Arts & Culture

Jewcy’s Fashion Week Guide to Style: Napoleon Perdis

As a compliment to New York and Jewcy’s Fashion Week, I thought I would take my weekly Guide to Style to the tents of Lincoln Center as well. Being that I am consistently hunting down the best brands and products … Read More

By / September 21, 2010

As a compliment to New York and Jewcy’s Fashion Week, I thought I would take my weekly Guide to Style to the tents of Lincoln Center as well. Being that I am consistently hunting down the best brands and products to share with all of you, I jumped at the chance to chat with acclaimed Australian makeup artist, Napoleon Perdis, backstage at William Tempest’s SS11 Presentation. After arriving at the tents at a ghastly 5:30am call time, Napoleon could not have been more enthusiastic, accommodating and willing to share the secrets he’s learned over more than a decade in the beauty business when I arrived to chat with him at 8am. I am fortunate to work with many a makeup artist through my work as a stylist, but somehow Napoleon managed to blow my mind with tips I would never have considered prior to our meeting. Never leave home without primer? Apply mascara first and work backwards, finishing with your face makeup? Lip liner goes on last? You would think after years of a morning beauty routine I’d have my own face down to a science but after my short chat with Napoleon, I have definitely altered the way I buy make-up and apply it to my face – and you should too.

Napoleon’s first tip: primer. Perdis sticks to his motto, “not to prime is a crime,” a clever yet adorable rhyme to remembering the key to a brilliantly smooth complexion. Encouraging women to think of their faces like paintings, this product is a base coat and acts to give your complexion a youthful glow. Perdis recommends his Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer to have your makeup stay put from day to night and moisturize skin underneath your powdery and creamy cosmetics that otherwise clog pores and leave skin gasping for air. I was able to sample some of Napoleon’s other products that he used on the models in the tents that morning, and while they certainly did not make me look like a model, I’ve been using them ever since. And so, straight from the tents at Lincoln Center, here are some Napoleon Perdis products I think should land themselves on your cosmetic collection.

Boudoir Mist Spray Foundation: While Napoleon encourages women to be cautious with concealer so as not to overload the face with product, he is quite insistent on a proper and even base to the painting that is your face. His spray foundation is light and ensures that the foundation is applied evenly to the skin, without creating the cake-y build-up that heavy foundations tend to leave behind. If this product works for the models of New York Fashion Week, it can certainly work for me.

DéVine Goddess Lipstick : I am not really one for lipstick, I am more of a gloss and chapstick girl myself, but I have definitely enjoyed creating totally nude, fresh faced looks with Napoleon’s lipstick in San Francisco these past few days.

Color Discs -  Makeup savvy ladies know that the perfect eye shadow that brushes on evenly and smoothly is key to any eye look, be it simple or smoky. After being inspired by Napoleon’s look at William Tempest, I have been basing my eyes in his Trench Coat Color Disc for the past week. Later that same week, the Napoleon Perdis team shocked me again when they took their most colorful discs to Laquan Smith for a breathtaking demonstration of makeup artistry. Pick any color and odds are, it will inspire you as it does the NP team.

After letting me into his mind and his world as he explained to me how he goes about finding his inspiration for runway show makeup, I was dying to try Napoleon’s products for myself. After having these products in my life for just a week, I am now dying for you to try them as well. Napoleon explained that runway faces start with the collection. After previewing the clothes and deciding with the designer whether the look will be simple or dramatic, he lets his mind run wild. That morning, William Tempest shared inspirations of underwater adventures and sea coral, which only spoke too well to the Australian native. The result? A white washed face with a nude lip and coral highlights. Tap into the world of Napoleon Perdis, where without  a makeup overload, women of all ages and skin tones can feel beautiful from the outside in. Start with mascara, end with lip liner and remember, “Not to prime is a crime!”

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