The best makeup by makeup artists

When I was Bookings Editor at Vogue magazine, I worked with some of the most in-demand makeup artists.  They were often big personalities – Pat McGrath was known as ‘Mother’, Charlotte Tilbury called everyone ‘Darling’ and Lisa Eldridge had an amazing knowledge of the history of makeup. Many were consultants to big makeup brands (some still are like Lucia Peroni at Chanel) but some, like Pat McGrath, Charlotte Tilbury, Lisa Eldridge and Gucci Westman decided to launch their own makeup brands.  It takes a lot of nerve to launch your own business, under your own name but these makeup artists know makeup like nobody else.  They were working with all types of makeup, in different environments (out on location, under the studio lights etc) and with different faces everyday for around 20 plus years before they launched their brands.  They knew what worked and what the market was missing.  It’s been an extremely successful gamble – Pat McGrath Labs was valued at over $1 billion in 2018 and Charlotte Tilbury sold the majority shareholding in her business to the Spanish company Puig in 2020 which valued her business as worth over £1 billion.

As you’d expect, their brands all have a very different focus – Pat McGrath has a brilliant range of professional colours and textures, Charlotte Tilbury has created a makeup line that is hugely accessible and very glamorous, Lisa Eldridge started with wonderfully pigmented lipsticks and has just expanded her range.  Whilst Gucci Westman wanted a ‘clean’ brand that worked just as well as those that weren’t but was also beautifully packaged. We’ve tried and tested each range and picked out our favourites.

Gucci Westman

Gucci suffers from Rosacea so she worked hard to come up with a foundation that gave enough coverage (you can easily build it up to the finish that you want) but was also rich in antioxidants and calmed the skin.  This really does give you a lovely glow and natural finish. Vital Skin Foundation stick by Westman Atelier, £62 from CultBeauty

This mascara is great – it goes on slickly and never smudges. Not as cheap as some of the more budget mascaras on the market but we think it’s worth it. Eye Love You mascara by Westman Atelier, £54 from CultBeauty


Pat McGrath Labs

When Pat McGrath launched her makeup line in-store at Selfridges, the queues went around the block.  Such is the adoring fan base of her super-professional makeup.  McGrath had long been the consultant to Armani makeup and helped to create their brilliant foundations, so it makes sense that her Sublime Perfection Foundation is one of her top products. It has a creamy texture and gives you an immaculate finish. Sublime Perfection Foundation, £60 from Selfridges

If you’re looking for a great base for your makeup then this is it.  Infused with hyaluronic acid, it smooths and hydrates, making your foundation last a lot longer.  Sublime perfection primer by Pat McGrath Labs, £45 from Selfridges

Lisa Eldridge

There’s a reason Lisa Eldridge has 1.3 million followers on Instagram and many more who visit her site.  Whilst still working hard on shoots (she just did the makeup for Dua Lipa for the new Versace campaign), presenting BBC programmes and writing books, she is also doing incredible makeovers on herself and others.  Eldridge first launched her line of lipsticks a few years ago and just this Spring expanded with a series of highlighters and blushes which sell out very quickly (follow her on Instagram to see when she gets restocks on the site).

This brand new blush has the loveliest texture and actually stays on all day.  It’s made up of a makeup/skincare hybrid formula that is non comodegenic, cruelty free, vegan and free from Parabens, talc, Nylon 12, D6, D5 and Alcohol. It gives a natural, translucent look.  Pink soap blush, £24 from Lisa Eldridge

If there is one product that Eldridge is famous for, it’s the super saturated, high pigmented lipstick.  This is our favourite in a classic red.  It is super long wearing and a colour that suits everybody. Velvet ribbon true velvet lip colour lipstick, £26 from Lisa Eldridge

Charlotte Tilbury

Known for her Hollywood fan base, Tilbury always brought out the glamazon in whoever she made up – from Amal Clooney to Kate Moss.  So it’s fitting that one of her most popular products is the Hollywood Flawless Filter.  You can wear it alone, under makeup (our favourite way), mix it in with your foundation or use it as a highlighter.  It’s one of those products that will have other people commenting on how well you look. Hollywood Flawless Filter, £34 from CultBeauty

An essential part of Tilbury’s genius are her step-by-step tutorials that allow everyone to transform themselves.  Under her tutelage, this luxury palette can be used for either a subtle polished look or the full-on going-out look and everybody can do it. The Bella Sofia, £40 from CultBeauty

The best makeup by makeup artists
— Francesca
30th June 2021

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