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Tried and tested: Charlotte Tilbury’s new crystal-infused serum

Charlotte Tilbury’s latest skincare launch is said to “give you baby smooth skin,” the founder says.

Celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury is as famous for her bombastic personality as she is known for her popular Magic Cream. Launched in 2013, this hero product was beloved by models and stars backstage for its ability to transform skin with its instant plumping and smoothing properties. The brand has now come out with a new Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, which improves on those very lifting and line-smoothing abilities — with new and improved ingredients backed by the latest technologies.

Charlotte Tilbury enlisted a new team of experts consulting on the new launch: Dr. Anjali Mahto, a medically trained dermatologist and author of The Skincare Bible; and Georgia Louise Vassanelli, rated as one of the world’s top estheticians and founder of her eponymous skincare technology brand.

The formula

The serum works to replenish key proteins that are naturally lost or compromised by time, such as collagen and elastin, which results in the loss of skin firmness. Containing the Tilbury ‘Magic 8’ complex from its Magic Cream, on top of a host of breakthrough new ingredients, the formula also works to protect the skin barrier, tackling problems such as skin clarity, radiance, texture and skin resilience against the elements.

Some of the key ingredients include replexium, a new skin-boosting peptide blend that works to increase collagen type-I and collagen XVII — clinically proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by 34 percent and firm the appearance of skin by 49 percent after eight weeks.

There’s also anti-inflammatory niacinamide; soy bean-derived polyglutamic acid, which is four times more hydrating than hyaluronic acid; sepitonic, a mineral electrolyte to wake up and rehydrate dull skin; plant adaptogen extracts from the desert resurrection leaf to boost the skin’s barrier function and moisture-retaining properties; and squisandryl, a superfruit extract that helps reverse photo-ageing. Charlotte Tilbury herself referred to the new formulation as “a trainer for your skin” — working to tone and smooth a bumpy and wobbly complexion with a targeted approach.

The ‘Crystal’ in the Magic Serum Crystal Elixir is also due to its additional Crystal Complex, which infuses the formula with a holistic healing bent. Georgia Louise Vassanelli reportedly studied Reiki healing and was able to lend her insight into the launch.

Charlotte Tilbury tells Lifestyle Asia, “while I was developing my supercharged serum I was inspired by the myths and legends that suggest crystals have powerful properties. For centuries, people have carried them with them and kept them in their homes, due to their belief that they radiate a positive, pure and glowing energy. I have infused my innovative new serum solution with a magical crystal complex — that is, a crystal complex of moonstone, ruby, rose quartz, crystal quartz and amethyst.” 

This cocktail of powdered crystals are said to bring feelings of calmness and peace, passion, protection and prosperity, love, purity, and empowerment, with each crystal pertaining to a particular power.

To that effect, the new serum certainly sounds like the magical be-all and end-all to your skincare woes, but does it really work?

The experience

The formula — a taupe-ish liquid with a faint glimmer thanks to the crystal complex, looks slightly duller than Charlotte Tilbury’s Brightening Youth Glow primer. On the hand, it sinks into the skin comfortably with juicy, hydrating satisfaction.

On the face, I was amazed to find it soaking into my rugged and dull pores, truly plumping up tired and parched areas especially the cheeks and around the temples and T-zone. It is what I would imagine a microdose of botox would do to the skin. Those who aren’t fans of Tilbury’s glowtastic range of skincare and shimmery foundations may be pleasantly surprised, as I was, by the subtle, luscious and healthy-looking glow released by this new product. It can also be layered under the famous Magic Cream, especially if you want less risk of pilling from incompatible ingredients. Tilbury recommends using a press and release technique (the “Tilbury Tap,” she dubs it) for a light lymphatic drainage effect and to really slim and lift any puffiness.

As for the crystal complex, I can’t say for sure if the faint glimmer offered any spiritual healing, but with instantly happy-looking skin, one can automatically exude a sense of confidence and walk with a new pep in their step.

The Magic Serum Crystal Elixir (HK$600/30ml) is also launched alongside a new Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir (HK$310), which is a silky, actually wonderful lip-conditioning and -plumping product that works around the clock.

Evelyn Lok
Managing Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.