Behind the Brand: Charlotte Tilbury


It’s the biggest makeup news of 2014—Charlotte Tilbury is landing in the United States next week! Known for her A-list celebrity clients, high-end Fashion Week looks, and experience working with the top brands in the business, Charlotte made quite a splash even before launching her eponymous skin care and cosmetics line last fall in the U.K. Today, people line up for the products because they’re at once ultra-glamorous and totally accessible, just like Charlotte herself.

We couldn’t be any more excited to be welcoming Charlotte Tilbury to Beautylish (on September 2), so we decided to take a closer look at the story behind the London-based brand. Here Charlotte pulls back the curtain, and tells us in her own words about the philosophies and inner workings that have landed her products on the “must-have” lists of the world’s top beauty influencers.

On her beginnings

“The line took me all my life to develop, and planning it has been my ambition and passion for the past 15 years. It’s something that I’ve poured years of my artistry and expertise into. Ever since I was at school, I was dreaming up a range that was color-coded, enhanced your natural assets, and helped to decode the mysteries of beauty for everyone. I can’t believe it’s finally happened and I’m so proud of it. What really drives me is sharing the power of makeup with every woman.”

On her products

“With such a competitive market out there, it’s a truly rewarding challenge to design a line that encapsulates everything I have learned from my 20 years as a makeup artist—all my tips, tricks, and trademarks have helped shape my line. I use only the very best quality ingredients, and ensure my tools are the best in the industry. This is different to a lot of brands out there. I don’t spend money on marketing and advertising. I spend it on the product. All my products treat and transform, so they have skin benefits whilst making you look beautiful.”

On the philosophy

“My key ambition is to empower women. Beauty is not an exclusive club. I’ve been frustrated with the homogenous marketplace for a long time. If the artistry behind beauty isn’t coming through, it’s complicated to shop and create a look that suits you. My brand is all about easy to choose, easy to use products. It’s makeup made easy. The artistry is in the products themselves. Like the Cheek to Chic blushers, which show you exactly where to swish a pop of color, or the Luxury Palettes, which include a step-by-step to the perfect smoky eye. I’m practically taking myself out of the job! We’ve sourced the most couture formulas and put them in ready-to-wear formats. It’s also a highly edited collection for get-it-at-a-glance women who don’t have the time, inclination, or expertise to figure it out for themselves. You can simply choose one of my ten iconic looks and go. It’s so easy, even a man could shop it!”

On her favorite item

“It’s too hard to pick one—it’s like trying to ask a mother to choose her favorite child! My Magic Cream is a miracle-working moisturizer. I’ve been using and perfecting it for years backstage at shoots and shows. It literally floods the skin with moisture and is the magic dew of youth and luminosity, and I call it a push-up bra in a jar! My Rock ‘N’ Kohl Liquid Eye Pencils are amazing, too. The formula that doesn’t move for 12 hours and glides on like a liquid but smokes up like a pencil.” 

Take a quick peek at how Charlotte works behind the scenes! All images courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury. 

Company: Charlotte Tilbury Employees: 25–50 Established: 2013 Location: London, UK Neighborhood: Queen’s ParkBestselling product:  Full Fat Lashes Mascara Most popular lipstick: K.I.S.S.I.N.G. in “Nude Kate”

Charlotte designed her products to work as easily in the high-pressure backstage environment as they do at home; here she preps models before the JOSEPH A/W 2014 show at London Fashion Week

A well-edited setup and carefully crafted face chart from the JOSEPH A/W 2014 show are great examples of the level of detail Charlotte puts into everything she touches—including her products

Charlotte built her line around 10 signature looks that are easy for customers to re-create; this product display at Selfridges in London shows how approachability is the key to her makeup philosophy

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