My NARS counter had an event this past weekend, to celebrate the release of Francois Nars’ new book, Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself.
Express Yourself is a makeup manual that features before and after photos (on facing pages), with a transparent overlay to explain exactly where to put product to achieve the look. (It’s actually a “sequel” to Nars’ 2001 release, Makeup Your Mind.)
In honor of the book’s release, customers at the event were invited to pick a look from the book, and an artist would recreate it for them. I was lucky enough to have my makeup done by Winnie Pham, one of the resident Dallas artists. She knows what I usually wear, so she recommended we try something outside my comfort zone. I have to say, I was nervous at first (did I mention this is totally outside my comfort zone?), but she really did an amazing job.
This was the look we wanted to recreate:
I wouldn’t normally spend a great deal of time talking about the skincare prep, but one of the best things about my experience was how fantastic my skin looked — so I don’t want to leave anything out. Winnie started with Hydrating Freshening Lotion (6.7 oz, $36), a lightweight moisturizer that also contains mild exfoliating ingredients for a more radiant complexion. She also used Brightening Serum (2.5 oz, $61), a fast-acting, antioxidant-rich, skin brightener with a subtly pearlescent finish.
After the prep, Winnie went straight onto the eyes (so if there was any fallout, she could clean it up before applying foundation and concealer). She used Hollywoodland shadow pencil as a base, blending it with her fingers to just above my crease (up onto the orbital bone). She then went straight into Bali as a crease color, applied with a #12 brush. Interesting technique to apply crease color before lid color — I’ve never done that before.
She used the darker half of the Paris duo all over my lid (applied with a #12 or a #13 brush), and applied Heart of Glass to the inner corner of my eye (with the #4 brush). She used Edie and Biarritz as a brow highlight (#4 brush), and used Bali again on my brows (with the #5 brush).
The model in the book isn’t really wearing much eyeliner, but we both agreed we’d like to see some, so Winnie used the darker side of Pandora, wet, with a #2 brush to tightline, waterline, and line on top of the lashes. We curled the lashes and applied NARS Lengthening Mascara.
My eyes looked fancy, but I thought the best thing about my makeover was how perfect my skin looked (actually, I consider great skin proof of a really excellent artist). Winnie spent more time prepping my skin than anyone else ever has (including me!), and the results were fantastic.
The area under my eyes needs a lot of attention. Winnie used Nourishing Eye Cream (.5 oz, $76), which moisturizes and smooths the skin. She also used instantly plumping, lipid-supporting Potent EFA Cream (1.7 oz, $70). Finally, she patted on Skin Smoothing Face Prep ($30), before applying Honey concealer. (The concealer is packaged like a lipstick; she applied stick to face and blended with fingers.) She also used the oil-free, Pore Refining, (non-SPF) face primer.
Winnie actually contoured before she put on foundation. Again, not something I’ve done before, but I liked the subtle results. She used Laguna Multiple (above brows at the outside edges, under cheekbones, under the jawline at the outside edges) and Copacabana Illuminator (on top of cheekbones) — both blended with fingers. She applied Sheer Glow foundation in Mont Blanc with her fingers, and finished with Flesh loose powder.
Here’s an “after” shot of me with Winnie (not only is this girl SO pretty, but her makeup always looks flawless. Clearly, she’s got skillz).
This is a weird angle, but you can actually see the eyeshadow:
I’m already imagining some of you responding, “yikes! She used a lot of products.” She did, but she’s also a makeup artist for NARS with an entire counter at her disposal. You don’t have to buy/use every single item to get this look at home — Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself describes each product, so if you don’t have Gilda, you can use another coral blush. I think the book is all about introducing new ideas and new techniques into your repertoire.
Everything I mentioned here (including the book) is for sale at NARSCosmetics.com — and they’re currently offering free shipping at any price, no code required. Which is good, because I think I want Gilda.