How Does Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk Lipstick Compare To Cheap Alternatives?

We pit the expensive lippy against Soap and Glory, Revlon and Rimmel 💄

In Spenny vs Penny we compare the products we love, with those following in their (sometimes pricey) footsteps. Here we compare Charlotte Tilbury’s legendary nude lippy with high street alternatives from Revlon, Rimmel and Soap & Glory.

Alexa Chung, Emma Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow – all celebrity women who have been papped wearing Charlotte Tilbury’s coveted Matte Revolution Lipstick. The shade du jour? Pillow Talk.

The makeup artist was reportedly asked to make it into a lipstick after celebs became a fan of a lip pencil in the same colour. Since then everyone has been clamouring to get their hands on the lippy, with one selling every two minutes according to the brand.

So what’s the big deal? The lipstick is said to enhance the natural hue of your lips, creating a “sumptuous, pillow-y lip in seconds”, and the tag line is: ‘your lips but better’. It all sounds rather marvellous but at £24 I’m left wondering whether a) it lives up to the hype and b) there’s a high street alternative that can do a similar, if not better, job. So let’s get cracking, shall we?

Out of all the lipsticks that land on my desk this one looks the priciest thanks to it turning up in a distinctive plum purple box with rose gold lettering – Tilbury’s signature look. It feels like an absolute treat and I’m excited. When I pull the product out, I’m not disappointed. It’s packaged in a matching rose gold tube and everything about it screams luxury – including the lipstick itself.

The shade is gorgeous – a rich nude with deep blush pink tones – and I can instantly see why it would suit lots of people. Application is simple and I’m definitely getting that ‘your lips but better’ vibe. It’s nude, I’ll give you that, and therefore not the kind of shade you’d get compliments for as it’s very subtle, but it does do a great job of making your lips look full, smooth and even-coloured. It also has staying power, which I’d expect from such a pricey product. It lasts all morning and survives at least four cups of tea. Reapplication is needed after lunch, though. The only downside is that because of the matte properties, my lips do end up looking quite dried out after a few hours of wearing. Nothing that can’t be solved with some lip primer.

Buy it here.

OK so I feel like now is a good time to admit that when I was at school I used to be one of those teenage girls who thought it was a good idea to put foundation on their lips for a nude look. Reflecting back, it made me look like I’d died.

When I sweep this lipstick across my lips, it reminds me of that fragile time in my adolescence, mainly because the shade is a touch lighter than my actual lip colour so it has that incredibly nude vibe.

The lipstick is a lot less matte than CT’s and glides on easily, but the shade is a little too pale for me, I think. Considering how dark it looks in the case, it definitely does not translate as that dark pink on my lips. I would say it’s my least favourite of the bunch based on the shade being too light but it’s not a bad product at all. I like the fact it makes my lips feel nourished and it manages to survive a few beverages too.

Buy it here.

After a colleague mentioned that Soap and Glory had a very similar lipstick shade to CT’s Pillow Talk I decided to give it a go. She was right, the shade is very similar but has more coral undertones which I felt worked with my skin tone better. The lipstick feels more nourishing than the previous two and is the only product to actually smell – it has a nice sweet, buttery scent which I’m a big fan of.

I have to admit I’ve never really thought about buying makeup from Soap and Glory but this lipstick has helped changed my mind. The packaging is not as luxe as CT’s, but I do actually prefer the lipstick. It’s neither drying, nor glossy and wet-looking – the perfect middle ground, satin sheen. It doesn’t stay on my lips for as long as the Charlotte Tilbury lippy but after reapplication my lips look healthy and full. I’m converted.

Buy it here.

Penny: Revlon ‘Dare To Be Nude’ Lipstick, Look Fantastic, £7.99

Of all the lipsticks I try it feels like this gives my lips the most definition and it also stays on really well thanks to its matte-like properties – in that sense, I’d say it gives CT’s Pillow Talk a run for its money. Yet for £7.99 it could also save you some serious cash.

The packaging is standard Revlon – a black case with a gold rim – but for the price you wouldn’t really expect anything more.

The shade is more on the orange/brown side rather than a pinky/peach but I do like how it comes out. It also doesn’t leave my lips looking as dry as Pillow Talk does.

I think on this occasion the Soap and Glory lippy has captured my heart, but I wouldn’t fail to recommend this Revlon lipstick to friends looking to achieve the celeb look for less. 10/10 would wear again.

Buy it here.

We all work hard to earn our money – so it shouldn’t feel like hard work to spend it well. At HuffPost Finds we’ll help you find the best stuff that deserves your cash, from the ultimate lipstick to a durable iron to replace the one that broke (RIP). All our choices are completely independent but we may earn a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase.