Phoebe Tonkin, Actress


"I started filming The Vampire Diaries at the end of the last year, knowing that my role as Hayley would carry into a spinoff series called The Originals, which comes out this month. I play a werewolf girl who's pregnant with a vampire’s baby! I had a wicked night of debauchery with a vampire on an episode of The Vampire Diaries, and, in The Originals’s pilot episode, we find out that we weren’t very safe. So, I’m pregnant with a hybrid baby on the show. [Laughs] It’s called The Originals because it’s about the original family of vampires. I think people will really like it.

I’m from Sydney, Australia, but I’ve been living in Atlanta, where we’re filming, for about a year. The Vampire Diaries also films in Atlanta, so it’s fun—we all live within two blocks of each other. It’s like a college town.

For filming, we walk a fine line between looking like real people and looking camera-ready. I wear more makeup on the show as just a random werewolf girl than I would in real life. It takes a full hour-and-a-half in the makeup chair every day to complete the look. They start with a Clarins Beauty Flash Balm as a heavy primer, and then they mix three different foundations together to get the best tint. We do crazy camera tests to make sure that it's enough coverage and that the color is right. They might try another blush or bronzer, depending on how much the lights wash us out. The makeup artists have to do a lot of contouring on our faces and we wear false eyelashes—not to mention the amount of fake blood we have to wear, or the oil they put on our faces to make it look like we are sweating.

When it comes to my own makeup, I like to look fresh, clean, and well-rested—nothing too crazy. My mother really introduced me to beauty. She’s obsessed with all of the magazines’ ‘best of’ lists, like the ones in Allure, Glamour, and InStyle. Her beauty cabinet looks like one of those annual lists. She got me into finding staples, and as much as I love going to Neiman Marcus to just play around, generally, when I find something that I like, I stick with it for years.

I use Kora Organics Tinted Day Cream as foundation on my days off. For concealer, Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in Natural 5 is a staple. I don’t use very much, I'll just kind of rub it in with my fingers to even out my skin or cover up spots. For blush, I like Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Moisturizing Bronzing Powder on my cheeks because it’s subtle, so I don’t look too made up. And to highlight, I dab RMS Living Luminizer on my eyelids or my cheekbones; it's really pretty. I buy my makeup in bulk and keep the back-ups in different places so I’m never without it. If it's not broken, why fix it?

I’ve also used the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler and Chanel Inimitable mascara in Noir for years. My mom introduced me to them. Just one swipe of the mascara brushes my lashes out, making them look like they’re naturally really long and dark. It doesn't clump or flake. Even if I forget to take it off at night, it's not the biggest deal in the world. And, I don’t put anything in my eyebrows. I hate having unruly eyebrows, so I get them threaded for $8 at a place in Atlanta, or, when I’m in LA, at the thread bar on Melrose.

For lip balm, I rotate between Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Passion and Nivea Lip Care in A Kiss of Cherry. They're both very similar. I even get to wear them on set now because everyone knows I like them. I'm also in love with Fresh's Sugar Lip Polish, which keeps your lips soft if you use it once in a while.

Occasionally, if I'm going to dinner I'll put on a red lip—either Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet #40, which is more of a wine-red, or Chanel Rouge Allure Pirate #99, a blue-red. I just dab it on like a tint, rather than doing a heavy application. I use my fingers to dab it on my cheeks, too. I keep it all in a makeup bag I bought from Muji at JFK Airport. It's incredible.

I used to have pretty bad skin. I started filming when I was 15, right around the time that my skin started becoming a problem. It was awful because I had to put makeup on over my pimples every day for three years. Then I found a really good dermatologist in LA, who prescribed Obagi products. They’re not right for everyone, but the line has completely changed my skin; it’s heaven-sent. I’m ritualistic about using it morning and night. Even if I get home late, I take off my makeup with either Bioderma Créaline or Estée Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover—they’re both gentle—then I put on every Obagi layer: the Toner, the Moisturizer, and Obagi Nu Derm #3 Clear Skin Balancing and Correcting Cream that you put on overnight. The Balancing Cream is the real magic. It’s really strong, so I just put on a light layer, but I don’t get pimples when I use it. If I’m not careful, after three days my skin will just go back to being problematic.

