Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick Review

Farah Gasimzade By Farah Gasimzade8 min read

How many iconic lipsticks do you know by their shade name? I bet Pillow Talk is probably one of the few that came to your mind first.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk has become one of the most frequently mentioned makeup products in the media.  We have witnessed a number of celebrities from Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Roberts, Olivia Culpo, Alexa Chung, and Salma Hayek, to name a few, rocking their nude pink pouts on red carpets.

In addition to this, the lipstick and its matching lip pencil are one of the best-selling makeup products on the market. According to Charlotte Tilbury statistics for 2017, 1 Pillow Talk is sold every 2 minutes!

These impressive stats and the craze about this lipstick raises a question:  why this product is such a phenomenon?

Pillow Talk: One Size Fit All Nude Shade

First of all, for sure, the Pillow Talk shade is what makes this lipstick so popular. This universal nude shade for this lipstick was created to match beloved lip liner Lip Cheat in PillowTalk. After the lipstick was so warmly welcomed by people of Hollywood and beyond, Charlotte Tilbury launches Pillow Talk makeup collection that now includes blush and a 4-shade eyeshadow palette.

Speaking of the shade in more details, Pillow Talk can be described as “nude pink” as this flattering shade features equal parts of beige and pink 3D glowing pigments. These special 3D pigments make your lips visibly larger, so don’t expect the lipstick to be dull matte on your lips.

lipstick bullet with sparkle on vanity table

Perhaps, exactly these pigments make the lipstick work across different complexions. If you look a little closer to the photographs from red carpet moments, with close up portraits of celebrities placed next to each other, you’ll see that the color ranges from beige nude with yellowish undertones to pink nude and even mauve.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Pillow Talk on celebrities
Charlotte Tilbury, 2017

Despite the magical effect of the lipstick, there is also another side of the coin. The flexibility of Pillow Talk creates confusion for people who are shopping online  – at least, this is what negative reviews are saying.

Some reviewers are blaming the incorrect color presentation online, while some people express frustration about the shade not working for them.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk on different complexions

I decided to try it myself to see how it works for me.

Pillow Talk Magic

When I first swatched the lipstick and applied it on my lips, I thought that Pillow Talk has yellowish beige undertones. Next time I applied this lipstick, I noticed more mauve undertones to it.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk on lips

After a small research, I found a line on Charlotte’s website stating that “Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk enhances the natural hue of your lips“. This statement reminded me of Tom Ford’s Lumiere Lip that adapts to your pH level and enhances your natural lip shade.

I’m not sure if Pillow Talk also changes the color following the same chemistry, however, I have a couple of thoughts about it. They are hypothetical, meaning they might not be true, but since they logically make sense, I’ll just leave them here for you.

If you know for sure what is behind this magic, please, leave it in the comments down below! Everyone would be happy to read it!


First of all, we need to consider the coverage of the lipstick, which is rather light than full and opaque. Even though you can build up coverage of the lipsticks, the pigment in your lips or lip pencil is likely to see through.

In my understanding, the undertone of your lips, the amount of color in your natural lips or the undertone of the lip pencil underneath will determine the exact undertone of Pillow Talk on your lips.

Since the shade has equal parts of beige and pink pigment, the color adapts to your lip color, picking the predominant undertone.

Ambient Light

Apart from the coverage, I believe that the ambient light also plays an important role in the way Pillow Talk show on your lips. Since the lipstick features 3D glow pigments, they are reflecting the available light for the plumper effect. If the light is on a cooler side, it will look pinkish, if the light is yellow, Pillow Talk is likely to be beige. To support this hypothesis, I’d add that the first time I was applying the lipstick in the evening in my bathroom with yellow light, the second time I applied it on a gloomy morning in front of the window.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk

Comparing Pillow Talk to other lipsticks in my collection

Here are some quick swatches to compare my favorite nude lipsticks that I’m currently coveting. When you compare Pillow Talk to other lip colors in my collection, you can clearly see that it has more neutral undertones.

Lipstick Shades Swatches: Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment in American Woman, YVES SAINT LAURENT Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain in 23 Singular Taupe, CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in Abstrait 69, CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk, MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Color Pencil in 602 Completely Sepia, DIOR Dior Addict Gloss in 227 Ambre Lumiere 

From left to right:

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in American Woman (review here)

YVES SAINT LAURENT Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain in 23 Singular Taupe

CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in Abstrait 69

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Color Pencil in 602 Completely Sepia

DIOR Dior Addict Gloss in 227 Ambre Lumiere 


Each Matte Revolution lipstick comes in a prettiest rose gold metal bullet and I honestly can’t get enough of it. At the same time, it is surprisingly lightweight, even lighter than my favorite Chanel Allure Velvet.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick bullet

Pillow Talk, along with other lipsticks from Matte Revolution, features an angled square shape of the lipstick tip, that repeats the shape of a brush and makes it so easy to apply the lipstick right from the bullet.

