'Tell is a beautiful deep cherry red that matches most of my red lipsticks. It promises to cheat and balance my lip shape and size by drawing along the outer edge of my natural lip line. It claims to last up to 7 hours and be waterproof. I haven't worn it on its own for that long, but I can confirm that it's long-lasting. It's super smooth and creamy, almost melts into my lips and then sets and will not budge.
These liners are made in Germany, like almost all high- and low-end lip and eye liners in the world are.  

The K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick in So Marilyn is fairly similar in shade to Red Carpet Red, but while Red Carpet Red is cooler, So Marilyn has a somewhat browner undertone and is not matte, but it's not a glossy formula either. The lipstick is super creamy and opaque, goes on evenly and lasts decently long, but on its own not as long as as the matte one. Applied over the Lip Cheat liner, however, it achieves a comparative longevity, but less shiny finish.

The Lip Lustre lip lacquer  in Red Vixen stands out of this collection in a somewhat negative way. 
First of all the packaging feels kind of cheap. It's on the small side, compared to the lipstick and the pencil and also other lip glosses in my possession. Although there's still this rose gold thing going on, the tube looks drugstore cheap. 
The colour of the gloss doesn't quite match the other two and is a brighter, warmer shade of red. 
This is a typical lip gloss this is in no way better than its drugstore counterparts. It's pigmented, but not fully opaque, applies somewhat patchy, doesn't offer mirror-like shine or anything spectacular I could write about. The good thing is that it isn't sticky and when applied on top of the lip pencil and the lipstick it looks very pretty, adds some shine and the whole combo lasts decently long, which doesn't mean that the dupes I'm about to present don't do the same job for much less money.
If I'd bought this gloss separately, this would be a major fail of the month as nothing about this gloss justifies the price tag. 

And now DUPE TIME.

I've got tons of red lipsticks and the ones below are the closest matches I could find.

L to R: MAC Russian Red, Charlotte Tilbury So Marylin, Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red, MAC Ruby Woo, Zoeva Cooling Passion

Left to right:
1. MAC Russian Red is almost exactly the same as Charlotte Tilbury So Marilyn, only a bit more matte. The shade, the duration and even the scent are practically identical, so you definitely don't need both.
2. and 3.  So Marylin and Red Carpet Red are very similar, the difference being that So Marylin is a bit browner and Red Carpet Red is matte.
4. MAC Ruby Woo is very similar to Red Carpet Red, but it's way more matte, more difficult to apply. Red Carpet Red is creamier, goes on more evenly. My choice is of course Red Carpet Red, because of its amazing formula.
5. And finally Zoeva Luxe Cream Lipstick in Cooling Passion, which I thought would be more similar to Red Carpet Red, so I swatched it on the right side at first, but then I swatched it against Russian Red and So Marilyn and it fitted much better there. Cooling Passion is the creamiest and the most glossy formula of them all and it's also the most moisturising. 
Unfortunately this lipstick snapped in half during the swatching process, which shows that the creaminess versus product stability ratio is wrong here. The lipstick is so creamy that it melts, I strongly dissuade you all from trying to use this in the summer heat. Fortunately I can still use this lipstick with a brush. This is a good pick for people on a budget, but qualitywise So Marilyn is oceans apart.  

L to R: Zoeva Cooling Passion, MAC Russian Red, Charlotte Tilbury So Marylin, Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red, MAC Ruby Woo 

And now on to the glosses. I found three almost exact dupes in my collection.

Left to right:
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Lustre in Red Vixen is a semi-opaque mid tone red.

Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss in Red My Lips is almost identical. It's exactly the same shade of red, the only difference being that the Milani one is a tad sheerer, but on the lips they look exactly the same. The packaging is very similar with both tubes made of thick plastic with gold (rose gold in the case of Charlotte Tilbury) caps. Save your money and get the Milani one.

MAC lipglass in Russian Red is probably the best choice of them all. This is an almost exact dupe of Red Vixen.  It's the most opaque and even, applies and wears best of the four, but I hate the cheapish and styleless packaging. When worn over the Charlotte Tilbury lip combo this one offers a vinyl lip result, much more glossy than Red Vixen.

Tanya Burr lip gloss in Vampire Kisses is the least perfect dupe, but it's still similar enough to be mentioned here. It's the coolest and the sheerest of them all, but on the lips looks and performs quite alike. 



  1. Great post, i was wondering which one should i get: so marilyn or russian red and your post just helped me with that! :D