Sofia Schwarzkopf Tilbury, despite her famous beauty lineage, is an exceptional talent in her own right. The makeup artist has worked with every celebrity under the sun (think Kendall, Candice, Irina, Suki), and is known for her high glamour, sultry aesthetic. Of course, she also works in the family business: Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, the eponymous skincare and makeup brand helmed by her aunty. For years the best-selling line of cosmetics has been available online only, but in exciting news, it will be available exclusively from MECCA stores and MECCA.com.au across Australia and New Zealand from 21 September 2021.
And so in celebration of the launch, GRAZIA spoke to Sofia to learn about her work as a makeup artist, her best beauty tips, dream MECCA wish lists and the greatest pearls of wisdom she’s learned from Charlotte.
Keep scrolling to read the interview.
GRAZIA: CAN YOU REMEMBER your earliest makeup-related memory?
SOFIA: Probably my grandmother with her red lipstick. She is never seen without it and always says, ‘Red lipstick is instant glamour.’ Charlotte actually created a lipstick in homage to her—Patsy Red!
GRAZIA: What’s the single biggest makeup TRICK OR piece of advice you’ve learned from your aunt CHARLOTTE?
SOFIA: I still learn something new every time I’m with my aunt. She’s a walking beauty bible! One of my favourite beauty tips she’s ever given me is how to create the ultimate flicked eyeliner. Charlotte wears one daily and she inspired me to do the same. My version is a little bit different to hers, but it’s the easiest way to elongate the eyes and create a sultry, smoky look.
GRAZIA: How has she informed your personal approach to beauty?
SOFIA: Charlotte’s not just skilled with makeup and running a business, she also has an amazing intuition and is incredibly magnetic. People are very drawn to her! Her philosophy with beauty really has informed my own. Charlotte has always believed that if you give someone the right makeup, it can transform their confidence and the way they feel about themselves. Whenever I do a makeover, I see that power and feel incredibly humbled by it.
GRAZIA: Charlotte has famously stated that not even her husband has seen her without makeup. firstly can you confirm that for us, and secondly are there any other hilarious moments you can share?
SOFIA: It’s true! Charlotte always applies what she calls her ‘bedroom eye’ to help keep the magic alive. She’s just hilarious, I adore her.
One of my favourite memories of recent years was doing the makeup at Idris and Sabrina Elba’s wedding in Morocco. We had the best night dancing, and the following morning we were supposed to be flying home. On the way to the airport, Charlotte turned the car around so we could head back and continue the party!
GRAZIA: Let’s switch gears to the Mecca launch. How long was that in the works for?
SOFIA: Thank you. The Mecca launch was a huge labour of love and something our team worked on for around seven years. The Mecca team are just incredible—we have been so inspired by their energy, creativity and artistry and I can’t wait to visit and create some magic.
GRAZIA: What’s your most poignant red-carpet memory — is there a look you created that really stands out as a special moment?
SOFIA: I always have so much fun with my clients creating makeup looks for red carpet events, photoshoots and personal appearances, and I’m fortunate enough to have worked with some incredible women from Salma Hayek to Kendall Jenner.
It’s impossible to choose a favourite, but I really loved the glowing, feline look I created with the stunning supermodel Shanina Shaik for The British Fashion Awards in 2019. She was wearing an incredible leopard-print, embellished dress, and we wanted to complement it with a super sultry, sexy feline flick and a warm, pinky-nude lip. I used Charlotte’s Matte Revolution lipstick in Super Model.
grazia: How do you prepare for a red-carpet look? IS IT COLLABORATIVE WITH THE CLIENT?
SOFIA: It’s always a team effort. We work together, looking at the colour, cut and styling of the dress, as well as the hair, the accessories, everything! It’s one of my favourite parts of my job as it reminds me of getting ready for a night out with friends. I love seeing how makeup helps people get in to character. You can literally give yourself a mood makeover with the right makeup look.
GRAZIA: WHAT’S YOUR HOT TAKE ON WHAT CT PRODUCTS WILL SELL OUT FIRST AT MECCA?
SOFIA: That’s a tough one. If I had to choose would be…
Charlotte’s Magic Cream. I never, ever do makeup without it. It’s an instant turnaround moisturiser enriched with oils and ingredients like Camelia oil, Rosehip oil, Bio-Nymph Peptides and Hyaluronic acid. There is nothing like this for instantly flooding the skin with moisture and giving it a dewy, cushioned glow. A favourite for men, too!
Pillow Talk. Pillow Talk is a global phenomenon! I think five Pillow Talk products are sold every minute around the world. It’s the most iconic, sumptuous, perfect, pink that suits everyone. I’ve used Pillow Talk on countless celebrities over the years.
Airbrush Flawless Foundation. It has skincare benefits and gives you a weightless, full coverage finish. I’m blown away by how it creates a poreless, airbrushed look whilst still looking like skin.
GRAZIA: Speaking of coverage, what tips do you have for achieving a natural, luminous base?
SOFIA: My trick is Charlotte’s Hollywood Flawless Filter. If I’m working on a celebrity client, I like to use it beneath foundation to get a lit-from-within glow, but you can also use it on its own for a fresh, dewy, no-makeup look; mixed with foundation for a flawless glow, or on the high points of the face like a highlighter.
GRAZIA: We’d love to look inside your routine, as well. What have you currently got on rotation?
SOFIA: I wear the Pillow Talk Medium Lip Cheat lip liner and Pillow Talk Eyeliner almost every day! They’re the most romantic shades and they suit everyone—the eyeliner is this gorgeous berry-brown hue that really makes the eyes pop, and the lipliner instantly gives you a just-kissed, plump effect.
My ultimate favourite product is probably Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder. This is the one product I always give my clients before a red carpet event. It is so finely milled it glides on like silk and makes your skin look soft-focused and perfected.
grazia: What’s one product you like to use in an unconventional way?
SOFIA: I love to use the Brow Cheat pencils to create faux freckles when I’m doing a sun-kissed makeup look. The fine, angled tip gives you perfect control and the shades have been expertly balanced with the right undertones and overtones, so they never look too dark or unnatural.
GRAZIA: Any makeup trends you think we can expect to see in the next 18 months?
SOFIA: I think skincare and glow are going to be huge. Charlotte has always been a skincare obsessive and always says, ‘you can’t have a beautiful painting without a beautiful canvas.’
I also can’t wait for everyone in Australia to try the new Cryo-Recovery Facial. Backstage and behind the scenes, Charlotte has always used ice packs, buckets of ice cubes and the old Hollywood trick of chilled teaspoons to de-puff, brighten, lift, smooth and tighten the look of the skin. We’ve finally bottled all of those benefits into this easy at-home system of the Cryo Recovery Mask and Eye Serum.
GRAZIA: FINALLY, If you had a $1000 MECCA gift card, what would you add to cart?
SOFIA: I would go crazy if I had a $1000 Mecca gift card! It’s so amazing to see all of my favourite brands in one place! I adore Olaplex, so I’d definitely stock up on amazing haircare, and I’m a real magpie with facial tools so I’d probably splash out on the NuFace Trinity Device before rounding up with heaps of candles and fragrance. I love lighting Diptyque candles when I’m on set or in the bath to help create a calming atmosphere, and my signature scent is Frederic Malle’s Musc Ravageur.
CHARLOTTE TILBURY BEAUTY WILL BE AVAILABLE IN MECCA STORES AND ON MECCA.COM.AU FROM SEPTEMBER 21
Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter. coming soon Charlotte Tilbury Magic cream. coming soonCharlotte Tilbury pillowtalk matte revolution lipstick. coming soon