Charlotte Tilbury on creating an “easy-to-choose, easy-to-use” brand

The make-up mogul talks to Bazaar India about her association with the F1 Academy, her journey to stardom, beauty secrets, and more.

Harper's Bazaar India

For Charlotte Tilbury, an industry favourite known for formulations that transform the way people look and feel, it’s always been about instilling confidence in women. She discovered the empowering magic of make-up before becoming a teenager and noticed how daunting it could be, which eventually led her to launch her “easy-to-choose, easy-to-use” eponymous brand. Today, be it her iconic moisturisers or universally loved lipsticks, her products personify her passion to uplift women—a purpose that led her to join forces with the F1 Academy, the first-ever global sports sponsorship of its kind. In conversation with Bazaar India, she shares tales of her fabulous world, from then and now.

Harper’s Bazaar: What led you to sponsor F1 Academy? How big of a leap do you think it is for aspiring female racers and women in the business? 

Charlotte Tilbury: I’m passionate about representation, inclusion, and diversity, and believe that if a door’s shut to women, it’s our duty to open it. It’s been my purpose ever since I first sat down as a make-up artist and conceived my business, right up to today. That’s why meeting Susie Wolff, the managing director of F1 Academy, was so inspirational. Like us at Charlotte Tilbury, Susie wants young women to feel confident enough that no dream is off-limits. It means so much to me that I can champion the work of the F1 Academy, and help open the thrilling world of motorsport to a new generation of drivers.

Charlotte Tilbury
Charlotte Tilbury

HB: What’s your first memory of using make-up?

CT: I became fascinated by make-up first when I was 13. I started wearing mascara at boarding school, and overnight, everyone reacted to me differently. I instantly felt more confident, and realised that make-up is incredibly powerful.

HB: From becoming a make-up artist to launching your brand, how’s it been?

CT: It all started when I was just 11 years old! I vividly remember going to meet my family friend, the renowned Mary Greenwell who was Princess Diana’s make-up artist at that time. She opened my eyes to the world of make-up. After becoming her assistant, one of my first jobs was working with Kate Moss when we were both just 19. Soon, I was collaborating with fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Prada, and Gucci. I saw a gap in the market for easy-to-choose, easy-to-use skincare and make-up. I wanted to demystify what’s a very daunting experience for many women—shopping for and wearing make-up. I created my brand to share my beauty secrets with the world, and decode my make-up magic to make everyone feel and look like their most beautiful, confident selves. 

Make-up products from Charlotte Tilbury // Image Courtesy: The Brand

HB: Despite the popularity of your make-up, you emphasise harder on skincare…

CT: You can’t have a beautiful painting without a beautiful canvas. So, good skin prep is only ever going to improve the way your make-up looks and feels. In fact, the first ever product I created was my Magic Cream moisturiser. I also believe in the power of layering. So, all my products are designed to work together and complement each other. 

HB: What’s the one make-up mistake you find many making? 

CT: Using overly complicated make-up hacks! Make-up should be fun and easy to use. It’s always been my mission to demystify make-up and skincare, and I’ve done so by creating dreamy, colour-curated, ready-to-wear products, and easy-to-follow tutorials.

HB: Indian beauty tips and tricks are renowned worldwide. Have you tried any yourself? 

CT: I’ve always been interested in Ayurvedic ingredients like neem and amla, and appreciated their benefits. I’m also obsessed with Indian bridal make-up and have created my own wedding make-up tutorial, in which I’ve married traditional elements with my Hollywood secrets to create a glowing, golden, gorgeous look.

Make-up products from Charlotte Tilbury // Image Courtesy: The Brand

HB: Who’s a true beauty icon in your book, and why?

CT: Growing up, I’d spend hours studying the posters of silver-screen icons—Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Greta Garbo, Brigitte Bardot, and Marlene Dietrich—on my wall, and wonder how I could bottle a bit of their beauty DNA. Today, I’m lucky to work with so many incredible beauty icons—Kate Moss, Amal Clooney, Salma Hayek, Sofia Vergara—that it’s impossible to choose just one. But Kate (Moss) is the ultimate beauty chameleon. Whether it’s a classic rock chick look, the perfect, sultry smokey eye, or a glamorous bombshell red lip, she has the ability to morph into any character.



It’s all about load and lift. Hold the brush horizontally, and use the flat side to coat every lash. Twist the wand and brush through with the bristled side from root to tip for a vertical lift.


First, make sure your skin is hydrated. It will help with applying foundation for an even finish and your makeup will last longer, too. Once your skin is prepped, apply foundation with a flat brush head, starting in the centre of the face and blending outwards for a flawless finish.


Swipe the primary shade onto the entire eyelid. Layer on a matte shade over the eyelid and into the crease. Dial it up by blending in a smokey hue into the crease and under your lower lashes. Finish with a swipe of a brighter colour on the centre of your eyelid using your fingertip. 


One of my top beauty secrets for balancing colours is to apply blush after you’ve done your eyes and lips. Then you can see how much colour you need to add to the face to balance it out.

Feature image credit: Charlotte Tilbury

This article originally appeared in Harper's Bazaar, April-May, 2024 print issue.

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