May 2, 2011

Book Review: Nars Makeup Your Mind - Express Yourself

I absolutely loved the first book François Nars published 10 years ago, it's one of my very favorites, so I was absolutely thrilled to hear about the release of a new one and ran to Amazon to get it!

Makeup, just like designer fashion, will communicate everything about your nuanced, scintillating and extraordinary self. Makeup is magical. Makeup transforms. Makeup allows you to inhabit new personas and re-ignite old ones, but most importantly, makeup is the niftiest and most efficient way to broadcast your fabulousness to the World. AND it's much less expensive than shoes and bags and all that designer drag!!!
Makeup is, therefore, the ultimate vehicle for personal expression.
Nobody understands this better than François Nars.
This excerpt from the book's introduction, written by Simon Doonan (creative director Barneys New York) completely summarizes the spirit of the book and the way François Nars sees makeup: it's fun, it washes off so you shouldn't be scared of it, and it opens a world of possibilities.
I couldn't agree more.

Like in the first book, all looks are put in front of a "before", barefaced picture. A transparent sheet allows you to see what products have been used and where exactly they have been placed. There is, however, a precise description of how the looks can be achieved at the end of each chapter.

The particularity of this book, versus the previous one, is that the people featured in the book aren't models anymore. They are "real people" of all races, all ages, and all sexes - there are a few gorgeous sexy men's makeups!
It's very interesting to see how makeup can transform a face and even erase 10 years out of it!

I don't like standard beauty. There is no beauty without strangeness. 
Karl Lagerfeld.

All pictures have been taken in front of the same background, with the same lighting, and are presented here without any digital alteration. François Nars has been passionate about photography for his whole life and won't work with retouched pictures, as he knows how to take pictures to get the results he want.

Of course, all the products mentioned in this book are now available - that was the only thing that I was disappointed about with the previous book as some products were discontinued a long time ago. That can cause quite a few lemmings, I must say, and I encourage you (and myself, really) to look for dupes in your collection before running and buying the whole Nars makeup range. As nice as the brand is, this book is more about inspiration and techniques, and Nars philosophy, than about the products themselves.

An excellent book for those who want inspiration, ideas for looks to recreate or who simply want to look at beautiful pictures even if they don't feel able to recreate the looks.

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that assert integrity of purpose and imaginitive vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.  
Cecil Beaton.


  1. i'm goign to have to order this book. I got his first one and i loved it :)

  2. I still love the first one, even though it's 10 years old, it still seems so current. I'll be picking this one up at some point. I love how the first one said a colour, as well as the actual product for people like me who are clueless about NARS products!

  3. @ Robyn: this one works the same way :-)


I love getting comments, thanks for sharing your thoughts!