Also, at night, I like to go to sleep with the Kora Organics Hydrating Day and Night Cream covering my face. My dad found the line for me, and now my beauty cabinet at home is Tiffany-blue because there’s so much Kora in it. [Laughs]

My hair is also a process for work. I show up to set with wet hair and when they’re finished, I have barrel curls down to here with clip-in extensions. I’m in the process of growing my hair out, because I cut it all off over the summer. I'd just finished filming and knew I would have six months to grow it back before we shot The Originals pilot. I just woke up one morning and said to my hairdresser ‘I think I need a change.’ I kind of had a breakup, and I just wanted something fresh.

In terms of products, the best conditioner I've found—and I've tried again every hair conditioner and mask—is Wen’s Cleansing Conditioner. My hair is quite dry, and without Wen, it would be frizzy and oily. I used to use a million products to try to correct it—shampoo, conditioner, mask, and oils. But now I just use Wen. I leave the conditioner on for 10 minutes three or four times a week. It’s so good that it’s become the sort of thing I send to my friends for their birthdays. Like, ‘I know this is a weird gift, but it’s going to change your life. Happy Birthday.’ [Laughs]

Three or four times a week, I put on the Wen hair mask or a mask made of olive oil and lemon, and draw a bath with a full box of Epsom salts and about a cup of coconut oil—that’s a good DIY trick. I just dip my hands in and scoop the coconut oil out of the jar with my hands. It melts in the bath, and then when you get out, it’s all over your body. You rinse the hair mask out at the end and go to bed with an oily body. I love going to bed oily—the oilier the better. I keep coconut oil in the kitchen, next to my tub, and in my room.

I've always worn perfume. Diptyque L'Ombre dans l'Eau is my favorite scent. It’s so beautiful that I have it in a candle and as a perfume. The perfume isn’t exactly the same as the candle, but it's similar enough. I like to change my perfume about once a year, so when I smell certain perfumes, it makes me think of the time I wore it. It's funny. It might remind me of an ex-boyfriend or a place that I was living. L’Ombre dans L’Eau is going to remind me of living in Atlanta and coming to New York every chance I get.

In terms of nails, I always stick with baby pink—OPI Bubble Bath. I can't have a crazy red polish and then go to work on the show. We have nail approvals that go through so many people, so I just keep it simple."

—as told to ITG

Phoebe Tonkin, in a Balenciaga sweater and Frame Denim jeans, photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on September 17, 2013. Check out the premiere of The Originals tonight, Thursday October 3, on the CW at 9PM EST. 

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Lana

    She is stunningly beautiful; Those eyes!!!! I am way over obsessed with Fresh's Sugar Lip Tints! They are the best thing on the market !

  • Joana Gomes

    This was such a cool interview! I had no idea she was doing a spinoff and I love her. She's so gorgeous.

    x Joana When You Dream Big

  • Jessica du Plessis

    I really like her idea of changing up perfumes each year so you're reminded of those memories later in life. I've tried SO MANY times to be a 'one scent girl' (I like the idea of people smelling a fragrance and just being automatically reminded of someone). I always end up buying new ones though. So fickle!

  • Nomadic D.

    Wow, her skin looks so flawless, hard to believe it's problematic for her. Definitely piques my interest in those Obagi products, that's for sure!

  • ITGNick

    It's the wick! Get your mind out of the gutter!

  • Michelle K. Lee

    love her role on the VD

  • Rafia

    I have always loved Phoebe! She has a great knowledge of beauty products and i love everything she featured in this post. Great post, absolutely loved it.

  • Abby

    She is gorgeous! I loved this, it was full of great products. I too am definitely going to check out Obagi! Sounds right up my alley.

    Love Top Shelf!

  • cat

    Yesss i've been waiting for a phoebe top shelf!

  • Elspbeth Hodgins

    Gurl, I'm gettin all 'H2O Just Add Water' up in here!

    • Leetoki

      My jam when I'm at the gym in the middle of the day. Nothing keeps you going on the elliptical quite like horribly Australian tween angst!

  • Cay

    I'm not up on my CW shows so I don't know who she is, but this is an AWESOME Top Shelf. I love when you get people who just obviously are really interested in products (no offense, French girls who claim they wear no makeup). I also like that she was upfront about having skin issues and that what worked for her was great, but might not work for everyone. The details of her makeup on-set are interesting too--you always think that they're just perfect looking, until you realize that it took an hour and a half to get them ready haha.

