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I purchased the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadows YONKS ago and the review is long overdue but better late than never, right? Here we go!

I typically take product shots before I get my fingers all up in the product but this time… excitement prevailed. Whoops.

Charlotte Tilbury – Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow Review & Swatches

Looking at the pots, you might mistake them for (my beloved) Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes and indeed, they are very similar. Both formulas have a wet mousse-y consistency, impart a glossy effect (as opposed to a foiled shimmer effect) and blend effortlessly. Tilbury was involved in the creation of the Tom Ford line so it’s no bizarre coincidence.

Charlotte Tilbury – Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow Review & Swatches

As you can tell from the swatches (natural sunlight on top, flash photo below), the cream shadows apply true to… pan? True to pot? They’re pigmented okay?! I try to avoid the P word because it’s potentially the most overused in beauty blogging history. I think we can all agree that the colour selection is stunning; nuanced neutrals with a token bright, each infused with multifaceted and complex iridescence.

Here they are in action, Verushka all over the lid and blended upwards, Bette on the ball of the eyelid and Norma Jean around the tear duct. Took 2 minutes flat and rather pretty, if I do say so myself 🙂

Charlotte Tilbury – Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow Review & Swatches

Also note that while Verushka is rather reflective on the lid, once blended above the crease it takes on a satin-not-at-all-frosty finish. Exactly like the Tom Ford.

So I think we’ve covered the good: pigmented, easy to blend, glossy in finish, beautiful colour selection and blends out to a satin that is flattering in the socket.

Now for the bad. Bad is too strong a word, I’m being dramatic. My main issue with the Eyes to Mesmerise formula is that the colour fades throughout the day where skin meets skin (hooded eyelids and heavy eyelids especially). I experimented with various primers, various application techniques and the only way I could avoid fading was to set with a powder eyeshadow… but then I lose the beautiful glossy finish? Sad face. Keep in mind, I have dry lids and rarely struggle with longevity.

Another minor critique – I found the shades didn’t layer very well. In the picture above, I pressed Bette on the centre of the lid and, in some areas, noticed that layering had actually removed Verushka beneath, leaving patches of visible skin. I experienced neither of these issues with the Tom Ford formula, so they’re not dupes in my eyes despite many similarities.

Overall, my feelings towards the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise shadows are conflicted. I adore the effect at application but the fading in the socket region is so significant that it just isn’t a practical everyday eyeshadow for me. Occasionally I’ll use them as a base for a powder eyeshadow (and FYI, Norma Jean is beautiful on the cheekbones) but alone? Unfortunately not.

Have you tried the Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadows? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear whether you guys experienced issues with fading or creasing, let’s chat in the comments section 😉

Available at: 32USD at NordstromBeautylish and Charlotte Tilbury Australia.


NB: Products purchased by me, some linked products are affiliate links.

Complete list of products mentioned

Eyes to Mesmerise
Eyes to Mesmerise
* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest with my reviews :)

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  1. Great post! I still enjoy your review of these as I own quite a lot of TF and CT cream shadows. It’s kind of weird but I really have a soft spot for cream shadows (probably because I’m lazy and I like slap and dash eye makeup). Do you have any of the new spring 2016 TF cream shadows? They have gotten much smaller than the ones released in the past, and even smaller yet from the CT ones…yet the price has increased (that luxury brand “inflation” though…-___-) How do you feel about the new TF formula? I haven’t got the release colors of the originals like spice and platinum to compare, but I’d say the ones I do have are more similar to the CT formula than the original TF ones like spice, pink haze, etc. Love to hear your thoughts! <3

  2. No joke I literally yelled “YUSSS!!” If that’s even a word, as soon as I got the email for this post lol… I think I’ve been through your entire blog and have been subbed to both your blog and utube channel for a loong time…not stalking you or anything :)… love your personality and humor…. sad to say tho I was hoping for someone to say these didn’t crease and lasted…but nonetheless karima has spoken….and now I’m in doubt…sooo do you think it’s worth it as an all-over wash of color used with powder shadows in the crease? Or stick to Tom ford??

  3. Always enjoy readind your reviews! Though this brand is not available where I live and I have no intention of purchasing these eyeshadows, it’s interesting to know how you evaluate a product and all the little details you pay attention to. My favorite cream shadows at the moment are the ones by an Italian brand I recently discovered, Nabla. I think their cream shadow formula is amazing, they have lovely shades and a reasonable price. Cheers!

  4. I was given Cleopatra by the PR team and after swatching it on the back of my hand, wanted to to buy more, especially after seeing other bloggers raving about them. But like you, I had major issues with patchiness and creasing with this shade and it gave me the sads. In the pot and swatched unblended on the hand, it’s too beautiful but on the eyes, it just wouldn’t work for me! And then I was too scared to buy more in case I’d be disappointed again! I do have the Tom Ford versions on my To Buy list that’s ever expanding, so keep the recommendations coming!

