British-born, Ibiza-raised Charlotte Tilbury launches her makeup collection in Canada exclusively at Holt Renfrew in June. Comprising 10 key looks to make shopping easier, her line is flattering for all skin tones. During Tilbury’s 20-year career, she has developed products for M.A.C and Giorgio Armani Cosmetics and made up celebrities like Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, Jennifer Aniston and Amal Clooney. She currently leads the beauty direction for the Tom Ford and Donna Karan runways.
“I discovered makeup when I was 13, and it changed my life. I started wearing mascara, and, overnight, everyone from seven to 70 reacted to me in a very different way; I was more popular, and I felt more confident. While at first this was a little depressing, I soon realized that makeup is powerful: It’s every woman’s secret weapon. I’m all about a smoky eye ’til I die! I’ve been wearing a smoky feline eye since I was a teenager. The shape defines and elongates—it’s like an eye lift without the surgery.
“I think I always walked a path toward makeup artistry. From a young age, I had Marilyn Monroe posters up on my wall and bought loads of reference books about silver-screen icons, like Audrey, Elizabeth and Marlene, and studied their faces. I wanted to know what made them beautiful.
“Sharing the power of makeup with women is what drives me. Many of the reasons women don’t fully engage in makeup—they aren’t sure how to use it or what suits them—are what I wanted to revolutionize in the retail experience. Even as a professional, I walk into [a store’s beauty department] and want to run in the opposite direction! There’s so much choice and so little direction or problem solving; I wanted to create a glamorous, safe environment for women to shop in. My collection is curated into 10 looks, so you know which lip colour goes with each eye colour. There are visuals of how the lipsticks and eyeshadow palettes look on all skin tones, so you’re never lost.
“All of my products have a star hidden on every pack. This was inspired by a note I got at the start of my career encouraging me to follow my dreams—it signed off with “Knock it to them, Charlotte; I know you’ll be a star.” I treasured this note and looked at it during times of self-doubt—it gave me the motivation to continue. I want everyone to have that moment when they open their compact. I believe that everyone has a halo around them; everyone can be a star.”
– By Charlotte Tilbury
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.