Child Two and I were in Covent Garden yesterday and found ourselves passing the new Charlotte Tilbury shop, all done out in her signature smouldering wine and gold colours. Charlotte Tilbury is the British make-up artist responsible for Keira Knightley’s smokey eyes (98 per cent of her acting talent, some would say) as well as the red carpet looks of countless other stars.
We couldn’t resist nipping in, though it was necessary to shoulder a few hundred teenage girls out of the way in order to slide into the packed space. I imagine that, when empty, it cunningly resembles a film star’s boudoir, all smoky art deco mirrors and velvet pouffes. Unfortunately, it’s way too successful at the moment, so we had to shuffle round as though we were at the last day of a sell-out exhibition at the nearby National Gallery. We were nearly blinded by the many photo flashes from tourists taking selfies with the make-up, and with the make-up artist attempting to effect transformations on a queue of hopefuls in two inches of space, and with the sales assistants and, accidentally, with us.
Though a mite (ahem) claustrophobic, it was still a lovely shop, with loads of testers available, so I managed to try on a few bits of this and that as we inched along. My face resembled a very expensive patchwork quilt by the time we squeezed back out of the door. Child Two would love to go again, and of course so would I, though I’m a bit baffled about a good time to visit – if it’s not quiet on a Sunday afternoon, when would it ever be?
It turns out, though, that you can book a makeover, from £35 to £55 for an hour, by ringing for an appointment. Hmmm, pricey, when the make-up ladies at all the other big name brands in department stores will paint you orange for free. But maybe that’s why Charlotte is worth paying for?