    1. I think Cleopatra is possibly the worst offender. It is really a very hot, awful, patchy mess. I actually love the colour so much, I decided to keep it. It makes for a good quick dramatic eye for a night out when I’m willing to embrace the grungy. I would never wear this in well lit conditions tho D: Verushka performed much better on me. Some fading and creasing but nothing I can’t live with.

    2. Agreed! I bought Cleopatra but was sorely disappointed by the fact that it wouldn’t layer well or last long. I mean, even on my first initial application, the color would shift across my eyelid as I tried to blend. I think the Shiseido cream eye shadows are phenomenal. Much better than these and half the price!

  5. Exact same experience as you with regard to the fading. After a few hours of Norma Jean, I see a bit of glossiness on my eyelids, but barely enough to say its covering the whole lid. I am wearing it today and have tried to set it with one of the Nars eyeshadows Ina similar color… We will see. I have to dab a tiny drop of Mac Fix+ on each lid to bring back the ” wet look”. Too frustrating!

  6. Ooooh I was getting all excited about the pretty and glossy colours until I reached the part where you say that they fade with skin to skin contact and that they do not layer well. Such a pity!

  7. I’ve got four of these shadows. I don’t experience any fading with them at all. I find they look the same when I take them off as when I’ve applied them. I don’t use any primer at all.

    Agree that they don’t blend together super well.

    I like the Tom Ford too. Prefer the texture of these a little bit more.

    Good swatches btw! Very true to the actual colour. A lot of swatches on the net aren’t super accurate for these.

      1. Yep they are hooded. No primer, foundation, concealer or powder. I wore one the other day and it was a stinking hot, humid day. Still no creasing or fading. I had a really good look at it to check!

        The only cream shadow I have had problems with is the RMS one, that migrated everywhere!

        Looking forward to getting more Tom Ford creams 🙂

  8. Great blog post! I’ve been eyeing Bette for the longest time because I was to late in getting my hands on the Tom Ford naked bronze 🙁 So, I figured Bette was a good dupe and because I’m not willing to spend so much money for Naked Bronze on eBay lol Now I don’ t know what I should do!! 🙂

  9. I have Marie Antoinette, and I held back from purchasing everything before I tested it. I wanted to make sure it stayed on my lids. I have normal skin, and I don’t usually need primer, but I do have heavier Asian lid. And I figured that even if Marie Antoinette creased, it’s a lighter shade so it wouldn’t be too obvious. And was I right! It creased and faded, even WITH a primer. So glad I didn’t get all of them.
    I’ll just stick with Tom Ford. I couldn’t be happier with my Naked Bronze, and I’m so so happy he made his cream shadows permanent. I’ll be collecting them for sure, starting with Platinum!

  10. Hi Karima, I just bought Norma Jean this past weekend. And I am sad to say I have to agree with you. I was looking for a nice shimmery base to be able to wear almost alone as a weekend look with a bit of eyeliner. And the SA told me it wouldn’t crease. But the colour pay off totally disappears after a few hours. It was very disappointing considering how much I love Charlotte Tilbury products. Oh well. Maybe a cheek highlighter as you suggested. Love your videos!

  11. For the price point that these are sold at, they should perform like top notch products, but they don’t. I was quite upset that I had spent a chunk of money on this to find it shift across my eye, not layer well, be patchy, and not last long. I’m sticking with my Shiseido cream eye shadows – they are AMAZEBALLS.

    1. +1 on loving Shiseido cream shadows. They’re my go to’s right now. They layer beautifully as well…have been using them with MAC Groundwork for a long lasting warm look. I actually prefer the look after a few hours of wear ;))

  12. When these came out, I was initially intrigued by Veruschka. (Bizarre for me because olive green isn’t a colour I usually go for.) I ended up passing due to loss of interest.

  13. Thank you for the great review and gorgeous pictures Karima!! What is the lip color you’re wearing in the picture? So beautiful!!!

  14. Hey Karima,
    Wow I was about to go onto Nordstrom website and order a few makeup items, including the Eyes to Mesmerise in Mona Lisa!!! So glad I read your post before purchasing! Thanks for a great and thorough review, as always. xo

  15. What a timely post!

    Beautylish sent me a CB Eyes to Mesmerize to replace a (sad) dried out Kevyn Aucoin Prime Color Cream Eye Shadow I received in my Lucky Bag. I got Marie Antoinette — color looks gorgeous — but I have yet to try. Can’t wait to run home and play having seen your review.

    Tom Ford just restocked his cream shadows here in the states and made them part of the permanent collection so I may just snag a few of those. Disappointingly, the new pots are smaller in size than the previous releases but priced the same = /

    1. Report back on the CT shadow, I’d love to know if you have a similar experience. I’ve been using my TF cream shadows for over a year and haven’t finished one, I’m just glad he made them permanent!

