Charlotte Tilbury is the name on everyone’s lips from Victoria Beckham, Amal Clooney to Gwyneth Paltrow ‒ her neutral eyeshadow palette attracted a waiting list of 30,000 and her Pillow Talk lipliner sells globally every six seconds.
As the flame-haired English makeup artist rolls out luxurious stores in exotic locations including Dubai, and now America we find out how she went from makeup artist to multi-million dollar buisnesswoman with the flick of a brush.
You have been in the industry more than 25 years. Tell us what you love most about working in beauty?
“I love working in this industry because it allows me to spread the powerful, feel good factor of makeup, and make all of my incredible celebrity friends, fans and followers feel like the most beautiful versions of themselves every day! My mantra is ‘Give a woman the right makeup and she can conquer the world!’ It has this incredible power to transform and boost every woman and man’s confidence. I call it the psychology of makeup, if you look good, you feel good, you exude confidence and the world reacts to you in a powerful way.”
Tell us about a moment in your career that totally blew you away?
“Every moment in my career has been so magical for me, from starting out in the early 90s in the iconic supermodel years with Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford to creating cover looks for incredible titles worldwide like Vogue, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar. Starting trends on the runways of New York, Milan, London and Paris and designing and executing fashion and beauty campaigns for the biggest luxury houses in the world! However, I would say one of the most pivotal, pin-drop moments that really blew me away, in both my life and my career was launching my own brand just five years ago!
“Since I was a young girl at school and I first discovered the power of makeup. I had dreamt of launching my own limitless makeup revolution. So, when I founded and launched Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in September 2013, an easy-to-choose, easy-to-use, easy-to-understand glamourous world of makeup magic, for everyone, at every age… It was a real dream come true for me!
“I am so proud of how far the brand has come in the last five years and I cannot wait for even more magic still to come.”
You’ve worked with celebrities including Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman and the list goes on… Have you had a favourite model moment?
“I have been in this industry for over 25 years, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with countless gorgeous, amazing women and developed so many incredible bonds all around the world. I’ve worked with so many iconic stars, actresses, models, and powerhouses the list is endless and so many of these amazing celebrities inspire me every day. One of my all-time favourite moments from my career was creating Kate Moss incredible makeup look for Vogue UK’s Castaway shoot in June 2002. It was shot by the amazing duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and it kick-started a new beauty trend for bronzed, beautiful skin! I gave Kate a sun-kissed, radiant look using glow-giving formulas for the ultimate healthy-looking tan. It was all about youthful looking skin, fresh-faced freckles and a nude lip. We shot it on the beautiful Manda Bay off the coast of Kenya and I tanned Kate’s body four times darker than her natural skin tone. It was a tanned, glowing, gorgeous photoshoot.”
What is your earliest beauty memory?
“My earliest makeup memory is the first time I realised the power of makeup, and that it is every woman’s secret weapon. When I was 13, I discovered makeup and it changed my life. I started wearing mascara and overnight, everyone from 770 reacted to me in a very different way. I was instantly more empowered, magnetic and mesmerising.”
Tell us where you find your beauty inspiration to launch new products?
“From designing new products or creating a look, to branding and campaigns, inspiration comes to me in so many different ways. I always get inspired by need. Necessity is the mother of all invention [Plato]. I often get inspiration for my products on the red carpet too, I am always thinking within the remit of how do I find a solution to problems? Whether it is to do with concealing imperfections or re-emitting light to more flattering angles of the face, making an eye palette easy-to-use through control pressing the powders or visibly sculpting celebrity limbs without going to the gym. I am constantly looking for ways to make the lives of all women that little bit easier. When it comes to colour, I take inspiration from the world around me, I’ve been inspired by sunsets in Ibiza and various locations abroad or even flawless textures that catch my eye on the way to work. Life informs my ideas constantly. I also have a mix of creatives, visionaries and rule breakers that I look to for inspiration from Helena Rubinstein, Coco Chanel and Walt Disney, to Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill and Estee Lauder…the list goes on.”
A Pillow Talk lipstick is sold globally every two minutes – What makes this product such a cult?
“Pillow Talk is on everyone¹’s lips and it’s my ultimate lip icon! I believe Pillow Talk has become such a cult, must-have in your makeup bag or handbag because it works for everyone, for every occasion. I wanted to create a ‘suits-all’, effortless, lip-enhancing shade that would be loved by everyone, all over the world and when I launched the sumptuous, perfect, nude-pink shade it created Pillow Talk mania! The now world-famous, award-winning and best-selling shade is loved by supermodels, starlets, beauty editors, influencers, entrepreneurs and icons. From a meeting at my office, to working long days on a shoot or leading the artistry backstage at Fashion Week, it is my go-to colour. I even wore it on my wedding day!”
In 2012 you launched your own You Tube channel and blog providing makeup tutorials and tips from celebrities including Kate Moss etc. How well received and important is this to you?
“I have always watched make-up tutorials on YouTube. It is one of my favourite social media platforms! I also love creating makeup tutorials on YouTube myself as they are incredibly important for simplifying makeup looks that people might not think would suit them. It is also amazing for building my profile directly with consumers; revealing all my expert secrets and creating a deeper relationship with my followers. I first launched my YouTube channel to decodify makeup for the masses, start a beauty school in your pocket!! The views now total over 46 million My Feline Flick video is my most watched tutorial on my channel it has over five million views.”
Best piece of beauty business advice you have been given?
“It’s not strictly business advice, but I remember when I was starting out, I received a note from a beauty editor saying ‘Knock it to them, Charlotte. I know you’ll be a star’. It encouraged me to keep following my dream during tough times and really gave me motivation when I was cold calling for jobs and struggling, it made me realise that I just had to believe in myself. Because of this you will find a hand drawn star all over my brand and on the packaging.
What are your plans for the future?
“My plans for the future are to continue to share the power of makeup with everyone, all around the world, making every woman and man feel like the most beautiful versions of themselves, everyday. I will still be totally revolutionising and disrupting the beauty industry. I have always been determined that I will be a disrupter in the industry and I want my company to be known for ground-breaking innovation across all that we do, every time we do it. I couldn”t be prouder of how far the brand has come in the last five years since we launched, and I’m excited about the future.
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