Four years ago we released The Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style, our book exploring the homes and wardrobes of some of the world’s brightest fashion luminaries. A handful of the stunning closets from the time have never been published online—until now. Today we’re taking it back to September 2015, when we had the pleasure of shooting with beauty doyenne Charlotte Tilbury in her Notting Hill town house.
Charlotte Tilbury is the kind of woman whose reputation can only be described as preceding her—and we mean that in the very best way possible. She’s essentially a legend in the world of backstage beauty. Born and raised in Ibiza, Tilbury speaks in sound bites: She famously sleeps in her makeup, all but delivered her babies in six-inch stilettos, and unapologetically lives by all things that define her brand of Bond Girl–tinged beauty. She speaks, thinks, and acts at miles a minute with nary a strand of her tousled bouffant of Ann Margret–red hair out of place, and punctuates every sentence with a purred-out “dahhhhhling” (she pulls it off, too).
Despite her youngest being a mere six months, Tilbury was nothing but true to form when she welcomed us into her Notting Hill home bright and early one fall morning. Sitting us down with proper English tea and plopping coffee table books illustrating Ibiza life and her latest glossy editorials in our laps, Tilbury got started with hair and makeup (she does the latter herself, duh) before we started sorting through her closet. And yes, we fully realized there was a very real, distinct possibility Kate Moss had sat in the exact spot we were sipping Earl Grey once upon a time. When we’d regained consciousness, we headed upstairs to raid Tilbury’s closet.
When “they” say that behind-the-scenes types—publicists, makeup artists, photographers, anyone who’s too busy keeping the pulse of fashion ticking to participate in wearing it—stick to uniforms, they’re not kidding. And while the monochrome head-to-toe black thing is alive and well in Tilbury’s wardrobe, you won’t quite find her in the same classic button-downs and trousers as some of her contemporaries. The makeup artist’s wardrobe is instead ripped directly from the pages of one of the countless 1960s-centric coffee-table books she keeps kicking around for inspiration: leggy, bodycon mini dresses (she told The Telegraph she has some 220+ LBDs), opaque black tights, towering platforms (pair count: 350+). When she goes for color, it’s in the form of Ibiza-influenced, tropical-tinged caftans (of course) from Cavalli and Alice Temperley: all the glamour, with none of the what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-wear-today dramatics.
Having put in her fair share of time on a photo shoot or two, it goes without saying that by now, Tilbury knows how to take command in front of the camera, nailing her angles and taking peeks and previews between takes. In the name of “getting the shot,” she was game for just about everything, too: climbing onto a glossy console to pose with pop art; channeling her inner Stevie Nicks in her garden ’round the back of her home; taking faux drags from a prop lipstick (her K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Love Bite, to be exact) for the camera. Looks like Tilbury’s pal Kate might have taught her a thing or two.