June 21, 2011 Leave a comment
Where it all started
I’ve been working for Nars for more than 13 years. I was with Nars when the blush Orgasm didn’t exist. It’s been so interesting to watch the evolution of the brand. Who knew when they launched Orgasm in 1999 that it would be this cult classic? I remember when it sold out. Francois did not expect what it has become today.
It took four weeks to produce the book, Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself. Can you believe it? Francois had instructed a casting agency to scour the streets of New York City for 60 globally diverse women and men. He wanted different face shapes, skin-tones and professions. When it came to creating the looks, he didn’t want to know their background, he just wanted a blank canvas and to be inspired by the shape of their face or the colour of their eyes.
Working with a team of artists, François supervised everything and took the photographs. The man is a genius, he is amazing with colour. It’s a beauty manual that demystifies make-up application and techniques. Divided into three sections (play, perfect and polish), the book features real people and there’s an acetate overlay on the before and after images with Francois’s handwriting and the name of the products, colours and actual placement.
This book is real. Looking at celebrities is not a good barometer of whether a look will work for you. Celebrities constantly tweak their faces and get treatments on a regular basis, in the real world most of us don’t have time for that and aren’t getting our nose tweaked or our brows lifted. François celebrates us – that’s what I love.
Life between cities
I’m based in LA but I fly a lot between LA and New York. It sounds like the perfect life but I spend half my time in an airplane and I visit every other city in between – Miami, Chicago, Dallas… François lives in New York but he also has a home in Motu Tane in the South Pacific. He bought the island – yes, the island – in 2000 when Shiseido bought the brand. Of course he also has a home in Paris but he really loves New York City.
Everything is illuminated
The years I’ve been at Nars I’ve become a much better make-up artist in terms of complexion. I love putting The Multiple [a three-in-one product] under foundation, it’s my signature. You can use any of the colours to highlight and warm the complexion before foundation. Just apply it to the cheeks and blend it into an upside-down triangle. My skin is oily and it works so well as it’s a cream-to-powder formula and is oil-free. I have to say, whether it’s a celebrity, model or soccer mum, everybody loves the look of illumination within the skin.
As I’ve gotten older I try to carry less. I always have Exhibit A blush, which I love to use by itself or with other blushes. I love it on women with very dark or very pale skin. I use the cream shadows and apply it with my fingers. I always carry Triple X lip gloss, powder foundation because I always need to touch up, and a black pencil.
Try it all
I guess my make-up mantra is that make-up is there for people to experiment with. There’s so much good make-up out there, and technology has allowed products to be more sheer and lightweight that it’s almost criminal if you don’t try new colours. Go out there, step outside the box and don’t be afraid to experiment with colour. Sometimes when we limit ourselves we rob ourselves from discovering something that would be a wow factor for your lips or for your eyes.