Napoleon Perdis Creates Gotham Glitz at New York Fashion Week

What a whirlwind! I just got back from New York Fashion Week, where I directed the makeup for six shows. The designers were a mix of next-big-things and veterans, and I loved working with each and every one of them. I always enjoy the collaborative spirit of runway shows and creating looks that complement a designer’s collection. It’s an interesting experiment, a mix of aesthetic tastes, that can reap rewards—especially for the fashion-forward client seeking a fresh new look from the season ahead (in this case, spring 2011). Here are three of my favorite looks from Fashion Week:


Venexiana: For spring, Venexiana designer Kati Stern was channeling a Venetian courtesan look, with jewel-toned evening looks. It called for a strong, smoky eye statement, and, to add some drama, I extended the color all the way to hairline. To recreate the look, start by applying a black gel eye liner over half of the outer corner of the eyelid, and set with a black eye shadow. Line the bottom lash line with the black liner, and extend the elongated shape to the temples to form a winged eye. Then apply a golden yellow shade, like my Loose Eye Dust in Contrary Canary, to the eye lid. Be sure to blend the gold and black together. Finish off with teal liner on the inner rim and generous coats of black mascara.

LaQuan Smith

LaQuan Smith: This rising star devised a sumptuous spring collection inspired by Marie Antoinette, Queen Elizabeth 1 and probably a few bodice-ripping novels. The corseted brocade dresses all glistened with gold fabrics. Mirroring the glitz factor, I created a gold leaf lip. To mimic this dramatic pout, start by mixing a clear gloss and a gold loose dust, and apply to the lips as a base. Then fill in and line with a gold eye pencil. Now for the fun part: the gold leafing foil. You can source this from an art supply store. Cut it into small pieces and fix to the lips with a brush. Gustav Klimt would approve we think.


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Kaelen: Designer Kaelen Farncombe had some unusual inspiration for her spring line. “Chasing tornadoes,” was the expression she used to describe her collection of soft separates in tonal colors. It seemed apt to apply a fresh-faced dewy look, with a pink flush on the cheeks using NP Set Baked Powder in English Pink. For twister-inspired lashes, I added individual falsies to the outer lashes only. A swipe of peach lipstick from my NP Set Lipstick in Athens completed the clean, spare look. . .

In 1995, celebrity makeup artist Napoleon Perdis debuted his line of cosmetics and launched his first concept store and Makeup Academy in Sydney. Today, Napoleon Perdis has 67 stand-alone concept stores and more than 800 point-of-sale locations across Australia and New Zealand. In the U.S., the brand has three Napoleon Perdis stores and is sold in select independent retailers. Celebrity fans of the brand include Jessica Szohr, Lady Gaga, Becki Newton, Debra Messing, Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Shenae Grimes, Whitney Port, Adrienne Bailon and more.