Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nars’ Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself


Right now the book I’m seriously wanting to get my mitts on is the 273-page beauty bible from Nars, Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself. In 2001, the makeup maestro published Makeup Your Mind, the globally celebrated, best-selling beauty manual featuring glossy photographs uniquely – and helpfully - overlaid with clear acetate instructional guides. The first in a series of three books, it featured professional models photographed by François “before” (without makeup) and “after” (with makeup), demonstrating both the transformative power of makeup and how to apply it.
Fast forward to 2011 and we have Makeup Your Mind: Express Yourself, the second book in the series, which brings together Nars’ two passions—makeup and photography— to spectacular effect. Taking the before–and-after concept to the next level, he turns the lens on real women and men, revealing the powerful role of beauty in personal transformation. The new book offers more advanced makeup techniques, making it a must-have for all beauty freaks like myself.
What I really adore about these tomes is that the Makeup Your Mind trilogy doesn’t just write about how to apply colour, it shows the reader how it’s actually done by including identical “before” and “after” images overlaid with an acetate diagram. The difference is—literally—clear. So cool! The acetate overlays on the “after” images provide specific products and techniques. To lend a more personal touch, the overlays include hand-written notes from François. The goal is for the reader to study the “before” and “after” looks, then place the transparent page on the
“after” image to see exactly how the transformation was created, what makeup was applied and which techniques were used.
François photographed each subject over a four-week period in January 2010. To design the book, he turned to art director and long time collaborator Fabien Baron, the founder of the creative agency Baron & Baron, who also oversees the artistic vision of the visually arresting NARS advertising campaigns. Baron & Baron enlisted the help of a veteran casting agent to street-scout and select the 60 subjects.
The weighty book is divided into three sections: Play, Perfect and Polish. While the sections are loosely organized by age — taking care to address the teens and twenties, thirties and forties, and fifty+ — the creator is quick to point out that readers shouldn’t be limited by their age.
“Play” centres on experimentation: with colour, texture and technique. “Perfect” demonstrates how layers of colour and texture can be used to best complement the reader and shows how mastering a few simple methods can result in a beautiful, finished face. “Polish” describes how to adapt one’s makeup so it remains timeless as trends change and one’s complexion and features mature. Each chapter opens with face charts, quotes from the subjects and behind-the-scenes images, adding to the personal format. Chapters conclude with step-by-step instructions for re-creating each look, including shade names and specific tools.
So damn, this is one hell of a book – want NOW!

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