Even with – the best make-up in the world won't look good if you don't cleanse and exfoliate and have a good basic regime. This is why one of my goals has always been to create a skincare line.
I don't think there's a major change between runway and real life anymore.
Makeup is an accessory to fashion. You buy a bag, you buy shoes, you put on eyeliner, you buy a lipstick, makeup compliments the clothes.
I love the architecture magazines and all of the French magazines for decoration or whatever. I end up enjoying them more sometimes than the fashion magazines.
It's one thing to read about how makeup is applied. It's another thing altogether to watch it being put on.
It's very hard for me to photograph someone when I'm not attracted by who they are.
There was a time when you would dream about, say, movie stars. Now, you virtually follow them into their bathroom when they're going to the loo.
Working on fashion shows, you work with the designer and try to read his brain – what was in the creative process, what images did he have in his head?
As a make-up artist, you always want to be in a good light, whether you're walking down the street or in a restaurant. It is a very key element to me; you can't apply good make-up in a bad light.
I was spoiled growing up in the 1970s because magazines were publishing the photographs of Helmut Newton and Guy Bourdin without compromise. You really felt that sense of freedom through their images.
Wearing colourful eyeliner in a graphic shape is the epitome of make-up as an accessory.
I photographed Alek Wek. She was amazing, and nobody knew about her then. It was a really strong photograph of her.
I remember this time I worked with Linda Evangelista on a shoot for Richard Avedon. I just put grease on her face, and it was beautiful.
I think less is more when it comes to make-up; this really helps achieve a lighter complexion. Heavy make-up creates a canvas and can dull the skin.
I'm always looking to the lightweight superproduct that you apply and almost don't see. That's the ultimate, at least for me.
I launched NARS with 12 shades of lipsticks, and many, many launches later, I'm still most proud of our lipsticks.
I've always loved the way movie stars in the Forties looked when they were off set. Shot poolside or at their home, they always wore a matte red lipstick with practically no foundation – it was how they wore makeup in real life.
There is a tendency to feature more actresses on covers, but I'm a big model lover. I grew up watching these models, and they gave me the wish, the need, to work in the fashion industry. I loved watching them – their beauty, the way they worked in front of the camera and that power of transformation, especially in the Seventies.
It was the early Seventies, and I discovered makeup by going through my mother's fashion magazines. I fell in love with the photos, the models, the fashion.
I've seen makeup destroy people and make them look bad if it's badly done.
Looking at flowers, simple things in life. I don't need to look at gold and a castle; sometimes its very simple things that are very beautiful. I am keeping my eyes fresh to find beauty in many places, and in gold, too, sometimes!
I really wanted to have a different approach of beauty because when I came to America, they were still heavily, heavily plastic. The ads were so heavily retouched.
We don't tell women how to look but give them the products and inspiration they need to feel and look beautiful.
My mother and my two grandmothers, I was lucky to have three women around me growing up that were very special, very elegant women, very beautiful women. They were my first step into the beauty world, let's say, and then the fashion world, of course.
I love so much the models from the '60s and the '70s. They were extremely professional, great models who knew how to work the camera so well and loved fashion and had a great sense of style.
I like shocking, but I don't like to shock as an automatic process. Sometimes it happens, but it's not my main drive.
I chose makeup over photography because there was something very sensual about makeup that I loved. But photography was always in the back of my mind. That was always something that I was very connected with: looking at magazines, enjoying photography, and then taking pictures myself when I was a kid.
Women have to find their own personality, their own style, and what suits them the best.
I love strong looks, so to me, no makeup is strong. As long as it makes a statement, that's what I like. The girls look very real, and I'm probably the only makeup artist who will say that I love a woman without makeup.
My mother never wore much make-up, and she was a kind of natural beauty; she knew just how to enhance what she had.
My vision was to create makeup that was more transparent but with formulas that last. I follow my instincts – it's all very spontaneous!
True icons are larger than life, unforgettable with an elegance that's mesmerizingly timeless.
In America, when I first came here, they were used to wearing more make-up – thicker foundation, more Max Factor, that sort of thing. But you have to know who you are and what you look like: if you know yourself a little bit, you don't need to follow trends.
Being a studio make-up artist and working on magazines was the only thing I wanted to do.
When you photograph someone, you have to make them feel good, and you know that they want to look good. It's the same relationship that you have when you apply makeup on somebody. We're almost like shrinks.
I was a very lucky child because at the age of 16, 17 years old, my parents would buy me clothes from Yves Saint Laurent, which was an incredible luxury at the time, but I was attracted to that whole world. I had a pretty nice little wardrobe by the age of 17.
I love to collaborate with artists, like Guy Bourdin and Steven Klein, who don't have any boundaries.
A woman who hides behind a mask of makeup is still going to have to take it off at some point… and deal with reality.
A fresh face with a red lip is timeless. It's supermodern and relaxed but very chic.
I'm always scared of trends. The runways are always so trend-oriented, but I always feel for the women. The real women that buy cosmetics want to see the trends, but they don't necessarily go for them. And I always encourage women to find what looks best on them.
