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Charlotte’s Magic Cream ($100) by British celebrity make up artist, Charlotte Tilbury has something of a cult following and recently members of the Truth In Aging community have been asking me if it is well-deserved. So I visited the website to see what wizardry could be behind it.
Before getting to the formula, I was greeted by a bizarre “video tutorial” showing how to apply Charlotte’s Magic Cream. It involves an uncomfortable-looking process of kneading up the cheeks and under the cheekbones with the knuckles. It’s a technique that would look more appropriate in a bakery than backstage on a hapless model.
There’s also a blog post where Charlotte explains her philosophy behind the magic potion: “All skin types benefit from a rich, oily cream. Nothing is better at cutting through oil than oil itself. Modern-day fluids and runny serums just don’t do it.”
So what’s magical about Charlotte’s rich, oily and unctuous Magic Cream. Well, it’s not in the first 20 or so ingredients. Amongst the inevitable silicones and evidence of a heavy hand with the preservatives, there is butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, otherwise known as avobenzone, which behaves similarly to estrogen and is not recommended for pregnant women. Things get a bit better with shea butter, oat extract and pansy. But this is hardly bewitching.
But what I was really hunting for was Charlotte’s wonderfully named BioNymph Peptide Complex. Naturally, its potency is almost supernatural, fighting aging on “all fronts”. It is “unique” and “patented”. What could it be?
There is a unique peptide here. It is Matrixyl 3000. It is indeed patented, just not by Charlotte. But what the heck, it is a good collagen-boosting ingredient and, with all the fairy dust floating around in Magic Cream, who knows, it may do so much more.
Perhaps, I’m now under Charlotte’s spell because I am willing to concede that there are other useful – if not exactly magical – additions to this potion. Sodium hyaluronate reliably helps the skin retain moisture and there’s vitamin C and E. And, as you might expect, there are oils – green tea, rosehip and sunflower.
The most unusual ingredient is way down the end, a stem cell from the tobacco plant. Hmm. Perhaps this is the smoke and mirrors part. It made my day to rediscover this ingredient in a cream sold by the Trump Network. Yes, that would be The Donald. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Kinda magical really.