Charlotte Tilbury's 4 expert tips for flawless foundation

The makeup artist to the stars shares her secrets

Beauty Crew Beauty Editor / June 19 2024

If you've lusted after a red carpet makeup look in the last decade, there's a good chance that you've been admiring the handiwork of celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury. 

The face painter turned beauty mogul has not only transformed the familiar faces of Hollywood's most-beloved stars, but she's also managed to cultivate a catalogue of viral beauty products with mass appeal so palpable her competitors have done their utmost to create dupes of best-sellers like her Beauty Light Wand and Pillow Talk Lipstick

However, despite her undeniable commercial success as an entrepreneur and a gaggle of A-list besties, the 51 year old is still more than happy to share her wisdom as a professional makeup artist, and with a few decades worth of experience hers is an opinion we'd never grow tired of hearing. 

Here, BEAUTYcrew revisits some sage advice Tilbury has shared with us, touching on her top four tips for flawless foundation application. 

#1 / How to achieve a seamless foundation shade match

"Women often choose the wrong shade of foundation, using a coverage that is too heavy and forgetting to really blend in well," Tilbury divulges. 

To avoid an unsightly jaw strap of foundation, the makeup artist recommends a very specific method for finding your perfect foundation shade. 

"Test out the colour in a natural light to secure your perfect pairing and to avoid getting a ‘tide mark’ along the jawline," she tells BEAUTYcrew.

"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," Tilbury explains. 

Thankfully, all of Charlotte Tilbury's foundations feature innovative skin care-infused formulas that ensure a natural finish, regardless of your desired level of coverage. Plus, the makeup artist has created a shade range that takes your skin's undertone into consideration, making it easier than ever to discover your perfect shade match.

The Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Foundation ($70 from Charlotte Tilbury) delivers an airbrushed natural, matte finish, lightweight, full coverage look, and features technology that ensures the skin stays hydrated and fresh long after application. 

The Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation ($70 from Charlotte Tilbury) provides buildable, medium coverage and a healthy, hydrated, radiant finish. Plus, the formula contains skin care ingredients that help to plump, smooth and refine the complexion over time. 

The new kid on the block — the Charlotte Tilbury Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint Hydrating Foundation Stick ($64 from Charlotte Tilbury— rounds out the range, promising buildable, sheer-to-light coverage. It's the best option for time-sensitive makeup routines, with the stick format making it possible to swipe and blend in under a minute for a super natural, soft glow, 'no makeup-makeup' finish.

#2 / How to cover a blemish with makeup

Despite your inclination to pile on the makeup when you're accosted with the presence of an unwanted blemish, Tilbury suggests showing constraint. 

"Being too heavy-handed will only leave your complexion looking cakey and dry," she shares. "Instead, target imperfections with a concealer."

The Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer ($51 from Charlotte Tilbury) delivers the kind of full coverage, yet fresh, finish that effortlessly diffuses the appearance of blemishes, dark circles, and imperfections.

Alternatively, the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer ($51 from Charlotte Tilbury) hydrates, corrects and brightens for a radiant finish that lifts and smooths the complexion.

#3 / How to get a flawless finish with foundation

"For beautifully fresh-looking skin you want lightweight coverage and luminosity," says Tilbury.

To achieve this, she recommends mixing a lightweight foundation with a radiance-enhancing primer like the viral Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter ($70 from Charlotte Tilbury), which blends together smoothing airbrush polymers, moisturising glossy oils, line-blurring finely milled powders, and brightening porcelain flower extract for a poreless, flawless, radiant and youthful-looking finish.

#4 / The best way to apply foundation

"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," Tilbury tells BEAUTYcrew

Although she's an advocate for using your fingers to apply foundation (the warmth of your hands assists in creating the perfect blend), the makeup artist dishes that using a loose powder brush like the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt Brush ($70 from Charlotte Tilbury) at the end of your routine is the best way to achieve an undetectable, airbrushed finish.

Main image credit: @charlottetilbury

Looking for a foundation that achieves a radiant, red carpet finish? You're in luck  these are the foundations celebrities actually wear

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).