While some makeup brands take years—heck, even decades—to compete with the giants of the cosmetics world, Charlotte Tilbury's eponymous makeup brand has become a standout among both shoppers and industry insiders since launching in 2013.
This could be, in part, thanks to the decades of experience Tilbury gained as a professional makeup artist, as well as the high-profile clientele she counts among her close friends. (You can find just about any household-name supermodel in her book, like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, to name a few). Even today, her brand remains a celebrity fave. Clearly, Tilbury knows a thing or two about beauty.
"I was always mixing colors and shades, dreaming up formulas, and ideating products, so it was only a matter of time," Tilbury tells Byrdie. "During my early years working as a makeup artist, I saw a gap in the market for skincare and makeup that was easy to choose, easy to use, and easy to understand. People are always confused when shopping for beauty, and I knew I had the expertise to help de-codify this world."
FOUNDED: Charlotte Tilbury, 2013
BASED IN: London
BEST KNOWN FOR: Red-carpet-ready, vintage-inspired makeup and skincare
FUN FACT: Prior to launching her eponymous line, Tilbury used mixtures of concealers to achieve the "nude lip" look she helped pioneer as a professional makeup artist.
Luckily, you no longer have to be a supermodel to get in on Tilbury's many, many beauty secrets. Since she started bottling and selling her celeb-favorite formulas, us "regular folk" can get in on the action, too—and I can happily confirm the products I've tested are luxurious enough to belong in a Kardashian's vanity (and long-lasting enough to stand the test of a million paparazzi bulbs). Red-carpet ready, indeed.
Find our favorite products from Charlotte Tilbury, below.
Lipstick in Pillow Talk
One of Charlotte Tilbury's bestselling products ever is the classic lipstick formula in a very specific shade: Pillow Talk. "Four Pillow Talk products are sold every minute around the world," Tilbury says.
Pillow Talk is described as a "dreamy nude," and dreamy it is. The shade now comes in several formulas, including "Matte Revolution" and a sparkly "Diamonds" iteration, but the classic lipstick continues to reign supreme, as far as I'm concerned.
With a matte finish and deep pink undertones, it's a subtly sexy lipstick perfect for everyday wear. (Pair it with the brand's Lip Cheat Lip Liner—more on that later.)
Charlotte Tilbury's signature face moisturizer has become a cult favorite for a reason. Formulated by hand by—you guessed it—Tilbury herself, the original mixture was beloved by her supermodel clients before it was ever stocked in Sephoras. Once Tilbury decided to package and sell it for the masses, it was game over.
That's probably because Magic Cream is, indeed, magic—it's silky, ultra-hydrating, and lightly scented for a truly luxurious, "this feels expensive" experience. (I prefer it as a night cream, but it works for AM, too.) After only one use, it leaves my skin next-level soft. "It's an instant-turnaround moisturizer with high-performance ingredients that give you results in seconds," Tilbury says. Think: ingredients like hyaluronic acid, rose-hip oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and more. "I'm known by my celebrity clients for my signature 'Tilbury skin': healthy, lit from within, nourished, and glowing. It all starts with Magic Cream."
Filmstar Bronze & Glow
Contouring may sound complicated, but leave it to the pros to make it as easy as possible for the non-professionals out there. Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow is an all-in-one contour and highlighting palette perfect for achieving defined features and a sun-kissed complexion. "It's my secret for sculpting killer red-carpet cheekbones," Tilbury says. "The textures and shades in the palette are foolproof and make it so easy to enhance your facial structure."
There are two different shade combinations, one for light-to-medium skin tones and one for medium-to-dark skin tones. Simply sweep the darker "sculpt" shade on the parts of your face you want to define—for me, it's the hollows of my cheeks and temples. (Some will include the jawline and the sides and tip of the nose.) From there, apply the lighter "highlight" shade to the usual highlight spots—aka the cheekbones and the brow bones. (You may or may not include the center of your nose and your Cupid's bow here, too.)
Either way, you'll love how easy it is to get a red-carpet-worthy contour at home. And isn't that the whole point of celebrity makeup artist cosmetic lines?
It goes without saying that we take mascaras seriously here at Byrdie. And I'm happy to announce I wasn't disappointed with Charlotte Tilbury's Legendary Lashes (Volume 2), a reformulated, jet-black formula that guarantees "the ultimate Hollywood flutter and a wide-awake look."
It certainly gives separated, out-to-there lashes right away, but the best part about the mascara is its long-wear qualities and resistance to smudging. As someone prone to the occasional humidity-induced makeup malfunction, you won't have to worry about that with Legendary Lashes.
I much prefer cream blushes to powder ones, and Charlotte Tilbury's Beach Stick perfectly exemplifies why.
All you have to do is swipe it on the apples of your cheeks and blend it in with your fingers for a healthy, glowy flush—and the best part is the ingredients in the Beach Stick. It boasts Ceramidone, which "acts like a poly-filler to plump up and refill your skin "for a flawless surface," creamy moisturizing polymers, "light-diffusing spheres that soft-focus any imperfections and add a touch of radiance," and "high-melting-point waxes hydrate skin for a dewy finish." (Yep—beauty is equal parts aesthetics and science.)
Basically, it gives that perfect "hot summer day" touch of color any time of year.
The Feline Flick
As a cat-eye enthusiast, I have a lot of experience with liquid eyeliners—and I can confirm Charlotte Tilbury's Feline Flick stands up to the competition.
The ergonomic-friendly shape of the pencil allows for easy, effortless application, and the felt tip is ultra precise to help get that saturated, matte-black pointy wing you'll be proud of. (My only complaint is the tip dried out more quickly than I would've hoped.)
Lip Cheat Lip Liner
Whether you're over-lining your lips for a plumped-up look or simply filling them in and giving 'em some shape, it's definitely a good idea to keep a great lip liner in your arsenal—and Charlotte Tilbury's Lip Cheat Lip Liner lives up to the task. "It's my backstage beauty secret that I use on every celebrity client to create the most luscious, perfect pout," says Tilbury. "You can resize and reshape the appearance of your lips in an instant for fuller-looking lips."
Not only does the velvety formula glide on smoothly and effortlessly, but it's waterproof, too—so you can get smudge-free color payoff for hours on end. I love pairing the Pillow Talk shade with its corresponding lipstick for a subtly sexy nude pout.