  • Christine

    I didn't like her character in TVD, but she's beautiful! And she knows what she's talking about. Indeed, if it's not broken, why fix it? Certainly I have to keep that in mind when I feel like I'm going to be swayed into buying a new product I don't really need!

  • Laura Gienger

    Love her sweater! Any idea where it's from?

  • 39nineteen

    She definitely is a beauty!

  • Jordann

    One of my fave ITG. In love with her sweater too! Designer info please anyone?

  • Aubrey Green

    She's gorgeous! Wow. Love her product review. Will have to try that line from her Dermatologist.

  • ritournelle

    I wish you would do a Top Shelf with a ballerina or a male dancer.

  • Noisy Rain

    I love this, she's my idol! xxxx

  • KF

    The photos are so 90's! Love 'em!

  • Lidiane

    My The Top Shelf dreams Charlotte Casiraghi!!!

    • Alyson

      YES! I have asked for Charlotte Casiraghi before! I would fall off my chair if I saw her do a Top Shelf.

    • Janet Lee

      YES! I think she's so stylish and beautiful!!! And those lips!

  • Rain

    I idolize her. Best post!

  • Riley

    Great top shelf, I love when the subject is into products/make up.

    Dying for Zoë Kravitz top shelf!

  • MsDenbi

    Probably my favorite Top Shelf! And I concur, I would love to know the sweater. I'm gonna go watch some H2O now haha

  • amelia

    her sweater is from where????

    • IntoTheGloss

      I know, I asked the same question. It's Balenciaga-- this season! Which means you should be able to find it. xE

      • Isa

        Can you id her jeans for me?

  • Lianna Martin

    No it's a smudging stick - a native ritual to cleanse.

  • LGandaB

    It's the girl from Tomorrow When the War Began! Love her eyebrows!

  • Sylvie

    Another amazing Top Shelf!! So many great ideas! Love love the Nivea- that and Tata Harper's Be Adored are all you need for the lips! Wish Kora were sold in the US... Will stick with Juice Beauty til then.

  • Daisy L

    Great post! After reading this and the Miranda Kerr one, I'm starting to think I really need to try out Kora Organics...

  • Dana

    Love her so much - great feature!

  • AsphodelJones

    I'm enjoying the recent low-maintenance trend in Top Shelf posts. The women you're featuring seem to have edited their favorites down to a few truly great products. This one is *lovely.*

  • Amanda Leigh

    I'd love to see a top shelf with binki shapiro!

  • Androbel

    I love the sugar lip balm and I have to try Kora products! I've heard they are amazing!


    New post on my blog: :)

  • Elizabeth

    What kind of coconut oil does she use?

  • Arthur Dayne

    can we get more pics of her feet.. thanks

  • Michelle Cogswell Novosad

    I would give anything to know what lipstick Haley was wearing in Season 2 of The Originals. It looked like a pale nude pInk maybe!!! I have to have it!!

  • Michelle Cogswell Novosad

    Must Know what lipstick Haley wears in Season 2 of The Originals... I have to have it!!! It looks like a pale nude pink color. She is absolutely stunning!!

  • Lisa

    Please do an updated Top Shelf with Phoebe!!!!!!! This is one of the best TS's around!!! She is SO down to earth!!!! :) Oh and Lily Aldridge too. Both are inspiring + beautiful from the inside out role models. x


Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
WEN(R) by Chaz Dean
WEN(R) by Chaz Dean Healthy Hair Care Kit
Obagi Rosaclear Hydrating Complexion Corrector
KORA Organics
Kora Organics Tinted Day Cream
Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Moisturizing Bronzing Powder
RMS Beauty
Living Luminizer
Shu Uemura
Shu Umeura Eyelash Curler
CHANEL Inimitable Intense Mascara
Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15
Nivea Lip Care
Nivea Lip Care A Kiss Of Cherry, SPF 10
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour
Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
KORA Organics
Kora Organics Hydrating Day and Night Cream
diptyque ‘L’Ombre dans L’Eau’ Eau de Toilette
Diptyque ‘Baies’ Scented Candle
OPI Bubble bath
Dr. Teal's
Eucalyptus Epsom Salt Relax