Charlotte Tilbury: A Story of Talent, Perseverance and a Little Luck

Posted on May 10, 2016, 10:00 am
12 mins


Charlotte Tilbury is a remarkable woman. She is a wife, a mother, a world-renowned makeup artist and an entrepreneur. The founder of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty—her cosmetic and skincare company—Charlotte makes living out her dream as one of the world’s most famous and sought after makeup artists look as easy as pie. She travels the world, follows her heart and trusts her instincts. Her wit and sense of style is precisely what has brought her this tremendous success, and her confidence is contagious.

Yesterday, Charlotte traveled to the Northwest with Jackie Hall (Head of Sales and Education in North America) to give personal appearances at the Nordstrom Bellevue and Downtown Seattle stores. Charlotte and her team were on hand to show us her favorite tips, tricks, and the inspiration behind her makeup and skincare lines. It was a pleasure to see them all working together as a family in pursuit of one goal: to share their experiences and empower all women to feel beautiful. I was happy to have the opportunity to hear Charlotte and her team speak about the skincare and color cosmetics collection, and I felt an instant admiration for all of them.

Kudos to the Public Relations personnel at Nordstrom, who did an amazing job organizing the event. Guests were treated to energizing music provided by a DJ and a step and repeat staging area resembling a beauty mirror, where customers were able to have a photo-op with Charlotte and have their products autographed. Nordstrom brings Charlotte’s products and secrets right to our fingertips, and Charlotte’s professional stylists are always on hand to apply makeup and give tutorials on the skincare products and cosmetics line.

Charlotte’s love affair with makeup began at thirteen, when she first saw the effect that a beautiful woman had when entering a room. Charlotte started wearing mascara thereafter, and when people began complimenting her appearance, she said, “Bingo! The power of makeup.”

Charlotte’s story reminded me of myself as a 13-year-old girl. I remember wanting to make an impression on my pen pal from Italy, a cute Italian boy who I had been writing back and forth to for a while. My family and I were traveling abroad and I was going to be meeting him and his family for the first time in their hometown of Naples. To this day, I remember that I wanted to try mascara, but my traditional Italian father would not allow me to! Luckily, Charlotte’s father was an artist and was a little more open-minded.

Charlotte Tilbury

Charlotte Tilbury explains it all.

Charlotte has worked with some of the most incredible people in the fashion and beauty industry, including the world’s best photographers, such as: Mario Testino, Mert & Marcus and Terry Richardson; amazing designers such as Tom Ford, Stella McCartney and Christopher Bailey; beautiful women like Kate Moss, Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz and Rihanna; and other incredibly talented people like Katie Grand, Lucinda Chambers, Carine Roitfeld, Emmanuelle Alt, Charlotte Stockdale and Nicola Formichetti.

Having applied makeup on countless models and actresses, Charlotte recognized that people all share the same skincare concerns. She realized there was a need for a skincare line that would create a “perfect canvas” before makeup could be applied. She began studying what the market had to offer, evaluated what she might be able to improve on and what she would like to offer her clients. “If you want to create a beautiful painting,” Charlotte said, “You must first start with a perfect canvas.”

The first thing out of Charlotte’s magic bag is her Gift of Goddess Clay Mask, and it’s the first thing that goes on her client. The skin will be left feeling moisturized, dewy and glowing; you can literally see your pores tightening and a clearing of imperfections. Based on an ancient Mediterranean beauty recipe, the new formula of nutrient-rich Spanish clay and the latest anti-aging ingredients create a flawless, “glowing goddess” complexion. Meant for daily use, users should leave on the skin for twenty minutes and rinse with cold water.

Charlotte’s team members treated us to an interesting experiment. Charlotte explains that hands are the first things on the body to show signs of aging. They applied the nutrient rich clay on our hands, and then demonstrated their massage techniques, which they term their “pro-collagen workout.” Both the mask and massage instantly brought color and life back to our skin, and pores were plumper and less noticeable. Imagine the benefits you will see in the mirror after applying the mask as a facial treatment and using Charlotte’s massage techniques.

