Shannyn Sossamon in ‘A Knight’s Tale’


Once upon a time there was a princess* in search of true love who had been promised to a man who didn’t even begin to pull at her heartstrings. Enter her knight in shining armor. She gives him her heart and he returns the favor. But before they can live happily ever after, her knight needs to become just that—because, you see, he's been living a lie this whole time!!!!! Sir Ulrich—scratch that, Will—that is one big no-no. Don’t you know Jocelyn deserves more than your lies!? Gosh, men!

Let’s rewind. This is the story of 2001's A Knight’s Tale, one of Heath Ledger’s greatest, if most underrated, films in his unfortunately short career. He plays commoner William Thatcher, a man determined to “change his stars” by becoming a knight. He begins masquerading as Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein of Gelderland, competing in jousting tournaments and, in the end...well, watch the movie and see how it ends for yourself—it’s pretty effing spectacular. At some point, like in any great movie, our hero becomes distracted by an outstanding beauty, in this case, a rebel of her time, Jocelyn, played by early-aughts starlet Shannyn Sossamon. Other than the lingering shots on Heath’s dreamy eyes, we'd venture to say the best part of the film is the undeniable cool of Lady Jocelyn: the not-so-subtle rock star touches to her medieval ensembles, her ever-changing edgy hair and makeup, and, of course, her sassy attitude.

For her part, Sossamon manages to make Jocelyn's various looks seem effortless and somewhat natural (obviously gold eyelids and colored extensions are super easy). Make note of the lack of visible mascara because, DUH, they did not use mascara in medieval Europe. Anyway, she pulls wacky off well, to a point that it made us wonder, 'How can we, too, wear crazy makeup in the most normal way possible?' If you've seen the film and found yourself wondering the same thing, look no further. We have some answers:

For Jocelyn’s glowing, flawless, and seemingly makeup-free skin, we’d reach for Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion followed by a thin layer of Laura Mercier’s Radiance Foundation Primer. And then that’s it. C’est fini! Well, for your face, at least.

To get our leading lady’s bold eye look [8], prime your lids and under-brows (is that a thing?) with Urban Decay's Eye Shadow Primer Potion. It's awesome. Then, CK One’s Gloss Eyecolor in Spin is the way to go. Apply the bright-yellow shimmer pencil in an exaggerated cat eye, from lash line to eyebrows. If you want an even more intensely yellow effect (obvs to match the canary yellow gown you have at the ready), try adding a bit of Make Up For Ever’s Pure Pigment in Yellow. Yes, you may look a bit bizarre, but hey, Sossamon looks great in the movie. Try it out. Maybe we can start a trend. For those of us slightly less bold, consider Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadow in Skinny Jeans, which works as a quieter, metallic substitute. For Jocelyn’s more subdued eye moments [2], try a light helping of Estée Lauder’s Shadow Paint in Chaineddabbed with your fingers at the outer corners of the eyes. Fresh, simple, and a bit ethereal, no? Anchor each of the looks with brows as seriously full, and sexy, as Sossamon's; pick up MAC's Veluxe Brow Linerin the shade best suited for you.

As for your lips, the “au natural” look is the goal. To accomplish this: a light coating of Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream. It wil keep your lips looking kissable, so all the knights in your life will keep coming back for more. (Too far? A little gross? Heath does that to us.)

Now, hair. Jocelyn dons some interesting ‘dos and tress-cessories throughout the film. Obviously a fan of the hat, she seems to have had an excellent milliner, responsible for her awesome Mongolian-inspired piece [5] and that large-brimmed, eye-shielding hat she wears for a day at the races (er, jousting competition) [4]. However, it's when she lets her hair down that she really shines. This may be a controversial opinion, so bear with us, but we’re guessing these styles may not have been totally possible in the 14th century. But no issue, we have access to things like curling irons! Rejoice! For Jocleyn's springy updo, you'll need a one-inch barrel curling iron, a heavy hand with the Elnett, and some gold ribbon (available at a craft store near you) [3]. If you’re feeling less 'disco' and a bit more 'punk/rock ‘n’ roll,' Manic Panic and Bumble and bumble are your friends. To create an style similar to the one she has as she promenades with Sir Ulrich (her very '80s metal look), we recommend you first work some clouds of Bumble's Bb. Thickening Full Form Mousse through your locks (texture! a bit of oomph!), and then, color: say you want red and green streaks, à la slide #1? Try Manic Panic's Dye Hard Temporary Hair Color Styling Gel in Vampire Red and Electric Lizard. Prefer a purple tint similar to slide #6? Opt for a few squirts of  Purple Haze. After you're happy with your new hue(s): Elnett. Lots of it.

Phew. All of that said, let’s be honest: it's Heath and his magnificent cornflower locks that really deserve attention  [1, 3, 9, 10]. Talk about the perfect dirty and disgusting hair. Other than avoiding showers/baths and doing your best to live like a medieval knight, Bumble and bumble’s trusty Surf Spray will help you achieve the unwashed look. Try using a bottle or three per day.

*Note: It’s unclear what her position actually is—she speaks with a British accent like everyone else in the movie (except for her handmaiden, who is French), so who knows...

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Farhan William

    I still love this movie! My adolescent self was full on OBSESSED with Shannyn Sossamon back in the day. I wonder whatever happened to her.

    • bluesky557

      She had a kid and named him "Audio Science." Then she more or less faded from public view. Karma?

    • Avalon

      Also, her friend in the film who played Christina is Bérénice Bejo (pictures above), she was the lead actress in The Artist.

    • properhaunt

      She was the drummer and founder of the really great psychedelic band Warpaint. Guess she's moved on from that though.

    • renaphuah

      same! I got the haircut that she rocked in the Rules of Attraction! i love her!

  • yvonne pingue

    i loooove this movie! heath ledger and paul bettany --- so sexy!

  • Avalon

    I've been obsessed with her look since i was a kid and saw her in A Knights Tale and the other movie she did with Health Ledger, The Order.

    The Rules of Attraction and WristCutters: A Love Story just made the obsession grow.

  • Elaine R

    This movie, as well as Ten Things I Hate About You, defined my junior high years!

  • ariadni

    such a great movie!! heath ledger was sooo funny and absolutely adorable in it!! and actually i was thinging about him all day today until i stopped by this blog. .

  • Désirée Bambynek

    Thanks so much for reminding me! Watching it right now ;)

  • L B

    YES! I love love Shannyn Sossamon, she is my ultimate style icon! Such a laid back beauty.

  • Aubrey Green

    Loved this movie. She kind of reminds me of Angelina Jolie?

  • Dana C

    oh man. STILL one of those 'stop-everything-now-see-it-through-to-a-teary-eyed-end' movies for me. also, I was obsessed with Shannyn Sossaman back when. in 40 days 40 nights?! major girl crush. taught me to want to keep the makeup thing mellow in a time (~age 14) when the other option was awfully tempting as well.

  • Naj Clave

    I love this movie! Every time it's being shown on Star Movies, I watch it... Never gets old. :)


Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder Pure Color Stay On Shadow Paint
Estee Lauder
A Knight's Tale Special Edition DVD
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance
Calvin Klein-Ck One
CK One Color Gloss Eyecolor in Spin
Benefit Cosmetics
Benefit Cosmetics Creaseless Cream Shadow in Skinny Jeans
Elizabeth Arden
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
Manic Panic
Manic Panic DyeHard Temporary Hair Color Styling Gel
Bumble and bumble
Bumble and bumble Surf Spray
L’Oreal Elnett Hairspray
Bumble and bumble
Bumble and bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse
MAC Veluxe Brow Liner

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