(Trial Run)

Charlotte Tilbury’s New Foundation Promises A Ring Light Effect — So We Tried It

So glowy.

Samantha Scott
charlotte tilbury unreal skin sheer glow tint review
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In our series Trial Run, TZR editors and writers put the buzziest new beauty products to the test and share their honest reviews. This week, the TZR team is testing Charlotte Tilbury’s Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint Hydrating Foundation Stick.

Problematic usage aside, beauty filters are a technological miracle. When you’re trying to get the shot with your iPhone in less than ideal photo-taking conditions, they’re like a built-in professional lighting crew that gets the vision with just a few swipes. Charlotte Tilbury, the undisputed queen of glow, gets it, which is why she created Hollywood Flawless Filter. Launched in 2021, the now cult-favorite primer is formulated to make your skin look soft, blurred, and glowing like your favorite filter. The humble ring light has a similar effect. Whether you’re snapping a selfie, filming a TikTok, or have it on during a Zoom meeting, the light hits your face at all the right places so you appear more sculpted and overall radiant. And this is why the handy tool has inspired Tilbury’s latest complexion product, the Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint Hydrating Foundation Stick.

The first foundation stick in the brand’s extensive range, it offers sheer-to-light coverage with a natural, soft-focus, glowing finish. Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint is also packed with skin care ingredients for smoothing, firming, and plumping benefits, plus long-lasting hydration, which also lends to its seamless application. It comes in 20 flexible shades and can even be used as a highlight and contour.

While everyone has their own personal makeup preferences, Charlotte Tilbury is one brand TZR editors collectively adore. So whenever the legendary makeup artist launches a new product, we’re dying to try it. Ahead, our honest thoughts on the Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint Hydrating Foundation Stick.

Fast Facts

  • Price: $46
  • Size: 0.31 oz/9 g
  • Clean/Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Best For: No makeup-makeup looks; dry skin; on-the-go application
  • Ingredient Highlights: Vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, collageneer; daikon radish seed oil
  • What We Like: Easy application; glowy not greasy
  • What We Don’t Like: Coverage is very sheer; can be too hydrating for oily skin
  • Rating: 4/5
How TZR Keeps Score: 1/5: Making a return; 2/5: Keeping as a backup; 3/5: Finishing to the last drop; 4/5: Recommending to my group texts; 5/5: Already on auto-replenish

The Formula

Tilbury created this foundation stick with the intention to mimic the complementary smooth, glowing effect a ring light gives your skin in a selfie. The coverage leans sheer for a natural, your skin-but-better-effect, and it offers skin care benefits for a seamless application and finish. Thanks to the stacked ingredient list of collageneer, hyaluronic acid, daikon radish seed oil, and vitamin E, the formula helps hydrate, improve firmness, reduce wrinkles, and prevent dehydration. It comes in 20 flexible shades.

As for applying the foundation, it’s nearly effortless — whether you’re in front of your bathroom mirror or doing a touch-up mid-Uber ride. “You won’t believe how speedy and easy it is to use,” Charlotte Tilbury tells TZR. “The ring light effect smooths, blurs, and snatches… it’s so youthful it’s unbelievable.” She adds you can simply swipe it on and blend with your fingertips, which is especially convenient on the go. Beyond using the foundation as a standard base, Tilbury says you can opt for one shade lighter to brighten your complexion or a shade deeper to “glow sculpt.”

Courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury

Our Experiences & Results

Erin Lukas, Deputy Beauty Editor, Wearing Shade 1.5

Courtesy of Erin Lukas

“A glow-boosting foundation that promises to make you look filtered is makeup catnip for me. Needless to say, I swiped this stick on as soon as it landed on my desk. The formula glides on and blends into your skin like a serum, and leaves a dewy finish that isn’t greasy. While I liked the natural finish it delivered, I did have to go in with a concealer to cover up the minor hormonal breakout I’m currently dealing with on my chin. However, as the temperatures and humidity continue to rise going into summer, I’ll be reaching for this foundation on hot days. Like my wardrobe, I like to keep my makeup looks as lightweight and minimal as possible.”

Samantha Scott, Newsletter Editor & Strategist, Wearing Shade 14

Courtesy of Samantha Scott

“I rarely wear foundation, opting for a glowy primer and layering on a skin tint for special occasions. Despite ever-expanding shade ranges, finding the right undertone or a formula that won't oxidize can still be difficult. To my surprise, shade 14 was an exact match. It glides on beautifully, melts into the skin, and plays well with my other makeup. Needless to say, I'll be wearing this foundation stick for my next event.”

Maggie Haddad, Sr. Social Strategist, Wearing Shade 3

Courtesy of Maggie Haddad

“Charlotte Tilbury is making my ‘glowy girl summer’ dreams come true. The formula is soft and creamy, making application super easy but beware, once blended out, this product is sheer — my face is left with a delightful glowy sheen, but very little coverage (which I don't mind). If you like to keep your makeup light, natural, and shimmery, this is absolutely the foundation stick for you.”

Kelsey Stewart, Associate Fashion Editor, Wearing Shade 2

Courtesy of Kelsey Stewart

"I rarely, if ever, abandon my trusty full-coverage liquid foundations — well, until now. After using this Charlotte Tilbury stick formula just once, I was immediately hooked (and wondering why it took me this long to try the easy-to-use product). It blends like a dream and works well with my liquid makeup, including Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Contour Wand and its Matte Beauty Blush Wand. And while the glowy formula offers a little less coverage than I usually prefer, it's perfect on a hot summer day when something lightweight is a must."

Amanda Ross, Beauty Editor, Wearing Shade 3

Courtesy of Amanda Ross

“If you’re after a luminous, reflective, back-from-the beach sheen with just a hint of tone-evening coverage, you just found your summer foundation holy grail. The name is an accurate one — this twist-up stick is all about maximum glow and hydration, gliding onto skin with an almost serum-like consistency. The shade selection is excellent and it blends out so easily with fingers. If you’re oily or prone to sweat like I am, though, this one might be reserved for rare occasions. The hydration is so comfortable, but it makes me look a bit damp.”

Is Charlotte Tilbury’s Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint Hydrating Foundation Stick Worth It?

Both makeup minimalists and those who swap out their heavy-duty products for summer will love this hydrating foundation stick. The thin veil of coverage and pore-blurring benefits are perfect for a natural, glowy look, and it simultaneously keeps skin soft. Bonus: The stick format is essentially foolproof to apply. However, if you have trouble spots like hyperpigmentation, acne, or redness that you prefer to conceal, keep in mind that you’ll most likely have to go in with a more pigmented product to get the results you desire.