Elodie David Touboul, Fashion Director, Self Service


“My parents are French, born in Algeria, but I grew up outside of Paris. I was always interested in fashion. I would cut pages out of the magazines at home. And then my father was a big fan of brands, and he would take me to go shopping. Eventually I decided I wanted to be a designer, but my parents thought it was too risky, so we found a compromise where I did a business school in fashion instead. At the same time, I interned at magazines. Then I interned at an agency, Art Partner, before I was hired full-time. I stayed there for four years. I did production and casting—production for Mario Testino, Beat Bolliger, people like that. It was great because you need to be super organized, and you get to know both sides of the job. But at the same time it was very stressful. Then I met [editor and stylist] Marie-Amélie Sauvé, who was looking for an assistant. I stayed with her for eight years.

Working for her was a bit like going to school, the best school. I learned everything from her in the beginning, and then she trusted me. We had a really great relationship. What’s amazing is that we made only really interesting projects—like with Steven Meisel, and things like that. And what was good about assisting for such a long time is that after a while, I started to have fun. It was very scary [to leave] and it took me a long time, actually. At the end I was only working with her on shows or big projects, and I also got to develop my things at the same time. It was perfect for me because I was not young when I started working with her—I had children, I had a family—so it was not like when people are 25 and it’s all right if it doesn’t work. I really appreciated what I had with her, and that’s why it took me a long time to leave.

At some point after that, Self Service contacted me to do Obsessions [a market column], and my first Obsessions story was with Coco Capitán. In Self Service you can find some really glam things, but also some really natural things. I learned a lot from other directors—working with Franck [Durand] in the beginning, and then working with Ezra [Petronio, Self Service Creative Director] so much since then. They have that objectivity about images, and they teach you how to not only consider fashion as the whole thing, but to also ask for a bigger perspective. Self Service’s aesthetic is quite precise—for me, there is a clear Self Service girl. When we do Obsessions—and that’s also what I learned from Ezra—it’s a mix of combining elements. For example, you get a young photographer, but you work with an amazing, beautiful woman. That balance allows you to be playful. That I loved at Self Service—taking a beautiful, almost sexy girl, and turning her into a Self Service character.

I’m quite natural, quite minimal. Basically I only use pharmacy products. I’m a bit allergic to things, so when I try and use something fancy it’s too much, and I always need to go back to my dermatologist, who tells me to only do the pharmacy things. I wash my face with Milky Jelly, actually. I love the texture—it’s really soft, it’s not aggressive at all. I do it every morning and every night. I’m turning 40 in two years, so I’m starting to prepare for the wrinkles and things. I use these two creams—La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 for the eyes, which my dermatologist told me about. And then I have this one, La Roche-Posay Redermic C, which is a light anti-wrinkle thing. I do that every morning, and I do the eye thing at night, along with NeoStrata Face Cream Plus. The cream is like when you go to the dermatologist and you do an peel—it’s an acid. [If I get a pimple] I put Effaclar Unifant on any spots—I find myself using it more often in the winter.

And then I always put this Nuxe bronzer on all over, with a big brush. I like a bronzer, it gives you a good tone. For my cheeks, I put a little bit of the L’Oréal Infallible Blush Tint Longwear Palette on—I just mix the colors. When it comes to my lips, I love red lipstick, but unfortunately I can’t do it myself very well. Whenever I try I feel like I’m in a disguise. But I do love Amilab, which is another pharmacy thing. My lips are very, very dry, and it’s the only [balm] I can wear that makes it OK. Actually, I just tried the Glossier Balm Dotcom, and I really like it too.

Recently a friend of mine, Delphine Langlois, got specialized in a Japanese technique called Kobido. It’s a great technique. Basically what she does are massages to tone the muscles of the face. If you do it often, it supposedly prevents aging effects. I did it a few times and it feels really, really good. It’s relaxing, and then you feel like the blood is moving. You can actually feel the circulation, and it’s draining. Delphine does it at Maison de Beauté—in Paris in the eighth, and the one outside of Paris, where she lives.

Starting a year and a half ago, every morning I try to wake up early and to do 20 minutes of yoga. I have this application that I love, Yoga Today. It’s quite beautiful. All the lessons are filmed in amazing places in America, so for me it’s quite attractive, and you have a lot of different options. I manage to do it on my own because with the traveling and the children and everything, I don’t manage to go to a class.

Every morning I put body cream on, Avène Trixera. This one is really good because my skin is very dry—and if I don’t do the cream every morning my skin hurts. It’s great because it’s really soft, and it’s… how do you say it? It goes in the skin. It seeps in! Very quickly—it’s good hydration. Then I put on perfume. I love light perfumes. I use Diptyque Eau des Sens—it smells clean and it’s very light. It has hints of neroli—I love that smell. And then for my nails I have this application that’s quite amazing, it’s called Simone. You basically call them and they come to your place for manicures and pedicures. It’s really convenient and they do so much!

For my hair I go to David Mallett. Something that’s saved my life for two or three years now is keratin—I go for that every six months. My hair is a bit frizzy, and as soon as there’s humidity it’s not so nice. With the keratin, I don’t have to do anything. But I do it more for the texture—I don't mind the waves. It makes it more shiny, too. But because of that keratin, I can only use shampoo with no sulfites. I use Kérastase Discipline shampoo and conditioner every morning, and there’s keratin in that too. After I shampoo and condition, I always dry it with a blow dryer—my hair is quite thick. I used to have it really long, but I cut it a year ago. I wouldn’t be able to have it short without the keratin. It makes it easier. But now I want it back long.”

—as told to ITG

Elodie David Touboul photographed by Tom Newton in Paris on February 26, 2019.