Bargain vs Bougie: I tested skin tints from Charlotte Tilbury to Primark

Welcome back to Bargain vs Bougie,’s series pitting products at varying price points against each other.

This week, I’m testing skint tints that promise you that coveted, glowy ‘your-skin-but-better’ look.

While I’ve long since broken up with full-coverage foundation, it’s still a bit of a faff trying to find a low to medium-coverage product that works with my oily skin and visible pores.

On top of that, my wallet is crying out for some relief, so in an ideal world, I’d love to find an affordable, buildable skin tint that I can take from day to night – so I don’t find myself tempted into buying different products for different occasions.

It would also be great if this dream skin tint didn’t fall straight off my skin like so many other products out there do.

So, with that in mind, I put five popular products to the test…

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Shade – four medium

Price – £39

Let’s start with Ms Charlotte’s version – iconic for a reason, Hollywood Flawless Filter really is that b**ch.

It gives you a lush glow that stays on great even with my oily skin and visible pores. It manages to tone down the pinkness on my nose without eradicating it completely, making for a nice, natural finish.

My only things to nitpick are that I personally wouldn’t mind if it was slightly more pigmented, so I tend to mix a bit of foundation with it when I apply it for an average day. And at £39, in this cossy livs, the Flawless Filter can certainly be beaten when it comes to the price…

Score – 4/5

Collection Gorgeous Glow Filter Finish

Shade – two/medium

Price – £7.99

I like this one a lot. It goes on nicely, and matches and blends really well onto my skin. It says it’s an ‘illuminator, primer and skin perfector’, but it’s on the more pigmented side, doing away with the pink undertones on my skin.

It’s pretty buildable too, so I’d say it can replace your foundation as a more flexible option if you want something that can work as light or medium coverage depending on your mood.

My issue with it is that, while I do get a lot of glow from it, it doesn’t get on perfectly well with my pores and oily skin after a bit. It’s also very reflective, which I like, but if you’re dead set on getting a your-skin-but-better look, there are subtler options out there.

Score – 3/5

MAC Strobe Dewy Skin Tint

Shade – deep one

Price – £30

This one was one of my absolute faves of the bunch. It goes on like a dream and lasts all day to boot. It’s got just the right amount of pigment and coverage for my liking, it makes me look glowy, not oily – the difference between the two things being subtle, but crucial – and it’s buildable, but my skin still looks like skin.

It’s also the only one of the ones I tested that comes in a squeezy bottle instead of those awkward wands.

I’m so fond of it, I even put it to the ultimate test and took it with me to a festival where it helped me look reasonably well put together all week. Miraculous.

Score – 5/5

E.L.F. Halo Glow Liquid Filter

Shade – three light/medium

Price – £14

This one’s another slightly more pigmented offering compared to some of the others on this list.

It’s pretty similar to the Gorgeous Glow in that it offers slightly more coverage and the glow factor is on the higher side.

It does get a little creasy around my eyes though, and it only took a couple of hours to get super shiny and start wearing off my troublesome nose.

Score – 2.5/5

Primark PS… My Perfect Colour Radiant Primer Foundation

Shade – sun beige

Price – £6

This stuff is so major.

It’s got a decent amount of pigment, but it’s not thick, and it goes on like a dream. Not only does it work well with my skin type, but it also lasts better than I ever would have hoped.

Like MAC’s offering, I don’t really need to do any touch-ups during the day when I wear it. For me, this is unheard of, so to have two products in one list that can do this feels like an absolute blessing.

I can see why it sells out all the time – I have no notes, it’s hard to get more your-skin-but-better than this, especially not for six quid!

Score: 5/5

My verdict?

If you want a bougier option, personally I’d say go for the Mac. It’s worth every single penny, and still cheaper than a bottle of Flawless Filter.

But if you want to save said pennies, Primark’s amazing PS… My Perfect Colour Radiant Primer Foundation is far from a compromise.

I honestly don’t know how to pick a favourite of these two. On the one hand, Primarni’s is fabulous and way, way cheaper. But on the other hand, the way Mac’s works with my skin makes me feel like the foundation gods made it just for me.

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