Charlotte Tilbury first came to Dubai 14 years ago, with models Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Amber Valletta, to shoot a Louis Vuitton spring campaign in the desert. The British make-up artist has since returned numerous times, and announced last year that she would like to open her Beauty Wonderland boutique in The Dubai Mall. And on June 28, Tilbury’s 1,688-square-foot stand-alone store will finally open its doors, to be followed on July 5 with a Charlotte Tilbury Beauty counter at The Perfumery, in the mall’s new extension, on July 5.
In addition to working on countless fashion editorials, creating red-carpet looks for celebrities – Miranda Kerr, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Sienna Miller are all devotees – and doing the wedding make-up for Moss and Amal Clooney, Tilbury is the brain behind the launch of make-up lines for Helena Rubinstein, Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen and Mac.
She describes her approach to make-up as "alchemy", mixing products to get the precise colour and texture, and says of her own line: "All my products come from me wanting to steal a celebrity's DNA and put it a bottle. My WonderGlow Skin Care Primer is like shrinking Gisele Bündchen and putting her in a jar. She looks lit from within. So I wanted something that would make you look very glowy. The whole thing is about taking tips and tricks from the runways and red carpets, and giving it to real women."
Within, Beauty Wonderland is made up of eight nooks, each catering to a specific cosmetic need. The store itself is all deep crimson velvet sofas, rose-gold art-deco light fittings and Hollywood-style vanity tables. Here’s what you can expect:
This virtual mirror allows you to choose between set make-up looks and view them, superimposed, on a screen showing your face in real-time. You can switch between day and night looks with the press of a button. And thanks to face-mapping technology, you can also turn your face or move closer to the screen, while your superimposed make-up looks will stay intact.
Here you can view exclusive behind-the-scenes beauty tips and tutorials on how best to apply Tilbury’s cosmetics. Just select a product from the wall, and the related content will automatically play on the screen above.
Beauty Wonderland Dubai will showcase the brand's full lip collection, including Tilbury's celebrity Hot Lips collaboration and the Hollywood Lips range to Matte Revolution. Tilbury prides herself on offering as many shades as possible, in a bid to suit every personality and skin type. She says of a shade created for Kate Moss in 2002: "For her beige lip in the shoot, I was using concealer, a pinky lipstick and a bit of a brownish lipstick – it was a concoction. Afterwards, everyone was asking me: 'Can we get that lip?'" Now you can – it's called Nude Kate.
Magic skin clinic bar
Here lies Tilbury’s most popular skincare product – Magic Cream – as well as the popular Instant Dry Sheet Facial Mask, the Hollywood Beauty Light Wand and the Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder. “Magic Cream is where it all started for me. I was working with a lot of celebrities, and they would come off planes, exhausted and dehydrated. How do I make them look gorgeous in under an hour? It became so famous backstage – it was then known as ‘secret cream’ – that make-up artists, celebrities and models all wanted it. It’s still one of our bestsellers,” says Tilbury.
Charlotte’s iconic 10 looks wardrobe
One woman, 10 looks. The colour-curated, off-the-peg, ready-to-wear make-up combinations in this section demonstrate how to match the right eyes, cheeks and lips, depending on the occasion, from daily wear to a glamorous night-out.
Private beauty boudoir
Team Tilbury’s make-up artists will be on hand for what they call “red-carpet-ready transformation appointments”. The private areas feature vanity tables inspired by Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe’s dressing rooms, and include styles such as get-the-job makeover, bespoke bridal and bridesmaid consultations. Make a day of it by booking a make-up session with a group of friends.
Gift shop and engraving
Beauty Wonderland has a separate corner just for gifts. This – listen up, men – is easily navigable and clearly signposted, plus has a dedicated gift concierge who can help you select, personalise (with a bespoke engraving service that takes all of five minutes) and wrap.
House of rock n kohl
The instant lip and eye bar offers 30-minute consultations to re-create looks from Tilbury’s portfolio of work – from magazine cover shots, brand campaign shoots and favourite celebrity looks, to a quick feline flick and plump lip tricks.
“I have always loved the Middle East and Dubai. Arab women understand the power of make-up more than anyone else. They share my passion for the best,” says Tilbury, adding: “I have waited for this moment for so long… it was important to me to create an incredible Beauty Wonderland here to make everyone’s beauty dreams come true.”