Charlotte Tilbury’s must-read foundation tips

The makeup guru shares her wisdom with us

Beauty Crew Editor / May 25 2017

Charlotte Tilbury is one of the makeup industry’s biggest talents. Having been in the game for decades, working with the likes of photography legends such as Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz and Terry Richardson, and boasting celebrity clients that include Kim Kardashian, Gigi Hadid, Miranda Kerr and so many more, it’s safe to say she knows her stuff.

With Blake Lively

With Kim Kardashian

With Miranda Kerr

Beauty Crew recently chatted exclusively to the legendary makeup artist, and when probed about the biggest makeup mistake women make, Tilbury said it was all in their base. “Women often choose the wrong shade of foundation, using a coverage that is too heavy and forgetting to really blend in well.” 

And because your foundation needs to look flawless, Tilbury shared her top tips for nailing your application. 

#1 / Make sure the foundation matches seamlessly with your colouring

This is one every makeup artist we’ve ever interviewed can’t stress enough, and it’s no surprise that Tilbury is on the same page. 

“Test out the colour in a natural light to secure your perfect pairing and to avoid getting a ‘tide mark’ along the jawline. Use your fingers to draw a line of foundation onto your cheek, neck and ears and if it’s the right colour it should blend perfectly into the skin,” she says. 

#2 / Don’t be tempted to cover imperfections with ultra-thick foundation

You may be tempted to layer on your base when a pimple pops up, but according to Tilbury, it’s the worst thing you can do. 

“Being too heavy-handed will only leave your complexion looking cakey and dry. Instead, target imperfections with a concealer. My Retoucher is a complete conceal and treat stick – it has both light-reflecting technology and quality pigments to get the coverage that you need, while the hydrating complex of black tea derivatives help clear imperfections.” 

Try: Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher; Maybelline New York Dream Lumi™ Touch Highlighting Concealer; Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10

Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher

Maybelline New York Dream Lumi™ Touch Highlighting Concealer

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10

#3 / Let your natural skin shine through

Foundation should enhance your skin, not hide it, so don’t always opt for a high coverage base. “For beautifully fresh-looking skin you want lightweight coverage and luminosity,” says Tilbury. 

She recommends mixing a lightweight foundation with a radiance-enhancing primer. From her own range, she suggests mixing the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation with her Wonderglow Primer, but we also recommend looking for a two-in-one option, like IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination, or a glow-enhancing cushion compact, like L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique Cushion.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination

L’Oréal Paris Nude Magique Cushion

#4 / Always blend, blend, blend!

You want foundation to look as seamless as possible, so you need to blend it out onto the jawline, neck and ears for a natural look,” she says. 

While Tilbury is a huge advocate for using your fingers, as the warmth of your hands can help blend in your foundation formula, she recommends using a loose powder brush at the end to create an airbrushed finish. 

Not sure how to match your foundation when you've tanned? Or if you should use a primer? Here are all of your top foundation questions answered!

 Image credits: @ctilburymakeup

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.