Napoleon Perdis Goes Prime Time

"You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing," said Brooke Shields in a late 1970s steamy campaign that’s still remembered today. If you ask me, there’s only one thing that should come between a woman and her makeup, and that’s primer. Putting makeup on a bare face is the same as painting a wall without primer—the end result just isn’t as smooth, finished and polished. Six years ago I launched my Auto Pilot Pre-Foundation Primer and it now has something of a cult following from Sydney, Australia, to Suriname in South America. You might be wondering: What’s all the palaver about primers? Primers prepare the skin, nourish the complexion and lock in a flawless finish. It’s the blank canvas on which to create whatever look you desire. If you’re not already using one on your clients, you really should be. It’s the bridge between skincare and foundation, and ensures that makeup lasts. Sometimes I mix my primer with a little bronzer for a tawny, healthy glow.

At the height of summer, when the mercury shoots up, I imagine that some women might skip their foundation altogether and just finish off their primed faces by adding mascara and gloss. Whatever look you’re seeking, from minimalist beach babe to maximalist glamour girl, try priming first. Also, don’t skip on lip liner. Lip liner creates the ideal frame for the color and prevents it from bleeding.

Napoleon Perdis 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 59 stand-alone concept stores and more than 800 point-of-sale locations across Australia and New Zealand. In the U.S., the brand has four Napoleon Perdis stores and is sold in select independent retailers. Famous fans include Evangeline Lilly, Debra Messing, LeAnn Rimes, Nicollette Sheridan, Rose McGowan, Amanda Bynes and Hilary Duff, among others.