Charlotte Willer



A Conversation with CHARLOTTE WILLER

By Lori Zimmer

October 2011

Charlotte Willer is a Danish beauty whose business is the make the beautiful even more so. She has been creating make-up looks for film, television and fashion for years, trotting the globe to work with the best photographers (such as Stephane Sednaoui and Patrick Demarchelier) on campaigns for the best beauty companies (like Estee Lauder, Yves St. Laurent, Dior, Lancome and Maybelline). Her personal list of celebrity clients are the crème de la gorgeous, including Uma Thurman, Vanessa Paradis, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Milla Jovovich, Kate Moss, Cate Blanchett, Gwyneth Paltrow…the list just gets more and more impossibly heavenly as it goes on.

Working as a make-up artist for over 25 years, Willer is Maybelline’s Global Consulting Make-up Artist–working with Maybelline to create fresh looks, trends, and even make-up shades. When she isn’t incessantly traveling, she splits her time between the two centers of the fashion world–New York and Paris.

Willer’s work is innovative and inspiring, causing a stir with peacock blue splattered lashes at DKNY, but the artist’s favorite look is simple and classic: bold red lips. Having a background as a traditional artist, one can compare elements of fine art to the boldly painted faces of her clients, proving that the face is the ultimate empty canvas.

Lori Zimmer: You have a very extensive career that encapsulates the spectrum of the fashion industry–from fashion shows, to celebrity clients to editorial work. Do you prepare in different ways for each facet of the fashion world, or do you approach each the same?

Charlotte Willer: I approach everyone the same way.  There really is not any difference except the strength of the looks and understanding each project’s needs.

LZ: What was it that made you decide to become a make-up artist?

CW: I have always been in love with color and, after having a look inside cosmetology, I thought it would be more fun to do the beautiful part.

LZ: Who gave you your first break?

CW: A friend of mine gave me the opportunity to work for French Vogue just after I finished theatrical make-up school.

LZ: What is your favorite look that you give yourself when you decide to turn up the glamour?

CW: I think every morning should begin glamorous and that is done simply with bright red lips.

LZ: What is your favorite off-runway make-up look that is trending right now?

CW: Bold eyes and lips! Make-up is back and full of so many beautiful colors.

LZ: You are the Global Consulting Makeup Artist for Maybelline New York–a huge honor! How did you first get hooked up with the gig?

CW: I have been working with Maybelline for more than 10 years on special projects. Then, a few years back, I was asked to be a permanent part of the Maybelline family. This was such an honor.

LZ: How has Maybelline New York influenced your artistic direction?

CW: I have the pleasure of helping to create some of the shades for the product–that is always very exciting. Also, to be a member of the team and watch the progression of a brand and it’s successes is a real treat.

LZ: We’d absolutely love it if you’d share some tricks of the trade that everyday women can use to look even better.


  • Wear your foundation as if it is your moisturizer and apply it the same way, with your hands. The foundation should not show, but make your skin look flawless.
  • To get the eyeshadow to stay longer and have the color show up more intensely, start your eye make-up with a pencil close to the same color as your shadow. Pencil in the shape you want. Blend it a bit with your finger to get smooth edges. Then put the shadow on top.
  • Use a lip stain as an alternative to lip liner to prevent your lipcolor from running. Also, you won’t have to go to the very edge with the lipstick.
  • Anyone can wear any color it is just a matter of applying it well. Be creative and try new things. Technology evolves every day so why stay back with the old stuff. I am permanently curious and looking for new ways of doing things.

Charlotte Willer is a make-up artist who was born in Denmark, and attended beauty school in Copenhagen, before attending Christian Chauveau in Paris. She lives in Paris and New York.


Charlotte Willer’s Page @ Jed Root

Written by Lori Zimmer

Photography by Adel Awad

Design by Clementine Jang


Charlotte Willer, NYC, 2010, Photography by Adel Awad

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