13 March 2010

Francois Nars - Make up your Mind

I received this book for Christmas and have been meaning to do a review on it for some time. For those who aren't familiar with it, it basically features loads of models wearing various make up looks created by Francois Nars (obviously using Nars products). Each look takes up two pages - one shows the model's face make up free, the opposing page shows the made up face with details of the products used. Between the two pages is a see through sheet with markings showing where to apply the products - genius!

So basically each look comes with a mini tutorial and then at the end of the chapter there is a mini-shot of each look with more detailed application instructions.

There are seven sections each focussing on different types of looks: lips, eyes, neutrals, shimmer-monocrome-suntan, pastels and colour. None of the looks seem overly complicated to achieve -- though from reading some of the reviews on Amazon it seems that some of the make up professionals out there found this aspect a bit of a let down. For an eyeshadow buffoon such as myself, this is a very good thing!

 There are some truly stunning looks, some quite wierd ones, a couple of boys (a couple where the sex is ambiguous!), and the faces include lots of big names such as Naomi Campbell, Karen Elson and Eva Herzigova. Along with the make up looks, there are also make up tips, beauty tips and a bit about Nars' own beauty philosophy.

I've photographed a selection of my favourite looks from the book - these all seemed to be from the neutrals and pastels pages - and it seems I have a thing for a peach eye..!

If I had one critique it would be that the models just look a bit too perfect and airbrushed in the pics. Even in the pre-make up pics there's nary a crows foot or a hint of a dark shadow to be seen.

Also, there could be a wider range of ages featured, all the models look kind of early 20s ish, and it would be nice to see some older faces. Women of colour may also find the usefulness limited, as there are only one or two black faces.

Ultimately though, I find this book unique and inspiring, especially since the looks still look fresh, relevant and modern even though it's coming up to ten years since it was first published. And boy, what a clever marketing idea! I for one now have a Nars lust list that could get me into serious trouble. These are just some of the products I now have my eye on:

The Multiples in Malibu, South Beach and Copacabana (I actually don't own ANY multiples, am I the only person in the beauty blog-o-sphere??)
Lipsticks in Belle de Jour, Galaxy Girl, Viva las Vegas
Lip laquers in Cabiria and Baby Doll
Eyeshadows in All about Eve, Tibet, Key Largo, Night Star and Key Largo

Of course some of the newer products such as the sheer glow foundation and several blushes and eyeshadows aren't featured... but the nice thing about this is, you could probably replicate most of the looks using products from different brands that are already in your collection (with the possible exception of the crazy neon green eye in the colour section!). And who knows, maybe he'll bring out Make up Your Mind 2. I'd certainly buy it.

I haven't yet tried to replicate any of the looks featured, but I think I might try this one in the near future, especially as I already own Zen blush and the Tokyo eyeshadow duo which are featured.

Make up your Mind is currently available on Amazon.co.uk for £18.


  1. I've been meaning to check out this book for ever. Thanks for reminding me! :)

  2. Make Up Your Mind 2 is due out Sep 2010 I hear! Can't wait!