“My skin actually looks younger than it did 5 years ago”… Charlotte

Creating ultimate skincare products became a main focus for Charlotte. Both her cosmetics and her skincare products address concerns such as: breakouts, dryness, redness, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles, and so on. Her skincare and cosmetics are loaded with vitamins and minerals that help treat your skin while wearing them. Her client list is not limited to women either, because men experience the same concerns and also desire results. “Men are obsessed with Magic Cream,” Charlotte said.

She tested many ingredients and worked with the world’s leading laboratories, until she came up with the perfect combination to form her magic skincare trilogy: Magic Cream, Magic Night Rescue Cream and Magic Eye Rescue. Used together, Charlotte promises a “Goddess-gorgeous skin trilogy that gives incredible results, no matter how dehydrated or lackluster your skin may feel.”

As a bonus, apply Wonderglow, Tilbury’s, “miracle fix, powered by a breakthrough Fluorescent Core Light Diffuser that cleverly steals UV light from its surroundings and re-emits it as skin luminosity to disguise and transform drab, sleep-deprived skin. Use all the products together to create the definition of youthful, healthy skin: glowing, hydrated and effervescent. The results are breathtaking—it’s your skin reborn.” If a model or an actress has an upcoming show, their skin is prepped months in advance, so for best results, begin your skincare preparation early when you are attending a major event.

The Magic Skin Trio

The Magic Skin Trio boasts a secret mix of patented anti-aging ingredients that transform tired faces into new baby skin!

The Charlotte Tilbury color cosmetic and skincare brand have revolutionized the beauty industry. Through her innovative mind and perseverance, she has made new breakthroughs in technology, creating some of the best new formulas available. She has won over 60 awards, most recently the InStyle Makeup Artist of the Year Award.

Charlotte wants women to see the best version of themselves. She is famous for her cosmetic wardrobe concept, where you can change your look each day by applying makeup differently. Her many color palettes help to create looks that resemble stars of the past or present. She has also coined some of her well known looks to match the feeling that they bring—“The Sophisticate,” “The Uptown Girl,” “The Bombshell,” “The Dolce Vita,” “The Ingénue,” and The Golden Goddess”—just to name a few. Charlotte found that many designers, actresses and models wanted a certain “look,” and her talent lies in the purposeful designing of the perfect color palette that will give her clients what they’re after. “It’s important to feel good on the inside, and when a woman looks good, she feels good.” Charlotte adds, “This is making makeup done easy.”

I love Charlotte’s visual descriptions of her makeup: “It goes on like cashmere and gives you a luminous glow, soft, smoky eyes, eyes to mesmerize.” These are the must haves for your new Charlotte Tilbury Cosmetic Wardrobe: Magic Foundation, matched to your skin tone to perfection, her newly-released favorite, Legendary Lashes Mascara, your go-to for Friday nights, Three-Way Shape, Lift & Shade Tool, to create thick natural looking eyebrows, Lip Cheat Lipstick Pencils, K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipsticks, Filmstar Bronze & Glow Face Sculpt & Highlight Powder and the Iconic Liquid Eyeliner Pencil, to create her signature cat eye look, “The Feline Flick.” There are too many amazing products to list them all, but Nordstrom carries the expansive collection, and Charlotte’s stylists are there to help you choose the look of your dreams. Charlotte has taken away the mystery to makeup application by creating tutorials so that her clients can see her in action. For all the details, visit

Also, thanks to social media, my thirteen-year-old pen pal and I have reconnected, and we have been able to laugh about the fact that my father would not approve of my mascara idea. I am thankful that Charlotte was able to lead the way for the rest of us. Happy shopping!


Lois Castelli-Leff is a Long Island transplant, 28 years in Seattle. She has a degree in fashion merchandising from FIT and BA in textiles and merchandising from SUNY at Oneonta. Her work experience includes fashion sales and styling at Macy's NYC and Nordstrom. She held regional sales executive position at both Perry Ellis and Anne Klein and has an extensive background in showroom sales, trade shows and fashion show production. Her community service includes serving as an art docent through the Frye Art Museum and speech coach at Our Lady of Fatima, choreographer for the Magnolia Theatre, and is a member of the Katie McKay Circle. Lois founded her business, Senti, in 2010 producing glass crosses. She has three beautiful children and a dog, Baci.