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In my beauty bag: Natalie Cantell

Katherine Lowe

GIRL ABOUT TOWN: Model, fashion writer and stylist Natalie Cantell.

Natalie Cantell is the ultimate slashy. The model/fashion writer/stylist currently lives between NYC, Bondi Beach and the south of France. Although currently in New York, her recent travels have seen her back in Sydney as well as in her Auckland hometown ("still one of my favourite places to be," she says). Most recently Natalie was a much-photographed delegate at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia. She reveals what it takes to look like an It girl.

I change my mind continually when I think about beauty products. Sometimes I think it's all such a sham and other days I'll press my face against the glass at Sephora and want everything... The only makeup products that really lure me in fall under that category of 'illuminators' - those things that make you look all fresh and dewy.

I think the main thing people forget is that good skin is more about what you put into your body than on it. And there's no product on any beauty counter that can match a good night's sleep.

As far as skincare goes, I love rose hip oil and I'm a huge sunscreen ambassador, it's the one thing I will wear every day.  I had melanomas removed when I was really young so I'd never buy a moisturiser without some degree of SPF. I'm not particularly brand loyal, but when I buy, I generally hunt down brands that are environmentally friendly and organic.

One thing I love is my Invisible Zinc Environmental Skin Protector. Lucas' Pawpaw has replaced my past love of Eight Hour Cream - I use it on my lips and under my eyes and on skin irritations and sunburn and everything imaginable. When I get on a plane, the first thing I do is use the hot towel to clean my face and put Lucas Pawpaw under my eyes and on my lips. I feel a hundred times better at the other end. Body Shop's Vitamin C Skin Boost is also incredible, it's my most recent purchase and I'm hooked. It makes your skin feel like some kind of delicious silky velvet.

One thing I always stock up on when I'm in France, for myself and friends, is Bioderma Crealine H2O. It's a really beautiful and gentle cleanser that is about a quarter of the price in France that it is anywhere else in the world. It's one of the first things that I bought on a makeup artist's recommendation and I've never looked back.  I'll always ask a million questions now when I'm in a makeup chair and find out what they think the best new products are. Makeup artists are the ones in the know.

I use a body moisturiser that has an SPF, religiously each morning. And I love oils, just really basic coconut or wheatgerm oils after I shower when my skin is still warm and the pores are open. My mother has beautiful hands and always says the answer to how often you should use hand cream is "every time you think of it".

I generally don't wear much make-up, I think because I have such a strong association between wearing make-up and being at work.  Day to night isn't really very different, maybe a little bit of something on my eyes or a lip if I have to look like I've made an effort somewhere - never both.

I use a Body Shop bronzer, and Yves St Laurent Touche Eclat concealer, which is a bit of a staple. Most days that's it, with a bit of Lucas' Pawpaw on my lips. I might smear on a tiny bit of this NARS Multiple Stick I have, I think the shade is Copacabana. It's the exact shade I had used on me on a job once. The makeup artist told me using the smallest amount almost like an eyeliner, especially in the inner corner of your eyes, is the trick to that dewy, Blake Lively-esqe kind of happy glow - it's a good trick to looking bright-eyed and fresher.

I don't own foundation or powder or anything... I figure my skin is as good today as it's every going to be, so I may as well let it show. I like my freckles anyhow, so don't want to cover them up. I have Dior Hydra Life BB Creme, which I love because it has SPF and it only comes in one universal shade, so it works whether I'm tanned or pale.

I tint my eyelashes and don't wear mascara, I love not having anything on my face that is going to run or smudge... especially in Sydney where it's so hot, or New York where everything's already so grimy. I have a blush that's a really pretty sort of peachy colour and a few bold lip colours... those make an occasional appearance.

My friend [hairstylist] Richard Kavanagh recently loaded me up with Redken Diamond Oil products and I'll be eternally grateful. They've made my hair feel so incredibly healthy - my boyfriend Ben even noticed how soft it is.   I'm also a huge fan of Nigel Russell's Holistic Hair range - I know so many other people who rave about it too.  And dry shampoo is a life-saver.

I come from the Richard Kavanagh school of hair appreciation, I like hair to look touchable and natural. I love a day-old blow-dry; if I have an event and I'm getting my hair done I'll get it blow-dried the day before and sleep in it.

As told to Julie Roulston