Napoleon Perdis Hails the Return of the Coquette

Michelle Pfeiffer in Cheri

Michelle Pfeiffer in Cheri

Maybe you’ve heard about the new movie Chéri? It’s a Parisian romp set at the turn of the century starring Michelle Pfeiffer as a wry seductress. Clad in sumptuous costumes and showcasing radiant skin, Pfeiffer’s character seduces a man half her age—a concept that certainly resonates with our times (paging Madonna, Demi, etc.). As always, Madame Pfeiffer looks astonishing, and I couldn’t help thinking back to her turn more than 20 years ago in another wicked French tale, Dangerous Liaisons. The new performance is almost like a bookend to the earlier one, though she plays a much wiser and cannier character this time around. (And if you haven’t seen it already, you must YouTube French & Saunders’ hilarious spoof of the classic movie. Always cracks me up.)

... and 20 years earlier in Dangerous Liaisons

... and 20 years earlier in Dangerous Liaisons

But I digress: What is it about the coquette look that’s so utterly beguiling? Is it the blonde ringlets piled high a la the Pompadour? Is it the legendary devotion to fashion flaunted by Marie Antoinette and her brethren? Or is it the gorgeous blushed cheeks that suggest a scandalous romp in the boudoir with a handsome count? My vote is for the latter, not least because it’s also the easiest to replicate (the flushed cheeks, that is). I’m a big proponent of blush. I have five different types of cheek stains and powdery confections in my line, and this summer I’m introducing powder duos called Cheek to Chic for when you feel like being a modern-day coquette. In another ode to coquetry, I named my mascara collection after various madams. My mantra: Flattery will get you everywhere.

Here’s how I would execute a contemporary coquette look: Start with the Napoleon Perdis Foundation Stick. Follow with my China Doll Color Veil for flushed cheeks. Fill in brows with Suede pencil and coast the lashes with Madame Fantasia. Use Ultra Pearl no. 33 on the mobile lid and highlight with Eye Patrol Private Angel. Finish with Luminous Lip Veil Naked Truth. In a word, magnifique!


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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.

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