Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette: Review, Swatches & FOTD

Hello! It’s been so long since I put up a blog post, but I’ve been so busy! However, I was very keen to publish a review of the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette last week, as it was closer to the date when it launched. I opted for putting the product to the test though, just for a little longer and wise me in this case. My first impressions and first couple of looks were very different from the conclusion I reached after three weeks of playing with the eyeshadows. What changed and do I love this £60 CT palette? Let’s see!

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette : rose gold packaging
The new Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette. The rose gold packaging is divine!

Packaging and shades

To start with, the packaging of the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette is undoubtedly gorgeous and it will be a jewel on your vanity! It’s lightweight, shiny gold (drawback of that is that it’s prone to fingerprints) and when you open it there is a sizeable mirror. No brushes are provided, but that’s fine by me as I’d rather more space for the eyeshadows than less eyeshadow and a couple of medium quality brushes in there. To add to that, I don’t find this palette practical for keeping in your hand bag and don’t think it can be sensibly marketed so, because of its size. It’s one for your beauty table or trips.

Charlotte has divided the eye shadows in four different looks of increasing intensity: Day – Desk – Date – Disco. The CT Instant Eye Palette is leaning cool but the Desk eye look has a warm toned medium shade and so leans warmer overall. By the way, these shades are all so up my street. Neutrals, leaning a little cool and a balance of pinks, olive browns and taupes. Thumps up for the shade selection and the packaging. Would you want to dip your brush in there?

CT Instant Eye Palette: close up on the shades
The CT Instant Eye Palette – a sizeable mirror and a shiny gold interior is where the eyeshadows are housed

Let’s have a closer look at the shades, shall we?

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette: Day and Desk look
Day and Desk Eyeshadows

Starting with the Day Eye and the Desk Eye (how do we assume that all women are desk bound? Anyway, that just obviously confirms it’s all marketing and maybe a bit about the image of the busy, working but glam woman that Charlotte Tilbury wants to target): the trio is quite soft, with a grey taupe eyeshadow of medium to light intensity on me. The desk eye has two matte eyeshadows and the warmer leaning one is really pretty. The intensity is a bit better here. These two eye looks both contain one shimmer and two matte eyeshadows.

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette: Date and Disco iooks
Date and Disco Eyeshadows

In turn, the Date and Disco Eyes have one matte shimmer and two shimmer eyeshadows each. The intensity is more and the Disco eye features a matte green-black shade which makes a very cool liner or a statement smokey eye. Again, thumbs up for the shade selection.

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette
CT Instant Eye Palette – featuring such pretty, romantic shades
swatches and performance

I was more than excited when I got hold of the CT Instant Eye Palette that I tried as soon as I could! To be honest, I didn’t follow the “rules” of the four eye looks. I mixed and matched and played with the matte shades only. I created a lovely, day time smokey eye and was happy. The matte shadows included in the Desk eye and the Date eye worked well for me.

I then went on to try the looks, as recommended by Charlotte Tilbury. It was on a Friday morning when I thought, I have five minutes, I’ll go for the Day eye. And mmm… have a look.

Me wearing the Day look from the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette
The Day Eye on my medium (still tanned) complexion

Do we see any eyeshadow there? Clearly, there is a bit but all first three shades are way too soft for me. And I didn’t feel I could make friends with that shimmer shade. This was chunky and unsophisticated glitter more than the luminous shimmer I’m used to whenever I use a Charlotte Tilbury palette. Ok, that’s a confused Eleni.

Next morning, I went on to try the Disco look but a softer version of it where I’d used the blackened green only in my outer corner and as a liner rather than all over the lid.

Here’s the look I achieved:

Selfie with the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette on my eyelids
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette – a soft take on the Disco Eye
Selfie with the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette on my eyelids
Similarly, the Disco Eye look adapted for day time

Sure, I adapted the look to the time of day but I’m sorry, the pigment was disappointing, especially when it came to the shimmers. I experienced tons of fall out and that silver glitter would be more visible than the actual eyeshadow colour.

Here go the swatches for you to see what I mean:

CT Instant Eye Palette
The Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette
Swatches of the Selfie with the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette
And the Swatches of it

As you can see, unfortunately some of these shades don’t even show on my skin. And I did try to build them up.