  16. Hi Karima,
    I now don’t buy anything if you haven’t reviewed it. I have learned so much from you and my favorite tutorial is the little black dress of makeup. I love that look!!I wanted to asked did you get any of the new Tom Ford cream eyeshadow. I got the color platinum because I liked it on your tutorial. Do you think the formula is the same. I haven’t received mine yet but I’m hoping I won’t be disappointing? I’m also thinking about getting the color spice.

  17. Hey Karima,

    This is not related to the post at all, but a while ago on another post (can’t remember which!) I asked you about what colours of clothing look best on pale olive skin tones. You said you didn’t know, but to let you know you if I found anything out :P.

    I stumbled across this reddit page about dressing for pale olive skin! Some recommendations that resonated with me were:

    Bright but dark colors…so jewel and deep toned: dark teal green, cobalt or sapphire blue, burnt orange, mulberry purple, and most reds;
    Bright deep pink, coral, or really light pink are best, but be careful about those in-between medium pinks;
    Ivory and cream work very well for off-whites, but stark white is iffy;
    Stay away from neons, metallics, pastels, and beiges. Yellow and bright orange are particularly questionable, but beige is the worst.

    Hopefully that is helpful to bust out of the all black wardrobe! Full page here:


  18. Great, honest review! The swatches look beautiful but it’s a shame to hear about the fading, particularly as it’s not a budget product. I have oily eyelids so may need to give this a miss 🙁

  19. Karima, I know this may sound like a dumb suggestion but you never know. Do you think that mixing the CT cream shadows with the Tom Ford ones would get rid of some of the problems like creasing? The TF just wear so amazing I thought it might work. And perhaps this way you could get new shade colors.
    If any has both and could try and let us know that would be really cool!

  20. Ahh, so sad! I really want to find a glossy-finish cream shadow that will last on my tragically oily lids — I may just have to spring for a Tom Ford.

    On an unrelated note… would you mind telling me which brand you find to have the softest/least irritating eyeshadow brushes? It turns out that my eyelids are delicate bastards, the MAC 217 is so scratchy and even my Hakuhodo blending brush is a little bit irritating on my outer corners (though I love the shape). 🙁 I was thinking of trying Rae Morris or Wayne Goss next.

    1. It may not so much be the brand but the hair type that isn’t agreeing with you.

      Is your Hakuhodo brush a goat-haired one? You may be able to find a similar shape with a different hair type within Hakuhodo’s vast range.

      1. Hi! Yes, it is a goat hair brush (the J142). I’ve been doing some research and I might see if there’s a similar squirrel brush next time I’m at the counter.

      2. Definitely check out Wayne Goss’ brushes. They’re quite soft and I believe many are squirrel hair. Good luck!

      3. The Hakuhodo S142 is a similar shape (perhaps a bit more tapered?), but with blue squirrel bristles. Rae Morris and Wayne Goss both have similar-shaped brushes, too (RM #7 or WG #3, I believe; they’re also blue squirrel).

      4. I ended up buying an S142! It is a little bit smaller/floppier than my J142 (and twice the price lol), but not only is it totally non-irritating, it also seems to blend/diffuse dark colours with less effort! I’m a happy camper, thanks everyone for your advice. 🙂

  21. It’s a bummer that the cream shadow fades on hooded eyes because the colors are sooo gorgeous! I would love to see an editorial makeup tutorial with Cleopatra (that colors makes me so happy), maybe with a bold lip? I really love your dramatic makeup tutorials even though I’m not adventurous with my own makeup, haha.

  22. I love mine! I only have the Bette and granted, I have only used it once but I absolutely adore it. I love how strong the color is and how easily it glides onto my eyelids. It’s so, so pretty! But in saying that, I’m not exactly a party animal and don’t need mine to last all night! 😉

  23. Sadly, yes, problems with fading/creasing on my oily/hooded lids. Which is why they’re not getting much use. Anxiously awaiting next installment of ask Karima! ?

  24. Hi Karima!

    I’ve been thinking of ordering the Marie Antoinette. I have hooded eyelids like yours, and was wondering if you think the eyeshadow looks nice on you, on its own without applying darker matte shade in the crease.


    1. Keep in mind, if you have hooded eyelids you may experience issues with longevity. That aside, you can absolutely wear a single shade without a darker shade in the crease. You won’t get as much definition but often, that’s okay!

  25. I just wanted to comment and say your eye look is beautiful! You do the eye shadow justice! Thank you for this post 🙂

  26. Dear karima,

    I have hooded eyes, but I can never establish eyemakeup like yours. Actually, I am not sure whether you have hooded eyes or not? I even zoomed at your great eyes, but still,I can’t be sure, maybe semi-hooded? 🙂
    Not to be misunderstood, My intention is to grab some tricks if we share the same eye issues♡ Now, my best trick is to use smaller crease brush as wellas a smaller detail brush for working more precise on the eye. And I would like to hear more from you if you have any tricks further. Xoxo