Review: Nordstrom Anniversary Exclusive Charlotte Tilbury 'The Dolce Vita' Instant Look in a Palette

I know - this review will come too late for many of you, as the Nordstrom Anniversary sale has ended and this palette sold out quickly. However, this review is for those who missed out and are kicking themselves. Allow me to make you feel better, my friends - you didn't miss much.

The concept of this palette is great. It contains 3 eyeshadow shades--a base, a crease color, and a highlight - as well as two blush shades, a bronzer, and highlighter. It also comes with a travel size of Legendary Lashes mascara. So, in theory, this is a great workhorse palette if you just need something easy in the morning or want one palette to travel. However, the execution falls flat.

Here are the eyeshadow shades. I liked these the most out of everything. They are soft and buttery and easily blended. The colors are versatile neutrals that should flatter pretty much anyone. My only complaint is that middle shade - it looks like a lovely cool taupe in the pan and then turns weirdly warm when swatched. Still, it was not so warm that my cool complexion couldn't weather it.

And now the face products. We go downhill rapidly here. The palette contains some of the tiniest blush pans I have ever seen outside of sample sizes.  I mean, really, what brush am I supposed to use with these? Certainly not my preferred fluffy Chikuhodo. The colors are good - again, they go for universally flattering with a matte rose and a coral slightly shimmery shade. However, the application was awful and I fully blame the brush I was forced to use because of the ridiculous pan size. The best I could do was an angled synthetic brush and wow did that not work well. The blush applied too densely and in patches. Awful. They would have been FAR better off just picking ONE blush shade to put in this palette and putting it in a pan the same size as the other two face product shades.

I then turned to the bronzer and the highlighter. These are two of Tilbury's more popular products and they were of a size that was possible to work with, thank goodness. I thought they were ok. The bronzer was a tad too dark and warm on me but did have a nice and buttery texture. I liked the highlighter and it is something I would use, except to me it is identical to Wet n Wild's Reserve Your Cabana, which I already own and is far less expensive than this palette was.

Lastly, we have the mascara. It's more of a bonus item than an integral part of the palette; there is no place to contain it within the palette. I liked the way this applied as it gave my lashes good length and volume. It has my favorite kind of applicator, with lots of thick bristles. However, it did not last well at all. I had tons of smudging after just a few hours, which was immensely frustrating to try and deal with at work. I do tend to have smudging problems with quite a few mascaras but this was a bit beyond the pale.

So, I'm committing make-up sacrilege and returning a much sought-after limited edition item. I can't not return it - I would really only use about one half of it, and that is not nearly enough to justify the $78 price.


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