"I grew up in Paris, and now I live between London and Paris. I’m an actress and a singer—I’m signed to a French label, Warner France, with my little brother. We're called Singtank. Our record came out in France last May, and now we’re working on the second EP. I’m also working on English and American movies… It’s funny: considering that I sound very French, you would imagine I’d be doing the acting in France and singing more in England and America, but it’s the other way around. I am on a couple of episodes of a show that just aired [in the UK] called Mr. Selfridge, with Jeremy Piven. And I did a vampire movie called Kiss of the Damned, which comes out in May in the States and is directed by Xan Cassavetes, John Cassavetes’ daughter. It’s an homage to ‘70s and ‘80s vampire-horror movies, but with a very graphic and romantic side to it.
Growing up, I went through a couple of different phases. I was a rebellious teen. Well, I was really good in school, up until I discovered men, I think—like most teenagers—and that became way more important than anything that had to do with studying. And then partying, of course, went with it. First, I was into Nirvana, and I had a moment when I was eleven that I was really grunge: long greasy hair, big sweaters, and Dr. Martens. I don’t think it was the most attractive period for me because I was going through puberty at the same time. [Laughs] Then, I started getting into hip-hop and big Nike Air Max, really tight jeans, very tight sweaters, and big bomber jackets. I wore my hair up in two ponytails and I plucked my eyebrows a lot... And I was so into lip liner at the time; I still love it. A red lip pencil is great because it’s dry and you can make out and not ruin it; you look like shit if you make out in lipstick.
But in terms of skincare, I keep things relatively simple, but I’m also really bad at throwing stuff away, so I have so many products; I always think I might use it at some point! My husband [Mark Ronson] doesn't really keep anything in this bathroom—it's all my things. [Laughs] For face wash, I like the Instant Foaming Cleanser by Caudalie. I don’t like makeup remover, and I need to feel like my face is really clean—this one takes off makeup and makes me feel clean. After I was my face, I like to do a mist or a tonic spray, so I’ll use either the La Mer The Tonic, which is super moisturizing, or an organic fleur d’oranger spray. I used to like all organic stuff, but I’ve just realized I don’t actually like it that much; I like science, too! Now I use Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Serum in the morning and at night. It is amazing. I go from looking 60 years old to my actual age… I was just fed up of looking like shit, so I found it in a department store. Sure, if you’re eighteen years old and you use organic products everyday, it’s fine—you don’t even need cream—but as you get older, I felt like I needed something more intense. And my skin is really dry, too. I love Shiseido products—I use Shiseido deodorant, too; it just smells really good. I think a deodorant is just as important as a perfume, you know? Have you ever made out with someone and then you smell their deodorant and you’re so repulsed? [Laughs] It’s just something to think about. This one smells good and it works. I’m terrible because I should use one that’s more organic, but then again, I don’t know how much those organic crystal ones are just marketing. I’ve tried a couple, and I don’t think they work so well, and they’re messy. I would rather smell good than smell like an onion.
For makeup, I’m pretty good at doing my own. From having been on photo shoots and sets, you kind of pick it up, I guess. I never put foundation all over my face, but I use a little Chanel Perfection Lumière or Diorskin Airflash. Then, I like making big eyebrows when I go out—like, '90s eyebrows, kind of arched, kind of Linda Evangelista. The Lancôme Ombre Absolue Palette in Murmures du Desért is great for brows, even though they are supposed to be eye shadows. Then, mascara: I always want big, thick eyelashes, top and bottom, kind of Sixties; the Diorshow mascara is perfect for that. And for years, I drew a cat eye every day, but now I'll only do it occasionally. I like quite cheap liquid liners for that because their brushes are the best: the Maybelline Line Stiletto and the L’Oréal Carbon Black Telescopic Liquid Eyeliner, which I’m wearing right now. I just do a really thin line and almost straight out—I don’t go all the way down and up because I have quite small eyes, so it can make my eyes quite droopy. Then for my cheeks, I always used to wear a bit of pink blush—Benefit Thrrrob—but since I recently came back from holiday, I got into bronzer. The Lancôme Star Bronzer is amazing..it gives you that ‘holiday glow,’ you know?
Now we can get into my lip liner obsession! [Laughs] These are the two that I use: a Jane Iredale lip liner in Spice, which a makeup artist gave to me, and the MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl, which is the one I use most every day—it’s like a neutral pink, but it has a bit of blue in it. Then, at night, I like to mix it up. I’ll do a YSL lip liner in #19, which is great because it is quite vibrant and dry, or the MAC Magenta pencil, and I mix them with Whirl to make the color a little less orange or just softer, depending; Whirl tones everything down. The T. LeClerc Crayon in Rouge Emotion is mega-dry and long-lasting, too… If I want to do something darker, more intense, I love YSL Rouge Pur Lipstick in #149 Black Tulip. But in that case, I will just do a lip and nothing else.
I wish I could take credit for my nails—but I had them done on a shoot that was David Bowie-inspired. I don’t know what products they used! But I loved the manicure, so I kept it. When I do my own, I use mostly Chanel polishes—they’re the best. I stay with red because it’s just kind of classic and nice. Chanel Dragon is great, or sometimes I’ll do a more modern metallic, like the Chanel Peridot.
What else? I take a lot of baths… French women mostly take baths. If I have to wash my hair, then I will take a shower... I know it's probably unusual for French women, but I shampoo every other day. The brand is always changing, but right now I'm into the Klorane Pomegranate shampoo, or the Leonor Greyl non-foaming shampoo. That one’s not as fun, though—I like lathering, I like bubbles! It’s supposed to be an experience! I use Frederic Fekkai conditioner, but only on the ends; I like my hair dry at the top. Other than that, maybe I’ll spray some L’Oréal Elnett hairspray; it reminds me of my mom in the ‘80s. It was such a part of my childhood, and she still wears her hair like that—really big. For me, it’s still the best thing to make a dry texture. Right now, though, my hair’s in transition: I’m going more and more blonde, less red. There’s starting to be too many redheads in Paris, so now I’m telling my colorist, Stephane Pous, ‘Enough, no more redheads in Paris. I’m going lighter.’"
—as told to ITG
Joséphine de la Baume photographed by Emily Weiss in Paris on January 25th, 2013.