The Midas Touch The beauty mogul, Charlotte Tilbury tells us about her journey into the beauty industry, her ultimate makeup tips and beauty secrets – including how she keeps her own skin looking so flawless and how you can use makeup to cheat your way to fuller lips, bigger eyes, and supermodel definition
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Whether she's creating behind-the-runway looks for Alice Temperley, glamming up the Victoria's Secret Angels, beautifying A-listers such as Amal Clooney on their big day, or getting the likes of Olivia Palermo ready for Fashion Week, there's not a day when Charlotte Tilbury isn't working her makeup magic. She is an A-lister in her own right. Amid India enjoying a luxury beauty renaissance, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, which is worth around £1.2 billion, finally made a home in the country through e-commerce platform Nykaa last November. One of the most in-demand makeup artists in the world, known for creating glowing complexions and natural-looking faces– all with her best-selling products, of course. In an exclusive interview with us, she tells us about her journey into the beauty industry, her ultimate makeup tips and beauty secrets – including how she keeps her own skin looking so flawless and how you can use makeup to cheat your way to fuller lips, bigger eyes, and supermodel definition.
When did you realise you wanted to pursue beauty professionally?
"From a young age I was always walking a path towards artistry. I grew up in Ibiza, surrounded by a melting pot of creatives and visionaries who sparked my own creativity – it was so bohemian and magical! The first time I knew I wanted to pursue beauty professionally came when I was 13-years-old. I discovered a tube of mascara and when I applied it, I instantly felt more confident and more empowered. I have very fair eyelashes and wearing mascara completely transformed my eyes! People reacted to me in a very different, positive way! It was mascara that showed me the power of makeup and from that moment I knew I needed to share it with the world and that one day, I would create my own beauty company. Mascara changed my life at 13, and I still get that same feeling of empowerment today when I'm wearing my Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes mascara! My career as a makeup artist began in the early '90s, working backstage at fashion shows with all of the biggest supermodels, from there I went on to work with the most genius creatives and luxury fashion houses on global campaigns, with celebrities for red carpets and editorial shoots – I feel incredibly lucky to have the most magical career!
How do you manage your jam-packed calendar?
"My calendar is always jam-packed! I'm a wife, mother, makeup artist, and Founder, Chairman, President, and Chief Creative Officer of my company, so my day-to-day schedule can be very hectic – especially as I've also been home-schooling during the pandemic too! I have to have structure, remain focused and driven to be able to take it all on but, at the same time it's incredibly rewarding. This is my dream and I've worked incredibly hard to get here! I feel so lucky I get to live out my dream every day and that I have so many incredible opportunities – I hate saying no because I want to do it all!"
Is there a way to use makeup to make lips look fuller?
"My Lip Cheat lip liners are my backstage beauty secret that I use on every celebrity and supermodel to create the most luscious, perfected and fuller-looking pout. You can re-size and re-shape the appearance of your lips in an instant, creating fuller, wider-looking lips. I also like to use my Lip Cheat's as a stencil over the lips to make the lip colour pop and enhance the staying power. The wax and oil-rich formula has a smooth, rich texture that glides on effortlessly and it's waterproof so there's no feathering or transferring. When you apply, look in the mirror and smile, tightening the skin on the lips to see exactly where to apply the pencil. Starting on the outer corners trace the liner just outside the natural lip line. This will help cheat a fuller pout, create symmetry to the lips and help to stop the lipstick bleeding, without looking unnatural. My top tip for creating the appearance of extra voluminous lips is to add a soft highlight to the Cupid's bow. Using my Hollywood Beauty Light Wand and a small lip brush, add a soft "x' across the Cupid's bow. The light-reflecting highlight will create the appearance of plumper-looking, more luscious lips in an instant!"
What are your tips for adding structure and definition using makeup?
"Contouring is one of my favourite tricks of the trade for enhancing your facial framework and adding definition to your features. I have created two genius products that make contouring easy and effortless for everyone. There's my Hollywood Contour Wand, a lightweight liquid formula with a cushioned head applicator for targeted application. The creamy formula is buildable and blendable so you can sculpt your features with ease! I apply the Contour Wand to my cheekbones, temples, forehead and down the side of the nose and blend with my Hollywood Complexion Brush to instantly sculpt the appearance of the face! My Filmstar Bronze & Glow is my original, iconic, contour and highlight palette and my beauty secret for sculpting killer red carpet cheekbones with a divine, candle-lit highlight It's the perfect intro to a more-subtle shading and highlighting product! This is a red carpet favourite, every celebrity has this in their makeup bag! The textures and shades in this palette are fool proof and make it so easy to enhance your facial framework in seconds! Starting with the bronze shade a natural, warm contour shade use any precision brush, like my Powder & Sculpt brush, suck in the cheeks and "follow the hollow'! Once you've finished contouring, use a bigger bronzer brush to add a subtle sun-kissed glow to the skin, and remember to blend... blend...blend!!"
What are three makeup products we'll always find in your makeup kit?
"My makeup kit is always packed full of my amazing makeup and research- powered skincare products – when I travel for work I take seven suitcases with me – that's before any clothes! But, three products you'll always find in my makeup kit, my handbag or on my desk in my magic office are, firstly, my award-winning celebrity- loved Magic Cream! You'll find a jar of my iconic moisturiser wherever you look – I have travel sizes for keeping in my handbag and gifting to celebrity clients, and gorgeous giant jars in my bathroom, I never do makeup without it! My second product would definitely be mascara! Mascara was the first product I tried and ever since I have been obsessed with lashes and mascara! My Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes is the one mascara that can do it all! From the innovative KerestoreTM 2.0 infused formula, that conditions your lashes whilst you wear, to the exclusive pro precision paddle brush that lifts and paints every individual lash and delivers a 24hour vertical lift effect, this mascara is the perfect lash DNA in a tube! It gives you the glossiest, lifted, defined, strong-looking, separated, voluminous beautiful lashes, every time!" Finally, lipstick is happiness in a tube, so you'll always find it in my makeup kit! From my award- winning, globally-loved nude-pink Pillow Talk, which sells once every two minutes, to my new innovation Hyaluronic Happikiss that delivers a high-performance, hydrating kiss of colour and all of my incredible Hot Lips 2 lipsticks, created in homage to some of the iconic women and men I've worked with. Lipstick is a quick and easy way to add instant glamour to your look, brighten your complexion and lift your mood!"