Formula and How To Use

The formula of this matte lipstick feels soft and creamy, however, some people complain about it being drying. Most of the matte lipsticks are usually more on a drier end. Even though Pillow Talk is quite creamy and smooth, the lipstick might get in the lines if the lips are not prepped with the scrub. Nevertheless, this is normal and happens with most of the matte lipsticks and here is what I recommend doing.

Start by scrubbing your lips gently and applying a lip balm. Let it sit for a few minutes and then blot it with a tissue, following with the lipstick. I like to apply Sensai Lip treatment before my lipsticks. Alternatively, using M.A.C. Prep + Prime lip primer is also a good idea.

Pillow Talk lipstick has a subtle vanilla scent to it, which is not overwhelming and you won’t really taste it on your lips.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick bullet

Despite the marketed “long-lasting formula” do not expect the lipstick to last all day – it is easy to leave lip stains on cups and glasses. Nevertheless, its compact packaging and comfortable tip make it super easy to reapply the lipstick throughout the day.

In addition to this, filling your lips with lip pencil before applying the lipstick will extend the wear of the lipstick – it is a really good trick that works with most of the lipsticks.

Here are the recommendations on use from Charlotte Tilbury:

-Begin by applying Lip Cheat liner (sold separately).
-To dial up your look, and even longer staying power, fill your lips with the lip liner.
-Apply Matte Revolution straight from the bullet for fuller, wider lips. The unique square tip applicator provides precision when applying.

Pro tip:

-For extra definition, add a touch of Magic Away! Concealer (sold separately) to the Cupid’s Bow.
-Layer the Hollywood Beauty Light Wand in Spotlight highlighter (sold separately) on top lip to brighten the lip.


This product is gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and not tested on animals.

Here is the detailed list of ingredients:

Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Trimethylolpropane Triisostearate, Dimethicone, Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline, Polyethylene, Polybutene, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Dicalcium Phosphate, Ethyl Vanillin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopherol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Orchis Mascula Flower Extract, Bixa Orellana Seed Extract, BHT, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tin Oxide, [May Contain/ Peut Contenir (+/-): Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 6 (CI 15850), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow 6 Lake(CI 15985), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Carmine (CI 75470)].

Overall, the list of ingredients looks surprisingly really good, except for preservatives (Dimethicone and BHT) and conditioning agent (Tocopheryl Acetate). I’m a little concerned about BHT, however, as you might already know, the position of the ingredients determines the concentration. With that being said, the concentration of BHT is likely to be very small to cause harm that may occur with high doses.

Did you know: this lipstick is formulated with Achiote seed extract ( Bixa Orellana Seed Extract) also known as Lipstick Tree. The seeds were used by native Americans to make red body paint and lipstick, and also as a spice. This is why this shrub is sometimes called Lipstick Tree.


The retail price for the Pillow Talk lipstick is $34.00, which is way less than Tom Ford lipsticks and slightly more affordable than my favorite Chanel and Pat Mcgrath Labs.

Is Pillow Talk worth the hype?

My answer would be YES! I love the idea of wearing personalized lipstick shade. Besides, the neutral undertones of this nude lipstick are very versatile. I can use it both for no-makeup makeup look and for the night look pairing it with more dramatic eye makeup. It is important to mention, that I’m limited neither to cool nor warm undertones and I can easily pair it with any makeup shade.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick bullet on vanity table

In addition to this, the lipstick feels comfortably on the lips. Its gorgeous, sleek and lightweight packaging along with comfortable lipstick tip makes it travel and clutch friendly.


I wish I have taken behind-the-scenes pictures for this product! I was rushing for the sun that was setting down and completely forgot about it.

All the sun rays and the reflections that you see on the images are real, without post-production. The set up was pretty easy: the sunlight (roughly 1h before the sunset) from behind and the reflector to light up the lipstick.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick bullet

I love adding sparkles and sun rays to my images, especially, when they are part of the story. For Pillow Talk lipstick with 3D glow pigments, adding some sparkles sounded like a good idea.

To get this kind of sparkles, look for the reflective side or point on your subject, and increase the F-stop to F/11 and higher. Usually, the higher the better, but don’t forget about challenges that high aperture numbers pose – I shared them in my previous post. For these pictures I used F/16.

The only problem I had with these pictures is the wrong cap placement. For some reason, I was assured that this is exactly how Charlotte Tilbury logo looks…until the moment I’ve realized that it’s not a symbolic logo “.D_” resembling letter D, but it is actually “CT” initials. However, it was too late as I/m already using the lipstick, and it’s no longer in that brand new pristine condition… Sorry, Charlotte!

Anyways, I really like the end results! What do you think?

Leave a Reply

  • Kristen Grace
    March 15, 2019

    It is a very flattering shade!

    • Farah Gasimzade
      April 3, 2019

      It really is!

  • beautywithmei
    March 19, 2019

    Really great insightful review! 🙂

    • Farah Gasimzade
      April 3, 2019

      Thank you so much!

  • Sarah Mark
    April 13, 2019

    What an amazing shade! I have never tried any Charlotte Tilbury products but I will need to look into investing after reading your post.