Let’s be honest: When it comes to makeup palettes, rare is the compact that offers multiple shadows you actually use. Sure, you may drill down into two or three shades (the champagne, the bronze, and the black, am I right?), while the rest are left to crack in the pans. Not so with Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette ($75, nordstrom.com).
Let me preface this by saying that I love a fun palette filled with iridescent, unicorn hues. But when it comes to practical pieces–the products that get used daily–this is an insider must-have.
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Charlotte Tilbury, a makeup artist who works with stars like Emily Ratajkowski, Sienna Miller and Miranda Kerr, knows how to make a person feel glamorous. She also knows how to formulate quality beauty products: Her powders are silky, yet pigmented, her lipsticks are rich, and her creams can coax a glow from skin in seconds. So it’s no wonder this palette is as useful as it is pretty. You get three neutral eye shadows, two bright blushes, plus a bronzer and highlighting powder. It’s all you need for a six-minute face (unless you're craving some mascara and gloss).
The compact is also user friendly. Never know what color eye shadow to put where? The bisque, champagne and brown tones are conveniently labeled as “brighten,” “enhance” and “smoke,” so you know how to use each. I apply them from left to right: I place the bisque under my brows, the shimmery powder over my entire lid and the darkest along the lashes to darken them without the hassle of liner. I mix the blushes together to pop my cheeks and dust the bronzer underneath (or, as Tilbury is likely to say when applying bronzer, “you follow the hollows”).
When I tell you that I had the Nude version of this palette for about five days before it “disappeared,” I’m not joking. InStyle beauty editor Dianna Mazzone has the “Glow” version (filled with a deeper bronze for lining eyes and brighter blushes) and keeps it within reach of her keyboard at work. So if you're looking for a beauty gift for a friend, or for yourself, this is a sure bet.