It turns out that Filomena Natoli, the Sydney-based makeup artist known for her signature flash of thick blonde curls, has two gorgeous daughters who are bright, wonderfully mannered and just as in-tune as their mother when it comes to matters of style. The trio often comes up with new and unexpected ways to style their looks; their sense of fun is infectious. Here, we take a look at their mother-daughter take on the classics.
Photography by Julie Adams
Interview by Natasha Inchley
What ignited your love of fashion and beauty?
Around the age of 16 I started buying magazines and I used to cover all my books in collages from Vogue, I would carefully cut out favourite outfits with a scalpel. At the time, I was working at my dad’s fruit shop and spending all my money on fashion, that was the turning point. I knew back then that I wanted to be a makeup artist and was always very focused on achieving that goal.
Has your own style changed over the years?
I have always felt like an old soul when it comes to fashion, I love eclectic looks, rarities, pieces that have meaning. I reference menswear in my wardrobe as well as women’s style. I think I am a bit of a luxe hippy, also I’m a denim girl. Throughout the years, however, I have always gone back to classics, particularly tailored trousers and looks that are part masculine, part feminine.
Can you share your best beauty tips for busy mornings?
Pick your feature – we all have one feature that stands out, whether it’s your eyes, lips or brows, and work around accentuating that. Also, the older we get, the more you have to really revaluate your skin routine. For me, that means not using a lot of products on my face and keeping my skin fresh and hydrated. I can’t leave the house without mascara and a flesh-coloured eyeliner, which really gives the impression of opening and brightening your eyes. There’s nothing prettier than a woman with fresh skin and curled lashes.
Your daughters, Paige, 14, and Paris, 12, have a keen interest in fashion and design. How does your style cross over?
I have brought them with me to shoots over the years, they have seen how I work on set and get clients ready for events, so they’re now developing their own interest in clothes. I love the fact that they are both brave and passionate, and they don’t dress according to their peers – they look at themselves and decide what works best for them. They have a confidence that comes from osmosis. I’m very mindful of not appearing vain or overly obsessed about fashion, but at the end of the day, even though I was a tomboy growing up, I never got over playing dress ups. I think my daughters see the fun side in that, they understand it’s all about the way you feel.
What is your viewpoint on motherhood?
I’m obsessed with my career but my family is everything to me. I married young, which can be quite alienating when your friends aren’t in the same space, but I have always loved the experience of raising my daughters. I feel like I’m constantly being rewarded. Of course it has its challenges as well, perhaps the greatest lesson for me has been learning when to let go – you can guide your children but along the way you have to let them make decisions and navigate their world, figure things out for themselves. I don’t know how I ended up with such angels! I’m a big communicator, I love talking, hopefully that has had something to do with it.
And your family motto? What values do you hope to have instilled in your girls?
I want them to have a strong work ethic, that’s the key to success in life. I think, generally speaking, the generation my daughters belong to has a sense of entitlement, but I want my girls to understand that they have to work hard, be organised, be their best – and make plans. It’s my philosophy that you should always have something great to work towards, something to look forward to.