"The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy."
                                                                                              —Yves Saint Laurent

If you're new to this blog, then read our guides to the basics: Skin (Part I), Skin (Part II), The Supernatural, Color Theory I, Color Theory II, Eyes, and Brushes.

Also, check out the blogsale.

· The Makeup Artist: François Nars

Art Tattler
the glamourai
The Non-Blonde
Perfume Shrine
Lisa Eldridge
Garance Doré
Smitten Kitchen
Into The Gloss
Grain de Musc
Res Pulchrae
Drivel About Frivol
The Selfish Seamstress
Killer Colours
Bois de Jasmin
Glossed In Translation
Jak and Jil
Toto Kaelo
Worship at the House of Blues
I Smell Therefore I Am
Food Wishes
The Natural Haven
Messy Wands
1000 Fragrances
Moving Image Source
The Emperor's Old Clothes
M. Guerlain
Colin's Beauty Pages
Barney's jewelry department
loodie loodie loodie
The Straight Dope
Sea of Shoes
London Makeup Girl
Sakecat's Scent Project
Asian Models
Ratzilla Cosme
Smart Skincare
Illustrated Obscurity
A.V. Club
Tom & Lorenzo: Mad Style
Eiderdown Press
Beauty and the Bullshit
La Garçonne
Flame Warriors
Everyday Beauty
Fashion Gone Rogue
Now Smell This
The Cut
A Fevered Dictation
Nathan Branch
101 Cookbooks

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

The Makeup Artist: François Nars
by Dain

We all know the feeling. You're browsing through the counters, swatching idly, when, all of sudden, something very pretty, very shiny beckons. And there you are, yet another eyeshadow richer. "Daïn's got a new toy!" my family likes to say. My first such magpie moment: Rated R.

Versatile, Rated R is not. Without work, the bright colors overpower me, and after twelve years, the textures have become outdated. Still, I treasure it, and will always treasure it, the last remnant of a once massive NARS collection. Rated R is a memento—of the very first time I bought makeup simply because it was pretty—but it also serves as a reminder about embracing experimentation. "One of the best things about makeup is its impermanence. If a look is a success, you can work it into your wardrobe of makeup 'faces'. If not, you can just wipe it off and try something new. I try not to take makeup too seriously, and neither should you." (p. 13, Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself). NARS duos presented a challenge, at a time when eyeshadow palettes were tame and predictably coordinated, in how to harmonize colors in more inventive ways. To this day, it still informs how I manipulate colors.

Like most fashion brands, the focus is on glamour, often in François Nars' idiosyncratic palette. If naturalism is about fine-tuning and restraint, to the point it disappears from view, glamour makeup is an escalation in intensity. Even when worked in neutrals, glamour makes a statement. You could call it empowering, you could call it unapologetic, you could even call it excessive—like all statements, 'glamour' is open to a multiplicity of interpretations—but from tightlining to a flick, it is perhaps more simply described as a subtle shift in self-perception.

With increased freedom, one might think that glamour makeup has no restraints, no thought process behind the decisions. But for all the difference in intent and style, glamour abides by the same cardinal rule of naturalism: good makeup respects the face. Like Mercier, his fellow Carita alumna, Nars' more extroverted style builds on the features unique to the individual. "All too often, too many makeup artists go off on their own ego trips... Instead, they're out to prove... their skills or to put what they presume is their unique stamp on a woman's face... The woman being made up is the most important person here. Not the makeup artist." (p. 7, Makeup Your Mind). Certainly, a flick has more attitude than tightlining, more of a presence, but what matters most is how well it suits Deva's eye shape. In all his looks, François Nars manages a very delicate balance between freedom and control. He is stylized, yet not at all conceptual. The look is not a concept; it is still a face.

"Observation is the key to learning how to apply makeup" (p. 13, ibid), François Nars is keen to emphasize. This visually oriented approach, in which the face is shown with and without makeup, is more instructive than a hundred maxims. When the face dictates, you learn to trust the judgement of your eyes.

However, my admiration is alloyed with criticism. There is room for improvement with textures; though originally decent, the competition has left NARS behind. Since its inception, NARS has successfully established itself as a mainstream brand. Unfortunately, with such a high proportion of iconic shades, there is great difficulty updating formulations—a consequence of notoriety, perhaps. It's a shame. François Nars' eye for color is very special, not easy to replicate. After a lull of several years, an absence of direct agency within the collections, I was happy to see inspiration return full force in recent collections, especially since NARS has such powerful nostalgia for me. It would be wonderful to see that excitement of color married to buttery, luxurious textures.

Labels: ,

2/08/2013 [6]

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]. Or
follow on bloglovin'. If
you'd like to contact Dain,
feel free to email me.
I'm also on Pinterest.

The Mnemonic Sense
Most Wanted
The Beauty Primer
Consumer Diaries
Closet Confidential
On The Label
Beauty Notebook
The Hit List
Color Me In
The Makeup Artist
Wedding Bells
Globe Trotter
Desert Island

perfume notes
beauty notes
fashion notes
culture notes

chypre arc
floral arc
fresh arc
masculines arc
   & orientals arc

August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
June 2013
July 2013