Behind the Scenes: How To Achieve Phoebe Tonkin’s Effortless Saint-Tropez Beauty Look

When it came to creating the perfect look for Phoebe Tonkin‘s Chanel Cruise 2020 shoot in Saint Tropez for S/ magazine’s annual book S/ Volume, Julie Cusson–Chanel’s national makeup artist for Canada–took inspiration from the colourful spirit of the Mediterranean and shining shimmering sea. Here, Cusson reveals how she created the minimalistic look and her must-have products for the season.

Julie Cusson, Image courtesy of CHANEL.

How was it shooting in Saint-Tropez?

“It was my second time working with Phoebe Tonkin and it was wonderful. She is so into her work, it’s contagious; you want to push yourself too. The Mediterranean vibe is special and Saint-Tropez was fabulous! Being beside the water is so refreshing and inspiring. Walking along the beach during the Fall-Winter season is an experience that I would like to do more often.”

Where did you draw inspiration for Phoebe Tonkin’s beauty look?

“This photoshoot started with the idea of a retro makeup look from the 80s. This is often the way that we work; we start with a direction and onset the final work takes form. So, on the day of the shoot, I proposed a silver eyeshadow instead of our first initial idea to use a vivid colour. I felt it would be nicer with an anthracite shade since the location was already surrounded by a lot of colour. My work is intuitive and I tried to get inspired by a mood and do my own interpretation instead of attempting to make a copy of a reference.”

What are the three essential products to create this look?

“To create the look, I used Ombre Première Top Coat in shade 327 Pénombre (limited edition) on top of Les 4 Ombres in shade 334 Modern Glamour as a shadow play in the inner eye corner. The shade then continues under the brow until it fades out (the lid is kept bare of any colour). Here, the concealer is important to keep the eye not looking too heavy. I like to use a corrector with a hint of pink, such as Le Correcteur de CHANEL, Longwear Colour in shade Correcteur Rose, to bring radiance. With this eye makeup, the eyebrows need to be groomed and shaped; I used Le Gel Sourcils in shade 350 Transparent. Le Volume Ultra-Noir de CHANEL, an ultra-black mascara, is a must on lashes to bring strength to the gaze.”

“Phoebe’s lips are painted in a mat burgundy with Rouge Allure Velvet Extrême in shade 130 Rouge Obscur and the edge of the mouth is a bit blurry. I applied shimmering clear gel to add luminosity and to bring an edge to her face. In some pictures, you can feel this gel texture from Le Gel Pailleté (limited edition). What’s interesting about this makeup application is that, depending how you move, light catches the face in different ways!”

As the temperature gets cooler, what are some products we should have on-hand to keep our skin in check and achieve a healthy fall look?

“When your skin looks great, you don’t need to wear a lot of makeup. It’s why we should understand the importance of skincare before thinking about makeup. The starting point is a cleansing routine. To achieve a healthy look, exfoliation is important two or three times a week to liberate the skin from dead cells and impurities, also restoring radiance. My new favourite scrub is Sublimage Les Grains de Vanille (available starting November 4)—a soft gel texture with black seeds that purifies the skin. The other must-use product is a serum before the moisturizing cream. Yes, both are important. A serum is an essence and booster that provides specific power to your skin. You can find different serums with different benefits such as anti-wrinkle, revitalizing, hydration, firming, and anti-aging.”

“Using a primer before makeup applications and doing masks are key to a healthy fall-winter look. Best time to mask is overnight because the skin cells work differently during this time. If you need a recommendation, Hydra Beauty Masque de Nuit au Camélia is my favourite at the

Photography by Michelle Du Xuan
Styling by Sahar Nooraei
Hair and Makeup by Julie Cusson for CHANEL
Photography Assistant: Joffery Montes