West Sussex. 1993. I’m stood in front of the mirror in my bedroom getting ready to go to The Party of a Century. So important in fact, that I can’t actually remember where or what this party actually was. But those details are irrelevant as it was the sheer joy and excitement of BEFORE going out that I treasure. As a teenager and in my early twenties I’d spend ages in front of the mirror getting ready (a process that was arguably more fun on many an occasion than the lacklustre evening that lay ahead). I’d carefully pencil on eyeliner taking care to flick the line up at the end, blend different shades of eyeshadow onto the lid and then into the socket, before finishing off by curling my eyelashes and adding mascara. At that stage in my life I was ALL about eyes. And then things changed. Not right away, I had sixth form, a ski season, four years of university and a headlong dive into London life first, but then yes, things changed. I gave up my job and started working from home for a start. Not much call for make-up when the only people you see all day are the newsagent and the shortsighted girl in the local cafe. Then I had children and the idea of spending hours getting ready was frankly laughable. And so, I lapsed into a habit of quickly touching up my dark circles with concealer, slapping on some blusher, throwing on some powder and not bothering with any kind of eye make-up at all. I had my glasses to hide behind, while the idea of spending an extra minute or so taking it off at night was too much for my lazy ass self to handle.
But then one day, when I was feeling a little less tired and a little less harried, I looked in the mirror and I mean really looked. While I might have been just about able to get away with no eye make-up back in the day, these days, crikey, mascara makes a REAL difference. I just look so much better and subsequently feel so much better about myself when I make a little effort. And so, once again it’s all about the eyes – and to be specific Charlotte Tilbury eyes.
If you haven’t heard of this flame-haired, Ibiza-raised London-based make-up artist, you will certainly have seen her work on advertising campaigns, catwalks, celebrities and magazine covers (two of which are below) – you name that gorgeous looking girl and Tilbury has probably made her up. Her trademark is sexy, kohl-lined eyes, but she’s also pretty much amazing when it comes to beautiful skin and more natural looks.
As my thing was eyes, I tried her Full Fat Lashes mascara (fantastic – much, much better than the MaxFactor mascaras I had been using) and her Rock’n’Kohl Eye Cheat liquid eye pencil. This pencil is genius – a nude colour, it glides on like a dream onto your lower waterline and makes you look instantly more awake. It sets after 30 seconds and pretty much stayed put all afternoon – I’ve been using it ever since I discovered it and it is now a firm favourite in my make-up bag). To finish off (although obviously the mascara is actually the thing I use last) I used Rock’n’Kohl in Veruschka Mink – the same super-glidey eye pencil but in a gorgeous minky colour – above my lashes. And voila – would you believe it? I had something vaguely resembling Charlotte Tilbury eyes
Honestly – I think the woman is a genius and my make-up bag staples have changed forever. Her Magic Cream and Colour Chameleon eyeshadow pencils are both raved about and now on my must-try list. But until then I’m ALL about my new eyes..Oh and a quick tip – check out Tilbury’s website. Not only does she give you step-by-step guides to using all her projects and make-up artist tips (really helpful – especially if you’re a bit out of practice), there are also video tutorials on everything from how to conceal redness and rosacea to youth-boosting make-up, how to choose foundation and how to get Rock Chick eyes. Told you – she’s ace.
IMAGES: Mario Testino; Philip Sinden