Charlotte Tilbury's Desert Island must-haves

Quite aside from the fact that Charlotte Tilbury made her career choice, aged 11 – to become a make-up artist – in Jo’s husband’s kitchen on Formentera, we’ve always had a soft spot for this flame-haired make-up dynamo.  She’s so hip it almost hurts.  One of the most in-demand make-up artists in the world, with ad. campaigns (and catwalk shows) for Prada, Fendi, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton, under her (Marni) belt.  Creator of gorgeous faces for Allure, W and a trio of Vogues (British, French and Italian).  Regularly speed-dialled by all the ‘supers’, including Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen. Without clever make-up, she insists, you wouldn’t give Charlotte herself a second glance.  ‘I know how to play up my eyes to make them look more feline, and how to wear my hair so that my face doesn’t look so long.  At boarding school, I was always doing makeovers on the girls in my dormitory.’ After A Levels, when Charlotte fixed upon make-up as a career, Mary Greenwell (who Charlotte – daubed in gold eyeshadow – had met in the aforementioned kitchen) advised her to take a course (which she did, at Glauca Rossi’s Make-Up School), then took her on as an assistant, whenever she was in London.

Charlotte’s worked her way up to the very peak of her profession from there.  ‘It drives me mad when friends say, “oh, you’re so lucky”.  I didn’t get where I am because of luck, but because of hard graft, doing things like getting up at 3 a.m. to spray-paint Kate and Naomi into bronzed goddesses.  But as Helena Rubinstein once said, “work is a woman’s best beauty treatment”.  I couldn’t agree more.’  (And nor could we!)

On shoots, most make-up artists wear black – and flats. Not Charlotte.  ‘I adore colour, and chiffon – because of what it does for a woman’s body – and if I don’t wear high heels, I feel depressed!  That’s also why I love make-up:  because it makes you feel glamorous and gorgeous and vivacious and amusing, even when you’re not.  It’s easy for me to make a model look good – but what I love is the challenge of helping real women achieve their beauty potential.  And I’m just lucky to be paid for doing something I’m so passionate about.’

We especially like Charlotte’s philosophy.  ‘‘Women are always asking me, too, if they should have Restylane or Botox or a facelift - and I tell them:  “no, update your make-up”, because it can make such a huge difference.’

So:  what, pray, are the fah-bu-lous Ms. Tilbury's five age-defying 'desert island must-haves...'?

•  Estée Lauder Extreme Sumptuous Mascara/£19.80 at John Lewis - buy here

•  Dior Waterproof Eyeliner in Intense Brown/£15.30 at John Lewis - buy here

•  Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener/£23.50 at Selfridges - buy here

•  Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate/£55 at Selfridgesbuy here

•  Sisley Supremya at Night/£460 for 50 ml at John Lewis - buy here (something of a supermodel-priced product, this, but we did ask...!)

We’re also delighted to be showcasing Charlotte’s latest video on - view it here (absolutely free!!), in which she gives English rose Bay Garnett a a red-lipped Hollywood makeover.  We also thought you’d like to know about her new beauty blog.  It’s to be a breathless romp through the glamorous pages of Charlotte’s life, peppered with beauty tips, product recommendations and behind-the-scenes revelations.

Find that video here


Feature, NewsTania Smith