Filomena Natoli caught fashion fever at an early age. Fitting for a woman who is the spitting image of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, with a slight frame and a shock of golden curls.
In her 10 years as a make-up artist she’s worked with some of the industry’s biggest names: Elle Macpherson and Lara Worthington; Vogue and In Style; photographer heavyweights Georges Antoni, Simon Upton and Steven Chee. Then, at the end of 2015, she scored her dream job with model Hailey Baldwin (daughter of Stephen Baldwin). Twice. The first time involved Aussie swimwear brand Triangl in the Maldives. The second at home for cosmetics brand ModelCo’s global campaign.
She tells Broadsheet about her approach to make-up, juggling work and play and why she loves dressing down.
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Broadsheet: When did you first realise you wanted a career in make-up?
Filomena Natoli: I knew by the time I was 16 I wanted a career in the fashion industry and by 17 make-up was it for me. I completed my make-up course as soon as I left school, and my first job was on an Australian indie film. From that point I began slowly building my client base, doing test shoots and building my confidence creatively. Word travels and that’s how I broke into the industry.
BS: What does an average work week look like for you now?
FN: I like to say I’m running a circus; I shoot most days of the week and tend to my private clients most weekends. In amongst that I’m driving my girls to school and trying to cook most nights.
BS: Onto the not-so-average – what was it like shooting with Hailey Baldwin in the Maldives?
FN: Most days I never feel like I’m working because I’m always on great locations with incredibly talented people. That shoot will always stay with me; the team I worked with was amazing and we all still stay in touch. Of course the location was heaven on Earth! I’m really proud of that job and where it has taken the careers of all who were involved.
BS: Name five labels on high rotation in your wardrobe.
FN: Levi’s, Chanel, Celine, Prada, Saint Laurent, Chloe and LV…
BS: And five make-up or skincare products on high rotation:
FN: In my kit I keep a range of skincare from Clé de Peaux, Dr Spiller, Koh Gen Do and Kiel’s. For me it’s all in the prep and I need to be equipped for all skin types. Laura Mercier primer is a staple, as is Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow; Giorgio Armani luminous silk foundation; Kevyn Aucoin brow pencil and lash curler; Artémes mink lashes; and Nars chubby lip pencils. I could keep going!
BS: What do you wear when you’re (a) on set, (b) for date night (c) at the beach?
FN: On set I’ll wear Levi’s 501’s or LV jeans with a silk or cotton button-down shirt or T-shirt and killer slides or slippers. I keep a pair of Adidas Gazelle trainers in my car when I’m “off road” on location.
For a date night with my husband I’ll wear a sheer dress, or a suit with no shirt underneath (or with a T-shirt) and heels or flats, depending on my mood. I find both combos equally sexy.
My beach look is fresh and eclectic: sheer dresses, playsuits, lots of white, one-piece swimsuits teamed with my favourite beat-up 501s. Think ’80s GAP campaign meets Mick Jagger holidaying in Mustique. I actually love referencing men’s style.