Charlotte Tilbury, UK

Keeping in style with Charlotte Tilbury’s glamourous image, Nulty has provided a lighting solution that incorporates the latest in LED technology in a way that reflects the vibrant and luxurious shopping experience found at the makeup brand’s new London Westfield store.

Located in London, UK, Charlotte Tilbury’s new White City Westfield Store has recently received a glamourous makeover, featuring an imaginative lighting scheme from lighting design practice Nulty to match the iconic brand. Charlotte Tilbury is a world famous makeup artist with a client list including Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, Naomi Campbell, Penelope Cruz, Amal Clooney and Natalie Portman. Tilbury has been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and many others, with her flagship store being based in London’s Covent Garden.

The Westfield emporium is the luxury makeup brand’s second and largest ever store, which has been designed to completely revolutionise the way people shop. The ‘Beauty Wonderland’ incorporates the latest digital innovations to provide a truly unique, interactive shopping experience, encased in Charlotte’s glamorous and extravagant, ‘Old Hollywood’ inspired interior. This reflects a move towards the blurring of retail and e-tail, which enables smartphones to gather and retain information on a shopper’s previous purchases and alert them with reminders as they walk past specific stores and automatically adjust light to match ambiance depending on what a customer is buying. This is particularly beneficial to the cosmetics industry as it marks a new era when in-store lighting can offer a truer representation of customers’ skin tone, as they buy cosmetics.

Excited about being part of the new Beauty Wonderland, Nulty’s brief was to deliver lighting that reflected the fun, vibrant and luxurious character of the brand while responding to the need for bright, clear and authentic lighting at makeup stations.

Nulty employed its LED light source, called the Beauty Series, which it has recently developed in partnership with specialist light manufacturer, Xicato. The LED light source aims to produce the best balance between beautiful, natural skin tones and colour matching of foundation shades. Used throughout the store and at all makeup stations, the lighting provides customers with an honest and consistent shopping experience.

Taking this one step further, following intensive research conducted with University College London (UCL), Nulty blended two different types of the LED module together – the Xicato 3,000K Artist Series and the Xicato 2,700K Beauty Series – to create a set of sub-environments that provide the same authentic lighting in the appropriate tones for each area.

One particular zone – the ‘Magic Mirror’ podium – includes a fully interactive camera screen that uses virtual makeup to show the customer how they would look when using different products. To ensure the camera could identify customers’ facial features correctly, Nulty used low-level lighting, positioned at face level, and downlights positioned above the head to provide the right facial illumination and ensure the lighting synchronised with the technology.

Throughout the store, carefully positioned Lucent downlights draw focus to the products to make them pop, whilst the visual merchandising displays, with Cabochon lighting that frames the archways to different areas, further emphasises the main points of sale and adds to the Hollywood-style décor.

Claire Hamill, Lighting Designer at Nulty commented: “The Charlotte Tilbury brand is famous for its vibrancy and its high-quality products. Our lighting solution was designed to create a flawless brand experience. We wanted the in-store experience to match customers’ expectations and make sure visitors could engage with the merchandise, discovering the exceptional quality of Charlotte Tilbury.”

The new lighting philosophy ensures that customers shopping in-store can be assured that the lighting is truly reflective of their skin tone and ensures a seamless shopping experience when choosing a product to suit their complexion.

Every lighting designer’s tool-kit comes with various aids that help sculpt and experiment with retail environments. Like a makeup artist, the lighting scheme used in the store was used as medium to create colour, texture and tones, adding depth with unseen dimensions to the scene or space. This enhances the drama in what customers see or, alternatively, gives a feeling of peace and silence when required, ensuring the customer’s journey is enhanced. This is particularly evident in the Charlotte Tilbury store, where each zone was given specific lighting to guide the customer journey.

‘‘When employing innovative design techniques to engage and attract customers in a space, a lighting designer needs to almost be a consumer psychologist directing the moods and emotions of customers to drive behaviour. By engaging early on in the design process, it is possible to achieve the perfect lighting solution to illuminate a space,’’ concluded Hamill.