I think if you take good care of your skin, you can achieve better make-up.
I think there was a freedom in the 1920s and 1930s: a certain liberty and evolution of women.
It's not that I'm easily shocked. It takes a lot to shock me. And wildness I like. But vulgarity shocks me.
I like beauty to be a bit edgy, not typical. For me, the only rule is looking good.
From the start, I used a different kind of girl in Nars campaign images. My choice to use models of colour such as Alek Wek, Naomi Campbell and Karen Park Goude was absolutely a deliberate one. I felt that makeup was universal and should apply to everybody.
I can't remember the first time, but I've worked with supermodels almost from day one.
I think it's important that you know every detail when you open a store, that you pay attention to everything.
In a lot of cases, makeup is a fantastic help, and that's why women love makeup in general. It's a fantastic way to help somebody look great. It's not the only way, of course, but it's a major accessory, along with hair, clothes, lighting, all those things.
Kate Moss makes you dream. She has such a passion for art and the creative process.
Makeup is very important for a show. It's really an accessory on the runway. You have to be sure that it fits the clothes.
I fell in love with New York. I moved here 25 years ago in 1984 after I lived in Paris for six years. In the 1980s, it was the place to be. Here I was able to create NARS, which I would not have been able to create if I stayed in France.
It's very refreshing to go away and take a break, to clear your head, and just get into something else.
I think Edie Sedgwick comes back, too. Every five or six years, there is always something about Edie, because she was so modern and stylish and elegant and hippie-ish, all at the same time. So I think that people will always love her.
I always had a vision about beauty in general, so probably that's what really drove me into that direction of creating a makeup brand.
Some people put a lot of fuss around them. I'm not an entertainer. Let's not get things confused.
I had no connections, and the fashion world was a closed elite. So my mother made appointments for herself with three top Parisian makeup artists and spoke highly about me… she was my first publicist!
You create the color first, and then the name that fits. It depends – there are no rules. You watch a fabulous old movie, and you suddenly get inspired by it to create a lipstick shade, or you walk through a gorgeous garden and find the most beautiful flower shade for an eye shadow, and then you name it.
I didn't want to create a makeup line for one ethnic group; it had to be multi-ethnic. To me, beauty is beauty. It doesn't matter to me what colour the skin is.
My mother hated foundation; she hated having a mask on her face – and she pushed me to build my own vision and concept of beauty for women.
Was I a businessman to start with? I'm not sure. I mean, that comes slowly, when you start having the products out. But at the same time, I was very determined. I knew that I had to make it work. I had no choice.
I hate knowing where people go to the bathroom. You follow them going to pee, to eat – I hate everything when it comes to reality shows!
Women don't want to feel like they're wearing makeup. I hope I was partly responsible for that.
It really has stayed practically the same. It wasn't like I used to do wild punk make-up: no, I always had the same vision.
Sometimes I'm attracted to more odd girls with stronger faces and features or a softer beauty with a lot of character.
Sometimes people are very not sure of themselves, so you really have to give them that confidence. Even models – they need to warm up sometimes on photo shoots.
I wanted to be a make up artist. I did it, and the road that I took was quite good.
My interpretation of the word 'ugly'… I like ugly beauty. That can happen. In France, we have phrase 'jolie laide.' We like certain women who are not pretty or cute – it's the opposite in France of pretty. It's more strange and interesting.
Wearing colourful eyeliner in a graphic shape is the epitome of make-up as an accessory.
It's more fun to have a name rather than a number. I think this gives our products a personality. I get the names from literature, movies, opera, traveling, nature, poetry, sometimes even the street. I keep a small book that I write in. I wake up in the middle of the night and jot down a name for a lipstick or an eyeshadow.
I never stop thinking about names of products. It's a process that happens 24 hours a day.
I would find myself in these photo shoots with models and makeup, and I got swept up in it all.
People have to learn that everybody is the same. If you wake up in the morning, even if you're a movie star, you look like everybody else. The reality is that makeup is there to help. That's what it's for.
Having worked with so many of the geniuses, I'd learned so much. It's the best sort of photography school, to work with people like Penn or Avedon or Meisel.
I made contours and all that, but in real life, you have to be very careful with that because you can go out in the street and look terrible. All those girls who show how to do contour, they do it quite well, but they're like makeup artists. They're in artificial light.
I'll keep creating modern, deep, rich and adventurous colors and products that inspire creative expression every day.
Makeup is about balance. When the eye makes a statement, the lips should be quiet.
I met Iman and Jerry Hall and all those girls in the late Seventies right when I started working at the fashion shows in Paris as an assistant.
My goal was always to make the girl look real and look beautiful. It didn't matter how much makeup. Sometimes it was none at all.
I'm not so interested in perfect, plastic beauty, and I think it translates in the girls I've shot over the years for Nars, from Guinevere to Iris to Mariacarla. I love those girls. I love the more interesting faces, with maybe a strange nose, not just the Texan blonde. By picking those girls, I think it's changed what I've seen in other campaigns.