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Behind the Scenes: How to Recreate Charlotte Cardin’s Effortless Glow

CHANEL Makeup artist Julie Cusson is renowned for her ability to elevate her subjects’ natural beauty with an attentive eye and a deft hand. Working with CHANEL ambassador Charlotte Cardin, Cusson prepped the chanteuse’s skin for an editorial in the spring issue of S/, emphasizing a vital and luminous complexion. Here, Cusson reveals what inspires her artistry, how to achieve Cardin’s glowing visage, and must-have products to add to your beauty arsenal this season.

Julie Cusson: image courtesy of CHANEL.

How have you stayed inspired about beauty over the past year?

“I love reading about topics concerning beauty. I have a binder where I keep interesting interviews or information that I think are relevant concerning beauty. I enjoy looking at printed magazines and I also do research online. I make clippings, buy magazines and rip out pages that are appealing and tape them on my wall. I have folders on my computer where I drag everything that I like concerning beauty makeup and editorials. From time to time, when I look at my wall or my computer, it’s a way to feed my imagination and my mind. Recently, I reorganized my workspace to create an area where I can explore, create and stay inspired. I allow myself to do things intuitively.”

What did you have in mind when you started putting together ideas for Charlotte Cardin’s beauty look?

“When I started to think about this photoshoot, I had in mind a rosy and glowing makeup look. When I work with Charlotte, there is always a conversation about what we would like to achieve as a look—we share ideas. Charlotte usually likes a minimalist and natural makeup look, which sometimes takes more time and precision to perfect. We’ve worked together many times, so I always try to create a fresh look, even if it’s slightly different. I try to reinvent the natural feel every time by applying new shades and new textures for her makeup look.”

What did you use to prep Charlotte’s skin?

Le Lift Flash Eye Revitalizer eye patches are my favourite and Charlotte loves them! They come with a roller that removes puffiness. I always try to leave the eye patches on for at least 30 minutes under Charlotte’s eyes. After I remove the eye patches, I apply eye cream, Le Lift Crème Yeux. Then, my secret weapon is Hydra Beauty Essence Mist. I spray her face with this mist before the makeup application and throughout the day. It’s also amazing to refresh the skin and makeup.”

How did you maintain Charlotte Cardin’s signature natural beauty look and update it with CHANEL’s spring launches?

“CHANEL creates shades, colours, and textures that make you feel good. It’s always about being yourself in the best way. Whatever the season, it’s never about camouflage—it’s about revealing your personality with makeup. For me, every CHANEL makeup launch is a new possibility to play with colour, light and texture. For this photo shoot, I used Fleurs de Printemps, from the Spring Summer 2021 makeup collection. This new blush and highlighter are a duo. For an intense look, mix the two shades together. For Charlotte, I used the lighter shade on its own from the blush to bring a radiant coral tint to her cheekbones.”

What are your three beauty must-haves for spring?

“This spring when we are still mostly wearing face masks, I feel more than ever that when you remove your mask it’s so chic and cool to see colour on the lips. I like to choose a liquid colour because it leaves the lips perfectly painted. My tip: choose a lipstick with a good hold that keeps the lips hydrated. I recommend Rouge Allure Laque in shade 73 Invincible, a true red! This red is fresh enough to wear for spring and will make a huge impression when you remove your mask!

Stylo Ombre et Contour is a must-have eye pen for Spring. With its thick tip, this pen is perfect to line the eyes, to use as eyeshadow or to tightline your eyes. Its creamy texture brings intensity and smudging the shade will make it appear sheer. For Charlotte, I chose Nude Éclat but my go-to on photo shoots or red carpet is usually the CHANEL iconic colour for beauty: Rouge Noir.

“Lastly, I cannot skip the importance of a beauty routine and its different steps. Let’s start with the first one: lotion! Why? Because it’s the first step that prepares the skin to optimize the benefits of a skincare ritual. In spring, after the long winter, the skin can look dull and flat. This is why Le Lift Lotion is a must-have product, because the skin needs renewal specially at this time. This gel-in water textured lotion contains alfalfa concentrate with anti-aging benefits that smooths and firms the skin.”

If there’s one easy addition we can make to our makeup bag this season, what would it be?

“If there is one product that we should put in our makeup bag it’s Baume Essentiel, a multi-use makeup balm. This product can be used to sculpt the face and illuminate the eyes and cheeks. It comes in multiple shades to achieve different effects.”

Photography by Raphaël Rahim Nikiema 
Styling by Amanda Lee Shirreffs at Teamm
Hair & Makeup by Julie Cusson for CHANEL Beauty
Fashion by CHANEL Spring/Summer 2021 Ready-To-Wear Collection
Jewellery by CHANEL Fine Jewellery Collections
Set Design by Roxanne Chagnon
Photo Assistants: Jean-Christophe Jacques & Xavier McDonald
Set Design Assistant: Jessica Michaud
Furniture by Cab Déco