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There’s dewy, glassy skin, and then there’s shiny skin. The difference is subtle, sure, but no one knows how to make skin look truly illuminated from within quite like Charlotte Tilbury. During her illustrious career of 29 years, the makeup artist and founder of the brand has become the expert in using “little lighting tricks” to completely transform a look, just like they do in Hollywood.
“I’ve always considered myself a light thief,” says Tilbury. BAZAAR.com. It makes sense that her latest release, the Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter ($48), an addition to Hollywood’s best-selling collection, expertly packages these clever “glow tricks” to help achieve maximum radiance without the fuss. Available in seven shades, the pressed powder highlighter is infused with Light Flex technology and smoothing emollients to brighten and blur the look of skin, just like a real-life filter.
Selling out left and right thanks to TikTok influencers, all of Tilbury’s products deliver the same promise of blurred, radiant, filtered skin in just a swipe or two. Their products are foolproof and easy to use, but perhaps best of all, they’re for people of all ages, skin textures, and tones.
Go ahead, BAZAAR.com catches up with Tilbury to discuss her take on the resurgence of ’90s makeup trends, her favorite celebrity clients, and why she’s so finicky about the bottled formulas in her “tubes of joy.”
What is it about the Old Hollywood movie era that inspires you?
I was about eight years old. I had black and white posters on my wall. I would just sit there, like, studying and counting Marilyn Monroe’s eyelashes and Marlene Dietrich’s eyelashes. Many of my products were inspired by those black and white photographs. That stayed with me. I ended up working on the red carpet and with some of the biggest stars in Old Hollywood, some of whom have already died, like Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s sister, Lee Radziwill. Elizabeth Taylor, I never got to work with her in the end, but a lot of them were a huge inspiration to me.
What is one product that you see people misuse all the time?
To me, it’s not about what people are doing wrong, but more about the formulas that are available to them. I feel like some of the quality formulas out there don’t really make people look good and leave them feeling like, “Well, I really can’t wear makeup” or “I’m not very good at it.” .” It’s like, “No, I’m sorry. Back off. That product doesn’t flatter you, because the particles are too big or because the color is a bit off and therefore makes you feel like you don’t look good anymore.” And that really bothers me, because if you have a great formula and a great product, it’s all about flattering and making people look like the most beautiful version of themselves.
I remember so many women telling me, “I can’t wear bright eyeshadow,” “I can’t wear, like, highlighter.” I’m like, “Yeah, you can.” I have converted so many women through my brand for everything I talked about, from Hollywood Flawless Filter to Wonder Glow, Beauty Light Wands, and now even this powder highlighter.
What do you think about the digital expansion of the beauty space, going from YouTube tutorials to Instagram and now TikTok?
I’m a champion for the fact that you can target so many audiences and speak directly to your consumer. That’s the nice thing about having YouTube and having all these different platforms: You didn’t have to rely on just one mode, whether it’s TV or whatever, that you can have this direct dialogue with your consumer. It’s so amazing because there’s so much I want to tell you about, and you can tune in in so many different ways for different tutorials and different conversations.
You started your career in the 1990s. How do you feel about 1990s makeup trends coming back into relevance?
There’s that kind of ’90s supermodel era, which I loved. I have to say, back then, the sculpture, the colors, the really flattering beauty was so supermodel. That was my time. I’m super inspired by that. I have to say that what I love right now is the technology behind the formulas. Because sometimes those looks were great on the runway and they were great in a certain light, but if you saw them in daylight, they were kind of overcooked and heavy. Then came the grunge era, and it definitely became more of a glowing skin and kind of cool. Now, technology and science have caught up, creating formulas that actually look good in all kinds of lighting.
You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in fashion and beauty. Who was your favorite person to work with?
The thing about me is that I love people. There are so many that it’s like choosing a favorite child. You know, obviously, Kate Moss. I’m really good friends with her, but I’ve had so many fun memories with everyone. I love women. I love men. I love business. But I love what I do, so I’m lucky to really work with everyone.
Who have you learned the most from?
I think I’ve learned from everyone. The thing is, you don’t just learn from one person, you learn a little from everyone. And they all have different faces. I’m going to work with salma [Hayek]. She has a particular way of knowing what she wants with her face. love [Clooney], you know, Cindy Crawford, whoever. They understand her face and you understand her face as you work on them. It’s amazing. I think working with all of them is very inspiring.
Where do you see the Charlotte Tilbury brand in the next five years?
I just want to keep innovating and keep looking at women and what they need and make women feel and look great. And that’s really honest, I would have lived a happy life if that’s what I can do. Because for me, it’s all about feeling. What I love about these is that they are tubes of happiness. They are tubes of joy. They are tubes of feelings of greatness and fun.
This interview has been edited and abridged for clarity.
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