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If Nathalie Darcas didn’t catch a tram one Sunday afternoon, she might be an archaeologist instead of a model today. The willowy blonde, scouted as a teenager in Melbourne and known as Nat to her friends, has since risen to the top of her profession. Darcas, now based in LA, is a jetsetter with an infectious grin, enviable brows and relatable girl-next-door style. Her Instagram account, with over 85K followers, reads like a series of postcards from exotic beaches around the globe. We caught up with the model to learn more about her career trajectory, her ride or die products and why being cast in a Mecca Cosmetica sunscreen campaign was the perfect fit for her.
TM: We hear you had a nomadic upbringing. Can you tell us about it?ND:“My dad is French, as French as it gets! My mum is American, and I was born in Connecticut, USA. We moved to Hong Kong for four years for my dad’s work, he works in agriculture, then we ended up in France for five years. I spent my primary school years speaking French at a little public school just outside of Paris, and then dad got offered a job in Melbourne when I was ten. We packed up everything and went. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Was it always the plan to model? Or were you pursuing other goals?“Oh gosh, I never thought about being a model whatsoever. I’m only 5’8 and, especially back in the day, there was this expectation that you had to be a certain height, like 5’11, to be a model. If you’d ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said an archaeologist. Lately, I’ve been studying nutritional medicine. I got scouted on a tram in Melbourne. At the time I had braces and wasn’t really into it, so I waited until I’d finished year 12 and went to Sydney to meet with Chic Management, who I’m with now.”
You’re the face of our new Mecca Cosmetica summer campaign. How was that experience?“It just felt like the perfect campaign to be involved in. I can identify with Mecca, especially the sunscreen products, because I’ve been using them for years. With work, I’m often travelling and am often in the sun and it was so nice to be the face of a sunscreen campaign, knowing that I use and believe in the products I’m promoting. I really enjoyed myself, everyone was so lovely and talented.”
Do you get back to Australia often? “I don’t get back as much as I’d like to, just because work has been pretty steady here this last year and I can’t really find the time. Coming back to shoot with Mecca in Sydney was so exciting cause I got to catch up with family and friends and work for a brand I grew up with.”
What are some of you summer essentials?“Definitely sunscreen. We were in Byron Bay last year for Christmas and it’s all I packed. When I was younger, I was always worried about sunscreens clogging up my pores, but this to me just feels like a beautiful lightweight moisturiser that is actually beneficial for your skin. I love a good face spray, anything you can spritz that’s refreshing. And water, so much water! I keep it pretty simple, especially in summer between salt on your skin from the water.”
What is your in-flight beauty routine?“Lots and lots of moisturiser. I always use a sheet mask an hour before we land, and I always bring a turmeric ginger teabag, so I’m constantly sipping hot water.”
What’s your favourite beach? And destination?“I was in the Maldives in May, and that was insane. Just so clear and gorgeous, I've never seen anything like it. I really love Tulum in Mexico. Bondi is great as well!”
What’s your secret to glowing skin?“A couple of consistent nights of good sleep, eight hours, is the best. The luxury of this, however, is not often available when it comes to big days, early call times and travelling. I do notice though when I have a solid week at home and go to bed early, my skin is at its best. In terms of working out, I tend to enjoy running and Pilates.”
Are you concerned by the damage wrought by the sun?“I try and stay out of the sun whenever I can—at the beach I will always wear a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. I am hyper aware of the potential ageing factors of too much sun exposure. The California sun may not be as harsh as the Australian but both are damaging.”
Talk us through your daily skin care routine.“Depending on how my skin is feeling, I will either just splash my face with water followed by a nice light moisturiser. I really love the REN Evercalm Protect Day Cream, it’s very gentle and lightweight for summer, followed by the Mecca To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+. I also love using Darphin’s Intral Cleansing Milk, it’s very calming and doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils.”
What’s your signature makeup look?“I am super minimal when it comes to my makeup routine. I find skin care products to be a lot more exciting and fun to shop for. When I find something that works for me, I will just stick with it. I love the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer, it gives me a really nice healthy sun-kissed glow without overdoing it. I wear a little Ellis Faas concealer, it’s super sheer and brightening and makes you look instantly more awake. My Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler makes a world of difference! For lips, my ultimate staple is the Mecca Cosmetica Lip De-Luscious Glide With SPF 15.
Interview by Emily DeaconJanuary 2019
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