"I'm basically trying to put myself out of business," says makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury.
After formulating makeup lines and products for luxury brands including Tom Ford, Chanel and Armani, Tilbury's namesake line launched in 2013 to a fevered response. Her signature Magic Cream moisturizer—so named by the models and celebrities she has been custom-making it for for years—sold out in six minutes on its release in the United States.
Charlotte Tilbury In-Store Appearance
March 26, 6-8 p.m.
5085 Westheimer Rd.
"As a makeup artist, I didn't want to just create another red lipstick or another eyeshadow palette. There had to be a massive point of difference on every level," says Tilbury. "When we launched, my brand vision was to disrupt the industry because I do feel it's one of the only industries that hasn't really grown up. It's quite archaic—same people, same counters, same things."
Tilbury is in Houston to celebrate the official launch of her own makeup counter inside Nordstrom at the Galleria, and she's making a personal appearance at the store today from 6 to 8 p.m. to greet fans and share some of her tips and tricks.
Inspired by a survey that said 50 percent of women in England don't use makeup, Tilbury wants to offer women a simpler way to navigate the beauty counter and also look their best. She started by creating 10 "looks" that cover eyes, lips and cheeks in one kit, to take some of the guesswork out of makeup.
"A lot of people say, 'This is the shirt and the skirt and the shoe you wear,' but no one has ever told most people how to do the eyes and the lips and the cheek that goes together," says Tilbury. "I wanted to create a brand where you could get those looks like I create for celebrities on the red carpet, but take technique out of the equation."
Thus the Golden Goddess is the glowy, golden mix favored by Jennifer Lopez; the Rocker Chick focuses on a smoky eye as seen on Kate Moss and Cara DeLevigne; and the Bombshell features a bold lip associated with screen sirens like Marilyn Monroe.
As Tilbury took me through her assorted products, the focus on simplicity continued. Eyeliners are marked as designed to complement certain eye colors. Eyeshadow palettes are designed to work seamlessly from day to night—Tilbury calls the top row of each quartet the "desk" colors, while the two on the right are "dusk" colors and the bold, glittery shade on the bottom left is for "disco" and designed to be swept on with a finger. For blush, the "Cheek to Chic" palette contains two concentric circles of color. Directions: "swish" a brush around the outer color and then swish it on your cheeks in the same cicular motion, then "pop" the brush into the center color and then pop it onto the apple of your cheeks.
To make one's way through all of the product would take much more than a minute, not to mention a certain financial investment—the Magic Cream sells for $100, and the most basic makeup products start at $22. But it's still tempting to splurge, knowing that all it takes to create Tilbury's signature stunning eye looks is the right package of products and a couple minutes of my time every morning.
"I'm holding your hand through the whole process and showing you that everything has a system to it," says Tilbury. "My whole point is to give you that expertise made easy."