Makeup artist Francesca Tolot fashions a bold smoky eye and a bordeaux pout for Sarah Paulson’s cover shoot.
Written ByJAYME CYK
Photography ByNAJ JAMAÏ
Makeup ByFRANCESCA TOLOT
Hair ByADIR ABERGEL
Styled ByWILLIAM GRAPER
Nails BySTEPHANIE STONE
Capturing the quiet moments and rituals of a film star preparing for a high-wattage premiere, as modeled by Sarah Paulson in her cover story for The Violet Files.
WHERE TO WEAR
To your lover’s hotel room after a late-night soirée.
eye & lip tutorial
BY FRANCESCA TOLOT
Sarah already has a beautiful fair complexion, so I applied Chanel Vitalumière Foundation where needed and then used the Dior Loose Powder to set her makeup. Her face is chiseled naturally, so as far as I’m concerned she didn’t need any contouring at all. I just lightly dusted the Nars Laguna Bronzer onto her cheekbones.
I wanted to create a smoky eye with a silent movie star type of feel. I applied the MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencil on the whole eyelid toward the brow bone. I made it a little bit heavy to add some drama, but I also wanted it to be blended and diffuse around the edges to keep it feminine and sultry. Then, using an eyeshadow brush, I topped the eyelid with Dior Black Eyeshadow and softened it by sweeping the Nars Alhambra Duo Eyeshadow toward the temples for a slight highlight.
To intensify the lashes, I curled them and applied a few coats of the MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash. Sarah likes her eyebrows to be very present, so I filled them in and made them a bit darker with the Hourglass Brow Sculpting Pencil.
I wanted her to have a lip color that was very typical of the 1920s. Applying with a lip brush, I mixed the bottom two shades from the MAC Lip Palette and I had Sarah blot a few times to to create a matte bordeaux pout. The way Naj was photographing was kind of dramatic, so the lip really completed the look.
At age 24, Francesca Tolot’s first job in makeup was for a Ultima beauty campaign. Her second? An editorial for Italian Vogue shot by none other than David Bailey. Thanks to makeup artist Diego Dalla Palma, who sent Tolot on jobs when he couldn’t make it, she fast-tracked her way to the top. “The first time I went on a job for Diego I didn’t enjoy it at all,” says Tolot. “During my second job it was more exciting and creative. I realized the artistic possibilities, and that’s what made me decide to pursue a career in makeup.”
After four years of establishing herself in the European editorial scene, the Venice-born Tolot moved to Los Angeles, where her first assignment was Madonna’s “Burning Up” music video. This unforgettable opportunity yielded a long collaboration with the iconic singer, and Tolot went on to create many of Madonna’s most unforgettable looks (think: the “Cherish” music video and her makeup for Dick Tracy, among others).
Since then, Tolot has built up a loyal—and legendary—following. Elizabeth Taylor was a devoted client for almost 30 years. Beyoncé and Tolot have worked together for over a decade, creating more than 36 looks for her acclaimed videos and magazine covers, including “Crazy in Love” and September 2015 Vogue. “It’s an amazing experience working with Beyoncé,” says Tolot. “It’s always collaborative, but she trusts my instincts. She loves to try new things, so it’s energizing to be involved in so many creative projects with her.”
And although Tolot has created her fair share of outré beauty looks, her aesthetic always goes back to a soft, feminine approach. “Everything I do is fused together rather than having separation between one product and another,” she says. “It’s all about blending so the makeup is seamless. Even if it’s a very harsh or bold makeup look, it’s still feminine.”