Giving it another chance, I went on to try the Date Look. Here are the results:

On my eyelids: Selfie with the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette
The Date Look of the CT Instant Eye Palette

Wearing the CT Instant Eye Palette on my eyelids

I still think that the matte transition shade included in this look did all the work. The rest? Same again. Lots of glitter fall out, glitter is chunky and pigmentation minimal as a result. These eyeshadows should also include quite a bit of oil because they don’t last well, unless over a primer and I noticed a bit of creasing eventually.


I have to be honest… This is not a good palette for those of us that aren’t fair in skin tone. Some shades don’t even show up. The mattes are good and pigmented enough. The shimmers are indifferent and as mentioned, not pigmented. There is fall out. Despite the fact that the shades are beautiful, their intensity fades faster than with other eyeshadows I have. All in all, such poor quality for a super hyped, super expensive and super good-looking palette by Charlotte Tilbury, whose products you know I love.

Let’s hope that she takes the reviews into account and does a better job next time. Although I would normally buy her palettes sight unseen, now I’ll want to swatch and try before I buy. Let’s say that, apart from the day when I used the matte eyeshadows, I didn’t feel I had a good makeup day whenever I used this Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette.

You can have a look at the promo videos and check this palette out here

If you really want a Charlotte Tilbury palette, I can highly recommend any of there permanent line ones, also the Instant Look in a Palette ones (have a look at my reviews here and here) The quality of the eyeshadows will be SO different to her Instant Eye Palette, you’ll be amazed.

Your thoughts on this palette? Any CT products that haven’t worked for you? Do share; I feel there’s so much hype over all of her products that it’s good for everyone to see what might and what might not work for consumers based on honest opinions.

Hope you have a lovely week ahead dears!



16 thoughts on “Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette: Review, Swatches & FOTD

  1. Ugh, I wouldn’t have thought some shade would look somewhat patchy on you. Such a pity since the overall look of the palette is so pretty!
    For me, not much from the quality, but she marketed Pillow Talk lipstick as a shade for everyone. Well, nope. Not when I’ve a tan. (I could still make it work, of course, but that’s beside the point 😉 ).
    I still want to check out the other ct palette you recommended though, if another palette did not sidetrack me (had my eyes on the NARS holiday ones).
    Astrid recently posted…Thoughts on Fenty Beauty Part Two

    1. Ah that’s interesting! Pillow Talk worked great on me. Sometimes this company goes over the board with marketing and that’s not good for sensible consumers… Makes you suspicious after a bit. The Nars holiday palette (not the duos) is really good – it’s got a peacock type of blue which I love! I have similar shades in my collection but still looking at this one too!

  2. I knew just by looking at the eyeshadows that some would disappear into my skin tone and thank you for the honest review. The shades are also nothing special so this palette honestly didn’t interest me at all.

  3. Interesting. I’d say this would suit me then since I have super pale skin.
    I like the fact that the palette is labeled inside with date eye etc – that is a really great touch. And the packaging is super luxe.
    I have never actually tried any CT products – they are doing a big push in oz actually. Lots of PR freebies and promos.
    What do you think about the packaging?
    Is it weighty enough?
    Set to Glow

  4. Woah what a shame! For a palette that costs so much, you would expect outstanding quality, which this doesn’t look. Sorry it didn’t work out for you! Hopefully she takes the criticism onboard to improve. Great post, I love how honest you have been xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

  5. Wow what a disappointment! I can’t believe how bad those swatches turned out! The shades in the palette do look gorgeous. I agree that she shouldn’t have assumed all women work desk jobs for the “desk eye”category. Great review, hopefully they make better quality shadow next time.

    xo J

  6. This is so disappointing! For that price tag I would have expected a lot more. I can see just from looking at your close up photos of the pans that they look hard, dry and with chunky glitter. But the swatches speak for themselves. You always manage to pull off everything and look fab, but I have to admit I would be really disappointed if I took the plunge and spent a whopping sixty quid on this one! X

  7. I’ve been waiting for this review! I’ve heard so many opinions on this palette and really a shame that this palette didn’t cut it, her products are known to be of amazing quality yet I’ve heard so many negative reviews on this one. I did love your looks you created with it though, very pretty and let’s hope she does a better job with the next palette! x

    Sam Hodgett || Beauty, Food & Lifestyle

  8. I haven’t tried this palette but those shades work really well with your skin tone 🙂

    Caterina |

  9. I have not tried anything from Charlotte Tilbury yet. This palette has a very pretty look. It’s a shame that it the quality it not up to the mark. I have to mention your pictures are beautiful. 🙂

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