Top spring makeup tips from runway makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury
Celebrity and catwalk makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury practically invented the smoky, smudged, slept-in bedroom eye – it’s her signature. We talk to the glam Brit about her incredible career in makeup
British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury was always the creative type, but it wasn’t until she discovered mascara at the age of 13 that she knew exactly where she’d be. You might say that mascara waved its magic wand. Now, with a career that includes creating the makeup looks for designers like Donna Karan and Tom Ford and launching her makeup line, Tilbury looks set to take over the world, one swoosh of black eyeliner at a time.
Where did you begin your career?
I met Mary Greenwell [the legendary British makeup artist] through my parents in Ibiza. I was fascinated by her profession and the heady world of glamour, makeup and rock ‘n’ roll. She encouraged me to train as a makeup artist and I studied at the Glauca Rossi School of Makeup.
Which shows did you key for Fall 2014?
Joseph, Donna Karan, Cushnie et Ochs, Tom Ford, Edun and Sass & Bide.
How does being British inform the work that you do?
British style is eccentric, irreverent and revolutionary. We break fashion rules — New York is classic, Milan is glamorous, London is unpredictable and a real melting pot which translates into beauty. We were the first to popularize so many beauty trends, like the 1960s feline eye and Bambi lash, and the grunge look in the 1990s. We even had the original street style stars: club kids. We’re trendsetters!
READ MORE: The top 20 drugstore beauty buys
What was your defining moment as a makeup artist?
I’ve always been inspired by a note I got from a beauty editor at the very start of my career that encouraged me to stay driven and to follow my dreams. The letter signed off with: ‘Knock it to them Charlotte, I know you’ll be a star.’ I used to treasure this note and look at it during tough times of self-doubt, and it would give me the motivation to continue.
What would you say is the signature Charlotte Tilbury look?
I often hear from my clients that they can rely on me for creating flawless skin and mesmerising eyes. I once did Stella McCartney’s makeup before a BBC event, and she turned up and saw Kate Moss who had had her makeup done by an artist there. Kate saw Stella and instantly said, ‘I’m so jealous. You’re wearing a Tilbury eye!’
What’s your personal beauty style?
I love The Dolce Vita look from my Charlotte Tilbury makeup collection. It’s my signature look and I adore the beautiful burnished bronzes, browns, and the smoldering pop of shimmer of the eye shadow palette. It’s a good go-to look if you want to look your most beautiful and glamourous. For my hair, I’ve always been obsessed by 1960s icon Brigitte Bardot and I model my look on her — that gorgeous, back-combed hair with a rock chick, just-out-of-bed twist.
What are the must-haves for fall 2014?
Metallic eyes were everywhere this season, including Sass & Bide, Donna Karan, Chanel and Pucci, and I’d love to see this trend transition from runway to real way, even if it’s just a subtle pop in the corner of the eye. It adds definition and widens and brightens the eyes. Copper, bronze and silver are fall’s go-to colours, and my Colour Chameleon pencils are infused with sapphire for the perfect slick of shimmering sparkle to enhance your natural eye colour.