When you think of red carpet makeup, there are a few makeup artists you think of, but Charlotte Tilbury is always at the top of mind.
But her foray into red carpet makeup was not planned. “When I was working with celebrities for campaigns and magazines, they go, ‘Your makeup, Charlotte, is so gorgeous and I think it shows the most beautiful version of me. Could you come and do this red carpet for me?’ And that was how I ended up doing the Oscars and the Golden Globes and everything else.”
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She has since taken her skills and experience from doing fashion editorial, runway and red carpet, and put them into creating products for her eponymous makeup brand. Her reason for starting a makeup brand? She was frustrated with some products on the market. “I felt there was a gap, a need for the consumer—and also for me as an expert. So [it was] not only as a woman and makeup artist, but also an expert … [and] out of a need for some products that I ended up creating Charlotte Tilbury.”
It’s all about empowering women
Apart from wanting to create products that fill the gap in the market, she also wanted to provide solutions to problems, as well as share her secret tips and tricks from the red carpet and runway to the masses. “I wanted to democratise makeup and give it to every woman around the world. As a makeup artist, we have our own tips and tricks that are kind of secrets to make celebrities look fantastic, and I was like a bit of an alchemist, mixing things and creating my own things with labs. I then thought, OK, I am going to create a brand and give these things to the world.”
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She started her first steps on YouTube and created her first product: Charlotte’s Magic Cream. “I was like, I need something that’s going to work in 28 seconds. I don’t have 28 days, I don’t even have 28 minutes—and we basically created Magic Cream.” The cream, which is both a moisturiser and a primer, contains what she calls the “magic 8”, which includes hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamins C and E and aloe vera. “It is very comforting and provides like a comfort blanket for the skin.” She has since expanded her inventory to include foundations, eyeshadows and other products.
She may be filling up the shelves at Sephora with new products regularly, but at the end of the day, her main goal is to empower women. “I really, really want every woman to feel empowered, to be able to feel like they could do it themselves.” And one way she’s doing so is to create 10 looks featuring celebrities that are easily imitable. “There were looks that I created for so many women, so I kind of realised they were social archetypes and I basically wanted to give them these off-the-paper makeup wardrobes that I could give to every woman, and then it would be easy for [the public] to follow my tutorial at home.”
Scroll through the gallery to see the products Charlotte recommends to twenty-something women in Singapore.
How To Look Red Carpet-ready
When we got the opportunity to interview Charlotte, we obviously had to ask her for red carpet tips. She says that while Hollywood celebrities go for a lot of facials before red carpet events, she also tells them to do a lot of masking. She recommends for them to use Goddess Skin Clay Mask and Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask. Apart from keeping their skin in tip-top condition, she also reveals that they go the extra mile by incorporating good habits into their lifestyle. “They don’t drink [alcohol], they exercise… [they] try and do early nights, they really diet—they know that the whole world is going to be looking and they have to look amazing.”
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She typically spends an hour to do their makeup. “But sometimes you’re chatting and you’re having fun, it could take a bit longer. And sometimes when they’re in a mega-rush, you’ve got half an hour and you’ve got to do something really quick. But most of the time, for a big red carpet [events] like the Oscars, they’ll give you an hour and a half… But really, you’ll do it in an hour because you’re setting up and talking. I have been known to do makeup in a few minutes when I have to.”
Here are her red carpet must-haves.
“I always start off by using the Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask, even if I have fifteen minutes or half an hour. It is the only mask in the world that penetrates down to the third level of the epidermis and actually plumps. So if you have a line or really dehydrated skin, it drinks up the Magic Cream. I put this on and it really smooths [out your skin and] it looks like you’ve just been for a Hollywood facial. Then, Magic Cream.
Quite often, I would then put on the Airbrush Flawless Foundation mixed with Hollywood Flawless Filter because that gives you the Instagram filter. This [foundation] is pore-refining so you look poreless, you look completely airbrushed over the foundation, and [the Hollywood Flawless Filter] gives you the Instagram filter glow. Then I would use the [Airbrush Flawless Finish] Powder, down the T-zone of the face because that makes you look really airbrushed. Then I also like to use the Contour Wand to contour the cheekbones, underneath the chin, down the nose, and on top of that, I use some Filmstar Bronze & Glow. And then I use the Beauty Light Wand, which gives you that extra amazing shine on the skin. So you know like in Hollywood they have diva-lights? This adds to that diva-light and creates that amazing glow on the skin. Kate Hudson ran across the women’s room and [said to me], “Oh my god, Hollywood Beauty Light Wand is everything! It’s amazing, it’s like a diva-light set”.
Then, you need to choose a look [for colours]. … So for me, that’s why I created the 10 looks because someone like J.Lo would change her look on the red carpet all the time. Oh and eyebrows, I forgot to talk about eyebrows! Eyebrows are the pillars of the face so I always use these [Legendary Brows] micro-fine mascara wands to brush up the brows, and then [Brow Lift].”