MECCA MUSE

Christelle Scifo, Creative Director, florist and stylist

OUR OBSESSION WITH THE BEAUTY ROUTINES OF FRENCH GIRLS KNOWS NO BOUNDS. NATURALLY, WE WERE INTRIGUED TO MEET CHRISTELLE SCIFO, WHOSE PERSONAL STYLE IS AN ALLURING MIX OF AUSTRALIAN AND PARISIENNE.

Everything Christelle Scifo touches seems to fall naturally into place. Whether it’s a vibrant bouquet, a fluid clothing ensemble or her multifaceted career choices, the various strands of her life always come together in the most effortless and elegant way. The Sydney-based creative consultant has many strings to her bow. A former ballet dancer who spent her formative years in Paris, Scifo now weaves together various vocational pursuits as a florist, set designer, writer and photographer in her company, Fleurette. She can ’t put a foot wrong.

Duality is in her blood: She has the bronze skin and beachy waves of a Sydney habitue, and the enviable brows, thick lashes and soigne style of a Paris native. Her look reminds us of our other French girl crushes, actress Jeanne Damas and makeup artist Violette among them. “Having French roots has had a huge influence in my life,” she says. “My mother is Australian and my father is French-Italian. He was a chef, artist and illustrator who lived in Paris in his youth.” The Memo spent an afternoon with Scifo to find out more about her enviable approach to fashion, flowers and beauty.

TM: Tell us about your career path that lead you to launching your own company?
CS: “Throughout my twenties, flowers, art and fashion were always there through part-time jobs and internships with brands and magazines that I admired both here and in Paris. I studied art and design at school, and my time in Paris really galvanised these passions. My father was a chef, so growing up I was surrounded with culture, nature, gardens of flowers and fresh produce—I was always drawing, pressing and painting flowers. It all came together on my return to Sydney when I realised what I missed most about Paris were the gardens and florists spilling onto the streets, the food, and lifestyle. That’s when I decided to work all of these great loves together.”

What’s been an exciting career moment for you recently?
“I have just finished working on my first exhibition of still-life photographic prints with Sydney-based photographer Jedd Cooney. Entitled ‘A Still Life’, we explored a modern take on still-life, playing with the idea of the ephemeral and nature in a man-made world. Also, we’re releasing an edit of handmade ceramic vases and vessels with Sally Cooper of Cooper & Clay X Fleurette, which is available on my website.”

What do you love most about your work?
“The freedom to create and work with what I love and collaborate with those I admire. I also love that no two days are ever the same, and working with flowers means that most of my days begin with a trip across town to the flower markets making for a very early start. But it always inspires me and is well worth it. It’s the catalyst for the day ahead and that’s the beauty of nature.”

Talk us through your beauty routine and the products you love.
“I don’t wear heavy makeup, and perhaps that’s the French girl in me? Much like my flowers, I appreciate natural beauty and believe that less is more. Some of my favourite brands include Hourglass, NARS, MAC and Mecca Cosmetica. What works best for me, and I have an oily complexion, is a fresh, clean face and light products. bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation is my go-to for a little colour, coverage and protection when needed. Hourglass everything: bronzer, highlight, blush and the amazing new Caution Extreme Lash Mascara are all on high rotation. My magical Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil is a necessity (and always applied on the go in the car because that’s the best light). Some of my favourite beauty tricks are using lipstick as blush, tapped along the cheeks with my finger, and my Mecca Cosmetica Lip de-Luscious as a dewy highlight for the eyelids and lips.”

How do you switch your look up for an evening event?
“During the day I don’t wear much colour on my lips, either a balm or Rodin’s creamy lipstick in Heavenly Hopps. An easy update is to add bright colour with the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Starwoman. It’s an arresting shade of red, and once on it won’t budge.”

Does your style change as you switch between Sydney, Paris and Bali?
“Yes! I like to create wardrobes and beauty looks that match the place or city I am in. I would describe my style as both elegant and eclectic, wearable and workable, with a feminine touch. I collect, keep, reuse and recycle a lot, too. I wear a lot of vintage from my travels and mix them back with favourites from Isabel Marant, Chloe and Celine. I love that my clothes all represent something to me, a moment, a city, a memory.”

What skin care products are in your rotation at the moment?
“My simple skin care steps include Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel and Daily Microfoliant three times a week, and the Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturiser; it’s water-based, packed with vitamins and oil-free, which is important for my skin. Plus, the Chantecaille Detox Clay Mask and Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Rosewater to set and finish, and it’s also great to refresh when travelling. I’ve also started trying serums and love Dr. Barbara Sturm’s glow remedies.”

What’s been the best piece of beauty advice you’ve ever received?
“My mother always said, no matter how tired I am at night or how late it is, that I must always wash my face. Also, to be content in what I’ve been given and work with what I’ve got.”

What’s your signature scent and why do you love it?
Byredo Gypsy Water has long been a staple of mine along with Le Labo Santal 33—I discovered both of these while living in Paris. I love to have options on rotation and layer them up, too. Because I’m always on the road, or getting up before dawn and forgetting to spritz, I carry the safe travel balm roll on in my handbag. Scent is strongly tied with memory and emotions. Fragrance is a big part of why I am so drawn to the flowers.”

What about some other favourite scents and candles? Do you light candles depending on your mood?
"Candlelight and flowers go hand-in-hand, an indulgence and simple pleasure at the same time. I love how scent and light create inspired, often romantic moods. Diptyque has been in my home scent rotation for years, particularly Baies and Figuier. Both are familiar scents of the French south—reminding me of my family heritage and travels and keeping me connected.”

Which flowers are you drawn to?
“Poppies and tulips are my first choice because of their beauty in shape and movement. I also love a winter flower—camellia and daphne bloom around my birthday in August, so their scents are significant. Magnolia for its beautiful summery perfume, instilled in me by my mentor and friend Saskia Havekes of Grandiflora. Then there’s anthuriums, they’ve become a Fleurette signature along with wild flowers, grasses and dried species, too.”

What are some of your favourite stops in Paris?
“My favourite restaurants are Le Relais de L’Entrecote, Le Verre Vole, Le Chateaubriand and Le Dauphin. As for shopping, Astier de Villatte, L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803, Le Bon Marche and The Broken Arm are all at the top of my list.”

Photography by Daphne Nguyen
Interview by Louisa de Kievit
Makeup by Jen Horsley
Photographed on location at Paramount House Hotel
October 2018

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