The Australian actress invites us to her room as she prepares for a night out with Chanel in Los Angeles.
Actress and girl-about-town Phoebe Tonkin plays a vampire-werewolf hybrid on the CW’s hit supernatural show The Originals. “I’m usually covered in blood and dirt and screaming at an imaginary vampire,” she reports of her on-set life. Tonight, however, she’s an entirely different creature, albeit still a supernaturally beautiful one. The Australian-born Tonkin is in town for Chanel’s dinner celebrating the new No.5 L’Eau fragrance—and she has invited The Violet Files to chronicle her getting-ready process.
This evening, Tonkin’s hair and makeup A-Team, coiffeur Christian Wood (he is also hairstylist to Tonkin’s friend and VG contributor Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) and Chanel Makeup Artist Kara Yoshimoto Bua, are running the beauty show, while the actress gamely shares her beauty insights (and other tricks of the trade) between lash curlings and blush applications—among her many talents, Tonkin has mastered the art of speaking intelligibly while having lip pencil applied to her cupid’s bow. (She also reports that coconut oil and Crest toothpaste work wonders for removing the faux blood that’s a regular part of her workplace beauty uniform.)
As she’s frequently traveling (she lives in Atlanta, where The Originals films), Tonkin’s pre-event beauty prep often begins in midair. “When I fly, I use something called the Humidiflyer that facialist Melanie Grant told me about,” she says. “It’s like a mask that makes you look like you’re in the hospital and everyone laughs at you, but it keeps you moisturized in the air and prevents jet lag! Before an event I like to drink a lot of water and then a juice. I went by Moon Juice earlier and had a Golden Tonic—I added their Beauty Dust to it and shook it up. In the morning I have herbs from Sun Potion with Ashwaganda, which is meant to be good for stress. I also picked up an SK-II mask at the VIOLET GREY store to give my skin a boost—it’s still in my hair a little! It also works for removing fake tans,” she adds. Read on for more behind-the-scenes details…
SUBJECT: Phoebe Tonkin
OCCASION: Chanel No.5 L’Eau dinner
TEAM: Kara Yoshimoto Bua, Chanel makeup artist; Christian Wood, hairstylist
GETTING-READY SOUNDTRACK: Foxygen and Tame Impala— “I love a good Aussie band”
PRE-GAME BEVERAGE: By day, water and Moon Juice’s Golden Tonic with Beauty Dust and QuintEssential Optimum Mineralization shot, a natural energy formula. “It tastes like sea water,” Tonkin reports. “My real pre-game drink is probably Campari.”
IDEAL DINNER DATE: “Friendly, funny, and British.”
OUTFIT: Comfortable-chic Chanel sweaterdress and pumps. “I haven’t worn heels since July, but I feel like this is the kind of night where it seems like the right thing to do.”
I wanted to complement the dress with a fresh, clean beauty look,” says Yoshimoto Bua.
“I prepped Phoebe’s skin with Rosewater Glycerin and Chanel Le Crème Yeux, which I love because it doesn’t have any scent,” she continues. “Then I mixed two foundations: Chanel Vitalumière Aqua 10 and 40. For a bit of contour action, I used a blush brush to sweep Chanel Les Beige 40 back and forth in a C shape along and under her cheekbones and all the way up to the temples. I finished with a pop of powder blush in Caresse and Chanel Natural Finish pressed powder in natural to set it. I focused on a strong brow and a little smoky eye with Le Volume mascara—a favorite on lashes—and dabbed just a little bit of a reddish plum color on the lip so it doesn’t compete.”
Tonkin showed hairstylist Christian Wood a reference image of a previous style she had worn and hoped to replicate—a sleek, slicked-back ponytail. “I wanted clean and modern for the hair, and a hair ribbon, which is sort of a signature—I went to an all girl’s school and always wore one,” the actress explains.
“I used a big brush from Mason Pearson, and water and a little bit of gel that I combed out about four inches from the root to give her that sleek look,” says Wood. “I brushed her hair into a low ponytail and straightened the ends. Then I wrapped a piece of velvet ribbon around it and left the ends loose to make it feel more carefree. Last, I sprayed some hairspray on my fingers and went around the hairline to tame little baby hairs and flyaways and applied serum to the mid-lengths to keep it smooth.”
Phoebe was torn between a slinky gold lamé slipdress and an embellished long-sleeved cashmere number in camel, which she ultimately determined to be more her style. Although the actress normally favors flat boots and sneakers, “this is the kind of night where it is appropriate to wear heels,” she says of the navy Chanel pumps she selected for the occasion. “It’s nice—it signifies getting dressed and making a good impression. I like a simple pump, something that isn’t going to turn me into Bambi.”
Published September 25, 2016
by Christine Whitney